Friday, February 28, 2014

Twists, Changes, and Revelations

You learned that RF stories all contain key moments in stories that signal a) a major change, b) a revelation of c) A great twist in the story. Your RF story should have at least one of these techniques included.

Important - Read the new file on the right side of the blog. - Starting in March, if you do not meet the deadline for a piece of work - you need to complete this extra work BEFORE you can resubmit for a grade. Otherwise, the grade will NOT be changed.

Mentor Scenes
RF Scenes: Enjoy Jackson's piece. Look how well he used personification
Min Jung's piece clearly captured the meanness of the character. She moved her characters around the scene perfectly.

Next Week

  • You will begin writing your final RF stories once your outlines have been approved.
  • Book Club Discussion:  Wed - During this book club you will need to examine a scene or short chapter using your 'word choice' protocol.  - You will have to feed back to the class your 'new thinking' - This will be graded!
  • Grammar: Compound-complex sentences: Big Sentence Clauses TEST coming in approx. 10 days. This old blog page contains tons of practice exercises for you to consider using over the next couple of weeks: Sentence Fluency Test Practice.
  • Membean test Fri. (40 questions) - You will need to total 50mins of practice by next Friday (25 in class)
Enjoy Timmy's RR - What were his best parts?

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Reading for Structure

Today, you learned how to use your reading for 'structure' lens. Notice how when you created you own breakdown of how you plan your evenings, the structure showed what you valued the most. (or parents what your parents valued the most!) Writers take very special care to organize the structure of their  stories in a unique way to show case what they value.

No additional H/W tonight - Check last night's post to see what you should be doing!

Enjoy Lukas's RF scene. Can you hear his strong 12 year old voice in this? Can you spot the symbolism? Can you do this Untitled

Planning Grid Assessment Criteria
You will come close to finishing your RF planning grid in Friday's class. Students who score an 'A' will have planned:

  • A series of independent scenes (approximately 3-10 - This number can vary)
  • Scenes that show a gradual rise in tension towards the climax of the story
  • The stated craft descriptor for how these scenes are written (e.g. I will use dialogue here)
  • A purpose for each of the scenes
  • A mention of  the conflict in the story (internal/external)
  • A key scene that shows the twist, revelation, of moment of change in the story
  • Name settings  (try to stick to a maximum of 3)
  • Characters (try to stick to a maximum of 3)
  • Named social issue and author's stance on this issue
  • Named literacy devices that will be included e.g. symbolism, irony, foreshadowing, repetition, figurative language 
  • Named POV for the story
    Planning Grid

Enjoy Rachel's RR - I enjoyed the way she critiqued the narrator!

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Realistic Fiction: Planning Grid

Files to drop RF pieces
C/D RF: Scene Assessment
E/F RF: Scene Assessment
G/H RF: Scene Assessment

All Classes
Complex Sentences H/W - Due Friday
Homework Task: Use this link to study your AAAWWUBBISS words

H/W Write x4 complex sentences. Divide up the dependent clause and the independent clause. Next to the sentence write N or Y if it needs a comma or not

e.g.  My sister likes to play tennis      because her father is an ex-professional      N
(Do the work in your Sentence Clauses Unit under today's mini lesson

Planning Outline for your RF story: Due Friday
This is a pencil and paper outline of your key ideas in your story. This does not need to be finished by Friday, but you should have made a decent start on it.

"Failing to plan is planning to fail" 

Reading Classes only
Remember: You should be at 50mins for Membean by Friday morning.

There will be no additional H/W added Thursday

Add to your calendars.
The final due date for your summative RF paper will be Thursday  Match 20th. Don't stress about this date. I am just giving you the heads up. 

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Active Listening and Learning to Focus

In today's 5 minute society, maintaining effective classroom focus is an important 21st century skill. Being present simply is NOT enough. Learning to Focus - Which areas do you need to work on?

