Friday, August 18, 2017

Diving in...

Thanks to each of you for a great first week! I can already tell we are going to have an excellent year together. Here's what we have coming up:
WEEK OF 8/21 - 8/25

* First novel: Watsons go to Birmingham
* Annotation, evidence
* How to learn root words
* Grammar - parts of speech vs. parts of a sentence
* Diagramming - interjections


1) Begin reading Watsons go to Birmingham according to the pacing chart (you may read ahead, but do not spoil the plot for others).
2) Membean: 45 minutes, split into at least three sessions, by Sunday night
3) Journal Entry #1 on Google Classroom, due Friday by 5pm. Make sure you click TURN IN when finished.
4) Begin learning root words - 1 every other day


This is a video interview with the author. The username and password are available on Google Classroom. Meet-the-Author Program | Christopher Paul Curtis

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

LET'S ROLL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I'm so glad you are here! This week is all about getting adjusted to a new building, a new schedule, and new teachers. We will talk about the summer reading, Membean, grammar, and Google Classroom. Don't be afraid to ask even the most embarrassing of questions. (Yes, most teachers will let you go to the bathroom during class. Yes, you will dress out for P.E., but not on Monday!) Get used to checking this blog - as you can see, it contains LOADS of valuable information.

If you misplace your syllabus (which has a page you must bring back signed), click HERE to download another copy.

Here are a few photos from today's Bingo Scavenger Hunt! CLICK HERE

Thursday, July 6, 2017

Rest up, students!

I can't wait to get to know you, incoming sixth grade students! If you somehow missed the information about summer reading, you must read TWO books. The information can be found on the Middle School Media Center page.

You have assignments to complete for both books. Git 'er done!!!

See you SOON!!!

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Your last assignment

Please follow this link and complete the survey for me. Yes, I really do read the responses and try to make the next year better based on what you tell me.

Thank you!!!

THIS IS FASCINATING!!! Lightning strikes in real time

Monday, May 22, 2017

Monday in-class review

Who Wants to be a Millionaire?
You will need to create an account on this site, then look for Finals Review under the Millionaire games.

Detailed parts of speech (category matching)

Sorting conjunctions
This one requires Flash Player, so it may not work on the classroom computers. Click PROCEED at the bottom of the page.

Want to practice diagramming? Here's a powerpoint for you. Don't advance to the answer slide until you have drawn your diagram! Diagramming Practice

Additionally, on the computer cart is a sheet with sentences. Use this to practice labeling PARTS of SPEECH and PARTS of a SENTENCE. The answers are hanging to the left of the carts under the black construction paper. Please don't move the answer key.

FYI, this group was one of the fastest at untying the Human Knot: CLICK HERE

Finally, this is a link to the poetry recitations. CLICK HERE The password is on the classroom whiteboard. Please do not share the password outside of our school (yes, you may tell your parents.)

Saturday, April 29, 2017

Slow and steady...

The next few weeks will be filled with new information as well as review. Because there are many assessments coming up, I have created two calendars, one for finals preparation and one for due dates and assessments. I recommend checking these calendars daily. I will give you paper copies in class but will keep this post pinned to the top of the blog for your reference.

* LEARN YOUR POEM...a line or two each day!

* The Membean final vocabulary assessment for this year will be in class on May 12. As you have learned, using the website CONSISTENTLY and with variety is the key to success. I have turned off new words to allow you to master the existing list you have. To quote Mrs. Cohen, "You're welcome."

* I have the due date (FINALLY) for your novel: May 15. As I assigned it last week, this gives you more than enough time to complete it if you are reading 12-15 pages a day. I know someone will ask, "What if I don't finish?" Well, your final writing assignment is based on the book. So I suggest you read it.

* You will note that I have added a link to a new Symbaloo page that has MANY online resources for finals review. If you find one that is VALID that you think other students would use, let me know and I will add it. (Thanks to Brooke for two new ones!)

* I just came across this vid, which addresses some diction issues in a funny way.

