Poetry as Opinion
Video as Opinion
What is an Opinion Essay?
Images About Opinion
INQUIRY
I'm doing Improv with a small troupe
Week 1: Gibberish Interpreter, Zulu (shoes)
Week 2: I Disagree
Week 3: I Disagree and Family Storytelling
Week 4: Snake Oil Game
Week 5: Snake Oil Game and Evil Twin
Week 6: Improv Poetry
Extended Learning Opportunities:
11/4/15
GROUP 2:
Consider the second pattern (stairstep) to understand the pattern of growth, the relationship between area and perimeter, and any equations we might be able to write or graph.
10/28/15
GROUP 2:
Take a look at the CAASP Math Performance Tasks for 7th and 8th Grades to see if they're something we want to better understand. Follow this link, sign in as guest, select grade, select Math Performance Task.
10/21/15
GROUP 2:
Try some of the Wheel Shop beyond Level A. Each level gets harder, and I DON'T expect you to do more than is a fun challenge!
10/14/15
GROUP 2: The Box Problem. For 24 oranges (or blocks, a mathematical abstraction for oranges): How many different BOXES can hold 24 oranges? Note: If a box opens at a different orientation, it counts as an additional box. How do you PROVE that you've found all the possible boxes? We'll share our answers and thinking with one another next week.
10/7/15:
GROUP 2: Keep playing with the fourth folding challenge
 can you defend this?
 this?
 this?
9/30/15
GROUP 2: Keep playing with 4 Fours
FIRST TWO WEEKS:
Through a rotation of all the students—so that they get to know all the teachers and one another and so that we get to know them—I will be getting a sample of where each child is as a burgeoning writer and storyteller.
I will be helping the kids get to know one another through their stories, while teaching them a simple way to plan, share, and write (in whatever way they currently write) the story down. It's fun! For more information, see DEB'S WRITING RESOURCES to learn more about Small Moment Stories.
GROUPERS 20152016
Wednesday Groupers
Second Semester Writing Focus Groups:
Code Breakers and Opinion Makers
THIS FOCUS GROUP BEGINS at 9:35 and GOES UNTIL 10:35. PLEASE BE ON TIME!
This group will tackle the world of decoding and encoding, as well as putting together simple opinion essays. We will play with different kids of codes (whole word) and ciphers (letter by letter), We will look at what makes writing good for a reader and we will play with writing group opinion pieces using humor, point of view, hyperbole, and reader interest.
Our LAST DAY together will will look at Storybird.com and do a poetry project. Here's and example:
APRIL and MAY: We continued to investigate opinion writing, and then we moved into elements of fiction. We played word games including Two Lies and a Truth, Bananagrams, Once Upon a Time Fairy Tale cards, and we investigated how English language vowels are coded depending on open or closed syllables.
3/30/16 DAY 10: We looked at POLITICAL CARTOONS as essays. We began with one that articulated in one image the message of the essay on pigs (from last week), and followed it with a discussion about who or what (The gaming companies? Society? Hunger? Education? And more!) the man represents in the following comic:
3/23/16 DAY 9: We worked in teams of two to construct FIVE PHOTO ESSAYS. The studentgenerated topics included animal cruelty in the raising of pigs and professional video gaming. Here's the opening photo for one of the essays:
3/16/16 DAY 8: We looked at a FIVE PHOTO ESSAY about kids' brains. It has an intro photo, three body photos to explain the reasons for the assertion, and a concluding photo with a recommendation. What do YOU think the assertion is? What is the recommendation at the end? What might be the evidence used to argue this assertion? Here're the first and last photos:
3/9/16 DAY 7: We looked at the brain, at GROWTH MINDSET, and at struggle. We watched this video:
3/2/16 DAY 6: We looked at a Five Photograph Essay about water. We used the first photo to discuss that the first paragraph needs to grab the reader's attention and let us know what our argument will be. Here's the first photo—what do YOU think the topic sentence is?
2/24/16 DAY 5: We returned to the Mali Taylor slam poem and a response "essay" poem. We played some more with formulating an opinion and reasons for that opinion.
2/17/16 DAY 4: We practiced our simple structure for opinion essay writing by forming opinions based on a photo. We discussed the different points of view, what opinions different people might have, and tried to come up with three reasons for the opinion. We also looked at coming up with examples for at least one of the three reasons. We also watched a slam poem and discussed it as an opinion piece. What is the poet's opinion, and did he express it effectively.
2/10/16 DAY 3: We practiced a simple structure for opinion essay writing (using the example opinion "Cats should stop overeating"). We played a bit with book code (page number—3digits; line number—2digits; and word number—2digits) using the onepage essay as the text.
2/10/16 DAY 3: We figured out a Route Transpositiong Cipher and the Rosecrucian Cipher and began to learn book code.
1/27/16 DAY 1: We played with making words from the letters of our names and figuring out which two names could make the words from a ridiculous story by combining the letters of two names. We explored both consonant codes and vowel codes as well.
Iron Chef Competitive Essay Writing
THIS FOCUS GROUP BEGINS at 11:10 and GOES UNTIL 12:10. PLEASE BE ON TIME!
This group will work in teams to create very quick projects building in elements of essay writing and then present their projects to the judges for commentary.
IRON CHEF MarchMay: We looked at response essays, hyperbole, data, quotations, sarcasm, politics, and more. We moved into fiction and looked at plot points, rising action, dialogue, opening hooks and cliff hangers. We ended with a scene using a piece of art from Storybird.com:
2/24/16 DAY 5:
Your task:
Make a Google Presentation (at least three slides) including
Based on the slam poem above, please generate

An opinion statement of the poet including the word BECAUSE

Who is this aimed at?

To what extent do you agree or disagree with this opinion? Include the word BECAUSE in your response.

What is something like this that annoys YOU? Formulate your gripe in the form of an opinion that includes the word BECAUSE.

A photo or image

Secret Ingredient: Counter Opinion (what does the “other side” think?
You have 15 minutes, starting NOW
2/17/16 DAY 4:
Your task:
Make a Google Presentation (at least three slides) including
Based on the scoring guidelines below, please generate

An opinion statement in response to the proposal including the word BECAUSE

One positive and one negative statement the judges might use in response to a chef regarding the category of writing.

One positive and one negative statement the judges might use in response to a chef regarding category of presentation

One positive and one negative statement the judges might use in response to a chef regarding category of following directions.

A photo or image

Secret Ingredient: Expert Opinion using COOKING metaphors

Rubric for Iron Chef cooking show
Iron chef essay scoring guidelines
Version 1.0 “Masterchef.” By Jonah
There are three categories, presentation, writing quality, and following directions. Each category is ranked out of ten and they are averaged out to calculate the final scores. What should be put into the scores is shown below. These categories are guidelines and in no way binding. They may be changed.
Writing: Writing relates to the quality and the imagination of the essay. Writing is mostly an opinion, however there are some rules. Punctuation, spelling or grammar should not be included in this category, as well as use of the secret ingredient.
Presentation: Presentation is the quality of punctuation, spelling, grammar and how well they presented their piece on the screen. 6 points should be given for spelling or grammar and the remaining four points are for the final presentation. Up to 2 points can be revoked from the final presentation score for taking criticism badly.
Following directions: Final directions relates to taking the instructions given at the beginning. 4 points are given for using the secret ingredient. Three points are given for non graphical or writing requirements (music, video, etc) and the rest of the points are given for other requirements.
Iron Chef Competition Score Card
Taste
Please score the dish based on the overall taste. Do the flavors go together? Is it seasoned well?
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
Comments:
Plating
Please score the dish based on how it is arranged and presented on the plate. Does it look appealing? Does it make sense?
1 2 3 4 5
Comments:
Originality
Please score the dish based on originality. Did they do something creative?
1 2 3 4 5
Comments:
Additional Comments:
TOTAL POINTS: ________
It’s not even clear what i’m supposed to do! It’s like making a pie with no instructions. over all I rate it a 20. it also takes way too much time!!!
2/10/16 DAY 3:
Based on the political cartoon below, please generate

