Wednesday, August 31, 2011

This is So Fun!

Found on Facebook

Don't you just love the English language?
I have been to a lot of places, but I've never been in Cahoots. Apparently you can't go alone, you have to be in Cahoots with someone. I've never been in Cognito either. I hear no one recognizes you there. I have, however, been in Sane. They don't have an airport, & you have to be driven there. I have made several trips thanks to my friends and family. I would like to go to Conclusions, but you have to jump and I'm not much on physical activity!!

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

August 31, 2011

1. Pick up your composition book. Finish taking the central idea pretest. Hand it in, then quietly look for or read a book.
Next time:  Fieldtrip to the Media Center

2. Practice for spelling test on Friday.

An Effective Procedure for Studying Spelling Words

Forms of Address for Teachers 2011

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. 

3.  Receive a tape-in table of contents for your composition book. Tape in in as directed on the Table of Contents.  Add sticky-note bookmarks to divide up your composition book into sections.  Follow the directions on the Table of Contents paper.

4.  Types of sentences -- Take notes in your composition book right after the page about Four Types of Sentences. --  You can download this document and just view it on your computer, or print it.
Four Types of Sentences.doc

    Look at more information on end punctuation, especially exclamation marks.
Don't overuse exclamation marks.

5.  Plot -- create a plot line in your composition book on the first page of the Notes and Quick Writes section. 

6.  Some began reading The Outsiders.  A1 did -- through first page on packet, A2 didn't, A3 did -- through first page on packet,   A4

End punctuation:  There are four(4) types of sentences. The declarative sentence makes a statement. The interrogative sentence asks a question. The exclamatory sentence is a statement that shows strong emotion. And the imperative sentence gives a direction or a command.  Try this quiz:

See other explanations at

Literary terms:  plot, parts of a plot:
exposition: character, settin, (who, where, when, may introduce problems)
inciting incident
rising action with episodes/events and conflict
falling action

September 2, 2011

Visit Media Center -- Lesson from Mrs. Jones

Thursday, August 25, 2011

August 29, 2011

Today is Early-Out Monday.  See the schedule below. 

Self-Starter:  Pick up your composition book and the half-page handout on the back table.
Read the information on the half-page handout and fill in the blanks. Leave it on your desk when we go to the computer lab.

Class activities:
1.  Assign computer numbers and go to Computer Lab 223 -- take along a  book in case you finish early.
a. Take SRI (computer reading test)
     For information and rationale for using this test, see    If you have further questions, contact Ms. Dorsey.
b. Take Central (Main) Idea Pretest -- paper and scantron
c. Bring your book to read in case you finish early. 

Back in class:
1. Composition book --
Tape in Table of contents -- Taping procedure -- next time
Tape in Learning Editing --  End Punctuation #1  -- Fill in the blanks. Tape this on the third page of your composition book (counting front and back).   
Periods 1 and 2 corrected the half-sheet.  Period 3 and 4 did not.
Periods 3 and 4 practiced the spelling practice procedure. 

2. Spelling teacher's names -- suggestions, practice --
In order to get something to stick in your mind long-term, you must interact with it in meaningful ways many, many times. That's true of almost everyone, though I did have a student once, when I was teaching college, who had a photographic memory.  That's very rare!   So don't feel stupid if you don't remember something after studying it just a few times. 

An Effective Procedure for Studying Spelling Words

Forms of Address for Teachers 2011

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. 

3. Recognize summer birthdays

Important Reminders:
  • Have you selected and started your Book-of-the-Month yet?  See the tab above for Book-of-the-Month.
    Please make sure your parent or guardian approves of you reading  the book you select. 
  • Have you brought your composition book to leave in the classroom?
  •      If your family is unable currently to purchase school supplies, please contact me. 
  • Are you practicing remembering and spelling the names of your teachers, our administration, and your counselor?
Teacher notes to herself:
plain paper
sticky notes cut into strips
computer numbers
tape, clear
copies: editing #1
table of contents for composition book
edit test -- 2 errors
passwords for SRI
SRI instructions
sign-ups for book-of-the-month
#2 pencils 

Monday Early Out -- Today
Time Period Minutes
8:15 – 9:25 1st Period 70 minutes
9:30 – 10:45 2nd Period/Announcements 75 minutes
10:45 – 11:15 First Lunch 30 minutes
11:20 – 12:30 3rd Period 70 minutes
10:50 – 12:00 3rd Period 70 minutes
12:00 – 12:30 Second Lunch 30 minutes
12:35 – 1:45 4th Period 70 minutes

    We will have a
    Minimal Day  on Monday, September 26.
    Time Period Minutes
    8:15 – 9:15 1st Period 60 minutes
    9:20 – 10:20 2nd Period/Announcements 60 minutes
    10:20 – 10:45 First Lunch 25 minutes
    10:50 – 11:50 3rd Period 60 minutes
    10:25 – 11:25 3rd Period 60 minutes
    11:25 – 11:50 Second Lunch 25 minutes
    11:55 – 12:55 4th Period 60 minutes

    August 25, 2011

    August 25, 2011
    1.  Pick up the yellow spelling assignment on the names of your teachers, the administrators, and your counselor. 
    2.  Find your seat on the seating chart -- for period 1 and 2.
    3.  Fill out your teachers' names on the yellow chart -- using your schedule or planner.
             See this list of correct forms of address for the teachers: 

    Forms of Address for Teachers 2011

    4.  Disclosure document and quiz on the disclosure document.  (disclosure signatures and VIP form are due by September 2.  7th Disclosure Dorsey 2011-2012.doc
    5.  Other assignment handouts -- spelling (chart of seventh grade commonly-confused words), Book-of-the-Month (Read a novel by September 23 and bring it to class that day. You will use examples from the book to support your answers to questions about the book. See the tab above for Book-of-the-Month.)
    Please make sure your parent or guardian approves of you reading  the book you select. 
    6. Paragraph Pre-Test  -- If you missed, arrange with me a time to take it.
    7. Getting -to-Know-You activit, if time. -- periods 3 and 4

    Bring your composition book ASAP.

    Monday, August 15, 2011

    Welcome and Needed Supplies

    Welcome to Seventh Grade Language Arts (English) class!
       See also Term Expectations in a post below.
    While the sales on school supplies are available, it's a good idea to stock up on the things you'll need later, but that will be much more expensive then !

    Time-sensitive note:  I believe Target has thumb drives right now (August 3) for $5.95.  Walmart has the composition books for forty cents each.
    Note: If your family cannot afford school supplies, please speak with a teacher or administrator.

    Here are some required and suggested items.
    You will definitely need these: 
    • Composition books -- Ms. Dorsey asks her students to bring a composition book to use for readers' and writers' workshop. You might want to buy a couple when they are on sale.  You should have it at school by the beginning of the second week of school.
    • Plenty of lined paper (Get enough to last for the school year, since it costs so much more when it's not on sale.)
    • Plenty of pencils (Teachers usually keep some on hand for students to borrow in an emergency, but students should supply their own, and should not break or throw pencils.) If you like to use mechanical pencils, have extra lead on hand. Teachers won't have it. 
    • Pens with black or dark blue (indigo) ink
      • A red pen might be used sometimes, but do not do your homework and in-class writing with it or with other odd colors of ink.
      • Parents, please don't send sharpies or other permanent ink pens to school with your students. They can quickly become a nuisance item. If they need to use them to mark binders, notebooks, P.E. clothes, etc., please do that at home.
    • A couple of three ring binders. Some students do better with everything kept in one binder, and others prefer to have one binder for A-Day classes and another for B-Day classes.
    • Binder dividers -- You can buy these or make your own with index or construction paper.

    • A thumb drive comes in very handy. In the past, students have done a PowerPoint presentation for science class, and you and may want to use it to save or hand in work for other classes, including English class.  (You will need a thumb drive to use if you are taking Reading 7.)
    • Colored pencils may be needed for history class, and come in handy at times in other classes.
    • Spiral notebooks -- Watch for those that go on sale for ten or fifteen cents each.
    • A three-ring hole-punch that fits in your binder is very helpful if you receive handouts that haven't been punched.
    • A small manual pencil sharpener
    • A small pack of Kleenex -- We usually have facial tissues/Kleenex available in our classrooms, but they are not soft on a tender nose.
    • Hand sanitizer
    • If you find a good deal, you might want to have on hand some poster board. Sometimes teachers will assign students to create posters, and it's nice not to have to run out to the store at 10 pm when the student remembers he or she has a poster due the next day. [Yes,  I've been there, done that with my own children!]
    • Sticky notes and highlighters

    Computers and Internet
    Note to Parents: If you have a computer and printer, you might want to check to see that you have enough printer ink on hand so your student can print off homework when needed. Please encourage your student to finish and hand-in assignments before the deadline, so any computer or printer problems don't make them late.

