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8 Reviews
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4 star:
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57 of 57 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars An excellent resource!, August 4, 2000
Keister, well-known to many English teachers as the author of the Grammar with a Giggle series, has written a helpful handbook for those of us who are faced with assessment testing. Although she teaches middle school, her activities and strategies would work well in my high school classroom. She has also included modifications and suggestions for elementary students. Keister focuses on specific skills that will raise test scores considerably. For example, one skill she hones in on is the use of strong verbs. At first this seems nit-picky, but I know from experience that using vivid words can make up for a multitude of writing sins on the state writing tests. Another skill she discusses is writing the five-paragraph essay. This focus has improved my own scores on the Standards of Learning writing assessment we have here in Virginia. She provides a huge listing of practice writing prompts, a godsend to a busy English teacher. Nearly half the book is devoted to examples of student responses to state writing prompts and the score they earned. Keister emphasizes, and in my experience rightly so, teaching the students the evaluation system used in assessing their writing. The examples of student writing and the score they earned is a blessing to me as I never had enough examples to discuss with my class, let alone scored examples. The only quibbles I had with the book are minor. Keister teaches in Florida, and their rubric is different than ours here in Virginia. The differences are minor and can be compensated for. Also the organization of the book was troublesome for me. I found I had to read the entire book to get a sense of where things were located rather than use the table of contents to find specific activities or skills. My book has lots of Post-it notes sticking out of the top to mark the great ideas I want to use this year. Overall I would say that the book is a must-have for any English teacher who wants easy, time-efficient ways to score higher on state writing assessments.
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26 of 27 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Better scores for writing tests, June 8, 2000
I have used this book in my classroom for two years, and 97% of my average eighth grade students scored a 3 or above on the state writing test. My students love the activities in this book. I liked the four step approach to writing that students can easily understand. Furthermore, there are great strategies for planning and writing different types of essays. The examples are outstanding, and this book is a wonderful asset for the classroom!
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19 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Blowing Away Your State Writing Assessment Tests, May 29, 2001
By A Customer
This book is well worth the price!! I was able to turn average writers into stronger, self confident writers. Students buy into the ideas presented in the book, and take off in their writing. For the students who just need a little boost, for dramatic flair in their writing, this book is the ticket. Start today! Your students and parents will thank you for the metamorphsis they see in student writing. Share with colleagues and you'll be a star.
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21 of 23 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Blowing Away the State Writing Assessment Test, November 19, 2002
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After my first year of teaching and experiencing the stress associated with preparing for the state writing assessment, I knew I had to find something that would help me know how to prepare my students for this important test. As I stood in the middle of a teacher's store, I spotted this book. I wondered if this would be of any help. Since I was open to any ideas, I decided to take the chance and make the purchase. Happily, I admit, this was perhaps the best purchase of my entire teaching career. Mrs. Kiester's simple four-step plan was a "God-send." She puts into print each step a teacher should follow to help her students became extremely proficient writers. I have followed her plan for several years and have had great success with my students. I believe my students truly understand the writing process, and it is all due to Mrs. Kiester's Blowing Away the State Writing Assessment Test book. Hooray, Mrs. Kiester!!! This is the answer we've all been looking for!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars How To REALLY Make A Difference With Students, May 6, 2007
This review is from: Blowing Away the State Writing Assessment Test (Third Edition): Four Steps to Better Scores for Students of All Levels (Maupin House) (Paperback)
This book, along with other tools for your classroom, is yet another excellent source to turn your mediocre writers into advanced writers. The strategies are also excellent for empowering your students to pass your state writing assessments.
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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Awesome, September 23, 2005
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This is just what I was looking for: a step-by-step writing program that includes examples of student writing that I can share with my students. I couldn't be happier.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Teacher's Writing Tool, February 14, 2008
This review is from: Blowing Away the State Writing Assessment Test (Third Edition): Four Steps to Better Scores for Students of All Levels (Maupin House) (Paperback)
This book has been very helpful in designing lessons for teaching students to become more proficient, creative writers. I highly recommend it for anyone who teaches upper elementary! The CD contains an abundance of great prompts!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Writing made easy., March 23, 2013
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This review is from: Blowing Away the State Writing Assessment Test (Third Edition): Four Steps to Better Scores for Students of All Levels (Maupin House) (Paperback)
Love her Caught Ya series and I am very impressed with the way the writing skills are presented in this book. It has the stamp of approval from my principal as well.
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Blowing Away the State Writing Assessment Test (Third Edition): Four Steps to Better Scores for Students of All Levels (Maupin House)
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