National Writing Project

Getting It Right: Fresh Approaches to Teaching Grammar, Usage, and Correctness

Date: 2007

Summary: Getting It Right demonstrates how individual teachers can teach grammar, usage, and correctness more successfully as well as how an entire school or department can work together to improve the teaching of writing.

 

In Getting It Right, Michael Smith and Jeffrey Wilhelm, director of the Boise State University Writing Project, offer fresh perspectives and engaging methods for teaching grammar and usage in the context of students' own writing. This book demonstrates how individual teachers can teach correctness more successfully as well as how an entire school or department can work together to improve the teaching of writing.

From Chapter One:

"In this book we want to share briefly what research has taught us about the teaching of grammar and then to share much more extensively the research-based principles that have guided our practice of teaching correct language use. We will argue that correctness is best taught when it is in the service of helping students be more engaged and powerful readers, writers, and learners. At each juncture we'll discuss how different teachers in different situations might put those same principles into practice to meet goals for student writing and language use, both in school and out in the world."

About the Authors Michael W. Smith, professor in the College of Education at Temple University and former high school teacher for 11 years, has written eight books, including Authorizing Readers: Resistance and Respect in the Teaching of Literature (with Peter Rabinowitz) and Understanding Unreliable Narrators.

Jeffrey D. Wilhelm, professor of English education at Boise State University and a middle and high school teacher for 15 years, has authored and co-authored 15 books, including Engaging Readers and Writers With Inquiry and Improving Comprehension With Think-Aloud Strategies. He is the director of the Boise State University Writing Project.

Smith and Wilhelm's previous collaborations include Going with the Flow: How to Engage Boys (and Girls) in Their Literacy Learning and "Reading Don't Fix No Chevys": Literacy in the Lives of Young Men, for which they received NCTE's David H. Russell Award for Distinguished Research.

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