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How does IEW work long term?


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I'm trying to find the right path for teaching writing. My oldest is in 3rd grade.  I'm looking at Institute for Excellence in Writing.  I like the look of it, but I don't understand a few things...

1. It looks like we would start with Student Writing Intensive.  Is 3rd grade an appropriate time to start this?

 

2. I assume it does, but does it teach them to write paragraphs and essays and reports and such? I've had a hard time finding a scope and sequence on the site. I'm looking for him to start learning some structure or at least moving forward in his writing.  I'm not sure when paragraphs and more formal writing instruction is appropriate.

3. After we do the Student Writing Intensive, the student would do either the second level or the themed units.  When do they learn start to learn more advanced skills?  It sort of seems like most of the teaching is done in the Writing Intensive and then after that it's practice.  But, when does the student learn more advanced writing skills? And were is the program that would teach it?

4. I just don't understand how this program works long term.  I'm not exactly sure when/how they learn advanced writing skills. 

 

5. Would we use the Writing Intensive and then one of the themed programs and then move on to another program in 5th grade....say Writing with Skill, which I'm planning to use when appropriate. 

For background, my 3rd grader has been doing WWE.  He is on WWE2.  Last year, in 2nd, he did letter writing each week and some notebooking in history.  I want to keep moving him forward and I'm not sure where to go from here.  I would like something to help guide me in teaching him because I'm lost on how to teach this and what to teach when.

Thanks for any input!

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http://www.iew.com/events-classes/webinars

On this page you will want the "Experience Excellence in Writing" webinar that is coming up shortly, so sign up because they fill up frequently.

 

http://www.iew.com/events-classes/webinars/sailing-through-style-%E2%80%93-overview-stylistic-techniques%E2%80%94what-how-where-and

This is a good overview of the program.

 

http://www.iew.com/events-classes/webinars/units-1-2-structure-style-starting-strong-september

This one reviews Units 1 &2.  Now it is assumed that you have the material infront of you.  But listen anyway and start to get a feeling for the program.

 

Remember there is 100% refund on their products.

http://www.iew.com/help-support/our-policies/100-money-back-guarantee

 

Their decision tree was useful for me to decide where to start.

http://www.iew.com/shop/shopping-resources/decision-tree

 

If you have any other questions, feel free to ask!

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If you are a user of an IEW product, you can join the IEW Families Yahoo group. You can post any questions there. There is a stairstep "calendar" of sorts in their catalog that helps identify products by grade level. So if you complete SWI-A this year you can either do a theme based product that will reinforce what you have learned this year, or you can go to SICC-A which is another video course.  Presumably as you move up through the grades you are improving vocabulary through reading. Also you will need a grammar resource (they sell Fix-It).  As you move up through the grade levels the source texts will get more difficult and they will cover more units of writing.  That is my overly basic explanation.  =)

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You could start a student intensive in the third grade, but in my opinion, that's still too young.  I understand that there are two elementary themed books now, which I believe would be more appropriate to the level of a third grader.  I started my younger son with All Things Fun and Fascinating in the fifth grade having never used any IEW materials prior to that.  We did just fine. We went on to use Ancient  History themed book after that and are now going through the SWIB continuation course. Sometimes I miss the organization and the added vocabulary of the themed books. ;)  Those themed books are very clear and self explanatory.  The instructions really walk you through all the lingo, or shall I say the dress ups and sentence openers.  I would use one of those to get my feet wet first.   ;)

 

It most definitely starts out slowly and methodically.  First the student learns a simple outline, then when he or she is comfortable, or after some practice, they move on to writing a paragraph from their outline alone.  This is usually a very short paragraph.  After that, the student is introduced to the three paragraph report, all while learning new techniques to add style and structure to his writing.  From reports, the student is taught a very simple essay.  This essay goes from three paragraphs to five paragraphs.  Later on, as the child moves through all the units, more techniques (stylistic dress ups and openers) are learned.  The child will learn to apply these techniques to all his writing.  The child will learn to write a good topic sentence or main idea, clinchers, which are just closing sentences.  Every year the child will go through the nine units and gain more experience as a writer, eventually mastering the structure and developing his own personal style.  The dress ups and openers that you learn in IEW can seem clunky at first, but there's a method to the madness.  The child is learning to not only practice and master complex sentence structures, but to develop his voice.  

