Saturday, January 12, 2013

Put some P.O.W. in your Writing!

MrsStanfordsClass
I am SO excited to share my experiences with Teaching in Room 6's Paragraph of the Week!!!  Stephanie and I teamed up for the Magical Product Swap over at Mrs. Stanford's Class.  However, she didn't need to send me the resource for this - I was already using it in my classroom!

We've been using Stephanie's Paragraph of the Week (we call it POW!) since the middle of November - and we LOVE it!  My students were really struggling with the organization within a paragraph, and this resource came at the perfect time!  The structure and repetition is EXACTLY what my students need to master the concept.  And we're already seeing the results!

Paragraph of the Week contains prompts and scaffolded activities for 36 weeks!  The first 18 weeks have students mastering the structure and organization of paragraphs.  Students brainstorm ideas on Monday, write the body sentences on Tuesday, write the topic and closing sentences on Wednesday, and put it all together on Thursday.  (We use Friday to publish our paragraphs on the computer).  During the second 18 weeks, students take it a step further and work on editing, revising, and evaluating their paragraphs.  They brainstorm on Monday, write the whole paragraph on Tuesday, revise, edit, and reflect on Wednesday, and write their final copies on Thursday.


Stephanie includes 36 different and ENGAGING writing prompts for every single week (9 different prompts for each of:  "All About Me", "What Would Happen If ...", "Pick and Choose", and "It's A Matter of Opinion").  My students LOVE the prompts - as soon as we finish writing our paragraph on Thursday, they ask me what their next paragraph will be on.  And - they have actually CHEERED when I said to take out their POW folders.  You can't beat that!

We fit our POW writing into our daily writing part of the Daily 4 in my classroom.  It takes about 10 minutes a day - Monday to Thursday.  It's a PERFECT fit because we have chosen writing as our focus on our school improvement plan this year.  I whipped up this bulletin board to display our POW writing - each student has a specific place and name tag on the board.  At the end of each week, the student puts their new paragraph up, over the older paragraphs.  We're all about celebrating growth - and this will be such a great way to SEE that progress and growth happen.




I also have students working on evaluating their own writing using the rubric Stephanie provided in the resource, too.  All my students have their own writing goals (decided on during conferences with me). After they finish their paragraph on Thursday, they evaluate their writing through a glow and grow sheet I made up that also has the rubric included.  I evaluate the published copies after they have made some improvements.


This resource has been the BEST addition to my writing program this year.  You've got to check it out ... and guess what - it's on SALE from now through Sunday!  Just click on the picture to the right to see it.
Stephanie is reviewing one of my resources today, too.  Click on her button below to see what she's writing about ...



26 comments:

  1. I love love love how you can see the progress by flipping through the students' writing! So cute :)

    Bridget
    Little Lovely Leaders

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    1. Thanks, Bridget! The students are really enjoying that aspect, too. And it's so easy for assessment - and great for the parents to see, too.

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  2. This looks great. I wish I had something like this for middle school math...!

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  3. I, too, use Paragraph of the Week with my students. Great post! I am your newest follower and look forward to reading more.

    Andrea

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    1. It's a fabulous resource, isn't it! It should be a staple in all classrooms!

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  4. Well your and Stephanie`s posts worked - I went to TpT and bought both of them tonight! I had your Interactive Math Journals on my wishlist for awhile! I love that it links to the Ontario Curriculum too. I`m not sure if I should just jump right, try a few, or wait till next year and start from September. Any advice?

    Looking From Third to Fourth

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    1. Thank-you so much! I think it's up to you when you start - if your looking for something new to add to your week in math, or your students need a little help retaining the concepts, go for it - I completely changed the way we did the journals (adding the left side of the page thinking) in April, and my students adjusted very quickly!

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  5. I too love this product! I like how you have your kids go up and add their new paragraphs over their old ones. That is probably huge in your classroom. I can imagine my kids looking at their older paragraphs and noticing their own growth and realizing the changes they have made within themselves as writers. Awesome post with so much valuable information Jen, THANK YOU!!

