Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Reading for Bias

Reminder: Homebase 
Sharing your passion: David (Fri)
Snack: Timmy (we missed last week)

How do you spot bias in text?
C/D Class Answers
E/F Class Answers

Hero or Traitor?
Discussion Source #1
Discussion Source #2

Independent Practice: Can you identify the bias in one of the articles below?
Option 1
Option 2

Can you spot bias in the media around you?

+1 - What did you learn today about bias? -  Add a comment to win

H/W Find a site/article/video that you believe shows bias. Give at least 3 reasons for why you believe there are elements of bias in the piece.
Due: Fri

Writing Classes: Reminder
Do not forget that you will be doing your Research Plan presentation to me on Friday.

Last night the Singapore International Student Film Festival had its awards ceremony. 1st Place!!!! - Great work boys.
BEST NARRATIVE WINNER: You have got to make those gains by Aryaman Sharman (with help from Jackson R.)

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Research Plan

All Classes:  Research Plan Presentation
You will have to 'apply' for a research grant from the world renowned Ruxton University of Boston for  funding to complete your doctorate dissertation. This application will be a short presentation to the head of the university, Dr. Ruxton. The presentation will be an outline of your research plan. The plan must include:
a) An explanation of the main topic and subtopics you plan to research 
b) The principals of authority you plan to use in their research
c) The list of the main sources you plan to use for your research 
d) An explanation of why the sources they have selected in section c) are credible 

The presentation format is a short speech 1:1 to Dr. Ruxton in Friday's class. (Grant applicants-the students- may present their  research plan as a youtube video if they choose.) - Due Frida

Reading Classes
Reminders: Membean and Blogposts (see earlier posts for details)

Monday, April 28, 2014

Tuesday Homebase Time
Homebase: Use this link here to the the 1:1 Computer survey in HB

Text Evidence Lens

Reading for Text Evidence: Recap

Reading Class H/W - Last week's H/W
I will extend the due date for 'family word choice analysis until Wednesday. - This is graded!
1) Follow the word choice protocol
2) Identify patterns from words collected
3) Interpret patterns   and offer an analysis

Tonight's reading H/W (Due: Wed) - Close Reading Text Evidence Practice
Study the evidence you choose for  yourself. Look at your bedroom, your wardrobe, you music, your friends. Make a list of  all of the ‘things’ in your life.  What patterns can you see? What do these patterns say about you?By examining the main things you surround yourself by, the text evidence in this case, you should be able to draw some profound conclusions about yourself. Present your results in a blog post similar to last time. Approx. length of text - short paragraph supported by an image if possible.

Membean: Total 40minutes this week (20 at home) - By Friday

Writing Classes Reminder!
Make sure you have your list of sources for your research project and at  least one book or magazine for Tuesday's class. Many of you will have chosen to organize your sources on a pinterest board.

Sunday, April 27, 2014

Word Choice: Close Reading

Reading Classes
Reminder: Your close reading piece on a sibling's word choice is due tomorrow

See these samples below:

Friday, April 25, 2014

Effective Research

How do you conduct effective research?
C/D Class Answers
E/F Class Answers
G/H Class Answers

All Classes: (Due: Next Tuesday)
H/W: You must have at least 3 different sources for your research topic for next Tuesday's class.
One of them must be a book or magazine.  Websites count as one source. Online encyclopaedias, principles of authority is each a different source.  Interviews or observations from videos are both different sources.
- In all likelihood, this means that you will need to go to the library some time between now and  next Tuesday.

SAS Databases:  (Get passwords from your teacher)

You may ask your parents for advice/suggestions on how what sources to use for your research.

You will need a pinterest account where your sources are all collected by next Thur

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Reading Classes: Uses Word Choice to Close Read: Mentor

Using your 'Close Reading Protocol,'   Write a blog post that interprets your a parent or siblings word choice over the next 3 days. Make a list of all the words they use that stand out to you, then apply the protocol. You will be amazed by what you discover! (Due: Next Mon.) This will be assessed!

Check yesterday's post so that you are clear about the writing H/W for tomorrow.

Kudos to Min Jung for her excellent work from today's session.
What makes this piece so strong? +1 for responses
and this was only half of her work today!

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Google SmartSearch

H/W All Classes (Due: Fri)
Homework Task: Go to this site and bring a list of 4 ways you can conduct a smarter search using google. Smartsearch

You will write your answers in the section for H/W of your own Feature Article Unit:
M.L#4 Narrowing Topics Based on Available Sources

Reading Classes
10minutes of Membean by Friday

 Another example of a RR that carries a claim throughout the response and also makes reference to reading skills covered.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

MAP Feedback?

