Sunday, August 31, 2014

No way! WAY!!!

ABC’s “Schoolhouse Rock Special” will air Sunday, Sept. 7 at 7 p.m.

Friday, August 29, 2014

Another incredible week!

You all did an amazing job with the lessons on segregation, Civil Rights, and current events. We will come back to these topics several more times during the year. Surely the Torah was speaking to us as we heard "Tzedek, tzedek, tirdof" this week! I would love to say I planned that, but I didn't, which makes the timing that much more powerful. We also began our grammar studies. Always remember that you are being judged by the way you communicate - that's the society in which we live, and the reason I am a stickler for correct G.U.M.S.

Next week we focus on the writing process with the essay comparing Kenny and Byron, and a visit by nationally recognized educator and storyteller, Marilyn Price. She will help us understand how to use words that enable your audience to visualize the story you are telling. We'll also have the Unit 2 vocabulary and roots test. Tutorial for this test will be on TUESDAY MORNING beginning at 7:25.

For those of you headed away for the long weekend, safe travels!

Tuesday and Wednesday: Organizing notes on Kenny and Byron, introductory paragraph, Webspiration Classroom
Thursday: Vocab and Roots Test Unit 2
Friday: Guest Marilyn Price

Journal Entry #2 is due on Tuesday, by 7 pm.
Keep reading OOMM. Those of you who have finished, don't tell others what happens!
Study for Unit 2 V&R test
Due on Friday: Easy Grammar pages 287 - 289, Exercises in English p. 128 which I will provide. Note - you will turn in p.128 for a homework grade on accuracy.

For those of you who wanted to see Victor Borge's Phonetic Punctuation again, or those of you who missed it, here it is: Phonetic Punctuation

Friday, August 22, 2014

Week of 8/25

We continue our examination of Watsons go to Birmingham, focusing on the main characters and how they change. On Monday, we will have an activity related to this content, and we will be integrating our core values of tzedek, chochmah and kehillah as we discuss Civil Rights. Later in the week we will continue our pre-writing work for the upcoming essay. Moving on to Unit 2 in vocabulary and root words, we will spend less time in class reviewing the words but will address any questions and clarification needed. The second journal entry will be assigned, and we will continue our study of grammar reviewing prepositions and helping verbs. Finally, we will continue building the ePortfolios, focusing on blogging and microblogging (Twitter). Please keep reading Out of my Mind.

Day 1: Turn in idea for Parts of Speech project
Discrimination and Civil Rights activity/discussion

Day 2: V&R Unit 1 Test will be returned
V&R Unit 2 Clarify any word confusion
Continue finding evidence for Byron & Kenny's character traits

Day 3: Grammar through page 14, intro to punctuation unit

Day 4: Essay instructions, rubric
Complete set up of ePortfolio if not already done
Add blogging page, discuss Twitter


Due Day 2: Complete your roots cards and 2 sections of vocab Unit 2
Due Day 3: 2 more sections of vocab
Work on journal entry, which is due 9/3
Due Day 4: Work on journal entry, which is due 9/3, complete Kenny/Byron character trait sheets if not already completed

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Avatars and ThingLink

ThingLink is not cooperating. I will be showing everyone what I had planned to do, then we will brainstorm in each block what we will do instead. Simply make sure you have an avatar ready to use for later. How much later? I'm not sure yet. We'll figure it out together. Save, print, or screenshot your avatar. We'll problem solve together.

This is my superhero avatar - I'm lighting the way for your path of learning.

Friday, August 15, 2014

Week of 8/18

This week we begin analyzing The Watsons go to Birmingham. Please bring your book to class. We will discuss the writing process as we embark on preparation for the first essay comparing the two main characters in the book. We simultaneously begin reading our first in-class novel, Out of my Mind. I will provide you with a pacing chart for your reading, which will be completed outside of class. We'll also begin our work on grammar and will continue studying for the vocabulary and roots test on Thursday. Finally, we'll build a website that will serve as a digital portfolio for each student for the next three years.

NOTE: TUTORIAL for the vocabulary and roots test will be on TUESDAY, 8/19 beginning at 7:30
(Tutorial cannot occur on Wednesday because I have morning carpool duty.)

You may have noticed that I have not updated the class calendar on the tab above. I am working on creating a grade-wide calendar, rather than just Language Arts, that will record all subjects in one place. Please be patient.

Day 1: Distribution of OOMM and the first project (Parts of Speech), discussion of Watsons
Day 2: The writing process, note-taking and analyzing the Watsons
Day 3: Vocab and roots test Unit 1, ePortfolios
Day 4: Grammar

Due on Day 2: Journal #1, read OOMM, study for V&R
Due on Day 3: Be prepared for vocab and roots test
Due on Day 4: Stay current on your reading of Out of my Mind, create an avatar, attach to our Thinglink (instructions will be provided in class)

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

How do you make a Lego object without talking?

At, first the blank stares were of utter disbelief. Then, excitement spread throughout the room...silently. Students were tasked with creating objects with a partner using random Legos, but were not permitted to talk. This is an exercise that demonstrates just how vital clear communication is. Additionally, this task helps students think creatively. The rules limited only what they could NOT do - and said nothing about what they COULD do. As a result, students got creative! (As I hoped they would.) Some wrote instructions to one another on paper, many used hand signals, and some mouthed words. One bright pair walked over to an object in the room, pointed to it, shook their heads in agreement, and got to work. That was all the communication necessary. This assignment leads us into a discussion of language, and the importance of clarity and specificity.

Monday, August 4, 2014