Thursday, October 31, 2013

Use this link to add your parallel structure sentences:

Book Club Presentations tomorrow: Make sure you are NOT simply retelling the story.  You are assessed on your performance using the 'character' rubric.

Have a fantastic Halloween!

How will you debate in the future?

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Quote Sandwiches

I am missing Memoirs from these students: Min Jung, Luke, Lukas,  Sam, Olivia G., Chris,  Elena, Alexa. B - Some students handed their work in without names. If your name is here, email me your work again to make sure you get it graded before the break. Check in with me if you do not see your grade in powerschool. - Yes - grades are live!

Kudos to Jackson Reeves who asked to retake his 'Opening and Delayed Adjectives/Adverbs test and moved his grade up to an 'A'

Today's class: Follow this link:

Effective research writers make sure that they explain the quotes that they find using quote sandwiches.


In the 2004 article titled Pushing too Hard  published on the website, Dr. Jordan Metzl  argued that “Kids sports have become much more competitive.”  As a medical director at the of the Sports Medicine Institute for Young Athletes in New York, Metzl must certainly hear about hundreds of cases of sporting injuries caused through excessive practice or over intense training sessions due to the competitive nature of  school sports programs nowadays.

 Writing Reminder: Make sure you have read a minimum of x4 sources and taken notes. Make sure some of your notes contain 'quote sandwiches'. Due: Thursday (G/H class. We will learn about quote sandwiches next week)

What can words do? - Will YOU be for your first debate?

 Book Club presentations: Due Friday

 Ready for your Halloween candy?

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Research Based Arguments

Use these links to access content for today's lesson:

"Pushing Too Hard..." by Jacqueline Stenson ."  
 “Listening to Wisdom from a ten year old boy..
My goal is to give you NO H/W (apart from Reading) on Thursday night, so each of you enjoy your Halloween. This breakdown tells you exactly what needs doing for the rest of the week.

Writing Classes
Take additional notes on 'competitive sport in schools' using the resources below. You must have opinions for both sides of the issue. Use these links:

You must select one of these resources below and continue taking notes in the boxes in your Research Based Writing doc.). Your notes will be INSPECTED for completion on Thursday. (Many of you may choose to use two sources)

“School Sports: The pros and cons” by Raven J. Railey
“Debate: Should Kids Under 14 Play Contact Sports”

We will be debating in class on Thursday, then writing up your stance. You will not have time to do research in class. You will need this material for both the grammar class and the writing class. MAKE SURE YOU HAVE ENOUGH NOTES!

Reading Classes
Make sure your Reading Log is up to date. You will be creating your 'reading ladder' using this data in Friday's class - Make sure you have a rough idea of how many pages are in each book.

Reading Book Clubs presentations Due: Fri. You can present these in any format you chose. Finish these Wednesday so you can enjoy your Halloween

Optional: Download the Overdrive App and set it up on your portable device. Steps explained again in the video below

No other H/W for the rest of this week!

Monday, October 28, 2013

The Hero's Journey

Only when you think a little deeper  about your character do you notice the pattern of  the Monomyth: The Hero's Journey, created by Joseph Campbell. So many characters  across a multitude of genres go through the stages of the 'The Hero's Journey' - Can you spot this pattern in the books you've read? - Once you identify the pattern, you can better interpret  your character's behavior. +1 if you can add a comment with a title of a book where this 'journey' is used. - You cannot name anything that was discussed in class.

"The cave you free to enter holds the treasure you seek."  Joseph Campbell

Win +1 points if you can recognize this pattern in the characters you read about going forward.

Reading H/W
Work on your book club presentation. Wednesday: Each group must show me the progress you have made so far on your 'Book Club presentation.

REMINDER: Make sure you have your files organized by the end of this week.

What is a hero?

This video was made with  (you can sign up for a free trial) This is a fantastic way for you to present your book club knowledge. This site is very expensive. Only use it during your free trial. - it is really cool!

