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Month: October 2016

Argumentative Essay Timeline*

CCR Anchor Standards for Writing (Argumentation)

  • Write arguments to support claims in an analysis of substantive topics or texts by using valid reasoning and relevant and sufficient evidence.
  • Produce clear and coherent writing in which the development, organization, and style are appropriate to task, purpose, and audience.
  • Draw evidence from literary or informational texts to support analysis, reflection, and research.
  • Write routinely over extended time frames (time for research, reflection, and revision) and shorter time frames (a single sitting or a day or two) for a range of tasks, purposes, and audience.

Below are the dates for our Argumentative Essay Writing Process Unit:

  • Tuesday, November 1st:  Socratic Circle on The Help
  • Wednesday, November 2nd: Elements of Rhetoric Notes
  • Thursday, November 3rd: Argumentative Essay Guidelines
  • Friday, November 4th: Argumentative Essay – Brainstorming & Outline
  • Monday, November 7th: Argumentative Essay – Rough Draft (handwritten & skip lines)
  • Wednesday, November 9th: Argumentative Essay – Rough Draft DUE; begin Peer Edits
  • Thursday, November 10th: Argumentative Essay – Peer Edits – DAY Two
  • Friday, November 11th: Argumentative Essay – Second Draft of Rough draft
  • Monday, November 14th: Argumentative Essay – Type Up Final Draft
  • Tuesday, November 15th: Argumentative Essay – Last Day in Class to work on Essay
  • Wednesday, November 16th: Argumentative Essay- Final Draft DUE by 2:15pm

*these dates are subject to change (students will be given sufficient notice if there any changes in due dates)

Viewing Social Issues Through a Critical Lens

Today we began the DPS/MAISA  argumentation unit: students will examine the influence and power of  visual/social mediums. We will be utilizing the 2009 film “The Help,” a story of three women determined to call to attention the social injustices during the 1960s. The focus/goal is to analyze both  implicit & explicit choices made to present the narrative and related issue(s) in question.

Please note: “Although film is generally created for entertainment it can carry important message(s ) and present powerful arguments on social issues.  Consider this medium and how as viewers we can make inferences, recognize purpose, and identify their intent to influence people.” (Adapted from DPS/ MAISA Unit)


SSR Project #1

As I review the assignments students submitted for their first card-marking period’s sustained silent reading novel, I would like to offer the following links to help students with some trends I have been noticing.

As always, these areas for growth will be addressed also in class, but in the interim, I invite you to make use of the links above to take an active role in your learning.

For more information about reading strategies, here’s a great link to information about close and critical reading (strategies which should be applied while reading their weekly article).

Last Friday (10/21) students went to the library to take their SRI Test to determine their Lexile Score. Students were then instructed to choose a novel based on their scores using resources on my iblog, “What Should I Read Next?

SSR takes place twice a week for 20-30 minutes.  Students are expected to come to class prepared with their SSR novels.

Here are the project parameters for the second card-marking period’s SSR novel project.

Students should be reading every night!

Scholarship Opportunity

Image result for writing contest

The Dearborn Optimist Club is holding their annual Essay Contest.  This year students (all grade levels)  are encouraged to contemplate the phrase “Chasing Optimism in the Face of Challenges” in an essay.  The club awards cash scholarships:  $500 for 1st place, $250 for 2nd, $125 for 3rd.  First place essay will then be entered into a District Level Contest for a scholarship of $2500.00

Applications (with the rules for the contest) can be picked up in the Guidance Office from Ms. Dong.  Deadline for essay submission:  Thursday December 22nd, 2016

What Should I Read Next?

read-652384_640.jpgTomorrow we will be going to the library for SRI testing.  After you get your results, the program will suggest books for you to read at your level. I encourage you to screenshot the recommendations for you to choose from.

To find books in your reading range (based on your lexile score): click here.

Also, for your consideration, click here to view a list of novels/texts every high school student should read before graduating.  I urge you to consider reading something on this list for your next SSR novel.

Also of note, the DHS Media Center also provides a tool, “What Should I Read Next,” to find your next book!

For students planning on taking AP Literature in the future, here is a list of novels which frequently appear on the AP Lit exam.

Self-Advocacy: Find Your Voice

Short and Sweet: you have to speak up.

Students – You HAVE to advocate for yourself.  People can help – parents, administrators, teachers, and friends – but YOU have to speak up in the classroom.

Dr. Katie Schellenberg addresses the importance of teaching advocacy.  Check out her post and incorporate some of her tips in the classroom.

TED Talk: “The Danger of a Single Story” by Chimamanda Adichie

As teachers, we have the opportunity, nay, the responsibility to impact our students’ lives and learning in a profound way.

This week I have the pleasure of sharing a message that can CHANGE the way students look at what influences their perceptions of the world.

“Change the way students look at what influences their perceptions of the world.”

Wow – what an awesome responsibility.

Today students watched a TED talk given by Chimamanda Adichie, a Nigerian novelist, entitled, “The Danger of a Single Story.”

Her message is that, “The single story creates stereotypes, and the problem with stereotypes is not that they are untrue, but that they are incomplete. They make one story become the only story.”

This week students will be summarizing Adichie’s claim, analyzing the rhetorical devices she used in her TED talk, and making a connection with her message.

I am really excited to be sharing this with my students – and I know that they are up for the challenge of digging deeper, examining the single stories in their life, and opening their minds to this shift in their thinking.

For anyone interested in reading more on the topic, I encourage you to check out David Brooks’ New York Times Op-Ed on Adichie’s TED Talk – he reiterates Adichie’s message and examines the political ramifications of ‘the single story’.

(Shout-Out to my partner teacher, Mrs. Dobbs, for collaborating on this assignment with me!)

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