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

by
ISBN13:

9781571104120

ISBN10:
1571104127
Media:
Paperback
Pub. Date:
11/1/2005
Publisher(s):
Stenhouse Pub
List Price: $24.00

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Summary

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 Inclinedis 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 Inclinedis 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.

Table of Contents

Foreword xi
Vicki Spandel
Acknowledgments xv
Part I The Blueprint: Teaching Grammar and Mechanics in Context
1(60)
Introduction
3(12)
Moving from Correct-Alls to Mentor Texts
15(12)
Weaving Grammar and Mechanics into Writer's Workshop
27(24)
Off-the-Wall Grammar and Mechanics Instruction
51(10)
Part II Constructing Lessons: Background, Mentor Text, and Visual Seaffolds
61(2)
Section 1 The Sentence: A Way of Thinking
63(20)
Fragments
65(3)
Two-Word Sentence Smack Down
Two-Word Sentence Search---Powerful Words, Powerful Verbs
Run-On Sentences
68(3)
Dependent Vs. Independent---Adding On Without Running On
Dangling Modifiers
71(3)
Only You Can Prevent Dangling Modifiers---Playing with Sentence Parts
Wrong or Missing Preposition
74(3)
I've Got a Preposition For You
Double Negative
77(2)
Register Swap: The Formal and Informal Registers
The Absolute
79(4)
The Absolute Zoom Lens---A Think- and Look-Aloud
Section 2 Pause and Effect: Crafting Sentences with Commas
83(20)
No Comma in a Compound Sentence
84(3)
Flipping for the Compound Sentence Pattern
Comma Splice
87(3)
From Splice to Nice---FANBOYS to the Rescue
No Comma After an Introductory Element
90(3)
If There Were an Olympic Contest for Sentence Imitating AAAWWUBBIS---The Subordinating Conjunction Bionic Mnemonic
No Comma in a Nonrestrictive Element
93(3)
Basket Case---The Essential Nonessential Comma Rule
An Appositive Imitation Is the Sincerest Form of Flattery . . . But Plagiarism Isn't
No Comma Setting Off Additions at the End of a Sentence
96(3)
Life Detectives---Paying Attention to Detail and the Cumulative Sentence
Lack of Commas in a Series
99(4)
Think-Aloud---Commas, Are You Serial?
Section 3 Pronouns: The Willing Stand-Ins
103(14)
Vague Pronoun Reference
104(3)
Marking Text---In Reference to Pronouns
Pronoun-Antecedent Agreement Error
107(3)
Where Have All the Pronouns Gone? A Kira-Kira Cloze
Pronoun Case Error
110(3)
The Case of the Pesky Pronoun
Possessive Apostrophe Error
113(4)
Apostrophe-thon
Section 4 The Verb: Are We All in Agreement?
117(14)
Subject-Verb Agreement
118(3)
From Past to Present---It's About Time . . . and Effect
Dropped Inflectional Endings
121(3)
The Verbs---They Are A-Changin'
Do and Have Agreement Errors
124(3)
You Can't Have It All---If He/She/It Has Anything to Say About It
Easy Does It---He/She/It Again
Unnecessary Shift in Tense
127(4)
Who Took the Verbs Out?
Verbs Still Making Students Tense?
Section 5 Adjectives and Adverbs: The Modifier Within
131(12)
Adjective Strings
132(3)
The Human Sentence---Adjectives Out of Order
Adjective Clauses
135(3)
Which One? An Adjective Clause Tells All
Adverb Clauses
138(2)
We're in the Titles
Adverbs and Conjunctive Adverbs
140(3)
Adverbs, Adverbs Everywhere---Strictly Speaking
Section 6 The Power of Punctuation: The Period Is Mightier Than the Semicolon
143(18)
Misuse of Quotation Marks
144(3)
Revealing Character---Tagging Dialogue with Action
Overuse of the Exclamation Point
147(3)
Exclamation Degradation---Reflecting on a Point's Overuse
The Semicolon
150(2)
The Semicolon---The Lone Separator
The Colon
152(2)
The Colon---The Drum Roll of Punctuation
The Dash
154(3)
Dashing---Simply Dashing!
The Hyphen
157(4)
Hyphen Nation---Some Words Just Belong Together
Appendix
161
The Sentence: A Way of Thinking
Sentence Smack Down!
List of Common Prepositions
Pause and Effect: Crafting Sentences with Commas
Compound and Serial Comma Sentence Pattern Scaffolds
AAAWWUBBIS and More!
Comma Magnets as Sentence Openers
Three Basic Complex Sentence Pattern Visual Scaffolds


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