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Kudos to our winners for the $1 challenge C.C. Sebastian H. and Nathan, and Kalia

+1 for Elysia and Amanda for their efforts.
Recap on Friday's grammar session...
 Next Friday, you will calculate your new 'Reading Ladder' - Have you met your goal?

Friday, October 25, 2013

Weekly Reflection

For next week: you need to make sure you have organized your files for the second quarter into shortcuts on your bookmarks bar. Next Friday, you will be given an organization grade based on how effectively you have got your self set up for our new units. You will need copies of these files in your shortcuts:

Non-fiction Research Across Text Sets
Reading Ladder: November Check In
2nd Qtr Reading Log
Word Study: Unit 3
Word Study: Unit 4
2nd Qtr Book Club and Partner Discussions

Research Based Writing
Unit 3: Grammar Phrases (Part 1) Absolute, Infintive, and Prepositional
Unit 4: Grammar Parallel Structure

You bookmarks bar will look a little like:

Drop Folder:

  • Research Based Writing (The file from above) - We will just use this one file from now on to store your writing
  • 2nd Qtr Reading Log
  • 2nd Qtr Book Clubs and Partner  Discussions (The file from above)
Now you are perfectly organized until December (apart from some poetry units that we will add later)

All other files need removing from your drop folder (Except any files that you have in there for Ms. Blaize - Shared class only)

Next Week
Book Club Presentations: Next Friday

How would you answer the big questions in life?

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Literary Allusions

Use this link to make a copy of the Unit 3 WordStudy File

Always be on the watch out for literary Allusions - The wider you read, the easier they are to spot.

Other ways to make connections or disconnections to stories

No additional H/W tonight.

Reading Classes - Work on your book club presentation due next Friday
Writing Classes - Anonymous (no name on it)  PRINTED copy of your $1 article - due tomorrow

Criteria for Scoring in tomorrow's challenge:

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

The SGD$1 Challange

Use this link to go to your assessment on Opening and Delayed Adjectives and Adverbs

Shout out to ANYA - Scoring over 95% in the assessment!
Shout out to LUKE and PATRICK - Each scoring 'A's on the assessment!

Make a copy of this link and save it in your short cuts. This is your new unit for Research Based Argument Writing
What could be done with $1?

Writing Classes
SGD $1 Challenge H/W: Due Friday

The student that writes the most effective research persuasive argument, as judged by the class, for the use of the money - will get to keep the money and use it for their chosen cause, (what he/she wrote about). Your writing will be at least one large paragraph, many of your will write more.
Remember: This is not about which 'cause'  is the best - it is about how effectively you can create a research based persuasive argument.

Your final pieces must be printed and  turned in anonymously. If you do not bring a printed version to class, you cannot participate.   Pieces will be scored in small groups based on its use of the list of topics listed in the chart below:

As teachers, we thought this would be an entertaining, engaging, and exciting way to launch our Research Based Argument Unit. This challenge is not about the money, it is not even about the ideas, it is just about how effectively you can persuade.  (Did you spot the parallel structure?)

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Recognizing Conflict in Stories

Thank you today to all those students who 'fish-bowled' in front of the class.  Major shout out to Timmy, Jessie, and Patrick for their EXCELLENT book talk!

Remember to check yesterday's post to see what else you need for tomorrow. e.g. SGD$1

Today's post is for Reading Classes Only
Discussing the conflict that occurs in story is a way to discuss character

Book Clubs
Next Meeting will be next Monday (25th)
Final Meeting for this text will be Friday (1st Nov.)
On this day (Nov 1st), your club must present a short 2-3 minute presentation of your thoughts (claims) about your character. This can be a group presentation. You can use any format at all to show your thinking. More info on this next Monday.

Monday, October 21, 2013

Research Based Argument

Turning in Memoirs
Use this link to get the explanation on the detailed steps you need to take in order to turn in your memoir:

H/W (Writing Classes)

In preparation for our new unit on Research Based Arguments, you must come to class on Wednesday with basic  a definition and an example of these persuasive terms:
1) Parallelism
2) Statistics
3) Call to Action
4) Prognosticating
5) Emotive language
6) Principle of Authority

Make a COPY of this file. Write your H/W answers in here

Watch this VIDEO

Don't forget: Unit 2 Wordstudy Assessment Tomorrow
How will you study?