    YoungTeacherLove 5th Grade Blog

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    1. Thanks, Kristine! They're already starting to notice - which is HUGE! I can't wait until they have been doing this for months - how cool will that be, then! They're also noticing the growth in their classmates' writing, and complimenting them on it - LOVE that!

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  6. I had purchased this before Christmas and had the intentions of starting in the New Year. Totally got sidetracked with speeches and report cards! Thanks for the reminder :) Can't wait to start on Monday with our Daily 5 rotations! Jen

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    1. I know you'll love it as much as I do, Jen! Have a GREAT week!

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  7. Wow! You are right this is one excellent resource. This would be great for my 4th graders and even better for me to use in a center with them. I love how it is broken down over a week! Thanks for sharing!

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    1. You are SO welcome! I've been using it for a while, and planned to write about it sooner, but when we found out about the product swap activity planned, we thought we'd wait until then!

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  8. I have been using this since Novmber too. My class looks forward to the topics. I am trying to link the topics from Stephanie's selection to go with something we are working on. This week my students will write about the one have no access to technology. We are reading, The City Of Ember and we have had some amzing group discussions. I am sure our paragraphs will be great! My class was very weak in writing and now we are starting to get out of the boring few sentences! Yay us! Have a good week Jen!

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    1. I know - we're just finishing up some of the "about me" selections, then I think I'll pick and choose a little more when the topics get a little deeper. We're LOVING City of Ember in our class, too. SO happy to hear this resource is working for you, too!
      Have a great week, Jen!

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  9. I already use this GREAT product each week! I love your display of the paragraphs and will add the GLOW & GROW to make our evaluations more meaningful! Thanks so much for your advice!!! Jen

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    1. Thanks, Jen! We use "glow and grow" a lot in the class - sometimes the students will ask to do it before I even get a chance to tell them too. :)

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  10. Love this! What do you do for grammar?

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    1. Funny you should ask, Jamie ... I actually have a post planned for this week ALL about it! It's a real NEED in my classroom right now!

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  11. I purchased Stephanie's Paragraph of the Week and used it for the first time last week as a homework assignment. We went over them every day in class, but I realized how much work they need to do on their writing! After seeing everyone's comments about using them in class, I think I will change this to an in-class assignment starting on Monday. I think it will take me more than 10 minutes (they are going to need lots of modeling), but hopefully they will need less time on it as they do it more. I think this is really going to help ME help my students with their writing. I highly recommend this product. And Jen, I love the bulletin board idea! I am so going to do that and the Glow and Grow!

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    1. Thanks, Jen!
      We're not supposed to assess anything that is completed at home, and I knew I wanted to use these paragraphs as a formative assessment, so we had to do them at school (plus, my students aren't the best at homework completion). The first few times it will take a little longer, but they get the hang of it quite quickly. Some of my students on IEPs needed a little more help realizing how to put it all together, but because the rest of the class had such a strong grasp of it, I was able to spend that extra time with the students that needed it.

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  12. I miss teaching writing {mainly because of this fabulous resource}. I get my writing fix with your interactive math journal in my room. I'm so thankful for you and Stephanie. Both of you have inspired me to be a better teacher. Thanks, Jen!

    Elizabeth

    Fun in Room 4B

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    1. Oh Elizabeth - as much as I think it would be great to departmentalize, I think I would cry if I had to give up writing ... or math ... or reading ... or .... nevermind, I'm just realizing departmentalization may not be for me. And ... right back at ya with the whole inspiration part! ;) Hope you have a great week!

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  13. Hi! I am considering purchasing the POW...I'm wondering if your students type, revise and edit as well as type a final paragraph every week. From your photos that is how it looks? I am wondering again about the "time" constraints issue!

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  14. Hi, I'm a first year teacher and have just purchased the POW pack. I was hoping you may have more student examples of the actual day to day tasks and not just the end result. I just want to clarify that I'm modelling this correctly. Any help would be greatly appreciated. Thanks heaps

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