Showing posts with label writing. Show all posts
Showing posts with label writing. Show all posts

2.25.2014

Common Core Argument Writing

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

Pin It

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

Pin It

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

Pin It

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



Pin It

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


Pin It


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

the valley
of amazement

gone girl

and the mountains
echoed



Pin It


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

Pin It

8.24.2013

Argument Essay Writing Claims

Argument Essay Writing Topics (or Claims)

Pin It

Students often struggle to find meaningful argument topics (or claims) for their formal essays. Not only do they get tired of writing about capital punishment, abortion, and dress codes, but we teachers get tired of reading the same old arguments.

TIP: To make the assignment more meaningful, ask students what THEY feel strongly about. We all know they have a million complaints because we are usually the ones they share them with. When they do, jot them down in a notebook or have them write it down. Keep this running list as a "go-to" for argument essay and/or debate topics or claims.

If your students are fresh out of ideas, here are some that seem to be "hot" topics with teenagers today (these are not my personal opinion, by the way). These are worded in statements rather than questions. Students who feel strongly about the topic can revise the statement to suit their opinion:

1. Students should be allowed to use their cell phones freely in the classroom.

2. Drivers who text and drive should be punished the same as those who drink and drive.

3. Cell phone companies should not make customers wait two years (or however long) to upgrade their phone.

4. Boys should be allowed to play volleyball on the girl's team (if a boy's team is not offered at school).

5. Energy drinks should not be sold to anyone under the age of 16.

6. Schools should ban the sales of all soft drinks and junk food in their buildings.

7. Minors should be allowed to get a tattoo without parent's permission.

8. Birth control should be free for anyone who wants to use it to help combat over population.

9. Same-sex couples should be treated the same as other couples in regards to discounts for dance tickets, meals, corsages, and any other "couples" perks.

10. Schools should not be responsible for after-hours dances such as Prom or other formals.

11. Schools should offer (and pay for) an online recovery course for students who fail the class.

12. Schools should not filter or block the internet.

13. Students should have to pass an exit test before graduating.

14. States should not use the ACT college entrance exam (or any college entrance exam) as a gauge for adequate yearly progress (AYP) of high school juniors.

15. Standardized tests should include all subjects that are required, such as government/social studies.

16. Teachers should not be allowed to be "friends" with or "followers" of students on Facebook®, Twitter®, Instagram®, or any other social media site.

17. All teachers should carry guns. {OR} All schools should have at least one armed police officer on duty while students are present.

18. Students should not be required to take physical education classes.

19. Professional athletes who have taken performance-enhancing drugs should be banned from that sport for life.

20. Single mothers on welfare should get free child care services so they can go to work.

21. Schools should not have to make up snow or weather-emergency days.

22. High schools should drop sports and extracurriculars and use the extra savings for educational purposes only.

23. Schools should provide more lunch choices for students.

24. Homework should be eliminated completely.

25. Corporal punishment should be allowed in schools (with parental consent).

26. Cheerleading is not a sport.

27. Basic health care should be provided for all citizens.

28. Parents should be held accountable/punished when minors break the law.

29. All schools should be year-round.

30. Students are more successful in single-sex classes (or schools).

Many of these claims may not apply to your school or students, but perhaps discussing them will lead to even more relevant topics. Students usually feel very strongly one way or the other when these are read. Have them write a couple of sentences in response. Those topics that they seem to write more about or feel the strongest about are good contenders for their argument topic.

For additional resources, you can see my argument essay pack for grades 6-12:
Argument Essay Topics at Mrs. Orman's Classroom www.traceeorman.com

6.02.2013

Top Secondary Teachers to Follow on Pinterest

Top Secondary Teachers to Follow on Pinterest!

Pin It

Happy Summer, Friends! 
I don't know about you, but one of my favorite things to do in the summer is relax with a cup of coffee while listening to the Today show and pin away on Pinterest! Yep, it's definitely a time suck, but in the summer, who cares, right?

So here's a great list of my fellow secondary teachers that you should ALL follow on Pinterest!  OK, so there's really 18 secondary teachers featured, but since I'm telling YOU about them, we won't count me. :) All of these bloggers/pinners are active online and have a lot to offer secondary teachers. I hope you'll check out their pinboards & blogs. And in case you need a link to my Pinterest boards, I pin from my Mrs. Orman account and my Hunger Games Lessons account. To see the latest pins from either account just click here: Mrs. Orman's Pins and here: Hunger Games Lessons Pins.

Thanks for taking time to follow us! You can download a free activity (link at end of post) to use at the end of your school year or anytime! (I usually repeat it several times throughout the year.)


Meet The Tutor House!

The Tutor House


Bio:  Hi!  I'm Adrianne from The Tutor House.  I love tutoring and creating engaging lessons for math in reading for grades 3-8!  If you've ever thought about starting your own tutoring business, you should come on over to The Tutor House!

Follow Adrianne of The Tutor House on Pinterest. {Special thanks to Adrianne for putting together this  list for all of us!}


Meet Science Stuff! 




Bio:  Hi there!  My name is Amy Brown and I write a blog called "Science Stuff."  I am a 29-year teaching veteran of biology, chemistry and AP biology.  I love science and I love kids, so I have the best job in the world!  Hopefully, I have passed my love of nature and the environment on to many students.  My blog has tips and tricks for teaching science as well as a lot of free science teaching materials.  I hope to see you there!

Follow Amy of Science Stuff on Pinterest. {Amy is a great friend and the one who introduced me to Pinterest and showed me the ropes. Thanks, Amy!}



Meet Addie Education!


Addie Education ñ Teacher Talk


Bio:  I'm a middle / high-school teacher and I love to create ELA, Social Studies and Geography related resources.  I blog at Addie Education - Teacher Talk... come on by and see some of the fun things I do with my students.

Follow Addie Education on Pinterest.



Meet Charlene Tess!



Bio:  Hello, there. Iím Charlene Tess from Simple Steps to Sentence Sense. Grammar is my specialty. I have always loved taking sentences apart and putting them back together, and I successfully taught my students using the simple steps method for over three decades. Visit my blog to get helpful tips on grammar, usage, and writing.

Follow Charlene of Simple Steps to Sentence Sense on Pinterest.


Meet Tammy Manor!

Bio:  Hi my name is Tammy and I've been teaching high school English for 13 years now. I know that teaching can be very stressful. My school is constantly changing the book list and I've taught every grade 6-12 as well. As a result I have unit plans for a large variety of novels, plays and memoirs. Come check out my store on TpT for a variety of ELA materials. Follow my blog for teaching related posts.

Follow Tammy on Pinterest.  


Meet Teach It Write!

TeachitWritelogo photo chalkboard-apple2_zps1805ea76.png 


Bio: Welcome! I am Connie from Teach it Write. I am a retired English teacher and Iím thrilled to now write curriculum full time that I love to share on my site http://teachitwrite.blogspot.com. My book, The House of Comprehension, shows how the elements of literature form the structure of any fiction or non-fiction text. Check it out on my blog site or on www.teachitwrite.com.

Follow Connie of Teach it Write on Pinterest.


Meet Innovative Connections!

Innovative Connections

Bio:  Hey! I am Ann Marie from Innovative Connections. I enjoy blogging about various topics: Projects and lessons going on in my classroom, ideas I've learned or ideas I've thought of at the most random of moments (At 2 a.m. when I can't sleep, I can come up with some stellar ideas), teaching resources I find beneficial to fellow teachers and/or bloggers. Due to the wide range of grades I've had the pleasure of teaching, Innovative Connections caters mostly to language arts but loves to share and collaborate with teachers/bloggers of various grade levels.

Follow Ann Marie of Innovative Connections on Pinterest.


Meet 4mulaFun!

4mulaFun Blog Fan

Bio:  Hello, my name is Jennifer Smith-Sloane. I am a Middle School Math and Special Education teacher. I have a strong passion for differentiated instruction to meet the needs of each learner in and out of my classroom. I love seeing the light in a student's eyes when something finally clicks and I do everything that I can to make that happen as often as it can.  Visit my blog 4mulaFun!

Follow Jennifer of 4mulaFun on Pinterest.


Meet Miss Math Dork!

MissMathDork


Bio:  Hiya there!  I'm Jamie but you may know me as MissMathDork! I am a lover of all things mathematical!  Patterns, sequences, geometric shapes, if it's mathematical, I'll find a way to make it fun!  Want to see some of my ideas? Check out my ideas and pictures at www.missmathdork.com!  You won't be disappointed!

Follow Jaime of Miss Math Dork on Pinterest.


Meet A Space to Create!


Bio:  Meet Sabrina, author of A Space to Create.  Find teaching resources for art teachers and classroom teachers alike. My art lessons teach students the creative process enabling them to build confidence and have amazing results.  Come visit my blog A Space to Create! (K-12)

Follow Sabrina of A Space to Create on Pinterest.


Meet All Things Algebra!

All Things Algebra

Bio: Hi there!  I'm Gina from All Things Algebra.  I have taught Algebra and Pre-Algebra for seven years and have a passion for creating activites and games that engage my students.  If you are interested in finding ways to have more fun in math class, head on over and check out my blog!

Follow Gina of All Things Algebra on Pinterest.


Meet Numbers Rule My World!

Numbers Rule My World


Bio: Hi! I'm Krystina from Numbers Rule My World. I love incorporating hands-on activities and technology into the classroom for Math: grades 7-9. If you're looking for great ideas about math then you should come on over and check it out at Numbers Rule My World!

Follow Krystina of Numbers Rule My World on Pinterest.



Meet Liz's Lessons!


Liz's Lessons
Bio:  Bonjour! Hola! I'm Liz from Liz's Lessons. Languages are one of my passions, and I love teaching with technology. I create fun lessons for teaching secondary French, and Spanish. I also make formative assessments and technology activities in English, that can be used in any secondary classroom. If you are looking for some engaging activities for your classes, be sure to stop by Liz's Lessons!

Follow Liz of Liz's Lessons on Pinterest.


Meet Teaching FSL!



Bio:  This is Madame Aiello, author of Teaching FSL. Although I've taught other subjects as well, French as a Second Language has always been my passion. My focus is the higher grades, since I taught high school originally but teach grade 7 & 8 since six years ago. I share lots of resources, blog about second language teacher specific topics as well as those that apply to all teachers.

Follow Madame Aiello of Teaching FSL on Pinterest.



Meet For the Love of Teaching Math!

For the Love of Teaching Math
Bio: I'm Andrea Kerr from For the Love of Teaching Math. It is my mission to change traditional math classrooms one game and activity at a time. If you like to incorporate hands-on, group activities and games into your classroom, check out For the Love of Teaching Math!

Follow Andrea of For the Love of Teaching Math on Pinterest.


Meet 2 Peas and a Dog!


2PeasAndADog Blog


Bio:  Hi Everyone! It's Kristy from 2 Peas and a Dog. I am a Canadian middle school teacher who loves to pin and blog about things related to Grades 6 and up.

Follow Kristy of 2 Peas and a Dog on Pinterest.


Meet Teaching Math by Hart!



Bio:  Hi! I'm Kim from Teaching Math by Hart. I am forever planning and thinking of new and innovative ways to teach math to my students. Why, you ask? Believe it or not, I think learning Math should be FUN and it should be REAL! If you are looking for some ideas to engage your students in math class, come check out Teaching Math by Hart - in the middle years classroom!

Follow Kim on Pinterest.

FREE ACTIVITY WITH PRINTABLES
If you are one of the unfortunate who are still in school (believe me, I will be jealous of you come August when we go back & you're still off!), here's one of my favorite activities to share with my students. (It's a FREE download, by the way!)

Live and Learn End-of-the-Year (Or Anytime) Free Download Activity

Free Live & Learn End-of-the-Year (Or Anytime) Activity for ALL Ages


Pin It

It's very simple, but the results are memorable. 
You can read more about it on my Hunger Games Lessons blog HERE.

4.14.2013

8 Ways to Incorporate Poetry into Your Day {Poem in Your Pocket Day is Thursday!}

Celebrate Poetry: Ways to incorporate poetry into your day.
Poem in Your Pocket Day is Thursday, April 18th.

Thursday (April 18th) is National Poem in Your Pocket Day, sponsored by the Academy of American Poets (Poets.org) and the National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE). UPDATED: 2014 "Poem in Your Pocket Day" is Thursday, April 24th. 

It's a day to celebrate poetry and share it with others. But you can celebrate poetry any time. Here are ways to incorporate poetry into your day:

1. As "Poem in Your Pocket" suggests, carry your favorite poem (or poems) with you any day and share it with others. Ask them to share their favorites, as well.

2. Write a poem! If you need help or inspiration, using formula poems can help. Here's a packet that helps you with over 40 formulas: Poetry 9-1-1: First Aid for Writing Poetry.

3. Are you reading a novel in class right now? Which poems do you think would be the characters' favorites? Why? For The Hunger Games fans, check out my post on my Hunger Games Lessons blog that asks  this same question.

4. Not reading a novel? Perhaps you are studying someone famous in history class? If so, ask the same question for historical figures: which poem would be Julius Caesar's favorite? How about Benjamin Franklin or Winston Churchill? Give reasons for why you chose this poem for that particular person.

5. Read a poem. It can be a short poem or long poem...it can be any poem. Don't know where to look? Some of my favorite websites for poetry include:
  -Poets.org
  -Modern American Poetry
  -Poetry Foundation
  -Poetry Archive

6. Discuss it! Poetry means different things to different people; this is one of the beautiful things about poems. Two people can have completely different interpretations of a poem, but both are right. Poems even have the power to take on new meanings when we read them at different times in our lives. Choose a poem or two and read with your friends. Then talk about what it means to each of you. When we discuss how a poem makes us feel, it may help someone else relate to it. It's OK if the poem does not speak to you...keep reading and you will find one that does.

7. Listen to others read their favorite poems. On YouTube, you can watch and listen both famous people and people like you and me share their favorite poems by reading them and telling us why it is their favorite.

8. Record a reading of YOUR favorite poem. You can do a video recording (learn more from the Favorite Poem Project website) or you can do an audio recording and upload it to LibriVox.org.

Teachers: You can find resources for teaching poetry here. Also, read more about incorporating poetry into your classroom here on this blog, or on my other blog.

And don't forget to celebrate Poem in Your Pocket Day this Thursday!

Pin It

1.03.2013

Common Core Journal Prompts: My Resolution to Have My Students Write More

A Year of Journal Prompts by Tracee Orman http://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/A-Year-of-Journal-Writing-Prompts-Common-Core-Standards

The only way to become a better writer is to write more. And contrary to popular belief, practicing this skill does not have to be painful for students.

I love journal prompts. They force the students to think about things they may never think about, but they also give them an opportunity to pour out their inner feelings and thoughts they may never share orally. They are a perfect way for students to practice writing without realizing they are "working" on their writing skills.

I have a bundle of prompts that I use in my classroom throughout the year. They are based on current events, historical events, authors, literature, art, music, sports, weather, science, pop culture, holidays, and more. Some force the students to think about touchy subjects that question their ethics. Some are silly. Some connect with the units we are currently studying. No matter what they are writing, they are practicing critical-thinking skills, as well as writing skills.

I use journal prompts as my go-to resource when we have a little time left over or when I need my students to settle down. There's something calming about the activity. I used to have my students write three or four times per week, but I've found in recent years we haven't had as much time to devote to the activity. One of my New Year's resolutions is to have my students journal more often.

