Presentation (and Vocab Review) Day: Thursday, October 9th, 2014

Thursday’s classes started with brief jaunt to the Media Center to learn about the upcoming Book Fair (taking place at Conference Week) and a round of vocabulary review before getting to the even more interesting stuff.

All great projects deserve a great presentation at the end and that is exactly what we did.  Today, the students who felt the most brave presented their essays which were displayed onto the SMART Board from KidBlog.org.  They took a moment to share their topic, their position on that topic, and a summary of their main points.  Meanwhile, their classmates took notes on these arguments and briefly assessed whether they thought the presenters were successful in getting their points across in a persuasive manner.

Homework:

PowerPoint:

Publishing the Argumentative Essays: Wednesday, October 8th, 2014

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.

KidBlog Homepage

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.

KidBlog Step2

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.

KidBlog Step 3

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.

KidBlog Step 4

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.

KidBlog Step 5

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: 

Homework:

  • 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.

PowerPoint:

Argumentative Rough Drafts: Monday, October 6th, 2014

Today the students had a work-on-your-own day where they had the majority of class time to work on their argumentative essay rough drafts.  Once the students finished, they were instructed to generate three questions they had about their work.  I also provided the following examples to assist them:

  • Is my essay clearly written?
  • Is my essay engaging?
  • Is my essay persuasive enough?
  • How can I make my essay more ____________?

If time allowed, the students were permitted to work quietly in pairs to conduct a Mini-Charette where they swapped paper with their partner, read their partner’s work silently, drafted any thoughts or questions that arose while reading their partner’s work, and finally they discussed these questions plus the questions generated by the paper’s author.  This workshopping technique provided the students with another perspective on their work.  The students who did not finish early will be doing a more in-depth version of this in class tomorrow.

Before class came to an end, we debriefed on the writing process and I addressed any questions, comments, or concerns that arose.  We then took a moment to recognize those who had taken the time this weekend to log onto KidBlog.org.  As stated Friday, those students will receive an additional 10 points onto their lowest quiz grade.

Homework:

PowerPoint: