Tuesday, January 31, 2012

8th grade recitation

8th graders need to memorize and recite the Gettysburg Address for Friday, February 3. They will earn a 65% for even just memorizing and reciting the first sentence, but should try to memorize more, and preferably ALL of the speech. Each sentence after the first one will garner 5 additional points.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

7th grade homework Thursday night

7th graders had time in class today to answer 11 questions about The Pearl.  Some finished, but some barely started.  All are expected to complete the work for homework tonight if they did not turn it in before the end of the period.  It was certainly possible to complete the assignment, as several students did, but I agreed to allow it to be finished as homework. 


Due date

8th grade:


My earlier post and email didn’t include the due date for the essay.  Monday, January 30th, please.


Mrs. Wald

homework for 8th grade

8th graders are to finish the personal essays we’ve been working on in class.  I will be looking for a first and second draft, with the expectation that the second is an obvious improvement over the first.  I’d prefer the second draft typed, if possible. 



Tuesday, January 24, 2012

7th and 8th grade homework 1/23

Sorry this was not posted last night....
7th graders:  Please show your midterm to your parents and ask them to sign it.  This is a five point homework grade.  Also, please show your parents your blue handout about the new reading project, and read it yourself. There will be no penalty for turning the midterm signature in late, but please do it ASAP.
8th graders:  A new vocab worksheet packet was given in class today, and will be weeklong homework.  There are pages assigned to be done each night from Monday to Thursday nights, and there will be a vocabulary test on Friday.
Mrs. Wald

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

New Independent Reading Project Information -- Grade 7

Independent Reading Project # 4 -- FANTASY or SCIENCE FICTION

Characteristics of Fantasy: 

·         Imaginary, highly detailed societies that are mostly outside of the realm of possibility

·         Visually descriptive writing

·         May include a struggle of Good versus Evil

·         Magical, mythological, unusual, or supernatural creatures and races of beings

·         Hero (often an underdog) goes on a Quest to save someone, something, or entire world

·         Magical, mythological, unusual, or supernatural objects / foods / transportation / tools / powers

·         Talking animals or talking objects

Characteristics of Science Fiction:

·         Futuristic society that is often idealistic (may comment on our current society’s ills)

·         Involves detailed descriptions of technology and scientific advances (cool gadgets!)

·         Daily tools of the society are above and beyond our current tools, but believable

·         Often involves a “good versus evil” plot line

·         Often involves people “playing God” or shows the results of “playing God”

·         Time travel or travel to other worlds

·         Themes may relate to manipulation, power, and control

·         Hero may go on a quest, mission, voyage, or journey to “save the world”

Your Quest (what you need to do to get a good grade):

1.            Pick a fantasy or sci-fi novel of your choice, at your reading level and of at least 150 pages on January 13th.

2.            When half through, or by February 8th at the latest, write a letter to Mrs. Wald about your book.  Your letter must be at least 350 words, and may be hand-written, typed, or emailed to awald@arsu.org.  Be sure to include:  SUMMARY (see class notes!) and EVALUATION of the novel.  About half of the letter should be summary, and the other half should be evaluation – your thoughts, opinions, predictions, and specific examples of the characteristics of the genre.

3.            When finished, or by February 29th at the latest, create a THREE DIMENSIONAL OBJECT REPRESENTING THE BOOK.  This is NOT a diorama of a scene from the book.  It is a symbolic representation of the book as a whole.  For example, you could make a cube and decorate all six sides.  Criteria:

§         It is 3-dimensional

§         It is colorful or at least done in ink – not pencil

§         It is neatly put together (words, illustrations, cutting, gluing)

§         It includes an original, written summary of the novel (see notes!)

§         It shows and describes main character(s)

§         It shows and describes the “world” of the book

§         It names the genre and gives at least three specific examples of the characteristics of the genre as found in the book (quotes and page numbers)

§         It makes sense on its own (ie:  people should “get it” if you aren’t there to explain it to them)




Monday, January 9, 2012

7th grade homework week of 1/9

7th graders are reminded to keep making three flashcards per night this week.  They are graded every day, so this “small” assignment does add up.


Also, 7th graders are reminded of the essay due on Wednesday – 5 paragraphs on their outside reading book (historical fiction).  The essay structure is in all students’ notebooks and was reviewed again on Friday.  The thesis statement needs to be about three things the author did well when writing the book, with at least ONE of these three things being an attempt at historical accuracy. 


Late passes will not be accepted for the essay, as relayed to the students on January 3rd, and reiterated daily.  Every day late will be 10 points off. 


The essay is part of the mid-term exam grade.



Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Unusual Homework for 8th grade

8th graders:  please make a 3-column chart with these headings:


Item ----- Description ---- Inference


Leave the inference column blank, but fill the other two columns with items you typically carry during an average day.  Be sure your description would help a classmate “see” your item clearly enough to make an inference about you.



7th grade homework 1/3 and through midterms

With MIDTERMS fast approaching (third week of January), homework will focus on exam prep.  For 7th graders, this means TWO THINGS:


1.  Every night we have school (so, yes, even Friday), students are to review their notes and glean topics, concepts, ideas, definitions, and facts that are likely to be on the exam.  They will make THREE FLASH CARDS each night, and bring them to class the next day to share and use during exam review time.  This will be graded.


2.  Between now and January 11, students are to write a five paragraph essay on their historical fiction novels.  This essay will form a sizeable portion of their exam.  It is due a week prior to the exam to give me time to read and assess it fairly.  I will reduce late essays by 10 points per day, with the three day weekend counting as 30 points.


In early December, we had a library lesson on the genre of historical fiction, and students were given note-taking bookmarks to use as they read.  These novels were picked in early December and reminders have been given to read them.  The five paragraph essay is to focus on “author’s craft”, which is a term used in language arts class to mean the tools the writer uses to tell the story well.  Author’s craft may include similes, metaphors, flashbacks, sensory description, point of view shifts, and more. One specific craft in a historical fiction novel is the use of historically accuracy – the items of everyday life, the news and famous personalities of the time, the ideas and prejudices of the time, et cetera.  The five paragraph essay will focus on THREE aspects of the author’s craft, as evidenced in the novel, with a requirement that ONE of these be historical accuracy.  A sample thesis statement is:  The writer of Lyddie, Katherine Paterson, creates a well-written novel by incorporating a believable character, using figurative language, and maintaining historical accuracy throughout.  Another sample: The novel, Lyddie, by Katherine Paterson, is a well-written historical fiction novel because it uses a believable character, figurative language, and historically accurate details. 


Between now and midterms I will be available most days after school to help students with reviewing topics they are struggling to master and to provide tools (such as revising guides) and guidance for working on their essays.  We’ll also be dedicating homework time to learning one review strategy (note cards) and about ten minutes per day of class time on drilling and reviewing.