Monday, June 25, 2012

Old Composition Book Tab

Term 2, 2012-2013
Plan on writing a journal entry in your composition book each class day, as well as recording grammar exercises, and other items as directed by the teachers.

See the tab for Assignments.

Composition Book Make-Up

Last Year, 2011-2012
Term 3, 2012
All editing and quick-write exercises as assigned.
If you are absent, see the class blog for the day(s) you miss.  

 Term 2, 2011-2012

Notes and Quickwrites
November 2, 2011: Self-Starter: Pick up your composition book and an Anticipation Guide.   Tape in the Anticipation Guide.  Thoughtfully fill out the Guide and write (next under "Notes and Quickwrites") about the first statement (about memories) what you know and/or think about the statement.  Write one or more paragraphs for 1/2 page or more.

November 2, 2011:  Spy Notes for The Giver:  As we read the beginning of The Giver, students took notes on what they observed about the community.
November 14: Continue adding Spy Notes

November 14:  Self-Starter:  In your composition book, right after the last entry under "Notes and Quick-Writes," write the label "To Choose or Not to Choose: Jobs" with today's date, and write at least a half page about this statement:  "It would be easier to have someone tell you your occupation than for you to have to decide."  Write a paragraph or more, using a topic sentence, supporting details, and a conclusion.  Prepare by filling in the provided tape-in outline.
Use colored pencils to mark the paragraph:

Color the topic sentence green.
Color the supporting details yellow.
Color the concluding sentence red.

November 18:  Tape into your compositions book, next in the "Notes and Quick-Writes section, the handout for  transitions  for a contrast paragraph.  
 As directed, write a holiday contrast paragraph in your composition book, right after the transition list.

Today's Prompt:
Think about how one holiday differs from another holiday. Pick one aspect of holidays in general (food, decorations, activities, gifts, reason for the holiday, colors, etc.) and write one paragraph contrasting (showing the differences between) the two holidays. Remember to focus on just one aspect.

Total ___ points  for Term 2   (____ points on Skyward)
(___ = 85%)
 Term 1  2011-2012

Remember that you need to have a composition book to leave in the classroom.  You should have it at school by the beginning of the second week of school.
If you are bringing it/getting it ready later than that, check to see if I have yours recorded on Skyward.  If not, show it to me, and ask me to record the grade.  I may have you leave it in your class's top wire basket so I can grade it.  
August 31, 2011
Here's what you should have in your composition book so far:

Table of Contents tape-in  Table of Contents.doc
You also should have used sticky notes to mark the sections of your composition book.  (See directions on the Table of Contents tape-in.
10 points
In the section for Editing
1) End Punctuation half-sheet tape-in
2) August 31 -- Notes on Four Types of Sentences
                              -- see link to document to download on  blog post for August 31
3) September 7, 2011  Tape-in third sheet on Capitalization and passage from The Outsiders.  Beside it you will have made a list of the capitalized words from the passage and why each is capitalized.
4)  September 9, 2011 Tape-in half sheet on Capitalization and passage from The Higher Power of Lucky.   Beside it you will have made a list of the capitalized words from the passage and why they are capitalized.
5)  September 15, 2011 Tape-in half sheet on Capitalization and passage from Kathi Appelt, My Father's Summers .   Beside it you will have made a list of the capitalized words from the passage and why they are capitalized.
6) September 19, 2011   Interrogative or Declarative?  Changing a question into a statement when you writes answers to questions on tests and quizzes.
Interrogative:  What did you do over the weekend?
Changed to Declarative :  Over the weekend I. . . . . .
7) September 27, 2011  Tape in half sheet on Capitalization -- How'd They Do It?  Find differences from the original, correct them, and explain why the original is better.
8) September 29, 2011  Students highlighted a paragraph to show parts, and circled the transitions.
9) October 13, 2011  Taped in Conclusions worksheet, completed.
10) October 13, 2011  Taped in small "booklet" for Paragraph to Essay

30 points

In the section for Vocabulary and Spelling
 1. September 9, 2011 -- Spelling Dictation (see blog for this day)
2. October 2, 2011 -- Chart with any words you misspelled or on which you used incorrect capitalization.   How I Misspelled the Word/How It Should Be Spelled and How I Can Remember That

6 points
In the section for Notes and Quick Writes
August 31  Plot  -- A plot line drawn and labeled  -- see blog post for August 31

September 2
9/2/11  "Insiders and Outsiders?"  
Write for about a half page or so on this question:  "Have you ever felt like an outsider, someone who didn't fit in somewhere?  When and where?"  and/or "Do we have insiders and outsiders at our school, or did you at your elementary school? Who were they?  (not specific names, but types of people)

Label the page “Notes on Exposition”  with today’s date.
 Create two columns.  Copy these headings and notes, then continue to take notes as we read.

