Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Research Based Argument: Presentation Options

Use this link for class: Jumpcut Videos: How to Make One 

Retakes: A number of students have asked to resubmit a piece of work or retake a test. You are very welcome to do so. (Perhaps people are aware of the upcoming report card!) Please come by and see me and write your name down on the board.

Research Based Argument: Coming Soon
We will use this resource on MONDAY to begin our research: Advanced Search Tips

Your topic can be simple -but expertly researched. e.g.

THINKING H/W -Make sure you have an idea for your research based argument. We will begin researching on Monday. Students who don't have ideas will be given a topic to research. (It is better that you have your own). You can ask your parents for ideas

Optional H/W: Thanksgiving Toast

Use your public speaking skills to deliver a Thanksgiving Toast to your family. Take the time to address each member of your family and tell them why that person is so special to you.  This would truly put a smile on your family members' faces. Take care!

Have a truly relaxing and enjoyable Thanksgiving. Rest, relax, and have plenty of fun. Don't forget your little 'Thanksgiving' toast at the dinner table.

 Enjoying Life  - Sometimes you got a just have a good giggle...
 What would you do it you discovered your parents had eaten all your Halloween candy?

Tuesday, November 26, 2013


Thesis Generator: Use this link

Copy.paste your thesis statement into this doc: Thesis Statement Practice

You will be assessed on your short presentation tomorrow using this criteria.

H/W: Minimum of 15 minutes Membean practice. (Due: Next Monday)

Remember: You must have an idea (that is easy to research) for a topic for your research based argument.

Planning Gird attached here: What is the ISSSSSUE? We will spend both reading and writing classes in December working through this piece. The final due date for your work is Wednesday Dec. 11th This will be an important summative grade.

Monday, November 25, 2013


Reminder: In class tomorrow (TUE), we will visit the I.S. Book Fair. Bring some cash along with you to spend at the Fair!

Use these steps to build your counterargument:

Even though advocates of advertising on T.V. might argue that this bustling industry supports the U.S. economy through the creation of 1 million jobs each year, a law should still exist that prohibits television commercials targeting young children. School aged children are exposed to inappropriate content, unhealthy foods and are often manipulated into situations where actual bodily harm occurs as a directly result of the products pitched to them in their living rooms.Mentor Text:

Can you spot the steps below that build the counterargument

Proponents of the current status quo on advertising argue quite loudly that this industry creates over 10million jobs across the nation. Effective advertising leads to profitable  businesses; profitable businesses lead to more jobs, and more jobs lead to  a healthy successful economy. However, do the benefits outweigh the pitfalls? The APA estimates that advertisers may spend more than $12 billion per year on ads created to pull in the youth market. Because young children do not understand the actions of advertisers, they will eat the fatty foods without knowing it could harm them. The advertising leads to poor health and poor health leads to a greater demand on the countries health care system thus adversely affecting the economy.  Manipulating, influencing, and persuading students to eat unhealthy food is wrong.

H/W: Write out the counterargument for either your sports essay or your 1:1 computing essay. You must give this to the class (in small groups) in the format of a short speech! 
Due: Wed
Don't forget 15mins of Membean practice for tomorrow. Remember - I can check how long you are on for!

How effectively do you speak in public?

For Next Tuesday: You will be given the freedom to select which research based argument you would like to argue for your final essay. You must be thinking of a topic that you would like to research. You may get ideas from your parents for a topic to research.
All topics must be approved by me first. 6th grade topics (chocolate milk, gun control etc. ) will not be allowed. Step out of your comfort zones!

Saturday, November 23, 2013

And the practice begins...

How many words will you learn? -Riya has begun to set the pace!

Top 100 Teen Novels: Which will you read? Add this link to your favorites. Target books from this list to read next

Thursday, November 21, 2013


Membean: Log on Page: Singapore American School

Membean: Share Your Learning Day

Make a copy of this link: Membean - Student Master Why Membean?

Membean Study Cycle

Two Week Cycle:

  • Membean in class
  • Membean at home
  • Membean in class

Week 2:

  • Membean in class (up to 15 new words)
  • Membean at home
  • Quizlet for new words
  • Interactive session in class - Share your learning activities
  • Membean Assessment (end of week 2)
Students can do extra work on membean to learn more words quicker at ANY time.

What is 'A' Research Based Writing paper?
Many of you might be surprised or disappointed by your progress grade on your 'supporting paragraph assessment today. Effectively building support and elaborating on that support using precisely worded rhetoric is a vital skill for now and in the future. "OK - So what an I doing wrong?" you might ask. Look at how this piece superbly moves from anecdote into evidence and each piece of evidence almost seamlessly builds on the next.

The issue of whether laptops should be under the control of children has both its proponents and detractors. The innumerate possible distractions these devices can create for Middle School aged children is the primary reason why 1:1 computing should not be common place in our schools.  I’m not going to lie.  Everyday I see almost half of my class going on websites that are not relevant to the school work at hand.  Another person who has noticed children getting off task in class is Faria Sana, a researcher on how computer distractions impact kids. One day she was spying on some college students, and noticed that even young adults were on social networking sites or playing games rather than paying attention to their studies.  Lynette Owens, author of “Stricter Filters and Rules Are Not the Answer for Laptops in School”, believes computers are the most motivational tool to help children engage in their work and work harder.  I would like to argue that having a computer sitting by a child’s side is only encouraging him or her to avoid work by play games or going on social networking sites.  Generally, when a child is distracted in class, they are neither working nor learning.  The child may very well end up with lower test scores as a direct consequence of their lack of attention in the classroom.  The article “Research Says… / One-to-One Laptop Programs Are No Silver Bullet,” by Bryan Goodwin, gives a good example.  After five years of implementation of the largest one-to-one initiative in the United States, Maine's statewide program, evaluations found little effect on student achievement—with one exception, writing, where scores edged up 3.44 points.”  Moreover, Faria Sana claims “Computers distractions can change your grade from a B+ to a B-.”  Not only does the disturbing aspect of computers’ affect children in class.  But they can affect children outside school.  Computer distractions are a ripple effect in which if a student ignores tasks in class, they must do it at home.  Older teengager’s, especially, can stay up very late at night doing work they didn’t finish and/or learn the work that was taught during the day.  I know teenagers have a lot of homework in the first place.  But not working hard and staying focused in school just adds to the bucket load of work.  As a rule, kids who lack sleep will not perform their best the next day.  The article Cellphones/Computers Are Keeping Kids Awake At Night says, “45% of adolescents get less than eight hours of sleep at night (below the minimum hours of sleep for a childs age) caused by school work and games/social networking.” Perhaps if in the future there wasn’t one on one computing, more children would get more sleep, and more children would get higher test scores and learn more than before.

Look at the use of strong word choice (blue words are mine) and the voice of the writer - You can see how my adult voice actually doesn't fit with the text because this student's style is so unique. In addition, look at the depth of the argument. This student did not write '5' llines! -

Learn form this...please!


Make a copy of our new grammar unit: Advanced Superlatives and Comparatives

Make a copy Credibility of Sources

Alternative thesis statement generator: Click Here

Word Study Assessment: Many of you said the the -ing form of a verb is the same as a verb. This is normally not the case.  Watch this video for explanation. We will do a whole unit on gerund phrases as part of our 'Sentence Tools Grammar Units' in the new year.
Superlatives: Recap. Can you put some superlative phrases into your critical analysis of the article?

Coming TOMORROW: Introduction of our revolutionary new way to learn vocabulary and roots: Our new Word Study program...The Membean Method!
Membean Educator from Membean on Vimeo.

HomeBase: Student of the Week - Kalia

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Supporting Paragraph

Use this link to learn how to create a Claim/Thesis statements

H/W: Writing Class
Below is an important mentor text (thanks Maddie) on how to craft your graded supporting paragraph.
This piece of writing (your supporting paragraph) is  due THURSDAY

Bring a small object to class. This can be anything. However, don't spend forever trying to think of something! 

Reading Class
Your analysis of the article is due FRIDAY. I will give you 30minutes of class time tomorrow to work on this.Your finished product will contain:
a) Claim/thesis paragraph
b) Two additional paragraphs with detailed support for your thesis. (Each paragraph should contain multiple paragraph snadwiches)

Don't count the days...Make EVERY DAY count! (Thanks David +1 for contributing)

Learn more here

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Structure Your Essays

Use this link to go to: Essay Structure lesson

Using the evidence collected from today's class, write up the 2nd paragraph of your essay. You do not need to write an introduction or state the claim. Just write the second paragraph. Use either of these questions below to help. You must turn in digitally in Research Based Mini Lesson: file under today's mini lesson title.

