Friday, August 30, 2013

Weekly Reflection

MAP Makeup sessions are scheduled in the Library after school on Tuesday, September 3 and Wednesday, September 4 from 3:00pm - 4:15pm.- If you missed a session, or need to finish a test -MAKE SURE- you attend on one of these days.

Will you be able to bring your memory to life with words?

We covered a lot of new content this week.

Advanced Subjects and Predicates
Ways to Generate ideas for Memoirs
The naif (naive) narrative
M.A.P. Tests

My recommendation is that you practice your subjects and predicates here. You will be expected to incorporate these into your writing going forward. We will have a quiz on this topic on Friday Sept 6th

Be prepared - We step up the pace of learning next week!

  • Monday - Unit 1 Wordstudy Test
  • Tuesday - Your Life Slide show- Due
  • Wednesday - Naive Narrative - In class Reading Response (make sure you have read the story BEFORE class and identified any red flag moments). You will have 30minutes to write about the NARRATOR: Link to Story
  • Thursday -Subjects and Predicates practice worksheets 1+2 (Due - These will be given out Tuesday)
  • Bring your most favorite song to class - It must be something that is at least 2 years old (you can just tab it on youtube)
  • Friday - 1st Graded Reading Response Due - Will you be prepared?
  • Friday- 'Reading Ladder' Self Evaluation - More on this next week!

Thursday, August 29, 2013

The Flawed Narrator

Today, we introduced the concept of the 'flawed narrator'. This is another technique we can start to  use to discuss the stories we read.

What kind of character is the narrator of your story? - Use these prompts to build your opinion
e.g. Sample introductory reading response
Everything Will Be Ok by James Howe tells the delicate tale of a young boy  who finds an abandoned kitten in the woods at the end of her street. The young boy, the narrator, demonstrates his innocence and naivety throughout the story but grows in strength as the tale unfolds.
      Clearly the narrator knows the difference between kindness and unkind acts from the onset; he decides to rescue the kitten upon finding it. However,  he still plays with  Daniel or Claude just because they, " at the end of the street" (p.247).
     Naming the kitten he finds is a clear example of how the narrator shows only a partial understanding of the events.  His mistaken assumption is that her parents will automatically allow him to keep the kitten... (what else could you say about this narrator?)

Word Study Study Guide: Test is Next MONDAY

Don't forget:  Tomorrow, you need to bring an object or a picture of an object that holds special significance to you.

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

"To write a life is to live it twice..."

The learning has started. We have begun!

A lot of new content covered today!
Grammar Recap:
Could you name the four advanced subjects and give examples if asked?
Can you use these advanced subjects in your descriptive writing going forward?

Mining Ideas for Memories
H/W Create you own 'slideshow of powerful memories' - Make sure the images you choose each hide a story. Minimum 20 images. Embed your finished product into your blog. Ask me if you need help with this
I opened many stories behind these must YOU!

Expectations: A minimum of 20 images - If you don't have access to images or the ones you want alternatives might be: draw a sketch, use an image that is symbolic of your idea i.e. a picture of any house could represent your first home. A stock image from google might  represent one of your favorite toys.  Use  your creativity to 'mine for memories'

DUE: NEXT Tuesday

Shout out to...RIYA for her engaging writing piece: Notice how she has really tried hard to paly around with using advanced subjects.

Thursday - We will hear from the group winners of the book talks - so we can get a good idea of what a solid 'reading response' might sound like.

For FRIDAY - IMPORTANT! Bring an object that has special significance to you. If you cannot bring the object, bring a photo of the object

I am always available if you need additional help on any topics we cover in class!

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Reading Responses

Learning Behaviors Grade:  Assessment Day will be FRIDAY
Key behaviors I will be assessing:

  • Organized google drive with short cut links to main files on your bookmarks bar
  • Goodreads added to your blog
  • An up-to-date reading log 
  • A specific reading goal - I will ask you want it is!
  • You have  started  your 3rd book of the year
  • You have demonstrated a positive attitude to class
  • Class library index card and Class Reading Challenge Chart is up to date
The above represents an A student. 

Word Study  Unit 1 Test is next Monday. Use this guide as a study tool.  You should bring a digit or paper copy of this guide to the test on Monday

No official H/W tonight due to M.A.P. - Optional - Begin thinking about your reading responses.
Follow these tips to create an effective reading response: A combination of these ideas would lead to a strong reading response. First official reading response it due by next Friday. - You may turn it in sooner!

You will need your photo of a 'place' you know well for Wednesday's writing class.

Monday, August 26, 2013

Goodreads Shelves

No official H/W today due to M.A.P. Optional - Use these links to to finish setting up your Good Reads accounts and to 'add shelves' to your good reads accounts. Tomorrow, we should have time to listen to the book talks from the class from each winning group. First Word study/vocabulary Assessment - Will be next Monday (due to M.A.P.) First graded reading response -Will be due next Friday - Plan ahead!