An opinion statement of the artist

An opinion statement unique to the people he is critiquing

Your opinion statement and three reasons for it

A photo or annotations on this image

Secret Ingredient: Expert Opinion, Quotes, and Data
2/3/16 DAY 2:
Your task:
Make a Google Presentation (at least three slides) including
Based on the photo below, please generate

An opinion statement unique to the children.

An opinion statement unique to the parents.

An opinion statement from “society.”

Graphics.

Music.

Secret Ingredient: POV (point of view)
You have 15 minutes, starting NOW
1/27/16 DAY 1:
Read the diary entries below.
Make a Google Presentation (at least three slides) including

The Venn Diagram, completed.

An opinion statement unique to the cat.

An opinion statement unique to the dog.

An opinion statement that they both can agree to.

Graphics.

Music.

Secret Ingredient: POV (point of view)
You have 15 minutes, starting NOW.
First Semester Math Focus Groups:
GROUP 1
Math Games and Puzzles
THIS FOCUS GROUP BEGINS at 9:40 and GOES UNTIL 10:40. PLEASE BE ON TIME!
We will begin by looking at these MATH Performance Standards:
1. Make Sense of Problems and Persevere in Solving Them
3. Construct Viable Arguments and Critique the Reasoning of Others
4. Model with Mathematics
We'll learn some strategies, make sense of problems and stick with them even when they are tricky, investigate and discover patterns, and we'll play games. The intent is to help the group enjoy math and want to do some of the enrichment activities between classes.
GROUP 1
Week 9: 12/9/15
We will explore FACTORS and making rectangles and then look at the factors 12 and 14 and make a rectangle to SEE the partial products!
Week 8: 12/2/15
We used Rekenrecks to explore quantities up to 20 and all the ways to make them.
Week 7: 11/18/15
We discovered that all rectangles have four right angles, and two sets of parallel sides. We discovered that a square is a rectangle where all four sides are of equal length.
We investigated that multiplication makes a number over and over, say the number six, four times, which is also the number four, six times.
If we build that number by making RECTANGLES with square tiles, we can find out what numbers we can multiply to get a particular number. We SAW which are PRIME NUMBERS and which are SQUARE NUMBERS.
Here's the idea. If I make the number ONE with square tiles, well, I only have ONE tile. The sides are both 1. I make 1 ONE time. The only "rectangle" I can make is the square made of ONE tile:
Because it only makes one rectangle (which, in this case, is a SQUARE), it is a PRIME number.
Because it makes a SQUARE rectangle (all sides are EQUAL length), it is also a SQUARE number.
The multiplication problem is 1 x 1 = 1.
SO, what if we make the number TWO?
We start with TWO square tiles and see how many rectangles we can make.
We can only make this rectangle with an area of TWO tiles. We can rotate it, but it will always have one side that is 1 and one side that is 2. It makes only one rectangle, and one side of the rectangle is ONE (the other is the number we made). It is a PRIME number. We can't make a SQUARE. It is NOT a SQUARE number (all sides are NOT equal). The multiplication problem is 1 x 2.
We investigated up to NINE tiles, and we recorded how many rectangles (including squares) we could make with each number. We found the multiplication problems, noticed which were SQUARE numbers, and which were PRIME numbers (only can make a single rectangle with one side ONE tile high and with a width that is as long as the number of tiles we are using (the number we made).
Prime numbers make rectangles that are all sort of long and skinny (except the number one, which makes a square). ALL numbers can make a long skinny rectangle like this (1 x the number = the number, because we make the number ONE time). PRIME numbers can ONLY make a long skinny rectangle (except for 1 which is prime AND square).
Here's what we found:
THREE:
1 x 3 = 3
FOUR:
1 x 4 = 4
2 x 2 = 4
FIVE:
1 x 5 = 5
SIX:
1 x 6 = 6
2 x 3 = 6
Of these, (the numbers 36), any that have ONLY ONE rectangle (long and thin, with one side that is 1 long and the other side that is that number long) are PRIME.
Of these, (the numbers 36), only ONE is a SQUARE number. Is this square number also PRIME? What number was squared to make this square?
What will the NEXT square number be? What will the NEXT prime number be? What will the next number be that is NEITHER square NOR prime? How do you know?
Week 6: 11/4/15
Tic Tac Trouble (simple word problems)
Week 5: 10/28/15
 Pico, Fermi, Bagel: Logic and place value group game. Here's another version of the rules.Discuss STRATEGIES.
 Try a Build It puzzle #2 (from Get It Together)
 Distraction working memory game
Week 4: 10/21/15
 Twenty Frames: What do you see? Sort and Discuss. Making tens and twenties strategy.
 Look at the Making Tens Number Talk. Discuss this strategy.
 Try a Build It puzzle (from Get It Together)
 Play How Close to 100 with the multiplication problems written out.
Week 3: 10/14/15
 Pico, Fermi, Bagel: Logic and place value group game. Here's another version of the rules.Discuss STRATEGIES.
 Number Talks 5 + 7 + 8 (Decomposition)
 Party Time Problem of the Month A
Week 2: 10/7/15
 Play How Close to 100 (see week 1) and discuss STRATEGIES;
 Place Value Game—Discuss STRATEGIES;
Place Value Game: You want to get the highest number possible.
Roll the die and place your number. You can't move the number after you write it in.
Week 1: 9/30/15
Math Practice Standard 1: Make Sense of Problems and Persevere
Focus on #1 with math stories—emotions, thoughts, behaviors
Simple Function Machine
IN 
OUT 
3 
6 
4 

