WANT TO KNOW MORE?
Building Grammar, Usage, and Style 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.
Talking Through Sentences and Beyond
Revision is often a confusing and difficult process for students, but it's also the most important part of the writing process. If students leave our classrooms not knowing how to move a piece of writing forward, we've failed them. Revision Decisions will help teachers develop the skills students need in an ever-evolving writing, language, and reading world.
10 Things Every Writer Needs to Know
In his new book 10 Things Every Writer Needs to Know, Jeff Anderson focuses on developing the concepts and application of ten essential aspects of good writing: motion, models, focus, detail, form, frames, cohesion, energy, words, and clutter. Throughout the book, Jeff provides dozens of model texts, both fiction and nonfiction, that bring alive the ten things every writer needs to know. By analyzing strong mentor texts, young writers explore, discover, and apply what makes good writing work. Jeff dedicates a chapter to each of the ten things every writer needs to know and provides mini-lessons, mentor texts, writing process strategies, and classroom tips.
Inviting Students to Develop Skill and Craft in Writer's Workshop
Instead of rehearsing errors and drilling students on what’s wrong with a sentence, Jeff invites students to look carefully at their writing along with mentor texts, and to think about how punctuation, grammar, and style can be best used to hone and communicate meaning. Written in Jeff’s characteristically witty style, this refreshing and practical guide offers an overview of his approach to editing within the writing workshop as well as ten detailed sets of lessons covering everything from apostrophes to serial commas. These lessons can be used throughout the year to replace Daily Oral Language or error-based editing strategies with a more effective method for improving student writing.
The Craft of Grammar
Integrated Instruction in Writer's Workshop
Teachers are urged to integrate grammar instruction with lessons on writer’s craft, but what does that look like in real classrooms with real kids? In The Craft of Grammar, Jeff Anderson shows how he brings grammar and craft together meaningfully for student writers. Jeff and his sixth-grade students move easily from analyzing sentences to freewrites in writer’s notebooks to “express-lane edits” of their writing in daily workshops. The lessons, individual conferences, and small-group activities on the video demonstrate how to use high-quality children’s and young adult literature as mentor texts and as an alternative to “Daily Oral Language.”
Play Sample Video
Editing Invitations (Video)
Editing Invitations takes you into Jeff Anderson’s sixth-grade classroom in San Antonio, Texas as Jeff demonstrates how he naturally links grammar instruction to writer’s craft through his “Invitations to Notice.” The Invitations are a warm-up activity used at the beginning of writer’s workshops to help students learn to pay close attention to mechanics, style, and craft.
Play Sample Video
This 15-minute video shows how Jeff Anderson uses playful strategies and mentor text to engage writers in grammar and editing. In the “Apostrophe-thon,” Jeff’s sixth-grade students in San Antonio, Texas search through a mentor text excerpt to find examples of apostrophes and then categorize them as possessives or contractions based on a wall chart the class has compiled.