Sunday, November 30, 2014

Central Idea

Being a clown isn't all fun and games.  Rodeo clowns expose themselves to great danger every time they perform.  When cowboys dismount or are bucked off of bulls at riding competitions, rodeo clowns jump in front of the bulls and motion wildly to get their attention.  In this way rodeo clowns provide an alternate target, and in doing so protect the rider.  So you see, sometimes clowning around can be serious business.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Monday/Tuesday, December 1/2, 2014

Announcements and Reminders:
Turn in your November Book Assignment if you haven't done that yet.
     -- an external text feature for you nonfiction book
Your December book will be science fiction or fantasy.

If you went to the party for the 40 Book Challenge (10 books or more), please come see me.  Thanks!

Happy December!

For your essay about The Causes of Good Grades

  • You do not need to add the title or your name. The program automatically does that. 
  • Do not forget that you have My Tutor and My Editor available. 
  • Remember that you need to cite at least one source.
  • Consider the types of supporting details we discussed in class.  What else could you add using those categories?
  • When you have finished writing, use your ARMS and SMILES to revise and edit.

1.  Individual Reading

2. Central Idea and Supporting Details

3.  Translating a Rubric for an Informational Essay

Rubric for the Thanksgiving Turkey

not dry
you really don't have to have gravy
When you take it out of the oven and pierce it, juices flow out
a lovely golden brown, not black, not pink
May be pink if smoked
large enough to feed the family and have leftovers, but not so many you get sick of it
you can cut it with the side of your fork
easy to chew

taste                                       could be smoked -- has that smoky flavor
                                              well seasoned
                                              savory, but not too salty
                                              can be herb flavors
doneness                                not overcooked and dry
                                               not undercooked and rubbery

4.  The Outsiders --Character



14 years old  gray-green eyes
light brown, almost red hair
long hair for a boy
likes to watch movies and read books

20 years old, the oldest brother, 

16 going on 17, happy, 

Next Time:
Instruction about Revision and Editing    Revision with ARMS
Add (if not already there) Transitions

Avoid these Phrases in your Writing

Central Idea Retest 

Causes of Good Grades MyAccess Assignment

Scroll down to the links and articles.

Log into MyAccess with your skyward username and  with ______________ as the password.

If you'd like to get better acquainted with MyAccess, here is a student's guide:

 Handout for Causes of Good Grades.docx

Name: Category: Subject: Theme: Lexile: Keywords:
Date  Created: Availability:
Causes  of  Good  Grades Informative/Expository English Cause  and  Effect  Essay
school  "straight  A's"  "high  academic performance"  "stellar  academic  record"  Causes Good  Grades  FCAT  PSSA
10/11/07 Available  for  Assignments

Causes  of  Good  Grades
We  all  know  that  it  is  important  to  do  well  in  school  and  get  good  grades.    However,  we  don't  just wake  up  one  morning  with  straight  A's.    What  are  some  causes  of  high  academic  performance?  
Write  a  detailed  essay  discussing  the  causes  of  a  stellar  academic  record.    Include  examples  and experiences  to  support  your  discussion.

As  you  write,  remember  your  essay  will  be  scored  based  on  how  well  you:
develop  a  multi-­paragraph  response  to  the  assigned  topic  that  clearly  communicates  your controlling  idea  to  the  audience.
support  your  controlling  idea  with  meaningful  examples,  reasons,  and  information  based  upon  your research  or  readings.
organize  your  essay  in  a  clear  and  logical  manner,  including  an  introduction,  body,  and  conclusion. use  well-­structured  sentences  and  language  that  are  appropriate  for  your  audience. edit  your  work  to  conform  to  the  conventions  of  standard  American  English.
Use  any  of  the  tools  available  to  you,  such  as  the  Checklist,  Spellchecker,  or  Graphic  Organizer.


Resources for your essay:

This is an article from WikiHow about How to Get Good Grades:
Here is the article that the students used today:
Here is the citation: 
 351 Editors. "How to Get Good Grades." WikiHow. Jack Herrick, 14 Nov. 2014. Web. 14 Nov. 2014.

This article is written for college students, but you could adjust these suggestions to your own situation:

Log into
Select the  Gale-Cengage Learning K-12 Collection.
Select   Junior Edition.

You need to be logged into to access this article from Girl's Life Magazine.  It's a quiz with commentary.  Click Here.  Then click on the article title to open it.

Source Citation:
Abbondanza, Katie. "Will you kick butt in school? Are you set to make the grade this year? Take this quiz to find out!" Girls' Life Aug.-Sept. 2013: 80+. Junior Edition. Web. 7 Oct. 2014.