How close to 100? (Game)
GROUP 2
Brain Teasers and Mental Gymnastics
THIS FOCUS GROUP BEGINS at 11:10 and GOES UNTIL 12:10. PLEASE BE ON TIME!
This group will tackle good, juicy, HARD problems and puzzles. We will focus on the Math Practice Standards, especially the first four:
1. Make Sense of Problems and Persevere in Solving Them
2. Reason Abstractly and Quantitatively
3. Construct Viable Arguments and Critique the Reasoning of Others
4. Model with Mathematics
Pascal's Triangle. Binary Dots, Above and Below Zero Game.
Week #9: 12/9/15
Prime ULAM spiral AND ONE IS NOT A PRIME??? Vi Hart video on Ulam's spiral and Pascal's Triangle
Week #8: 12/2/15
We played more with Cubed Numbers. We solved a problem of a five by five cube with the outside painted blue. How many cubes have exactly three faces painted? How many have only two faces painted? How many have only one face painted? How many have zero faces painted?
Week #7: 11/18/15
We reviewed the idea that all rectangles have four right angles, and two sets of parallel sides. We confirmed that a square is a rectangle where all four sides are of equal length.
We investigated that multiplication makes a number over and over, say the number six, four times, which is also the number four, six times. The total (in this case, 24) is called the PRODUCT. The numbers we make and the number of times we make it are called the FACTORS.
If we build that number (the PRODUCT) by making RECTANGLES with square tiles, we can find out what numbers (the FACTORS) we can multiply to get a particular number. We SAW which are PRIME NUMBERS and which are SQUARE NUMBERS.
Here's the idea. If I make the number ONE with square tiles, well, I only have ONE tile. The sides are both 1. I make 1 ONE time. The only "rectangle" I can make is the square made of ONE tile:
Because it only makes one rectangle (which, in this case, is a SQUARE), it is a PRIME number.
Because it makes a SQUARE rectangle (all sides are EQUAL length), it is also a SQUARE number.
The multiplication problem is 1 x 1 = 1. The PRODUCT is ONE and both of the FACTORS are ONE.
SO, what if we make the number TWO?
We start with TWO square tiles and see how many rectangles we can make.
We can only make this rectangle with an area of TWO tiles. We can rotate it, but it will always have one side that is 1 and one side that is 2. It makes only one rectangle, and one side of the rectangle is ONE (the other is the number we made). It is a PRIME number. We can't make a SQUARE. It is NOT a SQUARE number (all sides are NOT equal). The multiplication problem is 1 x 2. The FACTORS of the PRODUCT 2 are 1 and 2.
We reviewed our investigation of numbers up to NINE tiles, and we recorded how many rectangles (including squares) we could make with each number. We found the multiplication problems, noticed which were SQUARE numbers, and which were PRIME numbers (only can make a single rectangle with one side ONE tile high and with a width that is as long as the number of tiles we are using—the number we made).
