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Applied Grammar

Increase student performance on ELA and writing tests with a focus on sentence combining writing practices

Applied Grammar Introduction

What is Applied Grammar?

Writing to Win Applied Grammar is the only complete sentence-combining curriculum of writing practices that teach correct spelling, punctuation, and grammar. With Sentence Building teacher manuals and student books, teachers help students use oral, kinesthetic, and written practices to show command of each new grammatical pattern. Ten levels of Sentence Building texts allow optimal differentiation of instruction.

Here’s how Writing to Win Applied Grammar distinguishes itself from other grammar series. 

  • Pretest and posttests rewrite passages
  • Engaging puzzles that give students practice building sentences instead of analyzing them
  • Grammatical pattern practiced at the close of every lesson
  • No errors in usage and conventions for students to correct
  • Online edition that delivers precision keyboarding with immediate feedback on capitalization, sentence structure, spelling, and punctuation.

Research since the 1960s demonstrates the positive impact of sentence combining on tests of writing quality. Later studies confirm its positive impact on scores of reading comprehension, vocabulary, and language skills of basic, gifted, and special needs students.

Research baseWriting Next: 11 effective strategies to improve writing

  • Strategy 5. Word Processing – 18 studies with average Effect Size of + .625 where + .10 is significant

  • Strategy 6. Sentence Combining –  5 studies with average Effect Size of + .46 where + .10 is significant

Evidence baseWritng to Win Sentence Building

  • The experimental treatment includes 2 or more 30-minute lessons / week (oral-kinesthetic mini-lesson and written practice online or in print)

  • Grade 2 (24 weeks) 2 years growth in reading comprehension and 1.75 years growth in language maturity

  • Grade 5 (30 weeks) 27% increase in number of proficient and distinguished writers on an extended response to texts

  • Grade 8 (16 weeks) 18% increase in number of proficient and distinguished writers on an extended response to texts

  • Our middle school that practices Sentence Building faithfully saw 29% of their students exceed expectations on the state 8th-grade writing assessment. That percent is triple the state average. The scores of all 6-8 students in the same school increased 16% on the ELA test of knowledge.

For teachers Primary (K-2), Elementary (3-5), Middle School (6-8), and High School (9-12)

  •  Pretest and posttest writing samples

  • Interactive teacher orientation video

  • Instructional video for each grammatical pattern practiced

  • Checklist for planning an effective instructional routine

  • Chart for tracking and reporting student progress (online and in print)

For students Primary (K-2), Elementary (3-5), Middle School (6-8), and High School (9-12)

  • Interactive student orientation video

  • Up to 46 lessons for creating mature sentence patterns

  • Repeated practice using capitalization, punctuation, and spelling

  • Precision keyboarding for composing thoughts online


Research and Evidence

Writing to Win Applied Grammar Online has become the proven link between language study and double-digit growth on Milestones ELA and Writing components.

Teachers and instructional leaders love …

  • the high impact on the language component of Milestones
  • 62% of the Milestones 7-point rubric (conventions and writing style)
  • online videos that guide students through each new mature sentence pattern.

Applied Grammar Online is the choice of the Marzano Academies. Marzanoacademies.org is a growing network of competency-based learning centers and partnership schools that includes Applied Grammar Online as a defining feature.

The graph in view report presents spring 2019 achievement scores on Georgia Milestones assessment ELA (language, vocabulary, and open-ended writing tasks). The green bar represents the percent of students who completed 2 Applied Grammar sessions per week for 15+ weeks and scored a 3 (proficient learner) or 4 (distinguished learner).

This data set is from an urban ES, urban-suburban MS, and rural HS where Writing to Win Applied Grammar boosted students’ overall ELA scores significantly. An elementary school with 90% of its students below grade level, scores grew 16% within 11% of the state. The middle school approached the state average for the first time ever. The high school met the state average after years of scoring 8-10% less. And last, the high school shows how much of the ELA increase may be attributed to gains in the writing scores.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why is Writing to Win Applied Grammar Online so effective?

Oral, written, and kinesthetic practice engages students in a productive learning routine. All students become engaged in the rhythm of creating sentences in the first oral mini-lesson.


Does Writing to Win Applied Grammar Online cover all state language standards?

Every one of them. And Writing to Win Applied Grammar Online helps you identify subgroups of students in need of reteaching.


Does Writing to Win Applied Grammar Online develop students keyboarding skills?

It really does. Writing to Win Applied Grammar Online coaches students in precision keyboarding and spelling. After 6-8 lessons, students word process with significantly increased fluency and accuracy.


Will Writing to Win Applied Grammar Online help my students learn to identify and explain the grammar patterns they practice?

Absolutely. Take the example of a lesson creating complex sentences. It closes with a study of the Grammatical Pattern Practiced where students explain the pattern to a partner using terms like complex sentence, dependent clause, conjunction, or adverb clause.


Does Writing to Win Applied Grammar Online give students practice in all three writing genres?

Without a doubt. The grammatical patterns students acquire help them write in all three genres. Some lessons help students create sentences that result in full informational, narrative or argumentative writing.


Does Writing to Win Applied Grammar Online support the steps of the writing process?

It does. The strategies that students meet in Applied Grammar Online work well as a concrete, practical revision strategy.


Does Writing to Win Applied Grammar Online do more than prepare my student to perform well on tests of extended writing?

Much more. Students score better on tests of knowledge in reading and the English Language Arts. Students use mature sentence patterns and word choice as they talk in class. They shed their anxiety about speaking and writing Standard Written English.


What makes Writing to Win Applied Grammar Online different from traditional grammar instruction?

There are two critical differences. Applied Grammar Online includes only sentences of Standard American English with no intentional errors. Also, students practice putting mature grammatical patterns together not taking them apart.


What about the Impact of Writing to Win Applied Grammar Online has on class environment?

There are three noticeable changes. When students routinely use Applied Grammar Online, teachers report 1) fewer absences, 2) greater student interest in how writing works, and 3) an increased desire among students to master level after level sentence patterns on the software.