Evaluation for 3.b.3
Over the course of the year, composition convention skills are applied in increasingly complex contexts, with opportunities for students to publish their writing.
The materials include opportunities for students to write, edit, and revise texts in increasingly complex ways. Grammar, usage, and mechanics are taught throughout the units. The resources contain assignments for students to apply conventions within their writing and assignments requiring learners to identify the correct use of writing conventions. Answer keys are provided for educators to verify students’ mastery of skills. The Grammar unit follows a pacing guide providing systematic instruction that applies to increasingly rigorous texts and student writing throughout the year. Opportunities to practice grammar are abundant across the program. In addition, students’ writing can be saved within the online platform to allow students to return to their writing for study and revision. The materials include essay rubrics, sample essays, essay-planning graphic organizers, sentence starters, relevant related texts, and lessons on finding evidence, writing claims, citing and punctuating dialogue, and revision techniques.
Examples include but are not limited to:
The Amplify Resources provide the documents “Grammar” and “Grammar Instruction and Pacing” within each grade level. Both documents provide a breakdown of the pacing used to teach grammar and writing for each unit by including lesson activities, progressive language standards, and a description of each lesson. The “Grammar” document also includes a rubric which can be used to score essays. The materials include three “Mastering Lessons” conventions resources that can be used to introduce students to grammar and writing skills. Students read texts about applying grammar skills, apply the skills they have learned, identify skills, and write sentences that include grammar and punctuation skills. The skills featured within the document start at the foundational level and increase in complexity. The document details opportunities for students to edit their writing throughout the year and the ways the materials teach grammar and writing skills.
The Grammar unit in each grade contains 35 lessons in seven sub-units that cover key grammar topics for the middle grades. Sub-units are paired around a given grammar topic; within each pair, one sub-unit covers foundational aspects of the topic and another provides both grade-level and stretch instruction about the topic. The activities in each lesson are largely self-guided so that students can move independently through the lessons. For example, students read examples and explanations of how to use verb tenses in present and past forms. Students read several sentences and use a multiple- choice format to select the correct verb tense that should be included within each sentence. Students also read explanations of how to apply future verb tenses, examples of sentences that utilize the correct form of future tenses, and examples of sentences that do not correctly utilize future verb tenses. Students read sentences, select the tense verbs are in, and select the correct verb form to complete sentences. In a separate part of the sub-unit, students engage in activities to practice the use of commas, parentheses, dashes, and ellipses. Finally, students must find interesting sentences from their own writing and revise them. Students are asked to “2. Copy into the new writing space two sentences where you use a comma to indicate a pause or a break. 3. Rewrite both sentences in a different order and note how you need to change the punctuation.” Students also return to their own writing, reread their writing, underline two sentences that contain two (or more) verbs in each sentence, and rewrite each sentence using a different verb tense (past, present, or future) while maintaining the correct sequence of time between the actions. Students “find a recent writing activity that [is] most interesting (or your teacher will identify one for you). Copy into the new writing space two sentences where you use a comma to indicate a pause or a break. Rewrite both sentences in a different order and note how you need to change the punctuation.”
Each unit contains a sub-unit called “Write an Essay,” that uses all the steps in the writing process and includes essay rubrics, sample essays, essay-planning graphic organizers, sentence starters, relevant related texts, and lessons on finding evidence, writing claims, citing and punctuating dialogue, and revision techniques. For example, in the Materials section of Unit 6E, Sub-Unit 4, Lesson 1, there are PDF files titled “Grade 6 Essay Rubric,” “Essay Graphic Organizer,” “Evidence Chart,” and “Mariposas Essay Sentence Starters.”
In Unit 6A, Dahl & Narrative, students read a sample essay and explanations about the information needed within an introduction and body paragraphs. Students practice drafting an introduction with a claim, body paragraphs, and a conclusion. Students practice revising, editing, and creating a final published draft of their essays.
In Unit 6B, Mysteries & Investigations, students practice each step of the writing process. Students address the following: “Based on the texts you have read, what stands out to you as one important characteristic to have as a problem solver or investigator?” Students are asked to plan for their essay by identifying two characteristics investigators have and writing the names of two investigators that have the characteristics they identified. Students review four texts within the Amplify Library and write evidence in a graphic organizer that is aligned with the characteristics and investigators they selected. Students read examples of a claim, read an explanation of a claim, and practice writing a claim for their introduction. Students begin with prompts and calendars to help them plan out their writing. In this lesson brief, students are instructed to use correct punctuation and spelling: “Correct any errors in spelling, punctuation, and grammar that you can find.”
In Unit 6C, The Chocolate Collection, students are asked to choose if they want to write an informational essay about the history of slavery used for the production of chocolate or an argumentative essay that supports the claim that chocolate does or does not equal happiness. The materials provide opportunities for students to plan, draft, revise, edit, and publish their essays. Students write several possible leads to grab the reader’s attention and then choose their favorite version to write a full introduction. Students are able to practice drafting during the activity. Students gather evidence from at least two sources, draft an essay, revise the essay, edit the essay to create a final draft, and create a works cited list. During this process, students review the guidelines for the “Editing Process” and edit their essays. The guidelines include explanations for quoting information, citing sources, capitalizing words, and punctuating sentences.
In Unit 6F, The Titanic Collection, students review texts within The Titanic Collection and locate sources online that can be used to find information related to the essays they are going to write. Each student is given the choice to write either an argumentative essay or an informative essay. Students are asked to use a graphic organizer to write information about the sources they have selected and the evidence each source provides to support their main idea. Students can use the graphic organizer to plan the details they will include within their essays. The materials include an instructional guide with four questions students need to answer to determine if they have enough information to begin writing a draft. Students draft an essay, edit their writing, revise their drafts, publish a final draft, and create a works cited list.