Elementary Beginning Writing

Mentor-Teacher – Laura Lee

Course length – 32 weeks

Class Fee payable to – Laura Lee, $70/month

Material Fee – $15, one time only

Questions: laura.kath.lee@gmail.com

Contacting the Teacher – Laura Lee an email at laura.kath.lee@gmail.com

Minimum Class Size – 5


Course Description:  This course is designed to take elementary and junior high school students through The Institute for Excellence in Writing’s Structure and Style course.  Like Benjamin Franklin, students will learn using this classical system, which stresses modeling through note-taking, writing from notes, writing from pictures, creative story writing, and incorporating the various IEW style techniques such as varied sentence openers, dress-ups and decorations.  As students build a firm foundation of specific skills that will enhance their writing, they develop confidence.


Requirements/Prerequisites:  Students must be able to write a simple sentence, and identify nouns and verbs.  Parental attendance in class is highly encouraged since students are young and may need help at home.


Required Texts and Materials List:


IEW, Teaching Writing:  Structure and Style by Andrew Pudewa


Binder 8 ½ X 11, at least 1 1/2 inches deep

Ruled paper

Notebook dividers including sections labeled:

Homework Assignments

Word Banks – Place last year’s word banks here.  We will add to them.


Notes     (ruled paper)

ZIP POCKET, which fits into the binder, containing:

At  least 4 writing implements

Sharpener if student is using pencil


Your binder is not to be inspected or graded in any way.  However, creating and maintaining an orderly system will serve you well throughout the busy year ahead.  Set yourself up to be successful!


Course Requirements / Workload

The homework assignment is at the top of each week’s Composition Checklist, which the students will receive in class.  Please read it ASAP to allow yourself the maximum time benefit for the assignments.  Students should be prepared to write 1-2 paragraphs as homework after each class, practicing what was learned and modeled during class.  Paragraphs will lengthen as the year progresses.


Class Expectations: 

  • Attendance and punctuality.  Please be in class on time, ready to start, and prepared for the day’s material, putting distractions aside so we can all glean the most benefit from our time together.  Please let the instructor know, as soon as you know, if you are planning an absence so we can discuss what you would like to do about the assignments.
  • Participation in class discussions – have a willing heart and mind to learn.
  • Completion of assignments – all work should be completed neatly and reflect your best efforts.
  • You will work on your own with your parent’s help as needed during the week.  If at any time you need help, I will expect you to call or e-mail me so you can receive the help you need before you feel frustrated.


As your instructor I am committed to providing instruction, examples, modeling of new material, and encouragement to you.  I will be evaluating your work.  If you have questions, I encourage you to ask them  during class or contact me during the week.  My goal is to work with you, forming a team to improve your writing skills and confidence.


Assessment System

Parent involvement in discussion and evaluation of students’ work is a priority.  Teachers will be available to parents as needed, to assist in evaluating performance against priorities, answer questions, or simply be sounding boards for discussion.  The student will have a portfolio of their work at the end of the course. We want to do everything we can to assist you in this endeavor.


About Your Teacher:  See the end of this document


Contacting the Teacher

If you have any questions, comments or suggestions, please feel free to send Laura Ball an e-mail at lnhball@yahoo.com or call at (408) 307-0010.  Calling is the best way to reach her.


Come to the first class having completed the following:

Write a five-sentence paragraph on any topic you choose WITHOUT parental correction or guidance.  If you have never written a paragraph, write five sentences to the best of your ability.  This will not be graded or returned to the student.  It is for assessment purposes.