Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Transition Words and Phrases to Present Other's Ideas

Transition Words and Phrases to Present Other's Ideas

According to …
Based on the findings of ... it can be argued...
… proposed that …
As explained by …
… states that …
… claims that …
However, ... stated that …
... suggested …
… concluded that …
Similarly, … stated that ….
… for example, …
… agreed that …
Based on the ideas of …
… defined …. as ….
… relates …
As identified by …
… disputed that …
… contrasts …
With regard to … argued that …
… concluded that …
… confirmed that …
... argues ….
… highlights …
… demonstrates …
… found that …
… identifies …
... wrote that …
… demonstrated …
… also …
… reported ….
… pointed out that …
… maintained that …
… hypothesised that …
… expressed the opinion that …
... also mentioned ….
... asserts that ….
… identified …
… goes on to state/suggest/say
… emphasises
… challenges the idea ….
… showed that …
… explored the idea …

Thank you to
Their source:  Manalo. E., Wont_Toi, G., & Bartlett-Trafford, J. (2009). The business of writing: Written communication skills for business students (3rd ed.). Auckland: Pearson Education New Zealand.

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Tattle-Tale or Good Citizen?

Tattle-Tale or Good Citizen?
You know who did it.  Do you tell?
Ponyboy Curtis says, “. . . they had accepted me, even though I was younger,

because I was Darry and Soda’s kid brother and I kept my mouth shut good.” (p.9)
  1. During a test a student is looking at the answers on your paper.
  2. During a test a student is sneakily looking at sheet of paper filled with answers.
  3. During quiet reading time, a student is not reading as he or she is supposed to be.
  4. In class, someone takes your pencil
  5. One student is bullying another student.
  6. Someone breaks keys off a keyboard in computer lab.
  7. Someone draws on a desk at school.
  8. Someone draws on the walls in the school halls with a permanent marker.
  9. Someone gets into another student’s backpack and steals an iPod,
  10. Someone gets into another student’s backpack and takes a candy bar.
  11. Someone lit a fire in the school.  The school is evacuated and the fire department puts out the fire without very much damage.
  12. Someone steals a book or magazine from a classroom.
  13. You live in a neighborhood where there is a very dangerous gang.  You witness the gang beating up a person who ends up in a coma.  Your life will most likely be in danger if you tell. 
  14. Someone breaks a pen on purpose and it ends up all over the floor in a school hall. 
(Here is the document we used:  Tattle-Tale or Good Citizen Blog.docx)

Then, next to that, write in answer to this prompt.
Journal Prompt:   Under "Reader Response"
Label with 

"Tattle-Tale or Good Citizen?"   and today's date.

Write 1/2 page or more answering the question found on this post: 

Question:  One of your friends comes to you with a question.  He or she saw another of your friends drawing on the walls in the school halls with a permanent marker.  He or she does not tell you who it was.  This friend wants your advice about whether or not to report it to a principal.  

Monday, February 24, 2014

-ing verbs

-ing verbs

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Cornell Notes B5

My Cornell Notes
Name       B5 Student                   Date    3/6/14            Subject:   Gettysburg
Main topics/Key Words
Notes and My Reactions (MR)                             [Identify Sources)

Summary of what I learned and thought:

Friday, February 28, 2014

Announcements and Reminders: 

Today’s Agenda:  Be prepared to type your brochure and finish and print it today. 

This is the place!  Open up the template here:
Lab 223: 
 Use this one if the one above will not work on your computer: 

Because of the counselors coming into our classes for registration today, the deadline for turning in this assignment has been extended to March 6.

Your next Book-of-the-Month will be your own choice of genre. 

If you were absent: 
Use one of these templates to create your brochure based on your nonfiction book. 
Lab 223: 
 Use this one if the one above will not work on your computer: 

Here is the grading rubric for the brochure:  Rubric for Nonfiction Brochure.docx
In case you need a copy of the worksheet for collecting information: The handout received February 7: Collecting Information for the Nonfiction Book Project.doc  You do not have to finish the book BEFORE you create your project. Please do finish your book though, and be prepared to report it to me.

In case you do not finish your brochure, you can save your work on Edmodo and open it again to finish it.   Go to
If you have a thumb drive with you, you can save your document on it and not do this.
If you do not have your thumb drive --
Save your document on the desktop, (file, save as, select desktop) adding your name to the front of the file name.  Save.
On Edmodo
Find the assignment titled Nonfiction Book Brochure.
Click on the Turn In Button.
Add a comment (and click on a reaction if asked to) and
Click on the file icon to upload your document.   Find it on the desktop and click on it.
It will open with a red x by it.

