A Tandem Team for a Successful First Year: SSS and TWSS

Jul 21, 2023 | Posted by Jean Nichols

The start of the 2023-2024 school year is just around the corner! Here at the Institute for Excellence in Writing, the Schools Division Educational Consultants have been working diligently for months to help schools make decisions about instructional materials and teacher training. Meanwhile, teachers everywhere are busy getting their classrooms ready and preparing for another year of teaching writing. Many will be teaching Structure and Style for Students for the first time.

You might be a newly-hired teacher who hasn’t yet been trained in the method, and you need to get up to speed quickly. Maybe you have already completed the Teaching Writing: Structure and Style seminar, but you need a refresher before you teach a particular unit. Fortunately, IEW’s two flagship courses offer a solution. The Teaching Writing: Structure and Style (TWSS) seminar is the teacher training course. The Structure and Style for Students (SSS) video courses are the student lessons that also serve as models to follow in your classroom. Together, the two courses not only prepare you to teach writing well, but also they offer support all year long.

Teaching Writing: Structure and Style (TWSS)* gives you access to the teacher training seminar via video streaming. The accompanying one-year Premium Membership comes with other specially-selected digital resources, which include Teaching Tips with Andrew Pudewa videos. The Teaching Writing: Structure and Style Seminar Workbook contains the syllabus, resources, and writing samples that accompany the TWSS video course. It is a valuable reference to use during the school year. It can be purchased as part of a package or separately.

Structure and Style for Students (SSS) video courses include 24 video lessons (up to 30 weeks of instruction) taught by Andrew Pudewa using the Structure and Style writing method.

The Structure and Style for Students Teacher’s Manuals feature embedded images of the student pages, suggested answers, video board notes, and teaching tips. Every lesson includes teacher preparation, which indicates which portion of the TWSS seminar to view ahead of time.

Using Teaching Writing: Structure and Style

Here is an example from Week 3 of the SSS-1B. The bullets indicate which specific portions of the video to watch.

Each TWSS video is embedded with timestamps. To find the appropriate clip, hover over the IEW logo, and the segment markings will appear. Click on the appropriate segment, grab your Seminar Workbook, and you are ready to go.

Using Structure and Style for Students

If this is your first year using Structure and Style for Students (SSS), watch the first few student lessons that you will teach before you begin the course with your class. This will show you what the lessons look like at your particular grade-level range. It will also provide a teaching model for you to follow. As you watch Mr. Pudewa teach his class, you will learn from a master teacher how to teach your own class, providing tremendous peace of mind.

Regardless of your experience or comfort level, the SSS courses provide three suggestions for using the video lessons. These are described on page 8 of every SSS Teacher’s Manual.

  1. Use the videos as a teaching guide. Watch the lessons ahead of time and then use them as a model for teaching them live to your students.
  2. Use the videos as an instructional tool. Show the videos to your class and facilitate the lessons by passing out the papers and writing on the whiteboard what Mr. Pudewa writes.
  3. Use portions of the videos as an instructional tool. Show the class selected clips from the videos, particularly those that introduce a new IEW Unit, and then teach the other weekly lessons yourself.

The beauty of these options is that you don’t need to be locked in to one approach. Employ the options flexibly as needed.

As this new school year begins, IEW is here to help you create confident and competent writers in your classrooms. Working in tandem, Teaching Writing: Structure and Style and Structure and Style for Students give you the tools to do it successfully.

*There are several options available to purchase the TWSS course materials. Contact your school’s IEW Educational Consultant for assistance.

Jean brings 34 years of classroom experience to IEW, having taught grades 1–6 in New York, Virginia, and in California, where she taught sixth-grade language arts in the Rocklin Unified School District. She was introduced to IEW in 2001 when a colleague shared Student Writing Intensive videos at weekly school staff meetings. As a result of student progress and teacher enthusiasm at her school, RUSD brought Andrew Pudewa to Rocklin many times over the next several years to train district teachers, resulting in improved student writing and test scores district-wide. Named Rocklin’s “Elementary Teacher of the Year” in 2001, Jean was also included in the 2004 and 2005 editions of Who’s Who Among America’s Teachers.

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