Thursday, January 31, 2008

Examples for the Book Portfolio, part 1

Examples for the Book Portfolio, Part 1
(Your part 1 may be in pencil, pen, or typed. Handing in part 1 is handing in rough drafts of your finished portfolio.)

Sample of Part 1 of the Term 3 Book Portfolio

a. (first page) Information I’ll need to put on the cover of my portfolio:

My name: Cindy Reynolds
Class Period: B1
Term and year: Term 3, 2008
Title of the book: Hmm? : The Most interesting book you’ll ever read about memory
Author’s name: Diane Swanson
Genre: Nonfiction
Number of pages: 40 (This is for sample purposes only. Your portfolio book will have at least 100 pages.)

[For Part 2, I’ll design a cover page with a colored illustration, and the above information displayed in a neat, legible, and attractive format. For the finished product, the text will be typed or in blue or black pen. No text will be in pencil.]

b. (second page) Information from the book: Hmm? : The Most Interesting Book You’ll Ever Read about Memory by Diane Swanson

1. “If you stashed away 1000 new bits of info every second of your life, you’d still be using only part of your total storage space.” p. 5

2. The brain has three main sections, and the sections that are most vital to memory, according to scientists, are the cerebrum and the cerebellum. p. 7

3. “Your brain burns 25 percent of the oxygen you breathe in.” p. 9 (That is especially interesting since your brain only weights about 3 pounds out of however much you weigh.) p. 9

4. The electrical signal that accesses memory travels at up to 200 miles per hour. P. 11

5. We have two main kinds of memory: procedural or “how” memory, and declarative or “what” memory. p. 12

6. “Short term memory can temporarily store up to seven things at a time.” p. 16

7. When you practice or repeat something, you can move it into long-term memory. P. 17 When making long term memories, your brain actually grows new dendrites which provide new connections. (See page 10 to find out about dendrites.)

8. “On average, people forget about 99 bits of information out of every 100 they receive.” p. 21

9. “Perceptual filtering” means blocking out what you find unimportant or uninteresting. p. 21

10. “Unless you make an effort to recall and use what you are learning, you can lose more than half of it within 30 minutes. The rest gradually fades away.” p. 25

11. Amnesia can be caused by physical injury to the brain, by illness, and by brain tumors, and there is more than one kind of amnesia. p. 26

12. Mnemonic techniques are methods used to organize facts to make them easier to remember. p. 28

13. “Memory-improving mnemonic techniques were named after Mnemosyne (nee-MOSS-e-nee), the Greek goddess of memory, who was believed to know everything.” P. 29

14. A man known as H.M. lost his ability to form new memories after undergoing brain surgery meant to cure him of epilepsy. He could read the same magazine every day without remembering it, and forget the person he had met just a few moments before. Scientists used his case to learn more about the brain and memory. p. 6

15. “Your brain has about a trillion glial (GLEE-al) cells that supply nutrients to all your neurons and speed up their activity.” p. 10

c. (third page) Information about memory from additional sources:
1. According to a reference article in ScienceDaily, “The study of memory “has become one of the principal pillars of a new branch of science that represents a marriage between cognitive psychology and neuroscience, called cognitive neuroscience..”

2. The explanation for beginners on the website The Brain from Top to Bottom, tell us that “Information is transferred from short-term memory (also known as working memory) to long-term memory through the hippocampus, so named because its shape resembles the curved tail of a seahorse (hippocampus in Latin).”

3. Further, it explains that “When we remember new facts by repeating them or by employing various mnemonic devices, we are actually passing them through the hippocampus several times.”

4. The Brain from Top to Bottom also explains the term “inference”:
“If you know that a Porsche is a car, you know that a Porsche has brakes, even if you have not actually seen them, because you know that all cars have brakes. This highly useful form of reasoning is called inference, and it is based essentially on knowledge that we already have stored in our memories. The more knowledge we have already acquired, the more we will be able to draw inferences.”

5. “Every time you learn something,” says The Brain from Top to Bottom,” “neural circuits are altered in your brain. These circuits are composed of a number of neurons (nerve cells) that communicate with one another through special junctions called synapses.”

