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zupiter's Message:

Anyone use Step Up to Writing?
Do you like it, hate it, find it beneficial?
I am looking for an easy way to help struggling writers succeed.
This looked easy?????

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Discussion Review (newest messages first)
Amie2372 10-11-2009 03:50 PM a program. I don't think it would be beneficial to teach it that way. I teach Writer's Workshop and use the resources in Step Up to help create my mini-lessons. They have great ideas, I just integrate them into the workshop model. I was never trained in Step Up, so I may be mistaken about it being a "program". If so, I apologize :-)

primary T 10-06-2009 05:29 PM

I would have to agree with you. I love writing and love to get my students excited about writing. I use some of the items in step up but I integrate it into my writer's workshop that are full of social and science units. Yes, students need to be exposed to all of the items but without motivation the children will go nowhere. I work in a school district where everything is very narrow and rigid and writing is the one area in which I can have fun. Children in my explore many types of writing expository, narrative, poetry, etc.

maryteach 08-30-2009 08:06 AM

I have to respectfully disagree. I am a middle school Lang Arts teacher and this program has done more to poison the writers I get than anything. I can always tell a Step Up trained kid because their writing is very stilted and wooden. It follows an exact formula that's really obvious. I understand that some teachers feel it gives an important structure to their writing, but the kids who come from writer's workshop classrooms are always better writers. Their writing is smoother, more fluent, and more advanced than the Step Up kids. Those kids write paragraphs that are all exactly five sentences long, with corny, canned conclusion sentences.

Struggling writers tend to be more successful in classrooms where they are given choice and individual minilessons, during writer's conferences, which address exactly what THAT CHILD needs, one need at a time. They need to set goals and they need to evaluate their writing on the rubric before they turn it in. They need to set their next writing goal based on the feedback they've just received, in the form of a returned piece.

Children should not be expected to move lock-step through a piece of writing (today everyone is planning and tomorrow everyone is writing the first draft...). Writers don't work that way. A writer is the exact opposite of an automaton. If we want them, for example, to plan a really good piece, we can't insist that they finish in the next 20 minutes. They MIGHT finish then, but they might not, and that has to be okay. (No, they don't get to plan all week. We just don't insist on everyone staying together. Kids will be at different points within the process all year long. That really is okay, even desirable.)

I do this with 130 struggling writers (low SES, and I deliberately teach the low ones) so I know this can be done with 20-30 kids, even more effectively and easily.

orionblue 08-18-2009 04:33 PM

I used in up north in Michigan and I loved it. Our writing test focused a lot on organization. I teach in Florida now and they are more worried about voice so I don't use it as much , but it really gives students a visual on how to create their writing.

love-literacy 08-17-2009 11:07 PM

Yes, I have used SUTW and I love it! It was first created for middle and high school students. When they saw how successful it was they developed an elementary program. I used the elementary program. It is great.

zupiter 08-17-2009 01:20 PM

Anyone use Step Up to Writing?
Do you like it, hate it, find it beneficial?
I am looking for an easy way to help struggling writers succeed.
This looked easy?????

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