The Foundation of IEW Writing: Key Word Outlining

“Key Word Outlining” is the foundational writing skill that students first learn in the IEW method and Writing to Learn classes. All writing throughout all three of my levels begins with a key word outline (kwo). The way students choose…

Experience a PREP-1 Class!

I just love teaching my PREP-1 class! PREP-1 builds a strong foundation in language through: The video below includes all three of the above components. “Harald and the Giant Knight,” by Donald Carrick, is this week’s story! Join us and…

Featured Student: Essay Contest Winner!

Last week I interviewed Tyleigh Spiller, one of my recent Level 3 graduates, about her experience of entering and winning an essay writing contest! The South Carolina Department of Education and Dominion Energy offered students the opportunity to choose and…

I Passed!

Recently, one of my Writing Moms asked me to write a recommendation for her son, who has just completed Level 2, for admission into Honors English at the college preparatory high school he will be attending this coming fall. I…

Spring Break in Italy!

In Augusta, Georgia, where I live, everything runs on Masters time, i.e., around our little golf tournament held the first full week of April every year. For this reason, students in Augusta have their Spring Break later than almost everyone…

Student Writing: “What the World Needs”

I opened my emails yesterday to find the latest edition of Magnum Opus, IEW’s newsletter of student writing! The newsletter features one of the nine units of IEW structure each month, and the March edition is devoted to Unit 7…

Student Writing: “A Wonder of Times Past”

In Level 3, students write ten different models of essays often taught in freshman college English classes. One of the ten models is the Process essay, in which the writer describes a process in stages and steps. Like all essays,…

Creating an MLA Works Cited Page with Citefast!

One of the more unpleasant parts of my job is teaching MLA citation of sources, a crucial part of writing any research-based paper. The rules are abundant and detailed. It is important for students to have a basic understanding of…

Featured Writing Student: Michael Bowen

As a writing teacher, one of my greatest rewards is seeing students using their hard-won skills in real life. One student who has recently done this is Michael Bowen. He graduated from my Level 3 class in 2019 and went…

Not a “Wishy-Washy English Teacher”

          Quite apart from the fact that improper manuscript form greatly complicates the already onerous task of handling, marking, and sorting several hundred papers, and recording grades for them every semester, there is also the fact that one of the most…

Why Do You Write the Date So Funny?

If you have noticed the dates on my articles, you might wonder why I write them that way. For instance, the date on this post is 15 October 2021, not October 15, 2021 as is usually written in the U.S.…

PREP-1 Is Off to a Great Start!

I’m really enjoying the PREP-1 class! The purpose of PREP-1 is to build the foundation of language in preparation for future writing. I am passionate about the value of language, and the most enjoyable way to access high quality language…

Not Good at Writing Stories? Try It the IEW Way

One of the fun parts of teaching writing is reading my students’ papers. In Level 1, we write stories in a very specific format, known as the “3-Paragraph Story.” This assignment is designed to practice the elements of literature, so…

The New PREP-1 Handbooks Have Arrived!

I’m so excited to show off my newest handbook: PREP-1! The handbook contains all the instructions, assignment sheets, and source texts for the Key Work Outlining and oral reports that the students will be doing for the year. Additional material…

Classes start in about 4 weeks!

Materials have been mailed to online students and the Parents’ Information Meetings are about three weeks away! Local parents will meet on August 31st and online parents on September 2nd! It’s not too late to join a class, but time…

Last Week for Early Bird Discount!

Although registration for my 2021/2022 Institute for Excellence in Writing (IEW) classes, for both local and live Zoom online classes, will continue through July, the $35 Early Bird discount for registration ends this coming Monday, May 31st.   If you want to find out more…

It’s All Over But the Grading!

This was the last week of classes for all Writing to Learn levels! It was a swift and busy year, with my greatest number of students ever. I love Final Exam week. The students have worked hard all year, and…

One of Those Literary Stories

I have students who do extra work just because they want to. 😀 In Level 1, we have just finished the literature unit. I teach the students how to recognize the elements of literature using the Center for Lit method.…

“Well Trained Mind” Review!

I kept seeing a link to the “Well Trained Mind Forum” as a Referrer on my website stat page. Curious about how people were finding my website from Well Trained Mind, I searched the forums for my website URL. Up…

Student Tip: Overcome Writing Paralysis

I have some amazing students who are learning and growing in their life skills, as well as in their writing. Just this week I had a conversation with one of my Veteran Writing Moms, and she told me about a…

Most Popular Story Chart: The Witch of Blackbird Pond

The Witch of Blackbird Pond is my most frequently downloaded story chart! I read the book in 6th grade and loved it. It was a real pleasure to reread it a few years ago so I could make the story…

A Method of Learning to Write Well

Andrew Pudewa, in the first edition of the Structure and Style teaching videos, relates an occasion when his daughter burst in on him, exclaiming, “Dad! Dad! IEW is here in Benjamin Franklin’s autobiography!” Then she showed him the following passage:…

Asking the Right Questions

Throw your book list away. Concentrate instead on reading well, reading correctly, understanding what the author has to say, so that he can do his work on you. If you will do that, it will not matter how many books…

Online Classes

All Writing to Learn classes are available as online classes held live through Zoom, a wonderful free app that allows us to see and hear each other in real time! Online classes are limited to 14 students per class. See…

Registration continues!

I just had my most successful Early Registration ever! I’m looking forward to working with many new and veteran writing families this coming school year. Although Early Registration is over, registration will continue through July 31st. Currently, there is still…

Experience an Online Class with ZOOM!

Many parents are curious about how my online classes work. Writing to Learn online classes are held live. They are exactly like my local classes, except we are interacting via computer video and audio instead of in my classroom. This…

Student Writing: The Level 3 Super Essay

Level 3 students spend the year learning and writing ten different types of essays that traditionally are taught in college freshman English classes. While they are learning and writing with these models, they are also researching for the final paper…

Writing to Learn Life Skills

“…one of the most important things a student should take from his education is a sense that he must do things properly, according to whatever rules pertain to the situation at hand.”Tina Blue, English Professor, University of Kansas When Grant,…

Student Writing: “Golden Champions”

In Augusta, it’s “the second most wonderful time of the year!” This coming Monday Masters Week begins! People descend upon Augusta from all over the world to enjoy the gorgeous grounds and the world’s best golfers at the country’s most…

Supercharge Communication Skills

It’s the start of a brand new school year! I want to fire you up for the task ahead with one of the most wonderful recordings that I know of, Andrew Pudewa’s “Nurturing Competent Communicators.” As Andrew comments, “If you were…