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What If We Taught Argument in Every Class?

Christina I have been thinking (quite a lot) about the difference between argument writing and persuasive writing. I think that teaching kids to persuade is a little dangerous–to me, it suggests cherry picking of evidence, and encouraging flawed thinking. When I teach argument writing, on the other hand, is all about the evidence. Tom Rawson We teach this skill using a Claim / Evidence / Reasoning framework (for details see, for example, Supporting Grade 5-8 Students in Constructing Explanations in Science by McNeill and Krajcik — but the approach is not at all limited to Science). Students really need the…

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Using Playlists to Differentiate Instruction

…strongly that the playlist concept could be used in any content area. Argument Writing Playlist The first playlist is for a unit on argument writing. What you see here is just the first few tasks; there are 19 on the full playlist. In the first column, Enos simply names the task. The second column provides specific instructions for the task. The third column is set up for students to record any notes they have about the task, and the fourth is where students record the date they completed the task. Although much of the playlist will be exactly the same…

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Notebooks for Classroom Management, Part 1

…students nearly every single time that I began writing anything, anywhere, during class? “Mr. Stricklin! Are you writing MY name down? Are you writing a referral?” Often times, I would simply refuse to answer the question, so they’d follow up with an assumption, “But I wasn’t doing anything!” Once or twice I mentioned that, more often times than not, a student asking me those questions do so out of a sense of guilt, indicating to me that they were aware they were misbehaving, and were trying to weasel out of the consequences. Sometimes, I wasn’t even writing about them. So…

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A Simple Trick for Success with One-Pagers

writing, what the student excelled at, and what they need to work on for the next iteration. Again, all to be shared through both text and imagery. Yet one more option would be to create a series of mini-one-pagers throughout the year that reflect writing type. So you could teach them the structures of different types of writing and have them create small illustrated versions to put together as a guide for themselves moving forwards. At the end of the year, they’d have a little book illustrating argument writing, opinion writing, compare and contrast, etc. Hope those ideas help! Betsy…

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5 Common Teaching Practices I’m Kicking to the Curb

…challenge. Thank you for writing and sharing! Erin I’ll offer another caveat to notes: students with ADHD or certain types of LDs may not have the attention or writing ability to pick out main idea and supporting detail during a lecture. Scaffolding notes for them, where you give them the main headings and they fill in the points, is one way to go with that. Another way is to provide them with the scaffolded notes to fill in during the lecture, and then a checklist at the end to make sure they got all the important points; they have to…

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