Today's Wisdom

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Review of Analytical Grammar's Beyond The Book Report

Analytical Grammar Review
We recently were given the opportunity to review Beyond the Book Report by Analytical Grammar.  

We added in Analytical Grammar to our course load this year for all 3 of my children.  It was just what I was looking for to continue teaching my children grammar and classical sentence diagramming.  I did find that my children needed more training in basic grammar, punctuation, and usage. They did not take Jr. Analytical Grammar but I think it would have helped fill in the gaps if they had in hind sight. 

Analytical Grammar Review
Since we were already big fans of Analytical Grammar, I was really excited to receive Seasons 1 and 2 of Beyond the Book Report.  Even better, when I received my package Season 3 was also included! Again, it is the perfect fit and exactly what I was looking for!  Stephen, who just finished 7th grade and is headed into 8th, used Beyond the Book Report along with myself.  Often, I like to go through courses with my students.  I really like to do this when I don't feel confident teaching the course myself.  Teaching literature and writing is an area where I can use much growth!

Analytical Grammar Review

Beyond The Book Report is available in 3 different seasons for middle school aged children.  There are suggested schedules to follow depending upon your child's level.  Even though Stephen is headed to 8th grade, we chose to follow the 3 year schedule.  This schedule allows us to finish our Literature and Grammar studies in just an hour or close to it. For my oldest, who is in high school, we will be following the 1 year schedule. 

You can see the schedules clearer here and also see exactly what is covered in each season of Beyond the Book Report here.

Season 1 covers:
The Basic Book Report
The Pamphlet Book Report
The News Article Book Report

Some of the activities you will complete are paraphrasing a favorite scene, completing a reading log, making your own answer/question crossword puzzle, literary terms worksheet, making your own pamphlet book, news article on favorite scene. 

Here is a sample of how the reading log works:

Season 2 covers:
The Poetry Book Report
The Drama Book Report

Some of the activities you will complete are a reading log, writing 4 different types of poetry, plot summary, dramatization of your favorite scene, and crossword puzzle.

Season 3 covers:
The Oral Book Report
The Essay
The Research Paper

Some of the activities you will complete include a reading log, plot summary, power point presentation, essay, and research paper defending your thesis statement.

The activities in all 3 seasons come with a sample in your teacher packet visually showing you what to expect from your student.  You can find some samples of each season's different activities here.

Each season includes a DVD that contains video instructions, video lectures, power point presentation slides for note taking, PDF rubrics, activities, and assignments allowing you to print out the necessary items for each child in your family.  Also included is a teacher packet with a step-by-step teaching schedule and guide, examples of all the student work, and a glossary of terms. 

The combination of video lectures, printables, and samples were valuable resources to me as the teacher.  They helped me to know exactly what to look for in my student's work and truly gave me step by step directions.  I cannot express to you how much I loved the rubrics included!  Maybe it is my checklist personality but those were exactly what I have been looking for and didn't even know it!  I have always struggled in knowing how to give a grade for writing assignments but with this rubric, I know exactly how to grade.

The book Stephen chose to use for his reports was The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe.  We watched the video instructions together and he used the step by step rubric instructions to complete Season 1. We are still working on Season 2 currently. We should be able to start season 3 for the upcoming fall school year and I plan to let Sarah, my 6th grader, and Jonathan, my high schooler, begin with Season 1 in the fall as well.  I looked through all 3 seasons and watched some of the video lessons.  The lessons are clear and concise on what is expected from the student.  

I loved the introduction to independence that is given in these lessons.  Your student could take the lessons and rubrics and complete each activity completely by themselves.  You would need to print out the worksheets, but your teacher packet tells you exactly what is needed for each lesson.  Not only are there video instructions for the student but there are also a few video instructions directed to the teacher that you would also benefit from watching.

Combining Analytical Grammar, Beyond the Book Report, and a vocabulary of your choice will complete your middle school Language Arts.  I also think this is a great program for high school if your student was never taught these skills. They do have a High School Reinforcement set for high schoolers as well.

You can purchase each season of Beyond the Book Report for $24.95 each or purchase them in a bundle pack for $69.95.  I think these are well worth the price considering the tutoring you receive for both your student and yourself!

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