* To accommodate for Shavuot, your LA and math finals are now on May 30. You will also have a year-end math assessment and grammar assessment separate from finals. The grammar assessment will NOT be counted in your LA grade for the trimester.

* If you would prefer to see the calendar in a larger view, follow this link.

Saturday, April 22, 2017

Busy week ahead!

This week will be filled with all kinds of activity!

Monday: A special schedule that allows us to observe Yom HaShoah and to hear from a survivor. In class, it is your last class period to complete your Jewish Passport.

Tuesday: Interfaith Field Trip to Queen of Angels Catholic School. You will use your Passport to help teach the Catholic students what it means to be Jewish.

Wednesday: Block 3 will be creating Black-out poetry. Block 6 will have a word game day.

Thursday: Blocks 4,5,6 will create Black-out poetry

Friday: Yom HaAtzmaut celebration at the Lower School.

HOMEWORK THIS WEEK: Be reading a novel of your choice. You should have selected your poem and notified me of your selection no later than the end of classtime on Monday. Be learning your poem a line or two each night. 45 minutes of Membean due Sunday evening, April 30.

NOTE: Verse on the Green will be the morning of May 12. Do not procrastinate in learning your poem!

Monday, April 17, 2017

Project Week

Welcome back! I hope you enjoyed your time away from school. This week we dive right back into the Jewish Passport project, which is due on Monday. If your group has not yet been able to print the Hero's Journey comic due to absences on the Friday before Spring Break, that needs to happen Tuesday or Wednesday.

On Friday of this week, there is a grammar test that covers conjunctions, basic comma rules, phrases and clauses. I gave you a study guide the Wednesday before Spring Break. In the last blog post, you can find several links for practicing these concepts.

There will be a review you can complete independently. Anyone needing extra help should ask during class or attend tutorial Wednesday morning at 7:30. You have all of Day 2 and Day 3 to work on the passport or get clarification on grammar.

Next Monday we have a Yom HaShoah observance. On next Tuesday is our interfaith field trip to...
Queen of Angels Catholic School in Roswell. Click here for their website.

Saturday, April 1, 2017

CTP IV Testing

This week will include standardized testing and the group project on The Hero's Journey. We are all looking forward to a much needed spring break! For "homework" you should be reviewing the notes on our current grammar unit (conjunctions, phrases, clauses) a few minutes each night. You can also be working on your "Jewish Passport" at home, if you wish. Plan on returning your novel by Friday.

That's it! Please get plenty of sleep, eat a healthy breakfast, and practice relaxing.

Here are some links for grammar practice. The test will be 4/21.

Fragments, comma splices
Prepositional phrases
More on conjunctions
Using commas

Dependent and Independent
and more on clauses
and Subordinating conjunctions

Friday, March 24, 2017

Second Star to the Right!

Break a leg, Thespians! I wish you all a FABULOUS show. Get lots of rest!! This week we will finish up our last grammar unit. Because the test will not happen until April 21, you will have plenty of time to review and get extra help if you are still confused. You should finish your novel this week. You will work on a project based on the novel in class NEXT WEEK.

Monday Day 1: types of phrases (sheet in G/W workbook), pages 2 and 3 of the packet
I will introduce a joint LA/Jewish Studies project on Monday which will be due April 24.

Day 2: appositives, clauses
You will meet with Lit Circles again to work on creating a plot structure chart for your book as well as identifying the settings.

Day 3: Independently, work on pages 6-9 in the packet. On page 10, practice diagramming some of the sentences from page 9. Answers will be available for you to self-check.

Day 4: Membean Test. I will introduce a literary concept called The Hero's Journey.

Sunday, March 19, 2017

Thumbs up on that!

Well, the Native American cultures study integrated unit is a wrap. Based on your feedback, it most definitely achieved the teachers' goal of helping you to see that everything and everyone is connected in some way. For those of you whose interest was sparked in archeology, architecture, art, or music -- keep learning! The web makes it easy to investigate on your own. Instead of going for higher scores on, go exploring here.

