Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Gratitude

As we approach the celebration of Thanksgiving, please know that I often reflect on how fortunate I am to be teaching you and getting to know your families. Your desire to learn, to work hard, and to share your knowledge (that's a compound subject) makes coming in to work each day a positive experience for me. As you probably know, I am always searching for ways to make YOUR experience equally engaging.

In the coming week, we will have the pleasure of sharing the excitement of middle school with the 5th grade shadow buddies. In class we'll wrap up our study of The Giver; I will explain how the 6th L.A. midterm will be administered; we'll do some diagramming work; and we'll begin Unit 8 V&R. Please note you have a major writing assignment (newspaper article) due on 12/12. If you wish to turn in a rough draft for me to edit, do so by 12/8 so you will have time to make changes. You will also have Journal Entry #7 due 12/8 as well. Plan your time accordingly.

Monday 12/1: Annotation of The Giver BRING YOUR BOOK TO CLASS!, Distribution of midterm study materials

Day 2 (Tuesday/Wednesday): Diagramming practice, questions about Unit 8 words/roots, Murder Files (No, I won't tell you about this until class!)

Day 3 12/4: Pros and cons of uniformity, the ending of The Giver, Murder Files

Day 4 12/5: "B" schedule Rock Shabbat! Easy Grammar 57-61, Direct Objects, Murder Files

HOMEWORK:

- Begin learning Unit 8 words/roots,
- Work on your Newspaper Article (due 12/12)
- Edmodo Journal entry due 12/8

From the Unit 7 test bonuos: polymorphic = able to change into many forms (poly = many, morph = ability to change, ic = having the form of)

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Finally! A block schedule!

HOORAY! I am so glad to finally have a regular week's schedule. This allows us to have our modified instruction which will be blended. The topics for guided portions of class are listed below. This week will allow us to accelerate for those of you who have demonstrated readiness. I have the final say on who is and is not ready for acceleration.

Those students, who I will meet with on Monday during class, will begin reading Among the Hidden which we will use to compare with The Giver. Additionally, students whose final 1st Trimester average was 95 or higher will be producing a podcast for our class. I will tell you more about that this week.

Your parents will receive an email late Monday explaining the Newspaper Article which I will assign in class on Monday. You must take the Unit 7 vocabulary and roots test on either Thursday or Friday. You may take the Punctuation/Capitalization test on Fri., Mon., or Tues. If you know you will be out next week, you will be taking the U7 test Thursday and the Mechanics Test on Friday.

Day 1 (Monday)
- Guided (everyone): Newspaper Article, irregular verbs (E.G. pp. 45-48)
- Independent: Check your work on the Capitalization/Punctuation pages in E.G./complete your index cards/ annotate The Giver, finish Edmodo Journal #6 (You cannot access the animalselfies site at school. Plan accordingly.)
- Accelerate: Receive Among the Hidden
- I will be checking vocabulary and roots for those of you who scored below 90% in that category 1st Trimester. I will let you know on Monday who you are. If you scored 90-100%, you are doing a super job and will be exempt from this grade!

NOTE: If you are taking the Cumulative 4-5-6 Recovery Test, you must do so during Study Hall on Monday or Tuesday of this week.

Tellus Essay revisions are due on FRIDAY - NO EXCEPTIONS. Simply fix your essay on Google Docs.

Day 2 (Tuesday, Wednesday)
- Guided: citations and plagiarism - knowing when to use quotation marks
- Independent: Telescoping Text for more descriptive writing, diagramming practice with D.O., compounds, E.G. 49-53
- Accelerated: Podcast topics and writing

Day 3 (Thursday)
- Guided: irregular verb tense, symbolism in The Giver (It is EVERYWHERE!)
- Independent: Small groups will practice irregular verbs with a fun online game
- Assessment: U7 V&R Test

Day 4 (Friday)
- Assessment: U7 V&R Test OR Mechanics Test (Punctuation and Capitalization)

Saturday, November 8, 2014

Short Week but MUCH TO DO...

***Will has a BRILLIANT tip for you all! Do you have more than one Google account? Have you forgotten which account you created your Google Doc in? Simply share your document with your other email address, then you will have it in both places!!!***

We have a regular Monday, and "A" schedules Tuesday and Wednesday. No school Thursday and Friday for Parent-Teacher conferences. I am modifying the GUIDED lessons to cover annotation for The Giver, which we did not get to on Friday.

