FEATURES FOR TEACHERS
Features For New Teachers
Volume 2, Issue 21
When our middle school teachers got together,
there were a variety of viewpoints and ideas to consider.
After much debate and development, a plan was put in place.
The plan has two parts, one dealing with individual paragraph
development, and the other in developing an essay format using several
paragraphs linked well together.
Our plan for teaching the writing of individual
paragraphs progresses each year. At
the eighth grade level, students are expected to write paragraphs of at
least eight sentences and 125 words.
Each paragraph must have a topic sentence, at least three
supports, a personal life experience, and a clincher statement.
At the seventh grade, students' paragraphs must
have eight sentences, but only a minimum of 100 words.
Each must also have a topic sentence (T.S.), at least three
supports, a P.L.E., and a clincher statement (C.S).
In the sixth grade, paragraphs are to be at
least six sentences long and at least 80 words long. Included in the paragraph are a T.S., three supports, a P.L.E.,
and a C.S.
The fifth grade (the youngest in our building)
will concentrate on sentence structure and build up to a detailed
paragraph. This will be at
last five sentences long and at least 60 words in length. This paragraph will include a T.S., three supports, and a
clincher or a personal life experience to wrap up.
Part two of the middle school plan is the
development of an essay from these basic paragraph structures.
Since the fifth graders are only concentrating on sentences and
the development of a single paragraph, the essay development is slated
for sixth grade through eighth grade.
Essays at the sixth grade will be at least two
paragraphs and 160 words, each paragraph having 80 or more words.
These are great for compare / contrast essays where two different
sides are discussed.
Seventh grade essays will build up to three or
more paragraphs, and 200 or more words (100 words per paragraph).
Here we're looking for more thorough development of the topic and
relevant details and examples. And
in the eighth grade, essays will extend up to four paragraphs, and a
whopping 600 words (125 per paragraph.)
We will teach the development of a topic
sentence in the first paragraph for the entire essay. It will HOOK the reader and introduce the overall topic of
the essay. We will also
teach the creation of a clincher statement in the last paragraph that
wraps up and summarizes the paragraphs while providing a THEME (a life
lesson to be learned by the reader).
Main points of the topic each have their own
paragraph, so a three paragraph essay will have three main points.
Supports for each main point will be organized in a logical
fashion and spread through each respected paragraph.
Then relative details and examples will be used to exemplify each
Eighth graders will also develop a LEAD, a
personal life experience or story at the very beginning of the first
paragraph. This acts as a
HOOK to capture the reader's attention while making a personal
connection with the reader.
There is still much to
do, and we know this implementation will take time.
And we know there will be changes along the way.
One area we've already encountered is the use of figurative
language in the examples and personal experiences of the students.
We are already planning on adding this later on this year.
If your school is in the stages of updating your writing program,
remember to keep a positive attitude, look carefully at good examples
released by your state, and develop a strong program that everyone can
Talk about your hard workers! Band groups are awesome when it comes to putting forth the effort it takes for fundraising success. The key is making sure they have the right fundraiser that will leverage all that energy.
Again, success is best achieved by presenting your offering to large numbers of prospective supporters. Set up a table at any event that draws a large crowd. Offer samples from tiny paper cups. Get the word out to as many people as you can.
FunBrain is an excellent and fun website for both students and teachers in the elementary and middle school grades. Great resources for parents and teachers include guides on curriculum and standards, ways of improving communication between home and school, activities students can do along with their parents, as well as many links to other resources on the net.
There are many games and simulations to practice math, reading, writing, and grammar skills. These are fun activities that hide the fact that students are learning and practicing important skills. Short quizzes, flashcards, cartoons, web books, puzzles, and stories add to the learning experience.
There is also a section where students can BLOG their thoughts on selected topics. This is great for students to practice their writing with actual audiences who read (and often comment on) their work.
This is a user-friendly website with quick links to the various parts of the site. It is a great resource for elementary teachers.
Check this site out, you'll be glad you did. Simply click the link below:
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