High School Deluxe Writing Package–A Review

 

IEW Review

I couldn’t be more thrilled to be able to present the Deluxe Combo Teacher/Student Writing Package Level C [FIX-3 & 4] PLUS A Word Write Now and Portable Walls from Institute for Excellence in Writing (IEW) to you. It is a High School – 9-12 grade writing program. This is the Deluxe Combo Package, you’ll see that it truly is a ‘Listen. Speak. Read. Write. Think!’ Program.

What is in the Deluxe Combo?

IEW Review

 

 

  • Teaching Writing Structure and Style, (TWSS) including the Premium Subscription
  • A Student Writing Intensive level C (SWI-C)
  • Two Fix-It! Grammar levels, with hard copy for the teacher book and e-copy for the student Books 3 & 4
  • A Word Write Now
  • Portable Walls A Word Write Now
  • Portable Walls

     

    I choose levels that would bring our family through the High School years. Jon is finishing up his 8th grade year. He was around and listened in on SWIB with his big brother. We have used the techniques when working on narrations – re-writing paragraphs from studies.  Since I have son finishing his third term of College Writing classes, along with Biology, Speech, and Psychology – I am seeing clearly what will be needed in the future for writing skills. My older son would get 100% on all of the content and tests – and then get a lower grade in his forums and papers. He wrote in a conversational style. This past term, I urged him to actually put into use what he learned in SWIB and his grades raised. His final paper, done entirely as Mr. Pudewa would expect, may raise his grade from a B to an A.  With good timing – he just walked through the door and announced that his papers did raise two classes up one grade level. He is 17, finishing his Freshman year at college, as a Junior in High School

    I share this not to brag, but to explain why I love IEW Products. Both of my boys did not see the point of reading before they were 11.  They were very verbal with their classes, but were not writing/reading to a predicted matching grade level.  We used several products to get them to adjust, and spent many hours in tears. Or maybe that was just me.  The first time I went through the Teaching Writing with Structure and Style  – it was amazing – because I had tried to learn how to teach several different ways.  TWSS not only taught me how to facilitate the teaching of Student Writing Intensive – but how to guide my boys through writing for any situation.

    Enough of the praise and gushing – I’ll walk through a typical day/week using this deluxe combo package.

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    We start our day
    with the
    Fix It! Grammar.

     

     

     

     

    Fix It! Grammar is like three books in one. I received books 3 and 4 Hard Bound Teacher’s Guides with downloads available for the Student Book 3 & 4 e-books. I already have Books 1 and 2, Teacher and Student from purchases and prior reviews. The Teacher’s Book has a back section Glossary. Any Grammar question or topic you may like to brush up on is in there. The Student Books have grammar cards with each topic printed on a card stock square.DSCF1727

    The suggestion is to start out at Book 1, The Nose Tree. I thought we could jump into Book 3, but it proved to be too difficult. These photos are from this week in Book 1.

    Each week covers a new topic – or reviews prior concepts. This week is a Learn It week –

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    Look at the top right corner of the page – Comparative Adjectives and LEARN IT. It took me a few weeks to realize that the topic was up there.  I look through the work first to see what needs brushed up. We go through the first day together with me helping. Now that we are on the final days, I sit back and see how much he can do without assistance, but I am always encouraged in the teacher’s text to help. DSCF1732

    The simple summary – we work day by day, one sentence a day – observing a well written text, looking for grammar bits and pieces, marking as directed. We learn a new piece each week. At the end of the 15 minute class time, the student re-writes the sentence, building the story in a notebook.

    This helps the student to really see the text. It is easier for them to work on someone else’s text than to edit their own. The sentences go together, so it is easier/better for the student than random sentences created to fix a grammar point.

    The lessons bring in the other parts of the Deluxe Package – Parts of Sentences, Punctuation, Style (SWI), Other Concepts, and Vocabulary.

    This week we were directed to look at the sentences and see if we could find the strong verbs, quality adjectives and ly adverbs. (From TWSS / SWI C) If you student has not done SWI, this will just seem natural. I’ll explain more about Dress-ups later.

    We started the Book 1 in September with an 8th grader and a 11th grader. The 17 year old could do the week’s assignments in 20-30 minutes. Mostly review. He went through Book 1 before Christmas Break. My 8th grader will finish in 2 more weeks. He will continue on through Book 2 during the summer, and move into Books 3 and 4. We will most likely purchase the Student Texts from the website, rather than print it out. I did send Book 1 to the printer (I email them the PDF) and they printed it out. The student book pages for Book 4 is 134 pages – so the math of 134 x .10 per page or purchasing the student book, spiral, with thick pages, and the card stock helper cards along with mini grammar guide at the end.  I think Book 1 was a good high school level – start – and move as quickly as they like and build. My 8th grader can do all four sentences now in less than 20 minutes without mistake.

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    FYI – We are also reviewing a cursive study – so now he likes to doodle his name . . . .