  • Eye Contact
  • Note Taking
  • On topic questioning
  • Hand raised
  • Good posture
  • Learner focused body language
  • Quiet
  • Patience
  • Actively contributing
  • Respect for peers

How will use what you learned today to become an active listener in the future?

Add comments for +1 points sharing your take-aways from today's session. In Thursday's class, you will share how you applied your 'focus skills' across other subjects.

C/D and E/F Classes
Your 2nd reading response should be linked to the file on the right side of the blog by the end of today. You may use any reading responses practices that you have done in class.

Membean - You should complete a minimum of 50mins of Membean this week. (30 in class and 20 at home)

All book club books need returning by Thursday, so I can redistribute the titles. Please bring them in tomorrow if you are done with the novel. 

All classes
You will have between 20-30minutes to put the finishing touches to your 'scene' for tomorrow.
Approx. length is 1-2 pages.

Advice - Listen to your P.E. teachers - Make sure you warm up before sport!!!


Sunday, February 23, 2014

Assessment Week

This week you will have to turn in a number of pieces for assessment

1) Your first RF scene. Use the files below to copy your file into. Follow the instructions on your file.
These files should be dropped by the end of Wednesday's writing class

C/D RF: Scene Assessment
E/F RF: Scene Assessment
G/H RF: Scene Assessment

2) Book clubs: Use the Book Clubs file to  write your groups final thoughts on your novel. Everybody should be finished with the first book club book by Tuesday's class. You will be issued new book clubs on Tuesday.

Book club Discussion Sheet: E/F
Book Club Discussion Sheet C/D

3) Reading Response - Your second video RR is due Feb 25th. Due your youtube link into the file on the right side of the blog.

Suggestion: Cut/Paste - text into this 'teleprompter' - This way you can record yourself speaking directly into your computer camera.

Friday, February 21, 2014

Have a nice w/end

Hope the day went well! I am starting to see people taking responsibility for their own learning...
 Enjoy these samples from your classmates. More will be added over the w/end.

See you Tuesday...if I can walk!

Thursday, February 20, 2014

ilearn: Showing Responsibility and Independence

Drop your H/W file in your class slideshow.

C/D Class ilearn
E/F Class ilearn
G/H Class ilearn

Students scoring an 'A':

  • Completed multiple independent sessions of H/W during the week
  • Each session covered a 'respectable' time limit
  • The content covered in each session was directly relevant to RLA practice, concepts, and/or skills
  • Clear and precise evidence on the slide proves that this learning actually took place
  • The student provides evidence of academic growth. What do you know, understand better, or can do better now that you couldn't at the start of the week?
  • Some aspect of creativity is shown either with what was learned or how this learning was communicated in the slide.

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Close Reading Protocol

Use this link to copy/paste today's lesson into your own template: Close Reading

Use your close reading protocol to examine 'author's craft'

Close Reading Protocol
1) Find a piece of text that you think might be significant
2) Read it
3) Read it a second and noticing specifically what stands out in the text.
4) Look for patterns
    e.g. Which details/words fit together?
    e.g. How do these details/words fit together?
    e.g. how are the details different or similar?
    e.g. Does anything seem unusual?
5) Make a statement about craft

If you use this protocol against any section or text that you think is significant - you can truly delve deep into author's craft!

Remember: Levels of Thinking about Text
Level 1 - Prediction/Inference
Level 2 - Interpretation
Level 3 - How structure of text impacts meaning
Level 4 - Commenting on author's craft moves

Hey, if you examined everything a little closer, you might be surprised at what you find!

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Writing Craft

Possible craft moves. What are you missing? Doing too much/not enough of?