1) Your research listed in order of importance
2) The paragraph  that explains the facts. The paragraph will contain:

  •          Reference to the claim
  •          The Supporting idea
  •          Multiple quotes sandwiches
  •          Transitional Words
  •          Warrants
Due: Thur

Write a  supporting paragraph from either of these two thesis statements.  Remember to begin the paragraph by referencing both your supporting idea and the original claim!

       Despite the fact that an adoption of a  1:1 program in Middle Schools requires an immense capital outlay and more professional development and training for faculty,  these initiatives should be compulsory across all forward thinking schools. Laptop technology in the hands of every child leads to more engaged and motivated students. The empirical data also suggests that students exposed to a 1:1 environment are simpler smarter than those using less contemporary approaches to teaching and learning

Even though teenager students can be more creative using computer software and web 2.0 tools, the use of 1:1 laptop program in middle schools leads to distracted students and the empirical evidence does not prove that students learn more with computers. The extreme financial burden on school to run and maintain computers in the hands of every student solidifies the argument against technology statured classrooms.

Remember: You just need to write '1' supporting paragraph

Monday, November 18, 2013

Validity of Sources

Mentor Text: Why Schools Must Move past 1:1 Computing

Word Study Link: Copy the table into your OWN Word study document: Word Connotation

Word Study Assessment 3 is Wednesday. Make sure you use Quizlet both tonight and Tuesday to practice. This test will include a question that will require you to write '5' sentences that use parallel structure using the words and roots. At least two of the sentences will need to be written in correlative conjunctions.  One question on the assessment will require you to write the root and vocabulary word associated with an image e.g. What root/vocabulary word goes with this image?

For Tomorrow: Writing
Bring your mystery object - Postponed until Thursday
2nd Round of debate - Will your team advance?

H/W - Continue your note taking on analyzing the article. (You may work together  with your partner on this piece): Bring completed notes to class Wed.  - How will you ensure that each team member 'pulls their weight?'

Give a little love...

Friday, November 15, 2013

Weekly Reflection

Use this link to go to your Parallel Structure Assessment

The Great Debaters! -
7th Grade Learning Targets: Know what you are learning. Today in class you were  practising:
Speaking and Listening (S.L. 1&3)

1. Engage effectively in a range of collaborative discussions (one-on-one, in groups, and teacher-led) with diverse partners on grade 7 topics, texts, and issues, building on others’ ideas and expressing their own clearly.

3. Delineate a speaker’s argument and specific claims, evaluating the soundness of the reasoning and the relevance and sufficiency of the evidence.

Coming Next Week

  • Grammar  Unit 3: Advanced Superlatives and Comparatives
  • Writing: Thesis Statements/Claims Generator / Counterarguments / Transitional Phrases / Anecdote openings / Emotive language
  • Reading:  Text Analysis / Validity of Sources (Bias and Authority) / Target Audiences
  • Word Study: Unit 3 Test / Unit 4 Roots

Excellent work this week... Shout out to David H. - Scoring an 'A' on the parallel structure assessment

What is missing in 'our' worlds?

Add your ideas as comments, and maybe we will implement your suggestion in class.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Learning Target 7.8

Today we practiced Target 7.8
RL 7.8 Trace and evaluate the argument and specific claims in a text, assessing whether the reasoning is sound and the evidence is relevant and sufficient to support the claims
Kudos to Yasmin - the only student to recognize use of pathos in the images!


Writing Classes
Reminders: Make sure you have completed your research using the sources from yesterday's post.
Parallel Structure Assessment is tomorrow. Make sure you have used this site.
Try this exercise: Parallelism (write Correct or 'Incorrect')

Also on the test:
  • Can you name/write the x4 types of subjects and predicates?
  • How do you spot opening and delayed adjectives/adverbs in sentences?
HomeBase: Student of the Week SAM BODDEN

Tabuelan Typhoon Relief: SAS FACEBOOK page: LINK ATTACHED
Help in any way that you can!

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Analyzing Articles

Use this file to take notes: (What is the ISSSSSUE) on the topic: 1:1 Computers in Schools

Options on How to Cite Research

Go to these sources and collect notes on for/against the use of computers in schools.

