Monday, February 22, 2016

Opinion Writing Lessons

We have been learning about opinion writing from our district writing TOSA, Mrs. Andrews. Here is what we've learned.

1. What is an opinion? How is it different than a fact?

A fact is true. A fact can be proven through research and/or by using your own eyes to verify

An opinion is what a person thinks or believes. It cannot be proven. When stating an opinion, it is important to have reasons to support your opinion. 

2. How should you begin writing an opinion piece? 

Mrs. Andrew recommends making a list of all the reasons that  support an opinion. Here is a surprising opinion about Disneyland with a list of reasons.

3. What should you do with your list of reasons? 

Choose your top three reasons for your opinion writing piece. The most important reason should be your last reason

Then come up with support sentences for your reasons. Explain your reasons. Give examples.

4. Write a first draft of your opinion.  

The easiest part for many was coming up with reasons. The hardest part was supporting each reason. Many students ended up writing a paragraph made up of reasons.


To avoid confusion, Mrs. Yollis cut up sheets of colored paper and placed them in an opinion writing center. 

OPINION SENTENCE: on green paper
REASON SENTENCES: on  yellow paper
2 SUPPORT SENTENCES: on pink paper 
CONCLUSION SENTENCE: on green paper 

Below is a photo of the opinion center box. A completed opinion piece is taped together and displayed to the right of the opinion center. Because the strips of paper could easily be taped together, revision was easy! 

For the first two opinion pieces, the topics were chosen by Mrs. Yollis. 

First opinion piece: 

Which Chris Van Allsburg book is the best? 

We had done an author study on Chris Van Allsburg, so it was a great beginning point for opinion writing. Students had one week to write a draft on the color-coded paper, type it in Google Classroom, and then revise it with help from peers and/or the teacher. Final opinion paragraphs were copied and pasted from Google Classroom to the class blog. You can read the final opinions in the comment section here.  

Second opinion piece:

The Daily 5 is great.
 That was the unanimous opinion!

As a class, we listed all the reasons to love the Daily 5.

Photo by Mrs. Yollis 

Next, students wrote rough drafts using the color-coded strips. Once the color coded strips were approved by Mrs. Yollis, students went in and typed the Daily 5 opinion piece in Google Classroom. 

Students used this chart with useful words and phrases to give the opinion piece the final touches. 

This week, students will write and publish an opinion piece all on their own! Here are a few ideas that we brainstormed together.

Photo by Mrs. Yollis 

What is your opinion about this opinion writing process? 

Which step is the easiest? 
Which step is the hardest? 

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Global Play Day ☼ 2016

Today, my class participated in Global School Play Day

Thank you to the Bedley Brothers and Twitter for introducing me to this project!  The power of a Personal Learning Network (PLN) triumphs again!

I was heavily influence to participate in #GSPD after listening to this eye opening presentation: 

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On Monday, I emailed parents, shared "The Decline of Play" video, and asked for games to be brought in for our #GSPD event. On Wednesday, we had a few curricular blocks, but we were able to have two solid play sessions. 

The sessions were sensational!

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First, we talked about the rules. 
There would only be , the Golden Rule.

Let's play!

This was a funny Twister game! 


As these students were setting up the game, they used the commutative property. See it? 

Even putting this game away was fun!

Let's play Hedbanz! 

Working the loom! 

What do you notice about this game? 

How do you play? 

Look at super cool creation on her head! 

Very creative!

Learning all about the Rubix Cube! 

A fun card game played on the Twister mat! 

Dominoes, rain forest style!

It was fun to play with our Journeys buddies! They are only five years old.  

What is your opinion of Global School Play Day?
Would you recommend it?
Convince me!

Your homework was to play. What did you do with your time?