  • Inner thinking
  • Action
  • Setting descriptions
  • background/context
  • Dialogue
  • Time shift
  • Objects
  • word choice/imagery
  • figurative language, allusions, and symbolism
  • Emotions
  • analysis of situation
  • character descriptions
  • location/movement/position/direction

Color code your writing based on the ideas above

Lesson Recap This is 5 mins, but completely explains all you need to know about conjunctive adverbs usage.
These are sophisticated words that you should begin to integrate naturally into your own writing

 Today, we looked at classifying the sentences we write in our writing by 'writing craft.'  What are you using a lot of? What do you need to add? Do your scenes contain enough variety?

In tomorrow's book club, your team will be talking about a moment in the story where something really important happened. Make sure your team knows exactly what part of the story you want to discuss. It should be a short scene (- approx. 1 page to a couple of  pages.)

Coming next week
In class simple and compound sentence writing exercise!

Monday, February 17, 2014

Who is telling the story?

Book club Discussion Sheet: E/F
Book Club Discussion Sheet C/D

Recap on Narrative Perspectives

This week, you choose your H/W.

 Read the file below again to make sure you are clear on what you must do for Friday.

Membean test: This Friday
Keep up to date when your next Reading Response is due.(files to left on blog)

For Those Interested
Symbolism in the Movies - Coming of the 5th Age...
This is a conspiracy theory movie.  Take it with a 'pinch of salt'

Friday, February 14, 2014

The devil is in the details...

Today, we covered a great deal: You learned a reason for your compound sentences. You learned that you need to: Locate - Position -Direct -  Move  -  your readers through your RF pieces.

We also learned that we can write symbolically. It's already out there, you just need to learn to spot it! Win +points for sharing what you find in the comments section

 You must watch this is you want your eyes opened!

Next Week: Choose your own H/W week. What choices will  you make?

Thursday, February 13, 2014

What do fish have to do with it?

"What a person needs is always more than what they say."

Write a short paragraph explaining the symbolism hidden in today's story.

C/D Class Write your answers in this file  

Make sure you have completed your scene on cruelty and/or kindness.
We will be sharing these in class tomorrow.

You should have 50mins minimum of Membean by Friday's class.

Next Week's Homework: Use the blog to ask any questions about this new approach to H/W. I will go over it in class tomorrow and answer some of your questions

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Scratch the Surface - Find the Writer

Formative Assessment on Sentences, Fragments, and Run-ons: Pop Quiz
Answer the 20 questions. Show me the result once you have finished

After today's pop quiz, if you realized you still do not get these concepts, use these links as further practice. This work is optional but worth it if you scored a 'B' or below in today's assessment. No time limit to complete the exercises: Sentence Clauses: Run-ons and Comma Splices

Lesson Recap

Find the inspiration for your writing in the 'cruelty and the kindness' that we are surrounded by.

Remembering the examples from today.

H/W -

You must write a scene that exemplifies a moment of cruelty or a moment of kindness that you have directly or indirectly experienced: Due Friday

Remember: You can change the facts./Location/Characters/ Resolution

Listen to the inspiration for Wonder again...

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Book Clubs

Social issues emerge from: 1) Unfair treatment 2) Power Inequalities 3) Characters' Problems

Naming some of the problems, unfair treatment, or power struggles that have occurred in the books you have read about gives you an insight into what the book is trying to teach you. What social issues are hidden behind these events?

Enjoy the  text from today's session again: The Stolen Party

Grammar Practice Those students who did not have screen shots to prove they finished last Thursday's practice H/W must STILL do this work. I will expect to see it tomorrow in addition to last night's grammar H/W. Constant practice of these sentences techniques are the only way they will become natural and automatic. The link to this practice is here: Sentence Practice post

H/W: Reading Classes
Membean: You need to complete a minimum of 50mins of Membean this week (x20 at home x30 in class) by Friday. Make sure you are adding new words to your Student Master Learning Behavior grade goes home this Friday.  For the last two week period, you should have completed 105mins or more.

All Classes
Remember:  Finish yesterday's grammar exercises and take 'screen shots' for proof of completion

Coming Soon: 
Your next reading responses is due February 25th. You may use your book club book  for this response. A few people are still missing the last response. 

