My children have learned a great deal from the Institute for Excellence in Writing (IEW) over the past few years. Most recently, they have been working their way through Fix It! Grammar: Mowgli and Shere Khan, Level 4. Read about why we love this course and have been using it consistently over the past few years.
Thank you to IEW for providing us with the materials to write our review in exchange for our honest opinions. This post contains affiliate links through which I may receive a small commission.
How it Works
The essence of how Fix It! Grammar works is quite simple. Over the course of 30 weeks’ worth of lessons, students learn grammar. Sounds boring, doesn’t it? The twist here is that students find errors and correct them. It’s always a little easier seeing errors when they’re not your own, and this is how students learn in this course.
What we Received
Fix It! Grammar has been freshly updated and revised!
The Student Books contain everything the student will need (with the exception of 2 pens of different colours).
Each week’s lesson starts with two pages of explanations and examples before moving onto the exercises.
Read the text. Each lesson includes a couple of sentences, one of which has a vocabulary word which is used in context. The word is in bold and students look up the definition and write it down. There is a full list of the words at the beginning of the student’s book (the definitions are included in the Teacher’s Manual).
Each lesson has a list of items for which students must find and mark in the text. Examples of this are:
- nouns, pronouns, articles, adjectives, adverbs
- subject-verb pairs
- main clauses, who/which clauses, adverb clauses
- prepositional phrases
- and more
Next comes a list of items that are incorrect in the text that students must find and fix. Some of these may be:
- commas and end marks
- quotation marks and apostrophes
- new paragraph or not
- subject-verb agreement
- and more
After the above Mark It! and Fix It! sections have been completed and gone over in class with the teacher, it’s time for students to rewrite the text without any errors. This is done at the bottom of the page in the provided space.
The Teacher’s Manual contains everything that’s in the Student’s Book, as well as the answer key for each lesson and additional explanations for some of the grammar points, which is very useful when my children have questions on why a particular word or phrase is marked as it is and not as something else.
At the beginning of the book there is a blue page that gives directions on downloading some additional content from the IEW website. At the end of the Teacher’s Manual there is a full glossary (the below Grammar Cards are cross-referenced to the glossary).
Fix It! Grammar Cards
In the previous edition of Fix It! Grammar, there were grammar cards at the back of the books to cut out and use. Now, they have created these reusable grammar cards that are compatible with all levels. At the beginning of the book, there is a key for which cards are used for specific weeks.
The full-colour cards have the part of speech, etc., on one side and on the reverse is the definition and an example in use. If more information is desired, the location of the target concept in the glossary is included.
These cards can be used for reference in class while learning, as well as while completing the lessons, and of course, they can also be used as flash cards.
I also loved how a couple of Mr. Pudewa’s jokes made it into the deck, too! A little fun to lighten English class is always a bonus.
How we Used Fix It! Grammar Level 4
Fix It! Grammar is an open-and-go curriculum that is nicely set up into thirty weeks with four lessons per week. Each lesson would usually take about fifteen minutes to complete.
We like to mix things up a bit. We start with doing two lessons a day. The first part of the book starts off gentle and is like an overview of what students have learned in previous levels, before becoming more difficult and introducing new concepts. With this in mind, my children usually begin by doing two lessons a day for four days a week (this covers two weeks of content each week). When the lessons become more strenuous, then they ease back to doing one lesson a day, four days a week.
The first weekly lesson we all do together; reading the Learn It! section, then going over the Read It! Mark It! and Fix It! sections as a team. Then the children Rewrite It! For the following lessons that week, the children do everything on their own, and then we reconvene and compare their answers to the answer key, discussing any difficulties they may have had. Then they Rewrite It! on their own and place their books into my pile of correcting.
What we Think of Fix It! Grammar
We really love using Fix It! Grammar. We did review Level 1 a few years ago, and in the meantime, we also purchased Levels 2 and 3. We have continued to buy and use these products because we find them valuable.
I think that one win for this course is that it doesn’t feel like it puts as much pressure on students as a ‘regular’ grammar class would. Students are learning through correcting grammar, which enables them to understand how difficult it is to communicate effectively when good grammar is lacking.
The daily lessons are short and build upon each other. I appreciate the extra grammar explanations that are given in the Teacher’s Manual, too.
Just as we have done in the past, we will continue to use Fix It! Grammar into the future as part of our language arts classes.
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