Thursday, December 25, 2014

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Grammar Test

Use this link to do your grammar test: Comparatives and Superlatives

Thank you for all your effort and hard work this first semester. The expectation is that you will read at least 3 books over the break! Optional but encouraged MEMBEAN sessions!!!
  • 192 minutes: 

    Most total time learning over the last month by Jack Weidner

As the old refrain goes, "you ain't seen nothing yet!"

  • Coming in the 2nd Semester:
  • Notice and Note Reading Strategies
  • Transmediation Reading Responses
  • Inspiring Poetry
  • Social Issues Book Clubs
  • Realistic Fiction Writing

and so much more....

Happy Holidays...

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Finishing Off

Optional Work
Extra Comparative and Superlative Practice

Harder Questions - These are VERY similar to tomorrow's test

Coming Next Semester: Genius Hour - What is your passion?

Monday, December 15, 2014

Work Cited

Use the steps below to cite your sources

Your essays should be 'almost' finished for tomorrow's class.  You will get approx. 15mins to read for editing errors. 

Reminder for Thursday
These links are useful for practice for your comparatives and superlatives test
Do you still know the difference between opening and delayed adjectives?
Do you still know the different types of subjects and predicates?
Can you spot parallel structure in a sentence?

Friday, December 12, 2014

The Final Week

Sophie's Survey: Please help Sophie with her research

There are many assessments next week. You have just 4 more days of academic classes. EXPECT to work HARD in all of those 4 days. Friday will be more relaxing.

Mon: End of Class - Research Essay + Genius Hour Projects Reflection
Tues: Sharing of Genius Hour Projects and Research Essays (I will begin grading this work then)
Wed: Last Membean Test
Thur: Superlatives and Comparatives Test (Look at last week's blog for practice)

Make sure your Reading Book chart in up to date on my classroom wall on Monday. I will begin looking at total # of books read for the semester then

You will also be receiving an assessment grade on 'minutes of Membean practiced -v- the class average' e.g.  In one class, the least minutes practiced was  a student with 259mins -v- the most a student with 543mins for the semester.  If you think your minutes practised - v - the class average is low - what can you do about this before next FRIDAY?

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Outline: Mentor Example

Use this mentor to structure your outtine: Essay Outline

Wednesday, December 10, 2014


Please complete these student surveys for your classmates research projects

H/W: All Classes
You must spend 20mins working on your outline tonight. Use this link: Research Based Essay Outline - You do not have to finish the outline, but you should make a start.

Remember: Due date for this paper is end of class FRIDAY!

RECAP - Does your claim read like this one? 

Coming Next Week: 
End of Year Membean Assessment - Next Wed (50 Questions- This test is cumulative and will count triple)
End of Year Grammar Assessment - Next Thur (This will count double) - There will be some questions on parallel structure, opening and delayed adjectives and adverbs, and subjects and predicates. 

These links are useful for practice for your comparatives and superlatives test

Tuesday, December 9, 2014


H/W - All Class
Play this game Millionaire Game - Take a screen shot to prove you have finished it!

Girls - Please fill in this survey for Olivia's and Laila's research project: Beauty Standards
Please fill in this for Joaquin's Research

Research Project - The majority of note-taking should be finished before tomorrow. You will only have 20 minutes of class time to work on note. Make sure you have done most of your note taking before then.
REMINDER - Your research piece will be almost finished for Friday (end of class)- You will have Monday's class to edit and turn in.

Lesson Recap:

Sunday, December 7, 2014

Research Tutorials

H/W - All Classes
You must collect detailed notes from one of your resources. Use Cornell or Visual Note-taking (Due:Tue) - These notes WILL be inspected and assessed!!! - You are accountable to your PARTNER - If you do not do the work, partnerships will be split up!

Link to collect sources: My List of Sources
SAS MS Database: Passwords

Use these tutorials to navigate the two simplest (catch the superlative!) databases for your research

Opposing Viewpoints in Context

Global Issues in Context   Video Tutorial

These sites are the easiest to navigate and find quality content!

