Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Persuasive Text and ClassDojo Points?

You all know we have those days when we're frustrated with how lessons go. We've all been there. Well, today was NOT one of those days (thank goodness). I teach five reading classes (about 100 kiddos), and I spotted some beautiful reading and "partner superstars" throughout the day.

This week, we are focusing on persuasive text. Our vocabulary includes words like misleading statements, counterarguments, biased, contradictory statements, exaggerated statements, and point of view. I not only wanted my students to be able to read persuasive text but to be able to extract pertinent information from the text, and give textual evidence to prove those particular opinions. The two persuasive books I choose were about organic farming (included letters to the editor: pro and con) and The School Year Needs to be Lengthened (you can imagine the vociferous objections when I said this) versus We Need Summertime, Too.

Most of my students went from not even knowing what organic meant to believing that organic fruits and vegetables are more "succulent" and "exquisite." I love the vocabulary they're learning!  On the other hand, only a handful felt like we needed more school (ha). Do you blame them? They were definitely able to give multiple reasons from the book as to the invaluable life lessons they learn during the summer.

While my students were working in pairs with their books, I told them that I was going to be looking for "Partner Superstars." I love using ClassDojo in the classroom. If you haven't checked out ClassDojo, you MUST.  It's FREE and is a phenomenal class management tool. Click here to learn more: ClassDojo

ClassDojo allows you to pick avatars for your students and assign particular behaviors. You then can add or deduct points based on student behavior.  I went in and added "Partner Superstars" to my behavior list. As students worked diligently, I used the app on my phone (free from the App Store) to add points to partners. As first, they couldn't believe that I could actually add points while walking around the room.

Note: I give PRAISE TICKETS  in my class, and students can then put those in a bucket to draw for fun surprises such as "wear a hat," "eat with the teacher," "write in ink," "choose your seat," and more. Therefore, each ClassDojo point equals 1 Praise Ticket. Should a student hit 3 points in one class period, it's the "Magic 3." This means a walk to the PRIZE BOX automatically. Woo hoo!

Again, today was one of those days when I felt like everything fell into place. Ahhhh! Don't we love those days! Look at my superstars working hard - giving opinions from the books and supporting it with text evidence and looking up words in the glossary after guessing what complex words meant from the context clues. I'm one proud teacher!

Happy Teaching!

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