See the latest update sent below:
We had an awesome first week back! The new routines seem to be really helping! Here is the update for this coming week:
Monday - we will have our independent reading time and participate in the book talk. We'll then discuss rules for using commas and practice that a bit. We might start Ch. 2 to ensure we have enough time to read it and really enjoy the chapter! Homework will be to read their independent reading book.
Tuesday - we will finish reading Ch. 2 and complete several activities. Those include answering comprehension questions, comparing one of the scenes to the movie, and a bit of discussion. Homework will be to read their independent reading book.
Wednesday - we will finish the Ch. 2 activities with a discussion of the literary element of flashback, and they will complete a reader's response (structured writing in the form of a paragraph). This one will be for a grade. Homework will be to finish the reader's response if they didn't finish it in class and to read their independent reading book.
Thursday - we will spend time reading and discussing part of Ch. 3. It is a pretty long chapter, so I plan to break it up with some discussion. Homework will be to read their independent reading book and study their roots.
Friday - after the root quiz, we will start class with a student survey that should only take about 15 minutes. Then we will complete the Ch. 3 activities that include comprehension questions and making predictions. Homework will be to read their independent reading book.
I want to take a second to thank those who gave to the fundraiser through the Chandler Education Foundation (CEF). I was surprised on Friday to learn that my request for a grant was chosen! I received $500 to purchase several different games and activities that will develop vocabulary and story-telling! Thank you for the specific support with that fundraiser, but also for the daily support I receive from all of you. I'm so thankful to be a part of such an amazing district and school.
Have a wonderful week and please don't hesitate to reach out with questions or concerns.
I hope everyone has had a wonderful fall break! While I've enjoyed time with family and friends, hiking, fishing, reading, and relaxing, I'm ready to see the kids and start one of my all-time favorite books: The Outsiders! We won't jump in on Tuesday - I want to see if they've been reading over break! But Wednesday will be the day we get started with some introductory activities. We will only have a class set of novels, so if your students need to reread at home, they can check an extra book out from our school library or you may purchase one for them. They can be ordered from Scholastic for $9.50, but you can also check Half-Price Books or Barnes and Noble. I hope the kids like it as much as I do! Here are the plans:
Tuesday: We will have a little bit of independent reading time then they will participate in the independent reading check. While I varied this during first quarter, I want to streamline this and have them do the book talk each week. If students are absent, they just have to fill in the front side of the document. I hope this will cause less confusion and also keep conversations about books going all quarter long! After completing that, I will discuss a few other changes to independent reading that I hope will also help students. I'd like to sample some books and then we will review phrases, clauses, and modifiers. Homework is to read their independent reading book!
Wednesday - We will work through some introductory activities related to our new novel. They will look at some of the vocabulary used in the text and then work through a survey that will help them think about the possible themes of the novel as well as some of the issues that arise. The essay for this quarter is an argumentative, so this activity should get them thinking about some of those issues and where they stand in the various scenarios. Homework is to read their independent reading book.
Thursday - We will read Ch. 1 together - taking notes. Then we will work through some comprehension questions, compare and contrast the two groups represented in the novel, discuss some literary elements, and (if there's time) work on a Reader's Response Question. We'll also do some additional practice with phrases, clauses, and modifiers. This work may extend into Friday, and that is okay! I don't want to rush. Homework is to reading their independent reading book.
Friday - We will have our weekly root quiz and then finish any work not completed on Thursday. We might also take a look at various plot elements. Homework is to read their independent reading book.
Another change to try to streamline things and make things less confusing: I had been putting copies of notes on the school website. My plan moving forward is to put copies of notes and resources in Google Classroom. Many students have already downloaded the app, so I'm hoping this will make it easier. If you would like to have guardian access to the account for your student, let me know!
I hope you all have a wonderful fall break! Attached to the email version of this message is the Fall Break "Home"work. It is for extra credit when they return. Some students were absent, some left early, and some made the sad choice to throw it away. It is completely up to them, but I stressed the importance of spending time reading AND spending time with loved ones. Why not reflect on it for a minute or two AND get some extra credit? When we return, they will have an independent reading check - so I hope they find some time to read!
Thank you for a wonderful first quarter! I'm so excited to take some time to really look ahead to all the awesome things we will do next quarter, but also spend time with family and friends!
I hope everyone was able to get out and enjoy the slightly cooler weather! I know I did and am so thankful! Fall is coming!! Here is the update for this week:
Monday - We will have time to finish the Final Drafts of the essay. Some kids already finished and they look good! I'm so proud of all of the students for persevering through this challenging task! Those already done will have time to read or work on other homework. Homework is to read their independent reading book.
Tuesday - Because they worked so hard on their essays, we will not have a test - we will work through the test materials together. The main purpose for this last test was to evaluate them on the skills we have been working on for the quarter and expose them to the types of questions they might encounter on the semester exam. They will still get to assess themselves, but it won't be something that will create a lot of pressure! Today, we will read the short story and the article - taking notes as we read. Homework will be to read their independent reading book.
Wednesday - We will work through the "test" together - as long as they work hard, they will get a classwork grade. We will also spend time discussing the article. Homework will be to read their independent reading book.
Thursday - We will spend some time reflecting on the quarter. I will have several questions that I want them to answer to help evaluate my teaching and seek their suggestions and advice for second quarter. Any additional time will be spent sampling books and reading. Homework will be to read their independent reading book.
Friday - We have our spirit assembly in the morning. During class, I hope to get to the library for a special genre presentation. If the schedule doesn't allow for that, we will spend the shortened classes previewing books and reading. I really hope that each student will read over break. I have a unique homework assignment for them during their 2 weeks off - make sure they show it to you!
Please let me know if you have any questions or concerns!
As we get closer to fall, I'm so ready to have some time to get out and enjoy cooler weather and the beauty of nature. It's coming!! I hope you've all had a wonderful weekend. Here is the update for this week:
Monday - I didn't get to check all of the FEBCGOs (graphic organizer) due to deeper conversations with the students as I checked their work. While the students work through the Independent Reading time (status of the class and Independent Reading check), I'll finish checking those. Then all of the students should all be working on the Essay Planner packet. While they work on this document, besides the direct quotes that they have chosen for their evidence, they should be revising the rest. That is truly the purpose for each step: to grow in their writing abilities. Homework will be to keep up with the process and read their independent reading book. The Essay Planner is due no later than Wednesday! **1st period will lose some time this day due to a presentation, so they may need to do a little more work at home.**
Tuesday - This will be a work day on the Essay Planner. Homework is to keep up with the process and read their independent reading book. Essay Planner is due tomorrow!
Wednesday - I will check off the Essay Planner by the end of class. They will then start their Rough Draft. Again, during this step they should ensure that their essay flows smoothly, revising their work as they piece it all together. Homework is to keep up with the process and read their independent reading book.
Thursday - This will be a work day on the Rough Draft. Homework is to keep up with the process and read their independent reading book.
Friday - They should finish their Rough Draft today. When they finish, they will work through a Revise/Edit checklist, then they can work on their Final Draft. The Final Draft is due no later than Tuesday at the beginning of class, though I would LOVE for them all to bring it in completed on Monday. Homework is to keep up with the process and read their independent reading book.
Please keep an eye on their progress. With over 120 students, I do my very best to ensure they are keeping up and doing all they need to do in order to be successful, but having a second pair of eyes on the process would be so helpful! Have them tell you about the person they researched and what they are learning about writing an essay. If they can't explain it to you, please have them come see me before school or during lunch!
I appreciate your support so very much! Let me know if you have any questions or concerns!
Here is the weekly update for my classes:
Monday - We will spend time with our independent reading books, completing the status of the class and then doing an independent reading check. We will then read an informational text through Google Classroom to practice reading a text on a computer. They will discuss in small groups and then we will look at the text as a whole class - discussing turning points mentioned as well as analyzing the structure of the text. Homework will be to read their independent reading book!
Tuesday - We will review structured writing and then they will respond to a prompt based on the reading we did Monday. Homework will be to finish the writing if they do not finish it in class along with reading their independent reading book.
Wednesday - We will be going over the essay prompt - "How can a turning point in someone's life lay a new foundation or create a new beginning?" They have already done a short writing on this, but now they will consider how they can utilize their research or choose someone else to focus on as they consider the prompt. We have been looking at a lot of examples of this and considering cause and effect all along the way. This will be a long process, as I break down the writing process into several different steps. I will show them the graphic organizer I start with, called the FEBCGO (Finding Evidence-Based Claims Graphic Organizer). They will get started on this. It will be due Friday. Homework is to stay on top of the planning/writing process and continue to read their independent reading book.
Thursday - This will be work time on the FEBCGO. Homework is to stay on top of the planning/writing process and continue to read their independent reading book.
Friday - We will go over the second step in preparing for an essay in my class - The Essay Planner. As they transfer the information from the FEBCGO, they will be adding their explanations, adding brainstorming for the introduction and conclusion, and really planning out their essay. This will be due next Wednesday. Homework is to stay on top of the planning/writing process and continue to read their independent reading book.
The essay is the culmination of our learning and counts as a major part of their grade. I can't wait to see what they produce!! After we get started, please check in with them and ask them how they are doing with the process. Please reach out with any questions or concerns.
I hope everyone is enjoying the weekend. I'm so thankful for another day to spend with family and friends! Here is the update for the week:
Tuesday - We will spend some time reading our independent reading book. Then the students will participate in an activity that will enable them to share what their book is about with a classmate. This activity will be the weekly reading grade. Then any student not finished with their project will have the rest of class to finish it. For those that are done, I have a few activities ready or they can choose to continue to read their independent reading book. Homework will be to read!
Wednesday - The students will each present their projects in small groups. Their peers will each grade the presentation, and each student will fill out a self-evaluation grade. Homework will be to read!
Thursday - I hope to finish any presentations not completed on Wednesday and then we will spend some time reading or practicing sentence types. Homework will be to read!
Friday - We will begin with the root quiz. We will then take notes on phrases and clauses. We will also look at misplaced and dangling modifiers. We'll end class with some practice on those concepts. Homework will be to read!
As always, let me know if you have any questions or concerns!
I hope you've had a wonderful weekend! Here is the update for this coming week:
Monday - We will begin a project that will last the entire week. The librarian and I have done some research on historical/famous people who have experienced significant turning points similar to those we've read about in our short stories. The students will read through the articles and texts in order to gather evidence pertaining to the turning point and the effect of the turning point. They can use a graphic organizer I created or take notes in their notebook. The graphic organizer/notes is due no later than the end of class Wednesday. Homework is to read their independent reading book.
Tuesday - Research continues. They should also start sketching the plans for the project. Their choices are to create a newspaper page, magazine page, cartoon, or a one-pager (they will see a few examples of this). They will also receive a copy of the rubric so that they know exactly what is expected. The final product is due next Tuesday at the beginning of class (ideally, turning it in by Friday would be wonderful, but I will give them the long weekend to finish it if they need it). Homework is to be sure they are keeping up with the project and read their independent reading book.
Wednesday - They should finish the research today and begin working on their project. Homework is to be sure they are keeping up with the project and read their independent reading book.
Thursday - Project work time. Homework is to be sure they are keeping up with the project and read their independent reading book.
Friday - Project work time. Homework is to be sure they are keeping up with the project and read their independent reading book.
This project is a major grade, so it is vital that they keep up with the work. This could also be incredibly helpful for the essay that will be coming soon, so I cannot stress the importance of this week enough. Please reach out with any questions or concerns.
I hope you've had another wonderful weekend. We had our first test this week. It was a tough one. Some students really did an amazing job. I know others are a bit concerned - they can see me before school (except Tuesday) if they want to make corrections.
Here is the update for the coming week:
Monday - Because of our guest speaker, I had to postpone the root quiz until today. Be sure they have studied! We will have our weekly reading time, complete the status of the class, and they will write me a letter or draw a picture depicting what they've read this week. They need to do their best to finish their book and write a book review by the end of the week! We will also take notes on Author's Purpose and Structure of Text. Homework is to read!
Tuesday - This is a half day due to conferences. The classes I see will just spend time reading. Homework is to read!
Wednesday - We will spend some time reading an informational text, make connections to the short story from last week, and then dig deeper into the article looking for central ideas, analyzing structure, and citing textual evidence. Homework is to read!
Thursday - We will get connected to Google Classroom. It is my hope that this can be a better resource for finding notes and the .pdf of our texts. I also hope to use this tool once a week for learning and writing. They will participate in a discussion question and then submit a structured writing assignment. Homework is to read!
Friday - We are going to discuss research skills - paraphrasing, summarizing, quoting, and citing works in MLA format. This will lead to a research project starting next week that I am so excited about!! More to come on that... Homework is to read!
As always, please reach out to me with any questions or concerns.
I hope you all are having a wonderful weekend. I have to tell you, I have really enjoyed reading the latest Quickwrite on "Turning Points." There are some amazing stories that the students have shared. I'm so thankful for them!
Here is the update for this week:
Monday - We will have some time to read our independent reading books, fill out the status of the class, and they will participate in a book talk (so they need to be sure to have been reading AND have their book with them). Then we will take some notes on characterization and point of view. Homework: They should read their independent reading book AND study the notes. The test will be Thursday!
Tuesday - We will dive into the textbook to read one of my favorite short stories - "Thank You, M'am" by Langston Hughes. They will complete some activities in the book. If we have time, we will discuss the story. Homework: They should read their independent reading book AND study the notes.
Wednesday - I'm so excited to have them participate in what I call a "World Café" - it's a more interactive way to analyze a piece of writing - we will be looking at plot, suspense and conflict, characterization, and point of view. It's a lot of information, so I hope they can stay super-focused during this more interactive practice. Homework: They should read their independent reading book AND study the notes.
Thursday - Test day! It will be over the story "Thank You, M'am" and have questions that will connect to plot, suspense and conflict, characterization, and point of view. Homework: They should read their independent reading book.
Friday - Officer Cole will be coming in to speak with them about some important topics. Homework: Continue to read their independent reading book.
Let me know if you have any questions or concerns. It's going to be a busy, but awesome week!
Here is the schedule for this coming week:
Monday: We will have time to read our independent reading book and do some activities with it - please make sure they bring it (they should have it every day). We will take some notes on Suspense and Conflict. We will also spend a little bit of time practicing the different sentence types and formations. Homework is to read their independent reading book and study their notes.
Tuesday: I will introduce them to the text for the week - "Rikki Tikki Tavi" and we will read it together or in small groups. There will be a quiz over this text on Thursday, along with application of the information on suspense and conflict. Homework is to read and study their notes.
Wednesday: We will work in small groups deeply analyzing the text - looking at plot and elements of suspense and conflict. Homework is to read and study for the quiz.
Thursday: Quiz over "Rikki Tikki Tavi" and suspense and conflict. Any extra time in class will be independent reading time. Homework will be to study their roots and read their independent reading book.
Friday: We will have our weekly root quiz. Then we will have a QuickWrite about the theme for the essay this quarter - Turning Points. We will then watch the cartoon version of "Rikki Tikki Tavi" to solidify our understanding of the story as well as compare the filmed version to the text. Homework is to read their independent reading book.
I hope to see you all Tuesday night! The students in were given an informational sheet that they should've given to you about that night. Reach out to any of us on the team if you didn't get the information. As always, let me know if you have any questions or concerns!
I hope you all have had a wonderful weekend! I just finished putting the final touches on the assignments for this week. Here is what we will be doing:
Monday – we will start the week with an independent reading status of the class and reflection – they will write me a letter telling me about their book. We will then take notes on the elements of plot and do several practice activities with that. Homework is to read their independent reading book and study their notes.
Tuesday – we will complete more practice with the plot elements and then do a first read of “Seventh Grade” by Gary Soto. We will end the class with a video orientation of the library. Homework is to read their independent reading book and study their notes.
Wednesday – we will take a trip to our amazing school library where students will go through orientation and then they can check out a book if they haven’t already found one. The rest of the time will be spent reading (it’s that important to me!). Homework is to read their independent reading book and study their roots and notes.
Thursday – we will take notes on sentence types and sentence formation. This will be a lot of information, but it is just an overview and the beginning of our work with this information. They we will have a QuickWrite focusing on first impressions. They should complete a second read of “Seventh Grade” looking at first impressions and trying to identify the elements of plot within the story. Homework is to read their independent reading book and study their roots and notes.
Friday – we will have our root quiz (we start each class with a root a day, then take a quick quiz every Friday on the roots of the week), then we will get into small groups to discuss/review plot elements and the short story in order to prepare for the plot quiz. They will then have a quiz over plot elements.
Please don’t hesitate to email me if you have any questions or concerns.
It was wonderful to meet so many of you yesterday at Stormin' Days. I cannot wait to see all of the students on Tuesday. It is going to be a wonderful year! I plan to send an update with the agenda for each week through Infinite Campus. These updates will usually go out no later than Sunday afternoon. Please know that there might be changes, but I will do my best to notify you should that happen.
I would like to clarify the supply list because I do not want their backpacks to become too burdensome. For the first day for my class, students really need to bring either a notebook (composition or spiral), or have a section in a binder for my class with a folder to store handouts. They should also bring a couple of pencils and try to have a couple of different colored pens with them. Once we really start digging in, the other items will be needed for interacting with various texts and annotating.
For the coming week:
Tuesday - We will focus on getting to know each other and a little bit about the expectations for my class. The syllabus will come home that afternoon.
Wednesday - There will be more community building activities and then we will do a quick reading and writing activity.
Thursday and Friday - I will be sampling some books from my classroom library. We will then dive into some collaborative writing activities. They are so much fun!
I want every student to have an independent reading book with them every day. They should also try to read that book every night. For those that struggle with reading, I will do all I can to help them find a book or materials to read, and our librarian is amazing!
Please don't hesitate to reach out to me if you have any questions or concerns. Have a wonderful weekend!