Tuesday, August 31, 2010

August 31, 2010

August 31, 2010
1. Bell-Ringer:  
Hand in your disclosure signatures if you have them, and . . .
Turn to the last page of your composition book.  Label it "Everyday Editing."  Read the following, then write two or more sentences about what you notice.  This could be about a story they might come from, or about the characters, or about the way the author writes it.   You do not have to copy the sentences.  Just write about what you notice about them.  Almost any answer works -- as long as it connects to the sentences given. 

Everyday Editing #1  
1. Miss Karpou was young, she was pretty, and she had been nice to

    me.  I didn’t want her to be sad.

2.  Orville smiled a big, nasty, gap-toothed smile, and said, “I’m gonna

     turn you into dog meat.”

3.  I could see only one place where no one would look for me.
     The dumpster.
      The Mancatcher would be coming through the door soon.  No time to think – only to do.  I ran across the loading dock, grabbed the lip of the dumpster, and swung my leg over the edge.
         When I looked down inside I almost changed my mind.  Four feet below me waited a smelly mass of banana peels, bread crusts, half-eaten hamburgers, and things too gross to mention.  I considered turning back.  Then I heard the door start to swing open.


2. Receive your Book-of-the-Month Club Assignment. 
One-Pager A Updated.doc  -- This is the Book-of-the-Month Assignment.

3. Reading Minute [If you liked it, you might want to go to http://www.brucecoville.com/.]

In your composition book you should have started a list of reading minutes.  Here are the first two:
Antsy Does Time    Neal Shusterman      ["yes" or "no" whether you'd be interested in reading it]
My Teacher Fried My Brains    Bruce Coville         ["yes" or "no" whether you'd be interested in reading it]

4. We discussed our Everyday Editing -- Noticing   (Standard 2, Objective 3 -- Correct use of commas in a series.)

5. Receive or remember Spelling Assignment and practice  -- We will have our test on the assigned names on September 9.  (Standard 2, Objective 3 -- Correct grade level spelling. Includes word study /awareness/ word attack) See the following links:

First Assignments for 2010-2011 and 

Spelling Tests and

Teacher Names and Forms of Address (This is a list of teacher names with the correct way to address each one.)  and 

Procedure for Studying Spelling Words (This is what we are practicing today.)


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

Spelling Teachers' Names Comp

6.  Speed Getting Acquainted (No, not speed-dating, but something like that without the dating part!)
Practice Interviewing by interviewing classmates. (Inquiry -- State Core -- Standard 3, Objective 1)

Interviewing Etiquette:
  1. Be friendly -- "I am glad to be spending this time with you."
  2. In this assignment, take turns answering the question.   
  3. When the other person is talking, pay close attention.
  4. Be responsive, nod, smile, make eye contact -- show that you are awake and listening.
  5. When you are answering a question, speak clearly and be willing to explain your answer.

Don't forget to bring your composition book

if you have not yet brought it. 

Please write your first and last name and period 

on the front. 

Procedure for Studying Spelling Words

Spelling Practice #1
This is an effective procedure for learning spelling words. Today each student practiced it with one of the names from their current spelling list.

Step 1: Check your spelling list. Check each word/name  for correct spellings and capitalization.

Step 2: Fold a piece of plain 8 ½ x 11 paper hotdog-wise.
Step 3: Fold the top (from the narrow end) over about 1 inch.
Step 4: Under that fold, write one of your spelling words or names. Write and capitalize it correctly. Place a star (*) by it, showing that this is the original, correct spelling.

Step 5: Read the word: look at it and say it. Notice word parts. Watch for spelling hints within the word.  (For example, you can divide Mr. Thornton's name into two parts: thorn and ton.  Picture a ton of thorns in his classroom. Ouch!)
Step 6: Spell the word to yourself: touch each letter with your pencil and say the letter softly aloud to yourself.

Step 7: Close your eyes. See the word in your mind. Say each of the individual letters softly aloud to yourself.

