Monday, March 31, 2014

Reading Goal: 40 Books

Reading Classes
How are you progressing toward the target goal of 40 books this year? I know some people have already surpassed this goal. Make sure you are keeping your chart up to date with the books you have read, so that your reading stamina can be fairly assessed. Most of you should have completed approx. 30 books so far this year.

H/W: All classes (Due Tuesday)
You will need to bring in an image for tomorrow's classes about an event/news item/topic that you would like to do more research on. e.g. Missing Malaysia airline (you cannot choose this topic)
You will use this image to write a poem. So DO NOT FORGET!

This is a great site to use to get ideas for your Research topic. sign up for an account.  New Articles and Research Topics. Use this class code when asked: KZMAC

This site also has good ideas for topics

Membean: 25 mins for Friday (10 in school)

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Welcome Back

I hope you all had an enjoyable Spring Break. I did!

Next Week
We begin the week with a presentation from some visiting authors on Monday.  Our new units start in earnest later in the week. The new files for you to copy are attached here. Make sure you add these to your favorites:

Grammar: Unit 8 Sentence Phrases
Reading: Non-fiction Book Clubs
Writing: Feature Article Writing Unit

Thursday, March 20, 2014

RF Submissions

C/D Class RF Stories
E/F Class: RF Stories
G/H Class: RF Stories

PLEASE RETURN YOUR BOOK CLUB and any other class books you have finished with. We will head to the library tomorrow to get some books out for SB.

Congratulations on your achievements. You should be very proud of your growth!

Eat longer!

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Summative Reading Assessment: Use these links to put your link to your summative RR on The Marble Champ.

C/D Class
E/F Class

H/W All Classes
Tomorrow is the DUE DATE for your RF pieces. Your finished piece should be turned in digially in the file where it already stands. PLEASE BRING A PRINTED COPY OF YOUR STORY ALSO FOR DISPLAY Presentation Guidelines:

  • Effective title
  • Name
  • Block
  • 1.5 line spacing
  • An appropriate font of your choice
  • Correctly 'justified text' (see right margin or mentor below)
  • Correcting indented paragraphs. No spaces between paragraphs.

All Classes
Celebration: You may bring food and drinks to class tomorrow to enjoy as we share our RF stories.

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Test Day

I know you are all excited to begin the test. Here it is!

Sentence Clauses Test
Proof Read carefully BEFORE submitting your responses. Retakes for summative will only be allowed after you complete further coursework. Get them right the first time!

Make sure you add your name and email address or you will need to redo the test.
(Can you spot the error above? - Great. You are obviously ready for the test!)

E/F and C/D classes: Homework
For tomorrow, you need to read this story. Any notes you take, you can use in class.
The Marble Champ

You will do an in class RR  using any of the Reading Skills lens we have done in our Social Issues Book Club unit.
Grading Rubric
Watch Maddie's simple but effective Memory Hook for her sentence Techniques.

I am missing this library book from class. Please return it if you have it at home. Thank you

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Coming Next Week

We have a busy week in store. Make sure you are organized:

Monday: Finish your 2nd Book club entry
Membean: You will need to complete 50mins of Membean this week

Tuesday: Sentence Clauses Test (Use the links to practice)
Sentence Clauses Unit Review: Ask the Teacher
Which Where That Who (Ignore any questions that contain these words - we will learn how to write 'relative clauses' after SB - These are NOT on the test.)
Editing on RF stories
Read this story for tomorrow's class. Any notes you take can be used in the lesson.
Written text - Read out loud text (15mins)

Wednesday: In class RR. You will be given a piece of text to read on Tuesday: The Marble Champ 
Written text - Read out loud text (15mins)
30mins to write a response on it based on any of the skills we have done in our unit.

Thursday: RF  Stories due. You will turn your story in on the google doc you are working on.  During class, you will also have to make a slideshow that take screens shots from your writing piece that show the craft moves you have made through your story.

Friday: Membean Test (50 questions)
Library Visit
Writing Celebration.

Students may resubmit their Grammar Memory Hooks at any time during next week.

There will be no H/W officially set. (apart from reading the short story Tue. and Membean)  You should use your evenings to prioritize your work. As a reminder, going forward, if you want to retake a summative test or turn in your RF later than the due date,  you will have to do MORE work before being allowed to resubmit. (See the REDO file on the right of  the blog.) Easier and better (double comparative) to get it turned in and finished when due!

Friday, March 14, 2014

Dialogue Tips

Today, we discussed how we can improve our dialogue.

Training Memory
This is a TED talk on Memory. It is very interesting and perfectly gets across the point we have been talking about. There are a couple of inappropriate references and visualization scenes. I am sharing as I am confident you can see the purpose of the talk and be clear about what it is trying to get across.  The Power of Memory

This weekend I will put on a post of what to expect next week.

Have a great w/end!

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Groups Where Characters Belong

Use the powerful lens of 'groups characters belong to in order to really show empathy or frustration with your characters. Add this technique to your list of ways to discuss books.

