The first day of school. It's a whirlwind few hours that leave us ready for bed by 7PM and longing for the carefree days of July when all your "worries" revolved around finding a beach towel and some sunscreen. But, let's face it, that first day of school is also incredibly exciting! We certainly get a rush from showing off our semi-"Pinterest Perfect" classroom to our new students. We love passing out our stack of syllabi and having students place them in their brand-new binders! Honestly, all those school supplies make us feel like it's Christmastime! And many of us are all too familiar with those night-before dreams/nightmares and lack of sleep.
When I was first given my weekly schedule, I quickly realized I was going to have to sit down for a while and figure out when/where each subject I was going to teach would end up. As a first-time 5th Grade teacher coming from Middle School and High School English, the thought of having to break up the day to fit all of the subjects perfectly into a specific number of minutes for each week gave me a bit of a heart palpitation.
Like any teacher, we both want to instill in our students a sense of pride in working hard to achieve goals that they set for themselves. What we found though was that in the day-to-day craziness of running a classroom, it can be super difficult to remember to check in with students about their goals. Unless you have a solid, organized system in place, student goals can quickly fall to the wayside. Not something we want to happen!
In our experience there are THREE crucial components students must master to gain confidence and skills in writing claims (also known as a thesis statement).
- Understand and explain what a claim actually is.
- Differentiate between claims and statements.
- Find appropriate evidence to support their claims.