Enjoy Devon's Slam. The journey that Devon takes us on is so precise!

Monday, February 10, 2014

Realistic Fiction: Generating Ideas

Grammar Recap
Memorize and ERADICATE these types of mistakes going forward!!!

1) The man entered with a gun, bank personnel were not amused    Comma Splice

2) The man entered with a gun bank personnel were not amused.  Fused Sentences

3) The man entered with a gun and bank personnel were not amused. Run on sentence       

Show me examples of compound sentences or compound sentence errors and win +1 for doing so.

G/H Class Only
Social Issues: Choose any 3 from the list to investigate...

Food Inc

C/D and E/F - Be ready for your bookclubs tomorrow.

H/W - All classes
Writing: Finish your second social scene or blurb using today's generating strategy. (Due: Wed)

Grammar: - Finish by Wednesday. Take small screen shots to prove that you did the work.

Watch this video. You will score more points on your SATs if you do!

Ideas to generate stories Enjoy Thani's Slam...

 Look at these examples of strong extended metaphors for people who are thinking of resubmitting in order to improve their grades.

Friday, February 7, 2014

Weekly Reflections

Book Club Reflections:
Key questions to be bringing to your next discussions

  • What do we think the social issues are in the story so far?
  • How are the characters dealing with these issues?
  • What are  the social norms - status quo - of this setting/time/place?
  • What do we need to pay attention to?
  • Is anything being foreshadowed?
Keep your 'thinking about reading' file up to date; therefore, you will not need to do much additional thinking when it is time to write your next reading response.

Next Week
RF Short scene writing. (Due: Mon)
Grammar: Online practice from Sentence Clauses Unit: (Due: Mon)
Next Book club discussion (Due: Tue)
Are there any lines in your story that sound like, "quotes to live life by?" - Make a note of them!

New Learning
Further practice with compound sentences and compound sentences using conjunctive adverbs (+1 if you can see where I used a a conj. adv compound sentence in this post)

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Realistic Fiction Writing

A number of students still have not turned in some assignments:  Reading Responses, Slam poems,  Diction and Details Assessment. The window for resubmitting these pieces of work closes NEXT Wednesday. Check your powerschool for any 'F' - Failed to Submit.  If you do have any 'Fs' - Turn your work into the: Resubmitted Work Folder 

Extended Metaphor

1) Write your name on your extended metaphor slide (and your partner's name)
2) Make a copy of just that slide (right click/copy) from your poetry portfolio
3) Paste the slide into the extended metaphor file below for your class.
This saves me precious minutes when grading instead of opening 60+ files, I need to open just three. Thank you

C/D Class Extended Metaphor
E/F Class Extended Metaphor
G/H Class Extended Metaphor

Poetry Reflections
C/D Class Learning Class
E/F Class Learning Class
G/H Class Learning Class

Make a copy of this file and place it in your Writing Bookmarks: Realistic Fiction Writing

H/W - Due Monday. -

1) Finish the piece you started in class today. Remember - this is only a scene, not a complete story.

2) Watch this video and
Simple and compound sentences
Rags to Riches - Compound Sentences
Put  small screen shots of your completed exercises inside the independent practice section for session 2 as evidence of completing the exercises.

Remember: Friday - Membean assessment
Book Clubs: Read up to your  agreed page.

Great News!
KOBO eReaders. In a few weeks, a few classes in 7th grade will pilot a new 'eReader program. This means that many of you will be given your own eReader to use and take home. I need to preload all these eReaders with the best novels for 7th graders. Please state in a comment a 'must have' book that you believe should be on the eReader. Only choose the very best of the best you have read. eReaders once I get the BEST books loaded on them... approx 100+

Enjoy Ibby's slam poem...Nice attitude!

