Series Evidence & Arguments: Evidence & Arguments: Lesson Reflection


Common core State Standards

  • ELA:  English Language Arts
  • RI:  Reading Standards for Informational Text 6-\x80\x9312
  • 9-10:  9th & 10th Grades
  • 2: 
    Determine a central idea of a text and analyze its development over the course
    of the text, including how it emerges and is shaped and refined by specific
    details; provide an objective summary of the text.

Download Common Core State Standards (PDF 1.2 MB)


Common core State Standards

  • ELA:  English Language Arts
  • W:  Writing Standards 6-12
  • 9-10:  9th & 10th Grades
  • 6: 
    Use technology, including the Internet, to produce, publish, and update
    individual or shared writing products, taking advantage of technology'\x80\x99s
    capacity to link to other information and to display information flexibly and

Download Common Core State Standards (PDF 1.2 MB)


Common core State Standards

  • ELA:  English Language Arts
  • SL:  Speaking and Listening Standards 6-\x80\x9312
  • 9-10:  9th & 10th Grades
  • 1a: 
    Initiate and participate effectively in a range of collaborative discussions
    (one-on-one, in groups, and teacher-led) with diverse partners on grades 9-\x80\x9310
    topics, texts, and issues, building on others'\x80\x99 ideas and expressing their own
    clearly and persuasively.

    a. Come to discussions prepared, having read and researched material under
    study; explicitly draw on that preparation by referring to evidence from
    texts and other research on the topic or issue to stimulate a thoughtful,
    well-reasoned exchange of ideas.

    b. Work with peers to set rules for collegial discussions and decision-making
    (e.g., informal consensus, taking votes on key issues, presentation of
    alternate views), clear goals and deadlines, and individual roles as needed.

    c. Propel conversations by posing and responding to questions that relate the
    current discussion to broader themes or larger ideas; actively incorporate
    others into the discussion; and clarify, verify, or challenge ideas and

    d. Respond thoughtfully to diverse perspectives, summarize points of
    agreement and disagreement, and, when warranted, qualify or justify their
    own views and understanding and make new connections in light of the
    evidence and reasoning presented.

Download Common Core State Standards (PDF 1.2 MB)

Evidence & Arguments: Lesson Reflection

Lesson Objective: Reflect on a lesson by identifying critical learning opportunities
Grades 9-10 / ELA / Reflection
ELA.RI.9-10.2 | ELA.W.9-10.6 | ELA.SL.9-10.1a


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Discussion and Supporting Materials

Thought starters

  1. How does Mr. Hanify ensure students are ready before moving on to the next activity?
  2. What is meant by "the strategy is not the end"?
  3. Notice the questions Mr. Balla asks. How could you consider similar questions when reflecting on your practice?


  • Private message to Barbara Pope

Thanks again for this lesson. It is an inspiration, I'm sure, to new and older teachers such as myself. I too could not stop taking notes.

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  • Private message to Alfra Jeannele Robertson
I love this video. I taught middle school Pre-AP (seventh grade English) students for five out ten years. I would have been delighted to teach this lesson using the same mentor text. Now I am teaching fourth grade reading and writing in elementary school. Most of the students are struggling readers and writers. However, there are some relevant current issues that I will be teaching this year., and I will raise the level of expectations based on this video. Love it!
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  • Private message to Helene Previl
I love it and could not stop taking note.
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  • Private message to Patrcia Mesch
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  • Private message to Maria Acedo
Every video on this channel is so helpful for me as a teacher. It has become my rubric when I am trying to teach a specific skill or a teaching strategy that I would like to use and eventually become a master in teaching. It helps me so much in reflecting the lesson I had done while utilizing the strategy plus I feel like I have just done an inter-visitation to use in my own classroom practice. This is really a very helpful site for teachers like me. I wouldn't have to read as I have so little time to do so and watching someone in action makes it more meaningful for me to reflect on my craft.
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    02:02 TEXT:
    Common Core: ELA
    Post-Class Analysis
    Teaching “Evidence & Arguments”

    Part 3:

    02:02 TEXT:
    Common Core: ELA
    Post-Class Analysis
    Teaching “Evidence & Arguments”

