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Team Teaching with Dr. Louis: Introducing the Terms and Color-Coding of the Jane Schaffer Academic Writing Program®

Dr. Louis provides a flipped introduction to students regarding the color-coded JSWP terminology of writing an academic body paragraph for the Expository/Informational mode of discourse.

Options for Implementation:

  • Watch the video and teach the lesson yourself.
  • Team teach with Dr. Louis. You teach, she teaches, it’s a collaboration!
  • Great for absent students to view and follow when they return to class.

CAUTION: Only teachers, not technology, can guide students through the thinking process of writing. So, please understand that this video series provides students with what we do in the first hour of our six-hour professional development. To assist teachers, this series is designed as a flipped approach to teaching the JSWP colors and terminology. Its purpose, like all good flipped instruction, is to introduce students to the learning material before class, with classroom time then being used to deepen understanding through the steps in the thinking and writing process using our graphic organizers. Teachers are critical to the next steps in the process, but let Dr. Louis take off the load and save you some class time by teaching the first step: common terminology and color-coding. See below for more information.

Subscription Length: 1 Calendar Year

Each video is 8-13 minutes in length.

Even if a teacher or home school parent would like to begin with Response to Literature, the Personal or Fictional Narrative, or Argumentation, this first student-centered video will provide the key terms and colors that start the process of yielding increased skills and scores in student writing.

Once students know the colors and terms, the thinking and learning, adapting and differentiation occur with the teaching of the HOW of writing (found in our guides, in our workshops and webinars, and in our self-paced digital programs):

  • Gathering CDs (teaching students how to gather and evaluate specific, relevant, and appropriate evidence)
  • The T-Chart (teaching students how to embed quotations, generate commentary, revise the topic sentence, and compose a concluding sentence)
  • WOW charts (teaching vocabulary development, denotation, connotation, authentic writing, voice)
  • Shaping Sheet (teaching students how to effectively edit, proof, and revise for grammar, usage, syntax, style, and voice)
  • Introduction (teaching students how to build an introduction with a thesis statement)
  • Conclusion (teaching students how to build a reflective and stimulating conclusion)
Introduction and Topic Sentence

To introduce the terminology, Dr. Louis recommends that you download the two files and print them. As she works through the next several videos, students will copy the model body paragraph onto “expository paragraph form” and take notes on the “Expository Terminology” handout.

Dr. Louis begins with the importance of associating different colors with different functions of sentences in a body paragraph. Then, Dr. Louis discusses the importance of indenting. The main skill to learn in this video, however, is that an academic body paragraph begins with a topic sentence, the first sentence in a body paragraph. For literary analysis and personal narrative, the TS includes the subject of the paragraph and the writer’s opinion (commentary). For argumentation and expository/informational, the TS includes the subject of the paragraph, but, depending on the assignment, what follows might include something other than commentary. The TS does the same thing for a body paragraph that the thesis does for the whole essay.

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