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I've looked at the samples, & it looks *wonderful,* but the price is a little daunting, & there aren't any used ones to make me feel better about giving it a try.

 

So...a) do you know any place to get it used/discounted?

 

& more importantly, b) is it worth it?

 

Don't know where to get it discounted but IMO it is absolutely worth it!! I love how it teaches and I've seen my dd use what she's learned in her writing. For example, she's learned how to use prepositional phrases and appositive phrases from the Killgallon book. Just last week, she wrote a short 5 paragraph paper on some scientist (I forget who :o) and I was able to see her use the skills she learned from the Killgallon book to really nail the writing in her paper. :hurray: It was concise, descriptive, and used the appropriate phrases, which she had worded beautifully. I was really impressed. Those little books are worth their weight in gold, IMO. Teaching more complex sentence writing has always been an issue for me- how to get them to that next step in their writing- and the Killgallon book is taking her there.

 

I guess I should add that they're likely not for everybody, but they're working really well here. :D One of the best purchases I've ever made.

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They are consumable worktexts so there probably aren't a lot of used copies floating around out there. Heinemann sells each book for <$20, and I really don't think that's super-pricey.

 

I spent about the same on Wordsmith Apprentice and WWE1 and more on MCT's Paragraph Town. Each of the CW Aesop student workbooks also costs more and I'd need 2 of those plus the TM to get through that program. And don't even get me started on the price of IEW :svengo:

 

I saw a dramatic improvement in my DD's sentence-writing after she finished Story Grammar for Elementary Students. She went from writing very basic S-V-O sentences to much more complex ones through all the practice in the Killgallon book. I definitely plan on continuing her in the Killgallon series and using it with my younger kids as well.

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They are consumable worktexts so there probably aren't a lot of used copies floating around out there. Heinemann sells each book for <$20, and I really don't think that's super-pricey.

 

I spent about the same on Wordsmith Apprentice and WWE1 and more on MCT's Paragraph Town. Each of the CW Aesop student workbooks also costs more and I'd need 2 of those plus the TM to get through that program. And don't even get me started on the price of IEW :svengo:

 

I saw a dramatic improvement in my DD's sentence-writing after she finished Story Grammar for Elementary Students. She went from writing very basic S-V-O sentences to much more complex ones through all the practice in the Killgallon book. I definitely plan on continuing her in the Killgallon series and using it with my younger kids as well.

 

Well, I hadn't thought about it like that. I've only seen it for $25, & I was only looking because MarianneNOVA uses it. It's expensive for a whim, kwim? :lol: But I didn't realize it was a consumable work text. And I hadn't thought of looking on the for sale boards. (Duh.) Not that there are a lot there, but you'd think I'd have thought of that.

 

Thanks for the positive reviews! That helps a lot to know it really works. Like I said, the samples really looked brilliant. I've never seen sentence composing taught like that.

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I think this is where you get it on sale right now. Sounds like free shipping too (??):

 

http://www.heinemann.com/authors/837.aspx

 

I am really interested in these books too. Can anyone tell me what age the Elementary books are for? It doesn't seem to really say. 1st grade is probably too young, right? Is the Elementary more for like 4th / 5th?

 

 

 

ETA:...oh, wait a minute. I just went back and looked. It say that Story Grammar for Elementary School is for grades 3 - 6. Sentence Composing for Elementary School says K-5 (really??? You could start this in K???). Does anyone agree with these grade levels? Is one book supposed to be used before the other (like Sentence Composing first and than Story Grammar....or do you use them together at the same time)? I'm thinkin' it would be better to use them for like 4th or even 5th if you want to go right into the Middle School books that start at grade 6.

Edited by ~AprilMay~
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I think this is where you get it on sale right now. Sounds like free shipping too (??):

 

http://www.heinemann.com/authors/837.aspx

 

I am really interested in these books too. Can anyone tell me what age the Elementary books are for? It doesn't seem to really say. 1st grade is probably too young, right? Is the Elementary more for like 4th / 5th?

 

 

 

ETA:...oh, wait a minute. I just went back and looked. It say that Story Grammar for Elementary School is for grades 3 - 6. Sentence Composing for Elementary School says K-5 (really??? You could start this in K???). Does anyone agree with these grade levels? Is one book supposed to be used before the other (like Sentence Composing first and than Story Grammar....or do you use them together at the same time)? I'm thinkin' it would be better to use them for like 4th or even 5th if you want to go right into the Middle School books that start at grade 6.