From Homebase: Pay it Forward - Can you do three random acts if kindness unconditionally?

Saturday, December 6, 2014

Due Dates

Please take this due date in mind as you plan for the last two weeks of school

Monday 8th Dec: Final Membean assessment for semester: 40 questions. Think about reviewing your quizlet file.

Friday 12th Dec: 2nd round of research paper - (students away at Telunas will  be able to submit their paper on Tuesday 16

Students who are missing work or need to resubmit for higher grades (e.g. Memoir, research based essay etc) Last date for submission is Friday 12th Dec. Report cards are calculated in the last week of school, so I cannot accept old assignments after this date.

Friday, December 5, 2014

Assessing Credibility of Sources

Superlatives to a Degree

Use these resources for today's lesson:

Independent Practice
During your silent reading time today, please do some preliminary research by reading about topics that interest you.  While reading, generate a list of genuine questions. These questions can later be developed into your research question.
Topic Research Guide

SAS Library Databases (see Discovery, Global Issues in Context, Opposing Viewpoints in Context)

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Research Essay: 2nd Time Around

Look at this mentor example of a very strong RR

Reminder: All your assessment rubrics are linked on the blog in the left column. Today's RR will be assessed by the RR rubric. - Claims and Evidence

Research Based Essay

  • The 2nd round of research based essays starts Monday. (yeepee!)
  • You will have exactly 5 hours of class time + any H/W you decide to put into your paper.
  • Due date for the papers are end of class: Friday 12th
  • You will be able to work with a partner
  • If you score better on this paper, your grade for your previous paper will change to a formative grade.
  • This is the last writing grade for your report card

H/W - All Classes
You must come to class with a topic on Monday and a Research Question for your pair
Use this resource to find topics:  Middle School Database Research Topics

Firday's class we will spend looking at how to spot credible sources and examine some of the resources in the school's research databases

Homebase Reflection: Finding Your Inner Peace

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Reading Response

Go to and type in your claim
Room #


We will vote on your claims at the start of class

Recap from today

Recap from yesterday

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Close Reading: Word Choice

Group 2  Shakira’s “Waka Waka” Video  Lyrics
Group 3  Hand Washing
Group 4  Anxiety Disorders

H/W ALL CLASSESTomorrow, you will be writing your NF reading response: WORD CHOICE You are welcome to bring in a source of your own. OR - you can choose from these options below.
All you need to do is check out these sources. Decide which one you would like to use.

Weight Watchers
Getting Started with Gmail
Johnson and Johnson Commercial
Cell Phones
College Education

By the end of tomorrow's class, you will turn in your RR. Will yours look like this?

Sunday, November 30, 2014

Superlatives and NonFiction RR

Welcome Back

New Grammar Unit: Superlatives and Comparatives (please add this link to your 7th grade RLA slides)

FOR MONDAY - Bring an idea of something that you this is the best thing in the world
e.g. Starbucks coffee  or   the Maldives or  your mom's lasagne (Do not worry if you do not see this until class time. It shouldn't take you too long to come up with something in class)

New Grammar Unit: Comparatives and Superlatives

Non-Fiction Reading Responses


Optional - Come to class with an article, song, or commercial that you would like to use for your SUMMATIVE nonfiction reading response. (If you do not bring one, you will just use the source your teacher gives you) - DUE Wednesday


All Essays are graded. Check powerschool to see your feedback. Please excuse any typos as it was difficult typing in the small box. See me for questions. Rubrics are in powerschool and also on the blog. 

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Turkey Day

End of Unit: Parallel Structure Test

What does an straight 'As' Research argument look like? - Check these pieces for reference
Nikhil Joaquin, Michal Sajid,  Carissa Mansi Maeve (listen to her journalist voice in the piece) Talia
Sara (taking pride in presenting her final draft)

Are you 'truly' willing to step outside your comfort zone?