Friday, October 18, 2013

Weekly Reflection

How is your independent reading going? We will do our next Reading Ladder Analysis on Friday 1st Nov. Will you have met your reading goal?

Be prepared for next week: Apart from Tue/Thur work, each activity applies to G/H block too.

Mon: Final Memoir Due.  You can bring food in to share to celebrate ending this unit!
Use this link as an example of what your finished product should look like. Read this memoir also as a possible mentor text.

Audio recording software >>
Mon H/W:  Opening and Delayed Adjectives package - choose any x3 pages to practice in order to prepare for the assessment. (Exercises Due: Wed)  

Tue: WordStudy Unit 2 Assessment (What do you need to do differently this time?)
Fishbowl -Partner talks (one or two groups per class have volunteered to be fishbowled)  
(Reading Class only)

Wed: Grammar: Opening and Delayed Adjective/Adverb  Assessment 
(This will be a computerized multiple choice - The primary focus of this assessment will be if you can recognize the difference between opening and delayed adjectives and adverbs. Some questions will also require you to add an opening or delayed adjective to a sentence. Your grammar booklet on adjectives and adverbs ESPECIALLY THE BACK PAGE is very useful study tool. 

Wed: You must bring SGD$1 to class - It is for a very important activity! DO NOT FORGET IT

Thur:  Fishbowled Reading Groups (Volunteers needed)

Fri: SGD$1 Challenge Persuasive Paragraph Due. (This will be be explained in class on Wednesday)

What are three things you wish you knew when you were younger...

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Connecting the Anecdotes

Use this trick to connect from one anecdote to another:

This second example mixes the order a little, but the approach is the same...

In hindsight, I realize that I had been profoundly jealous of Mina that day. Unapologetically, I was envious of all of the perfect things about my sister, and I was jealous of her exceedingly amazing talent and genuine kindness  I just thought that if she was going to be the perfect kind and forgiving one, I ought to be the tough one who doesn’t really care. Arguing never gets you anywhere, but neither does sitting around and doing nothing.  In retrospect, I now understand that jealousy is an angry thing.  Jealousy made me angry, bitter, and selfish.  Whereas Mina was kind, selfless, and basically perfect.  Just a few months after the football incident, I truly experienced one of my  most jealous and selfish days. My father and I had decided to watch our favorite TV shows, Battlestar Galactica, without Mina.

Editing for Figurative and Sensory Language: Try these approaches:

Writing Class
FINAL draft for memoir is due MONDAY. You need a digital copy with at least one (max. x2) images inserted. In class, we will add a videoed QR code and change the file to a .pdf. You will need you headphones for Monday's class.

Can you answer...How should the final piece be presented? .....

Reading Class
How are you studying for Tuesday's Word Study assessment? Look at Jen's visual association vocabulary image - Or are you just using flashcards?

Do not forget to look at previous blog posts to know what is coming next week.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Reducing Stress

Make a copy of this file.  2nd Qtr Book Club and Partner Talks. It should be saved in your Reading Workshop files under Book Clubs and Partner Talks.

What words and phrases from your Book Club discussions can you begin to start using in everyday life? Challenge yourself to learn and use this vocabulary

Do not forget a PRINTED completed DRAFT of your final memoir piece
You will need to hand in your cover page with QR code embedded  also.  Make sure you understand how to do this before leaving school today

Next Week
Mon: Final Memoir Due.  You can bring food in to share to celebrate ending this unit!
Tue: WordStudy Unit 2 Assessment (What do you need to do differently this time?)
Fishbowl -Partner talks (one or two groups per class have volunteered to be fishbowled)
Wed: Grammar: Opening and Delayed Adjective (This will be a computerized multiple choice)
Your grammar booklet on adjectives and adverbs ESPECIALLY THE BACK PAGE is very useful study tool. 

How do you deal with your STRESS?

Can you now FOLLOW these lessons to lead a SUCCESSFUL life?