6. Studies reported in an article posted on Memory Loss and the Brain show that “Alcohol abuse, especially binge drinking, causes surprisingly long-lasting harm to memory and other brain functions.” The studies used lab rats bred to prefer alcohol over water.

7. According to an article on the Exploritorium website, “. . .your memory of an event is something you construct from bits and pieces: from what you saw and heard and experienced and felt at the time; from things people told you afterward; from suggestions and thoughts and implications, all filtered by your attitude, by who you are.” The authors tell about real instances of people remembering in detail things that never happened.

8. Mary K. Miller, in another article published on the Exploritorium website, says that “Regular exercise can improve some mental abilities by an average of 20–30 percent.”

9. Miller and Art Shimamura, a professor and memory expert at the University of California at Berkeley, tell about a hundred and one year old woman and her friends in their eighties who keep their memories sharp, and have formed an organization that helps other senior citizens to do the same.

10. I found out from the book The Incredible Machine that H.M. the man who lost his ability to form new memories, still had a high IQ and could “carry on an intelligent conversation” as long as it didn’t deal with anything that had happened after the surgery.

11. Another interesting fact from The Incredible Machine is this: “What we choose to store in our long-term memories is closely tied to our emotions: . . . Neutral events tend to be forgotten. We learn efficiently only when we are aroused in some way. . .”

d. (fourth page) Works Cited
Long Term Memory. (Level of Explanation: Beginner) The Brain from Top to Bottom. Retrieved January 17, 2008, from [sponsored by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research]

Memory. ScienceDaily. Retrieved January 17, 2008, from– /releases/2003/06/030606081111.htm

Miller, Mary K. “Young in Mind.” Retrieved January 17, 2008, from

Murphy, Pat, and Paul Doherty. “Messing with Your Mind.” Retrieved January 17, 2008, from

National Geographic Society. The Incredible Machine. Washington, D.C.: National Geographic Society, 1986.

Pendick, Daniel. “This Is Your Brain On Booze.” Memory Loss & the Brain Winter 2007: Retrieved January 17, 2008, from

January 31, 2008

January 31, 2008

My face is RED! I’m so embarrassed!
On our pronouns and antecedents quiz, on number 8, the antecedent of “yours” was “Martha”! I’d said it was bicycle. I was so wrong!
“The bicycle is yours, Martha” means “The bicycle is Martha’s, Martha.”

Self-Starter: Antecedents of Pronouns
Number a piece of scratch paper form 1-9. Answer the questions below:
1. He is our principal.
Who is he? _________________________

2. He is a vice principal and is also a police officer.
Who is he? _________________________

3. He is the other vice principal, and he makes very funny jokes.
Who is he? __________________________

4. She is trying to teach us about pronouns.
Who is she? ________________________

5. She is a teacher, and a firefighter.
Who is she? ________________________

6. If you have an unexcused absence, he will find you and talk with you about it.
Who is he? _________________________

7. It is where I go to school.
What is it? ___________________________

8. This is the mascot for our school.
What is it? __________________________________

9. They are young people who come to this school every day.
Who are they? __________________________________
1. Take the quiz on antecedents. ( If you were absent, see me about taking the quiz.)
Use any extra time for quiet reading, having books recorded on your Reading Bingo, or retaking the noun/pronoun quiz if needed.
Students have had time during several class times to read their portfolio books. They should be well into these books.

2. Civil Rights and the Jim Crow Laws: Read questions about the video. Watch the video quietly.
1. Who was Jim Crow?
2. What were Jim Crow laws?
3. When did Jim Crow laws get started?
4. What were three effects of Jim Crow laws?
5. What are two reasons that ex-slaves remained in debt?
6. How did segregation affect the civil rights of African-Americans?

3. Reading Words By Heart, starting on page 14
Think about these questions as we read:
1. Should parents protect their children by not telling them about unpleasant or dangerous things that might affect them?
2. What is it that Lena doesn't understand in this book?
3. What would you tell her about the society she lives in if you could talk to her?

