Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Writing Tales- a TOS Review

Can you tell?  This is my FAVORITE product of the year.  They saved the best for last.  What is it?  I know you are on pins and needles...


I received both Writing Tales level 1 and 2 as part of the TOS Crew.  I am so excited to have received this product.

You can find a sample here and as you will see, it uses literature, fables and stories to teach language arts.  You start out the week reading a passage together.  Each week has a focus (nouns, adverbs etc.) and you use the passage to work on that theme.  You also start out narrating the passage and then work on refining it throughout the week.  You write a rough draft the first day, fix it up over the week and use misspelled words as spelling words.  There is also copy work at the beginning of the week.  Andrew isn't quite able to narrate AND think specifically on what a lesson might be.  He can get thoughts on paper but we are probably 6 months away from getting them CORRECTLY on paper with proper punctuation, spelling and what have you.  This is, of course, the reason for the rough draft at the beginning of the week but it is just a tad to much for him.  Right now I am having him verbally narrate the passage and do a small amount of the writing.

There are worksheets throughout the week and games that are in the appendix.  If you have been reading my blog you know I am a hands on teacher.  This program is more 'hands on' than 'hands off' but it can be adapted.  Andrew had read ahead (gasp) and read the next passage.  When he told me this, I just asked him to give me a narration.  He did so well.  So you could just give your students the material to do on their own and grade it later.  Because we are doing some oral narration I am more involved than you would have to be- but then again I enjoy that part of homeschooling- ESPECIALLY because Andrew really likes this as well.  And that is say a LOT when it comes to school stuff.  I don't think he has complained when we do language arts.  (Ok, maybe on the handwriting a little but he continued without major prodding.)  Oh if all subjects could just come so easily!

Level one is for 3rd and 4th grade.  The student text sells for $19.95 and the teacher manual is $24.95. I  have found the teacher manual to be useful.  It is somewhat redundant but still helpful.  Level two is for 4th and 5th grade.  We are not there yet but I am loving this approach and will continue to work thru it week by week.  Level two student and teacher texts are $24.95 and $32.95 respectively.

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One thing I just figured out while writing the review is that the teacher's manual is in two parts.  The beginning has lesson plans and the end is the answer key.  I note that because it wasn't intuitive to me.  I love that there are two copies of the text to be read; one in the student and one in the teacher book.  That way we can both be looking at it separately and it is also useful when working on an item that refers back to that text.

I "heart" Writing Tales.  Please click on the banner below to see what others thought of it.

I received this in exchange for my honest review.

1 comment:

Erin said...

It was our favorite product of the year, too!

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