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Thursday, August 2, 2012

Product Review: Create Better Writers


Create Better is your solution to an easy-to-teach and affordable writing program for grades K to 12. Products include books and e-books designed to teach so your students understand the process of writing, instead of just being able to crank out a written piece of work. In addition to physical products, there are teacher training workshops as well as a website filled with tips and tricks to help you get your students writing.

  I recently received the e-book "How To Teach The Paragraph." The info for the book advertises that "one simple trick that will help them learn the paragraph. Students will learn to organize their thoughts and write a well constructed paragraph." Perfect! This is exactly what I need for Isaac. Looking through the book I knew this would be a good fit although Isaac is only entering third grade. He has already had a year of writing with another program and has mastered sentence construction.
I felt that the "one trick" phrase was a little misleading. Don't get me wrong. The book is a dream come true for ease of teaching and parent understanding. But there just isn't one trick or tip that will have your student become an amazing writer. This book is filled with many tips that follow a process of writing. During this process your student will evolve into a better writer.

The book is so laid out and we didn't really differ from the schedule suggested except that we went slower. Perhaps a fourth grader can master a simple paragraph in six weeks or so, but my barely third couldn't.

Despite this, I still thought the program was very worthwhile. We focused on little steps and moved at a pace that was comfortably challenging for him.
Isaac's topic was swimming. Perfect for a summer spent at the pool. As we worked from the rough to final draft we focused on topic sentence, supporting sentences, and indentation. For the interest of time, I ignored spelling and handwriting. I figured if he got the basic ideas down, those things could come later.

His first paragraph was a little choppy.

I have to admit that I was rather impressed that he could get so much down on paper. I didn't know he had it in him.

We wrote outlines on the board for guidance. He really struggled with the closing sentences. Instead of have this be a huge hang-up, I gave him suggestions and he chose one to write. I figured that closing sentences could be it's own unit later on.

Working on a draft.

The completed product. I am super impressed!

He looks relieved it's over. After this, I'd be surprised if he wants to swim again. Just kidding! The process gradual and it is really easy to go at your own pace with this program. If your student is hating it or just can't get it, slow down and spend more time on it.

Swimming was one of my favorite things to do this summer.

"How to Write a Paragraph: e-book" is available for $7.99 from the Create Better Writers Website. Other members of The Schoolhouse Review Crew reviewed products from Create Better Writers. Find out more about these products here or by clicking the link below.
Disclaimer: As a member of The Schoolhouse Review Crew, I received the above named product free of charge in exchange for an honest review on this blog. I received no other compensation. 

1 comment:

Unknown said...

We loved this program, too!

Please join us at the Weekend Blog Hop tomorrow!