Thursday, September 30, 2010

Capitalization

Capitalization 

Utah State Core Standard 2, Objective 3b.  Correct capitalization of sentence beginnings and proper nouns.

Jeff Anderson (in Everyday Editing) suggests that students need to know about these reasons to capitalize:
•    Proper nouns
     - - specific names of people
          - - specific places such as cities, states, countries, stores, restaurants
               - - Brand names
•   Proper adjectives
      -- Proper nouns used as adjectives
•   Titles
     -- books
     -- songs
     -- TV shows and movies
     -- poems
•   first word of a direct quotation
     -- dialogue
     -- quotes form other works when it's the entire sentence
•   titles used before a person's name
     -- professional titles
     -- government titles
     -- personal titles

initialisms (DVD)


Anderson also shares misunderstandings you may need to clarify:
•    Confusion about what makes things specific enough for capitalization (wanting to capitalize oak because it's a specific type of tree)
•   Students who write in all capital letters (all caps) -- Don't do it.
•   The height ratio between a capital letter and a lowercase letter -- The capital letter is about twice as high as the lower case letter.

October 1, 2010

Monday, September 27, 2010

September 29, 2010

1. Bell-Ringer:  Everyday Editing -- How Do They Do It?  

Label your composition book with today's date.  Number 

Compare the original with the imitators.  Tell what is different about each sentence.  Which is better? 

How'd They Do It?

 Original:
On Saturdays, my cousins and I buy candy from the ice cream truck: sour worms, Jolly Ranchers, and Snickers.  (Jeff Anderson)

Imitations: 
1. On Saturdays, my cousins and I buy candy from the ice cream truck; sour worms, Jolly Ranchers, and Snickers. 

2. On Saturdays, me and my cousins buy candy from the ice cream truck: sour worms, Jolly Ranchers, and Snickers. 

3. On Saturdays, my cousins and I buys candy from the ice cream truck: sour worms, Jolly Ranchers, and Snickers

4. On Saturdays, my cousins and I buy candy from the ice cream truck -- sour worms, Jolly Ranchers, and Snickers. 

5. On Saturdays, my cousins and I buy candy from the ice cream truck.

Dashes:  The dash does the same job a colon can do.  It says to the reader, "Here comes something!"  You can use a dash almost any way you want.  Colons have more rules, but we want to use only a dash of dashes.


 ___________________________________

2.  Reading minute:  A1 - The Candy Shop War by Brandon Mull

A2  Conspiracy 365: January by Gabrielle Lord

A3  Deep and Dark and Dangerous by Mary Downing Hahn

A4  Smiles to Go by Jerry Spinelli

3.  Reading:  Developing reading skills and learning literature terms and strategies. 

The Outsiders
Character and Conflict in Literature
* Don't forget to fill in your chart abut a character from The Outsiders.   If you were absent, pick up the chart from the file folders at the back of the room.

Today we read from The Outsiders: (the track and time information are notes for me, the teacher)
A1   
top of page 58, 21:02 to page 72, Disk 2, Track 2, 16:30
(This class  recreated the scene from The Outsiders today.)
The other classes viewed their photos from last Thursday.
A2    top of page 58, 21:02 to page 75, Disk 2,  Track 2,  22:25
A3   top of page 58, 21:02 to page 75, Disk 2,  Track 2,  22:25
A4   bottom of page 55, 17:22 to page 75, Disk 2,  Track 2,  22:25

4.  Spelling/Vocabulary:  Do you know your commonly confused words yet? Make sure you're using them correctly in your writing. file confused words chart.doc 43.0 KB
A3 played Sparkle with the commonly confused words.


Important reminders:
Your October Book-of-the-Month Assignment is due October 19. Have your book read and bring it and your extensive notes on a character from the book. 
If you were absent when we went to the lab to take these tests,  you will need to take the MyAccess writing test in computer lab (Room 223) during one Cave Time, and the SRI in the computer lab during another.
If you were here and did not finish the SRI, you may finish it in the computer lab (Room 223)  during Cave Time. For the SRI, print your results and bring them to me.

Your September Book-of-the-Month project was due on the 21st.  You may still hand it in for points minus 25%


Make sure you're up-to-date on your composition book at The Composition Book -- So Far. 


Extra credit: Can you tell me the best way to survive being in a falling elevator (according to NPR)? +3 points

September Book of the Month Assignment

Download the September (due September 21) Book-of-the-Month assignment sheet.

 

Download the Sample Project for September

 

See also

Required Individual Reading

____________________________

Quality Standards   

Use 8 1/2" x 11" paper unless otherwise specified.
Do not use lined paper for illustrations.
Do not use paper with spiro-bits.
Work must be neat and legible.
The text must be typed or done in standard blue or black ink. This time you may use pencil if your work is very neat and legible.
Take pride in your work. 