    More about computers and Internet: It is very helpful to have the Internet available at home. Our English classes use a writing program called MYAccess for several assignments during the year. We access it at school, and students can write and revise their work from home or anywhere else they can use the Internet. That also allows parents to read their student's writing and watch their progress.
    Students may also need to do research on the Internet for various classes.
    If you do not have access at home, the student could use computers in our school media center, sometimes (such as during CaveTime) our computer labs are open to students who need extra time, and the Internet is available at the public library.
    Parents will need to sign a release for the student to use the Internet at school, and the student will need to have his or her Internet card in hand to use the Internet on the media center computers and in the other computer labs.

    Teacher Web Sites

    Many of our teachers have web sites, blogs, and wikis where you can find much information about classes, requirements, etc. Take advantage of this resource.

    If you're absent or looking for more information or maybe some extra credit, check this blog.
    You will most likely be required to use this blog at times during the school year. 

    (Originally posted July 13, 2010 -- Edited and Reposted in July for the 2011-2012 school year.)

    Sunday, August 14, 2011

    Literal or Figurative?

    Thank you, Brian P. Cleary!
    “He LITERALLY bit your head off?” Don’t use the word “literally” unless you mean that it actually (not metaphorically or figuratively) happened.

    A "Punctuation Mark" Ms. Dorsey Didn't Know About!

    The 'OKINA is an apostrophe-like symbol used in Hawaiian words. Ever
    notice how Hawai'i has appeared like this in the past dozen years or
    so? What appears between the first and second "i" is the 'OKINA, which
    is considered a consonant.
    and a quote
    "It's been my experience that you can nearly always enjoy things if you make up your mind firmly that you will."
    -Lucy Maud Montgomery who wrote the Anne of Green Gables books

    Wednesday, August 10, 2011

    PTSA Reflections Contest

    The theme for Reflections this year is "Diversity means ________"
    Look for the handouts that will be in the front office of the school. This handout will have the information you need to submit entries into the contest. 
     The deadline to submit entries will be Monday October 10 (subject to change).

    Tuesday, August 9, 2011

    Quote of the Day

    Quote of the Day: "Never trust anyone who has not brought a book with them."
    -Lemony Snicket
    Thank you to Goodreads!

    National Book Lovers' Day

    Today, August 9, is National Book Lovers' Day.  
    Celebrate!  Read a book! 

    Monday, August 8, 2011

    Hunger Games Movie On Its Way!,,20419951_20513357_20998907,00.html#20998908

    Plot Map Diagrams

    What is it about a story that makes us want to keep reading it? 


    Two other ways at looking at how most stories are now written: (from

    ABCD(E) Plot Analysis

    Here's another fairly practical way to think about how most stories are laid out, actual paragraph by paragraph rather than the chronological plotline — ABCD:
    Action = rising action / most of Aristotle's middle / in media res
    Back Story = exposition, ending with inciting incident / Aristotle's beginning
    Change = the climax / as seen in Aristotle
    Denouement = duh / Aristotle's ending
    Or, if you want to impress your friends, try ABCDE:
    Action = rising action / most of Aristotle's middle / in media res
    Back Story = exposition, ending with inciting incident / Aristotle's beginning
    Crisis = the moment of crisis or recognition that precedes the climax, from Aristotle's middle
    Decision = the climax, when a character does something that changes everything / Aristotle's climax
    Ending = denouement and resolution / Aristotle's ending

