Thursday, January 28, 2016

Punctuation Video Review!

Absent on the 28th or the 29th of January?  Need to review the punctuation again before the quiz?  Here are the links to the videos.  Watch as often as needed; take notes.  Then, check your essays to be sure you are using punctuation correctly.  There will be a quiz on February 5th (a) and 8th (b).

When do you use a dash? - To make a dramatic pause - To change the pace of your writing - To call attention to a parenthetical phrase But be careful! Overuse...
Exercise: This video is on the function and rules of the comma in English ...
Comma Part 2:
Exercise: This video is on the function and rules of the comma in English ...
This video explains what semicolons are and how you can determine whether or not you are using them correctly in your writing.
Exercise: This video is on the function and rules of the colon. Students will learn how to properly use a colon and ...

Thursday, January 21, 2016

Transitions plus a sample of the whole essay

We learned a trick for transitions so you aren't just adding transitional "tag" words.  If you were absent, read the definitions below and find the simple hook and deeper hook used in the whole essay below.
Topic sentences can be transitions, too! 
Simple Hook — the last word of the previous paragraph is hooked into the first sentence of the next paragraph to introduce the next reason.
If you can’t do this trick with the last word, find your best phrase….
Deeper hook — hook to a specific word/phrase anywhere in the previous paragraph to connect to the next reason. 

Should students have daily a daily physical education class? 
Coach Williams is barking out the count for our fifty crunches.  The gym smells like feet.  I’m exhausted.  Despite these complaints, I’m in favor of physical education at least every other day in school.  It helps us maintain our physical health, it elevates our mood, and improves our academic performance. 
          Let’s start with what many would say is the most obvious reason to have daily physical education: maintaining our health.  In the Achieve3000 article, “Fewer Kids Getting Fit at School,” it says, “Exercise can reduce the risk for chronic diseases, like diabetes, and help support healthy bones, muscles, and joints.” It also mentions that about a third of kids today are overweight.  For me to maintain a healthy weight and keep my muscles and joints in good shape, I walk daily—and I take my daughter too.  It makes a difference that we can feel when we occasionally fall out of the habit.  Other parents may not be able to guarantee that hour of play because of work or other family commitments.  This is where daily P.E. fills a need.  Still, few elementary schools offer it everyday.  There’s not much that’s more important than being fit, strong, and healthy.  
In addition keeping us healthy, having P.E. everyday would enhance our emotional mood.  According to the article “Another Reason to Get Up and Go,” exercise helps to trigger neurochemicals inside our brains.  The article says, “These chemicals heighten feelings of pleasure.”  Neurochemicals are like little inner tubes floating our bad feelings downstream.  When we exercise, we have more neurochemicals, which makes us happy.   Because of our feelings of happiness while exercising, we are also less likely to look for pleasure in bad activities, like drug use.  In that same article, I learned that kids who exercise daily “were fifty percent less likely to smoke cigarettes” and “forty percent less likely to experiment with marijuana.”  That is remarkable.  Teachers always teach about the dangers of drugs, but a better way to prevent drug use is to just let kids have P.E. everyday.  Exercise simply makes us happier, which leads to better mental health.
Those little neurochemicals that get activated during PE also help you perform better in your job or at school.  According to “Keep Moving,” Education Secretary Arne Duncan himself said that, as a student, exercise helped him focus since he often “had a hard time siting still in class.” I know many students would agree with this.  Ninety-minute classes can seem like an eternity when you’re doing nothing but staying in one place reading and writing; this leads to lots of toe-tapping, clock-watching and heavy sighs of frustration. Besides helping with focus, gym class can provide a much needed break from academic classes and give students a chance to socialize.  Some schools say they don’t have time in their schedule or the money for P.E., but research shows that “giving kids time to play….does not have an adverse effect on their test scores” (“Fewer Kids Getting Fit at School”).  Hopefully someday all schools will see the link between a daily PE requirement and doing well in school.
Daily physical education class will help us do well with all of these: our health, our mood, and our academic performance. So, even though the gym smells like feet, and we hate dressing out everyday, I’ve come to the conclusion that a daily physical education class is worth it for the benefits we reap.

Notice the format of the essay!  Times New Roma, Size 12, double spaced.  

Monday, January 18, 2016

Leads and Conclusions

Here are some ideas for how to start your essay:
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.
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.
Anecdote: a very brief story that captures the essence of the topic and then connects the story to the thesis
Concession: a presentation of one or more opposing arguments that lead the reader to the writer’s thesis

Sensory details : a description using sensory language (sight, smell, touch, hearing, and taste) that describes a scenario related to your topic that leads to the thesis. 
Remember that you will need a lead, a transition, and your thesis.

For a conclusion, sum it up with a variation on your thesis.  Then, end with a zinger.
The zinger is the last line of your essay.  Here are some ideas:
Prediction: tells the reader what you plan to do in the future based on your position or gives a glimpse into how the future could be different based on your position. 
Echo: circle back to the lead (QBACS). Write another version that connects to the beginning of the essay.
Pointed question: Ask a question that leaves the reader thinking. This is not just turning the prompt into a question.

Friday, January 8, 2016

CRAFT video lessons

Here are the videos we watched on craft.  Be sure to watch again as needed and apply these lessons as you revise and write your three body paragraphs.


Long Vs. Short Sentences

Compound and Complex Sentences:

Monday, January 4, 2016

Roots Batch 2--QUIZ on January 14th and 15th

Now that we're back from break, we're keeping up with our studies by adding to our list of word roots.  We've got 18 new ones and these will be tested on January 14th and 15th.  Students should fill in the charts provided in class. Every word root needs at least five examples, a definition, and a visual reminder or sketch of the definition.