My TEK stated that the students were to build a model of the layers of the earth, but when they know nothing about the earth it makes the concept of building kind of tough. After making the KWL chart together, my students read in their book and completed a little worksheet of the information they learned. Then they added into the L section of the KWL on their own. This was all on Monday. Tuesday we created this foldable. I just made a paper copy of the circles in a word document and they colored and labeled each circle. I told them that we didn’t want to just slap the foldable together, we want them all centered. So after some prodding, they came up with folding each circle into 1/4 to find the center point and then stack them. We glued only 1/2 of each circle down so we could flip it and write facts about each layer. Then I informed them of making a model this week. They were so excited, and so was I!

I told them for homework they had to bring a batch of play dough (not store bought) to school by Thursday, and I supplied them with this recipe. We would color it Thursday, and make the models on Friday. FYI: We had lots of left overs from this recipe! Wednesday the students researched through reading different books that I placed at their table, and wrote just facts under each flap of each layer of their foldable. The last 20 minutes or so we talked about making our model to scale. My students are 6th graders, and in math we do A LOT of proportional studies. So we naturally made our model to scale. Inner Core: 3 cm diameter. The students were very careful with their measurements. Warning: Those of you who are afraid of chaos and mess ( like me) please take a deep breath before viewing. Each table placed their colored play dough in baggies and in a bucket which made it easy to pass out today. Making that Outer core 3 cm.

Mike Rose: Yeah many people would count themselves as a blocker because many people concentrate too much on rules then writing. Me: All my teachers throughout school always would add rules to writing. This made writing very difficult because you want to make sure you follow the rules but by following the rules you loose what you want to say. Just like your students you studied that had writers block would always get stuck on the first paragraph because they were told to make it an attention getter. Well that happens with me to. When I write I probably spend the most time on the first paragraph then I do any other paragraph because I want it to be perfect. By doing this though I loose my train of thought and I become frustrated. Do you have any advice on how to stop this from happening? Mike Rose: The only advice I have for you is not to follow those rules so closely.

If I was you I would not think about the rules and I would just write what you are thinking. You can always go back and fix your mistakes and make your introduction sound better. You never know once you start writing your body paragraphs your introduction might just come to you. Doing this will save you so much time and help you become less frustrated. Me: That makes a lot of sense. That helps me so much. Thank you for that advice, I am going to try this on my next essay and hopefully it works and I become a non-blocker. Mike Rose: I am glad I could help you with your problem. Me: Hi Ms. Perl, I read your research and it was quite interesting for that I am one of those unskilled college writers. I could relate to almost anything you mentioned in your research. I have a few questions to ask you if you don’t mind.

Perl: No not at all, I would be delighted to answer your questions and thank you for reading my research. Me: Where you an unskilled writer as well or did you just happen to begin researching it? If you so happen to just begin researching it, what made you compose your research? Perl: I began my research so I would let teachers know that not every student of theirs is not a skilled writer, no one is perfect. They don’t deserve a bad grade in any other way. It’s not their fault that they have never mastered the college level of writing. Many students have difficulty reading a story, it’s either really hard to understand or they lack vocabulary. They can’t learn how to write if they don’t know what they are reading, they have to take in the way stories are written, many stories I knew were difficult to comprehend. Me: That is very interesting to know, thank you for answering my questions. And if I may add, I was really interested when you talked about how the brain can process differently when upon reading stories.

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