 Reposted 9-27-10

Mimimal Day

Monday, September 27 is a minimal day.
Minimal Day
Time
Period
Minutes
8:15 – 9:15
1st Period
60 minutes
9:20 – 10:20
2nd Period/Announcements
60 minutes
10:20 – 10:45
First Lunch
25 minutes
10:50 – 11:50
3rd Period
60 minutes
10:25 – 11:25
3rd Period
60 minutes
11:25 – 11:50
Second Lunch
25 minutes
11:55 – 12:55
4th Period
60 minutes

Saturday, September 25, 2010

National Punctuation Day

I missed the opportunity to celebrate the day, but you might find this interesting. 
http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=130103176&sc=fb&cc=fp

Thursday, September 23, 2010

September 27, 2010

1. Bell-Ringer:  

a. More on using colons.  

Read the passage and sentences below. Then write a paragraph or more in your composition book about candy -- or anything related to it -- anything that relates to the pieces you've just read. Use a sentence that has a colon and a list with commas.

We also enjoyed bragging about which of the penny candies we planned to snap up during our sweet-tooth runs to Suzy's Tiendita.  Inside the little store, in the presence of the tiny yet intimidating Suzy, we walked around in hushed reverence, debating the intrinsic value of candy cigarettes, wax bottles of sugary "soda water," and pastel necklaces made of sweet-tart gems.
     No expert appraiser at Tiffany in New York matched the intense squint of our eyes as we pushed and shoved each other out of the way, gazing hungrily at the tasty jewels encased in round glass jars topped with "fiesta red" lids.
    Our purchases safely stuffed into little brown paper bags, we exploded onto the dusty callecita of Alice, Texas. With our bare feet, we kicked up dusty clouds from the road as we walk to our Tia Elia's house, reverting to loud, boisterous "Tejano talk" we seemed to reserve only for members of our own family.  Oh, the fights over who had made the best purchase.  "Mira, mines is more sabroso than yours," a cousin would shout.  Another would counter with, "I'm gonna wear this candy necklace all day and then eat it after we have Tia Elia's calabaza con pollo. Ay, it looks like real jewels, right?"
     -- Mario Bosquez's The Chalupa Rules: A Latino Guide to Gringolandia (2005)

I couldn't wait to eat my favorite candies at the Sack-n-Pack: fire Jolly Rancher bars, pixie sticks, and grape Now or Laters.  (Anderson)
When it was time to go to the candy store, the hunt for loose change began: under the couch, between the cushions, beneath Dad's La-Z-Boy (especially there).  (Anderson)

A new sentence from Bosquez's story:
The tiendita was full of valuables: sweet-tart gem necklaces, candy cigarettes, wax bottles of sugary "soda water." (Anderson)
 ___________________________________

2.  Reading minute:  

3.  Reading:  Developing reading skills and learning literature terms and strategies. 

The Outsiders
Character and Conflict in Literature
* Don't forget to fill in your chart abut a character from The Outsiders.   If you were absent, pick up the chart from the file folders at the back of the room.

Today we read from The Outsiders: (the track and time information are notes for me, the teacher)
A1   Top of page 47 Disc 2, Track 1, minutes about 3:39? to
top of page 58, 21:02 (This class still needs to recreate the scene from The Outsiders.
A2   Top of page 47 Disc 2, Track 1, minutes about 3:39? to top of page 58, 21:02
A3  Top of page 47 Disc 2, Track 1, minutes about 3:39? to top of page 58, 21:02
A4   Top of page 47 Disc 2, Track 1, minutes about 3:39? to  bottom of page 55, 17:22 

4.  Spelling/Vocabulary:  Commonly confused words  --finish  posters.


Important reminders:
If you were absent when we went to the lab to take these tests,  you will need to take the MyAccess writing test in computer lab (Room 223) during one Cave Time, and the SRI in the computer lab during another.
If you were here and did not finish the SRI, you may finish it in the computer lab (Room 223)  during Cave Time. For the SRI, print your results and bring them to me.

Your Book-of-the-Month project was due on the 21st. 
There were retakes (for those who have already taken it)  of the teachers' names spelling test during Cave Time on September 17 and 23.

Make sure you're up-to-date on your composition book at The Composition Book -- So Far. 
Extra Credit:   Don't miss the opportunity for extra credit from memorizing the poem "Nothing Gold Can Stay" by Robert Frost.   Extra Credit Poem Memorization
____________________________________________________________
Three points extra credit if you are among the first five students who can tell me the difference between "etc."  and "et al." 
Etc. vs. et al.? Use “etc.” when you’re listing things, and “et al” for people. Example: Paper, tape, etc. (other stuff) was donated by Dr. Jones, et al (meaning along with his co-workers or colleagues). "Et al." is the Latin abbr. for “et alia” meaning “and others,” the others being people and not things. Etc. (note this is NOT ect.) is from et cetera, meaning “and so on.”  Thanks to Brian P. Cleary.
 
 
 
 

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Reflections Contest

2010- 2011 PTA Reflections Contest
Entries Due October 20th by 4:00 p.m.

