General Writing Instruction for The Write Foundation
The Write Foundation teaches students to become carefully planned, organized writers, enabling them to effectively communicate, which prepares them for future classes and life.
TWF has four levels with 30 lessons in each level for a total of 120 lessons. Each level can stand alone.
All levels of The Write Foundation can easily be used in your home with 1 to 3 students on a daily basis. The lessons can also be used in a co-op or classroom setting with multiple students taught once or twice a week and student independent work completed at home the other days.
Some curricula expect students to be able to grasp advanced levels of organization while they are still struggling to attempt basic foundational concepts. With TWF students are able to focus on bite size chunks so they can get a handle on basic information before taking and possibly choking on another bite.
Understanding general teaching principles will make teaching The Write Foundation more effective. TWF was originally written for students who struggled with and hated writing, but hundreds of students who enjoy writing have also profited. Students learn the foundation for effective communication by organizing their work.
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“Repetition is the price of knowledge.” (Keith Lamb)
Highlighting work may look pointless and fluffy to some, especially older students, but highlighting is a key tool used to teach organization skills. One mom said “Highlighting has helped to cement the main concepts into their framework of thinking about writing.”
Highlighting visually connects elements.
Another mom said “…TWF…used highlighting to break down the different parts of a paragraph… (which) made these ideas VERY concrete and clear for my son. Seriously, it was like a light bulb went off! ‘Oh so that’s what you mean when you say the sentence has to support the topic!’…by highlighting the sentences he really began to think about whether or not a sentence made sense in the paragraph!”
Color coding is used to teach paragraph structure and grammar. When students use highlighting to organize their writing they understand how and begin to understand why. It just makes sense to them.
Type final copies. Students should type all final copies of their independent work, except specified poetry, because typing their own work is a major piece in the writing puzzle.
- Learning: At first a teacher may type while a student composes. This is fine for a short time. But students should be encouraged to take on the job of typing their own work as soon as possible.
- If students do not know how to type now is the time to learn. When students type their own work they learn how to make a presentation which is not only easier for the student to correct, and easier to grade.
- Learning how to present a paper in an organized orderly fashion not only prepares them for higher level advanced writing but typing is a necessary life skill.
- Confidence rises and soars as students learn they can produce quality work.
- At Home: Make grading the final part of each lesson. The writing lesson is complete when grading is complete. When students receive immediate, or as close to immediate as possible feedback, their work improves faster.
- Co-op: Divide work among several participating moms. One mom could teach the lesson and while the lesson is taught, another mom grades the poetry and more moms grade the compositions.
Specific grading instructions/suggestions are in the Additional Resources for compositions and poetry. The student Checklists are provided with suggested points off per item. Adjust points to fit your situation as needed.
Many people are always looking for the Shortcut.
- This is the shortcut! What may seem like a lot of work now is creating habits that students will use as the topics become more challenging and advanced. Students are developing skills and that takes time. To learn, you have to master the basics first.
- Do not skip steps. Each lesson builds on the previous lessons, by adding knowledge and skills gradually. Every step created has a purpose in mind, so to skip a part sells students short. Every step is necessary even when the steps seem repetitious.
- It is important to take time to build a solid foundation for writing. You are developing a sturdy cornerstone for advanced learning.
As students develop and apply the fundamental writing skills using TWF, they learn how to clearly communicate through their writing.
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