The author of Daily Grammar Practice brings us this elementary composition program that balances structure and individualization.
The program’s distinctive feature is the Burnette Writing process, which implements two key components (focus and reflection) to strengthen students’ writing. In each assignment, the teacher guides the student to focus and then reflect on specific writing skills. Assignments vary based on the student’s writing level: each of the 36 writing tasks includes a separate assignment for three different writing levels: A, B, and C. Level A writers are beginner writers; B writers have mastered some of the process, but need practice; and C writers have mastered more skills, but need to strengthen their abilities.
Focus enables the writer to improve a few skills at a time. Each assignment includes a maximum of 6 focus skills (for Level C students); the author recommends choosing two to three skills for Level A and three to four for Level B. Students hone their abilities on more specific skills within the broader categories of content, organization, style, conventions, and format. Reflection requires students to think about their writing, to understand their thought process as they write and, through rubrics, evaluate their ability to complete the focus tasks.
The guide’s first portion introduces methodology, elaborates on each lesson’s skills and explains focus skills and rubrics. The last portion includes sample poetry, graphic organizers and rubrics. In between, the majority of the guide details the 36 different writing tasks and accompanying assignments. Each assignment explains the goal, the intended audience, writing form and procedure, and suggested focus skills. The different composition tasks encompass descriptive, expository, analytical and creative writing, and use such forms as letters, narration, comparison and contrast, persuasive, play writing and fantasy.
Use with one student as he/she works through multiple skill levels or simultaneously for multiple ages. In writing, self-evaluation is a difficult but necessary skill, and this text allows the teacher to guide students to becoming stronger and more self-aware writers.