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Home : 2002 : Jul : 22

    Step-Up to Writing
    By Michele

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    Let's see...the program is really pretty easy. I start my third graders out by defining the basic types of sentences the program uses...Topic sentence, Facts, and Conclusion (which is just re-writing the topic sentence.) We discuss these, and I write different sentences on chart paper and the kids tell me whether the sentence is a topic or a fact. Then we move on to a simple 5 sentence paragraph. I use one that I write on chart strips and the kids help me put it in order, Topic, fact, fact, fact, conclusion. Then the kids do a different one in groups, then finally on their own. The program color codes the sentences so the Topic and Conclusion sentences are red, the Facts are green, and the description/detail sentences are yellow (I wait a week or so to introduct those, but when I do, I start from scratch again.) I color code the different sentences, so I can quikly see whether they have organized the sentences correctly.

    When they have organizing down, we begin writing paragraphs. I just usually start with simple topics like favorite sports, pets, etc. Another third grade teacher starts them writing on colored paper which they cut and paste in order, I don't generally do that, I have made special lined paper with Topic, Fact, Fact, Fact, Conclusion written down the side. They seem to do alright with that.

    Once we have written a few of the basic 5 sentence paragraphs (and I do have them indent them!) I introduce detail sentences. this is where it gets confusing for them, and so I made strips of lines paper with Fact on one line and Detail/Desctription on another line. Each one is separate and I have them cut and paste it to create their paragraphs, then re-write it on another piece of paper.

    Once they have learned the basic format I change it around to fit what ever I need them to do.

    As for conclusions...I know that there are quite a few,but I'm sorry I can't recall off the top of my head. I am back to school on Aug. 19th, so I'll look and post then. Sorry!! :o)

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