 

My dd has always been advanced in LA. (I have friends who teach elementary grades in PS so it's not just may saying :)) I do not think she would have been able to do this book effectively in K-2. We *could* have done it last year but I do think that her skills are finally good enough this year that we're getting the most of it this year in 4th.

 

One of the assignments is to write a paragraph of 5-8 sentences describing family and friends, with each sentence containing an appositive phrase to identify the person. You must use each position at least once- opener, s-v split, and closer.

 

I suppose if your K student can already write a 5-8 sentence paragraph that this wouldn't be too much of a jump. It depends on the child. :)

 

There are a lot of exercises where you unscramble sentence parts and put them in order to model the sample given. A K'er *could* do that but to get the most out of the program, which to me is writing their own imitations, I think it's best left to an older student.

 

Just my opinion, and I'm certainly no expert. :)

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(Plugging ears) "Lalalala! I can't heeeaar you!" Drat. I can. And now I've looked up Killgallon. And it looks good. AND it's on special for the holidays. :glare: Ugh. First MCT, now this. You guys are killing me. :D

:iagree::lol: I need to stop clicking on threads like this!! Especially since I think ds#1 would really benefit from it! :D

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My dd has always been advanced in LA. (I have friends who teach elementary grades in PS so it's not just may saying :)) I do not think she would have been able to do this book effectively in K-2. We *could* have done it last year but I do think that her skills are finally good enough this year that we're getting the most of it this year in 4th.

 

One of the assignments is to write a paragraph of 5-8 sentences describing family and friends, with each sentence containing an appositive phrase to identify the person. You must use each position at least once- opener, s-v split, and closer.

 

I suppose if your K student can already write a 5-8 sentence paragraph that this wouldn't be too much of a jump. It depends on the child. :)

 

There are a lot of exercises where you unscramble sentence parts and put them in order to model the sample given. A K'er *could* do that but to get the most out of the program, which to me is writing their own imitations, I think it's best left to an older student.

 

Just my opinion, and I'm certainly no expert. :)

 

Thank you Jane. I think we will wait until 4th or even 5th grade then.

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My dd has always been advanced in LA. (I have friends who teach elementary grades in PS so it's not just may saying :)) I do not think she would have been able to do this book effectively in K-2. We *could* have done it last year but I do think that her skills are finally good enough this year that we're getting the most of it this year in 4th.

 

One of the assignments is to write a paragraph of 5-8 sentences describing family and friends, with each sentence containing an appositive phrase to identify the person. You must use each position at least once- opener, s-v split, and closer.

 

I suppose if your K student can already write a 5-8 sentence paragraph that this wouldn't be too much of a jump. It depends on the child. :)

 

There are a lot of exercises where you unscramble sentence parts and put them in order to model the sample given. A K'er *could* do that but to get the most out of the program, which to me is writing their own imitations, I think it's best left to an older student.

 

Just my opinion, and I'm certainly no expert. :)

 

So are you saying you'd start using the Sentence Composing for Elem starting in 3-5th grade (ish) OR are you saying that you'd skip the elem level & start w/ the middle school level in 6th?

 

Fwiw, I'm looking at starting ds in it late this yr or sometime next yr (4th-5th). I'll likely have a tag-along, though in 2nd-3rd g, but she's really good w/ language & will only tag-along because she *insists.* :lol:

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It says that Story Grammar for Elementary School is for grades 3 - 6. Sentence Composing for Elementary School says K-5 (really??? You could start this in K???). Does anyone agree with these grade levels?

 

I would say late elementary level (3rd-5th) is about right for Story Grammar. It's about the same level grammar-wise as MCT's "town" level, which is for advanced 4th/average 5th. My DD is advanced in LA but there's no way IMHO she could've done the Killgallon book in K or 1st.

 

Sentence Composing for Elementary appears slightly easier than Story Grammar so with my younger kids, that's the book I'm going to start with.

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I would say late elementary level (3rd-5th) is about right for Story Grammar. It's about the same level grammar-wise as MCT's "town" level, which is for advanced 4th/average 5th. My DD is advanced in LA but there's no way IMHO she could've done the Killgallon book in K or 1st.

 

Sentence Composing for Elementary appears slightly easier than Story Grammar so with my younger kids, that's the book I'm going to start with.

 

Thank you for letting me know.

