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Most of you know me by now. And you know that writing, along with parenting, is a true love of mine. I began writing curriculum for a home school publishing company out of Chicago twenty years ago—then we opened our own small press publishing company fifteen years ago. And, in total, I have written over 100 books and 50,000 pages. (It didn’t seem like that many since I just wrote a little every day of my life!)
A small portion of that has been our parenting book, parenting seminar, blog posts, etc. However, most of that has been language arts, writing, reading, spelling, speech, debate, etc., materials. (I’ll post links to the ones at our store in the P.S. below!)
We get asked a lot lately about how many of our products are now downloadable. Turns out that making 300 to 1600 page books into individual downloadable lessons and booklets takes a whole lot more time and effort than I envisioned! 😉
But we are doing it….little by little! This post will give you a little glimpse into what we have done so far and what our plans for the future are!
Fourteen down, one more to go! Then we will have all 15 of our Write On downloadable books up for sale at the store, Teachers Pay Teachers, and Amazon! This post is to let you know about one of my faves—the Level IV book of the Peter Pan series. Take a look at the extensive sample pages for this book here at our store, and read on to find out why your kids will love our Write On books—and especially why your upper level students will love Peter Pan IV!
Here is what you need to know about the entire series of fifteen books:
Our newest fourth grade composition book is up! Well, it’s not really new…it’s just one of the last two books of the Meaningful Composition series to be revised. And I am so happy with it!
I am happy for all of the regular reasons: (1) It is completely directed—no guess work, no vague ideas of what a student should do, no writing idea book or prompt book; (2) It follows the same layout—each project is one or two weeks long; (3) It teaches the skills needed to complete each project (when an assignment has the student add a quote, it has extensively quote lessons to teach them HOW to add quotes!); (4) It has the outlining spaces, brainstorming boxes, etc., all within it; (5) Has samples galore; and much more.
Sentence openers. Non-essential information. Dress up openers. Introductory material. Or my personal definition: “A word or group of words that is put at the beginning of a REAL (complete sentence) to add more detail, different sentence rhythm, interest, and variety.”
Regardless of what you call them, they can be tricky to teach for sure. And the biggest obstacle I have seen to teaching them is the simple problem of students not knowing whether a sentence is a real sentence to begin with. Students will never get a good handle on sentence openers (also called introductory material or non-essential information at the beginning of a sentence) UNTIL they have a handle on what a sentence contains.
Once I talked on the Language Lady Facebook page about how many times I had said “A paragraph is a unit of thought” in three days of teaching. (Too many to count!) And promised a post about designing paragraphs, paragraph breaks, and general paragraph help. Here you go!
Dividing paragraphs is one of the most challenging aspects of writing for young writers and adults alike (along with many other challenging aspects!). That is why when people who do not write a lot write a full page with no paragraph breaks. That is also why middle school writers start writing and have no idea when to indent–so they randomly pick a spot (“Hmmm….looks like I’ve written enough to change paragraphs now…”) and indent.
Zac and Cinderella do a great job explaining the RISE and RAISE problems in today’s puzzle. But RISE and RAISE cannot be taught alone—so Zac has prepared two more Punctuation Puzzles scheduled to follow this one about those similar confusing word pairs—Set/Sit and Lay/Lie.
I will leave you without a couple of teaching tips—and I will drip more teaching tips in the next two weeks of confusing word puzzles. There are some definite ways, phrasing, and order to help with these difficult concepts, and our students deserve the very easiest way to learn complex topics such as these:
1. They use my Directed Writing Approach!
In my Directed Writing Approach, every detail of every project is laid out for your student. None of my writing projects are “writing ideas” or “writing prompts.” Every writing assignment contains step-by-step instructions with much hand-holding along the way. The student is “directed” in how to write and what to write at all times—from brainstorming to research to outlining to rough draft and finally to revising.
Welcome, English Teachers!
I won’t tell you how many weeks it is til school starts for our “Half-Day Homeschool” or our “Cottage Classes, but we all know how fast summer goes by! I hope you are enjoying your summer break–and getting some good school planning in here and there. To help with the latter, I would like to gift you my Think Fast Grammar Quiz book with detailed answer keys!
By now, most of our local Character Ink friends have heard the news : We are starting a half-day homeschool in our home in six weeks (mid August 2018!). If you haven’t heard, you can see our original announcement here.)
So far, it has been such a joy to see the “exact clients” that we had in mind for our endeavor! They say the exact words that we felt would describe someone who wants this special service: