Expect More * Encourage More * Achieve More

STEP UP TO WRITING PARENT GUIDE

(Adapted from Fox Point-Bayside School District)

Step Up to Writing is a set of strategies that teaches clear writing skills within the writing process (pre-writing, drafting, revising, editing, final copy, proofreading, sharing) to help students organize their thinking and their writing. It is used primarily for informational or expository writing.

 

The Sweetwater County School District # 2 has been using Step Up to Writing to support our students in developing as capable and flexible writers for both academic and personal needs.  With these strategies, our students learn to organize and write in a logical order, expand and support their statements, and write connected multi-paragraph pieces, even at an early age.

 

Students learn some key strategies with the Step Up to Writing:

 

How to write effective topic sentences using Power Statements and Occasion/Position Statements.

How to write strong “Accordion” paragraphs

How to write strong topic and concluding sentences

How to make transitions between ideas

How to write comparison sentences

 

WHAT PARENTS CAN TALK ABOUT WITH THEIR CHILDREN AT HOME

 

Power (Number) Statements: contain a number in the topic sentence to help to focus the writer and reader on the information to follow. Helpful number words include:

 

Rules for Using Power or Number Words in a Topic Sentence

1.     A power or number statement can be long or short.

2.    A power or number sentence contains a number word.

3.    The number or power word tells the reader that the writer will present a certain amount of information.

Example Topic Sentences that Use Power or Number Words

1. In the winter, I enjoy doing a variety of winter activities.

2. The new orchestra students learned two ways to improve their playing.

 

Two

A few

Numerous

Plenty of

Three

Some

A number of

Four

Many

A myriad

A couple

Several

Various

 

 

 

 

Occasion/Position Statements: a complex two-part sentence with the

Occasion (subject/reason for writing) and Position (what you plan to prove or explain). For example, I have lived in several states; however; there is only one I would call home.

 

Occasion/Position Statements usually begin with one of these words or phrases:

After

As soon as

Even though

Though

Where

Although

Because

If

Unless

Whenever

As

Before

In order that

Until

Whether

As if

Even

In order to

When

While

As long as

Even if

Since

Whenever

So that

 

Accordion Paragraphs: use color to define the paragraph components and structure.

Green = Topic Sentence/ Concluding Sentence

Yellow = Reason, Detail, or Fact

Red = Explanation, Example, Elaboration

Using these components, students “build” paragraphs in a variety of configurations. The most basic is:

Green: Topic Sentence

Yellow:

Red:

Red:

Yellow:

Red:

Red:

Green: Concluding Sentence

 

Young students utilize colored paper strips as they begin the process.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Transition words: are used in the accordion method to let the writer/reader know that a new reason, detail, or fact (Yellow) is being introduced.

 

Some Suggested Transitions

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

COMPARISON TOPIC SENTENCES

The Topic Sentence must have a Comparison word (blue) and a Power or Number word (green) in it.

 

Comparison Words (blue)

similarities                   similarity         compare           the same

in common                     resemble          like                    alike

 

Power or Number Words (green)

Plenty of                       Three                Some

A number of                 Four                  Many

Two                                A few                Numerous

Various                          A myriad          A couple           Several

 

 

Examples of Power or Number Word Topic Sentences

 

Use a comparison word (blue) and a power or number word (green)

 

1. Pioneer and modem schools have three main similarities.

2. Pioneer and modem schools can be compared in three ways.

3. Pioneer and modem schools are alike in three ways.

4. Pioneer and modem schools have three like characteristics.

5. Pioneer and modem schools have three characteristics in common.

6. Pioneer and modem schools resemble each other in three ways.

 

The 1st, 2nd, and 3rd Comparison Sentences must begin with a transition.

 

Each explanation sentence should NOT begin a transition word.

 

 

COMPARISON CONCLUDING SENTENCES

 

The Concluding Sentence must begin with an Occasion / Position Word and have a Comparison word (blue) in it

 

EXAMPLES OF OCCASION / POSITION CONCLUDING SENTENCES

Use an occasion/position word and a comparison word (blue).

 

1. As I learned about pioneer schools, I could tell how similar they are to modern schools.

2. When you compare pioneer schools with modem schools, you can see

3. Even though both pioneer and modem schools educate children differently, they have some things in common.

4. As long as students are educated, we will always see that school systems resemble each other in some ways.

5. After studying pioneer and modern schools, I see how many similarities they have between them.

6. While both pioneer and modern schools have things that differ, they certainly have a variety of things in common.

 

Occasion / Position Words to Use in Concluding Sentences

 

After

As soon as

Even though

Though

Where

Although

Because

If

Unless

Wherever

As

Before

In order that

Until

Whether

As if

Even

Since

When

While

As long as

Even if

So that

Whenever

 

 

Methods to Use in Concluding Sentences

 

Summarize      Summarize information

In fact, soccer is a great sport for boys and girls.

Encourage       Encourage your reader to take action

When someone does something wrong, we should speak up.

Convince           Try once more to convince the reader of your position.

Honestly, bicyclists should wear helmets.

Challenge        Challenge your reader to think.

Everything you hear about a product may not be true; stop and

                    think about the product before you waste your money.

stepupstopsign.gif

1st Supporting Word

2nd Supporting Word

3rd Supporting Word

First,

Second,

Third,

First,

Another,

Next,

First,

Along with,

Likewise,

First,

In addition,

Equally important,

First,

Also,

Finally,

First,

After,

Last,

The first

The second

The third

To begin,

Next,

Last,

To start,

After that,

The last step

First of all,

Also,

Next,

First of all,

Second of all,

Third of all,

First of all,

The next

Another

First of all,

In addition,

Finally,

First of all,

Besides,

In addition,

It started when

As a result,

Therefore,

One way

Another way

A third way

One way

Another way

A final method

At first,

After

Finally,

In the beginning,

Afterward,

Eventually,

To begin,

Then,

To conclude,

In the first place,

After that,

At last,

For example,

Also,

All in all,

One example

Another example

The last example

The most important

Another important

The final important