Tomorrow, you will be hearing from an inspirational speaker, Salva Dut, whose life was written about in the outstanding novel by Linda Sue Park - A Long Walk to Remember. Listen VERY carefully to the message.

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Memoir: Progress Report

I am finding it difficult to add feedback to many of your memoirs as so many of you do not seem to have your memoirs close to being finished. This is an important grade, make sure you are not leaving your work to the last minute! Below are two sample paragraphs from Teagan's work. The first is an example of setting 'background' using the 'status quo' technique - She used this very effectively as an opening for her entire paper.

 I have never really been the person to trust people with new things. I always try to think of the negatives and what could go wrong. I get this idea in my head that I shouldn’t do something; that it will be too hard or too dangerous. Over the past few years, people have told me I need to try new things. After a while I started to believe them and to realize they had a point. These are the moments I remember as clearly as if took place yesterday.

The second piece is an example of  the type of 'reflection - learning - change'  that could come at the end of an anecdote.

 If you asked me two years ago to do something like ski down a black run, I would never have done it. I would have been stubborn and started rattling off anything dangerous that could happen. I would have banished the idea from my head before the idea even got there. Before, I was totally content with staying in my comfort zone. Now? Now I do things I would usually never consider. Now I expand my horizons. Now I am not pessimistic and worried. Now I do not let negative parts of things hold me back from being adventurous.

This is another example of reflection on an anecdote, this time from Isabella.

In a way, I guess I enjoyed the feeling because I just started to laugh and sing out of no where. I could tell that my mother wasn’t exactly thrilled that I had in a way “cleaned the toilet” when I had only cleaned the cover. But it was more than that, I felt so free (almost), even though I was cleaning a toilet, I still felt as if it was my decision and I had this sense of freedom. Shock, was all I could read when I saw my mothers face. I stopped cold once I had finished examining, I hated disappointing my mother. “What are you doing?!” I told her I was cleaning the toilet, but it was all Lidi’s fault. Lidi was my best imaginary friend, we did everything together, but somehow in the end I was always the one bossing her about...she didn’t mind. My mother looked at me seriously, sighed, and chuckled as she added “Have Fun!” I was confused in a way but grateful in how my mother would let me continue my “moment of happiness”. Sweat was dripping down my head but I couldn’t care less I was as a three year old having the time of my life! Puzzled, there was still this pit that I could feel in the bottom of my stomach. To this day I still can’t figure out what it was, maybe it was guilt, maybe it was shame, or maybe it was even just simply my knowledge of what I had done wasn’t controlled by someone else. It was controlled by a big girl. Me.

Many of you will start to see 'voice' feedback on your papers. Go to this website and follow the instructions to give the app permission to be added to your google drive. Doing so makes it easier for me to email you your voice feedback.

Hope these examples help!

What have you been complaining about recently?'ve no idea how good you have it!

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Editing and Redrafting

Use this file link for suggestions on how to edit and redraft some of  the scenes in your memoirs.

Use this file link to organize your edits and redrafts. You must 'drop' this file for me to see

Do you have a slow motion moment in your paper?

Next Week
Be prepared for book clubs by:
  • Coming with a discussion topic/question
  • Coming with a claim about the character(s)
  • Coming with what you believe are the themes of your novel
Your final memory paper will be a .pdf version that includes some images. (I'll show you out to do this next week.) Be thinking about what images ( 2 or 3) you would like to use in your final paper.  You do not necessarily need to use  photos; you can get an image of the web that is symbolic or representative of your message. e.g. a mountain showing resilience You will need these images on Monday 22nd Oct.  (this is now the final submission date.)

Is there anything you would like me to say to your parents about you at conferences?

Have a great break!

Who holds your heart?

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Digital Reading Response

Your written reading response is due tomorrow. Mentor is below:

Your digital reading response is due NEXT THURSDAY. Your finished product will be a printed image of your book cover (or any image that represents your story) with the video QR code embedded. It will look something like this.
Use this video to help you with put your digital reading response together.

