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Want a creative supplement to WWE (or like The Writer's Jungle but balk at the $$$)?


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Try "No More I'm Done!" It is seriously awesome. Seriously. And for the price, it is an absolute steal. Although not as expansive in scope as TWJ, it is significantly more user friendly. Honestly, you could read it tonight and be off and running by morning. My kids are loving the workshop concept!

 

OK, I'm editing to post a quote from later in the thread, helpful to any new arrivals here. :D

 

Wow! you can preview the entire text online at the publisher's website here.

 

Thanks, Ann-Marie!

 

Now you don't have to just take my word for it. ;)

Edited by Alte Veste Academy
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What ages would you say it could be used for? Up to 13 or 14 or so?

 

Hmmm. I would say that it is best for the K-4 group (basically WWE level kids), as it is pretty focused on mini-lessons and writing workshop. I would even say that for a resistant writer in the middle grades, it would be a great way to develop a warm fuzzy for writing. If I were going to use it for anyone older than elementary, I would probably hide the book from sight so as to avoid causing offense. :tongue_smilie: But, yes, the concepts would apply even to older children and could be applied to any age. If there is one thing I am learning from all the writing books I've been reading, it's that good writing is not age-based.

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So, how do you implement this with your kids?

 

We just started, but I am using the lessons she lays out in the book pretty much straight from the book. Her ideas and suggestions are very specific. She actually lays out a plan for writers workshop that will take you from September through May, with book suggestions and one specific lesson plan per week (that will easily fill up that whole week). This is a book that melds general ideas with practical application, which is why I am so impressed with it. I do plan to draw on the picture books we already own rather than using her particular book choices, unless the library has them.

 

Basically, at the beginning of each week, I do a mini-lesson, "a focus lesson in which students are engaged in examining one quality of exemplary writing." Per the book, we will work on one aspect of good writing a week.

 

The first lesson was about how to choose something to write about at all, for the child who says they don't know what to write about. We read Wilfrid Gordon McDonald Partridge by Mem Fox, which is a book about an old woman remembering stories from her life as she pulls items from a basket. So, then I had a few items that I referred to and told stories about. Then the kids wanted to get items to tell their own stories about, just as predicted. :tongue_smilie: The point of the mini-lesson here is that many writers write from memories or about what they know well. My kids each wrote a piece based on one of their favorite memories, working a little every day. They refined their work throughout the week as I met with them and reflected about their writing.

 

Next was sensory words. The author tells her students that the job of a writer is to create a movie in the head of the reader (love this!). For the sensory word lesson, you create columns on the whiteboard for the senses and then read a story that draws in the senses (she recommended McDuff Moves In and we used it because we own it). For every word you find that you can hear, feel, smell, or taste, you record it in the appropriate column. So, then you tell the kids that you want them to pay attention to sensory words in their writing and give them a column graphic organizer for the senses so they can record sensory words that they use as well. One of my kids fine-tuned his memory piece from the previous week to add sensory words and my other two started new memory pieces that they felt would be more suited to the lesson.

 

Some of the topics she covers in mini-lessons...

 

Mentor texts

Modeled writing

Interactive writing

Focus

Organization

Voice

Point of view

Vocabulary

Fluency

Adding details

Poetry

Sensory details

Staying on track

Editing

Beginnings/Endings

Choosing effective words

 

Another thing I love is that she asks you to write during writers workshop as well. She's right that we can relate better to the struggles of writing when we are experiencing the same struggles right along with them.

 

She suggests that punctuation, capitalization, etc. be taught separately from the writers workshop. You can cover those conventions with your regularly scheduled LA program of choice. I use WWE (for all three kids) and VIE (with my older two only) so they are getting the conventions elsewhere. She focuses on conventions during her "morning message." Problems with these aspects of writing are cleaned up during publishing of a finished work.

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Do you think it's valuable if one already has TWJ and Jot it down?

 

LOL

 

I do have TWJ and Jot It Down (bought it when it was cheap and new :tongue_smilie:).

 

TWJ is valuable and has a wider scope than NMID. However, NMID has much more specific instruction, making it a good fit for those who want a plan to follow. She released JID intending for it to provide the specific instruction that TWJ was missing but, ironically, I think the scope of NMID is wider than that of Jot It Down, which is extremely overpriced, IMO. (I might get it out to compare later, now that I think of it.)

