Saturday, December 29, 2007

Book Portfolios

Book Portfolios
There are too many Seventh Grade students -- in all the teachers' classes-- who aren't getting their book portfolios in on time. If you turned yours in on time, and did a quality job, give yourself a big pat on the back. If you didn't, it's time to develop a new habit.
You can expect to create a book portfolio every term through seventh, eighth, and ninth grade, so get yourself in the habit now of starting work on your portfolio as soon as you get the assignment, of doing high quality work, following directions, and turning in the portfolio

Last Day to Hand in Late Work

Last Day to Hand in Late Work for Term 2
The last day to hand in late work -- including your novel portfolio and reading bingo -- is January 4th.

Test on Confusing Words

Test on Confusing Words --
Our test on the Seventh Grade Confusing Words will be given on January 8. Because we have been working on these all term, there will be no retakes. Be ready on the 8th!

Saturday, December 22, 2007

What I'm Reading

What I'm Reading

Update on January 29. I finished Fablehaven, and I recommend it. I took a break from Seeing Red (so much violence!), and read Mira, Mirror, which also has a considerable amount of violence! Mira, Mirror (by a Utah author -- Mette Ivie Harrison) is the story of the mirror from the fairy tale "Snow White," though it gives only a couple of brief mentions of the actual Snow White story. This is a story told from the perspective of the mirror, an enchanted woman who schemes to collect enough magic to free herself.

Earlier entry:
So far this vacation, I'm continuing to read Fablehaven (almost done), and Seeing Red (about halfway though). I recommend both, though Seeing Red has more violence in it than I usually prefer. It is the second in the The Looking Glass Wars series. This is a whole new take on the Alice in Wonderland story. I have books and CD's of the first book in the Looking Glass Wars series available for student checkout after the holidays.
I also started Gossamer by Lois Lowry during advisory time reading, and hope to finish it over the holidays.
While cleaning house, I've started listening to CD's of The City of Ember and Sir Thursday. At the beginning of The City of Ember I'm seeing some similarities with The Giver. In Ember, children are also given an assigned job at the age of 12. In this city, though, the elders don't decide; the students pull their jobs assignments out of a bag.
Happy Christmas, and happy reading to you!

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Term 3 Book Portfolio

Term 3 Book Portfolio
Be watching for a book you'd like to read for our Term 3 Portfolio. Look for a book that is nonfiction or historical fiction.
Appropriate nonfiction books include biography, autobiography, and literary nonfiction -- which tells about real subjects in a story format.
Historical Fiction: The setting is based in real places and events from the past. The characters may be based on people who really existed. The author could also make up characters who go through the experiences or interact with famous people of that time and place. Examples: Midwife’s Apprentice, Numbering the Stars, Soldier X.

Here are a few suggested topics and books: For more, see the book list you received with the disclosure document, or ask your librarian.
Look under Multicultural and Historical Fiction.
Africa – Things Fall Apart by Achebe
Civil War – Numbering the Bones by Rinaldi, Shades of Gray, The River Between Us by Peck, and more, Red Moon at Sharpsburg by Wells.
Communist Europe: I Am David by Holm
Disease – Fever 1793 by Anderson, Invisible Enemies by Farrell
Immigration: Esperanza Rising by Ryan
Industry and Exploitation: The Mill Girls by Selden
Israel and Palestine –Habibi by Naomi Shihab Nye,
Japanese Internment during WWII: Journey to Topaz, Farewell to Manzanar, Caged Eagles, The Journal of Ben Uchida, Bat 6 by Wolff
Medieval Europe – Crispin by Avi, Catherine Called Birdy or Matilda Bone by Cushman,
Revolutionary War: My Brother Sam is Dead
The Russian Front: Burying the Sun and others by Gloria Whelan, The Endless Steppe by Hautzig
Slavery and Segregation in the U.S.: Witness by Hesse; Elijah of Buxton (new) by Christopher Paul Curtis, Letters from a Slave Boy by Lyons
Westward Expansion – Sacajawea by Bruchac, Riding Freedom by Ryan, Charlotte’s Rose by Cannon,
War and its effect on young people: Zlata’s Diary: A Child’s Life in Sarajevo by Filipovic, Breadwinner and others by Ellis
World War I:
World War II: Soldier Boys by Hughes, Hitler's Canary by Toksvig, On the Wings of Heroes by Peck, Revolution is Not a Dinner Party by Compestine
Holocaust: Night by Elie Wiesel, The Hiding Place, Someone Named Eva by Wolf
The Boy in the Striped Pajamas by Boyne

You may select a book not on this list, but don’t use Words By Heart by Ouida Sebestyen or The Diary of Anne Frank (an eighth grade class book) or books being read in the Reading Literature classes. Make sure the book is approved by a parent and by the teacher.

Merry Christmas!

from Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone, page 200
"On Christmas Eve, Harry went to bed looking forward to the next day for the food and fun, but not expecting any presents at all. When he woke early in the morning, however, the first thing he saw was a small pile of packages at the foot of his bed.
"'Merry Christmas,' said Ron sleepily as Harry scrambled out of bed and pulled on his bathrobe.
"'You, too,' said Harry. 'Will you look at this? I've get some presents!'
"'What did you expect, turnips?' said Ron, . . ."

Wishing you food and fun and presents, and not necessarily turnips!

from The Dark is Rising, page 126-127
"Strands of music and the soft rumble of voices drifted up from below. In solemn ritual, Will and James looped their Christmas stockings over their bedposts: precious, unbeautiful brown stockings of a thick, soft stuff, . . . When filled, they would become top-heavy, and could no longer hand, they would be discovered instead lying magnificent across the foot of the beds. . . .
"And it was the same as it always was, as he lay curled up happily in his snug wrappings, promising himself that he would stay awake, until, until. . .
". . . until he woke, in the dim morning room with a glimmer of light creeping round the dark square of the curtained window, and saw and heard nothing for an enchanted expectant space, because all his senses were concentrated on the weighty feel, over and around his blanketed feet, of strange bumps and corners and shapes that had not been there when he fell asleep. And it was Christmas Day."
[By the way, the book is much, much better than the movie! The book carries a magic that the movie doesn't even suggest.]

December 20, 2007

December 20, 2007
Christmas Mad-Libs (a reminder of the Parts of Speech)
Could you recognize and use a noun? a verb? a pronoun? an adjective, an adverb, a conjunction, a preposition? an interjection?

December Ceremonies (based on The Giver).
Giver Review Game (if time)

-- Progress reports were sent home last time to be signed by a parent or guardian and returned for required and extra points.
-- If you haven't, turn in your Novel Portfolio, Parts 1 and 2. If you need to do revisions, do them and resubmit as soon as possible.
-- You may finish and revise your essay on The Giver over the vacation. The last day to submit revisions on MY Access essays for Term 2 is January 4.
-- The very last day to hand in any late work for Term 2 is January 4.
-- If you're not ready yet, get yourself ready to take the test on our "Confusing Words."
-- Make sure your binder is in order for when we return from Christmas vacation. We'll complete the binder check then.

Monday, December 17, 2007

December 18, 2007

December 18, 2007
Hand in your Portfolio Part 2 (which was due December 14) if you haven't yet.
Of course, if you haven't handed in Part 1, hand it in!
Your Reading Bingo should also be turned in soon, though, if you're planning on adding to your reading over the holidays, you're welcome to turn in in by January 4.

1. How to organize, state, and support in an essay.
2. Computer Lab time to work on your essay about The Giver.

Find information about writing a 5 paragraph essay at
I was able to access helpful information here for free. Watch the video about the Five Paragraph Essay. Also take the review quiz.

Friday, December 14, 2007

December 14, 2007

December 14, 2007
Students handed in their novel portfolio picture books. (Portfolio Part 2)
Students had a binder check. Those who didn't have their binders will need to arrange for a time to have them checked.
They finished or discussed the play "The Flying Machine."

We prepared for the essay about The Giver. We talked about how to organize and write the essay.
Students worked on rough drafts. We'll be in the computer lab next time to finish typing these.

Coming next time:
Supporting a main idea with reasons.
Supporting reasons with facts, details, quotes, etc.
Time in the computer lab.
Finish binder checks.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Essay Assignment for The Giver

Essay Assignment for The Giver --
We will be in the Computer Writing Lab on December 18 to type up the essay for The Giver, and may revise on the Internet up through January 4.
See December 10 below for the prompt.
(The prompt is given in full on the handout students have received, and on MYAccess.)

