Entries from October 2011 ↓

WriteShop Junior Book D winner

?

Thanks to everyone who entered to win a complete WriteShop Junior Book D curriculum package!

The winner is . . .

Comment #9: Jennifer!

Congratulations, Jennifer! You are the first official owner of WriteShop Junior Book D. How sweet is that? Check your email for info about claiming your prize.

For those who didn’t win, make sure you join our mailing list for WriteShop News, as that is the ONLY way you can get a FREE Time-Saver Pack ($13.95 value) with your purchase of Book D. 

Subscribe to WriteShop News

Sign up right away! The preorder email is going out on Saturday, October 29.

~Kim

Writing activity centers: Part 3

Writing activity centers are a great way to reinforce the formal composition skills you’re teaching in your curriculum. They’ll give your kids more practice writing in a fun, relaxed setting. Today’s post, the third in our series, offers more great ideas for inspiring your young writers.

rainforest

Rain Forest Review

Collect a basket of items related to the world’s rain forests: nonfiction books, magazines, posters, and advocacy materials. Have the children read and browse through these materials, learning more about the importance of rainforests. Ask each child to write a simple paragraph or two about their discoveries, complete with illustrations, and share their knowledge with family members.

It’s a Wonderful Life!

Provide small construction paper booklets. On each page, have younger children draw pictures of the very special events in their lives. Ask them to write a few sentences to accompany each picture.

Extra! Extra! Read All About It!

Fill a basket or box with recent local and national newspapers. Read through a number of articles together for ideas on the content and format of news stories. Provide newsprint, colored pencils, and colored paper. With your children, create a family newspaper. Mail it to Grandma!

Vocabulary Web Contests

StrawberryIn the middle of a large sheet of paper, write a single noun, accompanied by an illustration. On the paper, each child takes turns writing down words that describe or are associated with the noun. For example, the word in the middle might be strawberry. Children would add words to the poster like tasty, red, squishy, snack, fruit, sweet, soft, or ice cream. The more words, the better!

Reader’s Theater

Provide a number of reader’s theater scripts for your children to read aloud, practicing oral expression and fluency. Choose a favorite script and continue the further adventures of the characters, writing the next act. For free scripts and ideas, start here:

Literary Journals

Encourage regular independent reading of novels and small chapter books. set aside a day each week to write and draw in special journals about the books your kids have chosen for “fun” reading.

Sell the Sequel!

Plan, draft, and write a sequel to a favorite novel. Which characters will appear in the sequel? What’s the new plot?

Related Posts: Writing Activity Centers: Part 1, Writing Activity Centers, Part 2

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Janet Wagner is a regular contributor to In Our Write Minds. For over two decades, Janet was an elementary and middle school teacher in two Christian academies, a public district school, and a public charter school. She also had the honor of helping to homeschool her two nieces. Janet and her husband Dean live on the family farm in the Piedmont region of north central North Carolina. Currently, she enjoys a flexible life of homemaking, volunteering, reading, writing, tutoring students and training dogs, and learning how to build websites. You can view her web work-in-progress at www.creative-writing-ideas-and-activities.com.

WriteShop Junior Book D giveaway!

The long, long, L-O-N-G wait is almost over. Yes! WriteShop Junior Book D is at the printer, and we’ll begin taking preorders in just a few days. But before that happens, we want to do a fun giveaway and give you a chance to share the excitement.

A Peek at WriteShop Junior

Author Nancy I. Sanders has done it again! After creating the amazing WriteShop Primary series, Nancy has now written WriteShop Junior for upper-elementary students.

First in the series, Book D eases your 3rd-5th graders into writing. It exposes children to genre, fiction and nonfiction writing, and journal writing, and introduces exciting new brainstorming and editing tools that truly motivate young writers!

“To say that my sons were reluctant writers would be an understatement… [but] they progressed from ‘once upon a time, the end,’ to completing stories with a beginning, middle, and end.” –Rolayne, IN

“Book D was so easy to teach, I couldn’t possibly fail! The lessons were concise and fun, which made my reluctant writer start to come out of his shell. His writing skills have come a long way—and so have mine.” –Kelley, SD

Start with Book D if your child has not yet grasped punctuation or grammar skills and still needs help planning, organizing, and adding details to a story. (More reluctant 3rd graders should probably start with WriteShop Primary Book C.)

WriteShop Junior Components

1. Book D Teacher’s Guide (Required)

Easy-to-use lesson plans help you lead and guide your kiddos through the steps of the writing process.

2. Book D Activity Pack (Required)

This clever and convenient 2-pack* contains both the Student Worksheet Pack and the Level 1 Fold-N-Go™ Grammar Pack.

*Student Worksheet Pack: Activity pages your child will need to complete portions of each lesson. These worksheets introduce your child to writing skills such as brainstorming and self-editing.

“My son is enjoying the process, having fun, and looking forward to doing the activities each day. That’s a giant step for him!” – Teresa, WA

*Fold-N-Go™ Grammar Pack: Fun reference tools with simple exercises that introduce or review grammar rules and essential writing skills. Printed on brightly colored paper, pages are assembled inside a file folder to form 10 large flipbooks, one for each lesson in each WriteShop Junior book.

