Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Write an Argument Essay: Closing Time


 Today's Learning Objective  Write arguments to support claims with clear reasons and relevant evidence. 


Write an Argument Essay: The Conclusion Paragraph  It's finally time to put your Argument Essay to bed and write the conclusion paragraph. This is your opportunity to make your case one last time, reminding readers of your main points while making a strong final impression. You want to finish with a strong sentence.  Looking for an idea? Try referring to your hook, finding a quote, or inspiring your readers. You can also find some argument essay conclusion examples here. If you would like to meet with me today, sign up and make an appointment.   

Screen Shot 2014-03-30 at 8.22.47 PM.png

Smarter Balanced Online Testing Practice  Today we will continue to prepare for the Smarter Balanced Assessments, which we will formally begin upon our return from Spring Break. Please visit the California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress site's practice testing portal here. You should screen similar to the one below; make sure you're logging on as a 'GUEST' and click 'Sign In'. 



Next, click 'Select Grade' and choose '6' and click 'Yes'.

Finally, click on 'Start G6 ELA Practice Test,' and eventually you'll arrive on the beginning of the test. Follow along with me as I guide you through various parts of the test. 



Homework  (1.) Read your A.R. book at home for at least 30 minutes and make a Digital Reading Log entry using the new 4th Quarter Reading Log, which has been placed in your Language Arts folder(2.) Complete the conclusion paragraph of My Argument Essay

Monday, March 30, 2015

Body Paragraphs and Test Prep


 Today's Learning Objectives  Write arguments to support claims with clear reasons and relevant evidence. 


Write an Argument Essay: The Body Paragraphs  Today we will continue to work on the body paragraphs of of our argument essays (using the document My Argument Essay). Remember to make sure you are ordering your supporting points appropriately, providing additional details to support your main points, and using transition words (which you can still find here) to tie your ideas together.   



You also want to make sure to acknowledge the opposing point of view, but then refute it.  Explain using evidence why this line of reasoning is wrong.  


Make sure you check the 'Body Paragraphs Checklist' before moving on. 

Smarter Balanced Online Testing Practice  Testing season is fast approaching. When we return from Spring Break we begin the state and federally mandated Smarter Balanced Online Summative Assessments. To help prepare you, we will engage in sessions of online testing practice this week.

Today we will begin one such practice session. Please visit the California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress site's practice testing portal here. You should screen similar to the one below; make sure you're logging on as a 'GUEST' and click 'Sign In'. 



Next, click 'Select Grade' and choose '6' and click 'Yes'.

Finally, click on 'Start G6 ELA Practice Test,' and eventually you'll arrive on the beginning of the test. Let's examine the format of the test, practice a few together, and then I will let you go ahead independently. 


Homework  (1.) Read your A.R. book at home for at least 30 minutes and make a Digital Reading Log entry using the new 4th Quarter Reading Log, which has been placed in your Language Arts folder(2.) Complete the body paragraphs of My Argument Essay

Friday, March 27, 2015

Aloha Friday!




 Today's Learning Objectives  Write narratives to develop real or imagined experiences or events using effective technique, relevant descriptive details, and well-structured event sequences. Use technology, including the Internet, to produce and publish writing and to interact and collaborate with others. 


100 Word Challenge: Finishing Touches and Publishing  It's just about time to publish this week's 100 Word Challenge. Please look over your 100 Word Challenge: My Ultimate Adventure (Week 27) story carefully. Did you skillfully integrate the words "the silence was deafening" from this week's prompt? Does your story flow naturally from beginning to end? Did you use descriptive words and sensory details? Did you carefully review your spelling, capitalization, punctuation, and grammar? Did you make sure your verb tenses are consistent and that you have employed correct and varied sentence structures? Please make sure your piece of writing is good as it can be.

Next, it's publishing time! Copy your story from your Google Doc and then login to Kidblog. Make a new post. This week you once again get to title your story whatever you find fitting; just make sure you put 100 WC: before your chosen title. Paste your story. Make sure you highlight, color, or bold the five words from this week's prompt, so your readers can locate them easily. Finally, click "Publish".

Next, copy the web address of your posted story and then head over to 
100 Word Challenge. Scroll down and paste the web address into the box that says 'Blog Link'. Enter your first name, 6th Grade, Lakeview Middle School, and for location: Watsonville, California, U.S.A. Finally, click 'Submit'. Congratulations! 

If you post early enough and time permits, feel free to leave positive comments for your fellow writers from around the world. 