- Complete pages 267 - 286, 307-309 in Easy Grammar
- Continue working on making your punctuation cards. You will need these for the Punctuation Test which will be offered 11/21, 11/24 and 11/25.
- Be reading and annotating (with sticky notes or a grid) The Giver. Not sure what to annotate? Take a look at the PowerPoint (link is on the side of the blog).
- Journal entry #5 is due on Monday, 11/10. Journal entry #6 will be up on Tuesday, 11/11, due 11/18.
- You have changes to your Weebly due on Nov. 17, including a blog post ON WEEBLY, not Edmodo.

IN CLASS, I will help you plan your work.
Here is the schedule of GUIDED sessions:

11/10 - Annotation, commas with clauses/coordinating conjunctions, accessing Kaizena for your essay feedback
11/11 - ("A" Schedule)Conflict in literature *EVERYONE NEEDS TO PARTICIPATE IN THIS LESSON"
11/12 - ("A" Schedule)Vocabulary Unit 7 - answers to Easy Grammar pages will be available for you to check your work.

Irregular verbs, scheduled for Monday, will be moved to Monday of next week.
Thespians auditioning for the musical...BREAK A LEG!!!

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Tellus Essay

I am moving the grade for the Tellus Essay to second trimester to allow time for you to revise and resubmit AFTER I HAND BACK THE GRADES. If I leave the essay in first trimester, some students who would benefit from revising will not have that opportunity. When I have all the essays scored (probably Monday) I will be able to enter them into next trimester's file on NetClassroom. PLEASE DO NOT modify essays until I have completed scoring them all and have a chance to provide feedback.

For all of you who wrote about Foucault's Pendulum (and for those of you who didn't but thought it was interesting) this vid shows you what happens when you alter the length of the string/wire from which the bob hangs. The reason that the waves change patterns has to do with math and equations.

Sunday, November 2, 2014

The next few weeks...

As we move forward with implementing the new method of covering our content for Language Arts, I am finding that we need to look beyond the immediate week, enabling you to plan your work. Over the next couple of weeks, we will cover: completion of the Tellus Expository Essay, Cumulative Vocabulary and Roots Test (units 4-5-6), completion of the punctuation/capitalization unit, conflict in literature, diagramming sentences and more.

BY NOVEMBER 12, YOU SHOULD HAVE COMPLETED -
- Turn in the Tellus Essay via Google Docs 'Share' to both Mrs. Stein and Mrs. Healan (end of L.A. Day 2)
- Take the Cumulative V&R test on either 11/6 or 11/7.
- Complete pages 267 - 286, 307-309 in Easy Grammar
- Continue working on making your punctuation cards. You will need these for the Punctuation Test which will be offered 11/21, 11/24 and 11/25.
- Be reading and annotating (with sticky notes or a grid) The Giver. Not sure what to annotate? Take a look at the PowerPoint (link is on the side of the blog).
- You will see a new journal entry on Edmodo beginning 11/3.
- You have changes to your Weebly due on Nov. 17, including a blog post ON WEEBLY, not Edmodo.

IN CLASS, I will help you plan your work.
Here is the schedule of GUIDED sessions:
11/3 - Field Trip
11/4 and 11/5 - Anyone needing assistance with the Tellus Essay will be my first priority.
11/6 - Direct Objects, diagramming, contractions (you should have completed through p. 44 in Easy Grammar)
11/7 - Helping verb phrases, punctuation clarification
11/10 - Irregular verbs
11/11 - ("A" Schedule)Conflict in literature
11/12 - ("A" Schedule)Vocabulary Unit 7

Hints for the Tellus Essay:
- This is an EXPOSITORY ESSAY. Write in third person only. See the chart of pronouns I provided.
- Follow the instructions provided to create an inverted funnel.
- Follow MLA format.
- Cite the sources of your research using EasyBib. The link is on the blog. (You need two sources.)
- When you have completed your Webspiration PREWRITING, submit your document to Mrs. Stein.
- Proofread, proofread, proofread! Use the PEP3 method for the most effective results.