Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Don't Count the Days...

Make the days...
 Happy Holidays...

 Well done Ernest,  Zack,  Marium,  David, and Jordan. I can see your Membean practice!

Friday, December 20, 2013

Defining Mediocrity

The definition of mediocrity: "excellence ten years ago."
 Dr. Laurie Patton, Dean of Duke University's Trinity School of Arts and Sciences.
Think about what this means as you plan for the new semester:

Expectation: You will read 2-3 books over the break. Some of your will read more!
Optional: Any Membean practice

Congratulations on all your achievements for the first semester. Have a fabulous, relaxing break.

Happy Holidays!

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Giving Back...

G/H Class - Authenticity Checker
C/D & E/F
Final 5 minutes of Membean tonight.

Drop your videos in the files in yesterday's post.

What gift will you give your family this holiday season? 

Does a grammar technique jump out and hit you?

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Digital Essays

Membean H/W: 5 minutes of practice today and tomorrow!

Drop your link to your video into these files by before your class Fri:

C/D Digital Essays

E/F  Digital Essays

Everybody (G/H included)
Most people should be finished with your grammar scripts by tomorrow. You must turn in:
1) a printed color copy
2) a printed black and white copy
3) make sure you have copies for yourself.

DO NOT wait until the last minute to print your scripts in the library. See? Think? Wonder?

Monday, December 16, 2013

Grammar Scripts and Digital Essays


G/H - Bring a PRINTED copy of your essay for tomorrow. Do not forget to use the proof reading tips from Friday's class

C/D & E/F
Create at least 5 slides for your digital essays
5 minutes of Membean ( you can work for longer if you choose)

Optional: Work on your grammar scripts

Mentor: Digital Essays

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Next Week

Here is a breakdown on what to expect for next week. We have a lot to get through and as always...not a lot of time to do it in!


  • 10 mins Membean
  • 20-30 mins Learning Reflection for Report Card
  • 15-20 mins Independent reading
  • 20 mins   Grammar Script writing

H/W 5mins of membean - 20mins of work on digital project


  • 10 mins Membean
  • 20-30 mins Learning Reflection for Report Card (G/H class only)
  • 30 mins  Digital project work
  • 30 mins  Grammar Script writing (G/H class 55 minutes)

H/W 5mins of Membean - 20mins of work on digital project
G/H class - Finish your grammar script for Thur


  • 10 mins Membean
  • 35 mins  Digital Project work
  • 35 mins  Grammar Script writing

H/W 5mins of Membean - 20mins of work on digital project


  • 10 mins Membean
  • 35 mins  Digital Project filming (C/D & E/F)
  • 35 mins  Grammar Script writing. Performing (G/H class)

H/W Put finishing touching to your scripts
5-10mins optional Membean practice

Friday: Share Day C/D & G/H

  • 20 question Membean Consolidation assessment.
  • Grammar Presentations and Digital Project viewing

Students are welcome to do more work out of school if you choose to do so. Maximize teamwork. You will only have about 40-60mins of total class time to  write your scripts. 

Friday, December 13, 2013

Value the Journey: The Learning IS the Struggle

Reset your MEMBEAN 'Target Date' to June 5th 2014 (under: your info - link)

All meaningful success comes from struggle. Congratulations on turning in your papers!

Reader's Theatre Script: Grammar Assessment

Make a copy of the presentation template

Presentation Options:

1) Videoed Speech: Just use your camera and video tape your presentation of the written essay.
2) Vlog

3) Paper Slide video

4) Drawn argument:

5) Surprise me!

Planning Gird

Wish for Kids, an
SAS high school service club, is offering you a chance to purchase scholarships for elementary and high school children in the Philippines. These scholarships will fund schooling for one year, providing the children with the invaluable gift of an education that they so cherish.

Elementary scholarships are $40 per student and high school scholarships are $65 per student. Please let us know if you are interested and how many you would like to purchase. One of our club members will be happy to come to your classroom to deliver the scholarship gift cards and collect the money. Thank you so much for your support and contributions.

Happy Holidays from Wish for Kids!

Homebase Student of the Week: Kira M.

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Due Dates

E/F & C/D - Your PRINTED version of your paper is due FRI.

  • An engaging title: Try Title Generator
  • Correctly inserted images acceptable
  • Name. 1.5 line spacing
  • All colors removed
  • Final advice - Read your paper to a parent -They can offer an opinion and suggestion 1 change.

G/H -  Due Tues

Paragraph order: Reminder
Support 1
Support 2
Support 3 (optional)

Proof Reading Tips

1) Be precise with verb choice in quote sandwiches.
Does the evidence: indicate, proof, demonstrate, suggest, illustrate, reveal, argue?

