After a week of hard work, revising, re-evaluating, and researching the students published their work onto KidBlog.org.
First, they landed on the homepage of KidBlog.org and clicked either on the “Students” button or the “Login” button beneath the words “Create a Class.” If they chose this option, they then had to type in my email address to pull up the directory of all of my KidBlog classes.
Next, they selected their class, either 3rd, 4th, 5th, or 6th period. The “Orange Class” is my demo class to show them the ins and outs of how to use the KidBlog platform.
The link of their specific class would then take them to the homepage of that class with a listing of all of the most recent posts. From here, each student had to once again click “login” located at the top, right-hand corner of the page.
That link leads to this page where each student then had to choose his or her name from the drop down menu and enter their password.
The final logon page then shows the same master screen with all of the posts published for that class, but shows the student’s name in the top, right-hand corner.
By clicking on “Control Panel,” each can access the dashboard from which they can create and submit their final drafts to begin the portfolio process.
Once the students finished inputting their essays, they then had the opportunity to comment on one another’s work using the “ABC” method:
- Acknowledge something the author said
- Build upon the author’s points with some interesting insight or thought
- Conclude with a critical thinking question or one that arose while reading the essay.
Class-Specific Direct Blog Links:
- 3rd Period: http://kidblog.org/MsWilliamsGreenClass/
- 4th Period: http://kidblog.org/MsWilliamsYellowClass/
- 5th Period: http://kidblog.org/MsWilliamsBlueClass/
- 6th Period: http://kidblog.org/MsWilliamsPurpleClass/
- Read for 30 minutes
- Finish any work not completed in class. Assignments not submitted by 8:30 a.m. Thursday morning will lose 10 points.
After taking a moment to consider five questions the students would want to ask their progenitors or their future progeny during the warm up (both of those words are some of their current vocabulary words), the students presented the last of their Alternative Book Reports.
The students and I then explored the origin of the expression “playing Devil’s Advocate” which was the colloquial name given to a person within the Roman Catholic Church, officially called the promoter of the faith, whose job it is to find any information, particularly upon papal candidates, that could disqualify them from such a post. We talked about how “advocate” has the same roots as the words “abogado” (“lawyer” in Spanish) and “avocat” (“lawyer” in French) as they are all Latin-based. Before starting an activity where the students had the opportunity to stand on either side of a variety of “hot button” or controversial topics and voice their reasons for such. In some instances, some students were chosen at random to try to play “Devil’s Advocate” themselves. Before embarking upon this activity, all of the students were shown the following disclaimer:
Disclaimer: This activity is one geared only toward seeing different perspectives and is in no way intended to be offensive to or question your own personal beliefs or morals. This activity will serve only as a segue into the argumentative writing unit for which differing perspectives is paramount to writing most effectively.
The students really gravitated toward this activity as they shared their knowledge and opinions on a variety of topics ranging from school uniforms, to Ray Rice and Hope Solo, to whether the U.S. should step in and assist in resolving conflicts around the world.
- Read for 30 minutes
- Study for tomorrow’s quiz over “Vocabulary from Classical Roots” lessons 2 and 3
Ahh, the end of the week. Friday was our usual assessment day where the students took an open-note quiz on sentence trees, dependent clause types, and independent versus dependent clauses. The students then created a 1-page essay during the remainder of class to the topic below:
Topic: A lot of schools hand out “Participation Awards” or “Perfect Attendance” certificates at award ceremonies. However, there are those who think that this encourages people to not try their hardest. Therefore, at an award ceremony, is it better to recognize everyone for trying or should only the people who did the best be recognized? Write an essay to convince Mr. Bivens to agree with you. Be sure to include specific details to support your claim.
For the students who finished the 1-Pager essay, they were directed to begin working on creating sentences for the Sentence Auction taking place on Monday.
HOMEWORK: No homework. Have a wonderful weekend!
What a busy week this has been!
On Friday, the students took a quiz on brainstorming, TAPP, and clauses. Overall, the students did well. These scores will be used to determine the students’ groups and pairings for next week’s activities.
Once the students finished, they had the opportunity to begin brainstorming on a topic of their choice from the ones below (1st and 2nd periods did not have the opportunity to do this):
1. Should state colleges be free to attend?
2. Should all American citizens have to complete a year of community service?
3. Should students be required to take Spanish classes?
4. Should the voting age be lowered to thirteen?
5. Should the driving age be raised to twenty-one?
6. Should immigrants who came to the U.S. illegally be given legal status if they have been here for a certain number of years? (this one was created by a student in 2nd period)
The plan right now is for these brainstormed ideas to serve as the basis for a writing assignment next week.
