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WriteSteps Honored with Learning Magazine 2013 Teachers' Choice Award

WriteSteps has been awarded a Learning® Magazine 2013 Teachers' Choice℠ Award, just a year after release. Teachers Choice Awards are among the most prestigious honors in the education market. That's because they are based on the ratings of independent teachers across the country. "

Our mission is to support teachers, so this Teachers Choice Award is incredibly rewarding," said Founder & CEO Suzanne Klein, a former K-5 teacher herself, on hearing the news.

WriteSteps will be featured in the January, 2013 issue of Learning Magazine as a winner of a 2013 Teachers Choice Award

According to Heather Crews, coordinator of the Teachers Choice Awards program, of the programs and classroom products reviewed each year, "only those meeting the judges' stringent standards are chosen. Each program is reviewed on its own merit, according to its effectiveness for all kinds of teachers and students."

Below are all of the comments from the anonymous teacher-judges that used WriteSteps in their classrooms.

 
What aspects of this product did you like the most?
“I love the way everything you need for the entire year is neatly organized in ONE binder! I also liked the Privacy Folders for the students to use AND the pens for editing and revising are GREAT motivational tools for the students!”

“I loved the use of the multi-color pens with the editing and revising steps of the Writing Process! I had been having a hard time getting my students to truly edit and revise, but with these pens they were VERY excited about finally doing those steps! Great idea!”

“The teacher's manual is well-organized and easy to read. I also liked that the manual was separated into units. The Kindergarten Sound Cards with the sight words printed on the back were very helpful!”

“This product was full of easy to follow and use lessons. The manual includes samples of what writing expectations look like. The lessons give very clear direct instruction which students just starting to write need. I also enjoyed the videos and other visual aids that were online for us to use. They helped make the expectations of the lessons clear for us as teachers and in turn to our students.”

“This product is amazing! I love the pens that were given to help with the editing process. In the past we have given the students different pens, but I love the idea of the same pen with different colors. I also loved the privacy folders with the aids on the inside.”

“I liked everything about this product. All of the materials are valuable resources to create inspired writers in my classroom.”

“The binder of units included lessons for the teacher to make it very easy to plan and teach writing. There are also many materials for the students to use, such as editing pens, privacy folders, and posters.”


 
How would this product need to improve to better support your curriculum?
“I really couldn't find any suggestions for improvements except for maybe laminating the Privacy Folders to make them sturdier. I laminated mine so they would last longer. I also didn't see where I could reorder the pens when needed so that needs to be made clear as I know the ink will run out and we'll need more.”

“I have no suggestions for improvements! I would be interested to know if you can order more pens and privacy folders as you need them.”

“This product does not need to be improved! I loved how easy the manual was to read and understand and the website was an excellent additional resource!”

“I think this product does a great job covering our writing curriculum and breaking the curriculum expectations down to where each student can be successful writers.”

“I don't believe there are any improvements that need to be made. This product directly connects to the third grade curriculum.”

“I was very impressed by this product. I do not feel any changes need to be made to improve it. It is already aligned to the writing core standards.”


 
How did you make use of the product, or integrate it into your lesson plans?
“The kids loved the privacy folders and said it helped them stay focused on their writing as well as gave them some hints on making their writing better. They REALLY went nuts over the pens which helped make editing and revising more exciting for them. I had NEVER thought of getting pens like that for them to use! GREAT idea!”

“I used some of the writing activities to review Writing steps before we took our state-mandated Writing Tests. It was a great review for them right before testing time and I think it finally clicked with some of them how important it is to do a first draft and then spend time trying to make it "sound better" and "look better." Many of them have resisted changing anything on the first drafts. They didn't want to go through the trouble, but when I broke out those pens, they were excited to try to improve their writing! Great idea!”

“I used this product during our writing time each day. We used it toward the end of the school year so we did not start with the beginning units, but we will next year! I especially enjoyed the unit on opinion writing, as that is difficult for kindergartners.”

“I was able to make use of this product often in my classroom. I was able to find lessons that fit where my students were as writers and motivate them to further their writing. This program provided many resources and visual aids that I was able to use with my students who were struggling with writing to help them remember their writing strategies and what to do if they got stuck.”

“I used a few lessons in my classroom and introduced the materials that were given to my current students. They were very impressed and loved using the folders and pens. I can’t wait to use this program from the beginning of next school year!”

“I utilized this product during my writer's workshop. It was very easy to plan, implement, and pace the lessons from the resource binder that was included.”


 
What skills did your students learn from this product?
“My students had a review of the Writing Process and also gained a lot of practical tips for making their writing better! They enjoyed editing and revising a LOT more and actually took their time doing this so they could use the pens! It was a very positive experience and I loved seeing them get excited about Writing!”

“They learned a LOT about editing and revising and really taking the time to try to improve their writing. They loved the suggestions in the privacy folders of words they could use in place of some of the boring words they had written! I think overall it just helped them get excited about writing!”

“My students learned how to write about subjects that are not as familiar to them as other topics. My students were not used to writing about poetry or trying to persuade someone else, so this definitely improved their writing skills.”

“I saw my students writing skills and their writing content flourish by using this product! They became more aware of their writing conventions and I saw them begin to use them more consistently. I also saw my students writing content develop more and they could give more details on given topics.”

“They learned the process of editing and revising. Even though we have discussed editing and revising before, the way this product lays this information out really helped my students to grasp the information. They also liked the idea of connecting the 6 + 1 traits of writing to a pizza pie.”

“My students learned many valuable writing skills. These skills include the six plus one writing traits. My students also learned more about revising and editing their writing.”


If funds were available, would you recommend this product to a teacher at the appropriate grade /age level?
Please explain why or why not.
“It is a well-though out product and correlates directly with the Common Core Standards. It is scripted which can help teachers who feel overwhelmed with teaching Writing. I can see experienced Writing teachers not liking it because of the exclusiveness of it. I personally loved it and the students seemed to enjoy the writing experiences that they did! Great product!”

“YES, I would recommend this product. Teachers would have to give up their "own ways of doing things" in order to follow the scripted layout of the program, but it did correlate really well with the Common Core Standards. In Virginia we don't use Common Core, so if we used this we would have to convert everything to the Virginia Standards of Learning, but I think it would be well worth the effort. Or maybe the company already has a correlation done for us! That would be worth looking into.”

“I would recommend this product to other teachers because I believe my students' writing has improved due to using this product. It is correlated to the common core, which will be helpful next year!”

“Yes I would definitely recommend this product to another kindergarten teacher. Writing is a subject that is often hard to come up with ideas for or how to teach to children who come into our classes having never written before. This product is an excellent resource for how to start writing with those students and push them to grow as writers.”

“I would definitely recommend this product to any teacher. I believe the materials that were given were wonderful. I love that it also has a website with more resources that are available to teachers. You can definitely tell that this product was made by teachers.”

“I would definitely recommend this product to other teachers. It is very easy for both the students and the teacher to use for writing. I loved it!”


 
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