Tuesday, May 22, 2012

WriteShop Primary

We've had the opportunity to review WriteShop Primary, a teacher-guided writing curriculum for kindergarten-third grade. (WriteShop also offers curriculum through the high school level.) We received WriteShop Primary level B (geared toward first and second grade) teacher's guide and activity pack. Level B introduces the steps of the writing process through activities, crafts, and picture books. The program accommodates pre-writers as well as beginning and developing writers.

The curriculum is easy to follow, giving you step-by-step instructions. It is very teacher involved both during the lessons and preparing some work beforehand. The lessons last about 15 minutes, so the student does not feel overwhelmed. If an activity page seems too simple for your child, the curriculum  suggests just letting him have fun with it because "the more ways your child can feel successful in the writing environment, the more confidence he will gain as a writer." Also, the backs of many of the worksheets are blank, allowing the student to write freely as he wishes.

By the end of Book B, your child will have learned to plan, create, and publish simple stories with parent help. He will be able to do the following:
  • Use graphic organizers to plan a story.
  • Include a beginning, a middle, and an end.
  • Identify the main character in a story.
  • Learn to add story details.
  • Organize a story to include a problem and its solution.
  • Write a friendly letter.
  • Write a personal narrative.
  • Retell nursery rhymes and fairy tales in their own words.
  • “Publish” stories through projects or crafts.

Jake (6 yrs) really liked this. He loves making up stories with me and his sister. Using the provided activity sheets, I encouraged him to create stories all on his own. He especially like the one-on-one attention he got as I asked questions to keep his creative juices flowing. During one lesson, he said, "This is kinda hard, but fun!" I love that it was challenging, yet enjoyable. That's exactly what learning should be!

Level B is sold as a spiral-bound print version for $29.95 and as a PDF for $26.95. The activity worksheet pack costs $4.95 for the print version and $4.50 for the PDF.  Currently, you can save 15% off any WriteShop Primary and Junior products in the WriteShop store (including e-books) using coupon code CREW15 at checkout. Hurry, this offer is only valid through June 15, 2012.

Also, on their website, you can find help choosing a starting level and view sample lessons

Make sure to read more reviews of WriteShop Primary on the Crew blog here.

* Disclaimer: I was sent a copy of this product in exchange for my honest review. All opinions are my own.
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