You need to be logged into to access this article:
This one says that Grades Are Contagious:  Click Here.

Source Citation:
"Grades are contagious." Muse May-June 2013: 4. Junior Edition. Web. 7 Oct. 2014.

You also need to be logged into to access this article:
This video tells us that physical activity can help your grades:  Click Here.
Source Citation:
"Exercise and School Grades." Video Collection 2013. Opposing Viewpoints in Context. Web. 7 Oct. 2014.

Things to know:

Causes of Good Grades MyAccess Assignment

Reading the articles 
or writing an essay
grading an essay -- how to use rubrics

Some sentence suggestions:

  • What causes a student to have good grades?  Some of those causes include. . . . . 
  • The difference between a straight A student and a failing student comes down to the choices they make.   Let us look at three of those choices.
  • How does someone become a stellar student?  May I suggest three keys to getting those A's. 
  •  To keep grades up, you have to . . .
  • Even smart students' grades will suffer if they do not follow these rules/steps: . . . 
  • Earning passing grades can be difficult, but these three tips can make it easier and turn a failing student into a student more likely to achieve. 
  • Earning stellar grades is not as hard as you may think.  It just requires consistent effort. 

Originally published in September 2014     

Exercise and School Grades

Exercise and School Grades Video Collection2013

Could the secret to improving your teen's academic performance be in the gym, as well as the library?
The New York Times Company

Source Citation

"Exercise and School Grades." Video Collection 2013. Opposing Viewpoints in Context. Web. 5 Dec. 2014.

Grades Are Contagious

itle:Grades are contagious
Source:Muse. 17.5 (May-June 2013): p4.
Document Type:Brief article
Copyright:COPYRIGHT 2013 Cobblestone Publishing, a division of Carus Publishing Company
Full Text: 
You've probably caught a few bugs from your friends over the years: strep throat, the flu, Bieber fever. Did you ever guess that good grades (or bad ones) might be catching too?
Researchers studied this question at a high school in upstate New York, where they gathered online surveys from 158 eleventh-graders. The students were given a list of every other kid taking the survey and asked to label each of them as a best friend, friend, acquaintance, relative, or someone they didn't know. The researchers put all this information together to create a map of relationships among the students, which looked like a dense web.
The scientists also looked at students' grades in both January 2011 and January 2012. Students whose friends' grades started out higher than their own were more likely to improve academically over the course of the year. But students whose friends had worse grades were likely to enter a slump themselves. Next time your best friend aces a test, high-five her and say thanks! (Then wash your hands.)
Source Citation   (MLA 7th Edition) 
"Grades are contagious." Muse May-June 2013: 4. Junior Edition. Web. 5 Dec. 2014.

Article for Citations? Will you kick butt in school? Are you set to make the grade this year?