 

I'm doing NMID this year instead of Jot It Down. :001_smile:

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I'm doing NMID this year instead of Jot It Down. :001_smile:

I have Jot it Down but I don't like that it looks like a blog entry and has tons of random photos, making it expensive and weird to print it out. I am not sure how to even read it.

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OK, I just paged through Jot It Down again. I take back what I said. It isn't extremely overpriced; it is horrifically overpriced. :lol: There is not much true writing instruction at all. It almost seems like a pre-writing program, heavy on crafts, for a very young child (PreK-K), but she's selling this for 5-8 year old kids. :001_huh: She does say, "This is the 'jot it down' stage so keep the actual handwriting to a minimum. Your child can dictate to you while you transcribe the copy--perfectly acceptable." I get that, especially for pencil-phobic or reluctant writers. But there is a world of difference between my expectations for 5 (pretty much what she sees as Jot It Down) and 8 (capable of significantly more writing).

 

Regardless, there is not a great deal of specific instruction here that will actually lead to improved writing skills. To be clear, I do not mean handwriting, as I think a child can dictate and still be building skills for writing. On the other hand, the ideas in NMID are designed to draw out good writing, element by element. There is specific skill-building instruction. And it is engaging! And developmentally appropriate without babying young writers like JID seems to.

 

In JID, the lifestyle stuff is helpful, but it's worth noting that most of that is available on her web site for free. It is incredibly generous of her to make that content free, of course. But, at the same time, I resent the same basic stuff being used as filler in the JID purchase. To be fair, the info is not exactly the same, but it is just as generic. In other words, the info on the BWL in the front of JID does not coordinate with the lesson plans she lays out in later pages.

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Wow! you can preview the entire text online at the publisher's website here. Thanks for posting about this. Looks like I have some reading to do. :lol:

 

Holy Garbanzo Beans, Batman! That's awesome! Thanks so much for posting this. You win the prize!

 

Check out her lesson on shades of meaning, pages 131-132. It was close to last and it was one of my favorites!

 

People who own a variety of resources (me, for sure ) will notice a synthesis of a lot of different concepts written about elsewhere. I saw shades of Killgallon here and there, lots of TWJ...

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I am pathetic. I am whining about IEW on another thread, swimming in writing resources, and I just bought this book. :001_smile: I love it already.

 

Well, you know, I am also swimming in writing resources. But I think I hadn't found one perfect thing to balance WWE. This is it. Definitively. This is what we will be using this year.

 

And MCTLA because it doesn't have enough writing anyway. :tongue_smilie:

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I am pathetic. I am whining about IEW on another thread, swimming in writing resources, and I just bought this book. :001_smile: I love it already.

 

You are not alone when it comes to swimming in writing resources, so no need to call yourself names. :001_smile: :lol: Glad to hear you like it as well.

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Holy Garbanzo Beans, Batman! That's awesome! Thanks so much for posting this. You win the prize!

 

Check out her lesson on shades of meaning, pages 131-132. It was close to last and it was one of my favorites!

 

People who own a variety of resources (me, for sure ) will notice a synthesis of a lot of different concepts written about elsewhere. I saw shades of Killgallon here and there, lots of TWJ...

 

The power of Google. Gotta love it. :D I can't wait to sit down and read through this later. Right now I am in the middle of cleaning bathrooms and washing clothes. Of course with the occasional WTM board break thrown in. It makes cleaning bearable. :lol:

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Well, you know, I am also swimming in writing resources. But I think I hadn't found one perfect thing to balance WWE. This is it. Definitively. This is what we will be using this year.

 

And MCTLA because it doesn't have enough writing anyway. :tongue_smilie:

 

;). The text targets K-2. My oldest will be in 4th. He is my issue this year. I have IEW, WWE, WS, Kilgallon for a little later, and various helps, handbooks, etc. The problem is ME. I simply do not know what to do next. WWE is just NOT it. That is why I finally decided to go with IEW.

 

Thanks for this recommendation. I already know it will help me teach and my younger three will benefit.

