It’s back to school time! With this new school year, you may find yourself with questions on how to use the tools provided to you when you chose WriteShop and PlayWith Education as your writing curriculum. This series will help explain how to use each of these tools so you can teach your child effectively.

The WritesShop Teacher’s Manual

Naturally, as a teacher to your child, you’ll be using the WriteShop Teacher’s Manual to grade Skill Builder exercises because the answer key is right at your fingertips. However, the TM also includes several ideas to both engage reluctant learners and help to clarify any confusing concepts that creep up in the lessons.

In the video lessons, we have already covered everything that’s in the Lesson Plan section, but we’ve made modifications to them for two important reasons:

  1. To adapt the lessons for computer presentation vs. an in-person demonstration.
  2. To leave the original options for you to use if your students need to see a topic from a different viewpoint.

We recommend that you flip through the Teacher’s Manual before each lesson to see if you find anything that you think needs to be clarified for them or if it’s an activity that they would enjoy.

You know your student best, so you know if an exercise is one that they would appreciate or not. For example, Lesson 4 includes a pre-writing activity on TM page 32 in which they play a game to think of as many words as possible on a topic you provide. If your kids would benefit from this, then go ahead and do it. If you feel they would be bored, it’s easy for your to skip it.

We highly recommend Lesson 8’s Practice Paragraph activity on page 41 with a group. There’s usually at least one person who is not careful with his description and his final sandwich can be hilarious.

You’ll also use the Teacher’s Manual section “Addressing Common Errors Lesson by Lesson” for additional ideas if they don’t seem to be fully understanding the key concepts. This gives you useful examples to guide your students on how to fix issues that you see crop up in their papers. You may also find this useful to have discussion while they are brainstorming or working on Skill Builders or Sloppy Copies.

Bottom line: You don’t have to teach out of the TM, because we’ve done the heavy lifting for you. However, you should keep an eye on it just in case your needs some extra instruction.

Also, you’ll probably want to watch as many of the videos with your students as possible. That will ensure that when you grade their papers, you emphasize the same issues we cover in the videos, including grammar and usage tips pertinent to each lesson.

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