Step 8: Fold the paper over again, covering the word.
Step 9: Write the word again, saying each of the individual letters to yourself as you write it.
Step 10.  Open up the fold and check your spelling against the correctly spelled word.
Step 11: Fold the paper over again enough to create a new blank area with the word hidden. 
---  Repeat steps 9, 10, and 11  two more times. 
Step 12. Take a break  from this activity,
keeping your paper handy.  When you come back to your spelling practice, complete steps 13 and 14, and if you have time, go on to step 15.

Step 13. Don’t look at the word. Make sure the word is covered, and spell it without looking.

Step 14. Check your spelling against the correct original.  Hopefully you've correctly spelled the word! If you have, go on to step 15.   If not, follow the above steps again for that word.

Step 15 . . . .    Turn the paper upside down or inside out and practice another spelling word. 

Originally published 8/25/08

Monday, August 30, 2010

Teacher Names -- Spelling Hints

It's Thornton.

or, picture Mr. Thornton, dressed as a knight in armor, wielding his sword to try to cut through a ton of thorns, or just picture his classroom filled with thorns so you remember how to spell his name. 
"If you're going to throw something in tech. ed., you'd better not aim at that man -- not at Mr. Aiman."  (Just make sure you don't double the "m" when you spell his name.)

What ideas do you have to help yourself and others remember how to spell the teachers' names?
 Extra Credit Opportunity for those who bring original ideas to me! 

Teacher Names and Forms of Address

Here they are.  Notice there are some corrections to door plaques and other places you may have seen names.

Counselor Assignments

         A-Do      Adele Whiteley  -- Mrs. Whiteley
        Dr-Ke    Cody Thompson  -- Mr. Thompson
        Kh-Re   Laura Bartlett -- Mrs. Bartlett
        Rh-S      Melissa Nielson -- Ms. Nielson
        T-Z      Braden Walker  -- Mr. Walker

Alphabetical List

Adams -- Miss Adams
Aiman – Mr. Aiman
Anstead – Mrs. Anstead
Baltich – Miss Baltich
Barson -- Ms. Barson
Bartlett  -- Mrs. Bartlett  (or Ms. Bartlett)
Bates -- Mrs. Bates  (You may also call her Professor.)
Baugh -- Mrs. Baugh
Bellini -- Mrs. Bellini  (She is the Japanese teacher.)
Biddulph -- Mrs. Biddulph
Bird -- Mrs. Bird
Bryson – Mr. Bryson
Carter – Mr. Carter
Clayton – Mr. Clayton
Cotterell – Mr. Cotterell
Crawford – Mrs. Crawford
Dallon -- Ms. Dallon
Dean – Mr. Dean
Dibb – Mr. Dibb
Dickerson – Mr. Dickerson
Dorsey – Ms. Dorsey 
Earl -- Ms. Earl
Earling -- Grand Archmage Earling
Eddington – Miss Eddington
Elzey -- Mrs. Elzey  (She works in the counseling office.)
Fugal -- Mrs. Fugal
Gadd – Miss Gadd
Gadd – Mr. Gadd
Groover – Mr. Groover
Grow -- Mrs. Grow
Hansen --  Mrs. Hansen (Terese)
Hansen -- Ms. Hansen (Gayle)
Heng – Mrs. Heng (You may also call her Ms. Heng.)
Houle – Mr. Houle
Jones -- Mrs. Jones
Killian – Mrs. Killian
Lemon – Mr. Lemon
Lyde – Mr. Lyde
Marshall – Miss Marshall
McCleskey – Ms. McCleskey
McNeil -- Mrs. McNeil
Memmott -- Mrs. Memmott
Miller -- Mrs. Miller
Moon – Mr. Moon
Myers -- Miss Myers  (She is the Director of Bands.)
Nielson -- Ms. Nielson