December 12, 2007

December 12, 2007
Student Targets:
* I'll consider --and contribute to a discussion about -- a major issue addressed in the book, The Giver.
* I'll better understand plot and climax.
* I'll prepare to write my essay about The Giver by collecting details to use. (The exercise for this was just handed out, and we'll work on it more next time.)

1. Self-Starter: On a piece of the lined paper in your binder under "Reading" for The Giver, respond to this prompt:
"In The Giver, individual rights and choices have been given up for the safety and comfort of the whole community. Which is more important, the good and the rights of the individual, or the good (safety, comfort, security) of the many (the whole community)? Explain.

2. We read, or started reading, a short play by Ray Bradbury titled "The Flying Machine." It also deals with the issue of whether one person's rights (or a few people's rights) should be sacrificed to protect the safety of many people. Who has the "right" to decide?

3. Three of the classes received a list of quotations from The Giver. Next time in class students will mark each quotation as representing an advantage or a disadvantage of Jonas's community.

A1 -- Students finished the play and received the quotation list.
"Academy Awards" for the play were received by Chyler, Zach N., Kora, Calea, and Ian.
A2 - Students finished the play. Students will receive the quotation list next time. (Did we present our "academy awards?) "Academy Awards" for the play have been earned by Tanner D., Billy, and Loriel.)
A3 -- Students read the play up to "Act 5." Students received their quotation list. (We need to do our "academy awards.) "Academy Awards" for the play so far were earned by Brittany, Dalton, Caitlin, Jessica, and Dallin.
A4 -- Students read the play up to "Act 4." Students received their quotation list.
"Academy Awards" for the play so far were received by Austin L., Brittany, Aubree, Jordan, Benson, Shayne, and Garron.

Monday, December 10, 2007

December 10, 2007

December 10, 2007
Today's Targets:
1. I'll review how to use the irregular verbs lie and lay.
Students wrote sentences using the forms of lie and lay:
Write original, complete sentences, correctly using each of the following forms of lie or lay. Capitalize and punctuate each sentence.
1. lie (present tense, meaning "to recline.")
2. lay (past tense of lie)
3. lain (always goes with a helping verb)
4. lying

5. lay (present tense, meaning "to put or to place")
6. laid (past tense of lay)
7. laid (using a helping verb)
8. laying

2. I'll understand better how to read a prompt for an essay.
Students received a handout to use while preparing to write their essays about The Giver. Today we talked about how to read the question, and what sorts of details they need to look for to prepare to write.
Students will be going to the computer lab on December 18, and may revise on the Internet up through January 4.

This is the prompt: (The prompt is given in full on the handout, and on MYAccess.)
MyAccess Prompt for The Giver by Lois Lowry
After experiencing the feeling of love from the Giver and his memories, Jonas thought about the way life must have been when there was love and realized it was probably a "dangerous way to live." Think about what Jonas meant. What was "dangerous" about that kind of life, and what was a "safe" life like? What were the advantages and disadvantages of each choice?
Write an essay in which you either support or criticize Jonas's decision to escape the community in light of the choice he made between a safe life and a dangerous one.

3. I"ll plan for and find details to use in my essay about The Giver.
4. I'll finish reading The Giver, answering the questions on the "Reading Road Maps."
Students who had already finished reading The Giver had time to look for details from the book to use in their essays.

Reminders: Friday, December 14
Part 2 of the Novel Portfolio is due.
Be prepared for a test on the Commonly Confused Words.
Bring your binder for a binder check.

Thursday, December 6, 2007

December 6, 2007

December 6, 2007
Today students filled out a "Student Self-Assessment" in preparation for the parent-teacher conference.
Students continued to read The Giver using "Reading Road Maps" with directions and questions.
We will finish reading the book next time.
We played "Sparkle," a spelling game, to practice the commonly confused words.

Students continued to turn in their portfolio projects and their reading bingo cards. Signed progress reports were also turned in.

Tonight was the Parent-Teacher Conference. Thank you to the parents who came. My apologies to any parents who were unable to see me because of time constraints.
Please feel free to e-mail me or call me. Parents, I so appreciate your involvement in your student's education! 

The Giver, the color red:

Reading Map for The Giver #2
If you haven't yet read and answered questions for chapters 17-19, ask the teacher for that part of the reading map.

Go! Chapter 20 Read through the end of chapter 20 (pages 152-162), looking for the answers to these questions:
?'s 13. (p. 153): Why would it be easy (emotionally) for Fiona to release one of the Old?
(Notice what the Giver says about this.)

14. (p. 154) List four feelings that the Giver and Jonas mention that people had once felt.

15. If Jonas escapes from the community, what will happen to the memories that he has been given? (See page 153, and page 144.)

16. If Jonas escapes, why would the Giver need to stay in the community instead of going with him?

17. What is the "hearing-beyond" of which the Giver speaks?

So that means that in their community, they don't have ______.
18.-23. Jonas and the Giver have come up with a plan for Jonas to escape the community. (p. 158+)
18. ¶ 2 & 4 When will he leave? at what time?
19. ¶ 2 What will The Giver give to him before he leaves?
20. p. 159 ¶ 1 What will Jonas do with his bicycle and clothing? [¶ = paragraph]
21. p. 160 ¶ 3 How will Jonas and the Giver leave the community?
22. p. 160 ¶ 5 How will they hide Jonas?
23. p. 160 ¶ 5 How will they get food for Jonas to take?
24. . What was the name of The Giver's daughter?
25. What other question on these pages (see page 1 of 4) did you answer using the same name? Question # ___

Go! Chapter 21
Read the first two paragraphs of chapter 21.
? 26. Will Jonas and the Giver be able to use the plan they'd made? According to these paragraphs, why not?
Note: The tone of this chapter changes from the generally peaceful feel of the community to a feeling of tension and danger.

Go! Read through the end of chapter 21 (pages 163-169), looking for the answers to these questions:
?'s 27. Whom does Jonas consider his closest friend now? (p. 163-164)
28. Why does Jonas have to leave the community so quickly?
29. Whom does he take with him?
30. How does Jonas keep the planes from finding them? Answer: He finds a place to hide and __________
Go! Chapter 22 -- Carefully read this chapter, and answer these questions.
31. At the middle of page 171/172, Jonas sees two creatures. The first is a ______.
What do you think the second creature is?
32. As he gets farther from the community, what is happening to the memories Jonas had received?
33. As chapter 22 ends, why is the baby crying?

Go! Chapter 23 -- Carefully read this chapter, and answer this question.
34. As the book ends, what has happened to Jonas and Gabriel?
35. How do you feel about the ending of the book, and why?

Precision of language, please! When you tell how you feel, use a specific word such as "frustrated," "happy," "hopeful," "angry," "upset," "confused," "peaceful," "concerned," or "worried." Make sure to tell why you feel that way.

[After you have finished this page, ask about the upcoming writing assignment.]

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

December 4, 2007

December 4, 2007
Today we went down to the Book Fair for a brief preview. The Book Fair will continue through tomorrow, and Thursday through the parent-teacher conference time. Everything at the Fair is buy one, get one of equal or less value free.

Parents, books make great gifts. As a heads up for next term, our portfolio assignment will focus on nonfiction, historical fiction, and biography/autobiography. Of course, your student could be reading from almost any genre for the Reading Bingo pages! Lots of books that are currently popular with the kids are available at the Book Fair.

Today's Self-Starter: Students filled in the blanks in sentences using forms of lie and lay. Then students corrected them together, we sang "My Bonnie Lies Over the Ocean," which uses the verb correctly, and we talked more about these confusing verbs.
Here are the sentences:

Confusing Words : Lie/Lay
Use these forms of the confusing verbs lie and lay correctly in the following sentences:
Lie, lay, lain, lying, lay, laid, laid, laying
You may use your yellow half-sheet with the rules.

1. “My Bonnie ____________(s) over the ocean.
My Bonnie _____________(s) over the sea, . . .”

2. “Now I ________ me down to sleep”

3. Jonas was __________ (use an “ing” word) on the grass,
as he felt the warm sunshine.

4. Father was _________ (use an “ing” word) the newchild into the basket.

5. Yesterday, the Giver _________ his hands on Jonas’ back.

6. I have ________ on the deck by the pool until I was badly sunburned.

7. The bricklayers have __________ five rows of bricks for our new gate.

8. I love to ___________looking up at the stars on a clear summer night.

9. It’s time to ___________ down our weapons and sign a peace agreement.

10. If you’re just going to ________ down on the job, you won’t get paid.

Today's Reading:
We listened to/followed along with chapter 16 of The Giver, and answered these questions on the lines pages reserved in each student's binder:

The Giver, chapter 16
16. A. Why is the memory of the birthday party so special to Jonas? (Q.A.R.:This is a “right there” question.)

16. B. What clues helped you infer what the unnamed celebration was? When were you certain? (Q.A.R.:This is an “author and you” question.)

16. C. Do you agree with Jonas that living the way they did in the memory was dangerous? Why or why not?

Then students received a "Reading Road Map." They read from The Giver and answered questions as directed on the "Road Map."

Where we are: Chapter 17
Jonas is realizing that what the community calls "feelings" are shallow and limited. They don't really "feel" much at all.
One morning the community gets an unexpected holiday. Jonas rides off on his bike looking for Asher. He finds his friends playing a game of "good guys and bad guys" that hasn't had a name up until now.

Go! Read from page 130 to the page break on page 135.
Stop for ?'s After reading to the page break on page 135, answer these questions:
1 What is the game the children are playing that upsets Jonas?
(Jonas recognizes what they are playing because of the memories. What does he recognize that this game is?)
2. As this section ends, what does Jonas know "with certainty"?

Go! Finish reading chapter 17 through page 138.
Stop for ?'s
3. What had Lily done that day that was actually against the rules?
4. In Jonas's community, what happens when twins are born?

Go! Chapter 18 Read through the end of chapter 18 (pages 139-145), looking for the answers to these questions:
Do not just skim or scan for answers. Focus and read carefully.
?'s 5. How many years before Jonas was selected, had the Giver tried to train a receiver and "failed"? _________ 6. What was her name? _______________

7. What happened to that New Receiver of Memory and why?

Chapter 18, cont.
Stop and Reflect
8. Tell whether you think the receiver ten years ago was brave or not. Would you have made the choice she did if you were in her place? Why or why not?

Some students also followed the Road Map through chapter 19, and requested the map for more chapters.

Monday, December 3, 2007

December 4, 2007

December 4, 2007

Saturday, December 1, 2007

November 30, 2007

November 30, 2007

Giver link:

Today the novel portfolios, part 1 were due. Students handed in the packets with the first three assigngments : the main character chart, the illustration of the setting, and the cast of characters.
1. We talked about how to use the verbs lie and lay.

Notes on Lie/Lay Confusions
Lay, laid, laid = to place -- Notice that this verb takes a direct object. That means it is acting on an object. In the following sentences the object is the book.

Present tense (happening right now): I __________ the book on my desk.
Past tense (happened in the past): Yesterday I __________ the book on my desk.
Past participle (has happened in the past and may still be happening):
I have _________ that book on my desk every day for a week.

Lie, lay, lain = to recline -- Notice that this verb does not take a direct object. It is not doing something to an object.
Present tense: I ___________ on the couch.
Past tense: Yesterday I __________ on the couch.
Past participle: I have ___________ on the couch every day for a week.

2. We read from The Giver, chapters 13 - 15.
Questions about The Giver

Q.A.R. = Question-Answer Relationship
Where do you look for the answer to a question?
“Right there” -- Is the answer right there in the text?
“Think and search” -- Do you have to put together several things the author tells you, and perhaps look at several different sentences or pages to find the answer?
“Author and you” -- Do you need to know what the author says, and combine that with what you already know?
“On your own” – Could you answer the question just from what you know or think without ever reading the book?

Answer the following questions on the lined paper you have prepared in your binder under “Reading.” You do not need to write out the questions. Please do number your answers using the numbers on the questions.

The Giver, chapter 13
13. A. Why do you think Jonas tries to share colors with Asher even though he thinks The Giver would have refused permission? (Q.A.R.:This is an “author and you” question.)

13. B. What do you think The Giver means when he says, “without the memories, it’s all meaningless” (page 105)? Do you agree with him? Explain. (Q.A.R.:This is an “author and you” question.)

13. C. Do we need to protect people from wrong choices because it’s safer that way? Why or why not? . (Q.A.R.:This is an “on your own” question.)

The Giver, chapter 14
14. A. Do you think it’s better to share sorrows or for each person to try to bear his or her own pain? Explain your answer. (Q.A.R.:This is an “on your own” question.)

14. B. Why do you think Jonas was able to transmit a memory to Gabriel, when he couldn’t with Asher, Lily, or his father? (Q.A.R.:This is a “think and search” question.)

The Giver, chapter 15
15. A. The Giver shares a memory of war with Jonas. What war do you think this is, and why do you think that? (Q.A.R.:This is an “author and you” question.)

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

November 28, 2007

November 28, 2007
Remember that Part 1 of your Novel Portfolio is due on Friday. This will include the character chart for the main character, the cast of characters chart, and an illustration of the setting of your book.

Students made a tiny book to use for studying some of the confusing words (brake/break, desert/dessert, etc.). We will have a test on all of your confusing words in about two weeks, so make sure you know them.

We read/listened to chapters 11 and 12 of The Giver. Here are the questions we answered for those chapters:

Chapter 11 of The Giver
Vocabulary: frigid (80) = intensely cold
perceived (81) = saw, was aware of
poised (81) = staying in readiness
conveyance (84) = carrying, transporting
Write your answers legibly and in complete sentences.
Questions for chapter 11: Read through these before you read, and answer #1, #2, and then #3 or #4.
1. Which senses are involved in Jonas’s perception of the memories? (Sight, hearing, smell, taste, touch?) List them as you listen, and jot down a couple of words to show what it is that Jonas is experiences for each sense.
2. How is Jonas’s understanding of the memories he receives different from his usual way of understanding things?
3. At some point in the past, the community seems to have chosen a way of life that is referred to as Sameness. What kinds of experiences and hopes to you think led to this choice?
4. In what ways do we preserve memories in our society?

Chapter 12 of The Giver
Vocabulary: fretful (88) = upset
commerce (89) = buying and selling
civil (89) =having to do with legal processes
abuzz (89) = filled with/communicating about
admonition (89) = warning
flustered (91) = confused, upset
distinctive (94) = noticeable; standing out
kinks (95) = imperfections, problems
relinquished (95) = let go of, gave up
Write your answers legibly and in complete sentences.
Questions for chapter 12: Read through these before you read, and answer #1, #2, and #3.
1. At the beginning of the chapter, what lie does Jonas tell to his mother?
2. What is the “seeing beyond” that Jonas had experienced with the apple and with Fiona’s hair?
3. How do you feel about “Sameness”? Explain. If you don’t like the idea of Sameness, what aspects of Sameness bother you the most and why?

Monday, November 26, 2007

November 26, 2007

November 26, 2007
Important notes:
Novel Portfolio: The first part of the novel portfolio is due this Friday, November 30. See your instructions for the portfolio. This first part includes the Main Character Chart, the Cast of Characters, and the illustration for the setting. You do not need to have read the whole book in order to do this part of the portfolio.
You will need to read the whole book before you create Part 2, the picture book, which is due December 14.
Reading Bingo: Your
Reading Bingo is also due on Friday, but may be handed in during December for full points. Don't forget to have the teacher put your portfolio novel on your reading bingo card.
Memory Essay on MY Access: If you haven't been able to write or finish your memory essay on GoMyAccess, plan to stay after school on Tuesday, November 27. We'll have a special session in the computer lab for those who need to complete this assignment.
Confusing Words: Don't forget to study your confusing words.

Today we listened to and answered questions about chapters 9 and 10 of The Giver.

Chapter 9 of The Giver
requisitioned (page 69) = requested from a government source
excruciating: (page 70) = intensely painful
steeled (70) = strengthened, prepared
integral (70) = essential
Write your answers legibly and in complete sentences.
Questions for chapter 9: Read through these before you read, and answer #1, #2, and then #3 or #4. To answer #3 or #4, discuss it with your small group.
1. What do you think might have happened to the female Receiver?
2. Why does Jonas find the instruction about lying so disturbing?
3. “He is to be alone, apart, while he is prepared by the current Receiver for the job which is most honored in our community.” Why is the position of Receiver the most honored in the community? Think about your own community. Which positions (jobs) are the most honored? How would you compare them to the position of Receiver in Jonas’s community?
4. When Jonas was a four, he had said the words, “I’m starving,” and had been taken aside for a lesson in precision of language. Was he lying or trying to emphasize how he felt by exaggeration?

Most likely, it also would have been considered lying if Jonas had said, “I’m hungry as a horse”. The use of exaggeration is part of the poetry and color of our language.
List at least five other exaggerations people use in our community that would
be considered lies in Jonas’s community.

Chapter 10 of The Giver
Vocabulary: alcove (74) = small area set off from a room
embossed (74) = raised from the surface
transmit (77) = transfer, giver
tentatively (77) = without certainty
exhilarating (78) = exciting and refreshing
Write your answers legibly and in complete sentences.
Read through these before you read the chapter, and answer #1, #2, and #3.
1. How does the Receiver treat Jonas?
2. Why are the memories that The Receiver holds important?
3. Jonas is surprised about certain things in the Giver’s living area.
a. What surprises him about the door? Why?
b. What surprises him about the books? Why is this surprising to him?
c. What surprises him about the speaker? Why?

Thursday, November 15, 2007

November 19, 2007

November 19, 2007
Confusing Words Quiz
Read and answer questions about The Giver, chapters 6-8.
See the previous blog for questions for Chapter 6.
Chapter 7
1. How would you characterize (describe) the chief elder?
2. What do you think of the ritual of thanking people – for example, for their feelings, their dreams, and their childhood? Should our society adopt this ritual?
3. Do the assignments given out seem appropriate to you? Explain.
4. Why do you think the Chief Elder skips Jonas? Give as many possibilities as you can.

Chapter 8
1. What is unusual about The Receiver? What else in the book can you connect this to? What meaning do you find in this?
2. What makes choosing a Receiver especially difficult?
3. What do you think a Receiver of Memory might do? Could anyone in our country/culture be considered a Receiver of Memory? In other countries/cultures that you know?
4. Imagine that you are Jonas. What questions do you want to ask The Receiver when you meet him?

Ms. Dorsey will be gone, so extra credit is available to students who are well behaved for the substitute. I'm going to New York City with the American Fork High School Marching Band.

Have a very happy Thanksgiving!

Questions on Chapters 5 and 6 of The Giver

Questions for chapter 5:
Read through these before you read the chapter, and answer #1, #2, and either #3 or #4.
1. What do you think of the dream-telling ritual?

2. At one point, the clean up of meals is referred to in this chapter. How do you think meals are prepared and served? Explain why you think as you do.

3. Explain in your own words what happened to Jonas in this chapter and what effect the pills have on him.

4. Why do you think “Stirrings” are treated with pills in the community.

Questions for chapter 6: Read through these before you read, and answer #1, #2, and then #3 or #4 .
1. What do you think of the pledge the family has to sign about Gabriel? Can someone keep a promise to not become attached to someone else? Explain.

2. What do you think of the concept of a replacement child? Explain.

3. Do you think it would be possible in our world to have a match-making service with a 100% success rate, like the one in the community? Why or why not?

4. Draw a picture of one of the ceremonies.

November 15, 2007

November 15, 2007
Today we went to the computer writing lab for the first half of class, to finish the MY Access assignment: "A Memorable Childhood Event." If you didn't finish, or would like to revise and edit more, you may do that from home until January 4. Sooner is definitely better.
Students listened to and followed along with The Giver, chapter 5, and answered questions about the chapter. If you have been absent, check the blue absent envelope for the questions and directions.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

November 13, 2007

November 13, 2007
Students still need to hand in their Novel Approvals if they haven't yet done that.

Today we went to the computer lab to start typing the memories received from parents, grandparents, etc.

Writing Up Memories -- (Receiving and Giving)

1. Go to the computer lab to write
your essay, " A Memorable Childhood Event."
Draft, revise, and edit to make it the best you can.
Aim for a 4 or more on the overall scoring.

⇨ To get into GoMyAccess in the computer writing lab:
⇨ Click on the icon for Safari (Internet Browser).
⇨ You will be on the school home page.
⇨ Go to the lower right hand corner to click on GoMyAccess.
⇨ Log in with your username (firstnameSTUDENT#) and password (999lastname).
⇨ If your name shows up on the next screen, click on "Yes, this information is correct."
⇨ Go to assignments.
Start out by watching the tutorial.
Click on “Guided Tour of MY Access writing program” in the upper right hand corner. Watch the “Guided Tour.” (It takes about 10 minutes.) Then. . .
You are able to view this also from home.

⇨ Go to assignments, and click START by the assignment " A Memorable Childhood Event." If you did not receive a memory from an older person, use one of your own for less points for today. Replace it with an memory from an adult as soon as you can.

⇨ If you need help getting started, you might want to check out the "My Prewriting” tab, and look briefly at the Narrative Wizard or the Narrative Outline.
⇨ Go back to start typing.
⇨ Type up your story.
⇨ Submit and Final Submit. Check out your scores and the suggestions for improving it.
⇨ Revise and edit. Use "My Tutor" and "My Editor."

 Note: It is almost always helpful to add more detail. Make a movie in your mind of what happened, and then put what you see and hear into words.

 When you use "My Editor," make corrections, and then click on "My Editor" again to refresh it and see if you've gotten rid of some of the errors.

 Don't forget that GoMyAccess doesn't like contractions like "don't" and "doesn't."
Do not use them.

You can also look at Writer's Models (examples), and at Tutor and editor feedback after you have done a final submit.

→ Try to get your essay at least to an overall score of 4.
→ You do not have to print the essay.
Just make sure you have done a final submit.
→ We will be back in the computer lab for part of the period on this Thursday.
→ You may continue to revise from home. Make sure it is your own work.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

The Giver: Questions for Chapters 3 and 4

The Giver: Questions for Chapters 3 and 4

In your reader's journal (the lined pages in your binder under "Reading"), label the next page you have prepared The Giver -- Chapter 3

Number your page from 1 through 4 and answer the following questions. You do not have to copy the questions. Write your answers legibly and in complete sentences.
Questions for chapter 3:
Read through these before you read the chapter, and answer #1, #2, and either #3 or #4.
1. How are differences treated in the community?
2. Why do you think Lowry uses four paragraphs on the subject of pale eyes at the beginning of the chapter and then refers to this physical feature again at the end of the chapter?
3. What have you learned so far about the purpose of the voice on the Speakers?
4. What do you think happened with the apple?

Group Discussion and Group Answer: If time is allowed, your small group will get together to discuss questions 1 and 2 (from above) and hand in your group answers on a separate sheet of paper.

Label the next part of the page in your reader’s journal The Giver -- Chapter 4

Number your page from 1 through 5 and answer the following questions. You do not have to copy the questions. Write your answers legibly and in complete sentences.
Questions for chapter 4: Read through these before you read, and answer #1, #2, and then #3 or #4 or #5.
1. In what areas of life do the members of the community have free choice, and in what areas are their lives regulated (controlled)?
2. Do you think the rule against bragging is a good one? Why or why not?
3. What similarities are there between newchildren and the Old?
4. What do you think about release now – at the end of chapter 4? What do you think the word means?
5. The following words all describe types of laughter
chortling, hooting, laughing, giggling, snickering, chuckling
They could be called synonyms, or words that mean the same thing – laughing. But each has a different shade of meaning. Put those “laugh” words in order from quietest to loudest. There is more than one answer, but some would definitely be wrong.

Group Discussion and Group Answer: If time is allowed, your small group will get together to discuss questions 1 and 2 (from above) and hand in your group answers on a separate sheet of paper.

Example for Character Chart Answers

Example for Character Chart Answers
How an Author Let's Us Know Things About a Character

Novel: The Outsiders
Character: Ponyboy

What he/she thinks
Quote #1, Page Found, and Explanation

p.1 “I was wishing I looked like Paul Newman. . . but I guess my own looks aren’t so bad.”
Ponyboy wants to look “tough” like the movie star, but is okay with his own appearance. He’s pretty confident.