“Together We Can . . .”

Spelling Counts!

Brian P. Cleary Spelling counts. There’s a big difference between “You make my heart sore,” and “you make my heart soar.”


Tuesday, September 21, 2010

September 23, 2010

1. Bell-Ringer:  

a. More on using colons.  

Read the passage and write an imitation (Sentence: commas in a series list.)   about what makes you afraid or angry or sad or happy or excited. Choose one emotion.

The passage to read: 
One of his best friends has recently made a name for himself at school by riding a skateboard down Dead Man’s Hill.  Now Will is standing alone with his own skateboard at the top of Dead Man’s Hill, knowing that B.T. really did it, but not understanding how he could have.
    The rising sun was straight ahead.  I could look directly at it because it was bloody orange and just over the horizon and smoky with clouds.  When I looked at the sun, my eyes were crossing 93 million miles of space.  But my feet wouldn’t cross another inch.  . .
Ninety three million miles of space in front of me, and every inch of it seemed packed with the things I was afraid of: high places, cramped places, dark places, thousand-leggers, speed, flying, death, change, time, pain, failure, criticism, roller coasters, train tracks, being wrong, being smelly, being late, being stupid, being rejected, black mambos, leeches, hantavirus, losing, deep water, uncertainty, being buried alive, being caught being afraid, myself. . .
    I could see my epitaph:
    HERE LIES WILLIAM JAY TUPPENCE
           HE WAS AFRAID
                                                       (from Smiles to Go by Jerry Spinelli, pages 30, 31)

 ___________________________________

2.  Reading minute:  Puppies, Dogs, and Blue Northers by Gary Paulsen

3.  Reading:  Developing reading skills and learning literature terms and strategies. 

The Outsiders
Character and Conflict in Literature
* Don't forget to fill in your chart about a character from The Outsiders.   If you were absent, pick up the chart from the file folders at the back of the room.
Also take a few notes in your composition book on the other characters. Today you heard about Bob and Randy.  

Today we read from The Outsiders: (the track and time information are notes for me, the teacher)
A1  page 35 (Track 2, about 28:00) to top of page 47
Disc 2, Track 1, minutes about 3:39?
A2  page 37 Begin on Track 3 to top of page 47 Disc 2, Track 1, minutes about 3:39?
A3   page 37 Begin on Track 3 to top of page 47 Disc 2, Track 1, minutes about 3:39?
A4   page 37 Begin on Track 3 to top of page 47 Disc 2, Track 1, minutes about 3:39?

Students recreated a scene from The Outsiders for a still photo

4.  Spelling/Vocabulary:  Commonly confused words  --Create posters.  Students worked on creating their posters about their seventh grade commonly confused words.  We will finish them next time.


Important reminders:
If you were absent when we went to the lab to take these tests,  you will need to take the MyAccess writing test in computer lab (Room 223) during one Cave Time, and the SRI in the computer lab during another.
If you were here and did not finish the SRI, you may finish it in the computer lab (Room 223)  during Cave Time. For the SRI, print your results and bring them to me.

Your Book-of-the-Month project was due last time!

There will be retakes (for those who have already taken it)  of the teachers' names spelling test during Cave Time on September 17 and 23 (TODAY).

Make sure you're up-to-date on your composition book at The Composition Book -- So Far. 
Extra Credit:   Don't miss the opportunity for extra credit from memorizing the poem "Nothing Gold Can Stay" by Robert Frost.   Extra Credit Poem Memorization

Monday, September 20, 2010

Mini-Poster for Your Confused Word


Here is sample for the confused word mini-poster, thanks to Jon and James.

You may clearly illustrate the words, or use illustrations and sentences that correctly use the words.

Colorful is best. Make your words big enough to be read from a few feet away. Be neat. Check spelling.

I'm Currently Reading. . . .

Criss Cross
Criss Cross  I'm reading this now, and it's a very quirky book.  I'm not sure yet what the story is about, but it seems to be realistic fiction.
Author: Perkins, Lynne Rae
820L
Pages: 337
Ages: 10 and up

Incarceron
Incarceron     I just finished Incarceron.  I enjoyed it very much. It is distopian fiction. 
Author: Fisher, Catherine
HL600L
Pages: 442

 

Friday, September 17, 2010

September 21, 2010

Your Book-of-the-Month Book Project is due today. 

September Book of the Month Assignment

1. Bell-Ringer:  

a. If you were absent last time, find out from a classmate what's going on in The Outsiders from a classmate.  We're to the top of page 24. 

b. More on using colons.  

If you were absent, read through the following sentences and create your own imitation using this pattern:

      Complete sentence: sentence.

Colons also introduce complete sentences and quotes.
(The colon acts as a fanfare for what follows.)  [Sound effect?]