H/W All Classes:
Tomorrow: Your Sentence Clauses Memory Hook is due. Most of you should be able to drop a screen shot copy/pasted onto a slide below with your memory hook. Just make sure your slide has your name(s) on it. You don't have to do any additional writing, just the slide. If you have made a video, insert the video too. - If for any reason, your idea is difficult to capture in an image, just write a slide with your team names on it and state what it is you have done. Remember - This is a DEEP THINKING exercise. It is supposed to be a challenging! - Only when you are truly pushed will you produce your best... "The learning IS the struggle"

Clauses: Memory Hooks
C/D Class
E/F Class 
G/H Class

All Classes
Check yesterday's post to see recommended online grammar practice and 'Ask the Teacher' file.

Neat Trick for RF Writing - Let the computer do the work.

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Writer's Craft

Today, we reviewed the 'craft moves' we should be using in our writing. I was very impressed when Abhi (G/H class) told me that he was working on putting and 'extended metaphor' into one scene in his piece. - Now that's a student who attempts to apply what he has been learning!!!

Look at these these excellent examples from your classmates

H/W All Classes

  • You should have a minimum of 4 pages in your RF story by Friday's class. Many of you will have written more. 

Grammar Memory Tools - Due Friday.

From Yesterday's Post
All Classes Grammar Test:
Your end of unit grammar test is NEXT TUESDAY.
This link can be used for you to ask any questions about the unit that you still don't understand.
Sentence Clauses Unit Review: Ask the Teacher

Optional: Test Grammar Practice (My advice is that you do about 5minutes each night on one each of these exercises.) If there are questions or answers that you do not understand, use the file above to ask your questions.

Sentence Fluency: Test Practice Exercises -
Check out some games brilliantly made by Yasmin (C/D) (ignore question 13 and 16)

Some of the questions on this exercise, we have not covered yet...but we will. Try it for fun!

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Reminder: Homebase - Bring in drinks and snacks for the Hevey Hickman Run tomorrow

C/D & E/F Classes
Membean: Total 50mins by class time Fri. (30 minutes in class)

Book Club Reading Responses
1st Entry Should be in the files by Thursday.
Final entry in files by Next Wed
(Remember the focus on these discussions should be on the impact of secondary characters)

All Classes Grammar Test:
Your end of unit grammar test is NEXT TUESDAY.
This link can be used for you to ask any questions about the unit that you still don't understand.
Sentence Clauses Unit Review: Ask the Teacher

Optional: Test Grammar Practice (My advice is that you do about 5minutes each night on one each of these exercises.) If there are questions or answers that you do not understand, use the file above to ask your questions.

Sentence Fluency: Test Practice Exercises - (ignore question 13 and 16)

Some of the questions on this exercise, we have not covered yet...but we will. Try it for fun!

Monday, March 10, 2014

Grammar Unit: Sentence Clauses

Grammar Class Recap.
This is an abbreviated copy of everything you should understand about our clauses unit.
H/W Grammar - All Classes
Your task
  • Devise a system/process/technique/memory hook to help you remember what we have studied in our sentence clauses unit. You can focus on small aspects of the unit. e.g. Compound sentences or The entire unit. 
  • You system should contain explanations of  the sentence structures e.g. clauses are another name for sentences and also examples of these structures e.g. the boy is big; therefore, he wins most fights. 
  • You may work individually, pairs, or groups of three.
Grading Criteria
1) Your creativity - Have you devised a unique way to remember the grammar?
2) Functionality - Does the system/process technique you created work? e.g. Can you remember the grammar?
3) Accuracy - Are the grammar skills  and examples correct that you use?
4) Content - Does your system cover a wide variety of the grammar?
5) Presentation - How well do you present your idea? e.g. media, drawing, music, literature?

Due: Friday (You will have 20minutes of class time to work on this on Wednesday)

Writing Class Recap
We studied ways that we could bring our characters to life. 

H/W All Classes
You should have a minimum of 3 pages of your story written by Wednesday. By the end of Friday's class, you should have between 4-5 pages written.

New due date: Thursday 20th March (This is our last writing class before Spring Break)

Sunday, March 9, 2014

RF Final Papers

Could everybody go and check that you RF papers are not just in the files below but also with share preferences that I can view and edit.
C/D Class RF Stories
E/F Class: RF Stories
G/H Class: RF Stories

C/D Class - Too many stories are missing!!!

Friday, March 7, 2014

So far from the sea...

Lesson Recap:
Notice how the author used the setting in the picture book today to create the sense of desperation, isolation, and abandonment

Background Information
What do you think is wrong with this clip?

All Classes
Check yesterday's post so you are clear on the H/W for Monday (+1 What mistake did I make above?)

For my Homebase: You are what you eat...Part 1

As always, question the source and any possible bias before believing everything you see. Although, this video should make you think a little!

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Weaving Setting Descriptions into RF Stories

Needed for Today: Make a copy of this file. Sentence Errors

Lesson Recap.
Today, you learned how to write even more advanced sentences by using the compound-complex approach. Use this video to review this sentence construction.

