Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Thesis statement practice

A thesis statement is a one-sentence statement that is meant to give the reader an idea of the purpose of the paper. It usually comes at the end of your introductory paragraph. 

In your journal, try a few of these thesis statement stem sentences out with your own topic.  Then choose the one you like best and turn it in to me on an index card or the handout I gave you in class. Underline the stems. Feel free to change up any of the stems to fit your topic.

1. _______ had a huge/small effect on the outcome of ___________________.
2. ____________________was/was not an important cause of ________________.
3. _________ was/was not a good leader before/during/after _________________.
4. Without _______________________, we would not have ____________.
5. ________________________ was a difficult point during __________________.
6. ________________________ was a hero of ___________________________.
7. ______________ changed between __________________ and ____________.
8. _____________________ is an important idea in ________________________.
9. ______________ needed _______________ in order to __________________.
10.________________________ has an interesting history.
11.There were several stages in the _______________ of __________________.
12.____________________ caused many problems for _____________________.
13.A huge challenge for ____________________ was ______________________.


Sunday, March 22, 2015

National Poetry Month - Memorize and Perform a Poem

For National Poetry Month, we will all be memorizing and performing a poem in front of the class. 

Choose your own poem
Must be from a well-known, published poet
Must be at least 10 lines long
Must be approved by Mrs. Shaum by April 20th

You will be graded on how well you do the following: 
Vocal intonation and expression
Proper volume
Address and engage the audience

Finding the right poem
There are many poetry books in the classroom
The best Internet source for finding poems though is
You MAY NOT choose a Shel Silverstein poem (there are so many other great poets out there! Explore and discover a new favorite!)

Ways to earn extra credit
Way #1 
If you choose a poem that is 30 or more lines
Way #2 
In addition to performing your own solo poem, work with a partner and perform a poem for two voices

Due Date:
We will be reciting our poems April 29th and 30th 
If you don’t do well on your first try, you are welcome to try it again for a better grade

Some wisdom from Mrs. Shaum
Please make sure that you choose a poem that speaks to you and that you enjoy. If you just choose the first poem you find that’s 10 lines long and you don’t find anything fun or enjoyable about it, then that will show in your performance and you won’t do well. If you find a poem you like (even if it’s over 10 lines) then that will show through in your performance

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Research Notes Graphic Organizer - Example from Mrs. Shaum

Here is an example of how I would like you to fill out your research graphic organizer. You will do this for AT LEAST three pieces of information for your passion project. Remember though: if this topic is truly your passion, you will research as much as you can about it.

Resource information: author, title, webpage company, dates, etc. (Err on the side of more info, not less)
Directly Quote your research here
List main ideas using your own words
Paraphrase your research.
Website: Edutopia
Author: Rebecca Alber
Date: July 31, 2014
Article title: “Using Mentor Texts to Motivate and Support Writers”

“If we want students to do something well, it helps to both tell them and show them what we expect. When it comes to writing assignments, we teachers will give students directions to write a convincing essay or draft a descriptive narrative followed by telling them how to earn a good grade on it. Many of us also hand out a rubric or criteria chart that tells all the expectations for the essay. But, with all that there is to cover and the time crunch, we may sacrifice showing them mentor texts, examples of good writing.”
  • Show and tell students how to do an assignment
  • Teachers like to give directions and rubrics but don’t always give examples.
  • We often forget to show students examples of good writing.
In the quest to “cover” curriculum, teachers often give students directions and hand them grading rubrics for writing assignments, but one of the things that is often missing from that equation is allowing students to examine examples of effective writing. If they don’t know what good writing looks or sounds like, then how do we expect them to write well? This is what mentor texts are for.

Monday, March 9, 2015

Plagiarism Article of the Week

1. After watching the video below, read this article.
2. Underline or highlight your confusion
3. Talk back to the text - Annotate the article with comments, questions, inferences, etc.
4. Write TWO developed paragraphs to AT LEAST three of the five prompts below. You MUST respond to the first prompt. 

Writing prompts for Article of the Week:

In TWO well-developed paragraphs (introduce your topic, use evidence from the text, don’t repeat yourself just to get in an appropriate number of sentences), respond to the FIRST prompt and AT LEAST two of the other four (i.e., you can respond to more if you wish).  So to sum up, you are responding to THREE of the five prompts.

  1. After watching the video and reading the article, write a short summary of your understanding of the situation.
  2. Why do you think the media is choosing to paint John Green as a hero when others who have plagiarized receive extremely harsh consequences or reactions from the public?  
  3. What do you think the consequences for plagiarism should be?
  4. What does this situation make you think about the policies schools enforce about plagiarism? (Anywhere from failing grades to expulsion)
  5. What do you make of the author’s claim that Green didn’t apologize? Do actions speak louder than words in this case?