2) Find out how many times you are referencing your 'thesis/claim' - Minimum x5

3) Remove most pronouns: You, We , I, It, They

4) Capitalize proper Nouns: The Hurvery Study 1985

6) Grammar Integration: Parallel Structure, Repeated and Double Comparatives,  Superlatives

5) Use Vocaroo to listen for fluency. Recite one paragraph at a time.

Audio recording >> Coming Tomorrow: Vlog - How will your creativity compare with this?

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Concluding Paragraph

Membean Assessment tomorrow - Make sure you know the roots that you have met. These questions might trip you up. All these roots are individual based on your progress and are on your dashboard. e.g. see below

Students mentioned below are recommended to do an extra 10 mins of practice tonight:
 Kira Sehgal, Lukas Daniel-Pedersen, Samuel Bodden, Sonia Kingsley.   The Membean system requires recent practice. 
10 minutes of additional practice is suggested for everybody as a refresher ( especially if you didn't practice after Monday night) Optional!
Just out of interest: these images show how much time each student has spend studying Membean this week. The most at the top. The least at the bottom. Of course,  I am to going to say whose name the charts go with, but where do you think you are? E/F class - David - yours is at the top for the most studying!!! Well done!

C/D Yasmin - you are at the top for your class for time spent studying...Bravo

Today, we learned some steps in order to create a strong close to our essays.

Use these steps to write your concluding paragraph.

Mentor: Claim - Middle students need to learn to use better listening skills during instructional sessions

Key point: Don’t use to CONCLUDE - anywhere else in your piece!

1) Transitional (To summarize, In closing, Clearly, Without question)
2) Restated thesis (said in different words
3) BEST two or three researched facts said differently - Make it clear that you are representing the data using 'referencing' phraseology
3b) Optional - Revisit an anecdote - close the story
4) Call to action  (Tell your audience critics or supporters to do something!)
5) Prognosticating (You get what you want - what changes?)

To reiterate, for consistent and long lasting academic progress to occur, 7th grade students need to learn and consistently implement effective listening skills during instructional sessions.  A poll of 300 teachers showed that almost 90% of these educators always provide verbal clues to test content during their teaching. Moreover, the  findings of the Burton survey, ‘Skills for the 21st Century’ showed that  being an effective listening has the single most impact on academic performance. Stories like  Mary Jones experience will cease to exist if students learn to become active and not passive listeners in school. The next time a student in a classroom is being disruptive, off task, or simply not paying attention to the instructional material, this individual should be politely redirected and reminded of his learning responsibilities. Who knows? Perhaps a time will come in the future when a visitor to any forward thinking school can wander into any classroom and see only engaged, attentive well focused students involved in learning.

Why no green?

Put your conclusions in the file (see Monday's post) for inspection.

G/H - Yours will be due - Next Monday.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Introduction: Reteach

Can you name the different section of this introduction? Could you color code your own piece in the same way?

Nine year old Mary Swanson is excited to return home from school and watch T.V. Sadly, on whichever channel she tunes into she is instantly pummelled with a barrage of commercials promoting toys with fast food products or even advertisements pitching violent video games like Call of Duty. This type of forced indoctrination has to stop. Even though advocates of advertising on T.V. might argue that this bustling industry supports the U.S. economy, a law should still exist that prohibits television commercials that directly target young children.  School aged children are simple too young to make informed decisions about the merits of different products in advertisements. More often than not,  even unhealthy foods and are often manipulated into situations that directly seek to influence children through seemingly innocent advertisements.

C/D & E/F
Tonight your task is to finish writing your counterargument and put into yesterday's file to be graded! (link is in yesterday's post)

Mentor counterargument: Can you see what the different colors represent?

Proponents of the current status quo on advertising argue quite loudly that this industry creates over 10million jobs across the nation.  Their stance is quite logical. Effective advertising leads to profitable  businesses; profitable businesses lead to more jobs, and more jobs lead to  a healthy successful economy. While engaging, their reasoning is categorically flawed. Do  the benefits they state outweigh the pitfalls? The APA estimates that advertisers may spend more than $12 billion per year on ads created to pull in the youth market. Because young children do not understand the actions of advertisers, they will eat the fatty foods without knowing these products could harm them. Therefore in fact, advertising leads to poorer health and poorer health leads to a greater demand on the countries health care system; thus adversely affecting the economy.  The U.S. Healthy Ministry said in 2012 $40 billion dollars in taxpayer money went to fight obesity related illnesses.  The costs simply do not balance out. Clearly,  manipulating, influencing, and persuading students  to eat unhealthy food is wrong.  Advertisements targeting young children has to stop.

