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I was a high school teacher for the first few years of my teaching career, and I loved it. Teaching Transcendentalism and contemplating the Oversoul is on a different plane than what I do now. Elementary school is the gathering of all the ingredients to make cupcakes – ”enough” of all the key ingredients.
I remember my department chair mentioning that if budget issues occurred there would still be a position for me at the middle school. Yet I find my job now to be entirely more difficult. Literacy, critical thinking, numeracy, cooperation, and so many more.
In essence, my job is making 117 different “cupcakes” presentable for the high school, where, you guessed it, they will be decorated and turned into (hopefully) a beautiful final “product.” With that in mind, I’ve been thinking about how I can send the high school the best possible “cupcake.” What I mean by that is that I am examining what I provide the high school with as starter material, allowing the teachers there to be more elaborate in what they are able to teach, ultimately allowing them to do more with our students.
is such a big unit for us (you can read about it here), I decided to include an essay this year.
Students will still be doing the collaborative essay, but I wanted to give them more writing because the number one complaint I’ve heard from high school teachers about the “cupcakes” we send them is that they crumble under the pressure of the increased workload, including writing.
Any guesses what happened when I added another piece of writing? However, this is where the work of middle school teachers is crucial.Good essay topics take careful thought—don’t just decide to write about the first thing that comes to mind.One guideline to remember is that, in general, the narrower your topic is the better.This has been a roundabout way to share why all of us – from elementary through high school – have a hand in creating that final masterpiece.These top-rated middle school apps and websites can help you and your students address some key writing skills.What can I do to help students face thesis statements and argumentation, particularly because this is the kind of work they will encounter next year?The answer in this case is a very old school pre-writing task that might seem like an assignment from your own schooling, back before computers and search engines. My students balked when I handed this out, and having anticipated this, I pointed out that I was counting it as a quiz grade.Students sometimes see essay writing as something you are either good at or you aren’t.This is a mistake, and leads to a lack of effort and a lot of essays that don’t live up to their potential.There's even some help for better organizing and structuring writing as well as improving grammar. Basic plans are free; additional plans and in-app purchases range from .99 to .99 per month. Plus plans give users up to 1GB of uploads per month and Premium plans add even more features.Bottom line: While the complex, old-school design isn't ideal, Noodle Tools gives students specific assistance where they need it the most -- with citations, paraphrasing, elaboration, and organization.