Today, students turned in their Canada paragraphs.  One of the skills we were practicing in these paragraphs is using transition words and phrases effectively.  As is to be expected, some students used transitions more comfortably than others.  However, even if a student didn't quite meet expectations, they can ALWAYS continue revising their paragraph to make it better and show me their progress.  Once they have demonstrated the skill, their score will be changed!

Below I've included a couple example paragraphs from students in the class.  These students used transitions well and we can learn from what they did.  Before we get started, though, check out what the actual expectation is, so you can know if you are meeting it or not.

Exceeding Expectations
I showed deep inferences and applications that go beyond what was taught like using transitions with variety and subtlety.  I even know when my ideas transition naturally and I don't need a transition word.  My use of transitions is not formulaic.

Meeting Expectations
I used a variety of transition words and phrases where they are needed to connect ideas.

Making Progress
I showed no mistakes on simpler parts, however, I made a mistake on complex parts like:
  • not including a transition where two ideas need to connect, 
  • or using the same transition word or phrase repeatedly.
With help, I showed some understanding of simpler parts and complex parts.

Not Yet
Even with help, I didn't show understanding of simple and complex parts.

On to the sample paragraphs!  This first one is a good example meeting exceptions, which is exactly what we want.  This student used transition words and phrases to very clearly communicate when he was switching to a new idea.  

        Ontario has amazing geography, history of all kinds and culture that provides millions of jobs. For example, Ontario has over 250,000 lakes. Another detail about Ontario’s amazing geography is that  Niagara Falls throws water off the magnificent cliffs of Ontario. In addition to the geography , history is a big part of Ontario. For instance the worlds largest gum wrapper chain is in Waterdown, Ontario. In 2006 the gum Wrapper chain was 44,318 feet long! On the other hand, culture is a big part of Ontario. The people love playing curling for sport. Also they like playing many other sports as well. Ontario also has has over 500 highways to travel on from place to place. Ontario has amazing geography, lots of history and of course culture is a big part of Ontario.

This next paragraph is a good example of exceeding expectations.  Most of the ideas in this paragraph flow together very naturally and don't need special transition words or phrases to connect them.  However, when switching major topics, transitions are used in an interesting way to signal to the reader that a change of topic is happening.

          Saskatchewan has amazing geography, industry, and government , which make Saskatchewan a great province.  The provinces geography is flat and pretty plain but that is part of the charm. The Saskatchewan plain is one of the largest unbroken flat areas in the world, it is only broken by a few low hills. The southern part of Saskatchewan has very few major lakes or rivers. The Saskatchewan River is where Saskatchewan gets its name from. As well as the flat geography the Province has unique industry. Saskatchewan is Canada’s largest wheat producer, it is known as Canada’s breadbasket because of how much wheat they produce. Saskatchewan also grows oats, barley, and rye. An important mining product in Saskatchewan is petroleum. Although Saskatchewan has a unique industry the government is a bit normal. Saskatchewan’s highest court is the Court of Appeal. The actual head of Saskatchewan is the Premier of Saskatchewan. Saskatchewan has many other qualities besides these that make Saskatchewan a great province, such as history and culture.

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