Using the Program
Lessons are about 15 minutes of instruction with 15 to 20 minutes of application of the concept.
This method works best if one lesson is taught per week. This leaves the rest of the week for practicing the concept in all of the other writing that the student does, in any subject. There will be more opportunities to use the grammar concept in written work and thought processes than if the lesson was only applied to a "grammar" class. It is important that before a new concept is introduced the student shows proficiency using the previous concept. All of the books contain a list of alternate activities to use if the material needs to be re-taught.
Writing is the art of taking the ideas out of one's mind and placing them on paper in such a way that they are readily available for re-creation in the mind of another.
Words are the tools that we use in this art, and grammar is the rule book that ensures that everyone knows what each tool does. Tools that are used improperly can easily ruin the finished product, and improperly used words can ruin the idea one is trying to share.
Applied Grammar teaches the proper usage of word tools through writing sentences that are modeled after correct patterns. Every type of sentence has its own pattern and the student practices writing sentences according to these patterns.
Applied Grammar builds on the colors which are already embedded in the child's long term memory. Each part of speech is identified by the job it does in the sentence and has its own color. No attempt is made to memorize lists of words. Instead, all words are categorized by their task in the sentence.
Learning to recognize the patterns of sentence structures allows a student to identify the role of a new word by deduction. This categorization and deduction are higher order thinking skills, and help to develop the mind of the student.
Teaching grammar and writing this way helps the student to acquire the ability to think using appropriate and increasingly more complex structures. This improves their ability to use language in creative ways, and to understand more fully what they read.
The Theory Behind the Program
Based on Cognitive Research
Scientists have learned a lot over the past 50 years about which factors encourage learning. Mrs. Brubaker took full advantage of this information in developing her Writing Program.
- Studies show that the more connections a student's brain can make between a new idea and already-assimilated concepts, the more readily the new idea will be retained. Mrs. Brubaker's Writing Program has color associations built right in to help students retain key concepts.
- Keeping students engaged in the activities of the classroom is critical to retention. Mrs. Brubaker's Writing Program elicits responses from all students about every three minutes. This keeps students focused and learning!
- Four "higher-order thinking skills" have been identified that are crucial to successful learning. Mrs. Brubaker's Writing Program engages students in practicing every one of these higher-order thinking skills.
- Mrs. Brubaker's Writing Program teaches the parts of speech in the same order that a young child acquires them. This progression follows the pattern of the brain's natural language development.
The Higher-Order Thinking Skills
- Seeing and Understanding Patterns
- Categorization (not only memorization)
- Induction and Deduction