Thanksgiving Dinner Family Toast - Become a legend in your family by toasting your family just after the main course is ended. Be sincere and give real examples, situations, and elaborations to support your comments using your persuasive strategies. Your family will be amazed and very proud. Use your PIPES to deliver a powerful speech. Maybe use some of your persuasive craft moves to amaze your audience. Your parents will be 'totally' in awe! -

When thinking about how much we all have to be thankful for, keep Addie in your thoughts. The teachers received this update from Addie's dad recently. I have been given permission to share this with you. There is something so powerful about Addie's actions that show what true character is all about. I think Addie can teach us all something about what it truly means to be thankful.

This week is an interesting one for our family. It's a time to give thanks when it is easy to find things to complain about. SAS and this community have replaced my tears with a collective attitude of gratitude. In the past few weeks our family has received countless blessings. The fundraising was an incredible success and I'm so very grateful, but I'm even more grateful for the happiness the support has brought to Addison. The pictures from "Team Addie Tuesday" were simply amazing and inspired Addison. She was discharged last week to spend some time at home before her third round of chemo was scheduled to begin. Although she was restricted on where she could go, she loved being out of the hospital. She told me that so many people were doing so much for her that she wanted to do something for others. She spent a couple evenings visiting the homes of people in need. She told me of a wonderful visit with a mother recently diagnosed with breast cancer. She told me of an emotional visit with a woman whose sister passed away unexpectedly from a brain aneurysm. She told me of visits to children. She said that it felt so good to support others in their time of need just as SAS has been supporting us. You have taught a vital life lesson to a 12 year old and her parents. This new life lesson reminds me to stop my "pursuit of happiness", and just be happy.

Addie is doing well. She continues to have more good days than bad. Our cup is half full.  As mentioned, she was discharged early last week. She was scheduled to begin round three on Nov 20th. Unfortunately, with no immune system, she contracted something and after two ER visits she was re-admitted. Things are back under control and they will be testing her early this week with the hope of beginning round three just before Thanksgiving Day. Her attitude remains positive. She misses her friends, brothers, teachers, dance, and normal 12 year old life, but she is aware of the blessings she is receiving. She is no longer "scared" of the effects of the chemo. Each treatment is the same so she is able to prepare in advance for the bad days that come on schedule. We are returning to Salt Lake City to spend the Holiday break as a family. Holden's first item on his Christmas list is a "Healthy Addie" and we are optimistic that Santa will deliver. Thank you again for your continued support. We appreciate the love, support, actions, thoughts, and prayers in our behalf. We hope to someday return the blessing to others.

Happy Thanksgiving to you and our SAS family,

Cade and the boys  

If you can, send Addie an email on this Thanksgiving. 
"The true test of character isn't how you are on our best days but how you act on your  worst."

Happy Thanksgiving!

Monday, November 24, 2014

Parallel Structure Test

Pre Assessment - Go to (student)  type in mrBuxtonm324

Use these links to practice
Faulty Parallelism
Parallel Structure
(further practice links in last week's posts)
Grammar Test Tomorrow

Your final draft must be dropped in the RLA 'drop' folder before class Tuesday.

Your final piece should have the following

  • All your ethos highlighted in BLUE (quotes/principles of authority)
  • Every time you state your claim highlighted in RED
  • Membean words highlighted in purple
For Reference: What does a high quality 'counterargument' look like? Can you see the depth interpretation in this piece be Talia?

Friday, November 21, 2014


Steps to write a support and  conclusion

Monday - you will get between 30-45mins to do any finishing touches to this summative piece. Look at the list below. What do you need to work on to make sure you are finished by this date?

Parallel Structure Test will be next Tuesday. Below are some optional links for your to practice the types of questions asked in the test. We will also spend some time in Monday's class working on these links. 