 

I recommend that you join the yahoo group.  There is a wealth of information there, and the moderators are amazing at answering all questions and advising which program to start first.   :)

 

I would start out with an elementary themed based book, then follow it up with the SWI continuation course.  Then you have so many to pick and choose from there.  You won't be able to do it all!  Trust me, I've tried to fit it all in.  LOL!  But your child will learn to write.  

 

My middle daughter just started her English Composition class in college and her professor noticed her last name.  He asked if she was related to Adam of the same last name.  When she mentioned that she was, he told her that she had big shoes to fill because Adam had raised the bar in his class.  Adam didn't start IEW until the 11th grade.  I was only able to use the Student Writing Intensive C and Advanced Communications with him, but oh what an impact it's had on his writing!!!  He's gotten an A on every paper he's written so far..  

 

Blessings!!!!  

 

Dee :)

 

 

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Dee, thanks!  That is exactly what I needed, especially the explanation of what it teaches. 

So, this teaches through high school and would replace WWS?  I really like the look of it and when I watched a few sample videos I liked them.  I think we want to go this route.

Have you watched or do most people watch the Teaching Writing DVD's? I am concerned about getting the theme units first simply because I don't have any clue how to teach writing.  (Though, the components are coming back to me as I think on this topic.)  I always did fine in writing, but I wouldn't say I put a ton of effort into it or that I excelled.  I want my children to excel in writing because I feel it is one of the most important skills for college, especially if they want to get more than a bachelor's degree. 

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OK Family, Thanks!!  So, your 3rd grader did well with it?  I'm sort of on the fence with using it this year. I can't decide if I want to go ahead with it or wait a year.  I don't really want to jump into a theme unit first.  I really have no expeience teaching writing.  So, I feel we need the SWI first. 

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My third grader did fine. I sat with him (or in the area) and listened to the lesson. I made sure he was picking important words for the keyword outline. Each lesson mr. Pudewa introduced a new dress-up. I made sure he was able to use it correctly before adding another dress up.

 

If I remember correctly, one week we watched a lesson then did the paragraph. The next week we did a second paragraph to reinforce what was taught on the previous lesson. Then we did another lesson on the DVD and so on. Sometimes I had to give suggestions and model a correct way to form a sentence. But eventually he was able to do it on his own. My sixth grader still isn't a natural writer, but I feel it's given him skills to be a better writer.

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I am using Teaching Writing with Structure and Style this year with my daughter, who's 7/2nd grade.  She loves watching the videos.  We're going to save the SWI for 3rd grade.  I think the TWSS teacher videos are very useful, because he explains exactly how to approach each unit - also, make sure you do this, don't worry so much about that, etc.

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Two years ago I ordered the DVD for teachers (structure and style) and the SWI-A for my 3rd grader.  I also was able to attend the first day of his workshop in person.  It ended up sitting on the shelf, so I sold SWI-A. The next year we were all in school and I taught at a school that uses IEW.  Although we are so happy to be home again, it was a great boot camp for me.  We are now using IEW at home as a family (K, 3, and 5).  I honestly think that ordering the Structure and Style binder itself is a great start.  Read through it, teach them how to make KWO (key word outlines) over and over.  Take simple stories like fairy tales and Aesop's fables, make outlines and teach them how rewrite the stories with the dress-ups.  If that is all you do for 3rd grade all year, you will be way ahead of the game.  I'd advise that rather than just waiting.  The next year you can start at the beginning and then progress further with the units.  Then move on to the other books like Bible, history, etc....  If you want something to pull it all together order the Aesop's Fables pocket books by Evan-Moore.

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Hi Heather,  

 

I know that you've received some great advice here, so here's my opinion.  If you really want to do formal writing and you feel that you lack a bit of confidence, then a SWI A instensive is a great place to start.  You can always slow it down or speed it up as your child needs.  You don't need to get the whole TWSS program.  In the Student Writing Intensive, Andrew Pudewa is teaching a class and talking to the students at their level, and all the paragraphs and examples are geared towards that age range.  Jill's student notebook makes it extremely easy to follow.  But again, my opinion is to wait at least one more year.  I almost wish I had waited an extra year with my younger son, and that was in the fifth grade.  However, I'm very aware that some children are just ready earlier, so I also know how that goes.  Whether you pick an elementary themed book, or the Student Intensive, make sure you purchase straight from IEW.  They have a 100 percent money back policy!  You can use your materials and return them at any time if you feel that it just wasn't for you.  