Any questions, words, concepts that you encountered on the MAP that you would like explaining? 

Write your question as a comment. +1 for each approved question. 

Monday, April 21, 2014

MAP Week

Due to MAP tests and the Science Field Trip, there is no H/W Mon, Tue, &
Wed night this week. 

Use the extra time to read! 
Optional: You can still use the links from last Thursday post to practice for tomorrow's Language Usage MAP. These exercises are VERY useful practice. 
Test Question Database:  (this is still open for use) Take the time to look at some of the replies. Especially capitalization rules!

Optional: Membean practice. 

Side note: Many of you still have not submitted your April RR. The window for resubmission on this closes this FRI.

This is an excellent mentor text that shows how a claim can be structured throughout an entire response.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

M.A.P. Day 4

Test Question Database: Use this google doc. to copy/paste or screenshot any questions that you encounter that you do not understand. 

Optional Practice:  I cannot set H/W over the break, but I will put these activities on that are VERY beneficial. It is your choice if you do them over the break. Perhaps choose one exercise per day or at least one or two?

MAP Practice Test  (these are good to practice the MAP question format.
Reading Test - This is really worth it!
Capitalization Rules

For those super keen students. This link (Database of Practice Assessments) contains a wide variety of exercises. Enjoy!

Text Features Recap

#1 ADVANCED WARNING: Deadline to resubmit ANY previous/future incomplete assignment: May 16th 2014.

#2 ADVANCED WARNING: Many of your formative scores are being doubled (weighted higher) as we go into the end of the semester).  You should be showing your very BEST work at this stage; therefore,  the grade weighting system will reflect this. 

#3  Forty Book Challenge. Will  you get there?  - You should be over 30 books by now!

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

M.A.P. DAY 3


Video Recap: Absolutes

Bring an image of an evil movie star or famous monster on a google doc. See example.

#Bonus TEST Taking TIP
Often students get the wrong answer because they answer questions based on what 'they' think. Questions that ask your  opinion DON'T really want your opinion - They want  what the 'AVERAGE' person's may think, say, or do.  e.g. In the question below, it is not where YOU would go, it is where the AVERAGE person would go. This accounts for almost 10% of errors. - First and only time I will give you this advice. "Think like an 'average' person!

Test Question Database: Use this google doc. to copy/paste or screenshot any questions that you encounter that you do not understand. You may not understand what the question is asking or why your answer is wrong. Putting your name next to the question is optional. Check back to this file often to learn

TEST PREP H/W All classes
All Classes (Due: Thur)
Language Tests
Proficient Level Proficient Test 3
Advanced Level Advanced Test 3 

Bonus Test - If you are bored - Vocabulary Building

Reading Tests
Proficient Level: Proficient Test 3
Advanced Level: Advanced Test 3  

Know your Audience - Once you know your audience - You  will  know exactly what you need to research!

Think Entry: Mentor Text
Watch THIS! - What do you think you should do after watching it?.. Do it!

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

M.A.P. Day 2

TIGERTALES - Those people who have submit their Tigertale, you must make sure your name is on the paper at the top with the grade level. Your work will immediately be rejected if you leave off this information. The teacher doing this has almost 900 pieces to look at. Follow her guidelines!

Test Question Database: Use this google doc. to copy/paste or screenshot any questions that you encounter that you do not understand. You may not understand what the question is asking or why your answer is wrong. Putting your name next to the question is optional. Check back to this file often to learn

All Classes (Due: Wed)
Language Tests
Proficient Level Proficient Test 2
Advanced Level Advanced Test 2 (11 questions in total)

Reading Tests
Proficient Level: Proficient Test 2
Advanced Level: Advanced Test 2  

Don't forget to use the Test Question Database!

Students who did not  complete the 'writing like an expert'  or correctly 'drop' their Feature Article Unit need to turn this piece in now via Resubmitted Assignments  on the right side of the blog. The window to receive a grade on this piece closes on Monday 21st April

ADVANCED WARNING: Deadline to resubmit ANY previous/future incomplete assignment: May 16th 2014. This is just so people realize that they cannot wait until the last minute and resubmit pieces of work at the end of the school year in an attempt to raise  the grade!

Text Structure Lens: Mentor
Remember - there is ALWAYS a reason why a text is structured in a certain way. 

Sunday, April 13, 2014

M.A.P. Test Practice: DAY 1

This week, you will be doing some MAP practice tests to better prepare for M.A.P. Standardized Tests.

