Language Arts Karma!

Wow!  I can't believe it has been a week since I have posted!  That's what happens on the week you come back from a winter break. Did I really have last week off? I think I blocked it out after my poor Syracuse boys lost to those Icky Georgetown Hoyas..  When Monday came around, school took off like a shot!
This week we read THE BEST article in our TFK about how the United States is considering getting rid of the penny.  My Smarties were all about this because they had heard about how Canada had stopped making the Canadian penny in early February.  This lesson was a PERFECT FIT this week because we are just beginning a writing unit on argumentative pieces.

I had just put up these benchmarks on Tuesday, and began a discussion about choosing a thesis statement.
{I love these standards posters I'm making!  Right up my alley with the converse sneakers!}

Enter the Penny story:  Waiting for Change... a compare/contrast Non-Fiction piece that gives an ARGUMENT! woot woot.. Language Arts Karma my friends, KARMA.. not that I didn't know there was a connection, but I thought I would have to push, plead, bribe and pull these Smarties kicking and screaming into recognizing the text structure.. BUT>>> I didn't!  WOOT WOOT!  They totally GOT it!
I had taken pieces of my Navigating Nonfiction Unit.. the Buddy book marks and my Key Words for Non-Fiction Structures: (Compare/Contrast) which I had my students make into book marks as well, and my smarties worked together to identify HOW the Penny Story was a Compare/Contrast structure. Then, they had to discuss the story using the Buddy book marks. It was fabulous!  
This became a great foundation for our writing unit!  I'm so excited to begin this section next week.  I'm going to be co-teaching with my librarian.  She is going to introduce the databases my smarties can use to do research for their thesis statements, and then complete a lesson on what makes a credible source for the internet.  And best of all-- I get to end my week by going to a conference to hear Lucy Calkins speak tomorrow!  Karma.. my bloggy friends... KARMA!

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