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;). The text targets K-2. My oldest will be in 4th. He is my issue this year. I have IEW, WWE, WS, Kilgallon for a little later, and various helps, handbooks, etc. The problem is ME. I simply do not know what to do next. WWE is just NOT it. That is why I finally decided to go with IEW.

 

Thanks for this recommendation. I already know it will help me teach and my younger three will benefit.

 

My oldest is also 9 and will be in 4th next year. I have read this book from cover to cover and I am excited to use it with all three of my kids this year. I have no doubt I will see improved writing from all.

 

I refuse to be shackled by age! :tongue_smilie:

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OK, I just paged through Jot It Down again. I take back what I said. It isn't extremely overpriced; it is horrifically overpriced. :lol:

Honestly, that was kind of my reaction. I mean, I liked what was in there fine, but it just needed more. As I posted before, I like Alphabet Glue for bookish crafts, and Annie Riechmann (the author) of them sells each for about $4 or so (sometimes she emails coupons), and you get new ones every season. They are very pretty, nicely laid out (nicer than JID) and do not look like a blog entry, but do have lots of pretty pictures and nice color printables. I haven't really had the heart to reread JID since downloading it. I like to mention it periodically since I think it's a nice resource for HSers. I have no personal or financial investment. I've emailed Annie a couple times and she seems very nice, but that's about it. She also has a book club and free email list. So...I wanted something different or even better!

 

I have been having trouble getting motivated, so and I am hoping for a better year this year. I am gathering my ideas and preparing to execute them, instead of dithering.

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Honestly, that was kind of my reaction. I mean, I liked what was in there fine, but it just needed more. As I posted before, I like Alphabet Glue for bookish crafts, and Annie Riechmann (the author) of them sells each for about $4 or so (sometimes she emails coupons), and you get new ones every season. They are very pretty, nicely laid out (nicer than JID) and do not look like a blog entry, but do have lots of pretty pictures and nice color printables. I haven't really had the heart to reread JID since downloading it. I like to mention it periodically since I think it's a nice resource for HSers. I have no personal or financial investment. I've emailed Annie a couple times and she seems very nice, but that's about it. She also has a book club and free email list. So...I wanted something different or even better!

 

I have been having trouble getting motivated, so and I am hoping for a better year this year. I am gathering my ideas and preparing to execute them, instead of dithering.

 

The Alphabet Glue site is cute and much more reasonably priced.

 

I know what you mean about needing to get motivated. I'm rarin' to go for some of my other subjects but writing love was not here. I like MCTLA but it doesn't have enough writing. I like WWE but the writing is not creative enough for my kids. I like BraveWriter and the lifestyle stuff we do is great, but there is not enough direct guidance. NMID just does it for me for writing.

 

The cool thing I discovered yesterday? I use Voyages in English for grammar with DS9. He enjoys MCTLA along with DD but prefers concrete workbook grammar. Well, here I have this monster VIE textbook that is more than half writing but we don't use it. Last night it dawned on me that I can throw the genre instruction from VIE into the mini-lessons with NMID. In fact, I can use the examples in VIE as writing that needs improvement ala NMID because most of those samples are dry as toast. :tongue_smilie:

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Wow! you can preview the entire text online at the publisher's website here. Thanks for posting about this. Looks like I have some reading to do. :lol:

That is amazing! Thank you!!! But I had a heck of a time getting it to load. Success at long last! Anyhow I already ordered it.

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This is why I'm glad I didn't end up getting it Jot It Down. The more I hear the more glad I am that I didn't bother. I think Julie Bogart's philosophy is standing in the way of her making more of a clearly laid out specific program.

 

I ended up getting Don't Forget to Write after thumbing through it at 826 (we live a couple blocks from their DC store) - but you think this is better than that?

 

OK, I just paged through Jot It Down again. I take back what I said. It isn't extremely overpriced; it is horrifically overpriced. :lol: There is not much true writing instruction at all. It almost seems like a pre-writing program, heavy on crafts, for a very young child (PreK-K), but she's selling this for 5-8 year old kids. :001_huh: She does say, "This is the 'jot it down' stage so keep the actual handwriting to a minimum. Your child can dictate to you while you transcribe the copy--perfectly acceptable." I get that, especially for pencil-phobic or reluctant writers. But there is a world of difference between my expectations for 5 (pretty much what she sees as Jot It Down) and 8 (capable of significantly more writing).

