I'd like some feedback from the LA gurus about my approach.
First, know that I am not really following a classical approach here.
Next, my goals (for 6th- and 7th-grade students) are:
1. not to squash their love of writing (lol),
2. to encourage creativity and development of voice, as well as introduce some basic styling to their writing
3. to introduce and/or practice formal academic writing (essays, etc)
4. to practice grammar mechanics as necessary
5. to make the entire writing process (including edits, revisions) a habit
With that in mind, here is what we are doing. My biggest questions are: Is this too much, and if it is, what / how should I cut? We have a hard time getting through all of it, and when you add in history, science, reading, math, Spanish, music nearly every day... well, it just seems to be too much.
(Reminds me of my favorite Dostoevsky quote: "But there were thousands of most important things; and they all reduced me to the point of impotence.")
So, any advice? (Also, as I look at it here on paper, it looks like it should work out just fine, but in practice, it somehow takes longer.)
M, Tu, We, Th: Daily grammar. Using Fix It. I also have supplemental worksheets to practice concepts that seem unmastered. Takes 15-20 minutes.
M, Tu, We, Th: Daily journal. Using Take 5 (love this) to encourage voice, flow, creativity. Also important: kids like it. Takes 15-25 minutes.
M, Tu, We, Th: Daily style. Using pieces of Killgallon books, starting with sentences and moving to paragraphs. I see this as a way to develop style more than practice grammar. Takes 20-30 minutes.
M, Tu, We, Th: Daily writing. Using Hake's Grammar & Writing (the smaller workbook, not the grammar one) to introduce and practice essays and other academic writing. I love the no-nonsense approach but we try to pick more interesting topics from across our curriculum. Takes 30-45 minutes.
F: Creative Writing Workshop: Use a variety of things, but I really like 826. Only thing we do on Fridays for LA. Usually 90 minutes.
We also talk about and practice the writing process as we do our writing assignments.
The one thing I don't specifically have mapped out (and I know you classical types stress this) is a Summary / Outline / Note-Taking segment. I have WWTB, WWE/WWS, but we haven't been able to get through the above on a regular basis, so I'm reluctant to add something else. I think some of this happens organically as part of our academic writing, so for the moment, I'm okay with this on the back burner.
That's my dilemma. Would appreciate advice from those of you who have worked through this kind of thing.