Star Reading Test  Today you will take the Star Reading Test again in order to reassess your reading level. My hope is that each of you will show growth today compared to the assessments taken earlier in the year. Considering how dedicated many of you have been to your reading, I'm excited to see how well you do. You may take the test here. Remember, after logging in to click on "Star Reading." Read carefully and try your best. Good luck! 

New 4th Quarter Reading Goals  After receiving your new Star reading level data, I plan on calling each of you up to my desk to make a new Accelerated Reading goal for your last quarter as 6th graders. You will record your goal and reading data on your 4th Quarter Reading Log. Remember as an added incentive this quarter I will be awarding a pizza and movie party to the Language Arts class that can earn the most combined Accelerated Reader points. Let's finish the year strong and prove to ourselves and each other what capable, dedicated, and enthusiastic readers we are! 

Sacred Reading Time  While I meet with students individually to make reading goals, I offer you the rest of class time to simply read and commune with your books. Some of you will be invited to read outside, others in a cozy corner of the room, while most of you will hopefully become enraptured by the words on your pages right at your desks. Enjoy this time!

Homework  Make sure you read for 30 minutes at least once over the weekend and make another entry on your 4th Quarter Reading Log. I will be grading this week's Reading Log on Monday, March 30.

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Analyzing Text and Peer Editing

 Today's Learning Objectives  Cite textual evidence to support analysis of what the text says explicitly as well as inferences drawn from the text.  Write narratives to develop real or imagined experiences or events using effective technique, relevant descriptive details, and well-structured event sequences. 


Analyzing the Text of Tequila Worm: Say, Mean, Matter Today is the last class day to use the 'Say, Mean, Matter' strategy to examine what the text from Tequila Worm says, and explain what it means and why it matters. You can find still the assignment Say, Mean, Matter ('Tequila Worm') in your Language Arts folders. This assignment is due completed tomorrow, Friday, March 26

Remember your task is to select five different quotes or excerpts from Tequila Worm that say something significant about Sofia and her development as a character. Choose one from the exposition, two from the rising action, one from the climax, and one from the rising action/resolution. You may choose your text excerpts from any of the class periods' shared documents of Sofia and What the Text Says ('Tequila Worm') (Period 2Period 3Period 5). 

For further clarification about what you should be doing with each quotation or text excerpt, refer to the graphic below.  






















Peer Revising and Editing  Today you will have the opportunity to share your current piece of writing, 100 Word Challenge: My Ultimate Adventure (Week 27), with one of your peers in class. Remember that your task when reviewing someone else's writing is to both help with basic editing and to provide constructive feedback that is helpful to the writer. Your peer editing should include a balance of corrections, suggestions, and compliments. Positive feedback is important too!  

After you know who you will be sharing your writing with, click on "Share at the top of your document. Next, enter their full name and click "Done." The document should now be available in the "Shared with Me" or "Incoming" section of your Google Drive.

 

Remember to let our rubric (below) be your guide. If you notice a run-on sentence or fragment, let them know. If you can think of a more descriptive or precise word to use, suggest it. If verb tenses are inconsistent, make that clear. If a transition word or phrase might be helpful in moving events along, mention it. 

There are a couple of ways to make suggestions and comments. You can use the "Suggesting" function within Google Docs, where you can make suggested edits that the writer can then later accept or reject. Secondly, you could also simply highlight text and make comments and suggestions that way.

I would encourage you to also engage in conversation with each about each other's pieces of writing. If you have questions about your partner's story, ask. If you're unsure about what your peer editor is suggesting, seek clarification.  

Homework  (1.) Read your A.R. book at home for at least 30 minutes and make a Digital Reading Log entry using the new 4th Quarter Reading Log, which has been placed in your Language Arts folder(2.) Complete the assignment Say, Mean, Matter ('Tequila Worm'), which is due tomorrow, Friday, March 27(4.) Continue working on your 100 Word Challenge: My Ultimate Adventure (Week 27) story, which we will publish tomorrow, Friday, March 27  

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Write an Argument Essay: The Body Paragraphs












 Today's Learning Objectives  Write arguments to support claims with clear reasons and relevant evidence. 


Write an Argument Essay: The Body Paragraphs  Now that you've introduced the issues involved and established your point of view (thesis) in the introduction paragraph, it's time to really make your case. In the first body paragraph, clearly present the strongest points that support your thesis, and provide additional evidence and details for each to strengthen your argument. Make sure you order your supporting points appropriately and use transition words (which you can still find here) to tie your ideas together.   


In your second body paragraph you want to make sure to acknowledge the opposing point of view, but then refute it.  Explain using evidence why this line of reasoning is wrong.  


Make sure you check the 'Body Paragraphs Checklist' before moving on.  

