The products described here have been discontinued in favor of a new series called Structure & Style for Students (the new items are below). Expect an updated review in Fall 2020!
Whereas the Teaching Writing: Structure & Style course is aimed at teachers, Andrew Pudewa's Student Writing Intensives teach students directly. Each level (A for grades 3-5, B for grades 6-8, and C for grades 9-12) includes 4 DVDs containing live recordings of a two-day seminar Mr. Pudewa conducts, though the SWI are intended for one to eighteen weeks of study.
How Do These Work?
Students watch the lectures (with or without a parent/teacher) and complete the exercises, which are similar to those encountered in the TWSS manual; the instructor will need to grade the students' writing. A binder for each level contains instructions and lesson plans for teachers and handouts for students. While students could conceivably do everything on their own it's still a good idea to be involved; since the workshops were not filmed or edited as a multi-week course, it can be confusing to know when to pause the DVDs to complete the work.
Each SWI is a complete course in itself, though it wouldn't be a bad idea to follow up with the SWI Continuation Courses (SWICC), which correspond to the same levels/grades as the Intensives themselves. These contain 32 follow-up lessons elaborating on and adding to the material taught in the SWI and present a much more thorough writing education. Each level (A-C) includes nine lecture DVDs, one student packet containing notes, checklists, etc., and a PDF download of the teacher's edition (which can also be purchased in printed form).
You'll want to note that once your student has taken an SWI course, he should never need to take another. All three levels teach essentially the same material, just geared to different ages of students. In future years, instead of following up with another SWI, go directly to the SWICC.
Our Honest Opinion:
IEW recommends purchasing the SWI with TWSS, and encourages this option by bundling and discounting "Combo Packs," which can save you $29 or more. We're pretty convinced that TWSS stands on its own and you don't need to do this, but understand the SWI can save the teacher (mom?) a great deal of effort, so we wouldn't stand in your way. On the same note, in an effort to keep costs lower, we usually recommend the Theme-Based Writing lessons over the Continuation Courses, but if you aren't hurting for cash, the SWICC are awfully nice!
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