    Part 3: After the Class
    Teachers T.J. Hanify and Lance Balla Review How the Standards Were Met
    02:05 LANCE BALLA: Well, TJ, tell me, um, do you feel like you met the objectives you were planning for today? TEXT:
    Lance Balla
    K-12 ELA Curriculum Developer
    Bellevue School District, WA
    TJ HANIFY: I'm really happy with how the whole sequence of events worked. I think that the, the kids were engaged and contributed all the way through. It was nice to see when small groups took place everyone was high energy and engaged. TEXT:
    T.J. Hanify
    9th & 10th Grade ELA Teacher
    International School, Bellevue, WA

    Small Groups
    TJ HANIFY: When there was large-scale discussion you saw that students weren't just sort of passively sitting by but really tracking what the other people had to say. And the actual reading task that they had I think it was challenging but they lived up to it. TEXT:
    Socratic Seminar

    Close Reading
    TJ HANIFY: I was happy with the work that they produced when they made their presentations
    02:35 LANCE BALLA: Let’s talk specifically first about the close reading. So, they began and they worked with a difficult text on their own. TEXT:
    Close Reading
    LANCE BALLA: When they first came to class on that first day, um, what kinds of annotations did you see? What kinds of comments did, indicated you as a teacher that students were really beginning to dig into this text?

    TJ HANIFY: Well using the thinking notes the kind of reactions I expected to see were a lot of just sort of tracking their own reactions. Especially in a way where they could quickly recall sections that they had a strong reaction to later.

    “It says like you have a moral responsibility to disobey unjust laws. And unjust laws would be like the segregation like not being able to not be able to sit in the front of the bus. And like he had a lot of examples but then he said he would be an advocate for not breaking moral laws.
    Close Reading
    TJ HANIFY: So they did a good job of identifying parts that they thought were important or central to the ideas. And they had some great ideas about the text elements that they responded to well. And so quite often it might be that, you know, the conclusion was especially strong or I love the way that he turned this phrase.
    TJ HANIFY: And th-, without necessarily knowing a lot of formal terminology they were able to isolate some text elements that were particularly effective.
    03:48 LANCE BALLA: … one of the things that I was struck by w-, w-, was the fact that your students could provide feedback to on another.
    LANCE BALLA: They didn’t just say great, they were complimentary but they would say something very specific about what could have made it better.

    Ok, so it was a very nice presentation. I learned a lot. But I also feel like it might have been good at the beginning to like go over exactly like what ethos, logos and pathos were because I know like I wasn’t really clear on it either.
    TJ HANIFY: It's very important to have your expectations clear as far as what you want out of an audience member, in particular, feedback. So I gave them the specific requirements. This is the kind of positive feedback that I want to give.
    TJ HANIFY: This is the kind of constructive feedback that I expect you to do. And, and give them actual samples. This is the sort of thing I would want you, to hear you say.
    I was just wondering what is the actual tone like of the first one? I get that it’s blunt but is he like, how is it encouraging?
    Like in paragraph 3 is when starts to, he shifts from being more respectful to the clergymen to directly telling them what they’re doing wrong and sort of calling them out, I guess.
    TJ HANIFY: I think it's also important to give any audience a task at hand so that they stay involved in the activity, that they're not just being polite and quiet while other people present, but that are e-, engaged in each presentation and considering how would I make this better if this was my team up there?
    05:10 LANCE BALLA: So, in planning this you were really looking at those Common Core State Standards around collaborative speaking and listening. You were also looking at writing standards and you were also looking at presentation standards. So, tell me a little bit about how did you begin to put all the pieces together? TEXT:
    Common Core:
    Speaking and Listening

    TJ HANIFY: You can't just say, I'm going to take a reading standard and a writing standard and then just try to mash them together. It's important to really think about how one feeds and builds on another.
    05:32 LANCE BALLA: … continuing our talk about the speaking and listening standards, I noticed in the second lesson specifically you employed Socratic Seminar, …. TEXT:
    Socratic Seminar

    LANCE BALLA: Talk a little bit about why that particular strategy, what the goal, what were the goals and objectives, how would those like to the standards in particular?
    TJ HANIFY: Well Common Core Standards expects there to be a lot of different kinds of discussion strategies taking place. And that can be small group, peer-to-peer, whole class discussion, informal but also formal. And so that's an opportunity where you can really tap into those standards that talk about expectations for students. TEXT:
    Common Core Standards
    Discussion Strategies:

    Small Group
    Whole Class Discussion

    TJ HANIFY: That they'll arrive prepared and ready for a discussion. In this case, having some specific questions designed as an entry ticket.

