Friday, December 7, 2012

Bradbury Quiz for advanced classes

We'll be having a Bradbury quiz next week (before the break) to review the basic elements of his style, the common features of his stories, and basic comprehension of what we've read and discussed.

 If you need to read or re-read one of his "creepy" tales, please visit Mrs. Jackson's Oncourse/Portal Page.

You can also just click the links belwo to go straight to the story you need to review.

The stories we've read include

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

We're wrapping up the editorial.

1. Write draft #1 in sourcebook (all 5 paragraphs).  (You’ve submitted the first two paragraphs for grading.)  Refer to the plan you made in your sourcebook.
2.  Write interview questions & conduct interviews (research) with classmates, teachers, parents, or administrators.
3.  Research other information IF NEEDED – school climate survey, internet, school code of conduct, etc.  Do not cut and paste.  Take notes and include information as you write and draft. 
4.  Find all your drafts, graded and ungraded, and rewrite them, or put them in order.  Gather your information from research and quotes from interviews. You should have five paragraphs.
5.  Type final draft of editorial using the required formatting.  (One inch margin, Times new Roman, size 12, black ink, white paper, double spaced.)   Save often to your own “thumb” drive and your user file.  There should be five paragraphs.
6.  Check for mechanics.  Right click on ALL red and green squiggly underlines to find spelling errors (red) and grammar errors (green).  Check that you have five paragraphs (intro, 3 “teeps” body paragraphs, and a conclusion).  Check that you have all persuasive strategies being used – logos, pathos, ethos, kairos.  Check that you included transitional words, phrases, and hooks.
7.  Add your list of sources—Works Cited—to the last page.  It includes all outside information used in your paper, including interviews.  You may use Easy Bib.  Refer to your handout on how to cite.

Want to check your work?  Here's the highest section of the rubric--what to do to get an A.  Click here for a full copy of the rubric.    ( We fixed the link!)  You'll get your own copy in class.  The rubric looks long but we've had lessons and worked on each part in class.  Check your sourcebook for any part that is unclear or that you've forgotten.  It's very similar to a timed essay with three exceptions: you get more time, it's typed, and you include a Works Cited.  

Lead introduces subject, and immediately engages the reader’s interest, impelling continued reading by using scqab The leads we learned….see notes).
The writer has a clear thesis (claim and reasons) that is  smoothly connected to the lead..  The reasons are listed in a parallel structure.
Support is elaborated:  substantial, specific, concrete, relevant,  and/or  illustrative.
Persuasive Appeals
Persuasive appeals of pathos, logos, ethos, and kairos are applied effectively.
Word & Sentence Variety
 Each sentence is clear and has an obvious emphasis.  Word choice is precise, powerful, and appropriate. 
Information is purposefully organized in a way that makes sense for the audience.  Effective transitions enhance the reader's understanding of your position.   Paragraphs have effective topic sentences and "so" sentences.
Ends with a clear, satisfying sense of closure  that strongly persuades the reader (PEPI)  and reinforces the writer's position on the issue.
Works Cited & Use of Sources
All information gathered (interviews, pictures, facts, quotes) is cited correctly in the text and with a correctly formatted MLA Works Cited Page.  Sources of information are credible and relevant.
Punctuation & Spelling
Text is mostly free of errors in sentence structure, punctuation, usage, and spelling. Careful proofreading is evident.
Paper is formatted correctly and easy to read. Your name is typed in the upper right hand corner of the paper.  Title is no larger than 14-size font at the top and center  of the page. Title may be in bold.  (No separate cover page allowed.) Typed, (not bold, not italicized) Times New Roman, size 12, double-spaced (correctly). Margins are appropriate: size (1”).

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Question-Answer Relationships

In class, we're writing our own questions to help us deepen our understanding of the text. Students (and teachers) learn more when they write the questions themselves and think about the possible answers.  Today, we practiced using Taffy Rafael's well-known strategy known as QAR, or Question Answer Relationship.

Students had time to work on an assessment for to show how asking questions deepens our understanding of the text.  If you did not finish, here's the link to the story so you can print it (or read online):
  The Veldt.  (click the title).  The assignment is due on November 13th for A day, and November 14th for B day.  It is homework for the advanced classes if they don't finish.  

Thursday, October 18, 2012

How to Elaborate--body paragraphs

Today we started writing our body paragraphs for our editorials.  The goal is to write elaborated body paragraphs.  This means:

Elaborateduse of additional details, description, anecdotes, illustrations, and examples that further clarify meaning.  This includes information that answers the question," What do you mean?”

Start by planning the types of support you'll include:

Next, get those details to build and develop into the perfect proof to prove your reason.  This is a good basic organization for your body paragraphs.  (No leads or zingers here!  It's all about the reasons and support.)
 Next, write your paragraph and use the rubric to grade yourself!  

Turn it in to your teacher.  These paragraphs are due on October 24th. (a) and October 25th (b).

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Write your Lead! Think about your Zinger!

You're finally getting to write the editorial that will change the world, or at least your school.  The reader has to stay interested beyond the first paragraph though.  Use these leads we learned in class to craft your best opening paragraph. 
We also reviewed Zingers (last lines).  Although you don't need to write your Zinger yet, you should already have an idea of which one would match your lead.

LEADS to start an essay
Sensory details (photoshop): a description using sensory language (sight, smell, touch, hearing, and taste) that describes a scenario related to your topic that leads to the thesis.
Concession: a presentation of one or more opposing arguments that lead the reader to the writer’s thesis.
Quotation: a voice other than your own that reveals the issue or topic or a famous or well-known quote that could apply to your issue and leads to the writer’s thesis.
Anecdote: a brief story that captures the essence of the topic and then connects the story to the thesis.
Background or surprising fact: a statement that contains relevant, interesting background on the
topic or a surprising fact about the topic that sets up the writer’s thesis.

Zingers to end an essay
Prediction: an insight into how the future could be different--better, or worse.
Echo: circle back to the lead. For example:  Did you write an anecdote lead?  Write another version or an “ending” to the story.
Pointed question: Ask a question that leaves the reader thinking; should guide them to share your opinion.
Instruction to the reader: tells the reader exactly what they can do about the issue; could be a strong, punched statement that gets right to the point—a call to action!


LEAD + transition + THESIS = the introduction

Here's the rubric for the one paragraph introduction you'll turn in.  We'll write these in class but finish for homework.  They are due on 10/11 for B day and 10/12 for A day.

Friday, October 5, 2012

A winning thesis statement...

For your first timed writing, we wrote about whether or not students should be graded on their behavior.  We're working on improving those essays by revising the topic and choosing to write about something that we see in the world that needs to be changed.    We're writing EDITORIALS!

We've been "workshopping" our thesis statements but I'll include the template we've been using in class to help craft a concise thesis for a five paragraph essay.  The thesis will be the last line of the introductory paragraph.  We're writing them in class but some of you may need this resource at home as you revise topics and write your introduction paragraphs.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Supply Time.

Many of you, or your parents, are ready to hit the stores and get your school supplies.  

  1. A composition book.
  2. Pens and Pencils for writing.
  3. A folder to take home assignments. (This may be part of another system, like an expandable binder.)
  4. Notebook paper and printer paper.
  5. 3x3 Sticky notes.
  6. A jump or thumb drive for saving typed assignments.
  7. A reading book of your own choice.
  8. For advanced and gifted classes: your own copy of Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury.  This book is available at for about 7.00.  it will also be available through Scholastic Book Clubs if you'd prefer to wait.  We'll begin reading it as a class about a month or so into the school year.