Thursday, July 10, 2014

WriteShop Review

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     Have you ever felt like there was an area of a certain subject that was missing from your current  homeschool writing program? There was something missing from our elementary writing curriculum and WriteShop Primary filled in a very necessary gap for us!!

     We were very thankful to have the opportunity to review a digital version of WriteShop Primary Book A recently. This series is ideal for grades K-6, Book A is meant for Kindergarten through First grade. I used it both with my Kindergartener and my Second grader, who is still struggling with his writing and reading skills. The digital PDF copy of the Teachers Guide is $24.50. The Primary Activity Pack( PDF version) for Book A is $4.95. There is also a print copy of both if you would prefer. We printed out the activity pack and loaded the teacher's guide onto an e-reader.

WriteShop ReviewWriteShop is meant to give your children the tools to help them become better writers. It starts off with easy guided writing lessons so that your child can feel like a success write away.  It expects you to provide your example, encouragement and daily guidance for your children to be successful.
     The teachers guide asks you to have an inviting writing center for your children with things such as a variety of paper, crayons, pencils, glue, scissors, tape, rubber stamps, etc. One tool that they ask you to use is file folders to create themed "portable word banks" for your children to use during writing.
Here is a general idea of what you can expected for each lesson:
WriteShop Review
*Pre-Writing: Reading a book on the theme of the lesson (every lesson has a different theme)

*Brainstorming: Instructing your children about  considering several ideas before narrowing down your focus to the one you want to write about. This part of the process can include charts, worksheets, discussion.
*The Writing Project: Writing a rough draft of the final story using the ideas from our brainstorming session.
*Editing and Revising: Looking back at your work and making any changes to what you wrote.
*Activity Set Worksheet: Using a consumable worksheet  for the Activity set which coordinates with what is being learned during the lesson.
*Publishing the Project: Making a "final draft" of your work, usually by creating a craft project or other activity.
*Evaluating Student's Work: Using the provided checklist to note their degree of accomplishment with their weekly writing.
WriteShop Review

     For my Kindergartener, Mom did most of the writing and he helped provide the creativity and ideas. He is not yet reading more than the simplest of books and he also is my most easily frustrated child with anything he considers "school work". However, he enjoys telling "stories" very much and is excellent at drawing and coloring (He's my left-handed, right-brained creative child). He very much enjoyed turning our writing into a creative project (like making a story kite or a paper plate face book (face book, get it? get it? HAHA).

     For my older son, who also loves drawing and creating, but also loves to be read to and sit and learn. He enjoyed the whole process. Some of the activities were a little over simple for him as an almost 3rd grader, however because he also struggles with reading and spelling this was great practice to increase his confidence and model over and over correct story writing.
WriteShop Review
     This curriculum takes some advance preparation activities that you will have to prepare in advance.  In the teacher's guide look for the grey box labeled, “Advance Preparation” to see what you'll need to do. However, once the advance preparation is done, the lessons are open and go. It is also, not a curriculum that your children will be able to do on their own. But creating a strong writer in your children will certainly benefit both your children and you as a teacher as they grow older.

     We really enjoyed this curriculum and will certainly return to it in the fall when we go back to full-time homeschooling. If you would like to check out some other reviews from the Review Crew, especially if you would like to know about some of the versions of WriteShop for older children that we didn't review then click the link below!

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