Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Write Shop ~ TOS Review

I love to write and so does my husband. I write poetry, short stories, pretty much whatever comes to mind while my dearest writes things of a more technical nature. This has not been the case with our 2 oldest sons.
While the 16 y/o will at least put pencil to paper and write something when required, the 9 y/o will balk and whine. Not a happy school day when that happens let me tell you. To his credit he has dysgraphia which makes writing painful and difficult for him. To combat this we began with minimal writing for him, focusing on penmanship and how to get the letters to flow. Slowly we have increased his workload to include more writing.

I had hoped that by now he would be writing paragraphs with minimal trouble, but that is not the case. While I was trying to figure out what to do for next year I had the chance to review Write Shop Junior Book D. It is a very hands on writing program that uses short daily activities to teach, model, draft, revise, and produce a final piece focusing on one writing element each lesson.
I received a couple items that are optional but which I felt added greatly to the program and drastically cut down my prep time. The result was a truly ‘open and go’ curriculum. Here is the complete listing of materials I used:
Teacher’s Guide
The teacher’s guide was invaluable as it laid the foundation for why each activity set was being used and walked me through the work for each day.  I had a list for each of the 10 lessons with what materials would be needed, this list is also stated at the beginning of the section you will need the materials for. Each lesson is broken down into 8 activity sets which are scheduled in a couple different ways making it very adaptable.
Activity Pack
The Activity Pack includes the Student Worksheet Pack and the Fold N Go Grammar Pack. The Student worksheets are used to journal, brainstorm and self edit mostly with a few being used for Pre-writing and Publishing activities.
The Fold N Go Grammar is a wonderful way to teach the grammar skills necessary in a very laid back way and great reference tool during the writing process. The student works through the pencil activity and puts the sheets together in a folder, a bookmark is included for quick review.
Time Saver Pack
This is the collection of pre-writing and skill-building activities that you could create on your own with the TG instructions pre-printed on cardstock for your convenience. Each sheet is marked clearly as to the lesson and activity it goes with.
Our Thoughts:
We loved this program. My son still had some trials but with such short work periods each day he found it much more enjoyable. The activities included were fun and he loved the fact that he got to play games to learn. I really enjoyed not having a daily battle to get him to write and the fact that this is a complete writing program that addresses not only writing but grammar as well. I highly recommend this for any student but especially those with difficulties.
CostRequired products:Write Shop Junior Book D Teacher Guide – $39.95
Write Shop Junior Activity Pack, Book D – $39.95

Optional products:
Write Shop Junior Book D Time-Saver Pack – $13.95
Each resource I received was in print/bound format however if the price is a little steep, which I agree it is, they are available in an e-book format. This will increase your prep time, so for me the price difference is not big enough to mess with e-books unless I were to use it with multiple children.
Disclaimer: I received the above products for free in exchange for my honest opinion. This review is based on my families experiences and you may or may not have a similar experience with this product. No additional compensation was received.

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