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

Friday, August 24, 2007

Procedure for Independent Word Study

Procedure for Independent Word Study

About once a week, you will select five (5) words from your personal spelling list. You will copy these words onto the first column of a weekly word study sheet. Make sure you have the correct spelling for each word, and then copy the correct spelling exactly so you don't learn misspellings.
Please print, rather than using cursive, so the individual letters are separate and distinct. Use upper and lower case letters correctly. Capitalize words that should be capitalized.
Show the list to me. Your partner test will be given, not during the following class period, but during the class period after that. Before the test you will study your five words by following each and every step of the procedure described below. You will put in about twenty minutes (usually as homework) to complete the following steps with your five words:

1. Read the first word: look at it and say it.

2. Spell the word to yourself: touch each letter with your pencil and say the letter softly aloud to yourself.

3. Close your eyes. See the word in your mind. Say each of the individual letters softly aloud to yourself.

4. Now, put your memory muscle to work. Carefully print the word in the next three columns, and say each of the individual letters to yourself as you write it.

5. Take a break of four or five minutes to give your long-term memory time to process the look of the word, its letters, and their order. Leave behind your spelling and do something else for those minutes: read, do other homework, watch TV, listen to the radio.

6. Then cover the correct spelling with your hand and print the word in the "Spell" column.

7. Proofread: check the word you just wrote letter for letter against the original, using the tip of your pencil.

8. If you spelled the word correctly, put a star in the final column and go on to the next word on the word study sheet. If you misspelled it, repeat the process above, steps 1-6, this time printing the word in the "Spell Again" column.

9. Repeat the procedure with each remaining word. Again, the study process for five words should take about twenty minutes.

August 27

Self-Starter: Do the chunking exercise on the overhead. File it in your binder under "Writing."
(If you are absent and it is not posted above, see Ms. Dorsey.)
Today --
1. Spelling -- You will learn a new way to study spelling words. You will use it to study the five words you have selected from your "Survival" list. Reminder: Test on these five words on Friday, August 31. If you didn't find five words to work on from your Survival list, select other words that you know give you trouble, or check the list of Spelling Demons at my website. Go to the AF Junior Home Page at, go to Faculty, Dorsey, website, Dorsey, English, Units of Study, List of Commonly Misspelled Words.
2. Poetry -- In the meanwhile, we'll listen to a song and look at the lyrics. Songs are a form of poetry. Did you know Cold Play wrote a song about seventh graders?
3. You will complete the interviews today. Next time we will write a paragraph, following the directions in the packet.

By the time we left, you had
1) copied the three sentences with the slash marks in places that made sense, and filed the self-starter in your binder under “Writing.”
2) handed in the "Spelling Survival List" if finished, and if you’ve checked it with your parents.
If you haven’t , the Spelling Survival List is due next time (Wednesday, August 29).
3) learned how to study spelling words using the individual study procedure, and filed all spelling papers under “Word Work.”
4) completed the interviews and left that paper in the classroom for next time.

Homework: Study your five spelling words.
If you haven't yet, complete the "Spelling Survival List" and go through it with your parents.
If you haven't yet, complete and return the disclosure document signature sheet.
*By Friday the 31st, you should have your English binder with the four dividers for English class: Goals, Reading, Writing, Word Work.

Other Reminders: Spelling test on Friday on the five words you've selected.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

August 23 -- Second Day

1. Spelling Assignment
See the post here titled "Spelling: My Personal Survival List."
On August 23, each student receives the list to fill out.
Homework is finishing filling out the list/chart with a parent or guardian.
Make sure each word is spelled correctly.
The student selects 5 words from the list that he or she has difficulty spelling.
The student studies those five words.
The student returns the Survival List, completely filled out, to the teacher on August 27.
The student takes a test on his or her five selected words on August 31.

2. Discussion of Classroom Rules and Procedures.

3. Reading Bingo Assignment
Students receive their Reading Bingo card to be used to record homework reading all year.
See the card for rules.
Make sure your parents approve of the books you read.
Make sure you have Ms. Dorsey approve and record each book before you begin reading it.
Read 400 pages outside of class each term. When we do a book portfolio, the portfolio book counts, but books we read as a whole class or literature circles do not.
See Ms. Dorsey's website or the English Department website for suggested books.
For Term 1 I recommend Life Problems/Realistic Fiction books.
The Reading Bingo is due Tuesday, October 9.
Reading 10 to 20 minutes a day will get you to your goal of 400 pages or more.
Extra pages lead to extra credit.

4. Classmate interview and writing a paragraph.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

August 20 -- First Day

Welcome, English Students!
Today students received the disclosure document, and played a getting-to-know-you game. Students went to all eight classes plus advisory today, and in each class, all seventh grades had a lesson about a particular aspect of school.
A1: Common Fears and Worries of a Seventh Grader
Class emergency and other procedures.
Advisory: Received planners and bar codes, and discussed what advisory is for.
Class emergency and other procedures.
A2: Lockers
Class emergency and other procedures.
A3: When and where to go for lunch. Students should memorize their lunch numbers.
Class emergency and other procedures.
A4: Media Center, school resources such as counseling, after-school-help, after-school groups,
Class emergency and other procedures.
B1: Hall passes, planner, electronic devices, first aid, checking out, visitors.
Class emergency and other procedures.
B2: Student Responsibilities: see planner
B3: Study Skills, Habits for success, Review
Class emergency and other procedures.
B4: Review and Quiz on the day.
Class emergency and other procedures.
Ice Cream bars!

Saturday, August 18, 2007

Spelling: My Personal Survival List

Our first spelling unit will be on individual survival words. Students will find out what personal words they're not absolutely sure of when they try to spell them. They will select five of those to study for the first spelling test. Here is the chart of survival words that everyone should be absolutely certain of. We will fill out a chart like this in class, students will bring it home for help from parents to fill in any blanks, the teacher will check over the filled in charts and hand them back for the students to keep.

Parents, if there is any information parents feel is too sensitive, you may instruct your student to leave it off.

My first, middle, and last names:

My mother's maiden name:

My mother's first, middle, and last names:

My father's first, middle, and last names:

My grandparents' first, middle, and last names:

My siblings' first, middle, and last names:

My street address:

My town and county:

My teacher's names:









My school administration




My school:

My place of birth:

The hospital of my birth:

My allergies, if any:

My physician's name:

Family cars (manufacturer and make):

Days of the week:

Months of the year:

Friends, relatives, or neighbors to call in case of emergency:

My school subjects:

My school address: 1120 N 20 W American Fork, UT 84003

Other local communities (neighboring towns):

Where I will probably attend high school:

My ethnic background: (e.g. Korean)

The lake, river, or ocean nearest to my home:

My friends' first and last names:

The breed and name of my dog or cat or other pet:

Monday, August 13, 2007

Term 1 Big Question: How Do I Belong?

During first term, we'll be investigating how we can belong in positive ways. We'll read the novel The Outsiders, interview each other to get to know each other, interview 8th or 9th graders to find out more about our school, and create presentations on various aspects of American Fork Junior High.

Welcome to Seventh Grade English!

How exciting it is to be starting a new school year! Expect to do lots of reading and writing and thinking in English class.