Friday, October 25, 2013

{Crew Review} Bridgeway English from Bridgeway Academy

High School Grammar.

Something that is necessary, yet can be a tough one to teach. And that is where Bridgeway Academy steps in to help.

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What It Is:

I received English and Writing, which is meant to be a remedial high school English course. What does remedial mean? To put it simply, the word means to correct and improve deficient skills. In grammar and writing? Oh we can definitely use that.

I received three books from Bridgeway Academy:

Bridgeway English Book 1 Focus on Grammar.  This textbook style workbook is meant to be self-instructional. Inside the pages are six sections or "Paks". Each Pak has three sections, which range from 9 to 10 pages. At the end of each section is a 2 page review.


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At the beginning of each Pak is a list of objectives. These start at the beginning of basic grammar and include complete subject and complete predicate, and types of sentences. The book progresses through nouns, pronouns, adjectives, adverbs, prepositions, conjunctions, and interjections.

At the end of each Pak is a self test. This helps the student to self-evaluate and see if they are grasping the material. There are final unit tests which they can then take, if desired.

I also received the Bridgeway English Book 2 Focus on Writing. This book is set up in the same way as the grammar book, with six Paks, and three sections per Pak. This book is the second book in the series and goes on to teach clauses, complex sentences, irregular verbs, capitalization and punctuation, letter writing, test-taking, study skills, and critical thinking.


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I also received a third book which is the Teacher Answer Key. This, in my opinion, is what makes this curriculum worth it. Reproduced on the pages are all the workbook pages from Books 1 and 2, with the answers given. There are some hints for guiding the student through the material; for instance, the Teacher Key suggests going over the material verbally with your child before the final tests. Mastery is the goal here, so for each problem your child gets wrong, they are to go back through the unit and find the page where that concept was taught. They then highlight that instruction, read it to understand, and then self correct the wrong answer. And even on the final tests the student is encouraged to correct his work.

What You Get:

Each of these products are soft cover, spiral bound workbooks. They are consumable and have fill-in-the-blank questions and lines for longer answers. Both Book 1 and Book 2 are available on the website for $23.33 each. The English Key is also sold for $23.33 and comes in the same type of book format. Meant for 7th-12 grade students who have struggled with grammar, this complete curriculum can be finished in a year.



How We Used This and What I Thought:

We have done different grammar programs over the years but it had been a couple of years since Mr. Lego had done any. He has 2 more years of high school and this fit into what he was needing this year perfectly. I had him do 2 pages each day.


The explanations are appropriate and to the point, and the examples were very helpful to my son in understanding the concepts.


Many of the worksheets were fill-in-the-blank exercises, asking the student about the teaching boxes.


These were very helpful and were a good indicator for me, as the teacher, to see how well my son had grasped the content.


At the bottom of each page or section is a place for your student to self-check.



I really liked this aspect of this program; self instruction is an important skill for high school students to have. Mastery is also emphasized, with each and every mistake being corrected and re-checked.

Overall, I really liked this program. One thing that was a little difficult was that the page numbers start over at page 1 at the beginning of each Pak; once on Mr. Lego's assignment page I had written p.22-23, and my son did those pages in the wrong Pak. Having consecutive numbers through the whole book would have been much easier.

I loved the pace of the books. It was just enough grammar for each day; Mr. Lego spent between 10 and 15 minutes doing the pages. You could easily do more pages in a day; I am thinking to have him put on the timer for 15 minutes and doing as much as he can in that time frame.

Every few lessons is a spot where the teacher is to initial at the bottom.  Listed underneath the signature line is something that the teacher is to specifically check on that page. For example, on one page the teacher is to verify the use of subject complements, or on another, to check that the student memorized the reflexive pronouns. This was very helpful to me, as I was basically handing the book to my son and trusting that he was checking it correctly. These reminders gave enough independence to him, yet still gave me ways to test and check how he was learning.

I am planning to have him complete both books 1 and 2 this year, and am planning to have Bookworm do the same program next year.

Other members of the Crew reviewed Learning Labs from Bridgeway, which are online classes taught about Middle Ages, Marine Biology, and Essay Writing. Check out what they thought by clicking below.


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