To get to it again,
Click on the Turned In button.
Find the document that you turned in.
Click on it to open it.
Finish it.
Print it, tape the pages back to back, tape them together at the sides, fold it, turn it in paper clipped to the grading rubric.
We WILL NOT have any more time in the computer lab during class, so finish this on your own time.

originally posted February 11, 2014

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Announcements and Reminders:  On Friday we will go to the computer lab to create the brochures for your nonfiction books.  Have your pink sheet filled out so you can just type up your information, add illustrations, print it, and fold it into a brochure. 

If you did not finish your essay about cell phones, see me about taking your essay to finish it. 

Today’s Agenda:
Individual Reading and Prepare for Creating the Brochure on Friday.
Sample:  Brochure Sample 1 for Nonfiction Book.docx

Finish the Slip or Trip assignment:
1) In your small group, write up sentences connecting evidence with warrant.

2) As an individual, write up a police report, informing the chief of police about what you have found and why you do not believe Queenie's story.

  • Do not forget to use transitions between your pieces of evidence.
  • Each piece of evidence will include a warrant -- the reason why it may show that Queenie is not telling the truth. 

Begin reading the nonfiction book How They Croaked.

Authors make choices!

  • The tone/attitude they have toward their subject.
  • The facts they chose. 
  • The conclusions they make based on  those facts.

  • Famous Last Words  B7 did not read Chapter 1 yet. 
  • King Tuthankamun   B6 finished Chapter 1 B8 got to page 4
  • and  (if there is time) Julius Caesar -- No one got to Julius Caesar -- except those Senators! 

If you were absent: 
Open this document and complete the assignment about the case we were investigating earlier:  Slip or Trip Police Report.docx
Here is the original drawing with Queenie's account of what happened:
Slip or Trip.docx

Come during a Cave Time to read the chapters from How They Croaked and complete the assignments that go with them.

                             originally posted February 11, 2014

Monday, February 24, 2014

Announcements and Reminders:  

  • If you revise your January Book-of-the-Month assignment on Edmodo, send Ms. Dorsey a note on Edmodo telling her that you have.
  • The District Post-Test on Writing has been postponed due to a change in computer lab schedules. The new date to take this is Friday, March 21.
  • Be prepared this Friday to create your brochure about your nonfiction book. 
Here is a sample created for the Top-Ten-Facts while reading a biography of George Washington: 
Top Ten Facts About George Washington

1. When George Washington was seventeen, he took a job as a surveyor for a county in Virginia.  He did not attend college, but was good at math. He spent three years at that job.
2. George left his surveying job to join the British army.  He fought in the French and Indian War.
3.  George’s father died when George was eleven years old, and his older half-brother Lawrence died when George was twenty, leaving the family estate – Mount Vernon --  to George.
4.   When George married Martha, she already had two children, but George and Martha never had any more children. 
5.   At one time Washington had one of the country’s largest whisky distilleries at Mount Vernon.
6. Before he became President of the United States, Washington was Commander of the Continental (Revolutionary) Army and President of the Constitutional Convention.
7.  Washington was the only founding father who freed his slaves.
8.  He was the only president who did not live in Washington D.C. , though it was named after him.
9.  The story about Washington cutting down the cherry tree is probably a myth.
10.  He was the only unanimously elected president.

Today’s Agenda:  
1. Individual reading of your nonfiction book and taking notes (as needed) on your pink worksheet for the brochure.

2.  Quiz on complete or non-complete sentences.    Sentence Quiz 1.docx
Sentence Quiz #1

3.  Finish writing your essay about cell phones in the classroom.

  1.   Highlight your thesis sentence (your overall central idea) with green.
  2.   Highlight the topic sentence (central idea) of each supporting paragraph with yellow.
  3.   Highlight your concluding sentence (for the whole essay) with red.
  4.   Circle each transition.   
This will be a five-paragraph (or more).

Use your packet to remind yourself who is in your group. 

4.  More "Slip or Trip"!

Linking evidence to a warrant: 
Arthur still has the glass in his hand.  As a rule, when people fall down stairs, they drop what they are carrying to save themselves.

Now, you write one:
Give the evidence and a warrant as to why it is important.

Writing a Report:
If we were really an investigative team, we would have to write up a report.
To whom would we have to report?
What would we need to explain?

     We arrived at the home of Arthur and Queenie Volupides at about 2:15 a.m. on February 7,
1935.  We found Arthur lying at the bottom of the main stairs on his back, faceup, his feet on the third step. He was still holding a glass in the fingertips of his left hand.  His clothes were neat.  Nothing on the wall beside the stairs was disturbed.  The carpet where he lay was undisturbed. Queenie said that Arthur slipped and fell on the stairs.  She said he was coming down for another drink.
    We believe Queenie is not telling the truth.  The evidence does not support what her claim about what happened.   First, . . .

