Word of Mouth
COMMENTS EMAILED TO THE KILLGALLONS ABOUT THE SENTENCE-COMPOSING APPROACH
E L E M E N T A R Y S C H O O L
I’ve really enjoyed the “realness” of the work. Looking at great authors’ writing and working from their examples is just great. Thanks!
Nathaniel Brock, elementary school teacher
I am a literacy specialist at the Heath School in Brookline,Massachusetts. I found your books a couple of years ago at a Heinemann workshop and bought one of the Story Grammar for Elementary School: A Sentence-Composing Approach worktexts to try out. I liked it a great deal because it’s research based, engaging for kids because of the familiar authors they can imitate in the books, and it connects to real writing. Other teachers in my school have started using the books as well, and we all like them.
Alex Borns-Weil, Heath School, Brookline, MA
M I D D L E S C H O O L
I’m actually contacting you about your middle school sentence composing book—which I LOVE. I plan to adopt the book for my sixth graders next year. I am not the only person teaching 6th grade, however, and would like to make the case to the Language Arts department that it would be good for the entire grade.
Nadine Feiler, Park School, Baltimore, MD
I am very excited to start using your approach/materials with my 6th grade students.
Lynn Anderson, Montague Area Public Schools, Montague, Michigan
I am a second year middle school teacher; I recently received a copy of your sentence composing worktext. I love the practices and ideas behind your approach.
As a second year, sixth grade language arts teacher, I am looking forward to putting your teaching strategies into practice. As a non-native English speaker, I myself acquired my skills in English language through imitating good oral and written language. I had the habit of using other people’s vocabulary and phrases to make mine sound better. That is how I came to learn cultural jargon, idioms and folk-sayings as well. Though no one told me to do this practice, I realize that it is a valuable one that I could teach my students. This dawned on me on seeing your book’s use of imitation. Thank you!
I think teaching grammar via your sentence-composing approach is brilliant. I think that the way I have learned any sort of writing skills is through imitation of the authors I have read. Last year we stepped up the reading in our school in hopes that our students would, through greater exposure to writing, acquire vocabulary and a sense of language that would, perhaps, find its way into their writing. Now I see where we can do this intentionally using your methodology. I would love for our students to write better sentences and to understand that what they learn about grammar enhances their ability to communicate. Grammar is a tool, not an end in itself, and I hope the teachers will grasp this and not cling to their teaching of grammar in isolation.
Mr. Daniel Dunbar, Principal
Greater Grace Christian Academy, Baltimore, MD
Our middle school teachers have embraced “sentence-composing” and are on their way with the students.
Julie Janosz, Walled Lake Consolidated School District
I know the disconnect students often feel between grammar and writing. They lay an isolated sentence on a cold metal table and dissect each part objectively, yet we teachers are surprised that when the essays are turned in, none of the grammar taught has been applied to their writing. Don Killgallon’s Sentence Composing for Middle School illustrates grammar in context using actual literature read in our 8th grade curriculum like John Steinbeck’s The Red Pony and The Pearl. I find Killgallon’s textbook to be a refreshing approach that empowers students to analyze then imitate the writing of great writers.
Ms. Lazo, O’Bryant School of Math and Science, Boston, MA
I am co-chair of English at a private prep school in Dallas, and this is our year to review the English curriculum. I have been disappointed in my effectiveness at teaching writing to middle schoolers. I ran across your Sentence Composing books and am intrigued by the concept and impressed by the possibilities not only of finding more effective ways to teach writing but of instilling appreciation for good sentences. BTW, my personal experiences with writing began as imitation.
Julie Riggs, Lakehill Preparatory School
Thanks to your sentence composing methods, this year is the first year that I feel I am really, truly teaching kids how to write.
Timothy Baldwin, Patterson Mill Middle School
I wanted to let you know about some of the success my students experienced using Grammar for Middle School: A Sentence-Composing Approach. 100% of the seventh graders at my school met the standard for the Arizona state writing test. In addition, 52% of them exceeded the standard, a much higher bar. By contrast, the next highest 7th grade exceeds rate was 27%. Thanks for creating an excellent resource.
