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SUTW part 4

SUTW part 4

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Published by clausen01

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Published by: clausen01 on Mar 10, 2012
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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Step Up To Writing
Expository Writing
Effective Writing Instruction
Teaching writingthroughconsistency andplanning.
Good writing is developed through consistency and a plan. Step-Up-to-Writing is not a curriculum as much as it is a variety of toolsthat allow for consistent writing instruction for all grades, K-12. Thetools of Step-Up-to-Writing are used all day long, across all contentareas. Students need purposeful exposure to good writing as asource of inspiration and example.The PLAN is equally important. We often mistake a WEB chart ,VENN diagram or similar graphic organizer as a plan. These arebrainstorming tools that lead to lists, not proper writing. The T-Chart is an ideal plan for expository, informational writing. It issimple to introduce in Kindergarten and use through 12
gradeand into college. It builds, yet is simple and highly functional.
Traffic LightColors
The planning stage of the writingprocess is extremely important. The traffic light colors are not only usedon the T-Chart plan. Give students acopy of well-written text and have them highlight the noted parts with the corresponding traffic light color.
This “green” means - GO tell the audience what you are going towrite about. It is the introduction. In K1 this is the topic sentence. By 3
thisis the opening paragraph. In 2
, thereis a transition between the two.
Slow down and look closely at theimportant information. These are themain, key or star ideas. This is alsowhere the transition words come intoplay. In K2 the transition words are traditional (First, Then, Next, Finally)by 3
the students will be ready formore complex and hidden transitionwords because they will havemastered the process. In K2 this arepart of 1 paragraph. By 3
grade,each yellow (big idea/main point) is aparagraph.
Details and bulleted ideas, not sentences, whichsupport each yellow. This is not used in K. In 1
useone, in 2
, use two. 3
grade and up use as many asneeded. These are the elaborations that make your writingmore interesting and believable.
I call this “go back green” with my first graders.For the most part, we are simply restating the openingsentence in a slightly modified way. As the kids mature aswriters they need to be taught this sentence (paragraphfor older kids) should be confident and complete. Its job is to leave the reader feeling something and remembering. Itsummarizes the piece. This is NOT “Thank you for readingmy story”, or “THE END”. Students need to know writingMUST have a conclusion
2Traci Clausen / DragonfliesInFirst.blogspot.comStep Up to WritingExpository Writing
The T-chart is a plan that can be used in Kindergarten just as well as it canbe used in college. It grows in depth and complexity, while continuouslyutilizing the simple design.
K1 teachers work with their students to create T-charts. During the latter part of 1
grade, studentsstart creating their own T-charts with guidance. By2
, the T-chart is so common place, the kids just“get it”.
Informal OutlineThe T-Chart
Good writing starts with a plan, nota Roman numeral outline. Likewise, aweb diagram/graph does notindicate that your student is ready to write. It only indicates that theyknow a lot about a topic. It is simplya list. It is not organized.The T-chart on the other hand isorganized AND simple. It is a plan that can be created about whathas been read and what is to bewritten.
Opening/Topic (GREEN)Big Ideas(YELLOWS)Support (RED)Conclusion (GREEN)
New PuppyBig Ideas(YELLOWS)
Support (RED)
small, cute
mom sayshe’ll grow
soft fur
In Kindergarten, the teacher uses the t-chart.It is a verbal activity. It would not be a gooduse of time to have kinders write all this out.First would just use the red dashes/main reds.The additional red bullets would be used by 3
 and older. With my kiddos I generally give them the keywords for each yellow and they turn thosewords into sentences. Or I give them keyconcepts like “looks” and “plays” as indicated in the above sample.

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