We have a shortened week due to parent-teacher conferences.
Monday = regular schedule: continuing our work on phrases and clauses
Tuesday = "A" day: continued work on phrases and clauses, Block 5 will have Lit Circles
Wednesday = "A" day: notebook clean out, formal vs. casual writing

Monday and Tuesday we will continue with grammar, focusing on types of phrases and clauses. On Wednesday, we will have a notebook clean-out. I will help you determine what to keep for finals.

Looking out a bit farther on the calendar, CTP IV testing will be 4/3 - 4/6. We will have a "B" schedule those days.

1) You have another journal entry due Friday. See Google Classroom for the prompt.
2) Continue expanding your vocabulary on Membean. The next test will be 3/31.
3) Your novel is due 3/31. You will have a project due 4/7, which we will work on partly in class the week of 4/3.

Finally, if you haven't recently checked in on the eaglets, you won't believe how quickly they have grown. The older chick is stretching his/her wings and moving about on those prominent claws. Check out this screen shot of the dad on "guard duty". He has brought back fish for the family to eat. Mom is still tearing bits of meat and handing it to the chicks. Eventually, they will begin pulling the meat themselves.

Monday, March 13, 2017

End of Trimester

This week we will complete our study of local Native American culture by completing and discussing "The Leap," the short story by Louise Erdrich. We'll look at the five required elements of a short story.

On Day 3 is a Membean Test, then we will examine Native American poetry and its similarities to Jewish prayer.

Day 4 will include our first lit circle discussions on the sci-fi/fantasy genre novels.

New journal entry due Friday afternoon. See Google Classroom for the prompt.


Sunday, March 5, 2017

Native American Connections

This week we explore the interconnectedness of all earthly inhabitants. Block 6 will be combined with Mrs. Cohen's class in the Media Center all week. All other blocks will be in the Mac Lab, unless construction noise forces us to move to the Green Wall Lab again. Continue with Membean and reading your novel. The novels should be finished by the end of the month. Next week we will have our first lit circle meetings.

I will return the essays in class tomorrow. FYI, no one scored 100%, and a few students will want to revise and resubmit no later than Friday for a revised score up to 75%.

Monday - You may finish working on the group tasks from Friday. If your group completes all four tasks, you have the choice to help others or work on your previous Jewish Studies project.

Tuesday - Thursday "A" schedule days. You will have a series of tasks that will compare Judaism and Native American ceremony and ritual. We will read a short story by a Native American author and analyze the elements of literature in the story, and we will talk about how heritage influences a writer.

Friday is our annual Purim celebration. Dress up! Have fun! Any essay revisions are due to me in the morning 3/10.

Monday, March 13 will be our field trip to Ocmulgee National Monument where your teachers have prepared a series of activities that will help you understand the importance of the culture we are examining right in our own backyard.

Tuesday, March 14, we will continue with the integrated unit as we look at poetry from this culture and how similar it is to our own prayers in tefillah.

The eaglets are growing so quickly! This bird of prey is highly valued by Native Americans and protected by the U.S. Government.

Sunday, February 26, 2017

Adar! Fun and frivolity!

From Mr. Frank: Spirit Day – February 27
In honor of Rosh Hodesh Adar, we’ll dial up our Davis ruach for our third Spirit Day Monday. Students and Faculty are invited to wear Davis uniform bottoms or jeans and any Davis Academy spirit top.

I know you all want your essay grades. Please be as patient with me as I was with you. I want to make sure to give you feedback that will help you improve your skills. That will take a few days.

Remember: Tutorial for the Verb Unit on Monday and Tuesday during study hall. Recovery assessment Wednesday during study hall.

Enjoy reading this unit's novels. Standard annotation: questions, comments, predictions, and connections. You should be finished with your book by March 31.

This week:

Day 1: Avoiding fragments, run-ons, and comma splices.
Day 2 and Day 3: Descriptive writing - how to make your sentences more elaborate and specific.
Day 4: Our Native American ancestry and how it connects to our ancestry as Jews.

Homework this week: Continue with Membean and read your novel.

NOTE: Friday is a "B" schedule as we kick off Adar with all-school Kabbalat Shabbat.

FYI...the eagle chicks are about 2 weeks old. Here's a recent shot:

Thursday, February 23, 2017


You have until the end of class tomorrow (Friday) to complete your essay.
You do NOT need to "TURN IT IN" on Google Classroom.
You DO need to PRINT your essay, including Works Cited, and any prewriting (outlines, bullet points, brainstorming).

I can help you with this in class tomorrow.
Thank you!

Monday, February 20, 2017

Organizing among chaos

For those who were concerned, I rescued the plant from the classroom Friday afternoon. It was getting blasted with the monster blow dryers. I am extending the essay due date one additional day to give us time in class on the introduction and conclusion. The essay will be due, FIRMLY, on Thursday by the end of the school day. You will have our regular Day 2 and Day 3 to work on the essay in class. On Friday will be a Membean Test, then I will hand back the Peak Test and Verb Unit Test, assuming all students who missed either one have taken them.

I will hopefully distribute the next novel sometime this week. You will choose a science-fiction or fantasy novel from the ones I will have available to you. I can't distribute these until the elevator has been repaired, so the date is currently unknown.

Remember that we now meet in the Mac Lab for class. Bring your computer, if you wish. We will have the classroom computers available.

NOTE: Unable to document original artist.

Sunday, February 12, 2017


This week we will complete the Verb Unit as well as the first draft of the essay. No journal entry again; focus on the essay. Continue with Membean - test next week. Return Peak. The Peak Test will not be returned until all students have taken it.

Day 1: Review for the verb unit test. HA!HA! Just kidding!! Enjoy your day off. I am! If you are hanging out with "nothing to do," PLEASE spend some time on your essay. I have left comments on all essay drafts. Additionally, you can review for the verb test by using these activities:
Jeopardy Game (it has some banned words - I didn't create it)
Irregular verb wheel
Subject Complements/Objects Game

TUESDAY: Please continue working on your essay. Here is a link to the information I had planned to share on the introductory and concluding paragraphs. INTRO/CONCL

WEDNESDAY: "A" Schedule - Verb Unit Review
THURSDAY: "A" Schedule - Verb Unit Test

No class on Friday or next Monday. We will all enjoy the long weekend coming up!

Pushing everything back two days means the essay will be due 2/22 and the Membean Test will be on 2/24.

Sunday, February 5, 2017


While I don't yet know the outcome of Superbowl 51 (LI in Roman numerals), it is my hope that the Falcons pull out the win! Whether or not they succeed, we will have school, and that means wrapping up our Peak novel study. BRING the book TO SCHOOL this week.

Day 1: You will prepare for the short answer test on Day 3. BRING THE BOOK with you to check annotations.

Day 2: I will explain the difference between paraphrasing and plagiarism. I will also provide more resources for the writing portion of your notebook - transition words and phrases, using third person point of view.

Day 3: Test over literary elements in Peak, focusing on conflict and plot structure.

Day 4: Work on the essay. I will explain the difference between parenthetical citations and a "works cited" page.

Your first draft (whatever you have completed to this point) is due Friday afternoon. TURN IT IN on Google Classroom. I will review and return it to you to continue working on next week.

HOMEWORK: Make sure you have noted conflict in the novel.
Continue to use Membean to grow your vocabulary.
There is no journal entry this week. Work on your essay instead.
Review the information you learned in the verbs unit. Try the irregular verbs wheel.
Link to irregular verbs wheel: CLICK HERE

Sunday, January 29, 2017

Our Ascent Continues...

IMPORTANT UPDATE!!! Please go to Google Classroom and read the post regarding the Slides. I am moving all slides information to a new doc. If your slide is gone, it means I have already moved the information. If your slide didn't have any information yet, there is no entry on the Google Doc for you. SCROLL through the Google Doc to see if your information needs to be updated.

You should complete reading Peak. We will be discussing important points in the last part of the book; if you have not completed it, you will be lost. You will continue to research and identify facts to support your position (your opinion) for your essay as well as help fill and use the conflict chart for Peak.

Day 1: Finish creating your slide on the article you were assigned. Then, find another article on Explora to share with your fellow researchers. Create a slide for that source as well.

Day 2: Membean Test, then activity on sources of conflict. Any remaining time is for essay research and pre-writing.

Day 3: By the end of class, you should have identified your three main reasons that will support your thesis.

Day 4: Identify facts to support your paragraphs. Use an organizer of some kind!

I will no longer be checking Membean, but if you choose not to study the words, you won't fare well on your assessments. The next Membean assessment will be 2/15 or 2/16 (your Day 3)

Journal Entry #12 is up on Google Classroom.

Sunday, January 22, 2017


Our school begins a brand new "chapter" as the arts wing opens and our cafeteria service begins. On Monday we have a "B" schedule as we enjoy our first service in the new chapel. Friday is a "B" schedule as well, when you will have a chance to see the 8th grade TED ED Club projects. You will learn more about this on Friday.

Day 1: You will receive information about the next writing assignment. Your journal entry for this week will be to construct a poem. I will explain the details in class.
Day 2: I will explain the last piece of our verb unit. You will add information regarding essay structures to the writing section of your G/W notebook. I will check on your Irregular Verbs Chart.
Day 3: How to create an effective 8-sentence paragraph, work on poem. If poem is completed, begin researching facts for the essay.
Day 4: Present your poem to your classmates. EVERYONE needs practice speaking in front of a group.


Continue with Membean. Next test will be 1/31 or 2/1 - your Day 2.
Continue reading Peak and annotating for conflict (I will go over this on Monday).
Work on your I Am... poem.

NOTE: Here is a link to the irregular verb wheel game: CLICK HERE


Monday, January 16, 2017

Beginning our ascent

IN GRAMMAR: We will continue in our verb unit studying the many irregular verbs.
VOCAB: You have a Membean assessment on our normal Day 3 (Wednesday/Thursday).
LITERARY ELEMENTS: We will begin our study of types of conflict. All well-written novels have multiple types of conflict in the plot.
PEAK: I will explain about acclimatization. It will answer the question, "Why do they have to keep going up and down the mountain instead of just climbing up?"

Tuesday/Wednesday: Intro to irregular verbs, acclimatization, inverted sentences agreement practice
Wednesday/Thursday: Membean assessment, types of conflict
Friday: Irregular verbs practice


- You will receive a chart of irregular verbs. Work on filling this in a little each day. DUE 1/24
Here are the verb forms: IRREGULAR VERBS
- Continue reading PEAK
- Membean 45 minutes by Sunday evening
- Journal #10 NOTE: this may be turned in online OR in person

Here are the resources I showed in class: acclimatizing Short climbing video

Sunday, January 8, 2017

Week of January 9

You should be reading Peak each day. It is an incredible story, not true but based on facts. You may find MANY words in this book you need to look up to understand. Cairn, garish, precarious, audacious are a few. Here is a Quizlet set from a student of another school you may find helpful: Peak vocab

This week I will give you some background information about tagging, urban climbing, acclimatizing and Everest. Additionally, I will return midterms and the newspaper grades. Ms. Garrison will be in class on Day 3 to check your Weebly. Be sure you have it updated as requested in advisory.

I will also be getting us going on the next grammar unit - verbs. Make sure you have your Grammar/Writing notebook in class this week and next.

You should begin studying Membean again. Next test on 1/18 or 1/19 (your Day 3). You have a journal entry on Google Classroom due Friday, 5pm. ****Please see the bottom of this post if you are interested in my own entry for this journal. I will be completing the tasks I ask you to complete and will share my progress with you.****

For those interested, this is a 3-D view of the mountain: Everest 3-D
Be patient; it takes a while to load.

Photo: Everest Camp 4. Digital image. N.p., n.d. Web. 8 Jan. 2017. .

To read my journal entry about one little word, follow this link: journal entry 9