TWSS is the program that is meant to instruct the teacher. In it, Andrew is talking directly to the parents, explaining the IEW method, teaching the parent how to write the IEW way, and giving tips on teaching students. The SWI program is Andrew teaching the students. There are diffrent levels for different ages/abilities.
The TWSS and the SWIs go hand in hand. In order to use SWI effectively, the parent needs to understand the process and needs to be able to help the student. You get that from the TWSS. You can learn how to teach from the TWSS, and then teach the student and skip using the SWI altogether, but it's more difficult to use the SWI without having the TWSS.
That said, one could order the $10 Overview DVD
and view it before starting the SWI. While far cheaper, this overview only gives the parent the rudiments to get through. However, I do have to admit that I never completed watching the TWSS.
But I did enough to get us through SWI-B. I doubt I will ever sell my TWSS, and I do intend on completing it. It is useful for all levels of writing. Even my husband would like to go through it.
Now that my oldest is taking her first college class, Composition, I know we will be using it.
What sold my husband on IEW and purchasing the TWSS/SWI package is that they offer a 100% money back guarantee with no time limit. If you hate it or stick it on a shelf and come across it 10 years later or whatever, they'll take it back and refund you the purchase price (IF
you bought it directy from IEW).
Some find the IEW method very formulaic and easy to identify the writings of students using the the program. However, I like to look at it as setting the student up for success. They really cannot fail using the IEW way. While there is room for the student's voice to come through when using the IEW method, there is a checklist of required items for each assignment. It naturally forces the student think carefully about his word choices and sentence patterns. Once the student has been writing with these checklists for a couple years, it will become fairly automatic. You can relax the requirements when that happens.
Well, sorry for the info-mercial. Yes, I have worked at the IEW booths at conventions. And, yes, I use a lot of IEW products.
(But I don't receive any kickback for promoting their products.) Anyway, I'd be willing to send you the Overview disk from my TWSS set for you to view and return later. I also recommend viewing the webinar archives at IEW
. The one on Experiencing IEW is a brief introduction to the method. There are also individual webinars for each unit, but you really need to be familiar with the method and the units prior to watching them.
More than you asked for, but I hope it helps.