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    By Michele

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    I teach a 3/4 split, and highly recommend Step-Up to Writing as a program. It is AWESOME, and starts kids writing paragraphs then move on to essays. It is really concrete, and easy for most students to understand (and succeed with). I know they have a website and they do seminars too.

    I can give you a general overview the steps I have my 3/4 graders do. We begin with sentence structure, making sure students know how to write a correct sentence, then move onto paragraphs. The program uses colors to represent the parts of a paragraph, green (topic sentences), yellow (fact/detail senteces, and red (examples), green (conclusion sentence). Students begin organizing other paragraphs and highlighting the organizational piece, then begin creating their own. Later, we move into essays (middle 3rd grade), and that is when I introduce the different types of writing. I have students work in a writing workshop twice a week for 45 minutes, and usually have a mini-lesson at the beginning with a minimum of 30 minutes actual writing time. Once we are writing essays, they finish one, score it (ORegon's scoring guide), turn it in, and begin a different type of essay. Then I score it as quickly as possible, and we meet to discuss their score and what they need to work on to do better.

    Hope this helps....I am sorry about any mistakes, My kids are starting to whine!!


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