Important: There will be a few questions on the test on subjects and predicates and opening and delayed adjectives.
If you know the difference between a simple, complete, compound and complete compound subjects, you will be fine. Do you know the different types of predicates?
Can you spot an opening or delayed adjective in a sentence?

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Counter Arguments


Your counter argument needs to be completed and placed in the  files below for grading. (Due: Fri)

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Ethos Pathos Logos

Make a copy of this file and put the link into you Digital notebook

Background watching: Look how your mind is constantly being manipulated in the media with ethos, pathos, and logos.

Make sure your introductions text is added to these files BEFORE Thursday's class

Warning - Your work will be put through a plagiarism checker before grading similar to this one. Because you are using quote - authenticity will never be exactly 100% - You should look to have 80% + authenticity Authenticity Checker

Reminder: My Reading Classes - Minimum of 25 mins of Membean at home by Fri (weekly total should be approx. 40mins)

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Intros and Conclusions

Grammar Recap

H/W Grammar
You have a song that contains 8 lines (at least 4 most be correlative conjunctions)

H/W Writing
Your introductions will be graded on Thursday. They must be finished by then. They will be graded by this criteria
  • Hook that is not too long
  • Hook connects to claim
  • Counterargument is clear and effectively integrated
  • Claim is clear and arguable
  • At least two different supporting ideas mentioned
  • Word choice effective without too many pronouns
  • Transition word/phrase used if appropriate
  • You did something different/unique (optional)

Drop your introductions in here BEFORE Thursday's class

Monday, November 17, 2014

Essay Checklist

Recap: After today's session in the library - you will have a list of books to read between now and through the holiday. The list should be almost finished by middle of January!

H/W 1) READ 20-30mins
         2) See below

By the end of class Wednesday - you will have done all your corrections to your research based paper:

H/W - All classes. Look at your own writing so far. Based on the suggestions below - Prioritize! - Name two or three writing goals for tomorrow's  and Wednesday's class.  You JUST need to come to class with TWO goals to work on. Write these goals at the top of your research based essay in blue
  • Can you name the type of opening used to begin your essay? If not - this is a goal
  • Does you thesis hint at your counter argument + mention your supporting ideas?
  • Have you written a claim/thesis that is specific and nuanced?
  • Do you mention your thesis/claim at the start (normally) of each supporting paragraph?
  • Command F  - Find the 'you' in your piece.  Do you need to work on being specific?
  • How many principles of authority do you have? Do you need to add more?
  • Do you need to add transitional phrases?
  • Do you have a sophisticated counterargument that accepts then rejects the alternative viewpoint?
  • Do you have a conclusion that restates your best evidence, prognosticates, and calls to action?
  • How many quotes? Do you need to add more?
  • Can you name at least 6  persuasive craft moves you have used?
  • How many different reasons to support your claim do you have?
  • Can you find at least 2 warrants in your writing?
  • Can you find large chunks of text that show where you interpreted your quotes?
  • Have you mentioned (paraphrased your claim) at the start of each supporting paragraph
  • Do you have an effective title that contains a pun
    e.g. To Meat or not to Meat      Nice to Meat You or  Meat the Devil 
Based on the list above - come to class tomorrow with TWO possible goals to work on

Below are some slides that show examples of the targets in red. 

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Summative: Research Based Essay

Research Essay Planning Steps File

By the END of class Friday: (no H/W unless you want to get started early on this - you should have plenty of time to finish this in class)
You must turn drop your a doc. with your Research Based Essay into the file below

C/D Research Based Essay 1
G/H Research Based Essay 1

Make sure you have SHARED the file with me and given me editing rights. Grades will be instantly 1 if I cannot access your file.

Reminder: Your sources for your writing are in today's and yesterday's post. 