    Extra Credit for Term 1, 2011

    Vocabulary enrichment:  For five points extra credit, tell me what the difference is between robbery and burglary. 
    This offer expires one week before the end of Term 1, 2011.
    “I’VE BEEN BURGLED!” Robbery is the taking or attempting to take something of value from another person by use of force, threats or intimidation in the presence of the victim. Burglary is unlawful entry into a structure to commit a felony or theft. Burglary is commonly known as a "break in," or, "breaking and entering." A structure is usually in reference to physical buildings but not cars. Car break-ins or thefts are considered larcenies.
     Another Extra Credit Opportunity:   from Brian P. Cleary
    WITHOUT LOOKING IT UP do you think  HIPPOLOGY is the study of: A.) Commune dwellers from the 1960s. B.) Horses C. Medical ethics D.) Brains.
    Now, look it up and come tell me why that term is used to refer to the study of . . . . .  
    This offer expires one week before the end of Term 1, 2011.
    ANXIOUS vs. EAGER? Often misused, ANXIOUS should be reserved for those times in which anxiety is produced. Use EAGER to show positive anticipation.
    Tell me the difference!
    This offer expires one week before the end of Term 1, 2011. 
    Feeling poetic? Try writing a line from a sensory poem. You take one of these words: LOVE, ANGER, PEACE, FEAR, JOY and tell me what it tastes like, smells like, looks like, feels like or sounds like. Example: Joy looks like fireworks against a night sky. …or…Peace smells like the inside of a candle store.
    This offer expires one week before the end of Term 1, 2011. 
    Nerd-a-licious fact: The dot over a lowercase i or j is called a TITTLE.  Come tell me for 3 extra credit points. 
    This offer expires one week before the end of Term 1, 2011.
    · · · 14 hours ago

    Friday, August 5, 2011

    Forms of Address for Teachers 2011

    Forms of Address for Teachers

    Adams -- Miss Adams
    Aiman – Mr. Aiman
    Anstead – Mrs. Anstead
    Barson -- Ms. Barson
    Bates -- Mrs. Bates  (You may also call her Professor.)
    Baugh -- Mrs. Baugh
    Behm – Mrs. Behm
    Bellini -- Mrs. Bellini or Bellini Sensei   (She is the Japanese teacher.)
    Biddulph -- Mrs. Biddulph or Sra. Biddulph
    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
    Fugal -- Mrs. Fugal
    Gadd – Miss Gadd
    Gadd – Mr. Gadd
    Grow -- Mrs. Grow
    Hansen -- Ms. Hansen
    Heng – Mrs. Heng (You may also call her Ms. Heng.)
    Houle – Mr. Houle
    John – Mrs. John  (computer writing lab)
    Jones -- Mrs. Jones
    Lemon – Mr. Lemon
    Lyde – Mr. Lyde
    MacFarlane – Ms. MacFarlane
    Major – Mr. Major
    Maucotel – Mrs. Maucotel
    Mazziotti -- 
    McCleskey – Ms. McCleskey
    McNeil -- Mrs. McNeil
    Memmott -- Mrs. Memmott
    Meyer –
    Moon – Mr. Moon
    Morrey – Mr. Morrey
    Newton – Mrs. Newton
    Olson – Mrs. Olson
    Packer – Mrs. Packer
    Paulsen – Mr. Paulsen
    Peet – Mrs. Peet
    Reutzel – Mr. Reutzel
    Roth -- Mrs. Roth 
    Schow -- Mrs. Schow
    Scott -- Mrs. Scott
    Smith – Mr. Smith (Derek Smith)
    Smith – Mrs. Smith (Shauna Smith)
    Smith – Mr. Smith (Wayne Smith)
    Somers – Mrs. Somers
    Starker -- Mrs. Starker
    Steed – Mrs. Steed
    Steffes – Mr. Steffes
    Szabo – Mr. Szabo
    Thornton – Mr. Thornton
    Underwood – Miss Underwood
    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.)
    Wicks – Mr. Wicks
    Wright – Mr. Wright

    Tuesday, August 2, 2011


    from Goodreads
    Quote of the Day: "It is our choices, Harry, that show us what we truly are, far more than our abilities."
    -J.K. Rowling
    Quote of the Day: "It's hard to lead a cavalry charge if you think you look funny on a horse."
    -Adlai E. Stevenson
    Quote of the Day: "I learned this, at least, by my experiment: that if one advances confidently in the direction of his dreams, and endeavors to live the life which he has imagined, he will meet with a success unexpected in common hours."
    -Henry David Thoreau