The publishers of God's World News and WORLD Magazine have created a new, two-year writing curriculum for middle schoolers called Write with World. We were recently given the opportunity to pilot edition of year one.
About Write with World
From the Website...
They have a very definite purpose for creating this program:
Write with World includes:
I used the year 1, pilot program with my 11 year old. The book was very user friendly and easy to use. There are four units for the entire year. The units are made up of four lessons which contain five learning capsules. The pages themselves are pleasing to look at. You can take a peek at a sample HERE.
The teachers guide contains the entire student text plus additional notes in the margins with suggestions on how to help the student. I found this very handy. I could read her assignments and the suggestions on the same page.
Another nice thing for teachers is that many of the assignments only use "low-stakes" evaluation. "Low-stakes grading requires less critical evaluation and more helpful general evaluation. Instead of awarding a final grade, low-stakes grading offers students minimal grading- at most, a general evaluation (excellent, satisfactory, weak or +/-). Offer students specific and tactful ways for improving their response: explain how they can turn a weak response into a satisfactory one. Use low-stakes grading to encourage your student develop as readers and writers who take time to practice." I like that because it takes a lot of the pressure off of struggling writers and gives me a break from wielding the red pen.
The lessons themselves easy to read and the conversational tone of them is wonderful. There are many examples of writing from published writers, mainly from WORLD Magazine. Basically the student reads the lesson in the book and then is given an assignment in their writers journal. The assignments were clear and well laid out. Rarely did my daughter have to have help in figuring out what to do. Lessons also include a bit of vocabulary and grammar too. I really liked it.
There were only a couple things I had issue with. I am not a natural writer myself so I could've used some more concrete suggestions on a few of the assignments. There is eventually going to be a website that includes more examples, teacher helps, writing prompts, etc. It will even publish the students work! Unfortunately it is not up and running yet, so I wasn't able to take advantage of the extra help.
The other problem was Mackenzie. She didn't really care for it but wasn't really able to articulate why. My best guess is that it wasn't black and white enough for her. She is very logic-minded and likes everything else to be that way too. Many of the journaling assignments require some inferring and reading between the lines which just doesn't gel with her.
While it didn't work well for my daughter's learning style, I still think it's worth taking a look at. It might be something that works for your child. In the meantime, I'm thinking about working through it myself. Who wouldn't like some writing tips from professionals? =o)
Age Range: Middle School
Pricing: $95 for one year, $165 for both years. This includes student and teacher guides as well as access to website. Please note that curriculum will not be available until summer 2012. Order Here.
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Disclaimer: I received a free copy of Write With World for review purposes. All opinions are my own or that of my daughter.