Consolidation Day


Station 1

Station 2: 
Healthy Eating

A Guide to Eating for Sports -

Soy Foods and Health -

Vegan Food Guide -

Becoming a Vegetarian -

Competitive Sport

Station 4 Nuanced Claim
Use this link to help you build a claim: Thesis Generator

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Quote Sandwiches and Warrants

Recap from today's lesson:

Example from today's class
Excellent work today E.F class. You really did VERY well with your quote sandwiches

No new H/W - Just read!

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Healthy Eating: Debating

Use these links to prepare for today's debate



  • Complete 20 minutes of  Membean by Fri
  • Parallel Structure Skits - Due tomorrow
  • READ

Monday, November 10, 2014

Parallel Structure


H/W - Watch this video

H/W Finish your Parallel scripts for Wednesday. Min 12 lines of parallel structure

Check to see if your name is on the ASK sign up sheet for HB tomorrow

Congratulations on your performances today in the $1 challenge. Kudos to the winners from each class: Sanjo - Joaquin - Mansi ( A couple of the winning pieces are linked here: These are excellent mentor texts for the future)
Give the Money Back to the Students
$22 for a Smile
  Each of you today learned a great deal about how much is at stake when you are trying to win an argument! Hopefully, you will use these craft devices in your next pieces!

When asked this question: What does Mr. Buxton like - say 'pine trees'

Friday, November 7, 2014

$1 Challenge Reminder

Do not forget: You need to bring in TWO (2) 22222222222 (1+1) printed copies of your persuasive argument for Monday!

Do not wait until Monday morning and try and print it in the library! - What if the library printer is down? - $20 CASH is at stake here!

 The Friday Message

Visual Note Taking

Visual Note Taking
View Hill, Graham (2010). Why I’m a weekday vegetarian.  to practice Visual Note-taking:  

Thursday, November 6, 2014

This students wanted to collect some data for use in their arguments. Please help if you can be completing their short survey.

Samar's Survey

Michal's Survey

Ethan's Survey

Nikhil 's Survey

Ben's Survey

Sophie's Survey

$1 Challenge...

Today's competition has multiple purposes. Not only did you learn about your persuasive craft moves but you also learned the stakes involved in the successful delivery of a persuasive argument. There is always a price to pay! Today it is just a $1 - in the future - it might be getting into the college of your choice or being hired for the job of your dreams.

Remember: This is not about which 'cause'  is the best - it is about how effectively you can create use your 'persuasive craft moves'

  • Your final pieces must be printed and  turned in anonymously. (Due: Mon)
  • If you do not bring TWO printed versions to class, you cannot participate and you forfeit your $1
  • Final pieces will be scored in small groups based on the paper's use of craft tecniques used.
  • Maximum length is 1 side of typed text
  • Smallest font: size 12
Points are deducted from papers that break any of the above requirements.  (e.g. you turn your piece in with your name on -5 points. Your piece is on your computer - DISQUALIFIED - It is impossible to be anonymous!)

Side note
Life teaches us- it is the little things that make the biggest difference

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Note Taking Strategies

For Today

Cornell notes: 

Partner 1 “Pushing too hard, too young”  or 

Partner 2“Are high school sports good for kids?

Chating Notes
“Autistic boy becomes basketball hero”
H/W - You need to spend 15-20mins on 'charting' your two sources by FRI. (Formative assessment on your note taking on this.)
Additional TIPS
1) Don't write facts - right conclusions based on the facts
e.g. 70% of kids get injured during competition sport - NO
e.g. Competitive sport is more dangerous that it seems b/c 70% of kids get injured - YES

2) Use Color - The mind remembers color!
Questions in read
Definitions in blue
Conclusions in green

3) Box new vocabulary or domain specific language

You learned a couple of strategies that you can take with you all the way through to university level. Taking notes in these formats really makes you think about the information as you are reading. Recap video for Cornell notes.

  •  Do not forget your $1 for tomorrow's class! and an 'idea' to for a persuasive argument that you are passionate about. 
  • Are you keeping up to date with your Membean?
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