Talk Show Dramatization: A1 did this. The other classes prepared.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

More Recommended Books

I found an annotated list of books posted by another middle school teacher. Look at his list of nonfiction. I haven't read these, but some might be possibilities for the portfolio.


Next Binder Check -- February 13

Next Binder Check February 13
I am adding items here as they go in your binder.

Binder Check

_/ 5 The binder is at class today.

__/8 The four dividers are there and properly labeled. (2 points each)

The binder contains at least the following:

Under Reading: These must be in the binder under this divider to receive points.

_/3 The Reading Bingo Card

_/1 The third term portfolio assignment (You may have already turned in Part 1 by this time.)

_/1 The third term portfolio book approval

_/2 The sheet of lined paper with your writing response about winning

_/2 Your list of 5 groups who have been treated with cruelty or treated disrespectfully. Think of what you know of history and of the world.

__/2 Write about a time when it was important for you to win. If you haven't been in a regular competition (spelling bee, sports, science fair, games) that was important to you, you could write about a time it was important to you to do well. Write at least 5 sentences, and put this in your binder under reading.

_/2 This might be continued on the same page or start a new one:
a. "Secrets" When is it okay, and when is it not okay for parents to keep secrets from their children? Should they keep their children from finding out about unpleasant or dangerous things that might affect those children?
How much should parents try to protect their children from knowing? Think about Lena and her papa in Words By Heart. Think also about secrets that parents might keep in today's world.
b. Label this part "Prepositions." Either write a definition for prepositions, or list at least five prepositions.

_/3 The sheet that shows you how to write your Worked Cited entries.

_/2 The Earthquake sheet

_/2 The "Creating a Works Cited Entry" worksheet.

Under Word Work These must be in the binder under this divider to receive points.

__/2 The Chart of Prefixes and Suffixes

_/2 A Brief History of the

English Language

_/2 Word Sort Challenge

__/2 Quiz on Nouns and Pronouns -- Am I Getting It?

__/2 Quiz on Pronouns and Antecedents (January 31)

___/45 Total Points

Another Historical Fiction Book

This review is copied from

Kirby Larson, the author of this 2007 Newbery Honor book, will be coming in March to the UVSC Forum on Children's Literature.

Hattie Big Sky
by Kirby Larson (Author)
Newberry Honor Book
Paperback: 320 pages
From Booklist
*Starred Review* In this engaging historical novel set in 1918, 16-year-old orphan Hattie Brooks leaves Iowa and travels to a Montana homestead inherited from her uncle. In the beautiful but harsh setting, she has less than a year to fence and cultivate the land in order to keep it. Neighbors who welcome Hattie help heal the hurt she has suffered from years of feeling unwanted. Chapters open with short articles that Hattie writes for an Iowa newspaper or her lively letters to a friend and possible beau who is in the military in France. The authentic first-person narrative, full of hope and anxiety, effectively portrays Hattie's struggles as a young woman with limited options, a homesteader facing terrible odds, and a loyal citizen confused about the war and the local anti-German bias that endangers her new friends. Larson, whose great-grandmother homesteaded alone in Montana, read dozens of homesteaders' journals and based scenes in the book on real events. Writing in figurative language that draws on nature and domestic detail to infuse her story with the sounds, smells, and sights of the prairie, she creates a richly textured novel full of memorable characters. -- Kathleen Odean
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

Saturday, January 26, 2008

January 29, 2008

January 29, 2008
We did an activity with the suffixes -able and -ible, and found a general rule about when to use -able and when to use -ible. We also discovered that these suffixes turn words into adjectives -- most of the time.

A1 only: On a sheet of lined paper (file under "Reading") write at least 5 sentences about a time when you really wanted to win (or to at succeed at something).

All classes: On the same lined sheet of paper where you wrote your entry about winning,
list groups that have been treated with cruelty or disrespect. Label it groups that have been treated with cruelty or disrespect. Think of what you know of history and of the world. Make a list of at least 5 groups.

Book orders were handed out. They are due by January 31.
If you have extra time in class, read your portfolio book.
Make sure you've turned in your portfolio book approval. You'll still get full points, but have missed the chance for the ten extra credit points.

We created a "choral montage" using sentences from Words By Heart.

