Thursday, October 29, 2009

Grades went home today

Look for progress reports tonight. 

Students should study for Word Whiz test tomorrow.

Those who have not finished independent reading books (about 10 students) NEED to finish as we have already started our essays on them and will be finishing those essays (first draft, anyway) on Monday.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Word Whiz Review

Tonight's homework is to complete two worksheets in preparation for the Word Whiz TEST on FRIDAY.  Both sheets are due tomorrow, and over 20 minutes was given in class to get a solid head start.  Students SHOULD use their notes if they find that they can not answer automatically.  One sheet is a crossword puzzle using all the language arts terms that we have studied so far, and the other is a combination of fill in the blank sentences and matching definitions for the fun and useful words we have learned this year.   

Monday, October 26, 2009

Reading Project & Homework

Independent Reading projects should be halfway done, since we are halfway through the marking period.  Specifically, students should have completed the reading of their books, and be starting to think about their essays, which we will begin at the end of this week or the start of next week.  Most students are nearly or completely finished their books, but in looking around the room today, I noticed that even though they had a three weeks and a 5 day weekend, some students had still read fewer than 100 pages in their books.  Please check in to make sure your son/daughter is on track to have the book finished in the next few days.
There is no homework, especially since some kids still need reading time. 
The only exception is a few students in Block 4 who had their vocabulary work from the other day returned and had to re-do a portion of it that had not been understood.   

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Work for LONG Weekend

All blocks:  Read in independent reading book; complete green sheet including parent signature; turn in YWP forms if you have not done so already.


Blocks 1 and 3:  Word Whiz review sheets, using your notes.



Friday, October 16, 2009

Fun-filled Friday

In class today, we used our mobile lab of netbook style computers to collaborate on a slide show of the books nominated for the Dorothy Canfield Fisher Award.  It can be seen as a work in progress by students by going to their GoogleDocs folder.  Once it is completed, we will upload it to this blog for parents to see as well.  The students were very excited about the books, and wanted to check them out right away!  It was a great lesson. 


We also began a funny short story called “Ransom of Red Chief” by O. Henry. 


Our homework tonight is much more mundane: 

1.  Green sheets are due for Monday, and students should be ready for a quick, on-the-spot book talk about their outside reading. 

2.  Young Writers Project forms need to be signed and returned.

3.  About 50% of the students have follow-up work to do on the “no excuses” word list we’ve been working on in class.  They have to copy the sentences they got wrong 5 times each.  Correctly, of course.  “Practice makes permanent,” Mr. Etzler always says, so we don’t want to practice something incorrectly. 


Parents: Since your child has a high probability of being a typical middle schooler, you may not have gotten the forms and announcements that have been sent home recently.  Some important ones:

We’re doing a coat/mitten/glove/hat drive for needy children in our community and would appreciate donations being placed outside the nurses’ office.

Parent Teacher Conference sign ups are underway.  Call Mrs. Demasi to make an appointment for next week!

Students are asked to bring in items for Supermarket Bingo (will be Nov 20).  Items for raffle table would be great, along with 7th grade’s suggested donations of canned soup and veggies, gravy packets, and cranberry sauce.


Have a great weekend!!!

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Response to Text Slide Show

News/New work

News: Picture day Wednesday, Young Writers Project permissions due, H1N1 consent/decline forms due


New work:  Due by Thursday is a first draft response to text on “Lather and Nothing Else”.  See notes from class, Google Docs, or this blog for a slide show explanation.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Homework 10/12

1. Please LOCATE the 4 constructed responses on "Lather and Nothing Else" that were written, scored, and returned in September. We wil be using them as pre-writing for our first full Response to Text.
2. Please SIGN and RETURN Young Writers Project permission forms (both sides of the sheet) that were mailed home on Thursday. In the space for student email, write your child's gmail account, which is his/her username plus
3. If you have not already done so, please return the H1N1 vaccine forms that were sent home by mail last week. If you do not want the vaccine, please still return the sheet indicating that you decline the vaccine for your child. The nurses need the forms back.
4. As always, read in your independent reading project book. Be prepared for an informal book talk at any time, but especially on Mondays. Green sheets are due every Monday as well.

Friday, October 9, 2009

Independent Reading Project Marking Period Two

Overview:  Students are to read a historical fiction novel on their own and complete a Response to Literary Text following the 5 paragraph structure and expectations given in class.  Each student has a copy of this information in his or her binder, in his or her GoogleDocs folder, and on my blog ( see posting from October 2008). Students will have one hour of class time per week for reading and/or writing workshop on their books.  Students will be expected to spend an hour of their own time at home every week on the same.  Students will be held accountable through “Green Sheet” checks and informal one-minute book shares. 


October 5:    Green sheet due

October 12:  Green sheet and one-minute book talk due

October 19:  Green sheet and one-minute book talk due

October 26:  Green sheet and one-minute book talk due

**** Try to have book finished by now, and start a new book to read until marking period 3****

October 28-30:  Writing Workshop in class -- first draft Response to Text

November 2:   Green sheet and second draft Response to Text due (double spaced).  Peer conferences in class

November 5:  Final draft of Response to Text due. Response to Text must be typed or in cursive and single spaced.  All drafts and feedback need to be attached behind final.

November 12:  Formal Book Talks in class.  Book Talk should be one to two minutes long, include a visual component, and address:  title, author, main characters and description, historical aspects, basic plot, setting, theme, conflict and resolution.