Take time for all things: Great haste makes great waste. -- Benjamin Franklin

He took his Scout motto seriously: Be prepared. -- Andrew Clements, A Week in the Woods (2004)

I tried to concentrate on Ms. Meadows's advice: "Just listen to yourself and put it down (on paper."
--Tracy Mack, Drawing Lessons (2002)

This was all his life had been since April 29 of last year: a ride to somewhere he didn't want to go.
     Jerry Spinelli, Eggs (2007)

 

2.  Reading minute: Incarceron by Catherine Fisher

3.  Reading:  Developing reading skills and learning literature terms and strategies. 

The Outsiders
Conflict : a problem or struggle between two opposing forces in a story.  Here are five basic conflicts:
  • person vs. person
  • person vs. self
  • person vs. society
  • person vs. nature
  • person vs. fate (God, the gods, the supernatural)
from Write Source 2000

* Students selected a character from The Outsiders and began creating a chart about that character and now the author reveals his or her traits.  If you were absent, pick up the chart from the file folders at the back of the room.

Today we read from The Outsiders: (the track and time information are notes for me, the teacher)
A1  top of page 24, (track 2, 8:13) to page 35 (Track 2, about 28:00)
A2  top of page 24, (track 2, 8:13) to page 37 Begin on Track 3.
A3 top of page 24, (track 2, 8:13) to 
page 37 Begin on Track 3.
A4   top of page 24, (track 2, 8:13) to  page 37 Begin on Track 3.

4.  Spelling/Vocabulary:  Commonly confused words  -- assign and perhaps begin making posters. 


Important reminders:
If you were absent when we went to the lab to take these tests,  you will need to take the MyAccess writing test in computer lab (Room 223) during one Cave Time, and the SRI in the computer lab during another.
If you were here and did not finish the SRI, you may finish it in the computer lab (Room 223)  during Cave Time. For the SRI, print your results and bring them to me.

Your Book-of-the-Month project is due TODAY!

There will be retakes (for those who have already taken it)  of the teachers' names spelling test during Cave Time on September 17 and 23.

Make sure you're up-to-date on your composition book at The Composition Book -- So Far.

Extra Credit:   Don't miss the opportunity for extra credit from memorizing the poem "Nothing Gold Can Stay" by Robert Frost.   Extra Credit Poem Memorization
Extra Credit: The Jeep got its name from the two letters "GP", the army abbreviation for a "General Purpose" vehicle. Tell me this for 3 points E.C.

SRI and Lexile Levels


Students have taken the SRI (Scholastic Reading Inventory), and most have their own Lexile Levels. These match students with books. For more information, and to search for books that match your level, or find out the lexile level for a particular book, go to lexile.com.

The list that you may have printed shows titles of some of the books that match your reading level.

Many of the books on our recommended reading list already show their lexile level.

For best practice reading, students should be reading from 100 points below their assigned lexile to 50 points above. 

For Seventh Grade:
1100 and above is Above Grade Level, Norm 76% and above
1025 to 1100 is At Grade Level, High Proficient, Norm 62-76%

950 to 1025 is At Grade Level, Proficient, Norm 49-62%
850 to 950 is At Grade Level, Low Proficient, Norm 34-49%
750 to 850 is Below Grade Level, Basic 2, Norm 21-34%
550 to 750 is Below Grade Level, Basic 1, Norm 6-21% 
Below 550 is Below Grade Level, At Risk, Norm 1-6%

We are transitioning to this new Lexile Scale:
Grade
Band
Current
Lexile Band
"Stretch"
Lexile Band*
 K–1  N/A N/A
 2–3  450L–725L 420L–820L
 4–5  645L–845L 740L–1010L
 6–8 860L–1010L 925L–1185L
9-10 960L–1115L 1050L–1335L
11–CCR  1070L–1220L 1185L–1385L


We recognize that this is just one test, though when students test honestly it provides a pretty reliable measure of a student's reading level.   When determining student needs, other measures should be taken into consideration.  Students, however, should do their best when taking the SRI. 

September 17, 2010

Important:  Your book-of-the-month club project (one-pager) is due next time. Hand in the assignment sheet filled out, your notes, and your five paragraphs or so responding to five of the self starters.  If in doubt, click on this link: September Book of the Month Assignment

 September 17, 2010
1.  Everyday Editing:  More on colons.
Here are some more examples of sentences that use a colon and commas in a series:
But the car is quiet for now, as are the noontime streets: gas stations, boundless concrete, brick buildings with plywood windows  -- Steven D. Levitt and Stephen J. Dubner, Freakonomics (2005)

Before I do anything else, I need to go back over everything that has happened this summer: the Big Mistake, the old man, the book, the lamp, the telescope, and this box, which started it all.
   -- Wendy Mass, Jeremy Fink and the Meaning of Life (2006)

I pulled the latch on the mailbox and fanned through the stack of letters: an electricity bill, a New York Times renewal notice, a bank statement, and a  Bon Appetit magazine. -- Tracy Mack, Drawing Lessons (2002)

  If you were absent (You could do this at school, or write it on a piece of paper to tape into your composition book.): Your task is to write a sentence that uses the same pattern as the three sentences above.   It should be on a different topic.  (In your composition book, labeled with today's date -- 9/17/10
     A complete sentence: item, item, item, and item. 

Here's another example:
     "I love chocolate in almost any form: chocolate cake, chocolate cookies, chocolate pie, chocolate bars, chocolate ice cream, even chocolate bubble bath." 
Now, write your own if you haven't already.  Don't forget that what goes before the colon needs to be a complete thought, a complete sentence. 


2.  Reading minute:  It's Constitution Day, so I'll read about the Constitution.
       Reading minute record:   About the Constitution from the National Constitution Center

3. The Outsiders
 Vocabulary for Talking about Books and Stories: FYI
Character:  One of the people (or animals or other thinking creatures) in a story.

How we learn about characters:
Through how the character is described by the narrator.
Through how the character is described by another character.
Through what the character does.
Through what the character says and how he or she says it.
Through what the character thinks. 


Protagonist: The main character in a story, often a good or heroic type.
Antagonist: The person or force that works against the hero (protagonist)  of the story.

Narrator:  The person or character who actually tells the story, filling in the background information and bridging the gaps between dialogue. 
Point of View: The angle from which a story is told.  The angle depends upon the narrator, or person telling the story.  Most of the time the point of view will be either first-person point of view or third-person point of view.
first-person point of view:  One of the characters is telling his or her own story.
third-person point of view:  Someone from the outside of the story is telling it. 

Today we read from The Outsiders: (the track and time information are notes for me, the teacher)
A1   to top of page 14  (track 1, 25:22 on iTunes) to top of page 24, (track 2, 8:13)
A2  to top of page 13  (track 1, 23:30 on iTunes) to top of page 24, (track 2, 8:13)
A3 to top of page 13  (23:30 on iTunes) to top of page 24, (track 2, 8:13)
A4  to top of page 13  (23:30 on iTunes) to top of page 24, (track 2, 8:13)

If you were absent:  Arrange to come in during Cave Time or stay after school to read the pages you missed in The Outsiders, and to add more to your composition book notes about the characters.  You have two new characters (girls) to add to your notes, as well as adding more things you find out about the characters you already have.


4. Students had time to read independent books and/or to work on their projects.


Important reminders:
If you were absent when we went to the lab to take these tests,  you will need to take the MyAccess writing test in computer lab (Room 223) during one Cave Time, and the SRI in the computer lab during another.
If you were here and did not finish the SRI, you may finish it in the computer lab (Room 223)  during Cave Time.  For the SRI, print your results and bring them to me.

_________________________________________

 There will be retakes (for those who have already taken it)  of the teachers' names spelling test during Cave Time on September 17 and 23.

You should be studying the commonly confused words:
file confused words chart.doc 43.0 KB

For those who would like an A on spelling, see our challenge list:

Spelling Challenge Words 

___________________________________________

Reminder: You should be reading your book-of-the-month-club book and taking notes.  

Your Book-of-the-Month project is due on September 21 -- next Tuesday!

Download the September (due September 21) Book-of-the-Month assignment sheet.

Extra Credit:   Don't miss the opportunity for extra credit from memorizing the poem "Nothing Gold Can Stay" by Robert Frost.   Extra Credit Poem Memorization

 

The Composition Book -- So Far

Here is what you should have in your composition book:


Everyday Editing:
8/31/10   Tell what you notice about the sentences.  August 31, 2010
9/2/10 Imitate the sentence using commas in a series.  September 2, 2010
9/7/10  What is different about each sentence?   September 7, 2010
9/9/10   Combine the sentence parts into complete sentences. September 9, 2010
9/15/10  What do you notice about the sentences.
               Imitate the pattern.   September 15, 2010
9/15/10   Write a paragraph about the groups you belong to. September 15, 2010  At least three complete sentences
9/17/10   Read the sample sentences, and then write a sentence using a colon the precedes a list with commas. September 17, 2010
9/21/10  Colons also introduce complete sentences and quotes. Study the sentences and write an imitation sentence about your own topic. Complete sentence: complete sentence. September 21, 2010
9/23/10  Create another imitation.  This time you are using the pattern Complete Sentence: commas in a series list of things that make you afraid or angry or sad or happy or excited. (Choose just one emotion. September 23, 2010
9/27/10   Write a paragraph or more in your composition book about candy -- or anything related to it -- anything that relates to the pieces you've just read. Use a sentence that has a colon and a list with commas. September 27, 2010  Several sentences.
9/29/10  Compare the original with the imitators.  Tell what is different about each sentence.  Which is better? September 29, 2010
10-1-10  Either use a book you're already carrying, or pick out a book, newspaper, magazine, etc. from our classroom -- quickly!  On the chart you are given, you will start listing words that are capitalized, dividing them into categories (which you will label on the chart) according to why they are capitalized.  October 1, 2010
10-05-10  Create a list with each of the capitalized words (or word sets/phrases from the  passage and tell for each one why it is capitalized. Are there twelve, thirteen?  October 5, 2010
10-07-10   In your composition book, label the page with today's date.  Then respond to this prompt: On page 26 in The Outsiders, Ponyboy says, "You take up [stand up] for your buddies, no matter what they do." Do you believe this?  Explain why or why not.  Write a half page or more. October 7, 2010
10-11-10  In your composition book, label the page with today's date.  then respond to this prompt, writing at least a half page: 
      "Ponyboy says that Greasers are just "marked lousy."  In your school or community experience, have you been aware of any groups or individuals (don't give individual names) who are  "outsiders, " who people perhaps have looked down on?  In The Outsiders, the main dividing line is between Socs and Greasers.  In our community,  are we divided? How?  Have you ever been an outsider?  What were the circumstances" 
10-13-10   In your composition book, label the page with today's date.  then respond to this prompt, writing at least a half page: 
       Johnny, on page 121 of The Outsiders says, "I don't want to die now.  It ain't long enough.  Sixteen years ain't long enough.  I wouldn't mind it so much if there wasn't so much stuff I ain't done yet and so many things I ain't seen."    What things do you want to make sure you  do and see before you die?  In other words, what is on your bucket-list? You could also explain why and/or how you plan to accomplish it. 


_________________________
Reading minutes:  You should have reading minute titles, authors, and your yes or no recorded for August 27 through your most recent class.
__________________________

Outsiders Characters with notes on each character   9/13/10 and 9/15/10, 9/17/10, 9/21/10 + (Now you'll be keeping the notes on one character on your chart, but go ahead and keep notes on the others here.)

Why do you use No. 2 pencils for tests? Why not a No. 3, 4, or 5? | The Hot Word

Why do you use No. 2 pencils for tests? Why not a No. 3, 4, or 5? | The Hot Word

Thursday, September 16, 2010

About How We Treat Others -- From the Presidential Back-to-School Speech

The following is from the President's Back-to-School speech.   As I listened, I  made a real-world-to-text connection.  I was thinking about the novel we're reading, The Outsiders, and hoping that as we read it each of you can realize that making some kids (or other people) into outsiders, calling them names, treating them unkindly and even cruelly is bad for everyone.  We here at American Fork Junior High can do better than that.  

The President said,
"But the truth is, an education is about more than getting into a good college.  It’s about more than getting a good job when you graduate.  It’s about giving each and every one of us the chance to fulfill our promise, and to be the best version of ourselves we can be.  And part of that means treating others the way we want to be treated -- with kindness and respect.

" So, what I want to say to every kid, every young person -- what I want all of you -- if you take away one thing from my speech, I want you to take away the notion that life is precious, and part of what makes it so wonderful is its diversity, that all of us are different.  And we shouldn’t be embarrassed by the things that make us different.  We should be proud of them, because it’s the thing that makes us different that makes us who we are, that makes us unique.  And the strength and character of this country has always come from our ability to recognize -- no matter who we are, no matter where we come from, no matter what we look like, no matter what abilities we have -- to recognize ourselves in each other.

"I was reminded of that idea the other day when I read a letter from Tamerria Robinson.  She’s a 12-year-old girl in Georgia.  And she told me about how hard she works and about all the community service she does with her brother.  And she wrote, “I try to achieve my dreams and help others do the same.”  “That,” she said, “is how the world should work.”  That’s a pretty good motto.  I work hard to achieve my goals and then I try to help others to achieve their goals.

"And I agree with Tamerria.  That’s how the world should work.  But it’s only going to work that way if all of you get in good habits while you’re in school.  So, yes, each of us need to work hard.  We all have to take responsibilities for our own education.  We need to take responsibility for our own lives.  But what makes us who we are is that here, in this country, in the United States of America, we don’t just reach for our own dreams, we try to help others do the same.  This is a country that gives all its daughters and all of its sons a fair chance, a chance to make the most of their lives and fulfill their God-given potential."

See the entire text of the speech at
http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2010/09/14/remarks-president-back-school-speech-philadelphia-pennsylvania

Character Traits and Adjectives

Only an English teacher would get so excited about what I just found!
When we describe someone, we use ADJECTIVES.
Here is a site that has helpful information on adjectives: http://grammar.ccc.commnet.edu/grammar/adjectives.htm


Originally published 9/16/09

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

September 15, 2010

Bell-Ringer: Pick up composition book.  See the overhead: [If you are absent, see the assignment here.  You could do it on a piece of paper to tape into your composition book.]
**************************************************
Everyday Editing -- Using colons with a list!

9/15/10
a. Sentences:  Read these sentences.  What do you notice?

The deputy told me to empty my pockets: two quarters, a penny, a stick of bubble gum, and roll of grip tape for my skateboard.                                                          -- Carl Hiaasen, Flush (2006)

     "Empty your pockets!"
     Reluctantly, one by one, Hugo pulled out dozens of objects: screws and nails and bits of metal, gears and crumpled playing cards, tiny pieces of clockworks, cogs and wheels.
   -- Brian Selznick, The Invention of Hugo Cabret (2007)

The TSA employee emptied my backpack: three books, a journal, and 17 pens.                                                            -- Jeff Anderson                                                                                              

It’s your turn to imitate.  Use this pattern to create a sentence.

____________ told me to empty my ___________: _____________, _____________, and ______________. 

 from Jeff Anderson's Everyday Editing
 ******************************************************************
Everyday Editing: Colons to Precede a List docx


b. Also write a paragraph about the groups you belong to.  These could be sports teams, club, school groups, and other groups of people you belong to.



Reading Minute:
The Paper Doorway: Funny Verse and Nothing Worse  by Dean Koontz (Yes, the writer of horror fiction!)
___________________________________

Them and Us
 I wasn't invited to the party.
Oh, I'll set loose some wolves on them!
They're so very smart and so very arty.
Oh, I'll throw hives of bumblebees at them!
They'll all be playing games and having fun,
Till I stampede a herd of bulls through them!
They think they're so special, A-number-one,
They won't be special when I --

Wait.
Fate.
The mail was late.

Here's my invitation
To the celebration.

Oh, I've been invited to the party.
We are all so smart and very arty.
How sad that you should be so envious.
Not just everyone can be one of us.
_______________________________________

Classroom library
Class librarian:
A1 --
A2 --
A3 --
A4  --

The Outsiders 
Members of the Club --
Anticipation Guide --
List traits of characters in the composition book.
To what groups does Ponyboy (the narrator) belong? 


A1   to top of page 14
A2  to top of page 13
A3 to top of page 13
A4  to top of page 13?

Time to read independent books

Important reminders:
If you were absent when we went to the lab to take these tests,  you will need to take the MyAccess writing test in computer lab (Room 223) during one Cave Time, and the SRI in the computer lab during another.
If you were here and did not finish the SRI, you may finish it in the computer lab (Room 223)  during Cave Time. For the SRI, print your results and bring them to me.

Your Book-of-the-Month project is due on September 21 -- next Tuesday!

There will be retakes (for those who have already taken it)  of the teachers' names spelling test during Cave Time on September 17 and 23.

Extra Credit:   Don't miss the opportunity for extra credit from memorizing the poem "Nothing Gold Can Stay" by Robert Frost.   Extra Credit Poem Memorization 

Monday, September 13, 2010

September 13, 2010

Computer Lab:  
Today we went into the computer (English writing) lab to take the SRI (Scholastic Reading Inventory) and do the first MYAccess assignment which is a pre-assessment  (pretest).


If you were absent, you will need to take the MyAccess writing test in computer lab (Room 223) during one Cave Time, and the SRI in the computer lab during another.
If you did not finish the SRI, you may finish it in the computer lab (Room 223)  during Cave Time. For the SRI, print your results and bring them to me.

Book-of-the-Month  

Today we also looked at an example of the September Book-of-the-Month Assignment.  If you'd like to download it, find it at

September Book of the Month Assignment

 

Important notes:  

Spelling Teacher's Names -- Retakes will be available during  Cave Time on September 17 and 23.  Do not retake the test until you have studied enough to know all of the names. There will be only one retake per student.  If you were absent for the test, you may take the test in cave time on an A-Day (the first time) before that.

Reminders: 

You should be reading your Book-of-the-Month and taking notes for your project. 

Required Individual Reading

September Book of the Month Assignment

 

Not-so-important notices:

Extra credit for a Useless Fact: The ZIP in Zip code is an acronym for Zone Improvement Plan.  Tell me this fascinating factoid and earn 3 points of extra credit.  
ZIP is an acronym, "a word formed from the initial letters or groups of letters of words in a set phrase or series of words." (Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2010.)

 

 

Saturday, September 11, 2010

September 11

These suggestions and information for educators may be interesting to parents:

How to Deal with Emotional Response to September 11  By Edutopia

 

Remembering 9/11  -- Communities across the U.S. plan gatherings and memorial services for anniversary of 9/11 attacks    http://www2.scholastic.com/browse/article.jsp?id=3754860

 

Thoughts on 9/11 by Joan Bauer -- author of many wonderful books for adolescents:

http://joanbauer.typepad.com/joan_bauer_journal/2010/09/shade.html 

 

And here are some facebook comments from teachers (The only editing error I corrected was the spelling of "remembrance."):

 Catherine Kelly:  The innocents whose lives are lost due to radicals of any kind are those who need to be remembered by our actions of today and in the future. There are lives here at home and across the world who have been affected and need to be remembered. 9/11 remembrances can open the door to others, there is no need for hatred of any kind to anyone. 

