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Best Practices for Teaching Argument Writing in Secondary Schools

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This honors thesis outlines a method for teaching argument writing in the secondary classroom, including the elements of an argument based upon the Toulmin method, and diverse ways to help students who are all types of learners become engaged and

This honors thesis outlines a method for teaching argument writing in the secondary classroom, including the elements of an argument based upon the Toulmin method, and diverse ways to help students who are all types of learners become engaged and receive the support they need. It includes all elements of argument, including evidence, warrants, backing, counterargument, claims, theses, the rhetorical triangle and the rhetorical appeals, including definitions and how they fit together in an argumentative essay. The largest portion of the project is dedicated to activities and resources for teachers based upon all of those elements, along with activities for the writing process as a whole. These activities are based upon the student's individual experience as well as various scholarly resources from leading professionals in the curriculum development field for English Language Arts. This is not meant to be an end-all be-all solution for teaching argument writing, but rather one of many resources that teachers can use in their classroom. This 30-page paper, including references, are condensed into an accessible website for teachers to use more easily. Each tab on the website refers to a different element or focus of the argument writing process, with both a definition and introduction as well as one or more activities for teachers to implement into the classroom. The activities are versatile and general for the purpose of teachers being able to include them into whatever curriculum they are currently teaching. The goal is that they can add argument instruction into what they are already either willingly or being required to teach in an easy and logical way. The website is available for any secondary teachers to use as they see fit at www.teachingargumentwriting.weebly.com.

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Agent

Created

Date Created
2018-05

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Through It All: Toilets, Wrestling, and Anxiety

Description

Anxiety is currently the most prevalent mental disorder in America with over 4 million people struggling with it every day. I am one of those millions. This book explores the multitude of coping mechanisms that I have learned and developed

Anxiety is currently the most prevalent mental disorder in America with over 4 million people struggling with it every day. I am one of those millions. This book explores the multitude of coping mechanisms that I have learned and developed through my time with anxiety, covering everything from humor to finding the motivation to change. It is a creative non-fiction autobiography that depicts detailed moments from my own life that provide advice and tools for managing anxiety that are made accessible to people who may have completely different experiences from my own. While anxiety has always played a huge roll in my life, it wasn't until I got to college that I decided to finally begin taking the steps I needed to in order to see the changes that I wanted to see. I am a teacher, and every day I see many of my students battling with the exact pains and stresses that I always have. This book is for all of my future students as well as all the adolescents out there who feel like nobody really understands; the ones who all they need is a little direction and the confidence to know they're not alone.

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Agent

Created

Date Created
2018-05

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Relay for Life: More Than Just a Fundraiser

Description

Cancer is a disease that has no bias based on race, gender, sexuality, socioeconomic status, or religious beliefs. Millions upon millions of people are affected every day by this disease in many different ways. In order to show support and

Cancer is a disease that has no bias based on race, gender, sexuality, socioeconomic status, or religious beliefs. Millions upon millions of people are affected every day by this disease in many different ways. In order to show support and raise funds for these people to help with treatment costs, housing, and much more American Cancer Society created and event called Relay for Life. Relay for Life is an event that many people may describe as a walk-a-thon fundraiser, but to those who have had a personal experience with cancer they understand that Relay is much more. Relay for Life is more than a fundraiser; it is an event that brings hope, love, and care into a community. Many people across the country show up to a Relay event to hear the success stories of those who are in remission, show support for their family and friends who are still fighting, and simply volunteer in order to further remember those that they lost to cancer.
The impacts that Relay for Life supplies go beyond monetary value and branch into the world of emotional and mental value. The stories that you hear from cancer patients, caregivers, survivors, friends, and family all show the appreciation for this event even in the smallest of communities. Looking at the Relay for Life website you can see the thousands of submissions detailing exactly why that individual participates in this event. You can read stories of sorrow, drive, friendships that have formed, and hope that has sprouted because of Relay for Life. An event such as this that celebrates the fight and works to give the world more birthdays truly empowers its participants to make a difference and make a connection with each other.
In this project, I set out to reveal the importance of Relay for Life that can be seen and heard through everyone who participates across the nation. It is important to take both personal experience and monetary value into account when looking at how Relay has had a positive impact on the lives of those affected by cancer, but when looking at the broad picture it becomes obvious how this event means more than money.

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Agent

Created

Date Created
2019-05

Did He Kill the Mockingbird?

Description

Did He Kill the Mockingbird? is a play I wrote, which explores the effects of being on the Autism Spectrum plays in Arthur Radley’s life. Arthur Radley is a very misunderstood member of Maycomb County, who is constantly seen as

Did He Kill the Mockingbird? is a play I wrote, which explores the effects of being on the Autism Spectrum plays in Arthur Radley’s life. Arthur Radley is a very misunderstood member of Maycomb County, who is constantly seen as a lesser member of society in Maycomb County.