Reading from Words By Heart:
to the bottom of page 14 "She sat silent beside him the rest of the way home."
to the bottom of page 14 "She sat silent beside him the rest of the way home."
to the bottom of page 14 "She sat silent beside him the rest of the way home."
(This class didn't get to do the choral montage yet. They wrote down pages and words to remind them where their sentences are.)
A4 to the bottom of page 14 "She sat silent beside him the rest of the way home."

Still More Book Suggestions for the Portfolio

Books from the Book Orders that would be appropriate
for the 3rd Term Book Portfolio:

Arrow January:
Destined to Live by Ruth Gruener -- Holocaust
10.000 Day of Thunder by Caputo -- Vietnam War
(another source to use could be The Vietnam War by Westwell in the Tab catalogue)
My Name is Not Angelica by O’Dell – Slavery
To Be a Slave by Lester – Slavery
Steal Away Home by Ruby – Underground Railroad/Slavery
Flags of Our Fathers by Bradley and Powers – Iwo Jima 1945 WWII
(another source to use could be The Battle of Iwo Jima by Hama in February Tab)

Tab January:
Red Moon at Sharpsburg by Wells – Civil War
Holocaust Pack: The Devil’s Arithmetic, Marika, Milkweed
The Breadwinner by Ellis – Taliban, Afghanistan
Sing Down the Moon – O’Dell – Native American, Slavery
Soldier Boys – Hughes – WWII
Elijah of Buxton – Curtis – slavery
Harriet Tubman Secret Agent – Allen
Code Talker – Bruchac -- WWII Navajo Marines

Arrow February:
Elijah of Buxton – Curtis – slavery
Red Moon at Sharpsburg by Wells – Civil War
Freedom Walkers: The Story of the Montgomery Bus Boycott by Freedman
Harriet Tubman Secret Agent – Allen
Ann Rinaldi Pack
Al Capone Does My Shirts by Choldenko

Tab February:
Night by Eli Wiesel Holocaust (a classic, heart-wrenching story of a child sent to a Nazi death camp)
Ask Me No Questions by Budhos (perhaps)
The Royal Diaries: Catherine Russia 1743
Behind the Lines by Holland – Civil War
Numbering All the Bones by Rinaldi – Slavery, Civil War, Clara Barton
Homeless Bird by Whelan – India, women’s rights
My Name is Not Angelica by O’Dell – Slavery
Another Holocaust pack – Except you may not use Anne Frank for your portfolio since it is an 8th grade class book.

Friday, January 25, 2008

More Suggestions for the Portfolio Book

More Suggestions for the Portfolio Book

You might want to look at these books:
The Dear America Series, including titles about the Salem Witch Trials, the Gold Rush, the Titanic, the Suffragettes, the Mayflower, and many more, including The Great Railroad Race: the Diary of Libby West, Utah Territory 1868.

The My Name is America series, including titles about the marine corp in Vietnam, the Cherokee and the Trail of Tears, World War II and Normandy, the Civil War, the Lewis and Clark Expedition, the internment of Japanese Americans during World War II, pilgrims, an Alaskan whaling ship, the Donner Party.

The Royal Diaries, including titles about Catherine the Great, and royalty in Japan, Sweden, Egypt, Hawaii, and more.

If you look for the Dear American series, be careful because there is series with a similar title that is written for much younger children. Those wouldn't be appropriate for most seventh graders.

Binder Check

Binder Check January 23, 2008

_/ 5 The binder is at class today.

__/8 The four dividers are there and properly labeled. (2 points each)

The binder contains at least the following:

Under Reading: These must be in the binder under this divider to receive points.

_/3 The Reading Bingo Card

_/2 The third term portfolio assignment

Under Word Work These must be in the binder under this divider to receive points.

__/2 The Chart of Prefixes and Suffixes

_/2 A Brief History of the

English Language

_/2 Word Sort Challenge

__/2 Quiz on Nouns and Pronouns -- Am I Getting It?

___/ 26 Total Points

January 25, 2008

January 25, 2008

Make sure you filed your Earthquake paper under "Reading" and your pink binder check under "Goals."
Turn in your Portfolio Book Approval. This is the last day to get the extra credit on your approval.
Read your portfolio book and have Ms. Dorsey put it on your bingo card.

