Hand Approach 101: August 2017

You have survived day 3 of high school and of the global writing block! You have taken your reading diagnostic, written me a writing diagnostic, signed up for, and learned the power of the word ‘YET’.  AND…you learned how to brainstorm for an essay using your hand!

I don’t know about you, but I think that is pretty darn cool…and a lot to accomplish in your first three days of high school.

Remember that the hand approach is a tool you can use beyond the realm of AICE General Paper! You can use it to brainstorm a lot of things…but especially for AP Seminar and AICE Global Perspectives 🙂

Also remember that for each lens of the hand, there are a multitude of perspectives (a person/group that has an argument) that can relate to it. Many of you used the hand approach today to write your diagnostic essay – and hopefully it helped you to brainstorm many ideas.

I thought as a review, and in case you lost your notes on the way home, I would share my page of notes below:


Keep up the great work and I am looking forward to the year ahead!


Work Hard, then Play Hard…Block Party 2017

To my students, you are rock stars!

To their parents & guardians, thank you for your support!

You have all survived the block!

The students have worked hard all year. They have learned to argue, and critique sources, as well as write lengthy coherent essays and present their research findings.

Today we celebrated this survival with a whole lot of PLAY! I wanted to share the day we had because it was fabulous. I apologize in advance for the overload of photos! Over the past week, whenever we could steal a few moments, I allowed them to plan the day out based on their likes. Here are the results of the planning:

The students in Block 1 enjoyed a fun game of water balloon toss, then a game of red vs. blue kickball, and rounded it out with some bagels & class superlatives! There was even a jar of jelly beans that students guessed at the amount of, and the Oreo game, where you have to try and move the oreo from your eye to your mouth without using your hands. Victoria helped me photograph the game outside and the photos came out great!

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Then I got to move on to Block 2, where we went out and played kickball and board games depending on preference. There were games of kickball, stratego, twister, and football all occurring at the same time! It started to get quite hot so we headed inside to enjoy some Tomasso’s pizza, snacks that were brought in, and some more board games and cards. While outside, Jessica D. did a great job at helping me photograph the games!

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Lastly, I ran over to Moe’s and got the catering pick up that our fantastic party planner Christina put together! I met up with Block 3 and we headed back outside, for guess what….another game of kickball. I may have rubbed off my love of kickball onto my students! We even had Brianna as our amazing photographer, who took over 300 photos! I am only sharing a handful of what she sent me! Once the game was over we went back in and ate some Moe’s and just hung out.

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I feel blessed to get to work with these students and to see the smiles on their faces. Today was fantastic and simply shows me how much these students have grown over the year! We have a few more weeks left in the year and I am positive the bonds they have created will continue to grow.

Next on the Agenda? Finishing Twelfth Night by William Shakespeare! And becoming sophomores!



Here is the tree that was up on the board today!


IRR Sample Analysis – Explanation

This week you were asked to read a sample IRR on Google Classroom and to analyze it through the following 6 questions:

  1. What local, global, or national perspectives are included in the essay?
  2. Does the essay establish why the topic is significant? How?
  3. Are the sources varied? How do you know?
  4. Does the essay examine the reasoning and validity of the sources?
  5. Does the writer of the essay make connections between the different perspectives or does the writer explain them in isolation? Explain.
  6. Does the writer maintain an academic tone or is the style overly casual/conversational?

Note: Question 3 is asking about the variety of source types and Question 5 is asking about the reasoning (aka line of reasoning).

Below are images of my analyzed and annotated version of the sample IRR. Review these images and the answers you gave me, to see how the essays shows proficiency in all 6 rubric rows.



The Line of Reasoning (LOR) Tree

For the last three days we have learned what the heck a line of reasoning tree is…and how drawing trees fits into our classroom (thanks to Mrs. Pavich at EdPioneer!)

Last night for homework, I set you free to create your own trees, using an article about the Supreme Court and the appointment of Supreme Court Judges, which can be found here (password: GlobalWriting2).

Here are the directions that I gave you:

-Read the Sept. 5 debate article in Upfront regarding the appointments of Supreme Court judges.
– Highlight the main pieces of the argument and then draw it out in a tree. Make it pretty. And then turn it in.
– You may model it after other trees that we have drawn in class this week.
– Write a conclusion using the tree answering the issue question. Your conclusion should be based on the evidence and the strengths and weaknesses of the sides.
– This is a quiz grade worth 50 points. Show me you have been paying attention. I want to see your annotations AND your tree tomorrow.

I want to give you some extra support, so here is a post reviewing all about the tree and how we are using it right now in class.

For the students who have been ill or stuck taking math tests this week, this post should be super helpful to fill in some gaps. 

The image of a tree is our new tool, that we have added to our tool box next to our hand approach brainstorm tool 🙂 It has multiple parts, but the main pieces are: roots, trunk, branches, leaves, sunshine, little birdies, and wise owls. Below is a photo of the notes from Tuesday! It explains what each element of the tree means and what we call it.   🙂

*As a reminder, we previously said that we used a thesis and then followed those with claims. Now we are changing our vocabulary a bit…we are now saying claims and subclaims. Our claim is our old thesis, and our subclaims are our old claims. Check in with me if you have any questions.*

In class yesterday, we read about the United Nations and look at arguments about whether or not it is still relevant in the world today. We looked at this article from Upfront Magazine. (You can use the same password as seen earlier in the post.)