Did He Kill the Mockingbird? provides an alternate ending to To Kill a Mockingbird. In the original play, the townspeople never discovered that Arthur Radley killed Bob Ewell. In Did He Kill the Mockingbird? a townsperson overhears Atticus Finch and Heck Tate discussing Bob Ewell's death. This leads the townsperson to tell others in Maycomb County of the events that had unfolded the night Bob Ewell died.
As the play progresses, we explore how ignorance, willful and not, change the daily lives and actions of individuals who have mental illnesses and disabilities such as Autism. The townspeople may not see a problem with the way they treat Arthur Radley, as he is just a man who they believe stabbed his mother. However, in reality, they are causing more harm by encouraging and perpetuating rumors about Arthur Radley. In turn, the rumors enhance the stigma that plagues Arthur Radley.
Jean Louise Finch is the main character in Did he Kill the Mockingbird? Jean supports Arthur Radley, and is able to see the good in him although the rest of the townspeople continue to believe he is a bad person.

I hope that my version of this alternative ending to original play brings to light the changes that we need to make as a society to encourage the acceptance of all people. As a society, we need to treat all people, whether disabled or not, as equals. Rather than perpetuating stereotypes, we need to encourage everyone to work hard and reach for their goals whatever they may be.

Contributors

Agent

Created

Date Created
2020-05

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Teaching Science to Arizona Refugee Students: Lesson Plans Created for English Language Learners

Description

This project is designed to generate enthusiasm for science among refugee students in hopes of inspiring them to continue learning science as well as to help them with their current understanding of their school science subject matter.

Contributors

Agent

Created

Date Created
2017-12

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Music as a Language: Schumann's Novelette Op. 21, No. 8

Description

This creative project explores the concept of how music is like a language and how, as a teacher, I plan to enforce this concept through my teaching. The aim of this project is to highlight the importance of completing research

This creative project explores the concept of how music is like a language and how, as a teacher, I plan to enforce this concept through my teaching. The aim of this project is to highlight the importance of completing research and acquiring knowledge of aspects, such as the composer's life, historical background and literary references, when learning a piece of music. Through this project, I address connections between the brain and music pertaining to memorization, the components of language, the similarities between language and music, the role of the teacher and the development of a "toolbox" of knowledge for studying a piece of music. I present my own research on Schumann's Novelette Op. 21, No. 8 in f-sharp minor as well as my own experiences of learning the piece to demonstrate an example of the process and discoveries I hope my students will make in their own studies of repertoire.

Contributors

Agent

Created

Date Created
2017-12

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Putting a Ding in the Universe: Creative Arts and the SolarSPELL

Description

The SolarSPELL is an offline, ruggedized, digital library, created by Dr. Laura Hosman for the U.S. Peace Corps. It has thousands of pieces of educational content that can be accessed through a self-contained Wi-Fi hotspot on the device itself. Currently,

The SolarSPELL is an offline, ruggedized, digital library, created by Dr. Laura Hosman for the U.S. Peace Corps. It has thousands of pieces of educational content that can be accessed through a self-contained Wi-Fi hotspot on the device itself. Currently, there are more than 200 deployed in several Pacific Island nations. After visiting one of these nations, Tonga, in December of 2016, I learned that almost all of the Peace Corps volunteers stationed around the Pacific Islands suffered from a lack of resources due to a variety of reasons. While the SolarSPELL helps to remedy that, the device is lacking classroom activities and resources for creative work and educational drama. Furthermore, for many students in these environments, schools are for learning information and producing high scores on exams, not for learning about creative strengths and identity. After researching curriculum development and the use of drama in an educational setting, I compiled over 50 pieces of content to include on the SolarSPELL involving art, drama, music, movement, and most importantly, imagination. These resources will allow Peace Corps volunteers to explore additional ways to teach English in their schools, while also creating a classroom environment that allows for creative expression. All the content is compiled into one folder as "Teaching Resources", and is then broken down into seven sub- categories. In the first sub-category, Art Projects, there is a collection of several hands-on projects, many of which involve recyclable or readily available materials. These projects will allow for a greater understanding of conservation and "green" living, concepts that are crucial to the stability of these island nations. The next 5 categories are Drama Readings, Music, Movement, and Video, Group Exercises, Creative Writing, and Worksheets. The second sub- category is a collection of beginner-level "Reader's Theater" scripts. The third sub-category involves music and video to engage students in movement activities. The fourth sub-category is a compilation of group games and activities to help students express themselves and learn social skills. The fifth sub-category includes a collection of activities such as fill-in-the-blank story worksheets and journal prompts which will aid in creative thinking and the practice of the English language. The sixth sub-category involves a collection of worksheets that mainly focus on self-reflection and identity. The seventh and final sub-category, Content Guide and Information, works to explain the benefits of using of drama and creative play in the classroom, as well as strategies teachers can implement in order to further engage their students in dramatic learning and play. Overall, these pieces of content are meant to be used as resources for the Peace Corps volunteers in order to provide alternative ways to practice reading, writing, and speaking the English language, a critical part of education in the Pacific Islands.