Writing: Write about a time when it was important for you to win. If you haven't been in a regular competition (spelling bee, sports, science fair, games) that was important to you, you could write about a time it was important to you to do well. Write at least 5 sentences, and put this in your binder under reading.

-- Others sources for the portfolio: Students received a sheet showing the MLA format for citing sources.
We also looked at a great internet source. Go through Log in with the user name (see me or our librarians), and the password (see me or our librarians). You can then get into World Book Online and other sources. One of the best is SIRS Discoverer. It is an online database of articles and other information that has been screened for suitability and helpfulness for school use.

We watched some video clips about immigrants to the United States, asking the questions -- What are our basic human rights?
What is the American Dream?
How do we obtain and help others to obtain rights and dignity?

We began reading our class novel -- Words By Heart
A1 read to page 7 paragraph 3 They seemed too large for her small mind. . .
A2 finished chapter 1
A3 read to page page 7 -- top of page
A4 read to the middle of page 6.

Monday, January 21, 2008

January 23. 2008

January 23. 2008

Don't forget that we're having a binder check today!

Binder check. Check with me to make up your work if you didn't get this taken care of today.

Introduction to Grammar Rap

See a Sample of Part 1 for the Book Portfolio.
For more suggestions for books, see the blogs for December 19, January 14, January 19.

Practice taking notes from a nonfiction text, "When the Earth Shakes," pages 435 - 439 in our literature text. Look for important facts that could stand on their own.
For instance, the first two pages of this nonfiction article tell about the effects of the March 1964 earthquake that shook Alaska. The part that is presented in story form tells us that
Fact: "An earthquake that took place on March 27, 1964, caused severe damage and changed the topography of parts of Alaska." pp. 436-437 (paraphrased)
The rest of the article explains how earthquakes are produced, and includes many facts we need to understand the explanation.
Fact: "Beneath its soil and oceans, the earth is a big ball of rock with three main regions: the core, the mantle, and the crust." p. 438
Fact: "The crust under the oceans is made of denser rock than the crust under the continents." p. 438
Fact: "Earthquakes occur when the rock of the mantle or crust suddenly shifts or snaps." p. 438

Saturday, January 19, 2008

More Books -- Nonfiction Picks

What are you interested in?
For your portfolio,
pick a book on a topic you'd really like to learn more about.

These were recommended on the ala/yalsa (American Library Association/ Young Adult Library Services Association) booklists awards. I haven't read them, so I can't make any guarantees, but I did check them out online, and they look interesting.

The Moon
by Michael Carlowicz (Author)
Sea Monsters: Prehistoric Creatures of the Deep by Michael Everhart (Author)
From Boneshakers to Choppers: The Rip-Roaring History of Motorcycles by Lisa Smedman (Author)
Football Now by Mike Leonetti and John Laboni
Brooke, Michael. The Concrete Wave (The History of Skateboarding). Nonfiction. Warwick. April 1999. 200p.
Menzel, Peter and Faith D'Aluisio. Man Eating Bugs: The Art and Science of Eating Bugs. Nonfiction. Ten Speed Press. November 1998. 192p.
Hawk, Tony. Between Boardslides and Burnout: My Notes From the Road.
Fleischman, Sid. Escape!: The Story of the Great Houdini
Fradin, Judith Bloom and Fradin, Dennis Brindell. 5,000 Miles to Freedom: Ellen and William Craft's Flight From Slavery
Robertson, James I., Jr. Robert E. Lee: Virginian Soldier, American Citizen -- This would be helpful preparation for U.S. History class next year.
Akbar, Said Hyder and Burton, Susan. Come Back to Afghanistan: A California Teenager's Story.
Bartoletti, Susan Campbell. Hitler Youth: Growing Up in Hitler's Shadow.
Farrell, Jeanette. Invisible Allies: Microbes That Shape Our Lives.
Giblin, James Cross. Good Brother, Bad Brother: The Story of Edwin Booth and John Wilkes Booth.
** Jurmain, Suzanne. The Forbidden Schoolhouse: The True and Dramatic Story of Prudence Crandall and Her Students. (I've seen this one. It was recommended by local teachers and libarians.)
Zenatti, Valérie. When I Was a Soldier: A Memoir -- about an Israeli female soldier (recommended for 8th grade and up)
Allen, Thomas B. George Washington, Spymaster: How the Americans Outspied the British and Won the Revolutionary War
Bausum, Ann. With Courage and Cloth: Winning the Fight for a Woman's Right to Vote
Morpurgo, Michael. Private Peaceful -- World War I
Wolf, Allan. New Found Land: Lewis and Clark's Voyage of Discovery.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