Step 1: Make sure you make a video recording of your reading response
Step 2: The website you need is here: (this site allows you to put image of yourself in the QR code!)
Step 3: Follow the advice in the video. 
If you know how to do this without using the video feel free to use what every software you know.

You are graded on your spoke delivery of your reading response.  Bring your writing to life with effective expression and intonation.

You are also graded on your ability to follow 'multi-step directions.' Your ability to persevere and  show resilience if confused and solve your problem is also being assessed.

What is Love? This video is actually a great way to emphasize the difference between 'telling' an idea and 'showing' one!

Monday, October 7, 2013

Writing Effective Endings

Opening Adjectives and Adverbs Package: 1st page only: Due Wed

Today, we learned three very different techniques to craft endings that show learning, change, and growth. You are invited to use a combination of these endings with each of your anecdotes. To use these endings effectively, you will need to THINK deeply about each individual anecdote and why you choose that anecdote to write about in the first place. Used correctly, these types of ending are VERY powerful.

Link: Techniques to end Memoirs

Final Memoir: Due Oct 18th
You should have 'almost' a completed first draft of your memoir by Wednesday's class.

Wed 9th and Wed 16th will be redrafting and editing days.

You will have about 35-45mins of class time Tuesday to work on your Reading Response which is due Wed. Make sure you are making 'claims' about your character.

Friday, October 4, 2013

Weekly Reflection

Learning Behaviors bi-monthly grade added to powerschool. Well done to the vast majority of you who have been keeping your reading log up to date!

Congratulations on your first assessed discussion today. Discussion grades will be in powerschool by Sunday 12pm Three points to consider:

1) If you do the work, (read and think about the text beforehand) you will LEARN. If you don't...
2) Always think about how setting effects characters
3) State unique claims that could beyond the most obvious statements

Reminder: If you perform badly on an assessment, you can redo it. I had three people today redo their 'parts of speech' assessment. Each one improved their grade score! I will not chase you. You must ask me!

Next Week

  • Character reading response due: Wed - Make sure you are stating a clear claim. Look at mentor text example on blog for guidance.
  • Be prepared for your first 'Book club' discussion - Tue
  • First Draft of Memoirs finished by end of class: Wed - Due date for memoirs will be: Friday Oct 18th.

Put a smile on your face this weekend

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Opening and Delayed Adjectives

Today, you had the opportunity to decide what you would share with your parents at conferences. KNOWING and being able to NAME what you are learning is a vital step in the learning process.

You have also learned how to write sentences with opening and delayed adjectives. Can you use them in your writing? H/W: You must watch this video

C/D class - We will cover delayed adjectives in our next session
Don't forget to be prepared for tomorrow's small group discussion on Inside/Out

Do you want to be happy in life? Watch this!

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Reading Response: Characters

Today you were set your next Reading Response on character. Use the mentor text that we discussed and the points that you wrote down to help guide what you need to do for your reading response. (E/F file linked here)  PRINTED copies of your reading response are due: NEXT WEDNESDAY (This is a writing day). A QR Code embbed printed image  of your reading response will be due on the Wednesday AFTER parent teacher conferences. I will explain what this is and how to do it  in Friday's class

Remember: Friday - Your discussion and debate skills will be assessed on the story: Inside/Out. You will discuss the story in small groups. Make sure you come to class prepared with your copy of the story.

Reminder (Two anecdotes/paragraphs written on your memoir by Thur.)

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Memoirs: Openings

Remember: Tomorrow is a 'Late Start' Day.

All Students and Faculty
Please wear PINK on Friday, October 4 to show your support for the kick-off of PINK-TOBER. (Powerful video linked in previous word.) During the entire month of October SAS will be running a Breast Cancer Awareness Campaign. All proceeds will go to Look for more information throughout the month and visit the tables in the MS Cafeteria on Friday for more information.

Homebase - Boys. Finish your superhero design for tomorrow.

Today we examined openings. We discussed five types of openings and how to create them:

You will be expected to use a variety of these approaches when crafting not just your opening, but also each of your anecdotes.

You should have at least '2' of your anecdotes completed drafted by Thursday.
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