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I bought these books a couple of weeks ago to use with both my 4th and 6th graders (the elementary ones). BTW, I plan on cutting the spine and putting the pages in sheet protectors so all my kids can use the same book (with a dry erase marker). They can write out their own sentences on notebook paper. I'm doing this with a lot of my workbooks to save money! :D

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I bought these books a couple of weeks ago to use with both my 4th and 6th graders (the elementary ones). BTW, I plan on cutting the spine and putting the pages in sheet protectors so all my kids can use the same book (with a dry erase marker). They can write out their own sentences on notebook paper. I'm doing this with a lot of my workbooks to save money! :D

 

I don't cut the spine. I cut the sheet protector. That way I only use 1 sheet protector. You just slip it off and on and it also serves as a book mark. I use this for Mindbenders. Those little books are expensive and the kids go through them like Halloween candy.

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Would anyone care to summarize the Killgallon approach?

 

Bill

 

Bill, on one of the websites linked to above, you can download teacher's guides etc that tell you what the approach is. Basically, Killgallon takes sentences from quality literature for DC to imitate. The first book covers basic sentence structure, adjective phrases, adverb phrases. The first and second book of elementary program goes nicely w/ MCT Town level since DC would have been introduced to all the grammar topics.

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Bill, on one of the websites linked to above, you can download teacher's guides etc that tell you what the approach is. Basically, Killgallon takes sentences from quality literature for DC to imitate. The first book covers basic sentence structure, adjective phrases, adverb phrases. The first and second book of elementary program goes nicely w/ MCT Town level since DC would have been introduced to all the grammar topics.

 

Thank you :001_smile:

 

Bill

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Would anyone care to summarize the Killgallon approach?

 

Bill

 

You can see a few pp of it on amazon, too. It's quite beautiful. Instead of just copying great sentences, ala copywork & dictation, it has you take them apart, & it explains *why* they are beautiful. I believe it has you identify sentences that are constructed alike & eventually write your own.

 

This is something that to some extent I have done intuitively for a long time, but I could never have explained it. *Seeing* the bones of the structure, why certain combinations work over & over again...well, to my left-brained self, it's genius that somebody could see that & explain it to children.

 

Like MCT, Killgallon (from the samples I've seen) puts the beauty back into grammar & vivacity back into language that so many years of dry grammar books & dead grammar arguments have sucked out. It's marrow.

 

Or something like that.

 

Let me try again. In one section, there's a list of sentences from great works of literature. You have to match them to ea other...kind-of like reading meter, but instead of rhythm, you're reading the pattern of the grammar.

 

Does that make sense?

 

The first time I heard an opera, I was amazed at how the music created an extra layer of meaning, like the meter of a poem can recall a love sonnet w/ an ironic twist. Hearing pieces of music repeated at different times was like poetry, imo.

 

Once I'd heard the music repeat itself, implying irony here and tragedy there, I began to listen for it, & I found that there was a whole subtext, rich with meaning and nuance, just as written language itself has. Killgallon is like a key to unlocking literature (via grammar, which is only one aspect of the story) that a good music teacher might be to unlocking an opera.

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Can someone please share the differences between "Sentence Composing for Elementary School" and "Story Grammar for Elementary School"?

 

Is it beneficial to have them both?

If not which is your preference? Why?

 

 

I had this same question - I started with Story Grammar for Elementary School because it was cheaper, and I couldn't tell a difference from the samples.

 

I started using it and really liked it - the only tiny "noodge" I had about it is that it went on about "sentence chunks" and "tools" but never named what they really were. I would name them, but the book didn't.

 

Then my friend got Sentence Composing for Elementary School - well, it names them!! Instead of "parts" and "chunks" and "tools" it talks about "appositive phrases" and "adjective clauses" and such. I liked this so much better I went and bought that series instead.

 

Now, I also had the middle school book in the "Story Grammar" series called Grammar for Middle School and hadn't started it yet or honestly really looked closely. I went and bought the next in the parallel series Sentence Composing for Middle School, thinking that it would mirror the approach in the elementary volume. The "Sentence Composing" volumes arrived about a week ago.

 

Well, I sat down with them last night to really look at them before starting next week. Imagine my surprise that for middle school, it's the Grammar for Middle School that names the sentence parts, and the Sentence Composing for Middle School that doesn't (well, until a small section at the very back of the book). :confused: I think I have determined the common denominator, though... the ones that name the sentence parts are by Don and Jenny Killgallon, and the ones that call them "chunks/tools/parts" are by just Don Killgallon. Why they switch around which is which between levels in the same series (based on what they're named and similar covers) is beyond me. But I wish someone had told me before I had to buy both sets of books and figure it out for myself!! :glare: So I'm passing it on...