Friday, August 23, 2013

Week 2 Reflection

We began to think a little this week about how we talk about books. Next week, I will give  you a list of advanced phrases that you can use when discussing your opinions.

Summarizing is 'low' on the depths of knowledge scale - always go much deeper. Try to avoid 'cliches' when discussing theme. Mentioning 'red flag' moments - is a great way for you to make sure you are seeking evidence from the text to support your claims, but don't list the categories as you talk, speak naturally and blend your ideas together.

Some mentor text writing from your classmates from last week.

Next Week

MAP Testing - No H/W  Monday & Tuesday!

Word Study Assessment - Next Thursday.
There will be approx.  30multiple choice questions about the roots and the words. You will also have to write detailed sentences or a paragraph using some of the words in context.

We will begin our grammar unit. What do you know about advanced subjects and predicates?

Bring in a photo of a place you know well. We will be writing a little about that place.

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Reflecting on Learning

Today's Recap

A lot of reflection today on what you are doing well and what you need to focus on going forward. From now on, if asked, you should be always able to state your writing goal and what you are doing in order to achieve it. Build your tool box of techniques and strategies that make your writing sophisticated!

Tomorrow, Reading Classes will participate in a 'Book Talk' competition. Small treats for the winners!
Use this gird as a reminder of some possible content to discuss.

Make sure your reading log and your Word Study pages are up to date - You will 'drop' these in my folder for me to check over the weekend and assess how well you have maintained your routines
e.g. Daily Reading Check in, Reading Log

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Talking about Books

For Friday's class, you need to have prepared a short talk about your book using the prompts we discussed in today's session. What depth of knowledge will you demonstrate?

Lowest Level - Retell the story
Higher  Level  - Focus on character
                   - Focus on issues/themes
                   - Focus on an important moment in the story
Greater levels of sophistication:

  • Judge the character
  • Offer alternatives
  • Judge the message
  • Prognosticate

(can you see how this is being done in the response below?)
The anthology by  John Scieszka, Guys Write for Guys Read, contains a short story titled Lloyd Alexander. The premise of the tale  revolves around the events that transpired after Lloyd, the main character, asked his 9th grade sweetheart to the school dance. Throughout the tale Lloyd proves himself to  be the typical teenager with limited self-confidence. He is somewhat insecure and lacks the courage to openly communicate his feelings. In the first place, he is shocked that his would be date actually accepts his invitation.  Most people would only ask classmates that they honestly believed were likely to respond positively. A key event in the story is when he rallied his mother to cancel the date instead of being upfront and honest about his accident to the girl in person.  Worrying what others might think is another traits that Lloyd portrays. If he had gone up to his date and explained the situation either before the dance or after his return to school, most girls would have probably understood. If anything the message the story is somewhat flawed. Life does not have to be, ‘...filled with injustice, humiliation, shame, despair…” Life is the result of the choices people make daily. Lloyd chose to see the world in one way because of his own character deficiencies. The world is a good place, so my advice to Lloyd, dance whenever you can.

Your Word-study should be up to date. You will be sharing your word study work and your reading logs with me on Friday. Will you be up todate?

Tomorrow, you will have your grammar pretest. Do you know your parts of speech? We will also look at our memoir paper. We will be discussing the characteristics of a memoir paper.

Monday, August 19, 2013

Great readers pay attention to tiny details...

Finish your write ups for Back to School Night. (click for link) Look at Kalia's for an example of an effective write-up.

Remember: When you are reading, you should always be on the look at for tiny details that might lead to much bigger ideas. Recap of the point  we made in today's class are:
a) Character(s):
e.g Struggles/Desires/Motivation - History/background - Change(s) - Learns - Acts out of Character -Nuanced  etc.
b) Author’s Craft (choice of words author uses):
e.g. Symbolism, Figurative language Tone (author’s attitude to story content), Mood (story atmosphere/character’s feelings) etc.
c) Themes: Life Lessons:
e.g. What the story is teaching you?
What were the 'red flag moments' in these lyrics?
Make sure your first writing piece, opinion based blog post,  is finished for tomorrow's class.  You will receive 4 grades for your work - see sample below. Throughout the year, each paper will be graded in the same way.
Sample rubric: Four grades taken - No overall average grade given

Don't panic - As this is the first paper of the year, it will not be weighted too heavily when compared to papers we do later in the unit.

You will have a grammar pretest - This will tell me what you already know about grammar
You will have 1 hour to write on this topic: Make sure you already have a good idea of what to write about. Do not start writing this at home!

