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Island Level -MCT

michael clay thompson mctla

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#1 kwg

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Posted 04 June 2010 - 04:44 PM

I was reading the writing activities in the back of Sentence Island. One assignment is :write a short story about 2 characters. One can only speak subjects, and the other can only speak predicates. And there are more of these.....I am concerned. I wonder if my son can do this at all. I see lots of gnashing of teeth adn rolling eyes and tears.

I thought at this stage children should mainly do copywork/dictation. I was not concerned about creative writing at all! And Building Language says to write poems !!!:lol: I can not see that going over well either.

So- do your children do these writing activities? Alone? Any examples (for a 3rd grader)? Is my son maybe not ready for this program? He loved Grammar Town (online) so I *thought* this would be great for him. He reads very well if that matters.

Thanks in advance! I appreciate it! I read through Grammar Island adn was really excited. Then I read through SI and got nervous. After BL I am not sure what to think! Do they get into it once you start it?

Thank you!

#2 cottagechick

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Posted 04 June 2010 - 05:35 PM

From what I've gleaned here, lots of gals don't use the writing assignments unless their kiddos want to. SEveral are using WWE for their main 'writing' curriculum.

One recent thread from those who actually used the program this year (I haven't used it yet, and am still considering it) gave lots of good feedback about what worked and what didn't with the program. Here's the thread if you haven't already read thru it.

http://www.welltrain...7&highlight=MCT

I'm still up in the air about it, but will prolly bite the bullet and get the Island level for my boys (3rd and 5th).

#3 StephanieZ

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Posted 04 June 2010 - 06:07 PM

Island level was designed for 3rd or 4th grade gifted children. (PS gifted classrooms are generally 97-99th %ile IQs)

I think the MCT program is such a beautiful, synergistic LA program that I will *not* rush my dc through the levels (even though my kids do have very high IQs and are very verbal.)

I know people post about using MCT with really young kids, but I suspect that they are mostly either adapting the program, not using the entire program (at least not to its full extent), or simply have profoundly gifted kids.

I have read folks suggesting to choose an MCT level by the writing portion, and I would definitely agree with that. I think the grammar, vocab, and poetry books could be pretty easily adapted to lower levels (just by going slowly), but the writing would not work well in that manner. Personally, I think the writing is a great component and sort of pulls all the other elements together. . . and is also the most important component to me personally (as I think writing is soooo important). . . so I wouldn't want to "use up" the MCT components w/o having the benefit of the MCT writing. . . Sooo, I am timing my kids so that they do the entire MCT level at the time that level's writing is most appropriate for them.

HTH.

#4 kwg

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Posted 04 June 2010 - 07:31 PM

Thank you for the link cottagechick!

StephanieZ, you have given me some things to think about. My current plan is to try it and if it is too hard we will put it away for a while. A few people said their dc surprised them so who knows? Maybe he will think they are fun (one can hope right?:lol:).

#5 Matryoshka

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Posted 04 June 2010 - 07:41 PM

A few people said their dc surprised them so who knows? Maybe he will think they are fun (one can hope right?:lol:).


I've been going through Sentence Island with my 9 1/2 yo. I was also thinking those assignments with the characters speaking only subjects and predicates or action and linking verbs were a bit "odd" - so I just figured I'd show my dd the big list in the back and see if any struck her fancy (there are many to choose from and there are more concrete exercises)... guess which ones she keeps picking? She loves them. Go figure.

#6 Kuovonne

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Posted 04 June 2010 - 07:54 PM

I was reading the writing activities in the back of Sentence Island. One assignment is :write a short story [...] I am concerned. [...] I thought at this stage children should mainly do copywork/dictation.


I think that Island Level students should be ready to move beyond copywork and dictation. However, that doesn't mean they have to write stories. You don't have to do all the writing activities to get the full MCT experience. There are other, non-story writing activities in each section of Sentence Island that emphasize the concept that you can use instead. The next level writing book, Paragraph Town, even drops the "write a story" assignments.

I think the MCT program is such a beautiful, synergistic LA program that I will *not* rush my dc through the levels (even though my kids do have very high IQs and are very verbal.)

I know people post about using MCT with really young kids, but I suspect that they are mostly either adapting the program, not using the entire program (at least not to its full extent), or simply have profoundly gifted kids.

I have read folks suggesting to choose an MCT level by the writing portion, and I would definitely agree with that. [...] I wouldn't want to "use up" the MCT components w/o having the benefit of the MCT writing. .


While I agree with picking an MCT level based on your child's writing level, I don't think that the "write a story" assignments are a good example of the type of writing for Island Level. In most of the other writing exercises the child writes a handful of well thought out, unrelated sentences.

I don't think that skipping or adapting the "write a story" or "write a poem" assignments equals "rushing a child through the levels."

Edited by Kuovonne, 04 June 2010 - 08:00 PM.


#7 Irishmommy

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Posted 04 June 2010 - 08:05 PM

We are loving the Island level (my ds is wrapping up 3rd - just started this a few months ago) and we do the writing assignements based on his interest. I don't push him to write poems if he doesn't want to. Mostly he wants to do them, though, and he is/was a VERY reluctant writer.

#8 Bird Girl

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Posted 04 June 2010 - 08:20 PM

We have used the Island level this year, with my 7 yo gifted DD. She's not terribly keen on the poem writing assignments in Building Language, and hasn't done the character-type writing activities in Sentence Island. However, we've done and enjoyed the other writing activities; for example, on the same page as the characters who only speak subjects or predicates, you can write lists of subjects and predicates and then mix and match them, divide sentences by subject and predicate, and write balanced sentences with the same number of words in the subject and the predicate. We did those instead.

There's a certain "zaniness" with a few of the MCT suggestions, and my DD and I just aren't that zany, I guess. But the personifications can help illustrate concepts, and we just tend to skip the zanier activities. Overall, I'm delighted with the program.

#9 Capt_Uhura

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Posted 05 June 2010 - 07:28 AM

On the yahoogroup I believe, MCT said he doesn't expect you to do all of the assignments. Pick the ones that will work with your kids and move on. I think those are not writing exercises per se (as in, let's learn how to write), I think they are writing exercises to drive home the grammar topic. We did the character assignments but we did them orally and together. Others where you write subjects and then predicates and make silly sentences, we did those together as well on the board. As far as Building Language ... sometimes we tried the similes but many times we didn't. I had a very hard time coming up with something. Same with the poems. But my sons have learned so much from Sentence Island, including a better appreciation for the written word and a love of language that I don't feel they've been short-changed one bit by not writing all the poems and similes.

#10 rafiki

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Posted 05 June 2010 - 12:35 PM

.

#11 EKS

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Posted 05 June 2010 - 01:44 PM

I didn't have my son do any of the writing assignments suggested in Sentence Island.

#12 Chaqar

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Posted 08 June 2010 - 02:56 PM

I am excited to try the writing assignments with my boys and I love the idea of doing them on the board together. The clever stories are modeled in the book so I think they will get the idea and be able to follow the patterns.

#13 kwg

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Posted 09 June 2010 - 03:14 PM

I am excited to try the writing assignments with my boys and I love the idea of doing them on the board together. The clever stories are modeled in the book so I think they will get the idea and be able to follow the patterns.



I had not thought of that! I am going to give it a try esp since many have said their reluctant writers DID the assignments. If it seems too hard, I will put it away for a while and come back to it. It looks like a lot of fun and I am hoping we just have to get into and it will flow nicely.


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