The Crafty Classroom has brought us a great new product called How to Write a Paragraph. This is a 12 week program set up to be used 4 days a week. It is designed for grades k-2. It is a downloadable unit that cost around $9.00 and comes in PDF format. My 3rd grade reluctant writer is the one that used this program. Most of the time I get simple one sentence answers from her. She is easily overwhelmed when it comes to writing assignments. She cant figure out how to put everything she knows together into something that makes since.
From the teachers end of this program it is crazy simple. Their is NO-Prep work to do. Simply download print and go. The hole file is roughly 78 pages, so be sure to have some printer ink ready. Most of the download is in black and white but we did find some color pages. The colored pages are the ones that I would put up on our wall to remind her of the steps she needs to take when writing a paragraph. I had to recruit my sister to print these since I only have a black and white printer. For now these reminder pages are hung on our wall but once we complete the unit I will put them in her writing binder so she can use them as a reference any time she forgets. At the beginning of each week you will find a weekly outline. I found the outline to be similar to a lesson plan. It has everything from a run down of what is going to be covered to teaching tips, reminders and any materials that you may need to complete the lessons that your student will be doing that week.
How to Write a Paragraph is simple straight forward and was easy for her to understand. Each page was simple enough for her to follow and broke things down in a step by step format. She does well with programs that use a step by step method. She liked that the instructions were on the work pages. It includes things like reminders, goals and check list right there where she could see them as she worked. The pages are designed to be written on. We were both happy to see the smaller lines. They are bigger than college ruled but not huge like the lines you would find on most kindergarten pages. She does not write well on large lines still ask if their was a smaller line option. She seemed to enjoy the writing assignment and had very few melt downs over the assignments, which surprised me. Each daily assignment or lesson took her between 15 and 20 minutes to complete.
Over the course of the 6+ weeks that we have been working with How to Write a Paragraph I have seen some improvement in her ability to put more than one or two sentences together. Today when she was ask to write an answer down for science she put together a decent sized answer with what, where, and why she gave the answer that she did. She is still referring to the reminder pages that we have on the wall quite a bit but she is using them when she writes for other subjects. I think with time she rely on these reminder pages less and less. I feel that we have taken a step in the right direction to getting her on the road to being a good writer. I cant wait to see how she is doing when we finish up the last few weeks of How to Write a Paragraph.
Other Reviewers tried out different products from The Crafty Classroom and I would love to see you come on over and take a look.
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