The Old Schoolhouse Magazine
Print PageClose Window
The Old Schoolhouse Magazine
Hands On English

By: Fran Santoro Hamilton

Portico Books
P.O. Box 6094
Chesterfield, MO 63006

Hands-on English handbook

The Hands-On English handbook has simple, yet comprehensive explanations of English topics. It contains information on grammar, usage, mechanics, and communicating ideas.

Grammar is one of my least desired subjects to teach; in fact, I've been known to decline tutoring jobs that will include a heavy focus on grammar. Hence, I am always looking for products that will make grammar more enjoyable to my students and to myself. In essence, I must face the dragon!

Despite my love for reading and writing, grammar and I continue to have a love/hate relationship. I decided to take this review to overcome my animosity and minute-by-minute this book dispelled my fears. After reading the handbook, I know that I can do this and I've begun to realize it's not all that scary. Perhaps, grammar is truly just a lizard (I don't like them either) which really can't hurt me.

Hands-On English is designed for students 4th-9th grade; however, the handbook shall remain a part of your reference library indefinitely.

Hands-on English Activity Book

The Hands-On English Activity Book is designed to encourage mastery of the concepts presented in the Hands-On English Handbook; the activities are linked by page number to the handbook for quick reference. Some of the things the activity book will do for your students are:

  • Briefly reviews concepts
  • Builds skills in small increments
  • Foster thorough understanding of concepts
  • Reinforces target concepts
  • Provides a great variety of activities
  • Integrates language arts skills
  • Offers open-ended activities
  • Includes opportunities for developing writing skills
  • Encourages leisure reading
  • Promotes efficient study habits
  • Nurtures an appreciation of the English language

There are 154 practice pages, 19 pages of tests, 2 pages of resources, and 26 pages of answers and teacher's notes.

There is the reproducible edition and a consumable edition of the workbook. The contents are exactly the same so you should determine which to buy based on how many children will be using it.

Hands-on Icons

The Hands-On icons are intended for use with the Hands On English handbook. This is probably the most unique feature of the entire program. The icons take very abstract concepts and give them a concrete symbol?absolutely perfect for the visual or tactile learner. This set includes nine 8 ½ x 11 inch cards with enlarged icons for the parts of speech and sentence patterns.

Hands-on Sentences

Hands-On Sentences is the part of the program that promotes the understanding of the parts of speech and different kinds of sentences. It uses the Hands-On icons in a fun, playful manner. This package includes 48 part-of-speech icon cards, 4 sentence-type cards, 12 sentence-pattern cards, rules, 8 ½ x 11 inch poster showing part-of-speech icons with labels, 8 ½ x 11 inch poster showing sentence icons with labels, 18 starter sentences, and a reproducible score sheet. Some of these items will need to be cut out.

I concur with Ms. Hamilton that, "These four products together help students acquire a solid foundation in English...(and) would provide quick access to a wealth of information for years."

-- Product Review by: Stephanie Scarborough, The Old Schoolhouse Magazine, LLC, November, 2005

The Old Schoolhouse Magazine
Print PageClose Window
�2016 is a division of The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine, LLC. All rights reserved.
No content may be removed or used without permission from
Webmaster    Legal   Site Map   Advertise