What I've found out                          How I know from the text 
It’s daytime.                                                The narrator steps out of a
                                                            movie theater into bright

  The narrator has                               He says so. He hates most
green eyes                                           guys with green eyes

Darrell (Darry) and Sodapop             The narrator tell us 
are the narrator's brothers

Label the Pages "Characters from The Outsiders"  September 7, 2011
Across the top of a two-page spread, write the names of these characters from The Outsiders:  Ponyboy, Sodapop, Darrel/Darry, Johnny, Steve Randall, Two-Bit Matthews, Dallas Winston.  Under each you will record information you find out about them.

Label and Pages "Episodes in The Outsiders"  September 9, 2011
Across the top of a two-page spread, write the label.  We'll stop now and then in the book to note cause and effect relationships.
For each significant event, write a sentence or more that uses the words "Because. . . . [this is what happened]. . . . " or  "[This happened] because. . . . . "
For example, "Because Ponyboy was walking home alone after the movie, the Socs were able to jump him."  or "Because Ponyboy's brothers and friends came, the Socs stopped beating up Ponyboy and ran away."
or "The Socs were able to jump Ponyboy because he was walking home alone after the movie."

On September 9, we wrote these:
"Cherry threw a Coke at Dally because he was talking dirty to her."
"Dally stopped bothering Cherry because Johnny told him to."
and others depending on how far the class got in the book

You should have continued to add to a list of events/episodes.  

September 13, 2011 --   Label "Response to Bullies?" and include today's date.  See this day's post for details.

September 15, 2011 -- Continue taking notes under  "Events/Episodes in The Outsiders"

October 3, 2011 -- Chart for paragraphs about positives or negatives about October or autumn.

October 5, 2011 -- What's the Big Idea, Anyway?  About Topics and Topic Sentences for Paragraphs
October 11, 2011 -- Before I Die -- at least 1/2 page

24 points
In the section for Books I've Read and Books I'd like to Read
September 23, 2011 -- The last page in your book should be labeled Books I'd like to Read, and divided in to three columns for Title, Author, and Notes.   You should have filled out the chart for at least two books by the time we have done our book share in class.

5 points

Total 75 points  for Term 1 (70 points on Skyward)
(65 = 85%)

Friday, June 8, 2012

Summer Reading 2012

Check out activities and resources at the American Fork Library:

You can download audio books at Pioneer Library if you have a library card!

Check with the A.F. Library, too, about joining the Teen Book Club on your email account.  It's a great way to sample books.

Other posts on this blog about reading:

What I'm Reading Over the Summer 2012

When I Read. . . .

Avoid the Summer Slide!

Summer Reads

Summer Reading I

Summer Reading II

Summer Reading III

Originally published 2012-05-31

Bradbury on the need for Books and Reading

Thursday, June 7, 2012

"Because" it's a Subordinating Conjunction

When I Read. . . .

“When I read a good book, I wish my life were three thousand years long.”
― Ralph Waldo Emerson

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

What I'm Reading Over the Summer - 2012

 Deathwatch by Robb White:  Adventure!  Danger!  Death! A teenage boy from a small desert town is hired by a rich city man who wants to bag a bighorn sheep.  The city dweller's madness and megalomania (look that one up) become frighteningly apparent.  You wouldn't want to be alone in the desert with an armed madman, especially after he disarms you.

Notes from the Cave by Gary Paulsen:   This book contains three novellas (very short novels or, more precisely, long short stories)  about kids who have it really tough and have to deal with drunk and abusive adults, poverty, trying to avoid drug-dealing thugs who rule the neighborhood, violence, loneliness, stark poverty, homelessness, etc.   This is the type of book that should be read first by a parent or guardian, or, better yet would be to read it and discuss it with a parent or guardian.  As usual with Paulsen's books that address serious issues, it's well-written and thought-provoking.

As of June 14 (Happy Flag Day!)  I'm reading The Hobbit and Everfound
      I finished both of those books. I enjoyed reading The Hobbit again -- in preparation for the movie coming out in December. (I'm excited.)  

     Everfound provided a very satisfactory ending to the Everlost trilogy.  The premise of the books is that sometimes when kids die, they sometimes don't get where they're going (towards the light).  Then they end up in a place called Everlost which shares space with but doesn't generally interact with the living world.  It's sort of like the spirit world that certain religions believe in, and the kids become something like ghosts.  In Everlost they are called Afterlights.  
     The main characters, Nick and Allie, don't know each other in the living world, but they are in the same car wreck and their spirits collide on the way to "the light," so they are thrown into Everlost.  When they wake up, they find out that cars and busses can drive right through them, that they sink into the ground of the living world, but can stand or rest on "dead spots" which are places where someone has died or where something else very important has happened, and that it's very easy there to forget who you are. 

July 9:  I just read a book about Miles Standish and the Pilgrims by Cheryl Harness, and started reading The Ear, the Eye, and the Arm by Nancy Farmer. 

