Navigating the WriteShop Course Schedule
- Overview of the Daily Routine
- Differences Between our Videos and the Teacher Manual
- The Flexibility of the Program
- PlayWith Words!
|Day One||Day Two||Day Three||Day Four||Day Five|
|Skill Builder Video, read that section in Student Manual, and Day One of Skill Builder Worksheet||Day Two and Day Three of Skill Builder Worksheet||Brainstorming Video, read Student Manual, and Brainstorming Worksheet||Sloppy Copy Video, read Student Manual, and Write Sloppy Copy||Day Off|
|Day Six||Day Seven||Day Eight||Day Nine||Day Ten|
|First Revision Video and Write First Revision||Teacher’s Day for Editing||Final Draft Video (Lessons 1-3 only) and Write Final Draft||Teacher’s Day for Editing||Write Second Final Draft (if necessary)|
Overview of the Daily Routine
PlayWith Education has taken the time to coordinate with the schedule in the WriteShop Teacher's Manual (TM). The schedule can be found on on page 18 of the Teacher's Manual under Lesson Plan Overview: Two- or Three-Year Track.
The lesson plans in your TM act as your organizational guide. They tell you what to teach next. The TM is always your main resource. In a supporting role, PlayWith Education’s website is a helpful director. As students finish one segment, the next one will unlock. Therefore, they will know what to do next by which module is available to view.
Students watch the film and then do that day's work. As the schedule above shows, Day Two is the only one that does not start with a video, but kids will know what to do because they finish the Skill Builder worksheet that they started the day before.
The pages to read in the Student Manual are mentioned in the day’s movie. The bottom line is that they will read each page in each lesson. As teens get used to the routine, they become expert at coordinating the book with the assignments
Differences Between the Videos and the Teacher's Manual
We have broken the teaching segments into short easily-digestible pieces over the course of two weeks instead of presenting it all on Day One (as the TM does). Therefore, the website’s schedule deviates from the chart on Page 18 of the TM in two ways:
1. Day One: Kids watch the Skill Builder video and do the first Skill Builder exercise for “Day One.” The Skill Builder worksheets are an absolute requirement as this course builds on the ideas practiced there.
When you look at the Skill Builder worksheet, you see that it is broken into three sections: “Day One,” “Day Two,” and “Day Three.”
We flex the days for the Skill Builders a little differently than the Teacher's Manual does. Kids complete the worksheet over the course of two days (today and tomorrow). As you will see, the three projects are usually comfortably completed in this time frame.
The Pre-Writing Activities mentioned in the TM are presented later, in the second segment of the lesson (usually the Brainstorming video). That’s the day they actually begin writing. So, we start with a presentation that captures their interest while demonstrating the core concept with real-life examples.
2. Day Two: Scholars complete the two remaining Skill Builders for “Day Two” and “Day Three.” The Skill Builder worksheets are an absolute requirement as this course builds on the ideas practiced there.
The TM lists this as the day to work on the practice paragraph. To accomplish that goal, we present students with a sample paper and demonstrate by example how to edit it to achieve the lesson’s objectives (just as co-op teachers do when they model a practice paragraph with a group). Consequently, our own schedule for Day Two doesn't require that kids do a separate practice paragraph, but they can if you’d like to. It’s up to you.
Some parents choose to do one in addition to our demonstration, while others do not. As the WriteShop website says, “If your student quickly gets the hang of each writing assignment and appears to follow directions well, you might only choose to write a practice paragraph now and then, perhaps when a new kind of writing is introduced. On the other hand, if she has trouble staying on track, needs more guidance, or has trouble grasping lesson objectives, you’ll probably want to write practice paragraphs more often.”
If you feel that your own student would benefit from doing a practice paragraph, Day Three would be the day to do it, after he or she has watched the Brainstorming video. Look at page 16 of the TM for step-by-step instructions.
Flexibility of the Program
Please note that the schedule is not set in stone; some lessons deviate from it. Moreover, there will be many days when your own scholars will need to flex due to illness or holidays or life in general. Feel free to take time when you need to!
In addition, an extra week has been added to Lesson 1 because it covers so much territory. The Skill Builders will be the whole assignment that first week. Teens will start with the Brainstorming movie the following Monday.
Finally, there is one other time where we added an extra video because the concept required extra explanation. By the time kids get to that, they’re so used to opening the next video and carrying on that they don’t even notice that it’s an addition.
Most importantly, have fun with your students while you are brainstorming, writing practice paragraphs, creating Sloppy Copies, finding a better word for a dull idea, and even correcting errors on the First Revision. Joke around. Laugh together. Have a good time so you teach the attitude that composition can be fun, not drudgery.