Saturday, June 21, 2014

Thursday, June 19, 2014


I keep seeing more and more articles supporting the importance of handwriting.  Here is one:

If you need to, practice to make yours legible. Your teachers and your grades will thank you for it!

And watch this about a master penman:

Monday, June 16, 2014

Text Structure Resources

I can identify and write seven different kinds of text structures -- without using my notes -- especially the ones highlighted here. 
  • description/definition
  • sequence
  • chronological
  • cause and effect
  • compare/contrast
  • problem and solution
  • classification
--State Standards Writing 2a, Reading Informational Text 5

TS 2. Make sure you have these signal words in your notes. 

Your notes will provide you with words to use when you write, so get as many as you can. 
Text Structure
Signal Words
For example,  to illustrate, characteristics of, for instance
such as…, to begin with, an example,  characteristics are, is 
•It emphasizes sizes, shapes, colors, and details.
*Look for the topic word (or a synonym or pronoun) to be repeated.
before, after, first, second, next, then, finally, following,
not long after, now, soon, when, previously, etc. 
before, after, first, second, next, then, finally, following,
not long after, now, soon, in the end (dates, years, times, etc.)
Cause and Effect
as a consequence, reasons why, so, because, since, therefore, if…then, this led to,
as a result, may be due to, effect of, consequently, for this reason
alike, different, same as, similar, resemble, as well as, not only…but also, both, instead of, on the other hand, different from, however, although, more than, less than, on the contrary,
as opposed to
dilemma, question is…, the puzzle is…, to solve this…,
one answer is…, issue, 

*Look for the overall topic word to be repeated.
categories, characteristics, classes, classify, divide, dimensions, elements, features, groups, kinds, methods, aspects, (numbers),  parts, sorts, types, ways

For many signal words and questions in Spanish, see the second page of this document:

If you would like extra practice, try this Text Structure Online Quiz:

In case you didn't get all the notes from the PowerPoint, here it is:

More examples: TS 3. Beach Ball Text Structure 
Here is a graphic with a particular text structure:

Text Structure: Which one is this?

graphic organizers:  

Friday, June 13, 2014

Thursday, June 12, 2014

CSI Sentence #7 Parts of Speech

7.  Avon,     a           rather     small      snail,   
      noun article      adverb  adjective  noun, 

       read   a        book every        day.  
              verb  article  noun adjective  noun.

Figurative Language

Figurative Language 

Figurative Language for Blog.ppt   

    • simile:  The rumors spread like wildfire
      • “My legs ached and my neck was stiff. But with each defeated kite, hope grew in my heart, like snow collecting on a wall, one flake at a time.”(Khaled Hosseini's The Kite Runner, page 64)
      • metaphor:  That test was a piece of cake. 
        • Words were secret doorways and I held all the keys.” (Khaled Hosseini's The Kite Runner, page 30)
        • "I dive into the stream of fourth-period lunch students and swim down the hall to the cafeteria." (Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson, page 7.)
      • personification: The brown grass is hoping for rain.
        • "Whoever invented these boots should be shot because once the boots got ahold of your shoes they wouldn't let them go for anything."(Christopher Paul Curtis-The Watsons Go to Birmingham-1963, p. 48)
      • hyperbole:  I will die if he asks me to speak in front of the class.
        • "I started throwing up a ton of water and food. If there was a forest fire somewhere all they would have to do is hold me over it and I would have put it out! I threw up and coughed and choked and vomited about a million times, and all this just because I'd breathed in some air!" 
          (Christopher Paul Curtis, The Watsons Go to Birmingham-1963, p. 178)

    More examples:  

    Some Figurative Language Collected from Literature


    Type of Sentence September 23/24, 2014

    Label it as a compound-complex sentence.

    Pocahontas was only eleven years old when she met [John] Smith, and he left the New World two years later. 
                                               -- How They Croaked, page 52-53

    Pocahontas was only eleven years old = independent clause (It could be a sentence by itself.)

    when she met [John] Smith = dependent clause (If you took away the "when," the rest could be a sentence by itself.)

    he left the New World two years later = independent clause  (It could be a sentence by itself.)

    Independent, Dependent, Independent

    Wednesday, June 11, 2014

    Parts of Speech for Harold's Eyes Sentence

    "Harold's eyes were glued to the floor. 

        adjective       noun     verb verb      preposition  article  noun

          He couldn't look."
          pronoun   verb         verb

    Tuesday, June 10, 2014

    Peg System for Memorizing The Bill of Rights

    Use these pegs to memorize the Bill of Rights.

    1. Bun
    Picture a hot dog in a bun dancing and rapping these lines: 
    The First Amendment covers freedom of speech, press, religion, peaceable assembly, and to petition the government.

    "Speakin' of freedoms, oh what can they be?
    Freedom of religion and assembly,
    Freedom of petition and freedom of press
    Freedom of speech
    Now don't distress!"

    2. Shoe
    Picture a bear in shoes, bearing arms -- either holding a bunch of human arms or holding rifles.
    The Second Amendment is about the right to bear arms.

    3. Tree   
    Picture a tree with quarters hanging in it, and with British soldiers sitting on the branches because you did not allowed them to stay in your house.

    The Third Amendment covers protection from being forced to quarter
    (house) troops.

