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 that can be used to score essays. The materials also 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 can be used to give students opportunities to edit their writing as the year continues and 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 learn comma placement with coordinate adjectives. The definition of coordinate adjectives is provided, and an explanation of comma placement is given to students. Also, students see an example of the use of coordinate adjectives and commas: “I rubbed my fingers across the green, fuzzy skin of the kiwi fruit.” In the last activity, students must read the following sentence: “Ms. Caruthers threw her knobby old cane at Bob again.” Additionally, they must answer the following question: “Where would you place the comma in the example sentence?” After students learn each new skill, the materials include a “Go to My Work” activity where they find a recent writing activity and apply the new skills to their writing.
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 7D, there are PDF files titled “Grade 7 Essay Rubric,” “Essay Graphic Organizer,” and “Essay Sentence Starters.”
In Unit 7B, Character & Conflict, students review and use the steps in the “Editing Process” to edit their essays. Suggestions are provided to help students make editing corrections, such as spelling changes, to improve their writing. Guidelines for using quotes and punctuating quotes are also provided. The guidelines support students' ability to incorporate quotes using correct capitalization and punctuation techniques.
In Unit 7D, Poe & Poetry, students revise their essays to create a smooth transition between their body paragraphs and to eliminate wordiness and redundancy throughout their essays. Students are given examples of well-written transitions to use in their writing.
Throughout Unit 7F, The Gold Rush, students gather evidence from various texts to write a claim and find evidence. Students engage in activities to help them revise and edit their compositions: “Students will edit their essays for clarity, cohesion, spelling, and punctuation.” Students polish their essays and complete the following task: “Arrange what you have written in the appropriate order. Make sure to incorporate your revisions into your body paragraphs, or delete them if you don’t want to use them.“ Students share their compositions with their peers using sentence starters such as “When you used the word … it helped me understand …” and “When you used the evidence about … it convinced me that ...” Students then polish their essays, first by focusing on sentence flow, style consistency, and essay completeness, and then on proofreading issues. Suggestions and examples of how to punctuate direct quotes are provided in order to support students’ ability to punctuate sentences correctly. Additional editing suggestions, such as the need to capitalize the word “I,” are also stated within the lesson brief near the area where students write their essay.