March 6, 2013

Bird's Eye View of Spring or PaW Part 2

I wrote about Paragraph a Week (PaW) in a previous post, offering some St. Patrick's Story Starters as a FREEBIE to get you started, or perhaps reacquainted, with the program. Today is a good day to blog a little more about PaW.

Years ago, in the infancy of the internet, late 1996- early 1997, long before there were blogs, there were usenet groups and bulletin boards. Webrings were a new feature and email was the preferred method of "chatting". You could sometimes catch your recipient live on the other end of the message and receive an immediate reply. Ah, the simpler good ole days! I became interested in webpage creation via the students with whom I worked. They were into HTML and making webpages for Dungeons and Dragons. I can do this, I thought. And I did! Thus was born the original Teacher's Desk.

At The Teacher's Desk I hosted a homemade webring, connecting teacher websites. At its peak there were about 50 sites tied together... talk about an organizational nightmare! It wasn't long before Teachers.Net developed a "real" webring and I got out of the business. It was my webring, though, that gave life to a Connection of 5/6 grade teachers. via a new type of usenet group, a listserv. Called the 5/6Connection we eventually numbered into the 100's.

The 5/6Connection teachers were responsible for creating what would become Paragraph a Week. First called Friday English, we began sharing a few prompts along with the weekly routine behind the program. I coined the name Paragraph a Week in 1998 when I collected all of the prompts, formatted them, and posted them as part of The Teacher's Desk collection of lesson ideas where they remained until 2012 when I cleaned out my drawers.

Paragraph a Week is returning, slowly but surely, in a new format, and in a new place. Until the complete program is ready, I'll be sharing excerpts here on my blog. Today's PaW is about Spring and requires students to assume the personality of a Robin who describes the signs of spring, an opportunity for students to write in first person point of view. You can download this FREEBIE HERE or by clicking on the link below the graphic. I hope you can find it useful!

Happy Teaching,
The Teacher's Desk 6

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