Olson – Mrs. Olson
Palmer -- Ms. Palmer or Coach Palmer
Paulsen – Mr. Paulsen
Peet – Mrs. Peet
Price – Mrs. Price
Reutzel – Mr. Reutzel
Roth -- Mrs. Roth 
Schow -- Mrs. Schow
Scott -- Mrs. Scott
Smith – Mr. Smith (Derek Smith)
Smith – Mrs. Smith (Julie Smith)
Smith – Mrs. Smith (Shauna Smith)
Smith – Mr. Smith (Wayne Smith)
Starker -- Mrs. Starker
Steed – Mrs. Steed
Steffes – Mr. Steffes
Thornton – Mr. Thornton
Underwood – Miss Underwood
Walker -- Mrs. Walker
Ward -- Miss Ward
Way -- Mrs. Way
Werner -- Mrs. Werner (band -- even though her sign says Ms.)
Wettstein -- Mrs. Wettstein  (You may also call her Mrs. W.)
Whiteley – Mrs. Whiteley
Whitworth -- Mrs. Whitworth (You may also call her Mrs. W.)
Wicks – Mr. Wicks
Wright – Mr. Wright

Friday, August 27, 2010

August 27, 2010

August 27, 2010 -- Today's Agenda

Bell-Ringer:  Students completed a quiz based on the disclosure document, and we later discussed it.
Assignment: Return the signed and filled out disclosure signature sheet and VIP form by September 2.

A2 received bar codes for their student planners.  I still have some bar codes for students who were absent, or were moved from my A2 class.

Students were told about the Book-of-the-Month Club. See this post for more information:

Required Individual Reading


We took a "fieldtrip"  to the media center where Mrs. Jones presented an enhanced introduction to the media center.  Students had an opportunity to select and check out books. 

Our librarians are Mrs. Jones and Mrs. Bird. 

     You may check out up to three books for up to two weeks  with one renewal (unless the book is in great demand), and the late fine is ten cents a day.  


Back in the classroom: Mrs. Dorsey presented a "Reading Minute" from Antsy Does Time by Neil Shusterman.


A2 and A4 received the first spelling assignment.  A1 and A3 will receive it next time. See

First Assignments for 2010-2011


Don't forget to bring your composition book

if you have not yet brought it. 

Please write your first and last name and period 

on the front. 

Monday, August 23, 2010

Riddle! Five points extra credit for five students!

Riddle!  Five  points Extra credit for the first five students to bring me a correct answer 
Buffalo NY 2nd grader, Scott takes a spelling test on Monday, and he spells all 10 of his words right. On Tuesday, his parents jobs are relocated 100 miles away. On Wednesday, at his new school, he gets the EXACT same set of words to spell. He spells them the same way as he did Monday, but receives a lesser score. How can this be?
Thanks to Brian Cleary.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

I'm Hoping My Students are or will become Bookworms!

I loved this picture so much, I had to post it here.  By the way, this one isn't mine, but I do have a new granddaughter, born July 29.

from http://milasdaydreams.blogspot.com/

Friday, August 20, 2010

Sunday, August 15, 2010

My Newest Grandchild

This is Avi Elizabeth, born July 29, 2010.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Think about it. . .

The happiest people don't have the best of everything; they just make the best of everything they have.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Spelling Tests

Your writing must be legible -- each letter -- to receive points for a name or word.
You must also correctly  use capitalization.
You will lose a point if you have not included your first and last name on your paper, written legibly and correctly capitalized.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Disclosure Document and Other Materials

Find the class disclosure document, signature sheet, and VIP form (that students need to fill out and hand in by September 2) here:
http://cavemanenglish.pbworks.com/Disclosure-Materials   (In the future you should be able to download the documents, but for now, see below.)

I had trouble uploading the documents, so for now I have copied the materials to this wiki page: http://cavemanenglish.pbworks.com/English+7+Disclosure+Materials+for+2010-2011

These will be handed out, but are available here for your convenience.