If you didn't start your Argument Essay yesterday, you can find the document My Argument Essay in your Language Arts folder. 

Video of the Day  "All About That Bass" like you've never heard it before. Enjoy! 



Homework  (1.) Read your A.R. book at home for at least 30 minutes and make a Digital Reading Log entry using the new 4th Quarter Reading Log, which has been placed in your Language Arts folder(2.) Continue working on My Argument Essay. (3.) Complete the assignment Say, Mean, Matter ('Tequila Worm'), which is due on Friday, March 27(4.) Continue working on your 100 Word Challenge: My Ultimate Adventure (Week 27) story, which we will publish on Friday, March 27  

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Write an Argument Essay: The Introduction Paragraph

The last quarter of 6th grade begins today. Let's finish the year strong! 






 Today's Learning Objectives  Write arguments to support claims with clear reasons and relevant evidence. * Cite textual evidence to support analysis of what the text says explicitly as well as inferences drawn from the text.


Argument Essay Resources: Outline, Checklist, and Transition Word List To support you in the writing of your Argument Essay you have several resources available to you: a complete Argument Essay Outline, an Argument Essay Checklist, and a handy Transition Word List. In addition to being linked, each has also been placed in your Language Arts folder. Please refer to these resources as often as needed.   

Write an Argument Essay: The Introduction Paragraph  Your introduction paragraph should include your "hook," your summary of the issue, and, most importantly, your thesis statement. You should have written each of these last week, so now it's just time to put them together and begin your essay. Write your essay using the document My Argument Essay, which can be found in your Language Arts folder. It includes an outline and reminders on how to strengthen each section of your essay. As soon as you don't need one of the added supports any longer, just delete it from your doc. Good luck on your essay!  
Analyzing the Text of Tequila Worm: Say, Mean, Matter  Today you will continue to use the 'Say, Mean, Matter' strategy to further examine what the text from Tequila Worm says, and explain what it means and why it matters. You can find still the assignment Say, Mean, Matter ('Tequila Worm') in your Language Arts folders.

Remember your task is to select five different quotes or excerpts from Tequila Worm that say something significant about Sofia and her development as a character. Choose one from the exposition, two from the rising action, one from the climax, and one from the rising action/resolution. You may choose your text excerpts from any of the class periods' shared documents of Sofia and What the Text Says ('Tequila Worm') (Period 2Period 3Period 5). Some sentence starters have been provided below to help you introduce your excerpt. 

Refer to the teacher example below for support on introducing quote, explaining its meaning, and analyzing why it matters. 


Homework  (1.) Read your A.R. book at home for at least 30 minutes and make a Digital Reading Log entry using the new 4th Quarter Reading Log, which has been placed in your Language Arts folder(2.) Complete the introduction paragraph of My Argument Essay. (3.) Complete the assignment Say, Mean, Matter ('Tequila Worm'), which is due on Friday, March 27(4.) Continue working on your 100 Word Challenge: My Ultimate Adventure (Week 27) story, which we will publish on Friday, March 27  

Monday, March 23, 2015

An Adventurous 100 Word Challenge and Analyzing What the Text Says

Sir Ranulph Fiennes is on his 'Ultimate Adventure.' What's yours?


 Today's Learning Objectives  Write narratives to develop real or imagined experiences or events using effective technique, relevant descriptive details, and well-structured event sequences. Cite textual evidence to support analysis of what the text says explicitly as well as inferences drawn from the text.  


Silent Reading and Accelerated Reader Test-Taking  Today is the last day to earn points to apply toward your 3rd Quarter reading goal. If you need to take an Accelerated Reader test, please do so now. Otherwise, you may use this time to silent read. 

An Adventurous 100 Word Challenge  This week's 100 Word Challenge is inspired by Sir Ranulph Fiennes, the world’s greatest living explorer and adventurer, who is taking part in the world’s most extreme foot race – the Marathon des Sables this April. He will be attempting to run 156 miles (251km) over just 6 days in the blistering heat of the Moroccan Sahara Desert aiming to raise £2.5 million for Marie Curie to help people living with terminal illnesses and their families. To learn more about Fiennes's challenge visit the site here and watch the video below. 


Ranulph Fiennes is on his 'Ultimate Adventure.' What's yours? 


What amazing adventure are your going to take your readers on? You may begin to develop your story using the assignment 100 Word Challenge: My Ultimate Adventure (Week 27)

Analyzing the Text of Tequila Worm: Say, Mean, Matter Today you will continue to use the 'Say, Mean, Matter' strategy to further examine what the text from Tequila Worm says, and explain what it means and why it matters. You can find still the assignment Say, Mean, Matter ('Tequila Worm') in your Language Arts folders.

