Monday, May 21, 2012

Write Shop Junior

I think most homeschooling moms would agree that writing is one of the hardest subjects to teach.  I was very excited when I found out I was going to have the opportunity to review Write Shop Junior Book D. Write Shop is an incremental writing program with resources for grades K-high school.  I received the Write Shop Junior Book D Teacher's Guide,  Activity Pack and the Time Saver pack all in pdf format.

Book D is recommended for 3rd, 4th, or reluctant 5th graders. Students learn to write and publish fiction, nonfiction, and poetry using a variety of pre-writing games, graphic organizers, and self-editing tools. The accompanying Activity Pack is required. The Time Saver pack is not required but is very helpful.


The Teacher's Guide walks you step by step through everything you have to do.  One thing I really like about the Teacher Guide is how detailed it is, including scripted conversations you can have with your child to get their creativity flowing. This is a problem for us. We just aren't all that creative. So these scripted conversations were a big help to me.

The activities are often hands-on and not just sitting with a blank piece of paper in front of you.  Even the brainstorming sheets are fun and age appropriate.

brainstorming worksheets

I have to admit this was quite overwhelming at first.  I ended up printing out quite a bit of it to get a handle on it.  Once I knew where everything was it was pretty easy to implement. I've shown a picture below of what the pdf Teacher's Guide looks like on the screen. It is not a typical one document pdf.  Each chapter is separate and you view and download them individually.

This is how you view the book.  Each chapter is a separate document.  

It is only $5 more for a printed version of the Teacher's Guide. My personal opinion is that it would be well worth it to have this in a book format rather than the pdf format.  If you have more than one student you would benefit from having the pdf version of the Activity Guide and the Time Saver Pack but with one student, I think in the long run you will save yourself time, money and aggravation by just spending the little bit extra and having all of that work already done for you.

A few sample worksheets

Write Shop Junior Book D has 10 lessons.  Each lesson takes 2 to 3 weeks to complete depending upon which schedule you choose.  Both schedules are included in your Teacher's Guide.


The required student activity pack is two books in one.  It includes 60 activity pages your child will use to complete portions of each lesson. Games, word banks, worksheets, and graphic organizers introduce children to lifelong writing skills such as brainstorming and self-editing. Part one of the activity pack includes the worksheets, part two contains the Fold-N-Go Grammar Pack (another 63 pages). An answer key is also provided. The activity packs are available in a tear off pad or as a pdf.  You can reproduce as many as you need for your family if you own the pdf.  The tear off pads are NOT reproducible.

Student Worksheet Pack includes
  • Pre-writing Activities
  • Skill Builders
  • Journal Prompt Pages
  • Brainstorming Worksheets
  • Reading Log Forms
  • Self-editing Checklists
  • Writing Skills Evaluation Charts

Your child will make the following guides using the Level 1 Fold-N-Go Grammar Pack:

  • Lesson 1: Punctuation Marks
  • Lesson 2: Self-editing
  • Lesson 3: Nouns
  • Lesson 4: Pronouns
  • Lesson 5: Verbs
  • Lesson 6: Adjectives
  • Lesson 7: Adverbs
  • Lesson 8: Prepositions
  • Lesson 9: Capitalization
  • Lesson10: References
The Fold-N-Go Grammar pack is my favorite part of this program.  Each Fold-N-Go has 6 pages which I printed on colorful paper. Then I trimmed each page to the appropriate size, stapled the pages together and used glue stick to affix them to a colorful file folder.  The Fold-N-Go has a two fold purpose (no pun intended).  First, they are worksheets where the student learns about a new subject such as punctuation marks or self-editing and second, once completed correctly they can be used as a reference. I highly recommend these! Within this set you also get 20 bookmarks for quick review.  It would be a good idea to laminate these and keep them in a place where your student can find them easily.

the self-editing checklist
Teaching children to self-edit their work is key in WriteShop Junior.  I love this part of the program.  There are some fun ideas included for motivating your child to edit their work.

The Incredible Shrinking Machine activity

 Here is an activity we did to help learn how to narrow down a topic.  Emma made an incredible shrinking machine and we used various sized paper with post it notes to demonstrate how to narrow down a broad topic.  This is something I never would have thought of on my own.

The Time Saver activity pack is the last component of WriteShop Junior Book D.  It includes 20 pages of game spinners, cards and other props that you could make yourself if you wanted to but would be so much easier to just print or tear off.

Emma really enjoyed using this and actually lists it among her favorite things we did this year.  We plan to continue on with this when we start school again in the fall.

Download a free sample or view placement information.

You can purchase Write Shop Junior Teacher's Guide for $39.95 (print) or $34.95 (pdf), the Activity Pack is $39.95 (print) or $34.95(pdf) and the Time Saver Pack is $13.95 for print or pdf.  Also available separately is the Level One Fold-N-Go Grammar for $19.95 (print) or $11.95 (pdf). Visit Write Shop for writing programs for all ages or check out their Story Builder Writing Prompts.

Kim Kautzer, author of WriteShop, has been kind enough to offer 15% off any WriteShop Primary and Junior products in the WriteShop store (including e-books) using coupon code CREW15 at checkout. Offer valid through June 15, 2012.

See what others are saying about Write Shop elementary writing programs on the TOS crew blog.

disclaimer: I received  a free copy Write Shop Junior pdf teacher guide, activity pack and time saver pack  in exchange for an honest review.

No comments:

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...