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    Student Writing Intensive Level C

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    I look through the Teacher’s Guide to review what is up next. I check the Homework to see if we are on track or if I missed something.                                          

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    You can start using Student Writing Intensive, day one, out of the box. They give you:

    Teacher’s Notes and Student Handouts

    Student Seminar Materials, and

    SWI Level C DVD’s which inludes a Structure and Style Overview DVD to help summarize for teachers.

    This complex program, is simple step by step.
    Put the DVD in at the indicated time. Give the Students the Handouts that Mr. Pudewa will use in class. Follow along with the students watching the DVD, then work on any writing assignments.
     
    The Very First Day – your student will be able to look at a detailed complex paragraph or short story. Learn how to pull out 2-3 key words per sentence. Learn how to organize his notes. Then re-write the story, in his own words, rather quickly. I’ve experienced the joy and seen enough posts from teachers spell bound and dumbfounded all at the same time. It is instant. Mr. Pudewa says (My family hears that phrase a lot) that it is easier when the topic is there, than to give a writing assignment to a child – Write Something. Write about what you did this summer. Learning to write – is easier – if we already have a topic, and a constructed paragraph.
     
    This system of pulling out key words has helped in other areas. Writing Speeches. We’ll write an outline of key words on cards, the practice saying the speech aloud. My son got a B in his College Class at 16 presenting his speeches this way. My younger son has troubles narrating texts without just re-saying what the paragraph says. Using this system of keywords – he can get the point of the sentence, of the text, and formulate them into his own words. It helps (as you’ll learn in TWSS) for classroom work. If a student takes notes from a lecture in the key word outline style, then heads to the coffee house and re-tells the lecture to a friend, he will do better on tests and quizes, than the person who listens, then cram/studies the night before the test.
     
     

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    We are in the Story Sequence Chart section.  We take the story and pull out the Who/What/Where When, Conflict / Problem, and Climax Resolution. The notes above were taken during the DVD Lecture.  The notes below are what I have as the Teacher while I follow along.

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    We were given the challenge to either re-write the original story – or use the story sequence chart to create a new story. Kids on the DVD gave suggestions for other story ideas which is the list on the right above.  Jon chose to write a story about a boy who wanted to surf the reef, but he came across so many surfers that kept giving him varied advice, than he never was able to make it out after following all of their suggestions. He’s asked that I not share his story/writing online – but it is over 4 pages long, double spaced, and in it’s third draft right now.
     
    What do we do in a draft? Welcome Dress-ups.  We learn how to take the basic paragraph, and add some umph to it. Take sentences and create visual stories. –LY Adverbs – Who Which – Strong Verbs – Avoiding Said/Thought and other Banned Words – Quality Adjectives – Changing Banned Words – Good, Bad, Big, Nice, Grow – and Adverbial Clauses.
     
    In Lesson 4 we are encouraged to find a thesaurus – Book, Electronic, Word Processor, or Online – to change out some of the words. We received A Word Right Now, and used it.
     
    IEW Review
     
    After 30 weeks of Fix it! and listening to SWIB from big brother – we are familiar with the Dress-ups. One thing I was thankful for is the Portable Walls.   This is a micro unit of all of the IEW concepts. The different writing styles like Outlines, Writing from Story, Writing from Pictures, the basic layouts. Dress Ups, –ly Words, sequences – etc. All the things you’d want to do to your paragraphs in one handy portable three fold wall system. Nate, shown below, was picking out –ly words to fit into his paragraph. We sat down with his final essay for Biology and decided to try to put the dress ups in each paragraph. Strangely? Surprisingly? enough – there were many paragraphs that only lacked one element. Nate has not done the program in over a year, maybe two.  The dressed up essay is the one we mentioned before that bumped up his grades.

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    IEW Review
     
    So that brings us into the Teaching Writing with Structure and Style. I actually took a lunch break – you might need to take one too.  ha.
     

    Teaching Writing: Structure and Style – Seminar and Practicum Workbook and DVD.

    We were given the newly recorded dvd’s and revised workbook!

    Several DVD’s are in a beautiful soft pleather case – along with a 3 ring binder meant for the teacher. This course is good for any person teaching writing. Home / Private / or Public School. Comments are made throughout the question and answer periods that pertain to classes of over 20, and classes with mixed ages.  This course is intended for one person to take. You may purchase additional Seminar and Practicum Workbooks from iew.com/sw2 if you’d like to host a viewing.

    The seminar is divided into 9 units –

    1. Note Making and Outlines
    2. Writing from notes
    3. Retelling Narrative Stories
    4. Summarizing a Reference
    5. Writing from Pictures
    6. Summarizing Multiple References
    7. Inventive Writing
    8. Formal Essay Models, and
    9. Formal Critique

    Also included are

    Writing about Literature and a disc reserved for Stylistic Techniques.

    The units follow along the pattern of Student Writing Intensive.

    If you are completely new to IEW – my advice would be to watch disk one – Unit 1 before starting SWI B. It is not required, but you will be ahead of your student.