Prime numbers make rectangles that are all sort of long and skinny (except the number one, which makes a square). ALL numbers can make a long skinny rectangle like this (1 x the number = the number, because we make the number ONE time). PRIME numbers can ONLY make a long skinny rectangle (except for 1 which is prime AND square).
Here's what we found:
THREE:
1 x 3 = 3
FOUR:
1 x 4 = 4
2 x 2 = 4
FIVE:
1 x 5 = 5
SIX:
1 x 6 = 6
2 x 3 = 6
Of these, (the numbers 36), any that have ONLY ONE rectangle (long and thin, with one side that is 1 long and the other side that is that number long) are PRIME.
Of these, (the numbers 36), only ONE is a SQUARE number. Is this square number also PRIME? What number was squared to make this square?
What will the NEXT square number be? What will the NEXT prime number be? What will the next number be that is NEITHER square NOR prime? How do you know?
We investigated the numbers 23, 24, and saw that 25 is a SQUARE. Try some other numbers at home!
We also made CUBED numbers... The first one was made with ONE CUBE. Hah! The next was made with EIGHT CUBES. Can we make a cube with NINE CUBES?
Here's what I sent home:
Week #6: 11/04/15
 Distraction working memory game
 Shape up with Algebra
 Have students build the 4th and 5th stages with cm cubes and record their findings as before. Does the same relationship continue?
 Ask teams to predict the number of cm cubes needed for the 6th stage, and then have them build the 6th stage and record the findings.
 Suggest to teams that if “n” is the stage number in this sequence, how can they predict the number of cm cubes needed when n = 7? Then when n = 10?, and when n = 100? Ask the teams to predict the number of cm cubes needed to build any stage n?
 Ask teams to describe the changes in the number of cm cubes at each stage (e.g., one more cube is added to the end of each “arm” and to the “base” of the “T” at every stage).
 Ask teams to write an algebraic expression that describes the number sequence (e.g., the function) for the n th stage.
 Ask teams to reflect on what was learned. Then have the teams describe why knowing an algebraic function for any stage n is more helpful than just continuing to build more and more stages with cm cubes.
Resources See these websites for more information on the following topics: Ideas for teaching about patterns and algebra – More interactive patterning activities – Khan Academy resources on functions  Teacher designed math courses from the New Jersey Center for Teaching & Learning –
Shape Up with Algebra, © 2014, RAFT
Week #5: 10/28/15
 Pico, Fermi, Bagel: Logic and place value group game. Here's another version of the rules.Discuss STRATEGIES.
 We looked at True or False equivalencies to SEE the underlying patterns. We mostly looked at the one in orange, to see the pattern of doubling and halving, at the one in green to see that I simply moved 20 from the first addend to the second, and at the one in aqua to see the distributive property.
 Distraction working memory game