Terresa Cornelius:  I have had my current 5th grade class twice before: in kindergarten and in grade 3. As a result, I know them well. A portion are Muslim; others are refugees or immigrants from 4 different continents. Many different opinions among their ...families! The anniversary of 9/11 gave us opportunity to say that tragedy can happen to any and all countries. We choose to show true greatness through our personal responses to it. Since people of every imaginable type died that day, we can honor them by respecting & showing compassion to people, period, not pigeon-holing a person because of their color, religion, etc. In my class, many families fled their countries precisely because of oppression and war. For them, the give of education and a chance to help steer their own course is a daily lesson. 

Contest -- You Could Enter and Win

This is sponsored by Scholastic, and I just found out about it today.
The entries must be postmarked by September 20, so if you'd like to do it, you'll need to hurry.

http://www.scholastic.com/readeveryday/essaycontest.htm


To enter, print clearly/or type an answer to
the following question on 81/2 X 11 paper: 
“What is the book you will always remember and why?”
Entries must be fully original, must not exceed 250 words and must be in the English language.

Here is another writing  contest:

NPR Writing Contest


 

Thursday, September 9, 2010

September 9, 2010

 1. Bell-Ringer:  Pick up composition book.  See the overhead: [If you are absent, see the assignment here.  You could do it on a piece of paper to tape into your composition book.]
  
Commas in a Series
To Uncombine and Combine:

In your composition books, write today’s date, then combine these sentences into one using commas in a series.  Try not to lose or change any of the meaning.

1)
Her cleats were in her backpack.
Her shin pads were in her backpack.
Her sweats were in her backpack.
Her backpack was slung over her shoulder and heavy with homework.
_________________________

2)
I have hair the color of carrots in an apricot glaze.
My skin is fair and clear where it isn’t freckled.
I have eyes like summer storms.
____________________________
2. Reading minute (Add this to the list in your composition book.) :  Never Sniff a Gift Fish by Patrick McManus
3. Spelling Test  on administrators, teachers, and counselor.
  Retakes will be available during  Cave Time on September 17 and 23.  Do not retake the test until you have studied enough to know all of the names. 
 
4. Receive spelling chart/list of commonly confused words.

5. Introduction to  The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton
a. Students filled out an anticipation guide (their opinions about various statements that represent themes -- important ideas in the book). We will be discussing these themes as we read the book.  
b.  Students watched a video clip with Paul Newman -- a favorite actor of the main character in The Outsiders -- who portrays another sort of "outsider" -- an Old West outlaw trying to get away from a very persistent posse.  [Outlaws(law-breakers) may be portrayed as likable and even admirable in movies and books.  What sorts of people are the "outlaws" in our school and community?  What are "outlaws" usually like in real life, and what effects would following in their footsteps have on our lives? ]

A1 page 6, to last paragraph
A2  didn't read 
A3 needs to finish the video clip -- go to Bolivia 
A4 didn't yet read


____________________
Your spelling test on names of teachers, administrators, and counselor will be today.
Remember that legibility, capitalization, and punctuation all count.

To print a new copy of the handout for your first spelling assignment, click here: 

Spelling Teachers' Names Comp

Today students will receive their new spelling assignment --The Seventh Grade Core Commonly Confused Words.
file confused words chart.doc 43.0 KB
For those who would like an A on spelling, see our challenge list: 

Spelling Challenge Words

Reminder: You should be reading your book-of-the-month-club book and taking notes. 

Download the September (due September 21) Book-of-the-Month assignment sheet.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Mockingjay

I finally finished reading Mockingjay (having been sidetracked -- but not hijacked) by the busy-ness of the first weeks of  school. .  I'm very impressed, and very much enjoyed it.  I'm recommending it to my adult friend who haven't already read it. 

I know many of my students are reading it, or have started with Hunger Games. As usual, I'm excited to see them excited about a book.  However,  parents, I would recommend that seventh graders wait at least a year or two to read the Hunger Games series -- or, if they are already reading, have read, or will read it, I strongly recommend that a parent or other close adult  read it before or along with them.  The books are intense and contain many mature themes.  They beg for discussion -- especially between a less-mature reader and an adult who cares about the sorts of impressions that reader comes away with.  I've made the same sorts of recommendations concerning the Twilight books and many other books that are marketed for teens. 

Parents, talking with your teen (or preteen/almost a teen) is such a good idea, anyway!

A New Book by Creators of Phantom Tollbooth

If you're fans of The Phantom Tollbooth, you will want to check this out:
http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=129608795&sc=fb&cc=fp

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Paragraph About Boys and Girls

Write  a paragraph comparing boys and girls.
Suggested topic sentences:


  • There are several major differences between junior high age boys and girls. 
  • Sure girls and boys are different, but we have several things in common. 
  • Boys are  easier to get along with than girls.
  • Girls are easier to get along with than boys.
  • Boys/girls are smarter than girls/boys.
  • Boys/girls are just as smart as girls/boys. 
  • Your own topic sentence that shows similarities or differences between boys and girls. 

As you write your paragraph, check for the hamburger parts.