2.25.2014

Common Core Argument Writing

What's the difference between a persuasive essay and an argument essay? Click for more...

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Implementing the Common Core State Standards doesn't have to be difficult, though many teachers may be intimidated by the language used. For instance, we used to categorize our writing prompts by "persuasive," "expository,"  and "narrative." The Common Core State Standards changes the wording to: "opinion," "informative/explanatory," and "narrative" for grades K-5 and "argument," "informative/explanatory," and "narrative" for grades 6-12. But that doesn't mean that the writing process or the types of prompts need to be changed.

Persuasive vs. Argument Writing

So what's the difference between persuasive writing and writing an argumentative paper? Both rely on the opinion of the writer. An argument, however, uses facts and data to support the opinion expressed. Students need to research to find evidence rather than rely on opinion alone to support their opinion (or "claim").

Research can be a daunting task, especially for middle school students. I created a student-friendly argument guide you can share with your classes.

In ninth grade, students are required to address the opposition's opinion, which is called the "counterclaim." My students struggled with this at first, but after explaining it and showing them examples, they grasped it and had no problem writing their essays.

I created two more detailed products to help you teach argument writing and practice the skills with your students.

Argumentative Writing for Grades 6-12 {blog post}


My Argument Writing for Grades 6-12 pack includes the student guide, teacher's guidelines, handouts, and grading rubrics (all aligned with the Common Core State Standards for Argumentative Writing). It has over 60 pages of visually-stimulating and student-friendly graphics to explain each part of the essay process, including citations.

For high school teachers, I have an even more detailed guide that includes alignment with the PARCC guidelines for quarterly assessments.

High School Common Core and PARCC Writing for Argumentatives {blog post}

You can purchase these resources, plus many more in my teacherspayteachers store. And the best part? You can get them on sale (30% off) Thursday and Friday! Use the promo code TPT3 at checkout!

SALE! TeachersPayTeachers site-wide sale Feb. 27-28.


Thanks for stopping by my blog!





2.12.2014

Book Spine Poetry: Using the Titles of Books to Write Poetry

The Long Winter - Book Spine Poetry from www.traceeorman.com

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I love poetry and writing poems is one of my favorite activities to share with students. It's important to let them know that inspiration can be found anywhere...including on the spines of their favorite books.

Above is a shorter version of a poem about this winter created from the titles of books found in our classroom. Here's the full version:
Book Spine Poetry from www.traceeorman.com  Click for more images.

Let it snow
Wintergirls

Snow bound, the long winter
Linger...forever

Misery

Delirium


If you have had a winter like ours (and chances are you have!), you may feel the same way!

Have your students try to come up with different combinations of titles to create a book spine poem. Even if the words don't quite fit, they can drop or add their own words to their creation and, presto! There's a new poem!

Poetry shouldn't be hard; it shouldn't be a chore. Allow your students to have fun with it and experiment. They'll remember poetry as a positive experience and won't be as reluctant to write later.

Game on! Have students use book titles to create poems - www.traceeorman.com
Game On! Look at me!
Throwing smoke point blank
Gold dust
More than this
Champion

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Have students use book titles to create poems - www.traceeorman.com
Thirteen reasons why, looking for Alaska
And the mountains echoed the call of
the wild
Blood red road caught at sea
Let's pretend this never
happened



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Creating poems from the spines of books on www.traceeorman.com
Speak
more than this
call it
courage
lessons learned


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Book spine poetry activities from Mrs. Orman's Classroom
The eye
of minds

the valley
of amazement

gone girl

and the mountains
echoed



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Another variation of the first poem...
Book spine poetry from Mrs. Orman's Classroom. Click for additional "poems."
Let it snow 
Wintergirls

Snow bound, the long winter
Linger...forever

Misery

Delirium

HUSH

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2.04.2014

Classroom Disorganization: Utilize Unused & Hidden Spaces for Storage

Classroom Disorganization: Utilizing Unused Spaces

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Just wanted to post my latest attempt at organizing my classroom. We kicked off our poetry unit this week (one of my favorites!). As I was digging through my very cluttered drawers looking for baggies for a new activity I shared with my students today, I realized I needed a better system for storing them than just shoving them in a drawer when we are finished. Some of the words slipped out and I am pretty sure there are many still stuck in the corners of the drawer.

As I was trying to find all the little word pieces, I came across some Command hooks our custodian scored from 3M this summer (they donate tons of supplies to all our local schools). I didn't want to hang them up on the wall because I figured it would actually make my room look even more cluttered. Then it hit me. Literally...I hit my head on the cupboard door I had left open. (I have a bad habit of leaving them open...just ask my husband.)

Voila—such a simple solution, but I can't believe how much drawer space it frees up. The best part: I won't have to dig through them anymore to pick up all the little word pieces that fell out of the baggies.
Classroom Organization: Follow my journey on www.traceeorman.com

If you are curious about the activity I shared with my students today, I will be uploading it later this week—or tomorrow if we have a snow day—on my teacherspayteachers site. :) I wanted to try it out with my students first and I thought it went over really well. And since I was evaluated by my principal during the activity, I'll keep you posted on what he thought of it, too.

UPDATE - Evaluation was excellent and my activity, which has students evaluate an author's word choices by analyzing the syntax, is posted (click on image):

Poetry Evaluating Word Choices Syntax Activity


Please post ways that you use Command hooks (or any other methods you have for organization). I love to hear new ideas. (And I need the help!)

One last tip (though I'm not sure this helps with my organization, but I hate wasting paper!): I reuse the daily calendar pages as passes or notes for students. I have a little desk tote that Scholastic Book Clubs sent that I keep the ripped-off pages in. Then when I need to write a pass or a note, I use one of those instead.

Recycle your calendar pages and more tips. #classroomorganization


Have a great week and thanks for stopping by my blog!

Read more about my journey here: http://www.traceeorman.com/2014/01/classroom-dis-organization-organizing.html

and here: http://www.traceeorman.com/2014/03/classroom-organization-update-make-up.html

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I teach high school English in Illinois; enjoy family time, baseball, collecting PEZ dispensers, and talking about anything related to my favorite books. They include The Hunger Games trilogy, To Kill a Mockingbird, the Chaos Walking trilogy, and anything written by Amy Tan.

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