Remember your task is to select five different quotes or excerpts from Tequila Worm that say something significant about Sofia and her development as a character. Choose one from the exposition, two from the rising action, one from the climax, and one from the rising action/resolution. You may choose your text excerpts from any of the class periods' shared documents of Sofia and What the Text Says ('Tequila Worm') (Period 2Period 3Period 5). 

Refer to the teacher example below for support on introducing quote, explaining its meaning, and analyzing why it matters. 



















Homework  (1.) Read your A.R. book at home for at least 30 minutes and make a Digital Reading Log entry using the 3rd Quarter Reading Log(2.) Continue working on your 100 Word Challenge: My Ultimate Adventure (Week 27) story. (3.) Complete the assignment Say, Mean, Matter ('Tequila Worm'), which is due on Friday, March 27

Friday, March 20, 2015

Aloha Friday!


Touching Story of the Day  Listen to this poignant and powerful conversation between a father and his son. And then go home and tell your parents how much you love them.

                               

100 Word Challenge: Finishing Touches  Aloha Friday! It's just about time to publish this week's 100 Word Challenge. Please look over your 100 Word Challenge: ... as they turned the corner ... (Week 26) story carefully. Does your story flow naturally from beginning to end? Did you use descriptive words and sensory details? Did you carefully review your spelling, capitalization, punctuation, and grammar? Did you make sure your verb tenses are consistent and that you have employed correct and varied sentence structures? 

100 Word Challenge: Publishing Time  Now it's publishing time! Copy your 100 Word Challenge: ... as they turned the corner ... (Week 26) story from your Google Doc and then login to Kidblog. Make a new post. Give your story an appropriate title; just make sure you put 100 WC: before it. Paste your story. Highlight the words from this week's prompt. Finally, click "Publish."

Next, copy the web address of your posted story and then head over to 100 Word ChallengeScroll down and paste the web address into the box that says 'Blog Link'. Enter your first name, 6th Grade, Lakeview Middle School, and for location: Watsonville, California, U.S.A. Finally, click 'Submit'. Congratulations! You are an internationally published author! 

If you post early enough and time permits, feel free to leave positive comments and/or constructive feedback for your fellow writers from around the world. 

Library Visit  Let' end the week with a visit to the library. You may return or renew books, check out new ones, silently read, or take A.R. tests. When checking out books, make sure you are selecting titles that are engaging and within your ZPD. If you're unsure about your reading level or ZPD, just ask. Please use your library time wisely! 

Homework  (1.) Make sure you read for 30 minutes at least once over the weekend and make an entry on your new 3rd Quarter Reading Log. Don't forget to try one of the 100 New Year's Reading Resolutions for 2015 and make note of it on your log. I will be grading this week's Reading Log on Monday, March 23. (2.) Don't forget that Monday is the last day of the 3rd quarter! It's your last chance to take A.R. tests and turn in or make-up assignments! 

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Analyzing the Text: Say, Mean, Matter



















 Today's Learning Objectives  Describe how a particular story’s plot unfolds in a series of episodes as well as how the characters respond or change as the plot moves toward a resolution. Cite textual evidence to support analysis of what the text says explicitly as well as inferences drawn from the text.  


Analyzing the Text of Tequila Worm: Say, Mean, Matter  Earlier this week you identified excerpts, quotes, and passages from the text of Tequila Worm that you were significant because they reveal something important about the character of Sofia. Today you will use the 'Say, Mean, Matter' strategy to further examine what the text says, and explain what it means and why it matters. You can find the assignment Say, Mean, Matter ('Tequila Worm') in your Language Arts folders. A teacher example has been provided to help you understand what I expect.   

Your first task today is to select five different quotes or excerpts from Tequila Worm that say something significant about Sofia and her development as a character. You will choose one from the exposition, two from the rising action, one from the climax, and one from the rising action/resolution. You may choose your text excerpts from any of the class periods' shared documents of Sofia and What the Text Says ('Tequila Worm') (Period 2Period 3, Period 5). Some sentence starters have been provided below to help you introduce your excerpt.   

 

Next, it's time to analyze what the text means. What was the author or character trying to say. You may need to infer. Some sentence starters have been provided below to help you explain your interpretation of the meaning of the text.    


Finally, your task is to explain what the quote or passage matters. What is the significance of the text you included? How does the selected text better help us understand Sofia as character, her development, and some of the themes of the book? Refer to the sentence starters below to help you get started. 


