Express Yourself

Be who you are and say how you feel because those who mind don't matter and those who matter don't mind.
--Dr. Seuss

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Gretchen Bernabei's Grammar Keepers-A Must Read!

Receiving a text from Amazon this morning, brought a smile to my face as I sipped my last bit of coffee and prepared myself to go into Westwood Elementary to work with students.  I looked down to see the notification that Grammar Keepers, the newest book from one of my favorite writing gurus, had been delivered to my doorstep.  "Yes!" I said to myself.  "What I wouldn't give to be able to open the package right now and give it a gander, " I thought.  Nope I had to wait 9 hours later, fighting horrible traffic on 290, to open my package.  I opened it feeling quite lucky.  Gretchen Bernabei's book is selling out like Tom Brady jerseys after the Super Bowl.  I bought it on Wednesday of last week and Amazon said that there were only 4 left in stock.  I alerted a friend of mine yesterday. We want to do a book and classroom study with it.  She told me this morning that it sold out and there was a waiting list.  She then had to go to Corwin, the publisher, to buy it. I am lucky to have it in my possession.

I haven't read it all the way through.  I did, however, read the introduction and explanation of the book's inspiration and purpose.  Gretchen also allowed those who attended her workshop last Summer to be privy to see some of it electronically. I have used some of it with students with whom I work.  I have also shared it with some teacher friends.  They love it!  I perused the rest of it and thought about what other lessons that I would use.  It is very up front, user  and kid friendly.  I can't wait to use the sentence wringer, the homophones, and other lessons with students and teachers. I will post more, when I try more of it out.  

One thing is certain, I am a huge fan of Gretchen Bernabei's work.  I think everyone who knows me well will attest to that.  You can trust her work because she gets it.  She has thoroughly researched these great ideas that have a great stick factor of 100%.  She knows Bruner.  She studied Jerome Bruner and actually met him this past year in New York.  She has studied Vygostky.  I could add more great reading and writing research and name after name. This is so important.  Having said all of that, nothing compares to the classroom research that has wheels.  She is not into theory alone.  Gretchen's theory is grounded in all the research above, but also in many, many years of clinical classroom practice.  She has been there and done it all with writing.  She still stays in the classroom and continues to work with students everyday.  That, my dear friends, is something you can take to the bank!  That is why I trust her and believe in her work. No diggety, no doubt!  Besides all the rationale, I have used much of her work in classrooms.  I see the light bulb go off in students' and teachers eyes and minds.  Students writers become more confident and begin to love to read, write and share the works of their hands.  The teachers feel the same way that I do.  I highly recommend this book and I look forward to writing more about it in the my upcoming posts.

What is next?  I need to dig into Revision Decisions by Jeff Anderson.  I cannot wait to see what this great book has in store for my teaching and thinking. For sure, both Revisions Decisions, are complimentary.  Must reads!

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