Note:   I am usually available after school, unless I have a meeting.  If you feel you need to see me before school, please make an appointment.  In the morning I am often off running off copies, working in another classroom, or taking care of other needs. And, students,  you may also come see me when I am doing intervention during Cave Time, though there may be other students also waiting to see me then.

E-mail is a great way to communicate -- to either ask questions or express a problem or make a suggestion, or to set up an in-person appointment.

First Assignments for 2010-2011

These are among the  first assignments that you will receive:
1. Don't forget to bring the supplies you need for this class, including pencils, pens, and lined paper,  and make sure you bring a composition book which you will leave in the class. 
2.  You will receive a disclosure document for your class, and will be expected to return the signature sheet and VIP (about you) form by September 2.
3.  You will also select by September 2 a book to read on your own. Sign up for it on the list in the classroom.  Bring that book to class each time we meet.  See this post for more information on selecting a book: 

Required Individual Reading

4.  First Spelling Assignment
Prepare to be tested on correctly spelling (with correct capitalization and punctuation)
the names of your teachers, counselor, and administrators.

Be ready to take the test on these names on September 9.

The names of your teachers for this term:
Include the title each prefers: Mr., Ms., etc. For example, you would write "Ms. Dorsey."
If you have a teacher for more than one class, when you take the test you will write that teacher's name more than once. 
1. ________________________________
2. ________________________________
3. ________________________________
4. ________________________________
5. ________________________________
6. ________________________________
7. ________________________________
8. ________________________________

Your seventh grade counselor:
9. __________________________________
The names of our administrators
10. Principal: Mr. Shane Farnsworth
11. Assistant Principal: Mr. James Young
12. Assistant Principal: Mrs. Julie Price
13. Assistant Principal:  Mr. Kirk Johnson

Friday, August 6, 2010

Commas in a Series -- What's Different?

Everyday Editing.

How can you know what’s missing if you’ve never met it? You must know of something’s existence before you can notice its absence.
-- E.L Konigsburg, The View from Saturday (1996)
When we look first at model sentences, then we can learn what it takes to create successful sentences. Then we look at the same sentences, with changes, and look for what the changes are, and how they affect the sentence. We're practicing editing skills.

How'd They Do It? (What’s different?)
For each set, notice what is different between the original and the changed version.  In the back of your composition book, label the page or continued page with today's date , then number 1 to 5.
Tell what is different about each bolded sentence form the original.  If you were absent, do this on a piece of paper that could be taped into your composition book.

Set 1:
His room smelled of cooked grease, Lysol, and age.
-- Maya Angelou, I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings (1969)

His room smelled of cooked grease Lysol, and age.

Set 2:
His room smelled of cooked grease, Lysol, and age.
-- Maya Angelou, I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings (1969)

His room smelled.

Set 3:
His room smelled of cooked grease, Lysol, and age.
-- Maya Angelou, I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings (1969)

His room smelled of cooked grease, lysol, and age.

Set 4:
His room smelled of cooked grease, Lysol, and age.
-- Maya Angelou, I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings (1969)

His room smell of cooked grease, Lysol, and age.

Set 5:
His room smelled of cooked grease, Lysol, and age.
-- Maya Angelou, I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings (1969)

His room smelled off cooked grease, Lysol, and age.

Comma in a Series and Colons

Everyday Editing
Colons: Notice and Imitate
Serial commas let you make lists within sentences! They provide you with the "Power-of-Three" or more to add lists of specific details to your writing.

One of the uses of colons is also to allow you to add details because they can introduce lists. When adding specific details to your writing, you could try using a colon. (Pay attention, though, so you can use it correctly!) Colons emphasize that something important will follow. They can also introduce a complete sentence.