Oates, John (2005). Computers bad for kids. Retrieved from

Simon, Dan 2012. Silicon Valley School with no computers. Retrieved from:

Goodwin, Bryan (2011). One-to-One Laptop Programs Are No Silver Bullet. Retrieved from

Cherry, Ashton (2013). 1-1 laptop project for every student.  Retrieved from

Owens, Lynette (2013). Stricter filters and rules are not the answer for laptops in schools.  Retrieved from

H/W: You should have visited at least 4 sources (AS A TEAM e.g. x2 each -shared notes) by Friday

Complete your analysis of the third /fourth source file on the same document you started in class. Drop the document for me to view. (Due: Fri). On Friday, you will debate this topic, this time in small groups. G/H class. You only need to collect research from two sources (one each per team) - We will finish the rest in class.

Optional Further Practice
Parallel Structure: Some extra multiple choice activities - Test is FRIDAY!
Medium Level
Harder Level

Excellent work today on your correlative conjunctions parallel structure sentences

Scary performances today! ENJOY...
FOR NEXT TUESDAY: Bring a mystery object to class. - It needs to be small

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Ethos Pathos Logos

Ethos Pathos Logos: Practice Activity
How to Argue Effectively

Logos: Logic--WHAT they say
  • facts
  • studies
  • examples
  • expert opinions

Ethos: Ethics (credibility)--WHO says it
  • who wrote it
  • what is their authority
Pathos:Emotional connection --HOW they say it

  • word choice
  • emotional appeal
  • anecdotes

Watch this video recap of today's content

Reminder: 'Ethos' is the source - What the author says is normally 'logos'

Make sure your group turns in ONE printed copy of your correlative parallel structure song activity
Do a little study (use the links from Monday's post) for your parallel structure assessment: Due Fri.

Monday, November 11, 2013

Correlative Conjunctions

Tidying Up for Last Qtr.
Make sure you have your 2nd Reading Ladder completed -Make sure this is ready by Thursday at the latest.

We still have some Character book Club presentations to finish. We will do these Tue. and Thur.

For today's class:

Use this link to practice from Friday's assessment if you didn't make the million in class.  Warm-UP

Use these links to practice for Friday's assessment

Review for Assessment (THIS IS AN IMPORTANT LINK: Spend 10mins each night this week reading this and looking at the practice exercises.)

Lesson Notes:

Writing Class Today's Material
Adding WARRANTS (rules/status quo) to quote sandwiches
Warrant Vocabulary:
As a rule, Generally, More often than not, In many stances, Since... etc

Warrant Examples from today:
National Federation of State High School Activity Associations indicates that it promotes “participation and sportsmanship” in an effort to “develop good citizens through interscholastic activities which provide equitable opportunities, positive recognition and learning experiences to students while maximizing the achievement of educational goals.” Generally, most people are not aware of the additional benefits young people receive from competitive sport. Not only does competitive sports help give a tough and fun environment for kids, they also help develop a positive future and a safe place for kids to enjoy their free and after school time.

According to Dr. Charles Bush Joseph, at the Chicago university,  “To many kids push themselves too hard and end up injured.” As a rule, most youngsters nowadays remain unaware of their own limitations and push themselves too hard. This shows that when kids get serious about a competitive sport they don't think about safety and what is best for them. Dance and Gymnastics and cheerleading can lead to extreme injuries because kids push themselves too hard. The harder kids push themselves the more likely they will get injured.

Make sure you have created a quizlet account for tomorrow.
No other H/W. (Use this time to begin studying for Friday's assessment) - Links are above

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Welcome Back

You will need a account for Tuesday's class. Create a new one here: if you do not already have one. We will be using Quizlet to supplement our word study units. Many of you should have already used Quizlet from 6th grade. You may use that account.

Recap on Quizlet:

Create on Quizlet from Quizlet on Vimeo.

Coming this week:
  • Monday: Correlative Conjunctions (Grammar) - Writing Warrants (Research Based Writing)
  • Tuesday: Ethos - Pathos - and Logos (You already know what this is, but you just don't realize it yet.)
  • Wednesday: Writing Effective Claims
  • Thursday: Are you 'for' or 'against' a 1:1 labtop program in schools?
  • Friday: Parallel Structure ASSESSMENT - Make sure you have looked over the study guide (Attached your Unit 4 Grammar doc. Parallel Structure after session 3)

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Friday, November 1, 2013

Have a Relaxing Break

Link  for today's  lesson:  Reading Ladder - November Check In

Enjoy your break. Don't forget to read.

After the break:

  • Be thinking about a topic that you feel strongly about they you would like to research.
  • Grammar: Parallel Structure, Comparatives and Superlatives
  • Non-fiction Reading: Ethos, Pathos, and Logos
  • Quizlet Practice for Wordstudy (you can go ahead and set up an account)


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