To keep everything on hand and easy to find I created an IEW bundle for Ethan. He carts this wherever he’s working on an IEW piece.
Here’s what we keep in our IEW bundle:
* A children’s thesaurus – ours is the Oxford Illustrated Children’s Thesaurus. Ethan prefers this one over others we have.
* An electronic dictionary – ours is the Franklin Compact Oxford English Dictionary which is much loved by Ethan and his first choice over a ‘real’ dictionary
* A grammar and punctuation reference – specifically The Blue Book of Grammar and Punctuation which I tend to use more than Ethan at present. If he asks me a question I can’t answer I pull out my little blue grammar bible and go hunting for an answer.
* I also have “A Writer’s Guide to Transitional Words and Expressions” but honestly we haven’t used it at all and it might be more suitable to high school students. I bought it for it’s “500 substitutes for said” but in hindsight I could have printed out something instead. Oh well, live and learn. Maybe it’ll be more useful in the future.
* A Word Write Now is a another popular resource in Ethan’s box. I deconstructed our book, laminated each page and rebound it. I know, call me odd, but my thinking was that now he can write all over it and I can still restore it to its former glory for his little brother when his time comes to use it.
* I have several other laminated pages in the box (which I bound into a neat little booklet) – various things from the Student Resource Notebook Pages that we use all of the time
* There’s also a few stray bits and bobs but they are amongst the most important things to us – there’s a stash of writing checklists, a list of prepositions which we are using a lot at present, a simple list of banned words, and a list of the current dress ups that Ethan’s required to use
So that’s Ethan’s IEW bundle. Nothing terribly flash, as it’s just grown naturally through use over time, but Ethan insists on having it at his side as he writes. I love that he considers these resources vital to writing. I recall my own school students (many moons ago now) believing that having to look up a word in the dictionary was a fate worse than death and, lucky for them, there wasn’t a thesaurus in the classroom to torture them with. Hehehe.