Happy New Year!
Students recently presented their reading projects to classmates. We were lucky enough to hear about many "good reads" and gain new insight about a variety of project choices.
Although this presentation was not graded, public speaking is an imprortant skill that improves with attention and practice. Students were instructed on how to give a presentation and told what imformation to share. This activity was worthwhile to both the presenter and student.
The final experience was an opportunity to get a close-up view of all 100+ projects from all ELA classes. Many students came away with new ideas to incorporate into that next task assigned.
Is that a fact?
Non-fiction text is full of information! This genre requires a different set of strategies in order to retrieve pertinent information. Currently we are reading and analyzing several articles involving exploration. Finding the main ideas of smaller sections within the text and pulling out the supporting details will help us to improve our comprehension skills and form a strong written summary. We will continue to develop these and other useful strategies over the next several weeks.
It is time to give up some class time again to spend on testing required by the state and district. This occured for the first time this school year, back in September. We will take one short test on Monday 1/7, and use both full days on Thursday and Friday of the same week. This testing requires individual students to read to me, so others will be given independent tasks to complete when not at my side.
The third, and final time will be later this spring! It is important that students attend class and give best effort and attention to these.
Student test scores hopefully show growth throughout the year. They not only indicate student achievement, but also are used in part to determine a teacher's effectiveness.
2nd Quarter Arrives!
Now that students have conquered the first 10 weeks at the Middle School, they can settle into the established routines and work to meet expectations presented. With continued attention and effort students will continue to show how responsibility and diligence create strong learners.
This quarter students will continue to respond to a prompt in reading response logs, using text evidence to support the message. This critical writing task allows students to evaluate the reading they complete and demonstrate understanding. This task is closely alligned with the expected writing on the Common Core Assessment given in the spring, so it will be continued practice all year. For this reason, the weight of the task will be increased this quarter to 10% of the quarterly grade. It was only worth 5% the first quarter. Now that students have learned the expected content in a response, with effort and attention great responses should be produced!
Please be sure to read over your child's entries when you sign the reading record that is in the front of the reading response log. Last week 7th period logs were collected. That means this week 1st period's will be collected, then 2nd, and lastly 6th period's logs. Students are reminded in class prior to their collection date.
Are you aware that your child regularly interacts with varied vocabulary and will be quized on 25 of the latest words soon? Students have been repeatedly reminded to check out Quizlet.com to review the words, the part of speech pertaining to our use in class, and the definition of each. To get directly to our list of words, go to the red words on the link "great student sites" and click on the Quizlet link. Students should find this site very helpful, but can certainly practice in any way they please!
Reading Response Projects
Students recently researched several book links to find titles of books that would be interesting to read in the future. After compiling a list of possible titles, students are now expected to acquire one of the stories, read the book, plan and create a project that represents that story. Students are able to select from a variety of different project types. This information, including due dates, is explained in greater detail at this link. Happy Reading!
Did you ever wonder what it would be like to live forever? Students are exploring the novel, Tuck Everlasting, by Natalie Babbett, in small book clubs called "Literature Circles" in order to arrive at their own opinion about such a question. This method of teamwork involves defined roles and shared responsibility while discovering information and comparing thoughts about a book.
Last Thursday and Friday, ELA students were given a quarterly exam which tested general reading and writing skills aligned to the Common Core Curriculum. This test counts toward a good portion of you student's 10 week report card grade, as will be the case each quarter. The grades earned will be posted on the grading portal early next week, but tests will not be coming home. These assessments will remain in school, available to review, if interested.
It's hard to believe that we are moving on to the last half of our first quarter of the 2012-13 school year!
We have been working hard to identify literature elements within a story. Our focus was on telling the details that make up the plot in Scout's Honor, by Avi. This narrative tale shows how 3 friends come together to tackle the challenge of camping in order to move up to the Boy Scout rank of 2nd Class. These "city boys" embark on a humorous journey overcoming one obstacle after another, finally "kind-of" completing the task. Ask your child about this interesting read.
This week we started on our next writing task. Students are writing to Scoutmaster Brenkman, from the story Scout's Honor
to persuade him to move the scouts up to 2nd Class. The boys "technically" didn't complete the requirements of "Scout Craft", yet proved they were still deserving in many ways. I look forward to being persuaded from a large collection of student written persuasive letters.
Words, Words, Words! We will explore new words regularly each week, as we fill our wall of 'Vital, Vibrant, Varied Vocab" in the back of our room. Students interact with words and their meanings in a variety of ways. A quick way to practice the words online is through "Quizlet." (The link can be found on the "Great Student Sites" tab. The first 5 week's words have been posted to practice.
10/1 Plot- the major events of a story can be shown
on a plot diagram. Students need to know, and be
able to apply the following terms:
conflict antagonist protagonist
rising action climax falling action
resolution theme characters
setting mood tone plot diagram
*students should bring home and review materials
from the ELA binders. We practiced plot on the
COWS (computers on wheels)!
Here are the links to these fun, worthwhile activities:
|9/25 Eleven by S. Cisneros- This short story shared a disappointing birthday about a girl turning 11. Students identified character traits and evaluated word choice used by the author to give greater meaning to her tale. Students then focused on the writing trait of "word choice" to improve their own writing in an essay about "Growing Older".|
Independent Reading- Your student should be reading outside of ELA class each day! This responsibility includes recording book titles on a reading record sheet and completing several book responses as assigned each month. Both the record sheet and book responses will be housed in the Reading Response Log. Students should select literature that they find interesting. This helps to develop the life long interest of reading for pleasure, while also improving reading abilities.
|Vocabulary- Words as an integral part of the ELA curriculum and each week we start several days by interacting with a "word of the day". This vocabulary is in addition to any vocabulary words that are highlighted from literature that we explore. Every several weeks your student will be quizzed on understanding of the terms.|