Thursday, September 30, 2010

homework tonight

Most classes have had a break from homework for the past few nights.  Block 4 has a sample NECAP to complete for homework.  It was begun in class, and over an hour was spent on the first part, making sure students understood the types of questions and the types of responses needed. The second part needs to be done independently, as an extension of the classwork. 

Monday, September 27, 2010

Word Whiz Test One

Tonight's homework is to show your parents your Word Whiz Test, have it signed, and return it to me tomorrow.  This is part of an ongoing effort to keep your parents informed about your progress in my class.  If you did poorly on the test (75 or lower), please also CORRECT the test, attaching additional pages as necessary, so that you can continue the process of learning these words.  These words will be on every vocabulary test this year, as it is a cumulative program.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

homework due Friday

Homework due on Friday is a 4 page packet of test prep, which includes an excerpt about Tarzan.  Students were given the packet after they finished their test on Wednesday, so many of them completed it while waiting for their peers to finish testing.  It is officially due Friday.

Monday, September 20, 2010

homework tonight

Test coming up on Wednesday in vocabulary.  A worksheet is going home tonight to complete as a review.  This worksheet is due tomorrow. 


Also, Letter #2 is due on the 22nd.  You should be 2/3 finished with your book before writing this letter.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Weekend Update

I will be seated in the soaking chair at Applefest tomorrow!  Come say "Hi" and even give it a try!  We appreciate your support for this school fundraiser.

This weekend there is no new homework, though some students are finishing up work started in class today or are catching up on missing assignments.

Just a reminder that Letter #2 is due on or before the 22nd, letter # 3 is due on or before October 5, and the students will be doing book talks in front of the class on October 7. 

We'll be starting our 21st century skill-building on Monday with the assigning of student emails and the sending of our first message in language arts class.  If you've never taught a technology skill to a room full of adolescents, you probably wouldn't realize that it feels as monumental as taking those first steps on the moon!  Wish me (and your child!) super-human patience!  :)

Progress reports should be coming home on Thursday, so keep an eye out.  Feel free to call your child's advisor or Mrs. Demasi if one does not come home with your child. 

Enjoy the sunny day tomorrow after this week of cold and rain.  I know I will. 

Thursday, September 16, 2010

test coming up and homework

Two things to mention today.


1.  Next week, probably on Tuesday, we will have our first BIG test on our Word Whiz.  Word Whiz involves the learning of “fun and useful words,” word parts (prefix, suffix, root), and language arts words (like setting, characterization, et cetera).  Students will be reviewing in class, but are also encouraged to STUDY at home.  To get this started, I gave students a review sheet today that they can use to prepare themselves for the test.  I’m not requiring this be done, but strongly suggesting it.  The review sheet would be a one pager that they could carry with them and grab a quick study minute in various parts of their day, if they chose to. 


2.  Homework tonight is to complete the constructed response on The Velveteen Rabbit that we began in class. 

Wednesday, September 15, 2010


Tonight, please write an original sentence for each Fun and Useful word we have learned so far.  Be sure that your sentence is long enough and detailed enough to show that YOU know what the word means.  Block 4 students, write 5 sentences. 


I apologize for not posting last night’s homework in a timely fashion.  As a result, I will allow students one extra night to complete the assignment.  Last night’s homework was to complete a two-sided worksheet.  The heading was “Reading Comprehension -- Recognizing Fact and Details.”



Sunday, September 12, 2010

News and Events

After school study officially begins this Monday. We offer this service free of charge to all of our students Mondays - Thursdays all year.  Please encourage your son or daughter to take advantage of this opportunity!  

Applefest is this Saturday (September 18th).  Please come and support this whole-school fundraiser.  Middle School teachers will be taking turns in a soaking booth!  Middle School students are asked to bring in a 6 or 12 pack of soda to contribute to the fund raising for Applefest.  If possible, please send the soda in to TA by Wednesday.

Yankee Candle fundraiser for 7th and 8th grade trips began last week, and runs for the rest of the month.  This is the primary fundraiser for the 7th and 8th grade, and offsets the cost of the big year-end trips for our students.  Many students last year did enough fund raising to go to New York City for free! 

Keep your eyes out for an invitation to our Open House on September 29th.  We are asking that this be an event ONLY for middle schoolers and their parents.  If you must bring a smaller child, we will try to provide child care in a separate location, so that you can focus on your middle schooler and his / her teachers.

CROP Walk is also coming up -- on September 26th.  Many FHGS students, parents, and staff have supported this endeavor in the past.  If your child wishes to walk and raise money to feed the hungry in our community and around the world, he or she can get an envelope and instructions in TA.  If your child is not available to walk, but you'd like to donate, please contact your child's advisor. 

By my count, we are 12 days in to the school year, and "all is right with the world!"  We have a super group of middle school students at Fair Haven Grade School.  You parents are doing a GREAT job! Remember that we teachers are reachable by phone and email, and we appreciate hearing from you.  Let's have a great year!

Friday, September 10, 2010

Outside reading

Remaining dates for the Independent Reading Project:


Read 2/3 of book and complete Letter # 2, due on or before 9/22

Finish book and complete Letter # 3, due on or before 10/5

Book Talks presented to class on 10/7

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

This week's homework

Due on Friday, September 10th:

Students must write a letter to Mrs. Wald.  The letter must be 200 words, and follow correct business letter format as reviewed in class and illustrated on page 7 of the assignment book provided by the school.  The letter may be either typed or neatly hand written.  The content of the letter is a summary and response  to the first third of the book being read outside of class (an adventure book).  The letter will be assessed on a variety of factors, including grammar, spelling, format, organization, details, et cetera. 

The students had an extensive explanation of this in class today.  A two-sided handout was given to all, and placed in their binders.  The handout includes the rubric that will be used to assess the letters and a sample letter written last year by a student of mine.  Time was given in class today to begin the letter, and time will be given at least one more day this week, allowing for a check in to make sure students are on the right track; however, the majority of the work will need to be done at home. 

As the marking period continues, students will continue this "outside reading project."  They will need to read to the two-thirds mark, write a second letter, read to the end of the book, write a third (final) letter, and prepare and present a short "book talk" in front of the class.  All of this will need to be completed before the end of the marking period.  Due dates are not yet set for these pieces, but students may keep working, and may turn in their letters early if ready to do so.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

DUE on September 7

Please be 1/3 of the way through your outside reading book, in preparation for beginning our project on Tuesday, September 7.  Thanks!


Wednesday, September 1, 2010

This week

Continue reading in your outside reading book.  Please stop when you are approximately 1/3 of the way through.  We'll be working on our letter projects for the book next week, and you need to be about 1/3 done by then.