Monthly Archives: March 2018

Increase Student Confidence

One of the most gratifying things about teaching writing classes for kids is the change in confidence I see in my students.  This year I have a student who started the year believing he could not write.  He is in fifth grade, and is one of those kids with encyclopedic knowledge about a wide array of subjects.  No matter what topic comes up in class, he has a wealth of information to provide.  He also has an extraordinary vocabulary for his age.  But he was convinced he couldn’t write.

After the very first day of class, his mom told me that her son told her after class, “I think I’ve finally found someone who can teach me to write.”  I still get goosebumps every time I remember her telling me that.  Seriously, it’s things like that that keep teachers going!

Writing Without Tears

His mom recently told me that he really hated writing before, and sometimes he would even be in tears at the thought of having to write a paragraph.  Now he says writing feels more fluid and he likes it.

“As a mother I have seen his struggles, and now he faces his fear of writing armed with your checklist of dress-ups.  He is able to sit down alone and type out paragraphs without tears and anxiety. He’s found pride in his work and he loves to share his thoughts… Your class has made such a difference in his education, thank you so very much!”

Descriptive Paragraphs

One of the class assignments we did was to write two descriptive paragraphs on the same topic, one that created a very positive image, and one that created a very negative image, using all six of the IEW dress ups we had learned so far.  The kids usually really enjoy the assignment, and this student was no exception.  He wrote the following paragraph for his negative image description:

The Villainous Sparrow

The villainous sparrow glided across the polluted sky.  He gazed down on an oil slicked swamp, which lay below him, then plummeted down for a murky drink.  As the slimy water oozed down his throat, he splashed in the dingy brine.  After wallowing in the filth, he trudged miserably through the muck and mire until his feathers were crusted.  The villainous sparrow flapped his wings because they were heavy with soil; then he flew into the darkened sky.

And this was his positive image description:

The Majestic Sparrow

The majestic sparrow zoomed through the bright blue sky.  He looked upon a crystal clear lake, which lay below him, and he dove down for an exquisite sip.  As the cool liquid slipped down his throat, he happily splashed in the clear, sweet water.  After being refreshed, the joyful sparrow hopped along the banks until his feathers were dry.  He then flew into the cloudless sky because he was a majestic sparrow on a quest.

IEW Dress Ups

If you’re familiar with the IEW dress ups, can you find all six?

The dress ups get students to make their writing interesting by using strong verbs, quality adjectives, and ly adverbs, and by using clauses which vary their sentence length.  We learn one new dress up each week, so it’s easy and fun!

Online Writing Classes That Make Writing Simple and Fun

My online writing classes for kids include easy, step-by-step instructions for creating paragraphs with dress ups that make student writing more descriptive and interesting.  Dress ups and openers are introduced gradually so it’s never overwhelming, and students begin naturally including them in their writing.

My goal is to make writing simple and fun!

If you have questions or would like to get started, feel free to contact me at, or call me at 951-302-0540.