Week #4: 10/21/1
 Look at and share the Box Problem answers and thinking.
 Begin the Wheel Shop Problem of the Month and take it home to play with.
Wheel Shop Problem:
Level A is designed to be accessible to all students and especially the key challenge for grades K1.
Level A will be challenging for most second and third graders.
Level B may be the limit of where fourth and fifth grade students have success and understanding.
Level C may stretch sixth and seventh grade students.
Level D may challenge most eighth and ninth grade students, and
Level E should be challenging for most high school students.
These gradelevel expectation are just estimates and should not be used as an absolute minimum expectation or maximum limitation for students.
Problem solving is a learnedskill, and students may need many experiences to develop their reasoning skills, approaches, strategies, and the perseverance to be successful.
The Problem of the Month builds on sequential levels of understanding. All students should experience Level A and then move through the tasks in order to go as deeply as they can into the problem.
Overview: In the Problem of the Month The Wheel Shop:
Students use algebraic thinking to solve problems involving solving for unknowns, equations, and simultaneous constraints. The mathematical topics that underlie this POM are variables, inverse operations, equations, equalities, inequalities, and simultaneous systems.
In the first levels of the POM, students are presented with the task of considering a tricycle shop with 18 wheels and asked how many tricycles there are. Their task involves finding an unknown and "undoing" the straightforward question of how many wheels 6 tricycles have in all. As one continues through the levels, students are presented with situations that involve components of bicycles, tricycles, tandem bicycles, and gocarts.
These situations can be translated into systems of constraints with equal numbers of unknowns. Students are asked to define the relationship between two unknowns. In the final level, students are presented with a logic situation that involves using rational numbers, inequalities, and a set of constraints. Students are asked to find the number of bikes in the shop and the range of repairs that need to be made.
Week #3: 10/14/1
Party Problem (Mental Math and Defending Hypotheses—How many people at Cindy's Party AND How many of the girls have short red hair?); Fold It review (didn't have any second ways to make a square 1/4 of the total paper); We did a fourth cooperative Build It puzzle; We began exploring the game SWISH with visual rotational puzzles.
HOME EXTENSION: The Box Problem. For 24 oranges (or blocks, a mathematical abstraction for oranges): How many different BOXES can hold 24 oranges? Note: If a box opens at a different orientation, it counts as an additional box. How do you PROVE that you've found all the possible boxes? We'll share our answers and thinking with one another next week.
Week #2: 10/7/15
We started with a 3D math challenge from this EQUALS book, where kids followed a series of statements to construct an answer. We did the first three levels, adjusting our process as we went to meet the needs of the group. Build It puzzle (from Get It Together)
We finished with another of the YouCubed Week of Inspiration activities:
In this lesson we invite students to engage in a different type of mathematical thinking through a paper folding task. The task is interesting and challenging but students know everything they need to solve it. The students are also taught to be skeptical and to convince and reason. A 10 minute activity on visualizing is integrated into this lesson; you can watch a video of Jo teaching the visualizing activity here. We didn't do the visualizing activity, but might come back to it. We got through the first three folding activities, and sent them home to puzzle with the fourth.
Week #1: 9/30/15
We started with a math challenge using the number 4, four times in different combinations
to make the numbers 120... here's a link to the lesson. We did a Math Talk: 18 x 5 and drew models of our different solutions.
The kids played with ways to use the number four EXACTLY four times to make the number 1. Some moved on to try to find solutions resulting in the numbers 2 and 3.
For extended learning opportunities, they can keep going with the 4 Fours activity to find more solutions..
Some solutions for the numbers 020 can be found below.... Don't look until you've tried!
Some of the kids investigated the math operation with 4 called a factorial (4!). Some pondered √4. Mostly, it was a combination of =  ÷ x, including using the fraction bar as division!
Here's a snapshot of some of the crazy ways to make 1 with 4 fours:
(4÷4) x (4÷4) = 1
(4÷4) ÷ (4÷4) = 1
(4+4) ÷ (4+4) = 1
4/4 + 4  4 = 1
4/4 ÷ 4/4 = 1
(4!/4  4) ÷ √4
Don't look at the solutions below until you've played with your own!
Here's a list of possible solutions: