Thursday, April 30, 2009

Marking Period Ending Friday

Only one class has homework tonight -- Block 2 has to do a short worksheet.  Please note that Friday is the end of the marking period. 
All work (make-up work, assignments, essays, signatures from parents) needs to be in by tomorrow for credit.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Wednesday April 29

No new Homework tonight... HOWEVER, the marking period ends this Friday and many students still have work outstanding.  Ask your child if he / she still hasn't turned in any of these major assignments, that I'll still take with a late penalty:
  • Journal S - Z
  • Cumulative Review worksheet
  • Mystery novel project
  • 2nd draft original poem with 1st draft attached
  • Pronoun packet
  • Grade report signed by a parent
  • Test on capitalization and punctuation SIGNED and corrections made to second page

FYI -- We began our poet research today in the library.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Poem to write, Poem to memorize, Poet to study!

Tonight’s homework is to write a NEAT second draft of your poem.  It needs to be about an ordinary event (like mowing the lawn) that becomes extraordinary (exaggerate it!!!).  It should have a simile, metaphor, personification, or onomatopoeia. It should rhyme OR have a regular rhythmic pattern.  It should be 8 lines minimum.  It should have strong verbs and colorful adjectives (“rubbery blubbery macaroni”)


A new set of poems were handed out today (on green paper), and each student needs to memorize ONE of them for a recitation next Monday (May 4).  They also still need to be able to recite last week’s poem as well.


A new PROJECT was handed out in class today.  We’ll be working on a research project / response to literature paper.  We’ll be researching ABOUT a poet and reading and analyzing some of his/her poetry, then writing a paper fusing the biographical information with the poetry analysis.  Most of the work will be done in class, and due to the size of the packet, I am requiring students to keep the packet in my classroom.  Parents are welcome to see the packets if they stop in at the end of the day, or at School Report Night.  The cover sheet for the packet is below:


Poet research project


  1. Choose a poet from the following:



  • Langston Hughes
  • Walt Whitman
  • Edward Lear
  • Carl Sandburg
  • Emily Dickinson
  • Robert Frost
  • Lewis Carroll
  • Edgar Allan Poe
  • ee cummings
  • Edwin Arlington Robinson



  • William Carlos Williams
  • Maya Angelou
  • Paul Janeczko
  • Anne Bradstreet
  • Phillis Wheatley
  • Sara Teasdale
  • William Wordsworth
  • William Blake
  • Ogden Nash
  • Jack Prelutsky



  1. Read 5 of his/her poems
  2. Complete an analysis sheet for each
  3. List 10 to 15 words that you think describe his/her poems
  4. Read about the poet and his / her poetry and take notes using the form I give you
    1. One to two online sources (websites like
    2. One to two print sources (magazines, encyclopedias, books)
    3. One article from the GALE DATABASE
    4. *Optional* CD-ROM source, such as Grolier or Encarta
  5. Write a first draft of a report on your chosen poet, using your research notes and your analysis of the poems.
    1. 1st paragraph includes hook, brief biographical information on poet, thesis statement:  The three words that I think best describe blank’s poetry are: zing, zang, and zong
    2. 2nd paragraph all about why you think blank’s poetry is zing.
    3. 3rd paragraph all about why you think blank’s poetry is zang.
    4. 4th paragraph all about why you think blank’s poetry is zong.
    5. 5th paragraph wrapping your report up, summarizing your main points, and encouraging your reader to read this person’s poetry
  6. Turn first draft in
  7. While it is being checked over, create a Works Cited page.
  8. Type second draft, revising as necessary
  9. Turn it in
  10. Proofread, edit, revise as necessary
  11. Turn in final copy with Works Cited and analysis sheets attached


Monday, April 27, 2009

homework April 27

Marking period independent reading projects are due tomorrow (unless exempted due to NECAP)


Poems that were due today are due tomorrow with a late slip for those who did not turn them in today.


Blocks 2 and 3 have a test on GUM that needs to be signed, as well as corrections to do on section A of the second page.  They also need to write out section B as a dialogue, regardless of how well they did on that section.  Be sure to start a new line and indent every time the speaker changes.  Watch out for titles of chapters (in quotation marks) and titles of web sites (underlined or in italics).


Block 4 has a worksheet on possessives due tomorrow.



Friday, April 24, 2009

poem and greeen sheet

Tonight's homework is the usual green sheet, the mystery project (due Tuesday), and to finish the poem we spent about 30 minutes on in class.  The poem needs to be 8 lines minimum, should rhyme, and should be humorous by exaggerating an ordinary event (like the ones we've read in class about hanging laundry, doing homework, soda bottles, and hot summer days).

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Test tomorrow

Recitations are over (except for a few select students), and kids did VERY well for the most part! Congratulations!
Test tomorrow on last set of Word Whiz words. It will include some old words as well.
Also, an updated average with details of assignments was given to students in blocks 2 and 4. Students in block 2 are required to have a parent or guardian sign the report.
Block 3 students will (I hope) come home with updates on Friday.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009


Students had a great time today playing the games they had created in small groups to review for the vocabulary test on Friday.  Good work!!!
A packet of pronoun worksheets was given to the block 2 and 3 classes.  It is due on Friday. 
Mystery novel projects are due on Tuesday, April 28.
Poems will be recited tomorrow (Thursday).

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Same homework as Monday


Monday, April 20, 2009


Homework for the next three nights is to MEMORIZE one of the eight poems I handed out today.  Students will be reciting their chosen poem in front of the class on Thursday.  Their grade will be based on four things:
1.  Stating the title and author
2.  Accurately reciting the poem word for word
3.  Fluency of the recitation (ie:  smoothly saying the poem in a way that shows that they know it well and understand it)
4.  Poise (ie: how the students carry themselves in front of the class -- body language, vocal tone, et cetera)
Students are working in class time to review vocabulary for a test on Friday.  Reviewing at home would be a GREAT idea, too!
Get those MYSTERY BOOKS read and get working on projects.  Projects are due on the 28th of April (next Tuesday).

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Thursday Homework and Mystery Novel Project

Tonight’s homework is two worksheets for blocks 2 and 3 reviewing semicolons, colons, and general punctuation; homework for block 4 is a worksheet on quotation marks in dialogue.


One more day until vacation!


There will be no new homework over vacation, but mystery books need to be finished ASAP.  Projects are due April 28th.  Projects are as follows:




1).  After reading a book, each student selects a book report container.  This container can be a plastic bag, a manila envelope, a can, a shoebox or any other object that can hold items

2)  The students decorate the container to convey major details, elements, or themes founding the book.

3).  Students will then work on the contents of their container.  They will need to include the following:

  • Questions-Write ten questions based on the book.  Write five “right there” questions and five more questions that require some more thought
  • Vocabulary-Create a ten word glossary of unfamiliar words from the book.
  • Things-Include five things (objects) that have a connection to the story.



1).  The student composes eight questions to ask a main character in the book.  The students write the character’s response to each question.  The questions and responses should indicate the student’s knowledge of the story without giving away the most significant details.

2).  On the day the assignment is due, the student will either dress up as the main character or use props to depict what the character has an interest in.


1).  Each student creates a front cover of a newspaper that tells about events and characters in a book just read.  The newspaper must include\:

  • Title-That is appropriate for the book
  • Major Story-This is where the student writes a summary.
  • Comic Strip-Illustrating an event from the story.
  • Editorial-Students write an opinion about the book.



1).  The students will write at least six diary or journal entries that might have been written by the main character in the book just read.  The entries should share details about the story that will prove the students read the book.

2).  The students will then make a cover for their character’s diary.



Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Wednesday homework

Tonight’s homework is only for blocks 2 and 3, since block 4 was unable to meet due to testing. 


The homework is two double-sided worksheets of punctuation and capitalization review for an upcoming test (Friday, I hope!)


Many students may have completed part or all of the worksheets during testing time.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Mr. Buzzell says...

Don't forget to eat a good breakfast!  Testing tomorrow!


Tonight's homework is the same as yesterday's.

Monday, April 6, 2009


Homework due WEDNESDAY is journal entries S - Z and an entry on the Hampstead Players.  One page each.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

odd day

Today was a truly odd day. Due to testing (SAT-10) only block 4 had class. Students in block 4 have a peach colored sheet to complete for homework, but no other students have homework.
I found out that some students are moving ahead in their journals and writing on a Y topice in anticipation of tomorrow's homework, which is fine. I encourage students to be proactive as much as possible!
On a less happy note, Progress reports go home next week, and I am still missing many Final draft persuasive essays and signed word whiz tests. This is particularly a problem in BLOCK 2!!! Parents, please rattle your kid's tree a little bit about getting those in to me. We're going to have a big handful of disappointed ball players when the progress reports say "incomplete!" Your help is much appreciated!


Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Journal writing continues!

Journal tonight, please, on a topic that starts with X.  I am allowing a loose interpretation of "starts with X", so that students may use topics like: Extreme sports, Excellence, and Extra-terrestrials as well as your actual X words like Xylophone or X-ray vision.  If they are really stumped, they may use a dictionary and title their entry "Words that start with X", then make a list of all the words they can find (definitions, too, please).  Have fun with it!
Remember that SAT - 10 testing starts tomorrow, so please make sure your kiddos have plenty of sleep and a good breakfast.