Reviews from teachers who have used Sparks in thier classrooms!

I think the Sparks topics are awesome! They are interesting to the students, which is more than half the battle to get them to write. They also encourage creativity and "thinking outside the box". In addition, since we now have to do full lesson plans for everything we teach in our district, it is SO NICE to have the lesson plans already made up!

Kathy Grim, 6th grade teacher, PA

Bruce Van Patter's lessons were easy to follow and inspired my students. My students loved some of the unusual characters they created. I would see these characters reappear in other stories my students wrote.

Dorothy Pagan, 4th & 5th grade teacher, NC

I teach special education to K-3rd grades and your writing prompts and ideas have interested all the grade levels. They are easy to modify and facilitate! Thanks for all such a useful resource!

Erinn Graves, Special Education Teacher, AZ

My 5th grade students literally asked if they could take the "Sparks" assignments home to work on them. Throughout the school day students would ask if they could continue writing the "Spark". Without a doubt, these creative lessons will encourage any student to write, especially those who previously disliked writing. Since I started using Mr. Van Patter's Sparks, my class went from a five on the writing scale to a nine!

Todd Furst, 5th grade teacher, PA

My kids get very excited the weeks that they come in and I have a "Spark" on the board for them. They thoroughly enjoy them. This year, we have taken the drudgery out of writing, and we have been able to make it fun!

Karen Akins, 1st & 2nd grade teacher, Jacksonville, FL

I have really appreciated all of your Spark lessons. I have a writing club that meets after school and your lessons have "Sparked" a lot of very creative ideas! Thanks!

Kathy Gross, 3rd grade teacher, PA

The Sparks that I used throughout this year supplemented my writing curriculum. I was leery of using them at first, but once I got my kids using them, their writing was phenomenal. I was extremely pleased with the change from our curriculum regulars and having the students so excited and asking, "When will our next Spark be?" You do an excellent job and I look forward to continuing to use them for many years to come!

Eryca Card, 5th grade teacher, WI

As a kindergarten teacher helping at-risk 4th graders in our winter after-school program, you can probably guess that I was scrambling for materials to use in our writing workshop. The Sparks lessons were so helpful to me.

Carrie Blackmar, CT

The Sparks Creative Writings were exactly what I have been looking for. They engaged my students in creative writings while teaching them multiple styles and ways of writing. The picture prompt provided with each lesson helps to stimulate the thought process and makes the writings easier for every student.

Shane Mead, 8th grade creative writing teacher, OH

Sparks is a wonderful resource! Teaching writing can sometimes be a challenge for me when it comes to new and creative ideas. It was nice having Sparks available because I was able to pick and choose topics that I felt my kids would enjoy. The great thing is that my kids DID enjoy them... I found that they were handy to have around for when one of my kids would say, "I don't know what to write about." I would simply give them a few of the Sparks lessons I did not use with the whole group and let them choose one for an idea. That really helped me while teaching writing this year, and it decreased the amount of student whining when it came to not knowing what to write about. I would recommend Sparks to any teacher.

Tom Saurer, 5th grade teacher, PA

Today I told my class that we were going to do some "creative writing". One of my boys actually cheered (yeah!). I hadn't had that response to writing ever in my class... Thanks for your ideas in writing!!!

Karla Sheridan
4th grade teacher, Brevard County, FL

I am always looking for creative topics for my students to write about that allow them to use their imaginations and make the work their own. Word has spread how wonderful your ideas are and many of our teachers are using "Sparks" on a weekly basis! Please keep them coming.

Mindy Barr, 4th grade teacher, MD

The Sparks writing lessons are fantastic. The students look forward to it every week. They love to come in every Monday morning to hypothesize what the message on the board could mean. It is awesome to hear all their theories. They beg for the writing workshop time. It is wonderful to see children pleading to write. I definitely recommend the program.

Tresa Curran, 5th grade teacher, Reading, PA

I love your SPARKS ideas.  I teach first grade and many of your ideas are easily modified for my students.

1st grade teacher, OH

The "sparks" material has some wonderful springboard ideas, which I adapt to get my students writing quality rather than quantity pieces. No doubt about it - the creative writing section of our work is an area that we all look forward to. Thank you for some phenomenally wonderful ideas.

Lois Nunes, Specific Learning Disabled teacher, New Zealand

As a fourth grade teacher I am always looking for new and innovative writing ideas, I was blessed to find many wonderful and exhilarating ideas to "Spark" my students into writing. My students tell me often how interesting and fun writing has become. With the help of Sparks I have more time to motivate and encourage my students into writing, the concepts are so easy to follow and well laid out. Each Spark gives me a good springboard to creative writing, which I am thoroughly grateful for!

Leslie Flores, 4th grade teacher, CA

I have thoroughly enjoyed all of the Sparks that you have sent this year. The children have been excited for the lessons that I have been able to use... I can honestly say that every child in my class enjoyed being able to write!

Katie Moyer, 3rd grade teacher, PA