Thursday, March 24, 2016

Happy (Almost) Spring Break!

Sorry I couldn't be with you today. I'm know each of you will be on your very best behavior today. Respect your substitute and make me, your parents, and yourselves proud. Oh, and enjoy your Spring Break! You deserve it.

Reading Informational Texts: Newsela Articles on Concussions In your Language Arts Google Classroom you will find links to two different Newsela articles about young people and concussions.  For the article "Concussions can be very dangerous for high school football players," set the reading level to to 840L (5th grade). For the article "Head injuries should be taken seriously when student athletes get hurt," set the reading level to 740L (4th Grade). Read both articles carefully, take the quizzes, and write the constructed response paragraphs in which you explain the central idea of the article and use at least two details from the article to support your response. 

https://newsela.com/articles/concussion-kids/id/5774/
https://newsela.com/articles/concussion-study/id/4198/

Homework  Are you up for the Spring Break challenge? I challenge each of you to read at least one book over your Spring Break vacation and be prepared to take its AR test upon your return! Read! Read! Read!

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Summarizing the Issue and Using 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 Google Classroom 

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 Google Classroom.

Homework  (1.) Read your A.R. book at home for at least 30 minutes and, if you choose, make a reading log entry using the Digital Reading Log. (Remember you must have made at least one entry by the end of the day Thursday.) (2.) Complete the Write an Argument Essay: Steps 1 - 4 and Evidence for My Argument Essay document, which  will be due tomorrow, Thursday, March 24. (3.) Continue working on the Write an Argument Essay: The Hook and Issue Summary (Steps 5 & 6) document, which will be due Wednesday, April 6  

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Crafting Your Thesis and Hooking Your Reader


 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: Crafting Your Thesis  The most important component of the argument essay is the thesis statement. A thesis statement is simply an argument that you are going to prove. It is the road map to your essay and explains to the reader exactly what you will discuss in your paper. 


Using the document Write an Argument Essay: Steps 1 - 4, let's work on Step 4 and craft the thesis of our argument essay now.

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 Google Classroom.

For those struggling to develop a hook, I came across this news report from last year: 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.

Homework  (1.) Read your A.R. book at home for at least 30 minutes and, if you choose, make a reading log entry using the Digital Reading Log. (Remember you must have made at least one entry by the end of the day Friday.) (2.) Complete the Write an Argument Essay: Steps 1 - 4 and Evidence for My Argument Essay document, which  will be due Thursday, March 24. (3.) Continue working on the Write an Argument Essay: The Hook and Issue Summary (Steps 5 & 6) document, which will be due Wednesday, April 6  

Monday, March 21, 2016

Last Day of the Quarter and Structuring Your Argument Essay


Last Day of the Quarter Business  Today is the last day of 3rd quarter. Please use this time to carefully review School Loop and make sure that no mistakes have been made in your grade. If you notice what you think is a mistake, please send me a polite message asking me to take a look. You may also use this time to take any final A.R. quizzes that you would like applied toward this quarter's goal. Additionally, if you have any late or missing assignments that you have completed and want to have graded, send me a message. Otherwise, you may use this time for silent reading. Tomorrow begins your last quarter of 6th grade!

Argument Essay: Reviewing the Structure and Crafting Your Thesis  As we move from gathering evidence to drafting our argument essay, it's import to review the purpose and structure of an argument essay. Watch the video below. 


For another take on the structure of a strong argument essay, check out the musical video below.
                                        

Once you've gathered enough evidence (in the form of facts, statistics, experts opinion, and quotes) and decided on your point of view (or claim), you can begin to develop your argument and lay the foundation for your essay using the document  Write an Argument Essay: Steps 1 - 4, which can be found in your Language Arts Google Classroom. I will guide you through the initial steps today: 1. Decide what you think. 2. Find your support. 3. Acknowledge the other side. 4. Craft your thesis.