    With this premium course comes quite a few downloads from the website. There are Black Line Masters for larger classes. I didn’t seem to need them for one student – but they would be handy if you have a refresher notebook, creating a lapbook, or if you need overheads or such for a larger classroom. These unit seminars help to prepare the teacher for the class time. It answers how to interact with the student, and how to get the most out of the time. It gives the direction for what is intended.

    I have not watched all of the seminar; I will share with you the last lesson I took.

    Stylistic Techniques – since I was helping Nate, I wanted a brush up.  The biggest thing he stresses every time – This is Not a Formula!  These are tools that will help add variety and depth to their writing for years to come.

    We learn that the goal is to have each paragraph have each style technique in it.

    Sidenote – I thought that what I needed to do is make sure Nate knew how to pound out a five paragraph essay, write a concise thesis, opening paragraph and closing paragraph which sandwiched 3 or more interesting paragraphs demonstrating his points while proving his thesis. What he needed – was Style in the paragraphs. Structure – and Style.

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    We used the Portable Walls, and Word Write Now for this lesson.  I also learned about the Writing Tools App – I downloaded the free version to my Android Phone.

    This writing system helps us to explain the elements we naturally use. It is based off of a system by a Dr. Webster – Blended Structure and Style. There are many checklists, and Mr. Pudewa had me cracking up from the mention of the endorphins people get from making a list and checking them off.

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    He takes the teachers through a typical SWI class. We take a paragraph, and pull out 2-3 key words together per sentence. Then we re-write the paragraph, in our own words, without referring to the original document. By doing this process as teachers, we can help to understand what the student is going through. Next we can mark off the boxes on our check list, underlining the elements in our paragraph.

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    TWSS is for all levels of SWI. It also is for any teacher trying to guide a student with any writing. In my opinion, even if you are using vendor xyz as required by a supervisor, you will highly benefit by taking the TWSS course to help you be the best writing teacher.  Mr. Pudewa stresses that these techniques can and should be used for writing in any subject, not just during the SWI times of learning. Carry over these techniques in Science and History writing as well.  There are questions answered for mixed ages, levels of grades, numbers of students as well.

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    One thing that impressed me, from the last workbook to this version created in 2015 is the upgrade in publication. The sheets are super clean, super clear with very concise wording. I love the margin boxes to show extra tips and refer to the blacklines. Although you definitely want to watch the DVD’s this workbook can almost be read as a stand alone. You’ll be able quickly reference it during the SWI classroom time.

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    After the Styles were introduced, we were directed back to Unit 2 – Modeling: Writing from Notes. As shown above, a very small checklist was given, even indicating points for what is given from the student.  There student examples for several age groups. And then there is a practicum for the teacher to try our hand at it.

    Jon and I worked through 8 weeks of the program, through Lesson 4. However, I can see that we didn’t fully embrace doing the style techniques in each paragraph. I can see how that would be – will be key later on. In September, I will start the program over with Jon, moving more slowly. I hadn’t realized until I saw the scope and sequence that we were moving so quickly.

    In the Appendix, Lesson Planning – it suggests to do one unit every two months. We might start on Unit 4 in the fall – Summarizing a Reference. Then, move to Writing from Pictures in January,  Summarizing Multiple References in February, moving through Inventive Writing, Formal Essay Models and Formal Critique by the end of June. We can go through this each year using different source documents. Each unit has 2-3 extra practice sheets as well.

    I have focused on How – How to write notes from outlines or how to write a story. We looked at the dress ups mentioned during the DVD teaching portion, or in the teachers notes. But until I experienced it with my college son, and watched the Style portion of TWSS, I didn’t see how very much the Dress Ups were meant to be in each individual paragraph.

    The writing and reading portion of SWI C is right at where my son, age 14, 8th grade is right now. It is sort of like the math teacher that teaches a new way to solve a problem but only gives them 2, 4, and 5 as numbers to add and multiply. Simple math – focus on the technique. Same with SWI – Challenging yet simple enough text, focus on the techniques.

    It’s hard to choose how to explain the whole program, which is why I shared a glimpse into what we actually did this week. I can say – that this is a Whole Life Learning program. The sooner you take the TWSS course, the less frustrated you will be teaching writing later, and it’s never too late – even with college aged kids, or adults retaking classes.

    With IEW – TWSS – SWI – you will never need to ask the question – are we doing enough? Will we teach this the ‘right’ way? You’ll see the evidence quickly, and you’ll watch them grow with the products – and you’ll know. This is the best.

    IEW Review

     

    We’ve been chatting it up over at the Review Crew – many of us were able to review the Deluxe packages and we all have different writing / review styles. Please take the time to click below and check out how others used it, and see how others described what is in this massive program.  – But remember – it really is only one to two sheets a day – 2-3 times per week. Take it one day at a time!

    IEW Review  

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    About +Angie Wright

    The Transparent Thoughts of an Unschooling Family of Boys - Answering the question - What DO you DO all day?
    This entry was posted in Language, Reviews, Schoolhouse Crew and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

    One Response to High School Deluxe Writing Package–A Review

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