Mechanically Inclined: Building Grammar, Usage, and Style into Writer's Workshop

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Overview

Some teachers love grammar and some hate it, but nearly all struggle to find ways of making the mechanics of English meaningful to kids. As a middle school teacher, Jeff Anderson also discovered that his students were not grasping the basics, and that it was preventing them from reaching their potential as writers. Jeff readily admits, “I am not a grammarian, nor am I punctilious about anything,” so he began researching and testing the ideas of scores of grammar experts in his classroom, gradually finding successful ways of integrating grammar instruction into writer's workshop.

Mechanically Inclined is the culmination of years of experimentation that merges the best of writer's workshop elements with relevant theory about how and why skills should be taught. It connects theory about using grammar in context with practical instructional strategies, explains why kids often don't understand or apply grammar and mechanics correctly, focuses on attending to the “high payoff,” or most common errors in student writing, and shows how to carefully construct a workshop environment that can best support grammar and mechanics concepts. Jeff emphasizes four key elements in his teaching:

  • short daily instruction in grammar and mechanics within writer's workshop;
  • using high-quality mentor texts to teach grammar and mechanics in context;
  • visual scaffolds, including wall charts, and visual cues that can be pasted into writer's notebooks;
  • regular, short routines, like “express-lane edits,” that help students spot and correct errors automatically.

Comprising an overview of the research-based context for grammar instruction, a series of over thirty detailed lessons, and an appendix of helpful forms and instructional tools, Mechanically Inclined is a boon to teachers regardless of their level of grammar-phobia. It shifts the negative, rule-plagued emphasis of much grammar instruction into one which celebrates the power and beauty these tools have in shaping all forms of writing.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781571104120
  • Publisher: Stenhouse Publishers
  • Publication date: 11/1/2005
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 216
  • Sales rank: 957
  • Product dimensions: 13.60 (w) x 13.40 (h) x 0.90 (d)

Table of Contents

Foreword
Pt. I The blueprint : teaching grammar and mechanics in context 1
Ch. 1 Introduction 3
Ch. 2 Moving from correct-alls to mentor texts 15
Ch. 3 Weaving grammar and mechanics into writer's workshop 27
Ch. 4 Off-the-wall grammar and mechanics instruction 51
Pt. II Constructing lessons : background, mentor text, and visual scaffolds 61
Sect. 1 The sentence : a way of thinking 63
Sect. 2 Pause and effect : crafting sentences with commas 83
Sect. 3 Pronouns : the willing stand-ins 103
Sect. 4 The verb : are we all in agreement? 117
Sect. 5 Adjectives and adverbs : the modifier within 131
Sect. 6 The power of punctuation : the period is mightier than the semicolon 143
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Customer Reviews

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( 12 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 12 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 3, 2013

    Great resource!

    Jeff Anderson clearly describes how to teach grammar and mechanics within the writer's workshop. This is the book I've needed for years.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 21, 2012

    Andrea

    Her body isslender and perfect...

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 11, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    Ready-to-Use in your intermediate classroom!

    My 6th grade co-teacher and I love this resource. We just recently made the purchase and are using the lessons in our classroom already. Jeff Anderson's writing tone is humorous and enthusiastic. Our students are enjoying the lessons as well-yes really enjoying grammar and editing lessons! We also purchased Everyday Editions; we are using the two books in tandem.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 29, 2008

    An excellent simplistic guide to grammar

    This is an excellent grammar book which relies on mentor text as a way of teaching grammar. A must have for English teachers of all levels.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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