Our Family

Our Family

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Schoolhouse Review Crew: Create Better Writers


CreateBetterWriters.com  offers materials that will help your students in grades K-12 become outstanding writers.  Their books and e books will show you how to teach your students to write in a way that makes it easy for both you and your students to understand.  They also offer workshops and free writing tips and tricks on their website.  As a member of the Schoolhouse Review Crew, I received three of their e books to use and review.

Paragraph writing is an essential skill that students must have mastery of.  With the How to Write a Paragraph e book written for grades 3 and up, students will learn to organize their thoughts and write a well constructed paragraph.  After learning this system students will be able to write anything from stories to essays to research reports.  Pacing will depend on the age and writing ability of the student.  This 23 page e book also includes printable Topic Sentence and Paragraph  Assessment worksheets.  How to Write a Paragraph is $7.99.  To order click here.

The ability to write well is dependent on being able to write a paragraph.  This e book breaks paragraph writing into simple easy to follow steps that students (and teachers) will be able to understand.  The e book is written towards a classroom teacher and some of the suggested activities may not apply to your homeschool, but it is can easily be used in a classroom or homeschool.

How to Teach the 5 Paragraph Essay will show you how to teach the 5 paragraph essay using one standard format.  Students will be able to take what they have learned and adapt it to any format of writing. The e book includes:

  1. List of Steps-to follow when teaching the five paragraph essay.
  2. Sample Pacing Chart-pacing will vary based on grade and ability but the pacing chart will serve as a model to use as a starting point.
  3. Detailed Lesson Plan- each step explained in greater detail.
  4. Plan for Total Mastery- plan will show you what to do when you have students who have mastered the skill and students who still need practice.
  5. Bells and Whistles- teach your students to make more interesting introductions, classy conclusions, and terrific transitions.
  6. The Next Level-Show your students how to take what they have learned and adapt it to any form of writing or timed essays on tests.
This 62 page e book can be purchased here for $17.95.  It is also available as a soft cover book here for $19.95.

How to Teach the 5 Paragraph Essay goes beyond writing the paragraph and turns the skill into a 3, 5, or more paragraph essay.  It also teaches students how to make their writing more interesting and use the basic skills to fit any style of writing they need.  While again it is written towards a classrom teacher it is very adaptable to a homeschool environment.  I found the section on adding bells and whistles to your writing to make it more interesting and the appendices on essay topics, samples, and printable assessments especially helpful.

The Homeschool Writing Action Plan takes all the guessing out of writing instruction.  It will show you how to begin and advance through your child's writing career starting anywhere from grade 3 to high school. The program was designed to solve three problems for the homeschool parent:
  1. To eliminate the need to spend a lot of money on writing curriculum
  2. To teach students in different grades with one writing curriculum
  3. To provide a blueprint for successful writing so teaching it is not a difficult task
Material in the book is presented in three parts:

  • Part I- The Writing Action Plan Summary- Summary of the core steps in the writing action plan
  • Part II- Pacing Guide-will help you determine how much time to spend on each activity depending on grade and ability
  • Part III- The Road Map- shows you how to implement each step and gives strategies for reinforcement.  Part III points out key aspects of each section and provides sample worksheets and lesson plans for teaching them. 
The book acts as a road map and you will need to use their writing curriculum including How to Teach the 5 Paragraph Essay, The Complete Writing Program, and Writing Tricks Plus or one you have already to go along with it.  You can purchase as an e book here for $15.95 or as softcover here for $19.95.  They also offer several different homeschool bundles of their products here.

I think that teaching writing can be very difficult especially if you are trying to teach several childen at different levels.  The Homeschool Action Plan makes a great guideline for teaching children of different ages anywhere from 3rd grade and up in a logical way to become better writers.  I found the section on writing effective sentences to be a wonderful addition to our writing.  Although it is possible to use your own language arts program with the Homeschool Action Plan, it is written using their products in mind and you may get the full benefit of the program by purchasing the suggested materials. 

To see what other crew mates had to say click here.

Disclaimer: As a member of the Schoolhouse Review Crew, I received 3 complimentary e books from CreateBetterWriters.com for the purpose of writing a fair and honest review.  I received no other compensation.

Post a Comment