Quote #2, Page Found, and Explanation

p. 179 “Someone should tell their side of the story. . . It was important to me.”
Ponyboy want to let people know about what’s happening to kids like Johnny and Dally and others like them. He thinks about other people.

What he/she says
p. 129 “Can you see the sunset real good form the West Side?. . . You can see it good from the East Side, too.” Ponyboy understands that Greasers and Socs can have much in common.

p. 18 to Soda “Wait (to move out) till I get out, though, so you can keep Darry off my back.” Pony is smart, but he doesn’t understand that Darry is just trying to take care of Ponyboy like a dad would.

His/her speech patterns
(how he or she talks)

p. 18 “tuff enough”
p. 16 “You’re gonna put me to sleep.” p. 30 “Y’all want some.”
Ponyboy uses 60’s slang, “lower class” English, and has a southern accent.

p. 31 “He ain’t dangerous like Dallas. . .” p. 43 “It ain’t fair that we have all the rough breaks.”
Ponyboy uses substandard (lower class) English.

[Include also "What he/she does," and you may also include "What other characters say about him or her," and "What the author says about him or her." You may use these last two to replace any of the first four.]

Friday, November 9, 2007

November 9, 2007

November 9, 2007
Today two assignments were due:
1. The Novel Portfolio Book Approval can still be handed in for full points, but will not receive the extra credit points received by those who handed in this assignment by today.
2. The notes on two memories from two adults must be brought on Tuesday because we will be rough drafts, then typing in the computer lab. Students who brought the memories today receive points not available to those who did not.

Elders were appointed for each community (class).

The houses participated in a competition to practice commonly confused words (homophones and lie/lay).

We read and looked for answers to questions about chapters 3 and 4 in The Giver.

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Novel Portfolio

The Novel Portfolio project is based on a book you select to read outside of class this term.
Don't forget that the book must be approved by a parent or guardian, and by the teacher.

See the Goldenrod packet for complete directions. Examples will be shown in class.
Due Dates:
Part 1 is due by November 30.
Part 2 is due by December 14.

Grading for the Portfolio Project
Part 1
Main Character _______/20
Setting _______/15
Cast of Characters _______/15
Total for Part 1 _______/50
Part 2
Plot List of Important Events _______/15
Children’s Book of your Novel ________/50
Total for Part 2 ________/65
Extra credit is available for handing your work in early.

Students, if you have questions about the assignment or about whether you are doing it correctly, please see the teacher. If you need individual help, I am available most days after school (not Mondays), and remember that a late bus is provided on Tuesdays and Wednesdays.

Questions on Chapter 2

The Giver, Chapter 2 –
1. As you read, list words and phrases used in this community that seem unusual to you, or that are different from the words and phrases we use. Example: Instead of saying, “She turned nine years old,” they say, “She became a Nine.”
2. How do children come into families in Jonas’ community? (Write sentences to explain everything you’ve found out.)
3. How are children named?
4. What do people in the community think will happen when something goes to a committee for study?
5. In this community, what do they call the most important elder? __________________________
6. In Jonas’ community, what does “Assignment” mean?
7. Who decides assignments, and how?

November 7, 2007

November 7, 2007

⇒Students could hand in their novel approvals. These are due on Friday, November 9.
⇒The collected memories (one each from two adults) are also due on Friday.

1. Students received their Novel Portfolio Assignments. See the buff and goldenrod packet.
These are due in two parts – part 1 on November 30 and part 2 on December 14.
2. We staged a radio show, ferreting out information about this unusual community we are reading about in The Giver. Students earned house points for bringing up and backing up valid points.
3. We listened to Chapter 2 from The Giver, and students wrote answers to a few questions about the chapter.

Monday, November 5, 2007

Collecting Memories Homework

Collecting Memories Homework -- Due November 9

Directions for This Assignment
Your assignment is to collect two or three memories from parents, grandparents, aunt, uncles, or other people in your family who are at least fifteen years older than you.
Ask for memories that haven’t been written out, but should be because they’re
worth passing on.
You could ask these questions to help the people you are interviewing think of special memories:
• What experiences have made you feel really happy or very sad?
• What experiences have been very alarming or really frightening?
• What experiences have made you feel proud of yourself?
• What have been the most difficult tasks you have had to undertake?
• What contests or games have you tried hard to win?
• What experiences have made you feel ashamed of yourself?
• What experiences have made you realize that you truly care about someone?
• What experiences have made you laugh a lot?
• Other types of experiences are okay, too.

⇒ Each memory should be focused on one incident that is significant for some reason.

⇒ Collect as many specific details and pieces of description as you can for each memory. Be as clear as you can about
• the setting: When and where did the experience take place? Collect details that will help the reader feel as if he or she is there.
• the characters: Exactly who was involved? Names, ages, and relationships could be helpful. Collect details that will help the reader feel as if he or she can see these people.
• the sequence of events: How did the experience begin and end? What happened first, second, third?
• the conflict: What was the problem that made this experience interesting?
• the “So what?” or theme: What makes this a memory that’s worth passing on? (Even little, seemingly unimportant memories can have a “So what?” if the person or others learned from it or was affected by it or felt deeply about it.)

Due dates:
Return this sheet, with your notes on the back, by Friday, November 9, for full points plus extra credit. We will start writing up the memories in the computer lab on November 13, so you must have your notes by that day.
November 9 -- Turn in notes for points plus extra credit.
November 13 – Start drafting on the computer.

Points for notes on at least two specific memories: _______/ 20 +5 if handed in by November 9.

Be aware: If you don’t have these ready by November 13, you won’t be ready for that day’s assignment in the computer lab.

November 5, 2007

November 5, 2007
Self-Starter: Follow the directions on the handout. Read -- Write -- Think.

Read this:
The Utopian Novel
For thousands of years, writers and philosophers have been imagining how the world might be organized so people could live together more harmoniously.

In the sixteenth century (1500’s), just as the Europeans were discovering a New World in America, an Englishman named Thomas More wrote Utopia, a book about an ideal society. Utopia is a word More created from two Greek words – eu, which means “not,” and topia which means “place.” So, literally, utopia means “not a place.” The word eu can also mean “good.” More seems to be saying two things at once: this is a good place, but it is also no place – it doesn’t exist. Since the publication of More’s book, utopia has come to mean a place that is idea or perfect.

Write this:
On a sheet of lined binder paper (with no spirobits and with the holes not torn), write about the following:

Label it: My Utopia
• Think: Imagine you could create a perfect world.
• Think: How would it be different from the world you live in right now?
• Think: How would it be the same?
• Write: Imagine yourself living there and
describe what an ordinary day would be like.

Your written response to this will be filed in your binder under “Reading.”

You will need about sixteen (16) more pages of lined binder paper in that section for a reader’s journal you’ll use while reading The Giver.

Label the first “The Giver, Chapter 1”
Divide the page into about thirds, and label them (write only the underlined words):
1. Questions: You will record questions you come up with as you read.
2. Response (to one of the topics you’ll be given)
3. My Own Response (See the handout for Literature Response Journal and Group Discussion.)

You will individually read the rest of chapter one, filling out the paper you’ve just set up. Then you will participate in a group discussion with some of the other members of your house. See the back of the handout for Literature Response Journal and Group Discussion.

Receive assignment for "Collecting Memories." This is due by Friday the 9th. If you absolutely can't hand it in then, have it ready by Tuesday, the 13th. We will be going to the computer lab that day to type these up.

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

November 1, 2007

November 1, 2007
1. We went to the media center to look for books for the novel portfolio. Students completed a brief assignment sheet with information about three books they might want to read.
who were here, and would like to earn more points should ask me for the alternate assignment.
Students who were not here may make-up the assignment on their own time. Students who were here, and would like to earn more points should ask me for the alternate assignment.
Look for the call number on the back of a book.

2. We began reading The Giver.
Students filled out an anticipation guide about freedom vs. security/safety. How does our society balance the need for freedom with the need for security/safety? How should the two be balanced? A topic in The Giver is "Balancing Freedom and Safely." A theme is "Any society (or ruler(s) of a society) must make decisions about how much they are willing to restrict freedom in order to provide security for that society."
This is a very timely topic. Especially since the September 11 terrorist attacks, our nation has been grappling with this issue.
Students will pose as investigators, trying to find out about the community portrayed in The Giver.

