Arkansas State Personnel Development Grant

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The Minute Paper* #1


A minute paper is a writing-to-learn strategy that offers several benefits:

  • it helps students to focus on the key ideas in informational text.

  • it leads students to articulate questions that remain after reading.

  • it encourages students to make application of new information and to establish connections to prior learning/experiences.

  • it promotes engagement.

  • it develops thinking skills.

  • it provides insight into students’ thinking processes.

  • it offers the opportunity for quick assessment and for personal, positive feedback.

*The minute paper may easily become a two or three-minute paper when a longer, more thorough response suits the purposes of instruction.

Materials

  • Each student will need a passage of informational text and a minute-paper graphic organizer. (See “Satellites Search for Ancient Artifact” and “Minute Paper” graphic organizer for samples to use in modeling the process with students.)

Guided Practice

  1. Hand out the graphic organizer (or have students create their own) and explain that it will be used to prepare for the minute paper. Advise students NOT to write while they are reading.

  2. Hand out a passage of informational text (or direct students to the informational passage in their textbooks) and provide time for students to read the text.

  3. Organize the class into discussion partners in order to complete the graphic organizer.

  4. Ask students to write their minute (or two or three-minute) papers. They may use the back of the graphic organizer or clean paper. Students should address all three parts of the graphic organizer.







Assessments

Review the papers immediately to correct any misunderstandings. Allow unanswered questions to guide further instruction; use applications/connections as points of departure for class discussion. Minute papers are best evaluated as rough drafts; points may be awarded for completion with exemplary responses earning bonus credit.

Tier II Additions

  • Pair with a student with average to high writing skills.

  • Allow student to focus on writing less in each part of the graphic organizer.

Tier III Accommodations/Modifications

  • Pair with a student peer who has strong writing skills or a paraprofessional.

  • Allow student to focus on teacher-selected highlighted parts of the graphic organizer.

Tier IV Modifications

  • Allow student to dictate less parts of the graphic organizer and minute paper to a student peer, teacher, or paraprofessional.

Tier V Modifications

  • Provide a tape recorder for student to speak their graphic organizer or minute paper into it.

 

Writing To Learn Minute Paper + Worksheets

 

Copyright © 2006 Arkansas Department of Education. All rights reserved. School districts may reproduce these materials for in-school student use only. No resale. Materials may not be reproduced, distributed or sold for commercial use or profit. ADE employees are not authorized to waive these restrictions.

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