Where should I place my student?
Unless a child has a learning disability (struggles to understand content being taught), it is recommended that students begin at grade level. These four methods are used when teaching composition that allows for such:
- Know the Process (Step by Step)
- Small Chunks
For all compositions we complete each year, each is broken down into small portions following a step-by-step process. Additionally, each and every step of the process, and each and every part of the composition, is modeled. This allows students to receive a small amount of instruction and an example (Mr. Stephens' model) and apply what they learn immediately. This process is repeated over time in order to build autonomy.
Mr. Stephens also teaches and models the value of organizing thoughts before writing. Organizing each part of the composition before drafting allows students to focus primarily on content (what they want to say). If a composition is planned in detail before the writing begins, students are allowed to focus on the structure of the composition when drafting rather than the content of the composition. In my opinion, this is one of the most important steps when writing and one that is often missed.
Because of this approach, most students can “jump in” at grade level and succeed. If you are still unsure, you are welcome to contact Customer Service for a specific recommendation.