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Social Issues Book Clubs

Make a copy of this file and save it in your Reading Book Marks: Social Issues Book clubs

  • Membean: You should have done a total of 55mins of Membean this week. (30 in class and 25 at home). Membean Vocabualry assessment will be Friday.
  • Extended Metaphor Poem: Due: Thur
  • Agree to read up to a certain page # on your RF book club - Things to ponder as you read: What are the social hidden in the plot? How does my character deal with these issues?
What is the book teaching me?
Guidelines Repeated
  • You poem uses a single 'anchor' metaphor and continues to 'extend' that metaphor throughout the poem
  • Other metaphors that are linked to the anchor metaphor can be clearly identified in the poem
  • Your poem communicates a message/idea. - e.g. My life ain't no crystal stair - the idea is that she has had a tough life, but never gave up and keep reaching other goals.
  • Poetry format and structure with an effective title
  • Minimum 12 lines
Difference between an 'A' and 'B'?
Students who scored an 'A' - Crafted a well structured poem that contained an extended metaphor that clearly also communicated a literal idea that was well structured
Students who scored a 'B' - Crafted a well structured poem that contained an extended metaphor, but the literal meaning wasn't clearly evident or lacked organization

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Sentence Fluency and Realistic Fiction

Make  copy of this file and keep it in your bookmarks for 'Writing'

Unit 7 Sentence Fluency

Extended Metaphor: Further Examples:

Poetry Unit: Learning Reflections

C/D Class Learning Class
E/F Class Learning Class
G/H Class Learning Class

Dictation Emails - Change your parents live by sharing the trick you learned in school today! They will LOVE you so much more!

Monday, February 3, 2014

Faithful Elephants

Enjoy Alexa's EXCELLENT, authentic reading response in its entirity. The authenticity of this piece and the engaging way that Alexa presents her ideas are techniques worth imitating.
"Learning is the transition from imitation to innovation"

Finish your 'thinking and talking about reading' entry on, 'Faithful Elephants.' What is the story trying to teach us? -
Students who were absent need to read this story. Start on page. 2
Faithful Elephants and complete a brief response. What is the story really about? Approx 100 words.

You should complete a minimum of 55 minutes of Membean practice this week. (x30minutes in school x25minutes at home. Spread your home study over a number of nights.) Learning Behavior grades go down if you do not complete the required practice time.

Extended Metaphor Poem: Due Thur 
You must add a new slide to your Poetry Portfolio with your extended metaphor.

Grading Criteria

  • You poem uses a single 'anchor' metaphor and continues to 'extend' that metaphor throughout the poem
  • Other metaphors that are linked to the anchor metaphor can be clearly identified in the poem
  • Your poem communicates a message/idea. - e.g. My life ain't no crystal stair - the idea is that she has had a tough life, but never gave up and keep reaching other goals.
  • Poetry format and structure with an effective title
  • Minimum 12 lines
This assignment is simple testing whether you can write a poem that contains an extended metaphor. Remember, not every line needs to be a metaphor.

Resubmitting Assignments: New System

I have added a file to the right side of the blog for resubmitting assignments. If you do not turn your work in on time or wish to resubmitted, you must put the link to your resubmitted work in this file if you want to get your work regraded. If you are absent from school, any missed work should be resubmitted here. Work that is not turned in on time, automatically receives a failing grade until it is resubmitted. To get this grade changes, it is your responsibility then to get the work to me. I will NOT chase you up for work.

Saturday, February 1, 2014

Mentor Examples

Reading Responses: Why am I not getting an 'A'? Look at how these students approached their reading responses to get an insight into what needs to be done to score the highest grades. 

Can you spot this in Teagan's work?
-use of a 'warrant'
-use of what the book teaches us
-use of quoting to support your opinion.
-use of connection to other stories Importance of the title?  
 -Elysia's: Eggs
-Devon's: The Great Gilly Hopkins This response focused on just one read flag moment. She scored highly, b/c once quoting the moment, she then effectively interprets the situation.
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...