3. We also had a brief end-of-term celebration. The winning house from each class had ice cream. Students were able to eat their own candy, and (almost) everyone received candy from Ms. Dorsey.

Notice: Don't forget to select a book for the portfolio, have it approved by a parent or guardian, and return the book approval slip (half goldenrod sheet) to Ms. Dorsey by November 9.)

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Portfolio Book Approval

Portfolio Book Approval -- Seventh Grade English -- Dorsey
Dear Parents,
During each of the remaining terms of this school year, your student will be doing an assignment called the book portfolio. For Term 2, your student needs to choose a novel of any type
(a fictional book that has at least 100 pages) that he/she has NOT read before, that is at his/her own reading level, and that is not on our department list of books not allowed for the portfolio. (See the back of this form.)
Once the book is chosen, please sign this paper to indicate your approval. Your student must have his/her novel in class with the signed portion of this paper by November 9, in order to receive full points. Sooner is better. Encourage your student to read his/her book whenever and wherever possible.
This term's portfolio assignment will be passed out by November 7. (Sooner, if possible.) I recommend that your student finish his/her book at least a week before the first project due date: November 30. That way he/she will have time to get the project done. The second part of the project will be due December 14. This will be an interesting assignment that requires creativity and understanding of the book. Quality work handed in early is welcome!
Thanks for your help!
Sincerely, Ms. Dorsey

Student name: (Please print first and last name)
Title of novel:
Author's name:
Number of pages: (The book should be at least 100 pages long.)
Parent signature:
Teacher approval
Points _____/10 + on time _____/10

See the list of books not allowed for the Portfolio Project.

Monday, October 29, 2007

October 30, 2007

October 30, 2007
Begin Term 2.
1. We took a pretest on the seventh grade core confusing words.
2. Students received a list of the confusing words with their meanings, "I Can" Statements for Term 2, and the approval slip for the novel each student will select to use for his or her novel portfolio for the term.
3. Students cleaned out unneeded papers from their binders.
Confusing Words --
4. In pairs, students created mini-posters to teach about using the confusing words correctly.

Saturday, October 27, 2007

October 26, 2007

October 26, 2007
Students watched the rest of the video of The Outsiders, and filled out a Venn diagram to compare and contrast the movie and book. Students also wrote a brief review of the movie.

Term grades for all classes will be sent home next Friday.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Extra Credit

Earn extra credit by taking this quiz on The Outsiders, printing your "corrected answers," and turning it in to the wire basket with your name on it.

Expires November 15.

October 24, 2007

October 24, 2007
Students finished handing in work today for Term 1. Next term I will strictly adhere to my policy (see the disclosure document), and no late work will be accepted after the deadline -- about one week before the end of the term.

Students had the opportunity to present their projects if they haven't. Students had the opportunity to finish up late or incomplete work.

We played a capitalization game.

We started watching the movie of The Outsiders. Where we left off, Ponyboy and Johnny have just arrived at the abandoned church at Windrixville.

Monday, October 22, 2007

October 22, 2006

October 22, 2006

1. Finish capitalization exercise if needed. After some correcting (the paragraph at the end), students handed in their paper.
2. We finished reading The Outsiders.
3. We answered questions about The Outsiders. (See below.)
4. Group Term Project Presentations
5. If time, we played a capitalization game for house points.
Reminders: If you haven’t handed in your Reading Bingo, talk to Ms. Dorsey.
Hand in your signed progress report.

Finishing Up The Outsiders
Answer these questions clearly and legibly, using complete sentences. Then hand in this paper to the top wire basket for your class. If you don’t finish answering this in class, finish it as homework and hand it in next time. Don’t forget!
Answer question #1 using the book.
1. Ponyboy explains that he writes the story of The Outsiders for what reasons? (page 179)
Answer question #2 using the on the separate sheet.
2. S.E. Hinton says she wrote The Outsiders when she was sixteen because. . .
Answer at least two of the following questions from your own experience sand understanding:
3. Are you an “insider” or an “outsider” at American Fork Junior High? Or are you sometimes one and sometimes the other? Explain.
4. What can you do, or what have you done, to help yourself become an “insider” at the junior high? Give at least one specific example.
5. How can you help others, or how have you helped others, who might feel like “outsiders”? Give at least one specific example.
(State Core: Standard 2, Objective 1: write about how a text relates to my own life
Preparing for Standard 2, Objective 2: recognizing author’s purpose)

Quoting S.E. Hinton: "I wrote The Outsiders because I was worried and angered by the social situation in high school. I saw two groups at the extreme ends of the social scale behaving in an idiotic fashion. I could see both sides of the situation, but I naturally had the most sympathy for the side that was treated the most unfairly. When a friend of mine was beaten up for no other reason than that some people didn't like the way he combed his hair, I took out my anger by writing about it."

Saturday, October 20, 2007

October 18, 2007

October 18, 2007
Today we continued to share presentations of the term group inquiry projects. Students also worked on their capitalization exercise (20 points -- due next time).

Don't forget to return your progress reports (received October 16) signed by a parent or guardian.

If you haven't handed in your reading bingo or your term group project, see me.

Students who have not yet completed and submitted the GoMyAccess Essay about the influence of the Character Traits of a character from The Outsiders, or who wish to receive a higher grade on the assignment may go online to write and revise the essay. These must be completed by October 24th. (If you didn't complete and submit the essay, it will show up as zeros on PowerGrade for the two scores on Character Traits.)

The first term ends October 26.

Period 2 finished reading The Outsiders today. The other period are near to the end.
On the 24th and 26th we will watch the movie based on the book, and make comparisons between the two.

Monday, October 15, 2007

October 16, 2007

October 16, 2007
If you have not handed in your Reading Bingo Card or your Term Group Project about some aspect of the school, do so as soon as possible. No late work will be accepted after this Friday, October 19th.

Students who did not complete and submit the GoMyAccess Essay last time about the the influence of the Character Traits of a character from The Outsiders, or who wish to receive a higher grade on the assignment may go online to write and revise the essay. These must be completed by October 24th. (If you didn't complete and submit the essay, it will show up as zeros on PowerGrade for the two scores on Character Traits.)

Receive progress reports today -- to be returned with a parent or guardian signature no later than October 24th to receive points.

View Term Group Projects.

The Outsiders -- starting at page 159.

Using Capitalization correctly -- for those who have not mastered capitalization. If you have already shown mastery, that assignment on PowerGrade will be marked "EX" for excused. If you are excused, you may have free reading time as the other students work on capitalization.

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

October 9, 2007

October 9, 2007
1. Hand in assignments due.
Hand in Reading Bingo. Make sure your books are entered on the card by the teacher and signed off by the teacher. Add up the total pages, and write that total on the line: Term 1 _____ pages. Turn it in to the top wire basket for your period.

Hand in Term Project. Turn in your tape or disk with the first two pages of the packet.

2. Listen to/Follow along with The Outsiders. We read to the middle of page 159.

3. Write a GoMyAccess essay about The Outsiders. The prompt is Character Traits.
You may revise this essay at home. Your user name is your first name and student number, no spaces. Your password is 999yourlastname.

Thursday, October 4, 2007

October 5, 2007

October 5, 2007
Receive back Sentence Work Quiz. Think about what you answered correctly and what didn't. File it in your binder under Writing.

Read The Outsiders. A1 page 112 - 143, A21 page 118 - 148, A3 page 114 -143, A4 page 116 - 145.

Think about how the character traits of each person in The Outsiders affects other characters.

The students did a brief writing assignment "What I Want to Do Before I Die." Johnny says that he just didn't have enough time, living only to sixteen. What would you like to accomplish or experience before you die?

Be prepared to hand in your tape, etc. for your term projects next time. Don't forget to label it with your subject and your names.
Also be prepared to hand in your Reading Bingo cards next time. Make sure yours is signed by the teacher. Add up the total pages and place that number in the blank right after "Term 1" ____ . I'll fill in the points.

GoMyAccess Prompt

GoMyAccess Prompt

Character Traits

Character traits in fictional or real people may have positive or negative effects on the people around them.
Select a person, real or fictional, who possesses character traits that influence others in a positive or negative way. Write an essay in which you describe this person's character traits and provide examples of how these traits affect other people.

For this essay, you will write about one of the characters from The Outsiders. How do the traits of that character influence the other characters in the book?