 

Regardless, there is not a great deal of specific instruction here that will actually lead to improved writing skills. To be clear, I do not mean handwriting, as I think a child can dictate and still be building skills for writing. On the other hand, the ideas in NMID are designed to draw out good writing, element by element. There is specific skill-building instruction. And it is engaging! And developmentally appropriate without babying young writers like JID seems to.

 

In JID, the lifestyle stuff is helpful, but it's worth noting that most of that is available on her web site for free. It is incredibly generous of her to make that content free, of course. But, at the same time, I resent the same basic stuff being used as filler in the JID purchase. To be fair, the info is not exactly the same, but it is just as generic. In other words, the info on the BWL in the front of JID does not coordinate with the lesson plans she lays out in later pages.

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This is why I'm glad I didn't end up getting it Jot It Down. The more I hear the more glad I am that I didn't bother. I think Julie Bogart's philosophy is standing in the way of her making more of a clearly laid out specific program.

 

I ended up getting Don't Forget to Write after thumbing through it at 826 (we live a couple blocks from their DC store) - but you think this is better than that?

 

I totally agree with you about Julie Bogart. I think it is a poor business choice to make her products so expensive.

 

OK, truth? The day I bought Don't Forget to Write, I probably bought 5 other books on writing (which are fine...we're not going to get into them :lol:). As I said, I wasn't loving anything. I wanted it. I immediately dove into DFTW when the UPS man came, because it is different and exciting (same for Rip the Page, which we'll be using too). It is and we will use it. But it's not really a "daily driver" for me. It's one of those non-sequential books full of the promise and thrill of change--something you can pull from when you want to kill off the blahs.

 

NMID, on the other hand, is a daily driver, but a fully-loaded, fun-to-drive car that you can't see trading in for something snazzier because it is just exactly what you need and the driver's seat practically feels like it was molded just for you. :D For too long, NMID sat on the nightstand with the other books I ordered that day, looking unassuming. Eventually, I picked it up and started reading and actually felt guilty that it had been ignored for so long. :tongue_smilie:

 

Now I'm working plans to fold in the genre lessons from VIE, ideas from DFTW, etc., etc., etc. We do write a lot here, so that helps. :lol:

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Thank you! I bought Brave Writer, too and read for the lower grades writing but haven't implemented it, yet. It's missing what you are describing what this writing curriculum does. I LOVE your lesson plans and I think I will use YOUR book to spark the writing.:D

 

I hope you like it! Do report back with your impressions. :001_smile:

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Yeah, I can't figure out if Bravewriter's business model of charging so darn much is helping or hurting them in the end. I feel like I don't know business well enough to say... but from a consumer pov, what she's selling isn't so different from BFSU in terms of quality, style and content (though a totally different subject area) - including the support of the author, but you can buy BFSU for $5 as a pdf, IIRC. That's a pretty shocking price gap.

 

See, I *like* the non-sequential activities though. Somehow for me as a teacher, that's better. BW gave me an outline of a routine (though I tweaked theirs for us... I can't stand not to change things...) and I feel like that's my sequential stuff. The non-sequential, injecting excitement, changing things up pieces are the toolkit that I like to have on hand.

 

But maybe I'll get this too. You can't have too many writing books, right? :D

 

I totally agree with you about Julie Bogart. I think it is a poor business choice to make her products so expensive.

 

OK, truth? The day I bought Don't Forget to Write, I probably bought 5 other books on writing (which are fine...we're not going to get into them :lol:). As I said, I wasn't loving anything. I wanted it. I immediately dove into DFTW when the UPS man came, because it is different and exciting (same for Rip the Page, which we'll be using too). It is and we will use it. But it's not really a "daily driver" for me. It's one of those non-sequential books full of the promise and thrill of change--something you can pull from when you want to kill off the blahs.