I've linked a couple of free prompts from my "A Year of Journal Prompts" bundle (which is aligned to the Common Core State Standards). You can also download a sample of the prompts for August {here}. The download doesn't have the full-page slides, but it gives you an idea of what kind of prompts I use with my students. I try to give my students 10-15 minutes to complete their responses, which means I expect them to write more than just a few sentences. My bundle contains handouts that give students more direction, but I usually just project the prompt on the board and students write in their notebooks or type on their laptops. For students who are gone, I print the page or email them a screenshot of the prompt.

Pin It

A Year of Journal Prompts http://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/A-Year-of-Journal-Writing-Prompts-Common-Core-Standards

Direct link to prompts:
http://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/A-Year-of-Journal-Writing-Prompts-Common-Core-Standards

Clip art used in images:
http://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Doodle-Sketches-Bundle-of-Clip-Art-Graphics-for-Commercial-Use

Fonts used in images:
http://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/KG-Seven-Sixteen-Personal-Use


Pin It

11.03.2012

Common Core Tips: Using Transitional Words in Writing

Use Transitions Anchor Chart www.traceeorman.com
One of the keys to writing is using appropriate transitional words and phrases. For students who struggle with writing a cohesive essay or paper, it is essential that they use words that not only create a natural flow or progression, but link each point together.

Using transitions is also a key aspect in each type of writing in the Common Core State Standards. For example, read the following writing standards for grades 9-10:

For Writing Arguments
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.9-10.1c Use words, phrases, and clauses to link the major sections of the text, create cohesion, and clarify the relationships between claim(s) and reasons, between reasons and evidence, and between claim(s) and counterclaims. 

For Writing Informative/Explanatory Texts
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.9-10.2c Use appropriate and varied transitions to link the major sections of the text, create cohesion, and clarify the relationships among complex ideas and concepts.

For Writing Narratives
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.9-10.3c Use a variety of techniques to sequence events so that they build on one another to create a coherent whole.
(source: http://www.corestandards.org/ELA-Literacy/W/9-10)

Each type of writing piece will require certain types of transitions. The narrative transitions will vary from the types of transitions used for clarifying the relationship between claims and counterclaims in argumentatives.
Transitions for Narratives Anchor Chart www.traceeorman.com
The transitions for conveying a sequence and building suspense differ in a narrative from the counterpoints (or counterclaims) transitions in the argumentative chart.
Transitions for Arguments Anchor Chart www.traceeorman.com

To make it easier for you and your students, I've created anchor charts of example transitions that are aligned with the writing standards for transitions for grades 6-12. You can download a free PDF copy in my teacher store here: Common Core Transitional Words Anchor Charts

Pin It
Transitions for Informative/Explanatory Anchor Chart www.traceeorman.com

The free download has charts in black/white and in plain text worksheet format, as well.

In my news writing expository presentation (shown below), I give examples of unbiased transitions to use in objective writing pieces. Writing objective summaries is a staple in the Common Core State Standards for writing.
News Writing Example - Objective Transitions

I will be posting a bundle of Common Core writing resources soon, which will include graphic organizers and various exercises. In the meantime, I already have several excellent writing resources that help students through critical phases of the writing process, such as the news writing bundle above and the following resources:

Narrative Writing, Short Stories:

Informative Writing, News Writing:

Writing Style Rules: http://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Writing-Style-Rules-Rubric-Self-Peer-Editing-Checklist-Journalism

Creative Writing, Poetry:
http://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Writing-Like-Poets-Teach-Your-Students-to-Write-Presentation-PPT
Writing Anchor Chart Common Core www.traceeorman.com

Informative/Explanatory and Argumentative Writing:
FREE: http://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Common-Core-Writing-PEEL-Anchor-Chart

Thanks for stopping by my blog. If you find these helpful, feel free to "pin" them and pass them along to other teachers. :)