Here is a sentence that uses a colon to introduce a list:

The deputy told me to empty my pockets: two quarters, a penny, a stick of bubble gum, and roll of grip tape for my skateboard. -- Carl Hiaasen, Flush (2006)
And more examples:
"Empty your pockets!"
Reluctantly, one by one, Hugo pulled out dozens of objects: screws and nails and bits of metal, gears and crumpled palying cards, tiny pieces of clockworks, cogs and wheels.
-- Brian Selznick, The Invention of Hugo Cabret (2007)

But the car is quiet for now, as are the noontime streets: gas stations, boundless concrete, brick buildings with plywood windows -- Steven D. Levitt and Stephen J. Dubner, Freakonomics (2005)

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

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

We are going to imitate the first sentence we looked at:
The deputy told me to empty my pockets: two quarters, a penny, a stick of bubble gum, and roll of grip tape for my skateboard. -- Carl Hiaasen, Flush (2006)

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

Now, in your composition book, under writing, copy one of the two sentences above, then imitate the sentence, using this pattern:

_____________ told me to empty my __________: ______________, _____________, and ______________.

Your imitation should be about a different topic.
By the way TSA is Transportation Security Administration. He's at the airport. What do the contents of his backpack reveal about him?

Monday, August 2, 2010

Required Individual Reading

Required Individual Reading = Book-of-the-Month Club

Each month, select a book to read. Some months you will be required to select a book in a particular genre. Some months you may pick almost any genre.

For example, for September, pick any novel (fiction) that meets these requirements:
  • You haven't read it before.
  • The book is at or near your own reading level. Usually this will be beginning-seventh-grade level or above.
  • Your book should not be less than 100 pages long unless you have special permission.
  • You can keep the book and bring it to school up to and including the day you are to complete your assessment ("test") on it. You will need to have  finished reading your September book, taking notes on it, and preparing the five paragraphs  by September 21.  If you  finish reading the book early, you need another book you can read during in-class individual reading time.
  •   Your book is approved by both your parents or guardian, and by your teacher.
Parents, help your student select a book he or she can finish within the allotted time. 
Go here to see lists of recommended books and a list of books you may not use for the Book-of-the-Month assignments:

State Core for Seventh Grade

To see the Utah State Seventh Grade Core, go to



or download a PDF file for the secondary language arts core (seventh through twelve grades) at

We usually focus on the standards and objectives, but the Intended Learning Outcomes (ILO's) are also important.  See them in the core PDF linked above or here:

State Core ILO's

Parents might also be interested in the proposed Common Core for U.S. Schools.

Extra Credit Poem Memorization

This extra credit opportunity will expire with the end of first term.

Memorize the poem for up to 16 extra credit points. Pick up a poem/scoring sheet from the classroom.

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.

Note on extra credit:  Extra Credit Points are not added onto your grade unless you have completed all major assignments and tests.  

Scholastic Book Orders

Online Ordering Information
Web address: scholastic.com/bookclubs
Class Activation Code: GKLJW

Dear Parent,

Now it's easier than ever to find the right books for your child — and help us earn FREE books for our classroom library at the same time!

With new online ordering from Scholastic Book Clubs, you can choose from a much wider selection of books than in the printed flyer. Plus, you can send your orders directly to me online and use your credit card.

Best of all, our class earns a FREE book every time a parent places their order online.

It's so simple! Here's how it works:
  • SIGN UP at www.Scholastic.com/bookclubs. On the parent page, click the "Don't have a User Name and Password?" link, then register for your own username and password. When prompted, enter the one-time Class Activation Code shown above. This code ensures that your order is sent to me.
  • SELECT the books you'd like to order from over 500 titles available online...and take advantage of online-only specials and discounts.
  • SEND your order to me online by the due date. Books will be delivered directly to our classroom, as always.

Of course, you can still order using the form from the printed flyer. But why not experience for yourself how convenient it is to order online?

Ordering online is fast, easy, and secure. Plus our whole class benefits thanks to the FREE books we'll earn with every parent online order.

Go to www.Scholastic.com/bookclubs now to get started.

Thank you,
Ms. C. Dorsey

Our first book orders are due by September 17.