As we read the article, we highlighted/labeled the various elements from the tree in the article.

The “Yes” side was a little tricky because the subclaims came quickly in the beginning followed by a lot of evidence that we had to weed through. But, for the most part, it was pretty straight forward. The author had inlcuded a lot of solid evidence and examples.

The “No” was a lot more difficult in comparions. It had context and then we got mixed up because the first subclaim was precided by evidence. You can tell tha teven Miss.K made a mistake as she was labeling the first time.

After we labeled the article, we took the elements and we put them into a tree. You even learned how poor of an artist Miss K is when she tried to draw airplanes and birds.

After our discussion, you unanimously agreed that the Pro-UN side was stronger. It had more branches and leaves….well…it really had clearer subclaims and evidence. We decided that the evidence that there is little hope for the future was not strong enough to support the no side. We came to a class conclusion, BASED ON THE EVIDENCE IN THE ARTICLES, that the United Nations is relevant in todays society.

Remember, no one will set up their argument in the same way as the person before them did…its a bit of a gamble and you have to be willing to really read and digest what author is saying. You are doing a great job as we begin to tackle the higher level arguments today!

Keep Calm and Argue On!

-Miss. Krzyzanowski


Expository Essays: A Review

We have spent the last 5 days learning how to write an expository essay! It has been a journey and mistakes have been made, even on Miss. K’s part, but you have produced some fantastic writing so far!

You’ve slowly taken the ideas of multiple people and put them into a single expository essay. You have worked to find your space in the classroom….


Now it is time to show me what you have learned!

Tomorrow you will be asked to write an expository essay as a final assessment. You will have two class periods to brainstorm, create, edit, and finalize a handwritten expository essay of 500-600 words. YOU CAN DO THIS! You have practiced and now read multiple expository essays that your peers have written. Some of you have even attended a writing workshop for extra help!

BUT, you may still be a little worried. This is natural. It IS your FIRST real assessment for me, and so I have created a list of the following tips and reminders to help calm your nerves!

  • Introduction:
    • Have a THESIS (think….something is something because A + B + C…). Remember that is is OK to only have two main points! You want to give your reader insight into what you are going to write about.
    • Hook your reader into your essay…give them something to think about or something to relate to with in the context of your essay. If you are talking about soccer, maybe give a name like Christiano Ronaldo (shout-out to Natalia in block 2) because many people would know of the player, even Miss. K! This also helps to add perspectives into your essay 🙂
    • USE PROMPT LANGUAGE (get it yet?)
  • Body Paragraphs:
    • Each body paragraph should have its own claim, that stems from your thesis. Your goal is to have your claims in the same order as they are laid out in your thesis. 
    • Make sure to help your reader CEE your point.
      • Give a Claim,
      • Then Explain your claim using student voice,
      • Follow it by giving Evidence that supports your claim,
      • And then make sure that you explain the evidence and tie it back to your prompt.
    • USE PROMPT LANGUAGE (still!)
  • Conclusion:
    • Restate your thesis, but do not write it word for word. You do not want to bore your reader!
    • Add some type of special feature or new content to help your reader to keep thinking about the topic after they have set down your essay.

** The point of using prompt language is to help you stay focused and to remind your reader about your essay topic!**

I will be around tomorrow morning prior to the bell ringing to start 1st period. Feel free to stop by and ask questions. Or shoot me an email or Remind message tonight.

I gave you a preview of the prompts at the end of class today! And told you that notes are OK to bring with you, to help you out with this first essay 🙂 Just remember, the notes are on CONTENT, not how to write the essay.

YOU ARE GOING TO ROCK THIS! You are prepared and ready to wow me as a reader! I cannot wait to see what you come up with 🙂


Miss Krzyzanowski


The tool that fits in your hand…the hand approach!

You have survied day 2 of high school and of the global writing block! You have taken your reading diagnoistic, signed up for,, and Google Classroom. You have leared how to access this blog. AND…you learned how to brainstorm for an essay using your hand!

I don’t know about you, but I think that is pretty darn cool…and a lot to accomplish in your first two days of high school. 

Remember that the hand approach is a tool you can use beyond the realm of AICE General Paper! You can use it to brainstorm a lot of things…but especially for AP Seminar and AICE Global Perspectives 🙂 

I thought as a review, and in case you lost your notes on the way home, I would share my page of notes below: 




Welcome to Miss. Krzyzanowski’s student blog and the Global Writing Block!

You are now taking three English class in one!!! If it sounds a bit intense, then you are correct. It is not going to be a simple year…it is going to be a challenging year. But, you can do this! I promise!

This is a space for you to access forms and information regarding our class to make things a bit easier. It also a place for us to share our learning throughout the year with our families and the education community! We WILL be adding to the academic conversation on here, just like you will add to research conversations with your various projects all year!

As the year moves forward, I plan for this blog to a space for me to share samples with you and to also give shout outs to students who make great accomplishiments of all sorts.

Welcome to the Global Writing Block! I look forward to learning and writing with you this year! Its going to be a crazy, chaotic, fun filled year. If you never take the chance, you will never know what you could have accomplished.

Miss Krzyzanowski