Today, you saw how setting can be delicately woven into a story in a way that communicates how the character feels.

H/W All Classes. (Due: Next Mon)

1) You need to write  8 sentences that come directly from your RF story. (You can lift the sentences directly from your story)
x2 simple
x2 compound (Avoid using the  IC ;CA, IC technique here. Why?)
x2 complex
x2 compound-complex
Write these sentences inside your Unit 7 Sentence Clauses Grammar Unit - Independent Practice section Mini Lesson 8 (Link is for your reference)
The purpose of this H/W is simply to ensure that you are integrating the grammar into your writing. Really, you are writing these sentences anyway, so you should not have anything additional to write.
(notice anything about the above sentence? +1)

2) You should have written between one and two  pages of your RF by Mon.

E/F & C/D Classes
Reminders: 45 mins of total Membean  for this week. Due for Fri (that's just 20mins at home)
Book Club Reading: Tuesday's class, you will write your 'thought entry'
(Zack and David - you are fishbowling on Tue)

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Book Clubs

Lesson Recap: Characteristics of Archetypes
Today, we discussed archetypes briefly.  Here is another list of 12 Common Archetypes. Add your knowledge of archetypes to your personal skills repertoire. Always be on the look out for common archetypes in the stories you read. Think about possibly  including archetypical characteristics into one of your characters in your RF story.

Homework C/D and E/F Classes 
Book Club Reading - Focus on your secondary characters.
Membean (45mins by Friday)

Homework All Classes
  • Reminder that you need to make sure you have at least one scene (approx. 1/2 a page written for your RF story for Thursday's class. 
  • In class, we will speak about weaving setting descriptions into stories. Make sure you are clear which settings you are going to be using for your story. e.g. a scene in a school laboratory and a scene in a car park
  • G/H Class- Many of you do not have this RF file ( the first scene from last week public) so I can not grade your work. 

Going Forward: By Monday, you should have 3 scenes finished in your RF fiction story (approx. 1-2 pages). Use class time well tomorrow, you will have little H/W.

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

RF Story

Pop Quiz -Use this link to take the next pop quiz. Before you start the quiz, discuss the answers to these 5 questions below with your partner. These will help you. A LOT!

Decide whether the first 5 questions are  
(A) Simple,  (B) Compound, or  (C) Complex (D) Contains an error

1. Since last Saturday, my sister has helped me with my project.
(A) Simple,  (B) Compound, or  (C) Complex (D) Contains an error

2. Math is very challenging but grammar classes are easy.
(A) Simple,  (B) Compound, or  (C) Complex (D) Contains an error

3. We learn some lessons in the classroom and others in the dorm.
(A) Simple,  (B) Compound, or  (C) Complex (D) Contains an error

4. Like all people, however, teachers make mistakes.
(A) Simple,  (B) Compound, or  (C) Complex (D) Contains an error

5. She is coming to the party, although she might be late.
(A) Simple,  (B) Compound, or  (C) Complex (D) Contains an error
This video helps you understand the differences between phrases and clauses. We will do naby classes on phrases (sentence tools). For now you just need to know when why something that 'looks like a dependent clause - e.g. After the party - is really just a phrase (sentence tool)

Use these files to drop your story for RF. I will be checking on your progress frequently to make sure you are progressing at an appropriate speed.

C/D Class Stories
E/F Class: Stories
G/H Class: Stories

Due Date for these stories: Wed 19th March - Add this to your calendars

All Classes 
H/W Finish at least one scene on you RF story by Thur

C/D and E/F
Do not forget your Membean and archetype work for tomorrow.
You will have your first book club discussion tomorrow.

The RF rubric is below- Link is also on left of blog. 
RF Rubric link 

Sunday, March 2, 2014

Book Clubs - 2nd Time Around

You will need these files for today's class

Make a copy of this file and put it into your: Using the Text Evidence lens to Close Read the Impact of Secondary Characters

C/D Book Clubs: 2nd Time
E/F Book Clubs: 2nd Time

H/W All Classes - You should have your plot mountain plan for your RF story ready for Tuesday's class. I will conference with all others on that day. If I recommended changes to your plan Thur or Fri. These changes should be ready by Tuesday.

H/W  E/F & C/D Classes
Membean - You need to have completed 45mins of Membean by Friday (30mins at home.) Membean assessment if this Friday

H/W - Due Wednesday
Research ‘archetypes’ and for Wednesday’s class. You are to bring a list of ‘3’ archetypes we have not mentioned in class and a two stories or movies that each of these archetypes appear in. e.g. below

Story 1
Story 2
The Mentor
The teacher in Dead Poet’s Society
Yoda in Star Wars

Understanding the concept of Archetypes in a key reading skill. Make sure you watch this video to see how archetype is just one other form of symbolism:

The Hero is a much more complex archetype that it seems: Watch this just to see how a hero is formed 
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