If you were absent:  See above. 
Study this information for writing complete sentencesSentence Errors
Print this to take the quiz: Sentence Quiz 1.docx
After you have answered all questions on the quiz, check your answers here: Sentence Quiz #1 Answers
Bring in your quiz to turn in to the top wire basket for your class.

Essay on Cell Phones in the Classroom:
Come to cave time or take your essay home to complete it.

Open this document and complete the assignment about the case we were investigating earlier:  Slip or Trip Police Report.docx
Here is the original drawing with Queenie's account of what happened:
Slip or Trip.docx

originally posted February 11, 2014

Cornell Notes B6

My Cornell Notes
Name                                                              Date                      Subject
Main topics/Key Words
Notes and My Reactions (MR)                            [Identify Sources)

Summary of what I learned and thought:

Cornell Notes B7

My Cornell Notes
Name                                                              Date                      Subject
Main topics/Key Words
Notes and My Reactions (MR)                            [Identify Sources)

Summary of what I learned and thought:

Cornell Notes B8

My Cornell Notes
Name                                                              Date                      Subject
Main topics/Key Words
Notes and My Reactions (MR)                            [Identify Sources)

Summary of what I learned and thought:

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Announcements and Reminders: 
On Monday you will take the final District Writing test on MY Access.  -- This has been postponed due to changes in computer lab scheduling. 

Next Friday, the 28th, you will create your brochure for your nonfiction Book-of-the-Month.

Today’s Agenda:
No, not that Hook!
Individual Reading 

Mini-lesson on Recognizing Complete Sentences -- By Mr. Hadley or Mr. Rawlings
If you missed, or if you would like more information, see
Sentence Errors

Mini-Lesson on Hooks and Thesis Statements
Essays from last time -- Should Cell Phones be allowed in the classroom?
Finish filling in your outline for your supporting ideas, the outline for the introduction, and the outline for the conclusion.
Write out your essay.
Writing a Thesis Statement
Hooks for Persuasive and Argumentative Writing

If time a spelling review:  My Favorite ALOT -- But Not a Correct Spelling!

More Slip or Trip?

If you were absent:  If you were absent, study the material above about sentences and about writing essays.  You will finish writing your essay about cell phones in classrooms when you return to school.

originally published February 11, 2014

Cell Phones in Classrooms

Original sentence:
Cell phones could be used for educational stuff.
The word "stuff" is too informal.
Cell phones could be used for educational purposes.

Writing Hooks:
Ask a question.
Tell a story -- a brief anecdote.

Writing a Thesis Statement

Writing a Thesis Statement

To compose a thesis that is precise and well developed, read it to yourself and make certain it answers the questions "so what," "how" and "why." For example, the thesis "Big cars are bad for the environment" is too broad. How are big cars bad? And why does it matter? A more effective thesis statement would be, "Big cars harm society and the environment because they are costly and dangerous to smaller vehicles on the road, and they further America's dependency on foreign oil."

Thesis Statement

Your entire essay centers around your thesis statement. For an argumentative essay, your thesis statement will be one of three types of claims. In a claim of definition, you challenge the accepted truth of a fact. A cause-and-effect claim proposes that one action or event caused another. Another option is to propose a solution to a problem. The thesis statement is one sentence that must be debatable, but narrow enough in scope to prove within the constraints of the essay. Your thesis statement may evolve as you're writing, so check during the revision process to ensure it still relates to your arguments.

Hooks for Persuasive and Argumentative Writing

This is from
In persuasive writing, a writer takes a position FOR or AGAINST an issue and writes to convince the reader (or audience with a speech) to believe or do something.

Not all of these are appropriate for a formal essay, but the ideas could be adapted. 

The introduction should have a HOOK that certain something that grabs or catches the reader’s attention. Here are a few examples:
  1. Open with an unusual detail or statistic, startling or striking fact from an authoritative source – Thirteen teachers, two students and one police officer killed in a Munich, Germany high school; thirteen students killed and dozens wounded in Littleton, Colorado at Columbine High School…
  2. Open with a strong statement – Cigarettes are the number one cause of lighter sales in Canada!
  3. Open with a quotation – Elbert Hubbard once said, “Truth is stronger than fiction.”
  4. Open with an anecdote (Anecdotes are stories, from your own experience or someone else's, told to make a point.) – When I studied education before becoming a teacher in the early 90s, my professors were dead set against lecturing, worksheets and memorizing facts for the test, but those were still the methods they employed, and the ones I saw in use during my practicum. We as teachers know that education must be engaging and relevant to be effective, and that the learner must be actively involved in the construction of knowledge for anything to stick. I know of no study that shows standardized testing to increase student learning. What I know is that there is no multiple-choice question that can measure the kind of learning that really changes people.
  5. Open with an engaging question – Have you ever considered how many books we’d read if it weren’t for television?  [ Be careful, though, about questions, since some of them may not be engaging.  If it's a question your reader would immediately respond to with a "No!" you may have lost that reader. -- Ms. D]
  6. Open with an exaggeration or outrageous statement - Hey! Do you hear a kind of groaning sound? Could it be ...? Yes, it's millions of kids marching off to take some standardized tests!

