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Showing posts from April, 2015
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Twenty days left in the school year. Hip, hip, hooray. My students have just finished writing their final research project. They had to choose a narrowed and focused topic of their choice. They had to write ten questions about the topic and research and write the answers. 

After researching the topic, the students used their research to create a fourteen slide PowerPoint presentation. Slide one is the title slide. Slides two through eleven are the question and answer slides. Slides twelve and thirteen are the image slides, and fourteen is the sources slide. Each answer must be at least three complete sentences. Each student will present his presentation after TCAP...our state testing. The student will be scored on the PowerPoint and his or her presentation.

There will be one more writing assignment. The student will write a sixth grade memoir, including three specific events that he or she experienced this year. This will be developed into an essay with an introduction, three body parag…

Forget about the tests, just let teachers teach!

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This image is the intellectual property of Melissa Reese Etheridge

TCAP, Tennessee Comprehensive Assessment Program, is our state's standardised test that is given at the end of the academic school year. This year, three subjects will be tested: English Language Arts, Mathematics, and Science. Social Studies will test in a field test separately. This is the last year that TCAP will be administered. Tennessee has purchased a new test for next year.
Standardised testing is controversial. Tennessee uses the test results as 35% of a teacher's evaluation. For some teachers, this can make the difference between being labeled a one (lowest level) to being labeled a five (highest level).  It makes no difference how the teachers score on classroom planning, instruction, and learning environment. It all boils down to one ninety minute test that a child takes on one day out of the school year.
Currently, the student is tested using a multiple choice format. The English Language Arts portio…

How to write an introductory paragraph

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The introductory paragraph is the most powerful paragraph in your essay. Introductory paragraphs hook your reader. They introduce your topic. They contain your thesis. They state clearly and logically what the reader will learn from reading your essay. Introductory paragraphs are powerful beginnings to a great essay.
An introductory paragraph first gets your reader's attention. This is known as the "hook" because like hooking that large-mouth bass, the hook grabs your reader's attention. It gives your reader pause and makes him think. Hopefully, it makes your reader pause and think long enough that he will read the rest of your article.
So, what are some ways to hook your reader? One of the most used methods is what I just did: ask a question. Asking a good thought-provoking question gets your reader thinking about his answer. The reader will continue to read to see your answer or to validate or repudiate his own. These questions must be open-ended. They cannot be …

What? Athlete is Benched, and her Parents Sue!

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I read an article where a high school volleyball player was benched, and the girl’s family requested that she be allowed to switch to another team where she'll have an opportunity to play more thus showcasing herr supposed talents to college scouts. The league in which the girl plays denied the request, and now the family is suing. The case is pending, so there’s not much information available. 
But, all I can say is really?  Now, granted, I don’t know all of the ins and outs, I don’t even know the state where this happened. I just read an article in the Washington Post and saw a clip on the Today Show. I’m just wondering whatever happened to losing gracefully? If you can’t play the sport well enough to be on the court, then maybe you should practice more. Perhaps, you need to consider another sport.
We raise and love our children. We don’t want them to suffer or know defeat. As parents, we want to shield our children from any hurt, any form of pain. But, that’s not the way life …