Friday, November 21, 2014

Aloha Friday!

Writing Mini-Lesson: Bringing Sentences to a 'Full-Stop'  In order to continually improve our writing, it's important for us to listen the feedback we receive, reevaluate and reflect on our work, and try to make changes. Of all the constructive feedback we receive from our international writing mentors, one that comes up most often is the request to incorporate more "full stops" in our writing. Here's a sampling: 

Most of us have learned by now that when our friends on the other side of the Atlantic Ocean refer to "full stops," what they mean are periods. Using a period is one way to bring the ideas of a sentence to a "stop." Too many of you are combing ideas and sentence parts together and in the process forming run-on sentences that essentially do not "stop." By doing so, you are confusing your reader making the ideas of your story less clear. Let's look at a few student examples and see if we can help these students use periods or other punctuation in the right places to form sentences that are more clear.

As you prepare to publish your new 100 Word Challenge stories for the week, please take an extra moment to make sure that you have avoided run-on sentences and properly used punctuation marks between sentence parts. 

100 Word Challenge: Publishing  Before we publish our 100 Word Challenge: He was shocked to find . . . stories, take one last moment to carefully review your writing. At the very least, make sure your spelling, capitalization, grammar, and punctuation (which includes using periods or "full stops" to break up sentence parts) are as good as they can be. 

Next, it's publishing time! Copy your story from your Google Doc and then login to Kidblog. Make a new post. This week you once again get to title your story whatever you find fitting; just make sure you put 100 WC: before your chosen title. Paste your story. Finally, click "Publish".  

Next, if you choose this week, copy the web address of your posted story and then head over to 100 Word Challenge. Scroll down and paste the web address into the box that says 'Blog Link'. Enter your first name, 6th Grade, Lakeview Middle School, and for location: Watsonville, California, U.S.A. Finally, click 'Submit'. Congratulations! You have published yet another story. I can't wait to hear about the feedback you receive.  

100 Word Challenge Writing Assessment: Submitting the Story of Your Choice  Up to this point, your grade on your 100 Word Challenge stories have been simply: credit / no credit. While I still plan on giving you participation points for your stories, I also want to begin examining some of the various mechanics of your writing using the rubric below. 

I can't assess every single one of your stories each week using the rubric, but I would like to do so periodically. I would also like to give you the freedom to submit the story that you would like me to assess. Please review each of the 100 Word Challenge stories you have published on KidBlog today and decide on the one that best showcases your technical writing skills. Once you have decided, please submit the URL of the chosen story to me using the form here

Previewing the District Writing Assessment  Next week we will begin work on the official District Writing Assessment. The practice writing assessment we explored several weeks ago was focused on Henry Cowell State Park, but for the real thing we will be examining the Grand Canyon. Take a moment to familiarize yourself with this amazing natural wonder by watching excerpts from the video below. On Monday, we will be reading and writing about it.

Homework  Make sure you read for 30 minutes at least once over the weekend and make an entry on your Digital Reading LogI will be grading this week's Reading Log on Monday, November 24.