Sunday, September 27, 2015

StopLight Paragraphing Refresh with VIDEOS!

After our 3rd grade teachers analyzed students' "on demand" paragraphing writing during a recent PLC, they noticed some interesting things as you can see below.
  • Students verbally shared schema for Stoplight (Step Up to Writing) paragraphing by saying things such as:
    • "You need a GREEN- a topic sentence that tells your reader your purpose and (thesis)"
    • "You need yellows to SLOW DOWN and tell your reader more about your topic- a fact, reason, or detail." 
    • "You need REDs, these help your reader to get examples or explain your yellow. "They have to connect."
    • "Readers need punctuation. 
    • "Readers need to create mental images
    • "You have to support your topic."
    • "It can start with prewriting and you need to have a beginning, middle and end."
While you may notice that your kids also bring schema with them from last year, you may crave a little refresher for the strategy as you being to really focus in on supporting your writers in all of your workshops. Here are some sites that offer videos- quick "looks" at teachers modeling for and moving students from the ALL IMPORTANT PREWRITING STAGE to the PUBLISHED PARAGRAPH. As you watch consider these questions:
  • What do you notice about the importance of prewriting?
  • How can you scaffold learning- with the acquisition, moving to meaning making (when they do their own) and later transfer (when they are totally independently and trying it on their own with their own topics)?  (overall overview for any grade level)
Grades 3-5 Step Up to Writing
Breakdown of daily lessons for intermediate students using Step Up to Writing   (This video is someone using the outline to move into a paper folding option for expanding the paragraph. )
StepUp to Writing Basics
This is "StepUp to Writing Basics" by Jason Pedersen on Vimeo, the home for high quality videos and the people who love them. (Check out intermediate videos that take the first video I sent you and shows a "mockup" of each day- clearly your mini lesson would not be as "dry" as what I think hers is, but it at least offers you additional schema for the method.)
Sopris Learning - Videos from Schools
Listen to Educators Who Implement Step Up! The videos below capture the experiences of teachers and administrators who implement Step Up to Writing in their schools.
** They say (occasion/position) for their first sentence. We will always use THESIS and CLAIM.

Hope these help. Let me know what else you might need/want. 

Were you curious about the analysis of the 3rd graders writing? Check it out below.
  • Writing Analysis- Bring 3 writing pieces (high/medium/low) to analyze. What steps do we need to take in regard to stoplight paragraphing and writing
    • Our Noticings:
      * About half of our students are using a topic sentence and staying focused on one topic
      * Most are including some supporting details and examples
      * Many students are using transitions
      * Most students were able to explain the components of a strong paragraph
      * Most included some type of concluding sentence
      * Many students struggled to write complete sentences and use punctuation and capitalization correctly.(if at all)
      * Many simple sentences
      * Spelling of common words (ex. things, were, then) is often incorrect
      * Some students used some type of prewriting- but few
      * Often paragraphs seemed to include unnecessary information
      Impact on Student Learning
      * We plan to review stoplight paragraphing….but not in a lengthy way
      * We plan to spend time discussing “What is a sentence?” and use model sentences to embed punctuation and capitalization lessons.
      * We plan to do some sentence combining lessons, to promote more complex sentences
      * We will be working on spelling word more conventionally though our word work and word wall activities.

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