Homework  (1.) Read your A.R. book at home for at least 30 minutes and, if you choose, make a reading log entry using the Digital Reading Log. (Remember you must have made at least one entry by the end of the day Friday.) (2.) Continue working on the Write an Argument Essay: Steps 1 - 4 and Evidence for My Argument Essay documents, which  will be due Thursday, March 24

Friday, March 18, 2016

Happy Friday!




Video of the Day  What happens when you combine BeyoncĂ© with Geometry? Learning magic! Check it out below. 



100 Word Challenge: Finishing Touches and Publishing Happy Friday! It's just about time to publish this week's 100 Word Challenge. Please look over your 100 Word Challenge: ... when the connection broke ... story carefully. Does your story flow naturally from beginning to end? Did you skillfully integrate the phrase '... when the connection broke ...'? 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. Give your story an appropriate title. Paste your story. Color or bold the five words from this week's prompt. Consider adding a picture. Finally, click 'Publish' and copy the link to your published story.


Now it's time to share your story with the 100 Word Challenge. In order to login, I will provide you a working Username and Password. Next, fill out the form similar to the one below, making sure to include the link to your Kidblog story. Click 'Submit' when you're done. Congratulations! You are now an internationally published writer!  


Write an Argument Essay: Finding Evidence
Today you are going to continue to use the document Evidence for My Argument Essay, located in your Language Arts Google Classroom, to keep track of the evidence you may want to use in your Argument Essay, while also citing your sources. Continue your research independently. Below you will find various links to sources both for and against kids playing football, in addition to the those provided yesterday. Examine the various sources, find evidence that you think will strengthen your argument, and list the source and evidence on your document. You may also want to include a few perspectives that are opposed to your argument, which you may end up refuting in your argument essay. 

Thursday, March 17, 2016

Write and Argument Essay: Finding Evidence




 Today's Learning Objectives  Identify textual evidence to support analysis of what the text says. Write arguments to support claims with clear reasoning and relevant evidence.   


Write an Argument Essay: Finding Evidence  Over the past week you have read about the issues involved regarding whether or not kids should play football from the Scope Magazine Article "Should Kids Play Football?". You also began to research evidence supporting each side of the debate. Today you will continue to examine evidence about the debate from multiple sources. You can use the document Evidence for My Argument Essay, located in your Language Arts Google Classroom, to keep track of the evidence you may want to use in your Argument Essay, while also citing your sources.

To strengthen your argument it's important to gather evidence from multiple sources. First, check out the balanced article "Should You Let Your Kids Play Football?" from U.S. News & World Report (an excerpt can be also found below). 

An excerpt from the article "Should You Let Your Kids Play Football?" from U.S. New & World Report

For another perspective, check out the article "3 ways your child will benefit from playing youth football," which is decidedly on the side of letting kids play. 

Finally, if you're looking for some more clear evidence against kids playing youth football, read the article "Why Kids Under 14 Should Not Play Tackle Football" from Time Magazine.

Now continue your research independently. Below you will find various additional links to sources both for and against kids playing football. Examine the various sources, find evidence that you think will strengthen your argument, and list the source and evidence on your document. You may also want to include a few perspectives that are opposed to your argument, which you may end up refuting in your argument essay. 

Sources that Examine Both Sides of the Debate
Sources Opposed to Kids Playing Football
Sources in Support of Kids Playing Football 
Homework  (1.) Read your A.R. book at home for at least 30 minutes and, if you choose, make a reading log entry using the Digital Reading Log. (Remember you must have made at least one entry by the end of the day Friday.) (2.) Complete 'The Tequila Worm' Story Plot Chart ('Tequila Worm'), which is due Friday, March 18. (3.) Continue working on your Should Kids Play Football? - Identifying Evidence from Both Sides, "Should Kids Play Football?" Finding Text Evidence Activity, and 100 Word Challenge: ... when the connection broke ... story, all of which will be due tomorrow, Friday, March 18