Pure Michigan and Perfect Paragraph Planning

Yep.  I now live in Michigan and this was my backyard two days ago.  Can you say Snow Days?! Not just day, but days (with an S!).  Pure craziness and freezing-ness out here.  It's way better today though. We hit 19 and it felt like summer. :)
 Little Lily just looked like this for 2 days straight - poor babe.
 When we did force her outside she had serious reservations.  :)
I loved the break and the excitement of getting the "snow day phone call", but I don't think I'm completely cut out for this whole extended snow day thing.  Day 1 and 2 were so much fun, but Day 3 was a little blech-fest.  Of course I loved sipping my coffee until 10, leisurely making a crock pot dinner at noon, and listening to lovely music all morning long (I can not tell you how much I absolutely LOVE Spotify!).  But, there's something about not getting out of pajamas for almost 72 hours, napping as much as the dog, and posting Instagram pics of said dog in a coat that make me feel a little blah.  It's 7:25 EST now, so I don't think I'm getting another call about tomorrow.  I'm happy and ready to go.  Bring on the second graders!
Examples of a simple way to teach simple paragraphs with a Topic, Conclusion and 3 details with support - from I Want to be a Super Teacher
Are you teaching informational writing in the near future?  If so, this activity might be helpful.  I like to introduce simple paragraphs using "Stars and Bars".  In years past I've had parents use the fancy dicut machine, but this year I had the kids cut out all the parts (T, stars, bars, C) and it went wonderfully.  It took awhile, but I think the kids will remember it better - or at least I'm hoping all that kinesthetic cutting will emblazon the T, star, bar, and C in their sweet little second grade brains.  :)

I think the Star/Bar organizer might be a Step Up to Writing idea.  One of my teammates who shared this idea with me had been Step Up trained.  I don't know a lot about that program, but I do know I love this simple way to introduce basic paragraph organization to kids - even the littler guys.    

It's easy-peasy:
T = Topic sentence
Examples of a simple way to teach simple paragraphs with a Topic, Conclusion and 3 details with support - from I Want to be a Super Teacher
Star = Detail
Examples of a simple way to teach simple paragraphs with a Topic, Conclusion and 3 details with support - from I Want to be a Super Teacher
Bar = Supporting detail ("Tell me more" about the detail)
Examples of a simple way to teach simple paragraphs with a Topic, Conclusion and 3 details with support - from I Want to be a Super Teacher
C = Conclusion
Examples of a simple way to teach simple paragraphs with a Topic, Conclusion and 3 details with support - from I Want to be a Super Teacher
I like to color code the T green (go!), C red (stop!), with the stars yellow and bars orange, but it doesn't really matter on the star and bar color - I'm just set in my color coded ways.  I ask students to provide 3 details with supporting details, but for the super little ones, one detail and supporting detail should suffice.
Examples of a simple way to teach simple paragraphs with a Topic, Conclusion and 3 details with support - from I Want to be a Super Teacher
On day 1 we cut and pasted our T, C, stars, and bars.  We also wrote the 3 details we wanted to include in our paragraph on the stars - for this paragraph our favorite winter traditions.  Then on day 2 students wrote complete sentences for each detail and supporting detail.  On day 3 we had a class mini-lesson on topic sentences.  Day 4 was conclusion mini-lesson day.  Day 5 was read your completed paragraph day.  Hooray for paragraphs!    

3 comments

  1. I love this!! Will definitely be sharing this idea with my teaching partner, we have Grade 2 this year and this activity will be spot on when we tackle information texts. Thanks so much for sharing!

    Tania
    Mrs Poultney's Ponderings

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  2. Very nice idea! I found your site because we are fellow students at TBTS! ;) Looking forward to keeping up with you. You can visit me at www.thereadbox.blogspot.com

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  3. I absolutely love this prize pack!!! Would be awesome for someone like me starting out without much....

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