Scott Woods, BASIS School, Scottsdale, AZ
G I F T E D AND T A L E N T E D
I was looking at the sample chapter for Grammar for Middle School: A Sentence-Composing Approach and like it very much. I work in a distance education program, and we’re trying to build a course for gifted 5th & 6th graders that would fit between these two courses
Ben Reynolds, Sr. Program Manager,
Johns Hopkins University, Center for Talented Youth (CTY), Baltimore, MD
H I G H S C H O O L
I have had a copy of Sentence Composing for High School for many years, and I love your examples. I also have a class set of Grammar for High School: A Sentence-Composing Approach. I like the concept of your books, the idea that we can become better writers not through some esoteric idea of what “good” looks like, but through methodical imitation of the sentences of the professionals.
Mary Heveron-Smith, English Department,
Webster Thomas High School, Rochester, New York
I presented your text Grammar for High School: A Sentence-Composing Approach to our English department and we would very much like to use both Grammar for High School and Sentence Composing for High School next year. Our writing teacher wants to start using them immediately in her sophomore writing class. I am so excited about this!
Hi Don and Jenny, I have just started using your Grammar for High School: A Sentence Composing Approach and love it! Our school is adopting textbooks this year, and I would like to get teachers on board to adopt your book instead of the traditional grammar books that bore us all to tears.
Tomorrow I am about to show a group of teachers the wonderful progress my students have made from your book, Sentence Composing for High School. It is quite remarkable. Thanks so much!
John Havel, Mills University Studies, Little Rock, AR
I teach at a public high school in Dartmouth, MA, and we’ve recently begun to use your books on sentence composing. We’re in the process of beefing up our writing program and see lots of possibilities in this technique.
Will Higgins, Dartmouth High School, Dartmouth, MA
Hi, Don, I am a high school English teacher and my department is currently looking into using Grammar for High School: A Sentence-Composing Approach as our grammar text. We really love your approach!
I am sold on your sentence-composing concept for teaching grammar. It allows grammar instruction to be conveyed in a far more understandable and engaging manner than any grammar text book I have ever seen. I cannot wait to use the method in my own classroom.
Ian Davis, graduate student in “English Methods” course,
Notre Dame University, Baltimore, MD
AP ENGLISH IN HIGH SCHOOL
I have used your Sentence Composing for High School worktext in my classroom with tremendous success. Students not only write better, but their reading skills improve, and their critical thinking abilities soar. Students taking the AP English exam scored higher than in years past, and the satisfaction of seeing students craft their paragraphs and essays is rewarding.
C O L L E G E
I have been reading and enjoying your book Sentence Composing for College these past couple of weeks. The way you teach college students to combine clauses and use new structures like participial phrases and absolutes is fantastic.
Elliott Stevens, college teacher
Recently, I came across your website on sentence composing, and I’m very interested in your approach (glad to see college-level exercises available too). I attended the University of Maryland’s education program and remember studying your work. Now, I teach freshman composition at the Coast Guard Academy, and we always work on sentence-level challenges with cadets who generally make good progress.
Karen A. Wink, Ph.D., Associate Prof. of English
U.S. Coast Guard Academy, Dept. of Humanities
New London, CT. 06320
Don and Jenny Killgallon’s book Grammar for College Writing: A Sentence-Composing Approach is a masterpiece. Breaking down sentences into models to imitate, even the slowest writers can benefit. Learning by imitation is the best way to learn. Their worktext Grammar for College Writing, a toolbox for crafting great sentences, brings student writing up to its highest level.
I’ll be using your books again next semester for 3 sections of developmental and regular college writing.
Russ Markert, Composition Instructor
North Hennepin Community College
H O M E S C H O O L
I thought you might not know there are many home-school parents using your products.
Home-school mom April Edwards
I am a home-school mother. My oldest daughter is entering high school next year and I’m interested in using your books with her. The books look wonderful!!
Home-school mom Theresa
I’m very interested in your sentence composing / grammar materials, to use for home-schooling my kids. My goal is for my kids to enjoy writing, and to be able to write well and with style.
Dahlia Gibson, Canada
I am a home school parent who has used your books for my older sons with wonderful results! I have purchased Sentence Composing for Elementary School for my younger children.
(web site) The Well-Trained Mind: A Guide to Classical Education at Home