This program is very systematic in its teaching. It was like having a step-by-step to do list. Where all other programs failed because they were too conceptual, this program worked because of the easy step-by-step process. My son is in high school now and his writing is acceptable. He’s not a natural writer, so I don’t think it will ever be exceptional, but it is good now. Even though Pattern Based Writing is intended for younger children, it is great for a remedial program at the middle school level. I just moved faster at the earliest stages. What I found was that the simple explanation of things makes this program wonderful for a child who is struggling with writing. You get the “Oh, that’s all you wanted” light bulb going off.
A relatively small number of words (850) account for 80 percent of the words elementary- grade students use in their writing. Teachers should help students learn to spell words they commonly use. Although many elementary schools have an explicit spelling curriculum, teachers should connect spelling instruction with writing as much as possible. Students should be encouraged to learn words they frequently misspell, as well as words they wish to include in their writing. Teachers also should help students acquire the skills they need to generate and check plausible spellings for words.