HOMEWORK: None. Have a wonderful weekend.
PowerPoint: 9-28-12 Assessment Day
On Thursday we began looking at building stronger body paragraphs through generating ideas. We reviewed the concept of brainstorming in general, then I reintroduced the concept below:
HOMEWORK: Continue week-long homework assignments (In-Class Essay and Take-Home Quiz)
PowerPoint: 9-27-12 Building Ideas into Body Paragraphs
Wednesday plunged us deep into class discussions on the following topics:
- Should college athletes be paid for playing?
- Should the elderly receive free bus rides?
- Should state colleges be free to attend?
The students really enjoyed discussing these and their opinions varied widely. It was quite exciting! We then took a step back to channel these ideas into a mind map and just practiced brainstorming. In fact, the students were able to use the points brought up in discussion to assist them.
HOMEWORK: Complete week-long assignments
After completing the quizzes on gerunds and prepositions (which took up a majority of the class period), we broke down the writing prompt given to first period on Friday. We just opted to do T, A, and P:
- Topic: Should kids do chores at home?
- Audience: adults in one’s family
- Purpose: to persuade
- 1st Period: Begin work on the week’s homework. Read for 30 minutes.
- 2nd, 6th, and 7th: Finish in-class essays.
- All classes: complete take-home quiz
PowerPoint: 9-24-12 Be Clause You’re Worth It!
In-Class Essay: (forthcoming)
Friday was a mixed bag lesson where each class had a slightly different experience based on their lesson needs:
- First periodreviewed conclusion techniques discussed in Tuesday’s lesson. This class also dissected a writing prompt (see below) using TAP (we left the last “P” for later). The students are to complete this for homework.
- Writing Prompt:
- Writing Situation: Most families assign chores to their children. Families need to work together, and having the children of the house help out teaches responsibility. However, many children and teens object to having these chores imposed upon them. What is your opinion?
- Directions for Writing: Do you think that children should have assigned chores to do at home, or do you think you have enough to do already? Write an essay to convince the adults in your family of your point of view regarding the children and teens being required to do chores at home. Be clear in your opinion, and use specific details and examples to support your ideas.
- Writing Prompt:
- Second period took time to revisit the computer lab in order to finish the SRI. The students who finished then began work dissecting the prompt above using TAP(P).
- Sixth period had the opportunity to briefly visit the Book Fair which was only in our Media Center for one day. Upon returning from the Media Center, sixth period completed the notes on conclusion strategies from Tuesday’s lesson.
- Should there have been more time slots available, the other class periods would have also attended.
- Seventh period completed notes on conclusion strategies from Tuesday’s lesson.
**QUIZ ALERT: Anticipate a quiz over prepositions and gerunds on Monday!
- 1st: Complete the in-class essay. It must be 3 paragraphs in length.
- 2nd: For those who began the in-class essay, complete it. Those who did not will work on this assignment starting on Monday the 24th, 2012.
- 6th: No homework
- 7th: No homework
On Thursday we included more practice with getting an introductory paragraph started. The students had the opportunity to use the 3-Sentence Introduction again as the foundation of their introductory paragraphs.
For the last few minutes of class, we went to the Media Center where everyone had the opportunity to check out a non-fiction library book as we will be working more with non-fiction texts next week.
HOMEWORK: None today.
PowerPoint: 9-13-12 Building Strong Introductions
Wednesday was an energetic day in class. After using 5 gerunds in a paragraph on any topic, we then had our first-ever Fist Pump Competition! When a popular song was played, the students had to pump their fists exactly when the hook (chorus) came in. If they fist pumped prematurely, their group was disqualified for that song. The first group with 100% fist pumping at the hook of each song got a point. The group with the most points was promised a super-special prize in the near future. Until then, they have bragging rights.
We then picked up from where we left off in class yesterday by creating a 3-sentence introduction. We worked together to identify the topic, audience, and purpose (pattern will be included later). Then we selected a hook (attention-grabber). We then generated a thesis based on our topic from yesterday which asked us to support our claim regarding the effects of smoking on one’s health. Finally, we tied the hook and thesis statement together using a transitional sentence. Please take a look at the example to the right (the link below opens the image in PowerPoint).
The goal will be to use this 3-sentence introduction structure as a foundation for a larger, more extensive, yet still concise introduction.
HOMEWORK: Write a 3-sentence introduction with a question to open, a transitional sentence, and a thesis.
PowerPoint: 9-12-12 Thesis Statements in Action