Explanation Writing Checklist

Transient

Explanation Writing Checklist for Students

January 18, 2013

This explanation tool checklist is a great resource for students to evaluate their understanding of writing explanation texts through awareness of punctuation, vocabulary and layout of their writing.

This is a great tool students can use independently or even swap  with a friend and evaluate each other.

Thanks to Jarrod Sing for submitting this resource.  Remember if you would like to sell us your lesson plans ideas you can do so here. 

Click here to download the Explanation Writing Checklist.

Maths and Literacy Student Contract Template

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Just a quick addition to our thinking tools and graphic organisers collection today. This simple goal setting template will help your students to be a little more accountable of their own learning in maths and literacy.

You might want to go through the SMART goal system with them to ensure that each of their goals are.

  • Specific
  • Measurable
  • Achievable
  • Relevant
  • Timely

It is a great process to work through at the beginning or mid point of the year or even when parent teacher interviews occur.

You can download the template here, and enjoy.

Artistic maths Reflection Tool

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This maths reflection tool is aimed at students aged 6 - 14 gives a great insight into how your students feel about their abilities in maths, and what areas they still need to work on in the future.

This task allows for both artistic and mathematically minded students to share what they know in the areas of the four operations and general maths.

It takes anywhere from 45 minutes to 2 hours to complete depending upon your students age and ability.

Please feel free to download the Maths Reflection Tool here.

Book Report Templates for Elementary Students

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Book reports are a great incentive to get students to read a great tool and think and analytically respond to the authors purpose and message.

These book report templates aimed at both junior and middle elementary students give them a great opportunity to express their thoughts on a book using simple terms and concepts they can understand.

Below is a breakdown of what makes a good book report and I would encourage teachers and students to read this before starting.

Then download either the Junior Book Report Planner or the Elementary Planner and enjoy.

What Should be Included in a Book Report?

Book report content will vary according to grade level. Middle grade-level book reports will provide the basic details about a book, a summary of the plot, and some comments regarding the student's opinions and impressions.

As students mature and advance, the book reports should include a little more.

As students enter high school and higher grades, they will start to explain and explore the messages that are contained in books--messages about life and its important experiences. Students will begin to share their own opinions about these messages (themes) contained in books.

Your Book Report Introduction

The introduction segment of your book report provides an opportunity to make a good first impression!

You should try to write a strong introductory sentence that grabs your reader's attention. Somewhere in your first paragraph, you should also state the book's title (italicized), the topic, and the author's name.

High school-level papers should include publication information as well as brief statements about the book's angle, the genre, the theme, and a hint about the writer's feelings in the introduction.

First Paragraph Example: Middle School Level:

The Red Badge of Courage, by Stephen Crane, is a book about a young man growing up during the Civil War. Henry Fleming is the main character of the book. As Henry watches and experiences the tragic events of the war, he grows up and changes his attitudes about life.

First Paragraph Example: High School Level:

Can you identify one experience that changed your entire view of the world around you? Henry Fleming, the main character in The Red Badge of Courage, begins his life-changing adventure as a naive young man, eager to experience the glory of war. He soon faces the truth about life, war, and his own self-identity on the battlefield, however. The Red Badge of Courage, by Stephen Crane, is a coming of age novel, published by D. Appleton and Company in 1895, about thirty years after the Civil War ended. In this book, the author reveals the ugliness of war, and examines its relationship to the pain of growing up.

Body

Before you get started on the body of the report, take a few minutes to jot down some helpful information by considering the following points.

  • Did you enjoy the book?
  • Was it well written?
  • What was the genre?
  • (fiction) Which characters play important roles that relate to the overall theme?
  • Did you notice reoccurring symbols?
  • Is this book a part of a series?
  • (nonfiction) Can you identify the writer's thesis?
  • What is the writing style?
  • Did you notice a tone?
  • Was there an obvious slant or bias?

In the body of your book report, you will use your notes to guide you through an extended summary of the book. You will weave your own thoughts and impressions into the plot summary.

Conclusion

As you lead to your final paragraph, consider some additional impressions and opinions:

  • Was the ending satisfactory (for fiction)?
  • Was the thesis supported by strong evidence (for non-ficton)?
  • What interesting or notable facts do you know about the author?
  • Would you recommend this book?

Conclude your report with a paragraph or two that covers these additional points. Some teachers prefer that you re-state the name and author of the book in the concluding paragraph. As always, consult your specific assignment guide.

The Webs Best Collection of Thinking Tools

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Hel lo, World!

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 Last month we began offering the webs best collection of free classroom posters to Print and download and beautify your classroom.

This month we are offering an excellent collection of Thinking tools specifically aimed at teachers and students to help them improve their logical ordering of ideas and enhance creativity. 

Today we are proud to publicize these thinking tools and will be adding a new thinking tool every day.

We have begun the collection with over fifteen different thinking tools you can download immediately and like our classroom posters have, these will grow dramatically over the next few weeks.

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All of these tools have been produced as high resolution images and will print in great quality at nearly any size.

So enjoy our Thinking Tools and feel free to let us know if there is any specific thinking tool or strategy you would like to see added to the collection.

KWHL Chart - Thinking Tool

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Hello, World!

A KWHL can be used to track students learning of a particular topic or concept over time;

  • The K stands for ‘What I already know’ (used to gain prior knowledge)
  • The W stands for ‘What I want to learn’
  • The H stands for ‘How I will find this information’ and;
  • The L stands for ‘What I have learnt’. This is a particularly effective tool to use during an Integrated Topic.

It can also be a great portfolio piece to demonstrate the learning process of the student.

Download KWHL Chart

PMI Chart: Plus, Minus, Interesting - Thinking Tool

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A PMI chart is an effective reflection tool to allow students to look at the whole picture of an event. It allows you to look at the positives, the minuses and what are some interesting factors. You could use a PMI individually, with a partner, small groups or in whole class discussions. This procedure could be implemented after Literacy Teams, after playing team games, after reading an information book or at the end of an integrated topic.

Download the PMI here

The KWHL Chart

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A KWHL can be used to track students learning of a particular topic or concept over time; The K stands for ‘What I already know’ (used to gain prior knowledge) The W stands for ‘What I want to learn’ The H stands for ‘How I will find this information’ and; The L stands for ‘What I have learnt’. This is a particularly effective tool to use during an Integrated Topic. It can also be a great portfolio piece to demonstrate the learning process of the student.

Download the KWHL Chart Here