    I asked a question if we are able to abolish legal injustice will it necessarily result in social injustice?
    Socratic Seminar
    There’s a difference between people doing what’s right and people forced to be doing what’s right. So, I mean like maybe they’ll go through the motions but that doesn’t necessarily mean they’ll change.

    TJ HANIFY: Nobody sat down in that circle until they showed me that they had their work prepared.

    06:30 LANCE BALLA: So after the Socratic Seminar, you had students begin to work on a blog, their argumentative writing, specifically those standards. Why use a blog format? What do you gain out of that that’s, you don’t gain by just having them write, um, a paragraph and, and handing that in? TEXT:
    Argumentative Writing
    TJ HANIFY: One of the important things about trying to bring in these new forms of writing is not just to do it for the sake of the technology and not to say, ha ha, it’s on a web page now, so now it’s a different kind of writing. But because it’s a blog that in particular, they know peers are going to read and give feedback to, it gives them a real audience.
    TJ HANIFY: An important part of learning how to be an argumentative writer is to understand that real people are going to read and respond to your text. So how do you craft your language in a way that will draw them in and make your ideas clear?
    07:12 LANCE BALLA: So overall, you had a number of different components to these different lessons. What are some of the checkpoints that you used to make sure that students were meeting the objectives, demonstrating the skills that are, are articulated in the Common Core Standards?
    TJ HANIFY: There’s always something that I try to look at, so from the beginning, when they walk in the door, show me tho-, the annotated text. Show me the thinking notes. Moving on from that, I’m able to circulate and hear some of their initial ideas and maybe give them some feedback and constructive help as they went to make those slides. TEXT:
    Teacher Checkpoints:
    Review Annotated Text
    Hear Initial Ideas

    TJ HANIFY: The presentations are very important, that sort of graduating on to the next step. But even after that, I had them all write down some example feedback to make sure that, that those specific expectations for student feedback were going to be met as we moved onto the blog. TEXT:
    Teacher Checkpoints:
    Peer-to-Peer Feedback

    07:53 TJ HANIFY: The next day, the great thing about a Socratic Seminar is that thinking is just so transparent it’s out there in the open. I’m able to circulate and see some of the notes that they’re crafting, but everything’s really out there, so I’m able to get a strong feed [sic] for the, or feel for the room. TEXT:
    Teacher Checkpoints:
    Peer-to-Peer Feedback
    Socratic Seminar
    Argumentative Writing Task
    TJ HANIFY: I’m able to get a strong feel for the room so that I know that we’re really ready to move on and have that individual activity of crafting the argument and of writing take place.
    08:06 LANCE BALLA: So it’s clear that the strategy is not the end, in and of itself. The strategy is to get students to those important skills.
    TJ HANIFY: Absolutely.
    08:14 LANCE BALLA: Was there anything e-, that you might have done differently? If you go, go, go back to the two days; anything you might have changed, anything moving forward that you’re going to do differently in the future?
    TJ HANIFY: I think along the way, I gave them a lot of examples of what I wanted to see. But the one real gap was that I didn’t have an example blog, an example of the kind of online writing I wanted to see.
    TJ HANIFY: I made some really clear expectations that even though they were writing online in a blog, it’s somewhat more casual, that as far as tone and also the elements of argumentative writing, they needed to be there.
    08:42 TJ HANIFY: But I think it would’ve been nice if I’d been able to give them an example of, this is the sort of writing that real people do in this particular sort of form and genre. TEXT:
    Next Time:
    Provide Samples of Online Writing

School Details

International School
445 128th Ave Se
Bellevue WA 98005
Population: 575

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T.J. Hanify


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