[NOTE TO READER- I feel the need to mention that I wrote most of this post while sitting outside the shopping mall, waiting for my family to pick me up. In a minivan.]
My first class of 6th Grade Round 2 was Language Arts. I got to learn about the kids’ research projects and the Tarzan Talk/Jane Talk method of notetaking. The kids read through the information and write down 3-4 keywords from the reading (this is Tarzan talk); then they take the keywords and write sentences explaining what they are about (this is Jane Talk). The Jane Talk is what they use in their final presentations. I really like this method actually; it was easy to understand, easy to explain, and easy to put into practice. I wish I had known about it when I was in school.
After that we read for 20 minutes; I selected “The BFG”, by Roald Dahl – a favorite of mine from my childhood. After the reading, we learned about RDF writing. A short synopsis of this method is we were given a question, and were to write an eight sentence paragraph answering the question, with a Topic Sentence at the beginning, six supporting sentences, and a conclusion [Adele’s paragraph was about how much she loves her brother; it was about the sweetest damn thing I have ever read. I totally choked up a little]. You write your Topic Sentence on a piece of paper, and branch it off into three RDFs (Reasons, Details, or Facts). There’s more than one way to do this. I opted for the web diagram because I liked the way it looked. The kids were working on the final display copy of their paragraphs which they had already written, so we parents had to write our own RDF paragraphs. The question we had to answer was “Why is it great to be an adult?” Here is my essay (to the best of my recollection, since I left the essay at school for Adele to read):
Being an adult has its ups and downs. I can do whatever I want for fun, but I also have to make sure I have enough money to pay bills. I could go to movies, concerts, and plays all the time, but then I would not be able to pay for rent, food, and other expenses. I get to decide what to have to eat, but I also have to buy the food and prepare it [well, at least when Ian’s not home]. When I was a kid I almost never had to cook for myself or buy my own food at restaurants (unless I was out with my friends). I don’t have to go to school anymore, but I do have to go to work. Instead of teachers telling me what to do, I have bosses and customers. Being an adult is not all fun and games; it’s actually a lot like being a kid, only with more responsibility.
Stay tuned for the next installment, where you will learn about my nearly mortifying wardrobe malfunction in gym class!