 

I do really, really like these books and their approach. Since I now own them all, I may use them both if I end up having the time, but I'm starting with the ones I like better that use the real names for parts of a sentence (that would be Sentence Composing for Elementary School and Grammar for Middle School).

 

I have no idea if this same difference is reflected in the High School level books, but I'm going to try the one with dual authorship first when we get there...

 

I would really love to know their motivation in coming out with these two such similar series and not explaining the differences anywhere - especially when they're not even consistent from level to level... :confused:

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Can someone please share the differences between "Sentence Composing for Elementary School" and "Story Grammar for Elementary School"?

 

Is it beneficial to have them both?

If not which is your preference? Why?

 

Thanks for your time.

 

:iagree: Could someone elaborate? Are these used together? Separately? One and then the other?

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Imagine my surprise that for middle school, it's the Grammar for Middle School that names the sentence parts, and the Sentence Composing for Middle School that doesn't (well, until a small section at the very back of the book). :confused:... Why they switch around which is which between levels in the same series (based on what they're named and similar covers) is beyond me.

 

the difference between "Grammar for Middle School" and "Sentence Composing for Middle School":

 

"The grammar series is newer, and we think more comprehensive than the earlier series. Some teachers use one of each, but on sequential grades, in which case a book from the first series should precede a book from the newer grammar series."

 

Matroyshka, since I sent my e-mail to Mr. Killgallon before this thread began I didn't specifically ask about the naming of sentence parts, etc., but the response I got could offer the explanation you're seeking.

 

HTH :001_smile:

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"The grammar series is newer' date=' and we think more comprehensive than the earlier series. Some teachers use one of each, but on sequential grades, in which case a book from the first series should precede a book from the newer grammar series.[/color']"

 

Matroyshka, since I sent my e-mail to Mr. Killgallon before this thread began I didn't specifically ask about the naming of sentence parts, etc., but the response I got could offer the explanation you're seeking.

 

 

That explanation makes perfect sense for the Middle School level, but for the Elementary level the Sentence Composing book is longer (123 pp. vs. 99 pp.) and it looks to me to be the more comprehensive, which is why I bought the other book in the first place - I remain confused.

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That explanation makes perfect sense for the Middle School level, but for the Elementary level the Sentence Composing book is longer (123 pp. vs. 99 pp.) and it looks to me to be the more comprehensive, which is why I bought the other book in the first place - I remain confused.

 

Same here. I'm trying to decide which to buy.

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That explanation makes perfect sense for the Middle School level, but for the Elementary level the Sentence Composing book is longer (123 pp. vs. 99 pp.) and it looks to me to be the more comprehensive, which is why I bought the other book in the first place - I remain confused.

 

Could the extra pages be the teacher pages? I see in the Grammar series the teacher section is a free download, but I'm assuming it must have been included in the previous book. I was trying to find a teacher book for it and couldn't...

 

This looks great. I'm very intrigued. I'm still trying to decide which to buy...but I may start with the cheaper book and see how I like it.

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I've been looking for something like this, thanks. We're using PLL, but a bit more writing instruction doesn't hurt at all. I really like the way it breaks down the sentences and the student can learn.

 

Off to add to my ever-expanding Amazon cart!

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Could the extra pages be the teacher pages? I see in the Grammar series the teacher section is a free download, but I'm assuming it must have been included in the previous book. I was trying to find a teacher book for it and couldn't...

 

 

Nope. I'm not looking at samples - I have the two books here in front of me. Those pages counts only include the student pages (although the SC book does have more white space).

 

The Sentence Composing series has the answers at the back; the Grammar series has the TG download (and I have those too). But at the Elementary level, the SC book still has what looks to me to be more explicit instruction to the student about what you're actually doing with the sentences and the names of the sentence parts. In the Middle School level it's the other way around.

 

Here are the TOCs - the two blue books and the two green ones are each from the same series:

 

SC for E

 

Learning Sentence Imitating

Using Prepositional Phrases

Using Appositive Phrases

Using Participle Phrases

Using Compound Verbs

Using Adjective Clauses

Using Adverb Clauses

 

SG for E

 

Imitating Story Sentences

Sentence Parts

- Subjects and Predicates

Sentence Positions

- Opener

- S-V Split

- Closer

Writing Story Sentences

 

Contrast this with Middle School level:

 

SC for MS

 

Sentence Unscrambling

Sentence Imitating

Sentence Combining

Sentence Expanding

(this last section does explicitly name and describe different types of phrases and clauses)

 

