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caedmyn

help choosing IEW writing program for next year

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My 4th and 7th graders have been doing SWI-B this year (with A level source materials for the 4th grader).  We will not finish it this school year and will have about 10 weeks of it to complete next year.  I'm debating about what program to use next for each of them. 

7th grader is a very reluctant writer.  She does ok with SWI but isn't great at thinking of dress-ups and her sentence structure isn't the greatest either (tends toward run-on sentences and sentence fragments).  I was thinking of doing SWICC-B with her after she finishes SWI-B, spread over (almost) 2 years.  Or would it be better to give her more practice with the things she's already been taught using one of the themed units?

4th grader does fine with SWI.  I mostly scribe for him.  I was thinking of using All Things Fun & Fascinating with him next year after he finishes SWI, maybe skipping the chapters on the units that he's already covered that year in SWI.  It looks like it pretty much covers the same material so he could just practice it more and maybe work on being a little more independent.  Then he could maybe move on to SWICC-B the following year. 

Does this sound like a good plan?  Is there anything I'm missing here in thinking this through?

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Many years ago I did All Things Fun and Fascinating and then started SWI-A and found it very repetitive.  When I called they told me I was supposed to do one or the other (oops!) and that was the problem, and we started SICC-A.  That was much better.  I would probably pick a different theme-based if you decide to go that direction.

We did SICC-B last year and liked it. The alternative to doing it over two years is doing it over one year with lessons dropped, or something in between (to bring it to a year and a half or so).

What sort of goals do you have for your 7th grader?  Do you plan to put her in an online class, hybrid school, private school, etc. at all?  Because I am finding many of the providers I am looking at for lit/comp for my boys want the students to understand what a thesis statement is and how to write an effective thesis statement.  For example, although this is not a writing class, my ds13 had to write papers with "strong thesis statements" in his Great Conversation I class for Wilson Hill.  We are looking at The Potter's School for next year as a possibility, and they also expect 8th graders to have had exposure to this idea before entering their lit/comp class. 

I ask this because SICC-B doesn't really address true thesis writing.  This is our first year (with my 7th/6th) where we have written what I would consider a true persuasive essay with a thesis statement.  That said, I would not personally recommend Lost Tools of Writing, which we tried, because you may lose hold of any gains stylistically (this is based on my experience only).  The Elegant Essay does address thesis statements and works on things like transitions, different types of introductions, etc. However, compared to every other IEW product I have used (and that is a lot), this is the hardest I have had to use. I am having to jump between the student and teacher book a lot to implement the lessons, and we have yet to write a full essay (I think we might be halfway). So I am pausing it to refresh our essay model knowledge and review the stylistic techniques that we lost during Lost Tools.  

Anyway, if you are not constrained to meeting an outside provider's expectations, then I might consider the SICC-B product. We did enjoy it.  

 

Edited by cintinative

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All Things Fun and Fascinating is one of my favorite IEW books, so I always recomend people use it. The great thing is that you can create your own checklists and make the assignments as challenging as you want. It includes Unit 5, which is not included in SWI-B. If you use SICC, then you'll have teaching on how to do it before you get there in that book.

It sounds like SICC-B is might a good choice for your 7th grader. I've never used it, but I've worked in the IEW booths for an exhibitor who said it was her favorite product. It begins with a review of dress ups and outlines. It then does Unit 5, which is one of my favorite units. There are not many new dress-up or decorations introduced in the first half. That will give you all year to practice them. 

What is the most challenging thing to her about the dress-ups? Is it the wording or where to place them in the sentence? You could try giving her fill-in-the blank type sentences so that she sees how the dress-ups work in the sentences. Do you ever read her writing back to her aloud? I found that my ds could catch his own mistakes better if I did that. 

Try a writing exercise of writing 10 sentences with no requirements and on the topic(s) of her choosing. First, work on fixing any fragments or run-ons. Then I would take that set of sentences and have her add one dress up at a time to them all, and then try it again with sentence openers. You could even have her do 5 a day. 

I hope it all goes well for you and improves for her! 

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This is interesting.  I am planning to start SWI A as our next step in writing for my upcoming 5th grader.  I thought we were supposed to start there?  Is All Things Fun and Fascinating better?  Certainly a better name.  Does this mean I don't have to watch teacher training? 

I hope to see materials at a display in a couple weeks.

