Joy of Reading
This begins with captivating student interest through unique and thought provoking stories. Each story we read is hand-picked, reviewed and read by all the BRWI Instructors before being added into the curriculum. Written by our favorite authors who have their own unique style of writing, these stories have a suspense-driven plot, multi-dimensional characters and universal themes that will prompt students to think, respond and question what they read.
During our two hour sessions, students are wholly engaged as they actively read. Our students practice the Read, Stop, Think and Write reading method (the “RSTW Reading Method”). The RSTW Reading Method makes reading an active task for students. Most students pick up a book and do nothing with it making the book entertaining for the moment, but flat and forgettable. What they do not know is that reading “with a pen in hand” challenges them to think. It activates their own personal connections to the characters and the storyline. It compels students to analyze the core elements of a story, discover the author’s purpose and how this author achieves his purpose. By fostering this kind of deeper thinking and literary analysis, students find reading to be enriching and emotional. When we finish reading, our students leave feeling sad and nostalgic, inspired and satisfied, irked and doubtful, or giddy and happy. No matter what our students are feeling when they go home, the characters come alive to them and the plot inspires them to read more.
Joy of Writing
We give students the opportunity for creative writing, something that does not happen enough in schools today. At BRWI, students write a variety of creative pieces such as fantasy fiction stories, mysteries, science fiction stories, autobiographies, reflective essays, poems or descriptive summaries. At BRWI, we want to pique students’ imagination and show them that they can be good writers. We teach them the power and the fun of choosing words to create tone and certain moods. We teach them how to incorporate a variety of sentence structures as a way of changing the pace and feeling of the story. We teach them the power of dialogue and how it can be a great way to cut through long narratives and make writing flow more easily and dynamically. We teach them to use figurative language as a way to create mental pictures for their reader and to emphasize important parts of their stories. We teach them to add Soda Pop, Pop!—the twists and turns of a story that leave the reader waiting to find out what will happen next.
Furthermore, the elevated confidence that results from creative writing always translates over to the other writing types such as commentary and formal essay writing. Almost always, students realize that they have something to say and can use their writing to share their ideas with others. The other writing types we cover at BRWI are summaries, commentary paragraph, literary analysis essay, character analysis essay, author’s purpose essay, and theme essay. By alternating between creative and formal essay writing, our students get to taste success in both areas.
THE BRWI APPROACH™ uses proprietary methods of teaching reading and writing that you will not find at any other tutoring company. The BRWI Approach is a personalized reading and writing curriculum created by experienced and credentialed English teachers designed to provide unquestionable, consistent and tangible results. The BRWI Approach successfully provides results because (1) we create a process-based curriculum; (2) we emphasize research and technology and (3) we have a high standard for the texts we read. With the BRWI Approach you have the peace of mind to know that your child will gain valuable and practical reading and writing strategies from a curriculum that is well-developed and not “watered-down.”
The BRWI Approach is a curriculum that teaches the process of reading and writing. We have created methods for reading and writing that are practical and easy for students to remember. After our students have completed the BRWI Approach, they will know how to attack any text or writing assignment that they are given, whether in school or elsewhere.
During every session, our students will practice (1) the Read, Stop, Think and Write reading method (the “RSTW Reading Method”), (2) the Search, Identify and Analyze reading method (the “SIA Reading Method”), (3) the B.R.I.D.G.E.S. writing method.
RSTW READING METHOD
The RSTW Reading Method makes reading an active task for students. Most students pick up a book and do nothing with it. What they do not know is that reading “with a pen in hand” prompts them to think and write down their thoughts, opinions and interpretations and, in immediately doing so, these ideas do not get lost or forgotten. This is an important piece in the BRWI Approach because it serves as a foundation for students’ pre-writing brainstorm when they plan for their essays and stories. The BRWI Approach infuses the RSTW Reading Method into every reading assignment — teaching students to utilize various tools to analyze a text during pre-reading, reading and post-reading.
SIA READING METHOD
The SIA Reading Method teaches students a method to search, identify and analyze the structure and style of a text. The purpose of the SIA Reading Method is to teach students the different structures, elements, styles and purposes for each type of informational text (description, cause and effect, compare/contrast, problem/solution and chronological order) and each literary type (folktale, autobiography, mystery, science fiction and fantasy) so they can attack the text with a clear focus and purpose. The SIA Reading Method teaches students to SEARCH for the typical organizational patterns, elements, cue words, clues to style, tone and purpose so that they can easily IDENTIFY the type of text they are confronting. Next, the SIA Reading Method gives the students tools to ANALYZE the text such as graphic organizers, note-taking frames, sentence starters or response questions.
B.R.I.D.G.E.S WRITING METHOD
The B.R.I.D.G.E.S. Writing Method teaches students the process of writing narratives and analytical essays in seven practical steps:
B — Students will BRAINSTORM all their ideas in this planning phase and write down everything they can think of that relates to the topic.
R — They RELEASE these ideas onto paper without worrying about organization, spelling, grammar or other writing mechanics that might hinder them from getting all their ideas out. We want students to understand that in the first draft they should write as freely and unrestrained as possible so the entire content of their ideas can be released. This also helps us to see how the students write naturally without focusing on conventions and rules.
I — They INSPECT their writing using our Six Traits Questionnaire to analyze the first 5 traits: content, organization, voice, word choice and sentence fluency. (The sixth trait of grammar/spelling is evaluated later in the writing process.) This step is crucial in teaching students the difference between good and bad writing. Each of our students use the questionnaire for every draft they write. The end result is that students begin to independently know how to satisfy the requirements for each trait and how to incorporate them into their writing.
D — Students DISSECT, or cut apart, their writing with their pens. They break up their sentences and paragraphs by adding new ideas and words, moving words and phrases, and erasing irrelevant words and details.
G — They GO BACK and rewrite their second draft with all the changes made.
E — They EVALUATE AND EDIT their second draft. They use the Six Traits Questionnaire a second time, evaluating all six traits this time (grammar/spelling is the sixth).
S — The students will revise the paper so that it is ready to be SUBMITTED, published, read, or graded.