G for MS

 

Opening Adjective

Delayed Adjective

Opening Adverb

Delayed Adverb

Absolute Phrase

Appositive Phrase

Prepositional Phrase

Participle Phrase

Gerund Phrase

Infinitive Phrase

Adjective Clause

Adverb Clause

Noun Clause

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A few things concern me with Killgallon at first glance (and a first glance is all I've taken). From their description, but emphasis is mine:

 

Unlike traditional grammar books that emphasize sentence analysis, these worktexts asks students to imitate the sentence styles of professional writers, making the sentence composing process enjoyable and challenging. Killgallon teaches subliminally, nontechnically the ways real writers compose their sentences, the ways students subsequently apply within their own writing.

 

I think the technical aspects of grammar are quite important, myself, and I don't agree that students needn't bother learning the vocabulary of grammar (although this could be taught separately, it makes more sense, imo, to use the terms across the board).

 

The lack of sentence analysis is what really gets to me. Imitation is a worthy tool, but I'm not so sure that blind imitation is.

 

And the sentence unscrambling examples they give probably clinch my misgivings. I wasn't quite sure of the purpose or value of unscrambling sentences from literature, and their FAQ response didn't reassure. They blithely comment that any sentence that is grammatical and coherent should be accepted - and after all, the student variations are sometimes better than the original. That's BETTER than Hemingway, Tommy, I guess you get an A!

 

Hmmm, I'm going to look at it again when I have more time, but the first look doesn't pull me in at all. I truly dislike the way they word their claims: Students will learn subliminally. Even though it only teaches structure, content will improve because students will unconcsiously try harder to make their content match their structure. All a bit loosey-goosey for my taste, lol! I prefer my students to be both concious and aware.

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I think the technical aspects of grammar are quite important, myself, and I don't agree that students needn't bother learning the vocabulary of grammar (although this could be taught separately, it makes more sense, imo, to use the terms across the board).

 

Yep. This is what I'm getitng at. I really do love the Killgallon books - I found it odd that they weren't using the vocabulary of grammar as much as I'd've liked - but then I found the other books that do use the vocabulary of grammar! Then they can imitate and know what they're doing and why!

 

So, there are Killgallon books that use the vocabulary of grammar along with the sentence composing approach. It's just confusing to me that they don't all seem to be in the same series.

 

I use MCT for sentence analysis, so it doesn't bother me that it's missing in Killgallon. I almost think of Killgallon more as writing technique books than grammar books, although I'd prefer to use proper grammatical terms when talking about writing.

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I agree....use the terms from the start. I have the SC for Elementary School. I'm thinking of buying the Story Grammar for Elementary school for my 5th grader. They cover different grammar concepts I believe. I think I will just have to substitute the proper grammar terminology. We have finished MCT Island level, and MCT Grammar Town and are now in Paragraph Town.

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I almost think of Killgallon more as writing technique books than grammar books, although I'd prefer to use proper grammatical terms when talking about writing.

 

They are applied grammar/writing books. Keep in mind that Don Killgallon wrote them for a PS audience; it's clear to me that he assumed students would have a certain familiarity with the grammatical concepts prior to using his books.

 

With my younger kids, I'm going to be introducing the grammar via MCT prior to using the Killgallon series. Right now my plan is to start Sentence Composing for Elementary after the "island" level and Story Grammar after the "town" level.

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I'm really loving what I can see of this program! From what I've seen, it looks like it would be a very complete grammar and writing program. Would you say that's true?

 

If we switch, I'm not sure whether we would start with Story Grammar or Sentence Composition. Are both of these year-long programs? How long would it take to complete them?

Edited by Staceyshoe
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I'm really loving what I can see of this program! From what I've seen, it looks like it would be a very complete grammar and writing program. Would you say that's true?

 

The semester that my oldest used Story Grammar that's all she did for grammar & writing. Bear in mind that she was young and I generally follow a "multum non multa" (e.g. less is more) philosophy.

 

If we switch, I'm not sure whether we would start with Story Grammar or Sentence Composition.

 

My oldest started with Story Grammar because (A) it is cheaper and (B) I thought from the title that it would have more of a grammar-focus than SC. With my younger kids, they will do Sentence Composing for Elementary first because it's somewhat easier and there are better explanations for the grammatical concepts covered.

 

Are both of these year-long programs? How long would it take to complete them?

 

They each take about a semester to complete if done every day. You could easily stretch them out to a full year by doing them twice per week.

Edited by Crimson Wife
Fixed quote, again!
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