January 18, 2008

January 18, 2008
We finished the Pronoun/Noun circle book. You need a definition and two examples for each type of pronoun and each type of noun. (See pages 296-306 in our writing and grammar text.)
We watched a video about nouns or pronouns.
Students took a quiz on types of pronouns and nouns, using the circle book and the textbook.
*** Students received the term portfolio assignment.***
Students had a chance to look for portfolio books in the media center.
Students went to the media center to look for a portfolio book.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

January 16, 2008

January 16, 2008

We completed a word sort sheet, and filed it in our binders under "Word Work."*

We finished the "Magical Study Guides" for prefixes and suffixes.
We did a brief pronoun quiz.**

We watched the Grammar Rock segment about pronouns "'cause sayin' those nouns over and over can really wear you down."

Students created a "circle book" to use in studying nouns and pronouns.
The created the "book." Then they copied definitions and example words for common nouns, collective nouns, compound nouns, proper nouns, personal pronouns, indefinite pronouns, interrogative pronouns, and demonstrative pronouns.

*Word Sort Challenge
➢ Sort the words below into four categories.
➢ All the words in each category must have something in common that they don’t have in common with the words in the other categories.
➢ The categories do not need to have equal numbers of words in each.
➢ Be able to explain how you sorted the words. There is more than one right way to do it!


** Above each word, write a pronoun you could use to replace it.

1. Sally sold seventy flashlights to Sally’s sisters, so Sally won twenty minutes of giant Play-Station at lunchtime.
2. Irene said about Irene, “The I-Pod is Irene’s. Irene won it in a drawing.”
3. Don dreamed Don was a doughnut at a doughnut party. In the dream, when Ms. Dorsey tried to eat Don, Don screamed, “Don’t eat Don!”
4. Now, write a definition for pronouns:

[I found the cartoon at]

Monday, January 14, 2008

More Suggested Books for the Portfolio

More Suggested Books for the Portfolio

First a Reminder: Don’t use The Diary of Anne Frank (an eighth grade class book), Getting Away with Murder or Mississippi Trial, 1955, books by Dave Peltzer, books already on your “Do Not Read” list, or books being read in the Reading Literature classes. Make sure the book is approved by a parent and by the teacher. Also, don’t use Words By Heart by Ouida Sebestyen since we will be reading it in class.

Here are some new books I haven't read, but they are recommended by Peggy Sharp, a "book guru" among teachers and librarians:
Mystery Of The Lost Colony (Roanoke) (Hardcover)
by Lee Miller (Author) 112 pages
Chase (Hardcover) by Jessie Haws is set in post-Civil War Pennsylvania. Readers learn about that time period, coal miners, labor disputes, and terrorism. 256 pages
Come Juneteenth (Great Episodes) (Hardcover) by Ann Rinaldi is about slavery and the Emancipation Proclamation. Did you know that Texas slave owners kept the Emancipation secret for two and a half years, until they were forced to reveal it on June 19, 1865?
Elijah Of Buxton (Hardcover) by Christopher Paul Curtis
This is from the author of The Watsons Go to Birmingham -- 1963! and Bud, Not Buddy. I've heard Elijah of Buxton is even better than his other books.

I'll suggest more later.

January 14, 2008

January 14, 2008
Today students received their Portfolio Book Approvals. They were instructed to write the due dates in their planners. See the information below. See also another recent post listing suggested books. The post with lots of books listed was posted on December 19th.