 

Dee :)  

 

ps  It definitely teaches through high school.  Your student will progress through the program each time and learn more skills appropriate to his/her age range.  For example, now in the Student Continuation Course, my son is writing more formal essays, learning to add more details, and learning more complex sentence structures through the dress ups and openers.  Next year, we will be focusing more on the thesis in his essays, and the year after that, we will tackle a super essay, which is nothing more than a term paper.  First we will tackle a small one, leading up to a formal college term paper in his junior and senior  year.  Oh, and we would love to have time to use their literary analysis program, Windows to the World...so much to do. ;)  And just today, I was helping my son Adam outline his speech for his first college speech on Monday.  Guess what, we never got to do the Speech Boot Camp with Adam.  I wish we had.  My son would have been better prepared.  I know I sound like a commercial, and trust me, no one pays me for this.  I am just so impressed with the outcome of what I have seen with this program.  I guess what I love the most is that IEW has taught me how to teach my children.  I always thought I had to outsource writing when my children hit the high school years.  Thank God I didn't have to.  

 

 

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  • 4 months later...

I started a couple of my kids with the SWI-A younger than 3rd grade.  When to begin with IEW depends on the ability of your children.  If your child reads well and can write a journal entry with a complete sentences, I think you could start the SWI-A.  My 2nd grade daughter who began it this year is going to complete the course at half-pace over two years.  I sit and watch the videos with her to answer any questions she has.  I had to help her quite a bit writing the first assignments, and then less and less.  She is currently about a third of the way through the program and does it mostly independently.

 

I definitely recommend that you watch the TWSS videos, especially since you say that you do not feel confident in teaching writing.  You don't have to watch all of them at once.  You can just watch the relevant part of the teacher video before each lesson with your child.  The TWSS was a huge help to me in learning how to teach writing to my kids.  

 

I have started all of my kids with the SWI rather than with a themed lesson.  They all love Mr. Pudewa.  He makes writing a lot of fun, and much more fun than the way I teach an IEW theme book.  

 

 

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I'm trying to find the right path for teaching writing. My oldest is in 3rd grade.  I'm looking at Institute for Excellence in Writing.  I like the look of it, but I don't understand a few things...

 

1. It looks like we would start with Student Writing Intensive.  Is 3rd grade an appropriate time to start this?

 

 

 

We have been doing IEW from the beginning. Mine are in 3rd grade (9 years old) and 2nd grade (7 years old).  We did PAL and then Bible Heroes and this year we are doing All Things Fun and Fascinating.  I do own SWI-A (Student Writing Intensive) but decided against using it this year. The video lessons are about 40 minutes and I know my 7 year old (now 2nd grade) couldn't handle that. I am glad I made this decision. All Things Fun and Fascinating has been a big step up for us from Bible Heroes. My third grader has handled it fine, but my seven year old has struggled with the increased amount of work.  The nice thing is that AFF is set up so i can pace it like I want. We can take two or three weeks to complete a lesson. I think if we were doing SWI-A then I would feel more pressure to keep with a timeline. 

 

So, for YOU, I would look at Bible Heroes or All Things Fun and Fascinating. Of the two, Bible Heroes is the more gentle introduction to the IEW method. It also has games (not just for vocabulary either) which makes it more accessible.  So even though they are promoting it as a 2nd grade option, I would feel totally comfortable telling you to use it for a 3rd grader, especially since this is your first exposure to IEW. You can always add more dress-ups, etc. if your child needs more of a challenge.

 

On the other hand, if she is bored right now, and can handle the videos, Andrew Pudewa is funny and engaging. So I would let your child's focus time be your guide as to your choice.  

 

With any of these options, you will want to watch the Teaching Writing Structure and Style videos.  Bible Heroes refers to which video to watch and when. All Things Fun and Fascinating directs you to watch them before you start teaching the year.  If you cannot afford to buy them, see if you can borrow them.  I would not recommend trying any of these without watching these videos.  I really believe the key to success of this is you understanding the method and how to teach it, and the videos are invaluable in this regard. But, like I said, if you don't want to commit yet, just borrow them and then  buy later if you love it.  =)

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