Thursday, June 16, 2016

Paragraph Writing in 8 Simple Steps

Paragraph writing guides/resources are flourishing on Pinterest.   One of my favorites is from Teaching in Room 6 called Paragraph of the Week.  Towards the middle of the year, I use this resource as weekly homework to keep my students' paragraph writing skills fresh.  So why did I compile another resource on paragraph writing when there are several fabulous resources out there?  Hint...something to do with being a control freak?  No, never. Teachers aren't control freaks.  The MAIN reason I created this resource was out of trial and error regarding what has worked for me the past 13 years as an educator.

Shocker alert.  My students have not always arrived into fourth grade being able to write a solid paragraph.    Some years are better than others, but typically I have to teach the process from beginning to end.  The steps are as follows: 1) Brainstorm; 2) Pre-write; 3) Plan it Out; 4) Sloppy Copy; 5) Edit (individually or peer); 6) Revise; 7) Rewrite; 8) Publish and Reflect.  You can see a sample of these steps below.



WHY I REALLY LOVE THIS RESOURCE

1) The steps can be easily differentiated to meet the needs of all learners.  More advanced students can skip certain steps or add more explanation/evidence.  

2) The students are asked to REFLECT numerous times throughout the process.  This is an excellent way to integrate the GROWTH MINDSET into your writing curriculum.

3) Technology and this resource go hand in hand.  I use Google Classroom and absolutely love it!  Once my students get comfortable with this resource, I have them type their rewrite and final draft into Google Classroom and I grade it there.  

4) There are a few different options for rubrics, with a few editable options.  

5)  The peer edit sheet is a nice resource for older students who are familiar with how to edit.  

ON THE HORIZON

I am almost finished with the Powerpoint that compliments this resource.  Also, I am working on the ESSAY version as an add on pack since I am moving to 6th grade next year :)  For now you can check out this resource here:  Opinion Paragraph Writing.

Happy Summer!