Complete Writer: Writing with Skill
The Writing With Skill series has a target audience of 5th through 9th graders but the author now recognizes that many 5th graders may be too young. There is both an Instructor and a Student book at each level. One of the goals of this series is to transition the student into an independent writer. All instruction is written directly to the student while the instructor is encouraged to become more of a writing mentor. Some activities are to be completed by the student independently with no assistance while others suggest that the student should "check your work with your instructor." The student is expected to keep a Composition Notebook (three-ring binder divided into six sections). The entire course requires virtually no prep for the teacher. The student can pick up the Student Book and be on her way.
The Writing With Skill Student Book could be considered a worktext (there are occasional places where the student is expected to write in the book). Source material for all assignments except the final composition is provided in the student book. There are 36 weeks of assignments - four days per week. Assignments are laid out in steps and expectations for written assignments are often quite specific (i.e., number of words, what should be included, specifics of avoiding plagiarism, etc.)
The Instructor Book is designed to be used by a writing mentor. Its relationship to the Student Book is interesting. All of the instructions to the student are included (in smaller type) as well as the source information and any needed answers. However, when the student is asked to do something with the source material, the Instructor Book provides helps for the mentor (i.e., parent/teacher) to use as she is mentoring the student. For instance, in week 19 the student is given a list of the important events in the life of frontiersman Daniel Boone and asked to lightly mark the events they might want to include in a narrative of his life. Correspondingly, the Instructor's list of those same events has some italicized (those of lesser importance which could be left out); information that can be used to help the student make his selections. Appropriately labeled "How to Help the Student," these sections (part of every lesson) provide direction for the would-be mentor. Through these How to Help sections, the mentor is led into a complete understanding of what is expected of the student in terms of completing the assignment thus making evaluation of the students' work much easier. ~ Janice