“Fold-N-Gos have been a wonderful opportunity to review and learn grammar concepts. If that weren’t enough, they’re fun and something my daughter looks forward to. I love that!” –Heidi, NY

3. Time-Saver Pack (Optional)

For parents and teachers who appreciate shortcuts, the Time-Saver Pack includes a number of sturdy, ready-made props for activities featured throughout Book D, such as game cards and spinners. If you prefer to make your own, you’ll find instructions for each activity in the Teacher’s Guide.

“Thank you so much for designing the cards and spinners. The less time I have to spend in prep, the more time we have for learning!” –Sandy, Texas

Enter the Giveaway!

We want to give one lucky winner a complete WriteShop Junior Book D curriculum package. Simply leave a comment below telling why you (or your children!) need Book D.

Details

  • The giveaway will be open until midnight EST Thursday October 27, 2011. Winner will be announced Friday October 28.
  • Share the love! You can get up to 3 extra entries by posting on Facebook, blogging, or tweeting a link to the giveaway. You must leave a separate comment for EACH entry (4 entries max per person). Winner will be chosen at random using random.org.
  • This giveaway is offered to US & Canada residents only.
  • This promotion is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with, Facebook.
  • IMPORTANT: In order to enter the drawing, you must leave a comment on THIS post. To leave a comment, scroll to the bottom of the post. (If you are reading this via RSS, you will need to visit the actual blog to post a comment.)

Pre-order Book D and Get a FREE Gift!

Later this week, we will send a newsletter announcing pre-orders for Book D. WriteShop News subscribers who pre-order through the link in the email will receive a valuable BONUS item: the Book D Time-Saver Pack ($13.95 value)! Not a subscriber yet? Sign up for our newsletter here.

Learn more about Book D

Writing activity centers: Part 2

Writing activity centers are a great way to reinforce the formal composition skills you’re teaching in your curriculum. They’ll give your kids more practice writing in a fun, relaxed setting. Here’s the second post in our four-part series.

with her own two hands

Clay Creatures

Mold and sculpt figurines from modeling clay or dough. When they’re finished, write five words or phrases describing the figures.

Family Poetry Jam

Place books of poetry in a basket for examples and inspiration. Supply paper, pencils, and colored markers for your children to write poems about family members, topics of study, or any subject they wish. Use other poems as a guide or invent new formats. When finished, dim the lights, spread out comfortable pillows on the floor, and host a poetry reading. Serve milk and cookies!

[Kim says: Looking for a great poetry resource? The Random House Book of Poetry for Children has been our family’s favorite. Compiled by Jack Prelutsky, this anthology is a delightful collection of both classic and contemporary poems children love. My own well loved copy has literally fallen apart!]

The Further Adventures of…

Collect a set of picture books with interesting, appealing characters. Read a book aloud, and then continue the story on paper, with additional adventures of a favorite character. Create imaginary illustrations and colorful covers for these new tales.

Order, Order, Please!

Provide envelopes of pre-written sentence strips, each envelope containing the lines of a familiar poem. Have the kids work together to read the sentences and figure out the correct sequence of each poem. Provide copies of the poems for the kids to check their efforts.

Pasta Punctuation

Each child writes sentences on construction paper. Using a variety of pasta shapes such as elbow macaroni, orzo, and linguini, have the kids glue on the “punctuation” where necessary. The children should incorporate all the punctuation marks they’ve been taught to this point: periods, question marks, commas, quotation marks, exclamation marks, and/or apostrophes.

How Do You Do It?

Ask your children to think of experiences they’ve had in which they’ve learned to do something all by themselves. Perhaps it was the first time they rode a bike without training wheels, learned to tie their shoes, or did the laundry on their own. Ask them to write a set of directions teaching someone else how to do this specific action. Illustrate the directions to provide more details. Then, have each child “teach” another child using his or her instructional page.

“I’m Thinking of…”

Each child writes a very specific description of an object nearby, whether in the living room, kitchen, etc., without actually naming the object itself. When finished, read the descriptions aloud and see who can identify the items described.

Related Post: Writing Activity Centers: Part 1, Writing Activity Centers: Part 3

. . . . .

Janet Wagner is a regular contributor to In Our Write Minds. For over two decades, Janet was an elementary and middle school teacher in two Christian academies, a public district school, and a public charter school. She also had the honor of helping to homeschool her two nieces. Janet and her husband Dean live on the family farm in the Piedmont region of north central North Carolina. Currently, she enjoys a flexible life of homemaking, volunteering, reading, writing, tutoring students and training dogs, and learning how to build websites. You can view her web work-in-progress at www.creative-writing-ideas-and-activities.com.

Literacy fail

Apparently, someone at the Associated Press didn’t get the message?

. . . . .

Stop by every 1st, 3rd, and 5th Wednesday for a peek into the world of spelling, punctuation, or grammar gone wrong! (Well, most of those Wednesdays. I’ve been quite absent from the blog for a while, in case you hadn’t noticed! ~Kim)

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