Homework  (1.) Read your A.R. book at home for at least 30 minutes and make a Digital Reading Log entry using the 3rd Quarter Reading Log(2.) Complete your 100 Word Challenge: ... as they turned the corner ... (Week 26) story, which we will publish tomorrow, Friday, March 20

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Summarizing the Issue and Text Evidence


 Today's Learning Objectives  Write arguments to support claims with clear reasoning and relevant evidence. Cite textual evidence to support analysis of what the text says explicitly as well as inferences drawn from the text  


Write an Argument Essay: Summarizing the Issue  After writing the hook, you need to let readers know a little about the issue you will be writing about.  This is not your point of view; it's a very brief summary of the issue-in this case, the debate over whether kids should play football or not.  Practice summarizing the issue using the same document you used yesterday Write an Argument Essay: The Hook and Issue Summary (Steps 5 & 6), which you can still find in your Language Arts folder.  

Using Text Evidence  When you write about something you have read, you need to use text evidence—that is, details from the text—to support the points you are making. You can use text evidence in the form of a direct quotation (the author’s exact words) or a paraphrase (a restatement of what the author wrote). You also need to explain WHY that text evidence is relevant.

To learn more about how to use text evidence check out the document How To Use Text Evidence, which you can also find in your Language Arts folders. 

Tequila Worm Project: Sofia and What the Text Says  If time permits today, I would like us to continue to identify the most important excerpts and passages from Tequila Worm that say something significant about Sofia. Continue to use the shared document Sofia and What the Text Says ('Tequila Worm') (Period 2Period 3, and Period 5) to record the important words directly from the text, along with the page number from which the excerpt was found.  

Homework  (1.) Read your A.R. book at home for at least 30 minutes and make a Digital Reading Log entry using the 3rd Quarter Reading Log(2.) Continue working on your 100 Word Challenge: ... as they turned the corner ... (Week 26) story. (3.) Write your summary of the issue using the assignment Write an Argument Essay: The Hook and Issue Summary (Steps 5 & 6). 

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Hooking Your Reader and a Final 'Tequila Worm' Project


 Today's Learning Objectives  Write arguments to support claims with clear reasoning and relevant evidence. Describe how a particular story’s plot unfolds in a series of episodes as well as how the characters respond or change as the plot moves toward a resolution. Cite textual evidence to support analysis of what the text says explicitly as well as inferences drawn from the text  


Write an Argument Essay: The Hook  The very beginning of your essay is called the hook because it "hooks" your readers' attention. The hook should relate to the topic of your essay, but it can take many forms. It can be an anecdote (a very short story), a fact, a quote, or a question. Some examples of argument essay hooks can be found below.



Practice writing your 'hook' using the assignment Write an Argument Essay: The Hook and Issue Summary (Steps 5 & 6), which can be found in your Language Arts folder.

For those struggling to develop a hook, I came across this news report this morning 49ers LB Chris Borland retires because of head trauma risks. How might some of you be able to use a quote or an anecdote from this article to begin your argument essay? For those arguing the other side, maybe you could find something from the article Tom Brady on kids playing football: 'The good outweighs the bad' to help with your hook and set the stage for your argument essay.

A Final Tequila Worm Project: The Character of Sofia and What the Text Says  As we read The Tequila Worm together one of our main objectives was to examine how the main character Sofia responded or changed as the plot progressed and moved toward a resolution. One way we can better understand who Sofia is as a character, how she responds and changes, and how she affects the development of the plot is to closely examine what the text says at different stages of the novel.

We know now that a story’s plot is divided into different parts: the exposition, the rising action, the climax, and the falling action and resolution. Today, your task is to examine these different stages of the the story's plot and from each find quotes by Sofia, descriptions of her thoughts and feelings, and words by other characters about her. Hopefully, the excerpts from the text that you choose will reveal important insights about who Sofia is as a character and together will demonstrate how she responds and changes as the plot progresses. 


Each Language Arts class will be sharing one document today entitled Sofia and What the Text Says ('Tequila Worm'): Period 2, Period 3, and Period 5Each group within a class will be assigned one section of the book and will be responsible for identifying the most important excerpts and passages that say something significant about Sofia. Using the shared document, you will record the words directly from the text along with the page number from which the excerpt was found. 

Next class period, each of you will select what you consider to be the most important excerpts from the text from the various stages of the plot and explain what the words mean and why they are significant. 

Homework  (1.) Read your A.R. book at home for at least 30 minutes and make a Digital Reading Log entry using the 3rd Quarter Reading Log(2.) Continue working on your 100 Word Challenge: ... as they turned the corner ... (Week 26) story. (3.) Write your 'hook' from the assignment Write an Argument Essay: The Hook and Issue Summary (Steps 5 & 6).