Friday, August 16, 2013

The First Week

Congratulations on completing your first week!

I look forward to reading your blog posts on Tuesday.  This is the link to the blog and blog post grading rubric (this is an updated version). How will yours compare to these?

Go to Olivia's blog to read the rest of her engaging article:

Read the powerful voice evident in Zi Tong's piece. 

How does your piece compare to these?

Homebase Assignment: Google 80/20 principle - Follow your passion
Task - Create something that will change the world! 
Remember - 'world' and 'change' can be interpreted in many ways. 
Homebase - Back to School Night Work

Use this link to write what you would like your parents to know about you that they don't already! (Keep it secret from them!)
Find your name and write in the red box - i will add all other photos later)

Reminder:  Class G/H Reading Assignments are only for C/D Block classes and E/F block classes)

Next Week
We will begin the week with a grammar pre-assessment and an on demand writing piece.
Make sure you come with a solid idea for a small moment narrative. You will have approx. 60mins to write your piece on Tuesday. Remember your 'generating' strategies from 6th grade if you were at SAS.

Keep your computer charged Sunday night
Warning! Assessments on learning behaviours begin on Monday e.g. - do you have your reading book? Is your reading log up to date?

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Good Reads

Use this link to create your good reads account Goodreads account

Read for 30mins - update the blog template

Make sure you are ready to write 'long' on your chosen blog post topic in tomorrow's class.

Take a look at your google drive. Can you replicate the Reader's Notebook file that is located in the 'shared files' into your 'my drive' section of your google drive? - We will work more on this in class on Friday with the writer's notebook

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Boot Camp Day 2

Now you get to take your computers home. It is important that you learn to take care of them!

Remember: Charge your computers overnight. Find the same spot in your house to recharge your computer every night

Bring x3 PRINTED book covers  images of novels that you believe are excellent and that you would recommend to for your classmates to read. Try to select novels that are unique to you. Do not select novels that were read to you by your teacher. You will 'book talk' these novels to your classmates in tomorrow's class. You must bring PRINTED images of these novels in order to participate in the lesson.

Independent Reading: 30 mins - Update your chart.

Impressive contributions today. Many of your showed resilience working through today's activities. I am very excited to read your first blog posts. You should have a clear idea for Friday's class. You are welcome to write a little more on your blog post, but this is not compulsory.

Tomorrow, we will be creating our Goodreads accounts and embedding them into our blogs.

Are you demonstrating effective learning behaviors?

As always, comments are encouraged.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Technology Boot Camp

Well done today on the progress you made towards  setting up your computers. Tonight, my advice is to continue to finish the Day -1 activities.  While this is not compulsory, it is highly recommended.
Boot Camp Link

Tomorrow: You will be writing your first 'blog post' - The topic should be centered around this prompt:
-Write in detail about an event that made you feel-  
My strong suggestion is that you begin to brainstorm some possible ideas tonight, so that you have a starting point tomorrow.
e.g. Blog posts with different perspectives Cheating Scandals -v- Cancer Lobbyist

Independent Reading: Continue to read independently for at least 30mins.

Tomorrow we will complete Boot Camp. Feel free to use the blog to ask any questions etc. Shout out to Inyong (C Block) for your thoughtful reflection on your first day at SAS from last night's post - 'Always focusing on the roses'

Monday, August 12, 2013

The Power of Words

Today, you were introduced to the 'power of words'
Some major take-aways:

  • 'Fail - BIG' - Push yourself 
  • Smash out of that comfort zone!
  • Practice what you are BAD at!

Advisory - Make the phone calls

RLA Class
Read for approx. 30mins and add your page # on the google doc. link from the blog. If for some reason you can not add your page number to the blog, don't worry, we will do it in class.

Please feel free to comment below and add what you feel you learned from today's session!

Tomorrow we start BOOT CAMP for technology - DO NOT forget your Digital Citizenship Agreement. You will not be able to take your computer home until you have turned this in.

Have a nice evening!

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Welcome Back

It was really wonderful to meet many of you at Open House yesterday. Your enthusiasm for the new school year certainly felt electric. I look forward to meeting everybody once classes start on Monday.
In our first session together, we will be looking at 'the power of words' and how we can harness this power in our lives.  Everybody will be a little nervous on the first day of school, even your teacher! Make sure you each do what you can to reach out to others around you, especially the new faces you see around campus. One of the best things you can do is purposefully make the effort to introduce yourself to somebody new at recess and/or over lunchtime. - Can you imagine how wonderful that would be if everybody took the time to do or say one act of kindness to somebody they meet on Monday?  - Can you imagine what is possible?

"In the end, everything will be O.K. and if it's not OK, it's not the end"

Feel free to leave a comment introducing yourself and talking about what you are most excited about this year!
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