See also

And don't forget to add necessary background information: 


An introduction in an argumentative essay should provide the reader with background information to help set up and explain the issue. However, it should be only an overview of the most important information. For example, if you are writing about the motivation behind the creation of the Declaration of Independence, you don't want to recount all of history from 1492 to the American Revolution. Be discerning and select just enough material to provide a platform for your main argument.

back to

Essay Helps for The Outsiders Essay: Is Johnny Cade Innocent or Guilty?

Monday, February 17, 2014

Alright or all right?

Come and tell me when it is correct to use "alright" as one word.  First response (and perhaps more) earns 5 points extra credit.

In formal, edited writing (term paper, academic article, essay, etc.), when is it correct to use alright as one word? Here’s a little tip: Never. And don’t give me, “Spell Check didn’t underline it.” Spell Check doesn’t underline it when you type, “I walked along way home,” either.

Saturday, February 15, 2014

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Announcements and Reminders: 

Today for B3 and B4:  Extra credit is available if you behave well for the substitute. 

  • If you still need to turn in or revise your January Book Project (Historical Fiction Background on Edmodo), do that as soon as you can! 
  • Be prepared on February 28 to create the brochure for your Nonfiction February Book of the Month.
    • Collect your information on the pink assignment sheet.
  • Remember to edit your work for our Essential Spelling Words.

Today’s Agenda:
1.  Individual Reading with your own nonfiction book.  
If you do not have your book with you, or have finished it, you should be reading another nonfiction book.

Are you getting ready to create your brochure on February 28? 
What sorts of charts, graphs, table, or other graphic
illustrations do you see in your nonfiction book?

One Example: 
The weight of a bull African Elephant can be up to
six and a half tons.
To equal six and a half tons, you'd need:

average-sized men

average-sized mice

[This is an illustration I made  for information I read in
the nonfiction book The Elephant in the Bush 
by Ian Redmond.]

2.  Examining an example for writing an essay,  then writing one yourself. 

Today you will complete (or get as far as you can on)  this packet by the end of class.
Part 1.  Small Group Work
                   -- You will examine a writing prompt that you will NOT write about.
      --Do this in your assigned group from last time.  See the back of this page.

“Show Me”
(You will not write about this prompt.
You will examine the steps a student followed to create his or her essay.)
Should Students Be Allowed to Eat in School Classrooms
Some teachers allow students to eat in their classrooms.  Others do not.  Imagine that your principal is preparing to create a school-wide policy on eating in classrooms.  Think about the effects of allowing students to eat in classrooms.  Take a position on the issue, and write an essay using reasons and specific details to support your opinion.

 -- Take turns reading through the steps the student followed.  The reader should stop for discussion.  Is everyone understanding what the student writer is doing?  If you need help, ask the teacher.
Notice that the document is already divided up for Reader #1, Reader #2, Reader #3, Reader #4.
When you read the completed essay at the end, take turns reading paragraphs.

-- After you finish reading and discussing the sample prompt, each of you will individually complete the steps for writing an essay on a different prompt. 
Watch for your prompt later on in this packet.

Part 2.   Individual Work
                 Individually, you will write about the prompt below by following the same steps
                the  sample student followed.           
                -- Fill in the spaces provided in your packet.
                 -- Your responses should be written in complete sentences.

Your prompt is
Should Students Use Cell Phones in School?
Some schools use cell phones in the classroom for educational purposes. Think about the effects of allowing students to have and use cell phones in classrooms. Take a position on this issue.  Use reasons and specific examples to support your opinion.
As you write, remember your essay will be scored based on how well you:
·  develop a multi-paragraph response to the assigned topic that clearly communicates your thesis to the audience.
·  support your thesis with meaningful reasons and sufficient details.
·  address the readers' concerns, opposing viewpoint, or counterarguments.
·  organize your essay in a clear and logical manner, including an introduction, body, and conclusion.
·  use well-structured sentences and language that are appropriate for your audience.
·  edit your work to conform to the conventions of standard American English.
Use any of the tools available to you, such as the step by step directions and graphic organizers and a dictionary.

--  You are expected to complete  (or get as far as you can on) the packet by the end of class. 
-- Turn in your finished packet to the top wire basket for your class.

If you were absent: Pick up the packet from Ms. Dorsey or the English handouts file.  
Study the example on your own, then fill in the indicated spaces in the packet to write your own essay (on the topic you  are given).  Write complete sentences so  that you do end up with an essay by the time you are done with the packet.