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On 4/15/2019 at 9:04 PM, parent said:

This is interesting.  I am planning to start SWI A as our next step in writing for my upcoming 5th grader.  I thought we were supposed to start there?  Is All Things Fun and Fascinating better?  Certainly a better name.  Does this mean I don't have to watch teacher training? 

I hope to see materials at a display in a couple weeks.

That is a great place to start! You can start with a theme book; however, the theme books, such as All Things Fun and Fascinating, are written assuming you are going through the teacher training. The teacher manuals don't fully explain every aspect of the program. IEW always recommends parents buy and go through TWSS (the teacher program) no matter what program you are using for your child's writing assignments (SWI or theme book).

Some cannot afford TWSS and only purchase a SWI program because they get the teaching in those videos. The SWIs do not fully present all of the material, though. IEW has 9 units and a long list of dress-ups, sentence openers, and decorations. Those are all taught in TWSS, but only some are taught in SWIs because the SWIs are meant to be an introduction to IEW's methods.

I hope that helps, but you will definitely get more information when you attend the display.  

 

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3 hours ago, mom31257 said:

That is a great place to start! You can start with a theme book; however, the theme books, such as All Things Fun and Fascinating, are written assuming you are going through the teacher training. The teacher manuals don't fully explain every aspect of the program. IEW always recommends parents buy and go through TWSS (the teacher program) no matter what program you are using for your child's writing assignments (SWI or theme book).

Some cannot afford TWSS and only purchase a SWI program because they get the teaching in those videos. The SWIs do not fully present all of the material, though. IEW has 9 units and a long list of dress-ups, sentence openers, and decorations. Those are all taught in TWSS, but only some are taught in SWIs because the SWIs are meant to be an introduction to IEW's methods.

I hope that helps, but you will definitely get more information when you attend the display.  

 

 

Can I watch the training all at once?  I was thinking I could just watch an hour every morning for a few weeks while working out. 

I friend of mine bought TWSS and never used it and once said I could borrow it.  I will call her and see if she still has it. It is expensive for a single viewing. 

Though I am not a fan of video school, I think the SWI videos would help normalize any increased writing expectations.  My daughter will see that she is not the only child doing this work.  She also has been stopping to listen to Andrew Pudewa as I watch his YouTube videos so think she will tolerate him as a speaker.  I would prefer the theme books.  They look much more fun.  Hopefully SWI isn't too drawn out.

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1 hour ago, parent said:

 

Can I watch the training all at once?  I was thinking I could just watch an hour every morning for a few weeks while working out. 

I friend of mine bought TWSS and never used it and once said I could borrow it.  I will call her and see if she still has it. It is expensive for a single viewing. 

Though I am not a fan of video school, I think the SWI videos would help normalize any increased writing expectations.  My daughter will see that she is not the only child doing this work.  She also has been stopping to listen to Andrew Pudewa as I watch his YouTube videos so think she will tolerate him as a speaker.  I would prefer the theme books.  They look much more fun.  Hopefully SWI isn't too drawn out.

I went through the whole program with another friend in a summer session of two weeks, meeting every other day. We did all the assignments that the teacher is given to do as well. You could purchase your own notebook for $35 and have that as a resource after you go through the videos. It was nice to refer back to them when I got to specific units that I wanted to review before teaching it. Perhaps your friend would let you keep them for the first year or borrow them again as you need it. 

And SWIs are not videos every day, but they are one video per lesson. There are 15 lessons, with three of them not requiring a video at all. Look at the sample pages here, and you can see that in the lesson plans you complete a lesson, which means watch the video. Then you do the assignment on the following days. 

If you have any more questions, please let me know. I've worked in the booth for five years, and I love the products! 

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4 minutes ago, mom31257 said:

I went through the whole program with another friend in a summer session of two weeks, meeting every other day. We did all the assignments that the teacher is given to do as well. You could purchase your own notebook for $35 and have that as a resource after you go through the videos. It was nice to refer back to them when I got to specific units that I wanted to review before teaching it. Perhaps your friend would let you keep them for the first year or borrow them again as you need it. 

And SWIs are not videos every day, but they are one video per lesson. There are 15 lessons, with three of them not requiring a video at all. Look at the sample pages here, and you can see that in the lesson plans you complete a lesson, which means watch the video. Then you do the assignment on the following days. 

If you have any more questions, please let me know. I've worked in the booth for five years, and I love the products! 

 

Thank you.

I have rejected it for awhile because of video content and teacher training but have decided to try after appreciating Andrew Pudewa's talks.  

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