Friday, June 21, 2019

Jump In, 2nd Edition by Writing with Sharon Watson: A TOS Crew Review

What's your biggest challenge to teach?  I bet you answered - Writing!  Well, it doesn't have to be, let me introduce you to Jump In, 2nd Edition by Writing with Sharon Watson.

This program is designed for those delightful middle schoolers, grades 5th - 8th.  It is available in either downloadable PDF (what I've been using) or print editions. 

The program is customizable to your schedule, the lessons are short and painless, even for a middle school boy.  My 7th grade son was my tester for this one. Each of the 98 lessons take between 5-20 minutes to complete. The program comes with two parts - The Student Text, and Teacher's Guide.  The Teacher's Guide includes plans to complete the program in One Year, Two Year or Three Year schedules, a "teacher's backpack" of helpful tips, ways to evaluate your student's writing, samples, and 10-minute writing plunges (more about that in a minute). 

The Student book contains all the lessons and teaching. The students will complete nine types of essays and one research report. Two different levels of word counts for each assignment are given, so you can customize to your student's ability. Units cover opinions, persuasion, cause and effect, newspaper articles, how-to, reports, biography compare/contrast, book report, book response, description, narration and poetry.

I love that this program begins teaching writing with persuasion, instead of exposition.  Most middle schoolers I know are way more willing to jump in with their opinion, and defend it.  Brilliant way to capture their attention right off the bat!  

My tester was intrigued right away.  With the short lessons, it didn't even feel like writing to him. The Student Book is written directly to the student, so they can work independently.  The author, Sharon Watson, often adds bits of humor .  

With the PDF download, you can print off what you want, or use with multiple students.  I love to print everything off and put it into a binder right away.

Let me show you a lesson. The lessons are organized in step-by-step instructions.  First, he began listing his favorites and least favorites.

Then, listing reasons.

The next step was to put them into point order (really teaching inverted or climatic order essays...but don't let them in on the secret).  

After discussing the structure of body of  the writing, detailed instruction on on paragraphs and topic sentences is covered, which is the main focus of this program.  Helping them create strong topic sentences and great paragraphs.

All throughout each lesson, the student gets to read examples of other student writing.  This was extremely helpful for my son.  I appreciate that this program doesn't just tell, it shows too.

Each writing unit ends with an assignment - with several choices, a suggested writing schedule, and a checklist. My tester really enjoyed having choices of what he wanted to write about.

One new thing my son picked up from this program, brainstorming with sticky notes!  Not only was this fun, but it makes it easier for him to organize before he begins writing.

 Now, back to the Teacher Guide.  Sharon Watson has included an entire section of "10-Minute Writing Plunges" for each month.  This is a valuable tool!  This is a way to take a break from the daily workbook lesson, or just for fun.  She offers suggestions for how to use them in coop settings as well.  Since I teach writing at our coop, this was for me.

 I love how well thought out, and easy to use this program is.  My middle school son actually asked if he could keep writing, and it's summer!  I think that speaks for itself.

Check this one out!

Jump In, 2nd Edition {Writing with Sharon Watson Reviews}
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Jump In, 2nd Edition {Writing with Sharon Watson Reviews}
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