Title:Will you kick butt in school? Are you set to make the grade this year? Take this quiz to find out!
Author(s):Katie Abbondanza
Source:Girls' Life. 20.1 (August-September 2013): p80.
Document Type:Article
Copyright:COPYRIGHT 2013 Girls Life Acquisition Corp.
Full Text: 
There's so much more to being smart than just getting good grades. Whether it's who you hang out with or how much you snooze, tons of factors go into the marks you make. So, are you ready to soar straight to the top this year? Take this quickie quiz to find out.
1. School starts in exactly two weeks. When it comes to your looong summer reading list, you ...
A) Got through each book. Duh. Now you're going back and highlighting key passages to get ahead.
B) Have one more to get through, but you'd rather hit the pool with your pals than read 181 pages of The Great Gatsby. You'll start tomorrow ....
C) Still have a pile of unread books on your desk. Looks like you'll Wiki your way through the first paper.
A little procrastination is OK in the summer, but try to get a leg up on your work from here on out. Putting off tasks ups the stress factor, so craft a timeline of to-dos and get going as soon as possible.
2. It's midnight on any given Tuesday. How are you spending your time?
A) Sitting at your desk with your PSAT book cracked. Sure, you're not taking it for a few months, but there's still vocab to memorize.
B) Zonked out in bed. Your gadgets are powered down and your head's been on the pillow for two hours.
C) Not doing a beck of a lot. Mostly texting with your BGF while (kinda sorta) watching an America's Next Top Model marathon for no real reason.
Late nights and cramming lead to poor performance and too-few zzz's can zap motivation, too. Getting plenty of sleep is one of the easiest things you can do to feel better and watch those grades inflate.
3. Summer means loads of extra time to exercise. So what has your workout sched looked like lately?
A) You're in preseason training, so it's all mile-repeats and gym time for you. Soon, Coach will keep you active. Daily.
B) It depends. Some days you'll swim laps in the pool or kayak in the local pond with your bro. Lots of times, though, you'll do some YouTube Pilates or yoga in your room. It's good for the body and the soul.
C) If walking from your towel to the water counts, you've been way active.
Exercising clears your head and releases feel-good hormones in your bod. Plus, vigorous workouts have been linked to higher GPAs. Put daily sweat seshes in your sched to reap their nearly endless bounty of rewards.
4. You and your three BFFs have teamed up to work together on a summer bio project. When it comes to getting down to business, they...
A) Flip through their already-edited and polished PowerPoint slides in a flash. Now, you guys are gonna work on a video to really wow your teacher.
B) Are sort of split. Ava and Brooke are happy to help with your poster, but Elle keeps reminiscing about the cute guys at camp. ("Remember Josh?" Sigh....)
C) Are hard to wrangle. Everyone's super busy with jobs and BFs this year, so you're left to wrestle with the assignment alone. Ugh.
The kinds of friends you chill with majorly influence your behavior. If your girls are committed to doing well in school, they're more likely to support you on the straight 'n' narrow (even flit means studying instead of hanging).
5. Last year, you floundered in French. You're set to take it encore this term, so you've already...
A) Asked your parents for a tutor. Plus, you've been reviewing your flashcards weekly to help with the toughest conjugations. You'll master it soon.
B) Flipped through your text from last year to jog your memory of key vocab words and tricky concepts. Hopefully, it'll all come back to you.
C) Resigned yourself to the fact that languages aren't your strong suit. No one's perfect--and neither is your French.
Being born with it isn't everything, but believing you're bad at a subject can hold you back. Working hard and asking for help as soon as you're struggling is key to succeeding in tough subjects.
6. You're normally starving by the time school ends. When it comes to your standard snack, you ...
A) Refuel the healthy way. An apple with PB and water never fail you.
B) Are sometimes a slice and soda kind of gal (hey, it's the student council special), but you're usually happy with a DIY yogurt parfait, too.
C) Hit up Wendy's with your besties, but not daily. Occasionally, you mix it up with a Starbucks Frapp.
Sorry, junk food junkies: A recent study linked fast food with depression, and sugar- and fat-laden eats can make you sleepy. But healthy treats will keep you totally energized. It def makes a diff.
7. Well, vacation's officially over. It's the night before school starts, and you're getting your stuff ready for the big day. As you consider the next morning, you're feeling ...
A) So stressed. Of course, you've been waiting for this day for a while, but you're taking on a serious workload this year, including plenty of honors classes. Basically, there won't be a single moment to relax after tonight.
B) Excited. This year is looking pretty promising, between your new schedule and fun extracurrics with your friends. What can you say? You're an optimist.
C) Anxious. Your summer work is far from done, so you're starting the year with an all-nighter. The rest of your classes can be summed up in one word: hard. Is it too early to fake the flue
Learning how to look on the sunny side and manage stress is critical. Before you freak out or get totally flustered, take a few deep breaths. Then jot down a few things you're excited about or are grateful for this year. You have the power to banish a bad mood.
So, how'd you do?
Exhale ... this might be the easiest test you'll take all semester!
Mostly A's...
You might be on the fast track to a stellar GPA--if you don't crash and burn first. Putting lots of pressure on yourself to be A+ perfect is never a good idea, so cut yourself some slack. Make time to relax ... and don't think of every grade as the one that will make or break the rest of your life. A little more balance and you're sure to do brilliantly--while staying sane.
Mostly B's...
You know getting good grades is key, but you're not going to freak if you falter on one test. This kind of level-headedness is fab for staying motivated all year long. Keep it up by setting a couple of achievable goals, like volunteering weekly or learning to play an instrument. Pursuing what you love will take you from well-rounded chica to total school standout.
Mostly C's...
You're just not the biggest fan of school--or any routine for that matter. Here's the good news: It's not too late to change your ways. Start by signing up for a club that sounds fun (you gotta like something...) and cut the procrastinating by sticking to those deadlines. Extra credit for talking with your teachers to make a plan to stay on track. A for effort, right?
Source Citation   (MLA 7th Edition) 
Abbondanza, Katie. "Will you kick butt in school? Are you set to make the grade this year? Take this quiz to find out!" Girls' Life Aug.-Sept. 2013: 80+. Junior Edition. Web. 5 Dec. 2014.
Document URL

Gale Document Number: GALE|A337617998