 

NMID, on the other hand, is a daily driver, but a fully-loaded, fun-to-drive car that you can't see trading in for something snazzier because it is just exactly what you need and the driver's seat practically feels like it was molded just for you. :D For too long, NMID sat on the nightstand with the other books I ordered that day, looking unassuming. Eventually, I picked it up and started reading and actually felt guilty that it had been ignored for so long. :tongue_smilie:

 

Now I'm working plans to fold in the genre lessons from VIE, ideas from DFTW, etc., etc., etc. We do write a lot here, so that helps. :lol:

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Yeah, I can't figure out if Bravewriter's business model of charging so darn much is helping or hurting them in the end. I feel like I don't know business well enough to say... but from a consumer pov, what she's selling isn't so different from BFSU in terms of quality, style and content (though a totally different subject area) - including the support of the author, but you can buy BFSU for $5 as a pdf, IIRC. That's a pretty shocking price gap.

 

See, I *like* the non-sequential activities though. Somehow for me as a teacher, that's better. BW gave me an outline of a routine (though I tweaked theirs for us... I can't stand not to change things...) and I feel like that's my sequential stuff. The non-sequential, injecting excitement, changing things up pieces are the toolkit that I like to have on hand.

 

But maybe I'll get this too. You can't have too many writing books, right? :D

 

Well, and what she's selling is frankly not necessarily better than what a great number of school teachers are writing about in professional books. We like to lambast teaching and the horrors of textbooks in America but, really, a lot of what teachers are writing for other teachers is incredible.

 

I like non-sequential activities too. They just don't give me the sense of security I need from a writing program. I need a woobie first. :tongue_smilie:

Edited by Alte Veste Academy
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Did you see the download link to browse the entire book online? :)

 

I just saw that now. When I clicked the link though, it kept giving me an error. I checked and my library already has it enroute, so okay I guess!

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I ordered this from our library so I can check it out before buying, but sounds great! Thanks for posting :)

 

I'm jealous--our library didn't have it. I read through most of the online preview and it looks really good, so I ordered this from Amazon today along with the second edition of ULOE. I'm going to be busy for a few weeks reading up on language arts and getting ready for our August start!

 

Thanks for recommending this, OP! I got Understanding Writing back in the winter, and it was going great until it asked ds to create an original sentence. I got a very BLANK stare and titles of his favorite songs but nothing more out of him. So I'm not giving up on UW but maybe we need something to add in to get us from here to there...and maybe NMID is it!!

 

Christina

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Having a look at this book, it seems like it is geared toward a classroom setting. Does it translate well to just one child? (the mini-lessons, etc.)

 

Most of this is familiar to me (writer's conference, author's chair, etc), we taught writing with a similar philosophy when I worked in a public school teaching 1st grade... I'm just curious how well it works with just 1 student...

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Having a look at this book, it seems like it is geared toward a classroom setting. Does it translate well to just one child? (the mini-lessons, etc.)

 

Most of this is familiar to me (writer's conference, author's chair, etc), we taught writing with a similar philosophy when I worked in a public school teaching 1st grade... I'm just curious how well it works with just 1 student...

 

We've only done a few of the lessons, and I use it with three kids at a time, so not with just one child. But, really? A lesson is a lesson is a lesson. I imagine I have more time to work on my own writing than a classroom teacher would because I do not have as many students requiring conferences, but the lessons themselves are a cinch to adapt for homeschooling. Keep in mind that one day you will be able to do this with your 6 year old and 4 year old together. Perhaps even now. When my kids were 4, I would have them tell me about pictures they drew and I would take down their story and staple it to their artwork. They realized early on that telling the story of their art was writing. She does go into that in the book, allowing/encouraging kids to draw before they write.

 

I have read the book cover to cover and didn't see any lessons that couldn't be used with only one child. Obviously, for the lessons that solicit student responses, you are going to get fewer responses and you may have to add/discuss more as a teacher to attain the desirable level of interaction or answers to work with for those lessons. That certainly wouldn't be a deal breaker for me.

 

I personally find the lessons in the book engaging, practical, effective, and (best of all!) easy to implement. But everyone has to decide for themselves what structure works for them and what doesn't. :001_smile:

 

ETA: I will also add (because I generally think homeschooling confers heaps of benefits on children :D) that I do think using this book to do one-on-one lessons will naturally allow you to move faster, farther, deeper. Generally speaking, that's how the ability to give lots of individual attention works out.

