Jane Schaffer Writing
In the classroom, I have been using the Jane Schaffer model for paragraph writing. Generally, when students get to high school they have the idea stuck in their head that "one paragraph = five sentences." The Jane Schaffer paragraph is eight sentences, and it forces the students to include concrete details, or as one student said, "Oh, you mean facts." In the graphic organizer I use, I have included not only the Schaffer terminology, but terminology I think students might encounter when they get to college, or in another class. I want them to use the model, but not get overly attached to the terms. If a student needs a more simplistic version I will write in the margins "fact, opinion, opinion, fact, opinion, opinion." The quality of the paragraphs that the students are producing using this method is amazing. Some critics claim that it is too stifling and that writing is a creative process. I agree, but playing a musical instrument is also creative, and one must learn the basic chords before improvising. I know this would have helped me when I was learning to write. Finally, when I have the students write five-paragraph essays, I tell them that they must use this format for their three body paragraphs, but the introduction and conclusion they can get "creative" with.
Ms. Young is a teacher who wants to keep a record of what works!