July 12, 2012 
Just finished The Ear, the Eye, and the Arm by Nancy Farmer.   I'd heard it was a good book, and now I totally agree.  This is one that shouldn't be missed.  It's futuristic, set in Zimbabwe in 2194.   The author had actually lived in Zimbabwe, so she takes traditions, beliefs, and customs, and transposes them into her own creation of a society of the future. 

August 6, 2012  -- Science Fiction
I also read The House of the Scorpion by Nancy Farmer.  This story takes place in a future in which an independent country, run by a powerful drug lord has been established between the United States and Mexico.  The main character, Matt,  is a clone created for this mighty drug lord.  A few treat him kindly, but most treat him like an animal.  The reader and Matt gradually discover why he has been created, and whether or not he is truly human.  I highly recommend it.

August 6, 2012 -- Historical Fiction
I'm currently reading the second part of Avi's Beyond the Western Sea.  It is actually one book published as two.   It's a long historical fiction book with very short chapters, and is an exciting page-turner.  That means that once you start you have to keep going to find out what happens to the characters next.  The first "book" is called The Escape from Home, and the second  Lord Kirkle's Money.

Beyond the Western Sea  set in 1851, during the Irish Potato Famine, follows Maura and Patrick O'Connell, 15 and 12 years old, as they leave extreme poverty in Ireland to join their father in America.  Their story overlaps with that of Laurence Kirkle, the son of an British Lord, who runs away from an abusive home only to be robbed and kidnapped.  Escaping his kidnappers, he stows away on the  ship heading for America on which the O'Connell children (and other characters -- good and evil -- introduced earlier in the book) are also traveling.

In the second book, the ship arrives at Boston, with the O'Connell children expecting to be met by their father and taken to live in Lowell where he works in a cotton mill.  Laurence also ends up heading to Lowell, trying to recover something that belongs to him and his family.

Because I visited Boston and Lowell, earlier this summer with a group of history teachers, stood on Long Wharf where the ship in the book landed, and toured the restored mills in Lowell,  I find this especially interesting.  In addition, the book does indeed pull me along as I want to know what happens next.  The main characters find themselves in so many dangerous and even deadly situations that it's hard to not keep reading from chapter to chapter to chapter.  

Sample the first book at

Procastination -- Avoid It!

Farewell to Ray Bradbury

I was so saddened to hear that Ray Bradbury had died. I've found much of delight and nourishment for thought in his books and stories. Something like thirty years ago I met him, walked across a college campus visiting with him, and since then have cherished that experience. This link is to a response from another of my favorite authors to Ray Bradbury's death.

For more information, see

Originally published 2012-06-06

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Speaking and Listening Core

Engage effectively in a range of collaborative discussions (one-on-one, in groups, and teacher led) with diverse partners on grade 7 topics, texts, and issues, building on others’ ideas and expressing their own clearly. a. Come to discussions prepared, having read or researched material under study; explicitly draw on that preparation by referring to evidence on the topic, text, or issue to probe and reflect on ideas under discussion. Follow rules for collegial discussions, track progress toward specific goals and deadlines, and define individual roles as needed. Pose questions that elicit elaboration and respond to others’ questions and comments with relevant observations and ideas that bring the discussion back on topic as needed. Acknowledge new information expressed by others and, Analyze the main ideas and supporting details presented in diverse media and formats (e.g., visually, quantitatively, orally) and explain how the ideas clarify a topic, text, or issue under study.Delineate a speaker’s argument and specific claims, evaluating the soundness of the reasoning and the relevance and sufficiency of the evidence.Adapt speech to a variety of contexts and tasks, demonstrating command of formal English when indicated or appropriate. (See grade 7 Language standards 1 and 3 on page 52 for specific expectations.)Include multimedia components and visual displays in presentations to clarify claims and findings and emphasize salient points. Present claims and findings, emphasizing salient points in a focused, coherent manner with pertinent descriptions, facts, details, and examples; use appropriate eye contact, adequate volume, and clear pronunciation.

Sentence Work: Simple, Compound, Complex

Sentence Work: Essential and Nonessential Elements

Nonrestrictive phrases

Monday, June 4, 2012



A mother asked her son what he learned at school.  The boy replied and said, "Not enough because I have to go back tomorrow!"

Friday, June 1, 2012

Summer Reading III

Why not try it this summer? 
Here is a list of books based on fairy tales from Goodreads:
Be aware that some of them may be  adult titles.

Originally published 2012-05-31

Quotes about Books and Reading

 "In the case of good books, the point is not to see how many of them you can get through, but rather how many can get through to you."  -Mortimer J. Adler

I really had a lot of dreams when I was a kid, and I think a great deal of that grew out of the fact that I had a chance to read a lot.” -- Bill Gates      --  Published here  June 2012

Originally published 2011-12-28

And reading can contribute to social skills --