Edited by Alte Veste Academy
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What do you think about the Kindle edition vs. the printed edition? Is this the kind of book I'm going to want to highlight and write in (I like to highlight and write in my books)? Or will I be taking notes outside (in a notebook) of the book? Hmmmm.

 

 

Nevermind -- I ordered it, it will be here Thursday! The evils of Prime.

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What do you think about the Kindle edition vs. the printed edition? Is this the kind of book I'm going to want to highlight and write in (I like to highlight and write in my books)? Or will I be taking notes outside (in a notebook) of the book? Hmmmm.

 

LOL You are asking the wrong person. I hate my Kindle! Gave it to DH for work, in fact. His whole work life is one giant collection of PDF files. :tongue_smilie:

 

The lessons for the whole year are laid out in chapters 3 and 4, one after the other. I've already filled in the margins with copious notes, mostly thoughts about what books I already own that could be used with the mini-lesson. Now I'm going through VIE to put in the genre correlations. I'm probably going to end up retyping my own lesson plans in the end, just to have something tidier to work with. Personally, I would hate to be trying to take notes while reading it on a Kindle but, again, I'm biased.

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I am reviving this thread as a thank you to the OP so more people can check out this wonderful book. I got my copy about a week ago and I spent most of Saturday reading through it. I love it!!

 

I used so many tape flags to mark various sections that dh got snippy. Said I was using too many of his tape flags. Guess I need to get some of my own :001_huh:.

 

Anyway, I haven't turned this into a 36-week schedule yet and narrowed down exactly which topics/picture books we'll use when, but I am totally sold on the idea of the writer's workshop and I am excited to start using this with my kiddo in August!! It doesn't seem like it'll be too difficult to make my lesson plans, either, which is so refreshing.

 

So thank you, OP! And for the rest of you out there struggling with writing in the early grades, check out this book! It is worth every penny of the $14 it cost!!

 

Christina

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I am reviving this thread as a thank you to the OP so more people can check out this wonderful book. I got my copy about a week ago and I spent most of Saturday reading through it. I love it!!

 

I used so many tape flags to mark various sections that dh got snippy. Said I was using too many of his tape flags. Guess I need to get some of my own :001_huh:.

 

Anyway, I haven't turned this into a 36-week schedule yet and narrowed down exactly which topics/picture books we'll use when, but I am totally sold on the idea of the writer's workshop and I am excited to start using this with my kiddo in August!! It doesn't seem like it'll be too difficult to make my lesson plans, either, which is so refreshing.

 

So thank you, OP! And for the rest of you out there struggling with writing in the early grades, check out this book! It is worth every penny of the $14 it cost!!

 

Christina

 

Oh, you're welcome! And thank you!! I would love for you (and anyone else who uses it) to report back about your plans, how it's working, progress made, etc.

 

I have become super-stoked about the Writer's Workshop concept! It is very exciting to me that all of my kids are old enough to not only participate but really get the most out of this concept. I have been pulling in the genre lessons from Voyages in English, figuring in grammar for mini-lessons, and just generally planning up a storm.

 

I also purchased Everyday Editing from the same company to bolster mechanics in mini-lessons. With DS9 going into 4th, I want to be sure mechanics are solid, and solidly connected to writing. He's been doing the workbook portion of ViE for grammar and likes it but I like the idea of directly connecting the grammar lessons to his writing outside of the workbook. I've purchased writing notebooks and reader's notebooks per Notebook Know-How and Notebook Connections. I'll be using those resources in conjunction with NMID (especially with DS9, as we need to take our LA depth up a notch).

 

Anyway, thanks for letting me know that you like it! :001_smile:

 

P.S. I do not work for Stenhouse or have any financial interest in the company. :lol:

 

P.S.S. Long live Post-It flags! :tongue_smilie:

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Ooh, I can get a library copy of Everyday Editing! Great. I am going to be studying my copies of $1 downloads of writing books by Janet Angelillo from Scholastic.

 

Lucky! I was bummed my library didn't have it. I would ask about the Scholastic books but my pocketbook, sanity, and sagging bookshelves threatened to rough me up. :tongue_smilie:

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