Mrs. Holder's Language Arts Class

Shelby West Middle School

Murray State University deserves a bid in the NCAA Tournament!

Not the typical opening for a seventh grade Language Arts newsletter, but it serves a purpose. I mean seriously, how can Murray not get a bid to the big dance? They have the longest winning streak in NCAA only second to UK. They were ranked 24th in the USA Today Coaches Poll and 25th in the AP Poll. They won the OVC regular season championship for the 24th time overall and the Racers completed a perfect 16-0 season, becoming just the fifth team in OVC history to accomplish that feat. However, after a devastating loss to Belmont by one point, THEY are going to the NCAA tournament. Racers deserve a bid!

Guess what our next unit is about? Not college basketball, but I brought up my alma mater to serve as an example. We have completed our Personal Narrative unit and are forging ahead with the next: What Influences Our Choices? This unit shifts from the art of storytelling to the craft of informing, explaining and convincing. After learning how to write an effective expository essay, they will work to create convincing argumentative texts. We will focus on finding a topic that each student is interested in. Whether it be a national topic, community or one that hits more close to home, they will choose a side of an issue and do their best to convince the reader to see things their way. We will be learning about strategies, the connection between content, purpose and audience and analyzing examples of argumentative texts.

A big argument looming over the heads of the ten-member basketball selection committee is whether or not a mid-major school should get one of the at-large bids. Historically this doesn't happen- at least, not often. But it has happened before and in my opinion, along with many others, it should happen again. And that's my argument - did I convince you?

What are we working on?

This unit is about writing an effective expository essay. The following lists the big skills we will be focusing on in the next few weeks:

  • Analyze examples of specific advertising techniuques
  • Create a "Plan of Attack"
  • Review the organization and structure of an argumentative paper
  • Use revision techniques
  • Peer review of their writing with helpful feedback
  • Knowing the difference between details and description
  • Citing a counter argument
  • To be able to back up their thinking with textual evidence.

How will we get there? We are in the process of writing and will soon be getting into peer review groups. We are going to be looking at specific revision techniques, giving constructive feedback and keeping track of what changes we've made to create a final piece.

Important Dates to Know

Mrs. Kerri B. Holder

I have been a teacher for the 14 years and all of them at Shelby West Middle School. I have a degree in Communications, a second degree in Middle School Education. My emphasis is in Language Arts and Science. Both degrees I earned at Murray State University - Go, Racers! I earned my Masters in Education from University of Louisville. I am married and have two daughters, Katherine and Eleanor, whom the students hear about often. My goal is not to teach my students to memorize and regurgitate facts, but to become problem-solvers, deep thinkers and be able to convey their thinking to others whether it be written or spoken. Together we can achieve great things!