Final Rubric: For your reference
C/D & E/F - Final pieces due Friday!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Monday, December 9, 2013

Final Stretch

Types of Opening
1) Rhetorical Question: Is individual choice stifled across America because of mandatory school uniform policies?  (often parallel structure is used here)  

2) Create a scenario:  Picture this. It's a typical Monday morning in suburbia. Two very opinionated tweens are each squabbling over a pair of Feline pants. Each is desperate to wear them at school in order to look cool.  

3) Tell a SHORT anecdote:  Mary Jane Roe walked nervously down the halls of Shane Elementary. After no more that a few steps, the giggles began soon followed by a barrage of   insults. Mary Jane was wearing Wrangler jeans, and this style was simply not cool

Anybody can write an opening: The trick is CONNECTING the  opening  (hook) to your claim/thesis - see how these sentences below relate to the hooks

Example 1)  Answer the question  by referring to the claim e.g. Clearly, the is a dire need to  protect the freedoms of self expression before they become eroded.(state claim)

Example 2) Families around the country can avoid these sibling squabbles if ….(state claim)
Example 3) Sadly, this story is repeated across America. This behavior can only be changed if….(state claim)

You must copy and paste your introduction into this file for grading You will receive an error analysis report  and a grade for this piece. The due dates for the other sections of your essay are below with the files attached. By giving you 'process' grades, you have the opportunity to improve before turning in the final paper.

Due: Tue -  Your Introduction
Due: Wed - Your counterargument
Due: Thur: - Your conclusion
Make sure you 'personally' read your supporting paragraphs against the criteria I used for your last graded supporting paragraph grade.
Due: Fri: - Finished piece

C/D & E/F

You should have done 15mins on Membean between last Thurs. & tomorrow.

Comment: You must write a comment based on what you, 'saw, thought, or wondered' about the Invictus so far.

Friday, December 6, 2013


Ubuntu "I am who I am because of who we all are." Remembering a great leader...

The poem that has come to symbolize Mandala's legacy

Research Based Essay: Officially, I expected finished pieces in during next Friday's class. This is over 3 more hours of class time. - If your progress to date means that you will not meet this deadline, they you need to increase your H/W load!

Next Thur: First Membean assessment - You do not need to study for this. Just make sure you have practiced using the software.

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Say Something Nice...

G/H Class -  You should have chosen your supporting ideas and  begun to fill in your powerplans

E/F & C/D - You should have a completed thesis statement and be will on the way to finishing filling in your graphic organizers.

15mins Membean Practice: Due for Next Tuesday. First Membean assessment will be next Thursday. You DO NOT have to study for this assessment. Membean method ensures that words become part of your long term memory. Therefore you should naturally be able to recall their meanings and usage.

Tomorrow: We will write anecdotes and/or scenario openings

Watch this video in preparation for the lesson

Homebase Student of the Week: Jordan

Make a difference in the simplest way...

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Finding Supporting Ideas

Research writers take special care to organize their notes into 'Supporting Categories.' THIS  IS THE MOST CHALLENGING STEP OF BUILDING AN ARGUMENT.  Once you have your supporting categories, you can start to build your thesis/claim. Look at the these two samples below:

What categories could these research facts be organized into?
Reading Classes: H/W - Make sure your supporting topics and have written your supporting topic sentences in the graphic organizer. 

Don't just 'talk the  talk' - WALK THE TALK - click link to find out more

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Research Day

Membean: Feedback 1

C/D & E/F Classes

You should be finished with your research by the end of today.  Many of you will have begun to draft your thesis statements. Remember: Go to an earlier blog post to find links to the thesis generators.

Don't forget: 10 mins of Membean for tomorrow

G/H Class
You will have begun your research. You should have collected your sources and be finished researching by END OF CLASS Thursday.

I was once introduced to the phrase, "what goes around, comes around." It never really clicked to begin with. Now it does...

Monday, December 2, 2013

Let's Get Down to Business...

You are now working independently on your 'Research Based Argument'

Use this file to collect all of your notes for your research based argument:  What is the ISSSSSUE?

Use this resource on MONDAY to for  research: Advanced Search Tips

My expectation is that you have a topic and have collected your four sources by Tuesday. Some of you will have already gone on to begin taking notes. Those of you who have not selected your own topic are STRONGLY advised to choose a topic from this list: (sources linked)

Nuclear Power
College Education
What is a Healthy Diet?
Cell Phones

You must keep up to date by showing your progress through the stages of the report using BOTH the online chart (see right column) and the chart on my white board in the classroom

Reading Classes
H/W - 10 mins of Membean Practice
Suggested H/W: Begin reading and taking notes from 1 or two of your sources.

Due Date for Final Piece: Wednesday 11th C/D & E/F Classes. Friday 13th G/H Classes

Show a little kindness...

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...