Thank you to everyone who came out to Family Friday to learn more about the work we’re doing. We appreciated you taking the time to read through our essays and give us valuable feedback. Our goal is to internalize our writing process and be able to guide our own thinking by using the supports of the essay structure.
We began our process by brainstorming beliefs that were important in our lives. Once, we decided on a belief we turned it into a thesis statement. As a class, we developed an template to serve as a outline of the essay progression. We thought about how the belief came to be, what role it plays in our lives, and what are hopes are for the future.
To make sure we maintained the integrity of the essay structure, we used an essay planning sheet to develop our topic sentences for each paragraph. One of our goals during that process was to transition the reader into new paragraphs by signaling to the reader that there had been a shift in time. We used introductory phrases as signals.
Once our structure was clearly established, we began to draft. Students worked on expanding the details of their personal experiences and further expressing the depth of their belief.
In partnerships and small groups, students gave feedback to each other and made important revisions to their work. Today, students were able to receive feedback from the families who came to visit.
Students are continuing to focus on their essay structure and their sentence structure as they make revisions and edits for their final drafts.
Questions we’ve asked while we’re revising:
- Should I break one of my paragraphs into two paragraphs?
- Is my essay balanced?
- Is each section about the same length?
- Have I developed my ideas?
- Am I using more words than I need to?
- Can I be more concise?
- Have I varied my sentence structure?
- Does my essay adequately express my thoughts and feelings about the topic?
- Does my title reflect the purpose of the essay?
Our grammar goals:
- Identifying independent and dependent clauses
- Recognizing introductory phrases
- Appropriately introducing and attributing dialogue
- Understanding the difference between simple, compound, and complex sentences
Students should make sure they have a variety of sentence structures throughout their essays.
Thank you again for your feedback! We look forward to publishing our essays next week!
A quote from one of the essays,
“Success is no accident. It is hard work, perseverance, learning, studying, sacrifice and most of all, love of what you are doing or learning to do.” -Pele, soccer player