    At the time of the Revolutionary War and before that,  British soldiers staying in the colonies could just come to your house and tell you that you had to let them stay in your house.  Sometimes they would take your whole house and sometimes they let you stay, but you had to provide them with places to sleep and food.  
    This amendment said that you didn't have to do that.  You could send them away!

    4. Door
    The Fourth Amendment provides protection from unreasonable
    search and seizure.
    Picture the police knocking at your door. They want to search your house and seize (take) your belongings.
    You SLAM the door in their faces because they do not have a search warrant. 

    5. Hive
    Fifth Amendment - Due process, protection from double jeopardy and self-incrimination, and protection of private property.
    For this we focus on protection from self-incrimination.
    Picture bees buzzing around you, asking you to say that you did it, that you  committed the crime.  You can refuse!  

    6. Sticks
    The Sixth Amendment covers the right to a speedy trial and other rights of the accused.
    Picture yourself waving a stick, chasing a judge, insisting that he hurry up and schedule your trial.  You want a speedy trial!


    7. Heaven
    The Seventh Amendment covers the right to Trial by jury.
    Picture a jury sitting up in the clouds of heaven. 

    8. Gate
    The Eighth Amendment covers the Prohibition of excessive bail,
    as well as cruel and unusual punishment.
    Picture the police trying to slam your hand in a gate as punishment.
    That would be cruel and unusual punishment.

    9. Line
    The Ninth Amendment provides protection of rights not specifically enumerated in the Bill of Rights -- Individual Rights.
    Picture yourself standing in a long line.  The line to be in is the RIGHT line to get your individual rights.

    10. Hen

    The Tenth Amendment covers powers of states and people, 

    or states' rights.

    Picture the governor of the state standing on the steps 

    of the State Capitol, holding a hen in his arms. 

    For Amendment 3: 



    Equality and Justice

    A Lot

    Academic Vocabulary

    expectation: something you can look forward to 
    scenario: situation 
    learning target:  what you are expected to learn
    determine:  decide after study
    • is made up of the root word present, meaning “to show or symbolize,” and its affixes (beginning and endings) re- and -tion. Adding these affixes changes the meaning of the word present with re- meaning “again” (like repeat) and -tion meaning “the act of doing something.” When  these parts of the word are put together, re-presenta-tion, the word means the act of showing or symbolizing something again.
    central idea:
    close reading: 
    Background knowledge (schema):  what you already know as you begin reading.  This grows as you read.


    Wednesday, June 4, 2014


    Be Here Now!


    Story Structure


    A Long Walk to Water

    A Long Walk to Water  720L


    "After we were rescued, I ended up studying in Kenya. I joined UNICEFand began to work in child services. My goal was to never let anything happen to children that happened to me. When the most recent fighting broke out in South Sudan, I was in Lebanon working with displaced Syrian children. I was helping to conduct psychological assessments and provide trauma counseling. I was on Facebook one night when I saw my newsfeed fill up with reports of fighting. I called all my friends and family, and told them: 'The fighting is between military men, stay in your homes.' Then I started seeing reports that the fighting was turning ethnic. So I called everyone back, and said: "Find the nearest UN compound and take shelter." A few days later, I requested to be transferred to UNICEF South Sudan, because I knew I was needed at home."
    (Tongping Internally Displaced Persons Site, Juba, South Sudan)
    "The army asked for donations. I was the smallest one in the family, so I was given. I was seven or eight. I heard my parents arguing. My mother didn't want me to go, because I was her only child. But a few nights later, my father brought me a new white robe, and told me I was going to go to school. When I first arrived at the military camp, I was scared to see the guns. In the morning we would go to school, in the evening we would train with the guns. But there were many children there who I grew up with and played with, I eventually felt more comfortable. After a few weeks, they marched us to Ethiopia for training. We never made it there. We ran out of food and water on the way."
    "Are you angry with your father?"
    "I speak with him regularly now. I've forgiven him. And in the end, I would have never been educated if he hadn't sent me away. But I was very angry with him when we were dying. While we marched, the children who gave up would sit down in the shade. We would tell them not to sit but they'd say, 'I'll catch up later.' And they never would. I saw many of them get eaten by wild animals."
    (Tongping Internally Displaced Persons Site, Juba, South Sudan)
    From HONY

    Bad English? Our Changing Language

    Similes and Metaphors from Richard Peck

    Similes and Metaphors
    from The Teacher's Funeral by Richard Peck

    She was as silent as eternity, quieter than snow.   p. 27

    With unusual presence of mind, Charlie leaped to his feet and grabbed me up like a sack of flour.    p. 27

    "I was cool as a cucumber."  p. 30   This is a trite, overused phrase, but it works here because it is a direct quotation from a character who is trying to say that he wasn't afraid.

    He was still as a statue between me and Dad, trying to make himself smaller.   p. 41

    "This generation of the young is one mess of bad puppies. Oh ye parents, take it out of their hides tonight! Rein them in before they strike again!"   
    -- Preacher Parr at the teacher's funeral p. 42

    "If it hadn't been for this girl here who had to about carry me up the bank on her back, I'd still be in the cress down there, wilting like a salad with one foot in the cattails and the other in the grave." [This is a mixed metaphor.]
    -- Aunt Maud p. 51 

    "He wore no shirt under his overalls, and he was muscled like a bull, tight as a tree."  p. 109