Each student should choose a book on a subject he or she is interested in learning more about.

Students viewed a PowerPoint about the History of the English Language. Did you know that only about 1/5th of our words come from Anglo-Saxon (the more or less original English language), and over half of them come from the Romance Languages. That's one reason why it's a good idea to study Latin, or at least to study Latin prefixes, suffixes, and word roots.

This term we'll work on learning the Seventh Grade State Core Prefixes and Suffixes.
Today students received a chart showing those word parts, their meanings, and examples. The chart should be filed in the student binder under "Word Work."

Students started making a "Magical Study Guide" for learning the prefixes and suffixes.

Portfolio Book Approval
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 3, your student needs to choose one of the following types of books: literary nonfiction (including biography or autobiography), historical fiction, or multicultural fiction. It should have at least 100 pages, be a book 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 the Reading Bingo card or the English department website.)
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 January 25, in order to receive full points plus extra credit points. Sooner is better. This form will not be accepted for points after February 15.
Encourage your student to read his/her book whenever and wherever possible.
This term's portfolio assignment will be passed out by January 18. (Sooner, if possible.) I recommend that your student be well into his or her book at least a week before the first project due date: February 15. That way he/she will have time to get the project done. The second part of the project will be due by March 6. After March 14th, no late or revised work on the portfolio will be accepted for points. This will be an interesting assignment that requires understanding of the book and additional research. Quality work handed in early is welcome!
Thanks for your help!

Genres for the Third Term Portfolio Book:
Appropriate nonfiction books include biography, autobiography, and literary nonfiction. Literary nonfiction tells about real subjects in a story format. Examples: Shipwreck at the Bottom of the World, and Invisible Enemies (about terrible diseases).
Multicultural Fiction is based on situations that you won’t experience because of where you live or because of your cultural background. Example: Habibi (about an American girl whose Palestinian father takes his family to live in the West Bank -- Israel).
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, Jimmy Spoon and the Pony Express.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

January 10, 2008

January 10, 2008
Today students continued to review Parts of Speech with activities and packets. The packets should be handed in, filled out and corrected before the end of the term -- by 3:30 tomorrow.

Students also saw their tests on confusing words. For any they still don't know, the students are responsible to learn them so they can recognize them on tests and spell them correctly in their writing. Students, carefully proofread your written work for these errors.

We will work more with the verbs lie and lay.

Grades were posted with everything in except the parts of speech packets.

All students received semester two class schedules today. The schedules were passed out in the their A4 classes.

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

January 8, 2008

January 8, 2008
Today we took the test on Seventh Grade Confusing Words. If you were absent, arrange with Ms. Dorsey to take the test.
We spent more time reviewing sentence parts and parts of speech.
subject, predicate, simple and complete subject and predicate, simple and compound subject and predicate, nouns, verbs, pronouns, adjectives, and adverbs. Look for the packets in your class absent envelope if you weren't here.
Ms. Dorsey gave a "Heads-Up" introduction to the types of books you will be reading for the Term 3 Novel Portfolio. Acceptable books include these genres:
literary nonfiction
Historical fiction (novels)
Multicultural fiction (novels)

Thursday, January 3, 2008

January 4, 2008

January 4, 2008
Today is the LAST day to hand in late work for this class --
including the novel portfolio (both parts) and the reading bingo.
It is also the last day to work on the MYAccess essay on The Giver. You may continue to work on it after school or this evening at home, but after today it will not be available.

Next time -- Tuesday, January 8 -- you will take the final test on the Confusing Words.

1. Review for Confusing Words -- We played Sparkle to review, with all students writing down the words.
2. Sentence Parts and Parts of Speech Review!
Students took a pretest on parts of speech. We watched "The Tale of Mr. Morton" (about subjects and predicates) from Grammar Rock. Students also completed or took for homework a packet on sentences, subjects, predicates, and verbs.

Students who needed to had a chance to finish up or revise the Giver essay in the computer lab.

If you were absent you need to do these things:
1. Ask Ms. Dorsey to let you take the Grammar Pre-Test.
2. Complete, check, and hand in the pink grammar packet.
3. Complete and hand in the exit slip.