As you write, remember your essay will be scored based on how well you:
· develop a multi-paragraph response to the assigned topic that clearly communicates your controlling idea to the audience.

· support your controlling idea with meaningful examples, reasons, and information based upon your research or readings.

· organize your essay in a clear and logical manner, including an introduction, body, and conclusion.

· use well-structured sentences and language that are appropriate for your audience.

· edit your work to conform to the conventions of standard American English.

Use any of the tools available to you, such as the Checklist, Spellchecker, or Graphic Organizer.

State Standards:

UT7.1.3 (character), UT7.2.2, UT7.2.3, UT9.2.3, UT10.2.1.b, UT10.2.3, UT11.2.1.b, UT11.2.3, UT12.2.1.b, UT12.2.1.c, UT12.2.3

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

October 3, 2007

October 3, 2007
Today we went to computer lab to finish the SRI and to have a few students complete the GoMyAccess pretest.
Student groups for the term project could work on putting together a PowerPoint.
Students who were finished early had a chance to read for reading pages or just for recreation (if they were done with their 400 reading pages for the term.

We listened to The Outsiders from page 103 through
A1 page 112; A2 page 118; A3 page 114; A4 part way through page 116.

Saturday, September 29, 2007

October 1, 2007

October 1, 2007 -- Happy October!
- Next time we will be in the computer lab. This is your chance to put together a PowerPoint for you group project. Bring photos, etc. on a thumb drive. If you need to get on the Internet, make sure everyone in your group has his or her Internet/student card.
We will also finish up the SRI on October 3. Print your results, please.
- Bring a book in case you get your other work done early.
- Receive a new progress report (if you weren't at the parent-teacher conference) to have you parents sign. Return it for points required and extra credit points.

Quiz on Sentence Work. Take this seriously. It will show whether or not you have mastered the skills and concepts we've learned so far about sentences.
The Outsiders, page 91 to top of 103
Time for Group Projects.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

September 27, 2007

September 27
Self-Starter: Do this in your binder, on lined paper under “Writing.”
Label it: “Response to ‘Nothing Gold Can Stay.’ ”
• For 2-3 minutes, write as quickly as you can all that this poem brings to mind for you.
• Borrow any line and write as quickly and as specifically as you can, letting your thinking follow that line.

By Robert Frost
Nature’s first green is gold,
Her hardest hue to hold. [hue = color]

Her early leaf’s a flower; [Think of early spring when the leaves on the trees look like flower buds.]
But only so an hour.
Then leaf subsides to leaf. [subsides = becomes less or stops]
So Eden sank to grief, [Eden in the Bible was a paradise. --This is an Allusion.]
So dawn goes down to day.
Nothing gold can stay.
[This poem addresses a major theme of the novel The Outsiders. Watch for other references (allusions) to the poem as we read the book.]

1. The Outsiders, page 75 - 91.
2. Groups -- time to work on projects, have reading books for the reading bingo signed off. read for reading bingo, take a missed spelling test, if needed.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Extra Credit

Extra Credit Available only through Term 1.

By Robert Frost
Nature’s first green is gold,
Her hardest hue to hold.
Her early leaf’s a flower;
But only so an hour.
Then leaf subsides to leaf.
So Eden sank to grief,
So dawn goes down to day.
Nothing gold can stay.

Memorize for up to 16 extra credit points.
You must be able to recite it or write it.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

September 25, 2007

September 25
Unscrambling to Imitate
The unscrambling of sentence parts helps you see how those parts are connected within the model sentence.
As a result, you will glimpse the mind of an author composing a sentence so you can go through a similar process when you compose sentences.

Directions: In your binder, under “Word Work,” unscramble the sentence parts to imitate the model. Then write your own sentence that imitates the model.

1. MODEL: The girls of her class nearly fought to hang out around her, to walk away with her, to beam flatteringly, to be her special friend.
Katherine Mansfield, The Doll House

Parts to unscramble: (Write this out as a complete sentence with punctuation and capitalization.)
a. really tried to make his best effort with the team
b. to keep up with them
c. to be his absolute best
d. the boy of smallest size
e. to work tirelessly

Unscramble and write out the “imitation” sentence.
Then, write your own sentence that imitates the model.

Teacher’s example:
The firefighters on the truck frantically hurried to leap down to the ground, to move closer with the hose, to search thoroughly, to be the man’s life-saving rescuers.

1. Poetry and Song and The Outsiders – Hank Williams’ “I’m So Lonesome I Could Cry.” Poems create images (pictures) in your mind.

2 Asking Questions (for the Term Project)
Speak up!
Prepare questions ahead. Share them ahead of time with the person you’re interviewing.
Avoid yes/no questions.
Usually thick questions are better than thin questions
Politely listen to the answers.
You may ask clarifying questions.
Stay positive.

3. The Outsiders Start at page 62. Read through page 75.

Friday, September 21, 2007

September 21

September 21
Unscrambling to Imitate
The unscrambling of sentence parts helps you see how those parts are connected within the model sentence.
As a result, you will glimpse the mind of an author composing a sentence so you can go through a similar process when you compose sentences.

Directions: In your binder, under “Word Work,” unscramble the sentence parts to imitate the model. Then write your own sentence that imitates the model.

3. MODEL: Then she swung the switch five more times and, discovering Little Man had no intention of crying, ordered him up.
Mildred D. Taylor, Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry

Parts to unscramble:
a. one more time and
b. walked away
c. then he checked the crime scene
d. finding the suspect had been telling the truth

Unscramble and write out the “imitation” sentence.
Then, write your own sentence that imitates the model.

1. More of The Outsiders: Pages 46 to 62.
2. Partner Spelling Tests -- If you weren't ready for a test today, make arrangements to take a test before or after school.
3. On-task Catch-Up time
-- work on spelling
-- read for reading bingo (400 pages by October 9)
-- Have Ms. Dorsey record your reading bingo books on your bingo card
-- work with your term project group
-- turn in your project plan if you haven't (It was due last time.)
-- binder checks

September 19

September 19
Unscrambling to Imitate
The unscrambling of sentence parts helps you see how those parts are connected within the model sentence.
As a result, you will glimpse the mind of an author composing a sentence so you can go through a similar process when you compose sentences.

Directions: In your binder, under “Word Work,” unscramble the sentence parts to imitate the model. Then write your own sentence that imitates the model.

2. MODEL: Drawn by the scent of fish, the wild dogs sat on the hill, barking and growling at each other.
Scott O’Dell, Island of the Blue Dolphins

Parts to unscramble:
a. yelping and trembling with delight
b. covered with mud from the yard
c. the frisky puppy rolled on the carpet

Unscramble and write out the “imitation” sentence.
Then, write your own sentence that imitates the model.

1. The SORTING HAT visited our room, and the class was divided into "Houses."
2. We listened to/read from The Outsiders, pages 37 to 46, and students created "living diorama of a scene from this section. Great job, students!
3. Time to work with term project groups.

Friday, September 14, 2007

September 17

September 17
If you were absent, check out the blue envelopes at the back of the room.
Self-Starter: Sentence Imitating by Unscrambling
Directions: In your binder, under “Word Work,” unscramble the sentence parts to imitate the model. Then write your own sentence that imitates the model.

1. MODEL: When I awoke, there were snowflakes on my eyes.
Charles Portis, True Grit

Parts to unscramble:
a. in the sky
b. there was a rainbow
c. after the rain stopped

Unscramble and write out the “imitation” sentence.
Then, write your own sentence that imitates the model.

1. More of The Outsiders We are up to page 37, Chapter 3.
2. Receive a progress report today. Students should return progress reports with a parent or guardian signature by September 21.
3. Group Time to plan term project

Remember to have the teacher record your book(s) on the reading bingo card.
Remember to have a binder check if you haven't.
Spelling test on Friday, September 21. You should be studying your words using the Weekly Word Study sheet.
Tomorrow is Midterm.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

September 13

September 13
Have you been studying your five spelling words for the test on September 21?
Do you still need to check off your binder or hand in your disclosure document?
Do you have a group and a topic for the term project?

Self-Starter: Students wrote about whether they've ever felt like an outsider, or contributed to making someone else feel that way (or perhaps helped someone feel more like an insider).
If you were absent, write about a half page on this topic.

