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Why Readers Become Writers

Want to inspire your child to write? Looking for a way to spark creativity?  

We recommend this article from the Washington Post by Joanne Yatvin, a past president of the National Council of Teachers of English. Most recently, Ms. Yatvin has written books about teaching reading and writing in mixed language classrooms. Her anecdote on using the same methodology as a high school teacher that she intuitively practiced with her young son resonated with the Take My Word For It! team. Loving writing frequently comes from loving stories - fairy tales, literature, storytelling...you name it!

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Join THE WORD PARTY in Oakland!

Join "The Word Party!" at the Oakland Public Library Dimond Branch!

A FREE class for kids ages 8-13!

Do you love Why Not Write Wednesday? Celebrate WNWW monthly with us at the Dimond Branch Library (3565 Fruitvale Avenue). Each class will have a different theme - join us for one or all of them!

Info: Wednesdays 3:45 - 4:45pm November 12 & December 10, 2014 January 14, February 11, March 11 & April 13, 2015

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What Do We Share in Common with the Common Core?

The common core standards put an emphasis on three different kinds of writing: argument/opinion, informative/explanatory and narrative. Our classes allow students to explore these forms while also being encouraged to experiment without worrying about tests and other constraints. Comfort with formulating ideas with words combined with a positive association with writing better prepares kids for the new common core challenges. “Each year in their writing, students should demonstrate increasing sophistication in all aspects of language use, from vocabulary and syntax to the development and organization of ideas, and they should address increasingly demanding content and sources.”  - CoreStandards.org

We Convert Reluctant Writers

We Convert Reluctant Writers

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Does your child resist writing? Our aim is to engage children’s imaginations while exposing them to the adventure of writing. Often, even by third grade, kids have decided they don’t like writing or that they’re “no good” at it. Our mission is to change their minds by creating an environment that fosters independence, a sense of belonging and competence. Want to work with your reluctant writer at home? We love these suggestions from GreatSchools.org:

  • Start with "Let's play a game." There's no need to mention "writing game" if your child is a reluctant writer.
  • Choose subjects your child loves, like brontosauruses or monster movies or soccer or shoes.
  • Talk through ideas, ask questions, and listen carefully to answers.
  • Make drawings, notes, and story maps together if your child can't remember ideas.
  • Take dictation.
  • Praise honestly and liberally.
  • Keep games short.
  • Post written work on the wall or refrigerator, or send it to family members and friends. Writing is meant to be shared.

Parents of former reluctant writers on TMWFI:

“I was hopeful but a bit doubtful at first that Nataly would enjoy a creative writing class – after all, writing would have to compete with electronic games and television — but due to the excellent program and WONDERFUL instructor, she had a great experience!  Now she views writing more as an exciting challenge, a chance to “find her own voice” and express herself, and less as a chore full of worries about spelling and punctuation.  I would highly recommend TMWFI!” - Larry, parent

“I have always been hesitant to do academic enrichment after a long day at school but this class was amazing. We and his teacher have noticed a BIG difference in his writing and more importantly his enjoyment of writing.

This is the boy who beforehand did not like to write at all and sped through every assignment he was given. Now he is writing up a storm and making comic books with his friends at school.” - KB, parent

Why We Ask Our Kids to Write by Hand

Why We Ask Our Kids to Write by Hand

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IMG_1391-620x465We're old school - we ask that our students write with pencils on paper and discourage them from using iPads or laptops.

 

There's a reason behind our request: writing on paper exercises a different part of our brains.

 

In a Wall Street Journal article, Gwendolyn Bounds cites research supporting this fact. It turns out that forming letters by hand enhances overall learning, idea comprehension and expression. The hand has a special relationship to the brain so when forming the shapes that create letters it is "working harder" and creating more neural connections than when selecting a button with a character on it. In addition, our handwriting becomes part of who we are - think of how we feel when we come upon a letter handwritten written by a favorite grandmother, an old family recipe written on an index card, or a page from a diary.

So, at "Take My Word For It!" we're not only cheerleaders for the art of creative writing, we're big believers in the importance of using handwriting to compose it.

Here's to paper and pencil!

"Meet" our Young Writers!

"Meet" our Young Writers!

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Hearing our young authors read their work aloud is one of the highlights of what we do. They have the opportunity to share their work at the end of each session when we host a reading for parents & friends. Watch some of them read their writing on our YouTube page.

We also frequently post the work of our young writers on our blog. Curious to read more? Find their writing here.