May 31

May 31/16 Sample Letter of Concern – My Letter to Saskatchewan Roughriders Organization

Your next assignment coming up is to write a Letter of Concern or Complaint. This will include formatting your message, tone, and purpose more carefully in order to get the type of response you’re hoping for.

As an example of this type of writing, I’m sharing with you the Letter of Concern I wrote earlier this year to the Saskatchewan Roughriders Organization. It was in response to bullying behaviour my family and I were subjected to by a number of people in a group of seasons ticket holders. I spent quite a bit of time drafting and revising this Letter of Concern, specifically because I wanted it to be well-received and result in action on the Roughrider Organization’s part, which it certainly did.

I was very pleased that, after reading this letter, the following happened:

  • the Security Manager called my brother personally to offer an apology for how we were treated and got more information from him of the day’s events
  • the Security Manager was able to finally get a meeting, specifically as a result of this letter, with the Rider Organization Managers to address security issues that were ongoing and not yet addressed
  • it resulted in some formal changes being approved after that meeting and more specific security features enacted, such as:
    • more security personnel in specific parts of the stadium
    • cards being handed out pre-game with text info to request security’s assistance during the game
  • for my brother, 10 already-purchased seats for an upcoming game were upgraded to be positioned directly behind the Roughrider bench
  • He was also given pre-game field passes for h to observe the warm up and interact with the Rider players.

We were very happy with the actions taken by the organization as a result of the concerns relayed through this letter. A carefully articulated message can definitely draw results, which is what you are to consider as you will play a role in future issues being addressed in Canada.

Sample Letter of Concern: My letter sent to the Roughrider Organization


March 15

Mar 15/16 Review Steps for Rewriting end of The Outsiders

So you’ve been writing up a storm! The end of the novel we read wasn’t satisfying enough to you, so you are rewriting the ending! Good for you!

As you’re winding up, here are a few review steps for you to follow to put a real polish to your work!

  1. Go through your Google doc and add a Comment to identify when each of the following steps occurs:
    1. any other rising action steps
    2. beginning of the climax action
    3. beginning of falling action
    4. beginning of your resolution
  2. Review the length of your writing. You picked up after “the rumble” and before the “climax, but you shouldn’t have too much more written leading up to your climax; the climax should come fairly soon in your writing. You also want to consider how long or short your climax development is, the falling action and resolution.
    Ask yourself if things are well-paced or evenly spread out in your writing? Or do some things take a long time to happen while others are short and choppy?
  3. Peer Edits – Finding the Errors by Ear
    You can look over your writing 10 times and still not find errors that are right there, because you’re so involved with your own work; you’ll miss seeing them. That’s where a peer editor comes in. Pick a partner or friend who will read your story out loud and record it for you. Then, while you listen to them reading it, listen for the pauses or moments of confusion in their voice when what’s written slows them down from smoothly reading and understanding. Those will be the places where you’ll have to review your work again for corrections.
  4. Formatting features to review/correct:
    1. Any spoken dialogue (other than Ponyboy’s internal narration) needs to use quotation marks.
      1. Make sure there’s a beginning and end quotation mark for each time you’ve used them.
      2. Make sure there’s no space between the quotation mark and beginning of the spoken phrase.
      3. Make sure if the dialogue addresses someone, it uses a comma to separate their name from the part communicated. (see red comma)
        Make sure you use a comma in the spoken dialogue if the whole sentence doesn’t end there. (see blue comma)
        Ex: “Darry, you’ll never make it,” I cried out as he headed down the road.
    2. Capital letters
      1. Check that each beginning of a sentence includes a capital letter.
      2. All names and names of places need capitals as well.
    3. Check that, if you used indentations, you used them consistently for your whole piece of writing.
    4. Possessive S corrections. If there is ownership of something, an object or emotions, it requires an ‘s.
      Ponyboy’s brother, Dally’s rage, Johnny’s injuries, Darry’s mood.
  5. Running Edits through Grammarly/Hemmingway
    1. Copy your writing text into a new Grammarly document and let it scan for errors. Download the PDF from Grammarly and upload it to your AR Assess and Reflect Page in your Blog as another example of corrections identified in your writing. You can label it “March/2016 Grammarly Edit Suggestions of my Writing”.
    2. Use Grammarly to decide on the suggested edits – accept them or not. When finished, copy your edited work and paste it into your Google doc BELOW your first, original draft. Be sure to identify this as edited work.
    3. There’s another program you can run your work through for edits. It’s only downloaded on the back/corner pc for now. It helps identify passive voice and difficult/very difficult sentences that need to be corrected or broken up.
January 19

Using Transitions

Activity for students: The following sentences are about the same topic, transitions, but they do not flow well at all. Rewrite the same paragraph but make it your own and create a smooth flow by including transitions to guide the reader through the ideas. Post your paragraph both as a comment to this one and on your own blog. If you can, highlight in yellow the parts that are transitions.


Writing can seem choppy. The sentences don’t seem to fit together. Readers are not engaged by that type of writing. Sentences can be in the same paragraph if they share a topic. Paragraphs should be about more than a shared topic. People use transitions when they speak. It comes naturally. People who read a lot use transitions naturally. Other people struggle with them. It is a skill that has to be practiced. It can be developed. The benefits are huge.

January 20

ELA Instruction Videos

Students will be writing their ELA A10 final exam next week and were given a handout that lists all the “skills” covered in the course that they are expected to have Mastered at this point. Their final exam will measure how well they have learned and can demonstrate those skills.

Understanding that some students are still struggling with a few of these skills, I have recorded some instruction videos to embed here so they can access the videos from home. These should be a helpful review in particular areas, if they need it.

The videos cover:

  • Elements of Literature (pt 1) *pt 2 failed to record, so that’s still coming
  • Figurative Language explanations and examples
  • Practice finding figurative language in poems
  • Integrating references into your own sentence (for body paragraphs)

Hope they’re of some use to you.

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