Technology, Overpopulation, and Kevin Bacon

It’s been an interesting week, and it’s only Tuesday.

In preparation for our District Writing Assessment next month, my students have been learning how to write argumentative essays. We are starting simple.

Step 1: We read an article.

Step 2: On a note card, the kids each list 3 facts, from the article, that support their claim on the issue.

Step 3: One the back of the note card, the kids each list 3 facts, from the article,  that would support an opposing view point on the issue.

Step 4: The kids write a paragraph.

Sentence 1: Their claim

Sentences 2-3: Two separate pieces of evidence, from the story, that support their viewpoint.

Sentence 4: A counter-claim. (A sentence that states an opposing viewpoint- I have to rephrase it because they forget what     “counterclaim” means)

Sentence 5: One piece of evidence, from the story, that supports their counter-claim.

Count them. Five sentences. Three of which they are copying from a notecard…which they copied from an article. Simple enough.

For the most part, they did a good job and I got a lot of paragraphs like this:  

Prompt: Argue whether or not you think the amount of technology kids consume is a problem or just a part of life.

Paragraph: I think the amount of technology kids consume is out of control. According to the article, average teens spend 16 hours a day using some sort of technology. Teens also spend 95 minutes texting. Some people might disagree and think technology is just a part of life. They say it does help you keep in touch with your family and friends.

Not too shabby.

And then there’s this one. Same prompt.

Technology Makes People Fat?

In my opinion people are making a big deal about kids using to much technology. First off it’s not true, scientist can F off. They make it so why can’t we use it. I we play sports and go to school that leaves three – five hours in a day for technology. Not eight. Let people be obeese if they want, the population is too high anyways.

We will be discussing this paper at his parent teacher conference next week.

On a lighter note, I actually laughed out loud when this happened at the beginning of 2nd Block today.

I see a kid shuffling down the hall towards my room as the bell rings. I wait, holding the door for him because I can tell he’s feeling bad about being late.

Student: “I know. I know. I’m late. I’m sorry. I had to go get my binder from the science room. I left it in there when I was sent home yesterday.”

Me: “You were sent home yesterday? What happened?”

Student: “I told the principal that she looked like Kevin Bacon so she suspended me for the rest of the day.”  

Me: Not even trying to stifle my laughter because, well, she does kind of look like Kevin Bacon. “You what? You said she looked like Kevin Bacon and she suspended you? What happened before that? Surely something else happened.”

Student: “No. Nothing happened. I just said to her, ‘Has anyone ever told you that you look like Kevin Bacon?’ and she sent me home.”

It turns out that things got pretty ugly in gym class yesterday with the sub. When the principal stepped in and told the boys they were going to lose their open gym time during lunch, the boys did not respond very well. Threats were made by students, as well as several smart remarks (If you want to call the Kevin Bacon comment a smart remark) which resulted in parents being called. In the end, several boys were sent home.

When this particular student’s mother showed up to get her son, all she had to say was, “Well, you do look like Kevin Bacon.”