1. Listen to/read part of The Outsiders.
2. Go to the computer lab to transfer the essays we wrote in Word into GoMyAccess.
Also, take the SRI (Scholastic Reading Inventory).

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

September 11

1) Copy the model.
2) Choose the matching sentence from the imitations, and copy it.
3) Chunk both sentences.
4) Write your own imitation.
Follow the same steps for the other model.

Model 1: Then, stomach down on the bed, he began to draw.
Katherine Paterson, Bridge to Terebithia
Model 2: Slowly, filled with dissatisfaction, he had gone to his room and got into bed.
Betsy Byars, The Summer of the Swans
a. Carefully, embarrassed by her mistake, she had repeated the process and done it correctly.
b. Later, knapsack high on his back, he ran to catch up.

*Do you have your 5 spelling words for the upcoming test? Are you studying them?
Test on September 21.

1. The Outsiders page 5 -- 15, middle of page.
Students filled out a graphic organizer for characters -- filling in information about the characters -- the Greasers.

2. Planning time for term projects. Students should have formed their groups and picked their subjects. Today the teacher lets students know whether their requested subjects were already taken or not.

* Have you had your binder for English with four labeled dividers checked off?

Monday, September 10, 2007

September 7

1. We took a brief trip to "the movies" to set the atmosphere of the 1960's for reading The Outsiders. We watched a clip of a Paul Newman movie, since the novel begins (and ends) with the main character stepping out "into the bright sunlight from the darkness of the movie house," thinking about how "tough" Paul Newman looks, and about how he probably should get a ride home.
2. Students listened to and read along with chapter 1 of The Outsiders. On their own copy, they marked any unfamiliar or confusing words or phrases, or any places they had questions.
3. Students filled out an opinionaire, agreeing or disagreeing with statements related to to The Outsiders and with the topic of "How Do I Fit In?" and writing a brief comment about one of those statements.
4. Students received back their spelling tests and Spelling Survival Lists. They are to select 5 more words (reusing words they missed on the first test) to study for a test on September 21.
5. Students had time to form groups for the Term Project, and turned in requests for topics.
(A4 Finished and corrected the Outsiders Slang papers.)

*If you haven't had your binder with folders checked off, do it as soon as possible.
*If you haven't taken your first spelling test, come after school (not on Monday).
*Don't forget to be reading outside class for your Reading Bingo (400 pages per term). Have your book approved and recorded on your bingo card by Ms. Dorsey. You may bring your Reading Bingo book to class to read if you finish an assignment early or otherwise have extra time.

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

September 5

I hope you had a fun weekend!

Today students received their Term Project Assignment. The assignment for this term is an inquiry project. Students in teams of 3 or 4 will ask questions about some aspect of our school and will prepare a presentation in the form of a video, an iMovie, PowerPoint, or audio-taped segment to teach others what they learned. See the blue packet students received today. Please notice that some of the due dates originally typed on the packets have been changed (I'd forgotten about one of the days we're out of school.) The project should be completed by October 9. (See the packet for interim assignments.)

Today we also took a writing pretest. Students were given a prompt and were given time to organize and do some hand drafting. Then we went into the computer lab and they typed their stories and saved them. Because this was a pretest, points will be given for the work they did today. The stories will be submitted as they are at the end of today's class -- no further revision allowed.

***Don't forget to have your books for Reading Bingo approved and recorded by Ms. Dorsey.

***Another spelling test will be coming on September 21. You may select another five words now (include any you missed last time) and start preparing.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

August 31

Sentence Imitating:
You may continue on the paper under Work Work that you have been using.
Directions: Copy the model and then copy the sentence that imitates it. Then chunk both the model and the sentence that imitates it into meaningful sentence parts, using a slash (/) mark.

1. MODEL: His face was bloody, his shirt torn and bloody down the front.
-- Hal Borland, When the Legends Die

a. The day was perfect, the sky blue and perfect in the heavens.
b. His sister married someone they didn't know, a stranger to the family.

2. Big, rough teenages jostled through the crowd, their sleeves rolled high enough to show off blue and red tattoos. -- Robert Lipsyte, The Contender

a. An old, large man reached for the available chair and sat down, huffing and puffing, before I could get there.

b. Silent, silver fish moved through the tank, their bodies sleek enough to suggest larger and more dangerous predators.

Spelling Test on the five words you selected. If you were absent, arrange with the teacher a time before or after school to take the test.
Start your "Personal Spelling List."

Binder Checks -- You may bring your binder to me to be checked if it wasn't ready for this check.

Students worked on an "Outsiders" Slang Challenge, matching slang terms from the sixties with their meanings.

A3 and A4 - Finish paragraphs.

Bring a book to read next time. You may finish the in-class writing assignment early, so you'll need something to quietly read. (GoMyAccess/computer writing pretest)

Monday, August 27, 2007

August 29

Self-Starter: Imitating the Grammar of the Greats
Do this on the same paper you used last time for "Sentence Magic."
Directions (part two): Copy each model sentence below and then copy the sentence that can be divided into chunks that match the chunks in the model.

Example: (You don't have to copy this one. Just study it to see how to do the assignment.)
Model: Jimbo danced/all over the place, /clapping his paws, /squalling, /grunting, /and turning somersaults.
Wilson Rawls, Summer of the Monkeys

a. Eventually, the team became better, unified, victorious.

b. Jason skated during the finals, doing figure eights, swirling, leaping, and wowing the crowd.

(If you were doing the one above, you would have copied sentence "b." It matches the model sentence much better than does sentence "a."
Evidence: Both start with a name, both tell next what that person is doing, etc.)

Here are the sentences for you to do:

1. Model (copy this): I decided/ not to open my eyes, / not to get out of bed.
Rosa Guy, The Friends

(Pick which one below matches the model sentence, and copy it, dividing it into the same pattern of chunks used for the model.)

a. Running to catch the bus, I fell and dropped my books.
b. I wanted only to get the best grade, only to be the best in the class.

2. Model (copy this): Soon a glow began/ in the dark, / a tiny circle barely red.
Joseph Krumgold, Onion John

(Pick which one below matches the model sentence, and copy it, dividing it into the same pattern of chunks used for the model.)

a. Then a sound came through the night, a small rustle hardly heard.
b. We planned carefully for the party, wanting it to be a success.

3. Model (copy this): Finally, /I sit on a log, /put my gun at my feet, /and wait.
Phyllis Reynolds Naylor, Shiloh

(Pick which one below matches the model sentence, and copy it, dividing it into the same pattern of chunks used for the model.)

a. Wondering what to do next, I just lean against the wall and stare into the sky.
b. Occasionally, I walk down the path, carry my camera around my neck, and look.

Here's what we're doing today after the self-starter.
1. Spelling Practice
Hand in your Personal Spelling Survival List if you didn't last time.
Select one of your spelling words (one you haven't yet mastered) for this week to use as we practice the procedure.

2. Writing a Paragraph
Write a paragraph using the classmate interviews we completed last time.
Receive your interview paper back. Read the directions and carefully follow the instructions to write a paragraph comparing or contrasting yourself with other students in the class.

Periods A1 and A2 finished their paragraphs. Periods A3 and A4 will have about 10 minutes next time to finish theirs.

Reminders: Spelling test Friday.
Make sure you have your binder with four dividers (goals, reading, writing, word work) by Friday.
You should have handed in your disclosure document by Friday.

Self-Starter for August 27

Imitating the Grammar of the Greats -- Chunking to Imitate
Use your own lined paper.
Label: Sentence Magic
Write your name (first and last) and period.
You will file this in your binder under "Writing."

Directions (Part One): From each pair of sentences below, select the sentence that is divided into meaningful chunks and copy it on your paper, complete with slash marks.

1a. He was still there /in front of the window,/ staring at the saddle, /when two cowhands/ came out /of the nearest saloon.

1b. He was/ still there in front of /the window, staring at /the saddle, when two /cowhands came out of the /nearest saloon.
Hal Borland, When the Legends Die

2a. Then she turned away /from my curious stare /and left the room, /crying.

2b. Then she turned/ away from my curious /stare and left the /room, crying.
Christy Brown, My Left Foot

3a. Shiloh's under the /sycamore, head on his paws, just /like the day he followed me home.

3b. Shiloh's under the sycamore, /head on his paws, /just like the day he followed me home.
Phyllis Reynolds Naylor, Shiloh