Ep 159: The Two Game-Changing Sentences That Will Instantly Improve Your Students’ Essays - EB Academics

Ep 159: The Two Game-Changing Sentences That Will Instantly Improve Your Students’ Essays

“How do I teach justification of evidence?” We get this question all the time from teachers! Whether you call it justification, analysis, or explanation, this podcast episode can help you improve the way in which your students use reasoning to support their evidence.

Listen as Caitlin and Jessica discuss the two sentences that are sure to take your students’ justification to the next level. They will walk you through the simple steps of this approach, which will not only improve your students’ writing, but reduce your grading load, too. 

Jessica and Caitlin will also show you how to scaffold your lessons by using sentence stems, plus how to spiral learning so students practice justification all year (without writing a million essays). This episode will help empower your students with a simple writing strategy, and make the process of reading student writing so much more pleasant for you!

Tune in now to hear:

  • [01:00] Caitlin and Jessica introduce a common question among teachers: “How do I teach justification of evidence?”
  • [01:40] Caitlin shares a relatable story about her beginning years trying to teach justification.
  • [03:40] The importance of taking clear steps in approaching writing
  • [05:00] Jessica explains how improved student writing will cut down on grading time
  • [06:00] The advice explained in this podcast comes from the EB Writing Approach. Join our waitlist to join the EB Writing Program, which will help you go even deeper with these methods! When you join the waitlist, you will receive access to a helpful 3-part video series, packed with great teaching advice for justification and more.
  • [07:10] Jessica breaks down the body paragraph, where these two game-changing sentences will be so important.
  • [08:00] This first justification sentence will come after the premise and evidence, and will support the premise by explaining how the evidence supports the premise.
  • [08:30] The second justification sentence will come right after the first, and will support the claim by explaining how the whole paragraph (premise, evidence, and first justification sentence) supports the overall claim of the essay.
  • [09:40] Be patient with this process – for many students, this will take practice.
  • [10:00] As students improve, they can move from two-sentence justification to using three or four sentences (adding elaboration and details).
  • [11:00] How does this look in action? Jessica walks listeners through a simple example paragraph that uses this justification approach.
  • [14:40] The importance of practice, practice, practice! Caitlin discusses how to spiral this learning throughout the year, without overwhelming yourself or your students
  • [17:00] Why teaching justification is so important: the relevance of justification in everyday life
  • [17:50] Jessica discusses the Choose Your Own Adventure February 2022 Bundle for members of the EB Teachers’ Club. A great way to review justification!
  • [19:00] Teaching justification doesn’t have to be overwhelming – Jessica reminds listeners that you can offer short response practice, not just whole essays.
  • [20:00] Using sentence stems to scaffold learning (and how to take off those training wheels later)
  • [23:20] Podcast wrap-up – the three key points for teaching justification:
    • Focus on those two game-changing sentences that tie the justification to the premise and the claim
    • Practice consistently all year
    • Utilize sentence stems as needed (join our waitlist to get a list of sentence stems in one of the three-part videos you will receive)
  • [24:20] Join Caitlin and Jessica next week, as they share a simple tweak to make lesson planning easier!

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Then, pick the date you’re going to teach it in your classroom, and sit back while you watch as your students show up to your classroom pumped about what the day holds…and gush about your class to their parents on the car ride home!

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