Homework: Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Math: SPB 8.1

Reading/Writing: Please finish your Pro/Con writing for the Newsela article PRO/CON: How can we close the skills gap and fill U.S. jobs?

Here is a summary of the arguments and key details we saw in the article today.

Pro: Companies and colleges should work together to prepare skilled workers for companies.

Evidence: Rolls Royce spend $170 million in Virginia-need skilled workers-worked w/community colleges to obtain skilled workers.

-Rolls Royce got skilled workers

-Workers got good jobs

-Colleges earned good reputation for getting graduates jobs and earned new students and $ from enrollment

Con: Schools working with companies is a bad idea.

Evidence: People learn limited skills if they go to school to work for a specific company. That means they have limited job opportunities in the future.

Details: Vocational training should take place in high school like in Germany

Many high school students may not want to go to college after high school and they may just want to go start a job. Getting vocational (job training) starting in high school like in Germany will help them get ready to work after high school.

Got persuasive writing?

We’re working on crafting arguments with details, evidence, reasons, examples. We’re trying to craft counterarguments to anticipate what might be used against us in a debate. And we’re coming up with rebuttals to put those arguments to rest.


Is free reading in class a good thing? Should students have this privilege or not? Read this sample and see if you can spot the evidence, the counterargument, and the rebuttal.

Is the text small text and fuzzy? Click the picture to go to the Google Doc. :)
2015-05-12 14_28_30-Argument paragraph free reading - Google Docs

Patricia Newman-author-wants to hire YOU!

Children’s author Patricia Newman is requesting a phone call with you guys. She’s seen your filmmaking skills and would like to hire you to create a book trailer for her new, non-fiction book! Interested?

You can see some of what she’s written by visiting Amazon and searching her name or clicking HERE.

2015 SEVA Results are in!

Congratulations to all who worked on a film submitted for this year’s SEVAs! With over 400 entries from throughout Sacramento County, the competition was stiff.

This year we ended up with two finalists in the PSA division and one finalist in the instructional film division.

Not to be a poor sport, but we really should have won the Creative entry in my opinion. No SEVAs were awarded for this new category this year, which is an option SEVA judges always have if they feel none of the entries measured up to par. The category was, however, created for all other things beside instructional, PSA, documentary, or news. One of the specific items mentioned as acceptable for “Creative” was book trailers.

And, boy did we have a WINNING book trailer!

Deck the Walls Book Trailer from Jim Bentley @Curiosity_Films on Vimeo.

The notes from the judges indicated our trailer lacked a “strong educational message.”


Trailers aren’t meant to teach. They’re meant to pique an individual’s curiosity and to get them to read a book.

Oh, well. The judges spoke. I think they were wrong. We move on and keep working and submit more material for next year.

Speaking of more material, our instructional film finalist-Dividing Using Partial Quotients-was RICHLY written and highly detailed. The judges’ comments were laudatory. But the SEVA went to a film on how to clean a cubby? Again, the judges spoke. I think they were wrong. We will keep doing our thing and submit more for next year.

The good news: any films we create between now and the end of school can be submitted for 7th grade entries into the SEVAs. And I think we’re going to have a few winners ready to go!

Congratulations to all who participated. I am proud of each of you!

New Look for our Blog

Yes, the blog has been sporadic lately. The previous blog format was in the process of being phased out by Edublogs which left me scrambling for a while. I seem to have the talent of selecting blog themes that have lifespans of 60 days or less.

This theme will be around for a while. And on that note, I’ll be posting and reaching out to you daily using the blog once more. Thank you for your patience as I’ve been working through tech issues.