Contributors

Created

Date Created
2017-12

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Promoting Diversity in Children's Literature Through Creative Writing

Description

In an effort to combat the lack of diversity in Children's Literature, this project displays a piece of literature titled Stories & Stages: A Tale of Two Sisters, in the form of a children's chapter book for a middle grade

In an effort to combat the lack of diversity in Children's Literature, this project displays a piece of literature titled Stories & Stages: A Tale of Two Sisters, in the form of a children's chapter book for a middle grade audience. Focusing on characters of a Hispanic background without relying on stereotypes or false characterizations, the novel works to inspire young minds and reflect a true representation of the world children are living in. This is done using research on different aspects of Children's Literature, including: the definition of children's literature, diversity, girlhood, and sibling relationships. This research provides the basis for the project, as does personal experience and background. Following the novel is a recording of the background research involved and a documentations of the creative process. Keywords: Children's Literature, Diversity

Contributors

Agent

Created

Date Created
2017-12

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Tools to Teach 8th Grade Geometry: A 5-Day Lesson Kit

Description

There are two types of understanding when it comes to learning math: procedural understanding and conceptual understanding. I grew up with a rigorous learning curriculum and learned math through endless drills and practices. I was less motivated to understand the

There are two types of understanding when it comes to learning math: procedural understanding and conceptual understanding. I grew up with a rigorous learning curriculum and learned math through endless drills and practices. I was less motivated to understand the reason behind those procedures. I think both types of understanding are equally important in learning mathematics. Procedural fluency is the "ability to apply procedures accurately, efficiently, and flexibly... to build or modify procedures from other procedures" (National Council of Teachers of Mathematics, 2015). Procedural understanding may perceive as merely about the understanding of the arithmetic and memorizing the steps with no understanding but in reality, students need to decide which procedure to use for a given situation; here is where the conceptual understanding comes in handy. Students need the skills to integrate concepts and procedures to develop their own ways to solve a problem, they need to know how to do it and why they do it that way. The purpose of this 5-day unit is teaching with conceptual understanding through hands-on activities and the use of tools to learn geometry. Through these lesson plans, students should be able to develop the conceptual understanding of the angles created by parallel lines and transversal, interior and exterior angles of triangles and polygons, and the use of similar triangles, while developing the procedural understanding. These lesson plans are created to align with the eighth grade Common Core Standards. Students are learning angles through the use of protractor and patty paper, making a conjecture based on their data and experience, and real-life problem solving. The lesson plans used the direct instruction and the 5E inquiry template from the iTeachAZ program. The direct instruction lesson plan includes instructional input, guided practice and individual practice. The 5E inquiry lesson plan has five sections: engage, explore, explain, elaborate and evaluate.

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Agent

Created

Date Created
2015-12

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E-books and Emergent Literacy in Early Childhood Education: The Impact of Dialogic Reading on Vocabulary Knowledge and Story Retell

Description

The incorporation of electronic books (e-books) into the classroom and home of young children has been shown to have positive effects on the acquisition of early literacy skills. Dialogic reading methods, which include interactive conversations between caregiver and child about

The incorporation of electronic books (e-books) into the classroom and home of young children has been shown to have positive effects on the acquisition of early literacy skills. Dialogic reading methods, which include interactive conversations between caregiver and child about a story as it is being read, additionally are known to improve skills that lead to improved literacy during the school years. No research to date, however, has examined e-books and dialogic reading when used together. This study examines how using dialogic reading with a child reading an e-book will impact the acquisition of emergent literacy skills, particularly vocabulary knowledge and story recall ability. Twenty-three children aged 3 to 5 took part in a matched pairs experiment that included reading a select e-book four times in which half received a dialogic reading intervention. The children who received the intervention scored significantly higher in the story recall measure of the posttest than those in the control group. No differences were found between the experimental and control groups on the vocabulary measure, although mutual gains were found among both groups from the pretest to the posttest. The results suggest that dialogic reading when incorporated with e-books may improve a child's ability to recall a story. Further, the results indicate that repeated reading of the same e-book may increase vocabulary knowledge.

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Created

Date Created
2014-12