Step 1: Vocabulary - Choose 20 terms from the M.A.P. 'question' vocabulary list that you are unfamiliar with and create a quizlet file that explains this vocabulary. 

Step 2: Make a copy of this file: MAP Testing: Tips and Tricks

All Classes are Expected to Complete the MAP practice tests this week.
Day 1 H/W Practice (Choose the level that you are the most comfortable with). You must complete 2 practice tests each day. (One from each section)

Language Tests
Proficient Level Proficient Test 1
Advanced Level Advanced Test 1

Reading Tests
Proficient Level: Proficient Test 1
Advanced Level: Advanced Test 1

EVIDENCE of H/W: You must do a screen shot of your completed test scores each day and have them on your desktop for inspection as evidence of completion 

Vocabulary H/W
There is NO Membean H/W this week. You must spend 5-10mins each evening praticing your 20 MAP testing words.  At the bottom of your MAP Tips and Tricks file, you must state HOW you practiced these words each night Mon-Thur (e.g. - Used quizlet). Use screen shots as evidence

Test Question Database: Use this google doc. to copy/paste or screenshot any questions that you encounter that you do not understand. You may not understand what the question is asking or why your answer is wrong. Putting your name next to the question is optional. Check back to this file often to learn

CHange Harman Students to SAS Students and OATs to M.A.P.s

Friday, April 11, 2014

The Power of Structure

"People prioritize what they value" - What did you learn about structure today that helps you not just in non-fiction reading and writing but also life!  +1 for comments!!!

Step 3 Tigertales Submission - I hope many more of you will take the time to submit a piece!

Drop your work here: Tigertales Submission.   - I will go over this next week and check through your work before final submission to Mrs. Clark.

Poetry Portfolio Files
E/F Class  Poetry Portfolio

ADVANCED WARNING: Deadline to resubmit assignments: May 16th 2014. 
This is just so people realize that they cannot wait until the last minute and resubmit pieces of work at the end of the school year in an attempt to raise  the grade!

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Generating Research Topics

Make sure you have 'dropped' your 'Feature Article Unit'  into dashboard, so I can inspect your H/W from earlier in the week. 

All Classes H/W
1) Grammar Recap: Your Gossip Girl Scripts are due: Next Mon
2) Homework Task: Because I love to do grammar (Take a screen shot of the finished exercise and put it in your grammar H/W section for ML# 2 as evidence) The video is VERY important. It shows you when you can just infer the relative prounoun. This H/W takes 5mins to complete!

Lesson Recap: Going for Content to Curiosity

Use these links for online topic searches
1) Look at the headlines at (Make sure you are on the U.S. site)
2) New Articles and Research Topics. Use this class code when asked: KZMAC

3) This site also has good ideas for topics

By the end of today's session, you should have a minimum of 5 'areas of curiosity' - that you might take deeper into the research process.

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Truth Survey

Our class has been selected to pilot a new Student Feedback program that gets input from students on how they feel about the teaching and learning they are exposed to.

Access the survey here
Middle School: 

Timmy HB - Share your Passion Day!!!

H/W. No new H/W tonight. Make sure you use  the rest of the week to stay up to date with H/W set earlier in the week.

Reading Classes
Reminders: Membean Test Friday.
Next Reading Response: Due Next TUE (this is the last extension!) - Make sure you are establishing a 'STRONG' claim!

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Relative Clauses: Intro

Add 'seeing Les Miserable LIVE'  to your bucket list- "It's not about how many breaths you take, but about how many moments that take your breath away"  - One Day More

Feature Article: What topic are you an expert on?

Today, we learned the last type of clause: relative clauses. Relative clauses add details to sentences which often makes writing more precise. (Can you spot the relative clause in the last sentence?)

Grammar:  H/W All Classes
Write 5 sentences that contain relative clauses. Write sentences related to the topic you wrote about today in the Feature Article unit. (The sentences should be written in your Unit 8 grammar file in the H/W box (Due: Thur)

Finish class work
Finish your "Writing as an Expert" topic from class today. You can 'kill two birds with one stone' by simply highlighting 5 relatives clauses in this piece. Due: Thur

Writing H/W
Homework Task: As you are watching T.V./ browsing the web over the next couple of days, choose 5 concepts that you wonder about or would like to delve deeper into. Make a list of those concepts topic in your Feature Article H/W box : Due Thur

Tiger Tales: Step 2

It is VERY IMPORTANT you follow these guidelines for publishing your TigerTale article. This is a different slideshow then yesterday. Make sure you follow the submission instructions clearly or your piece will not be accepted for publication.

Reading Classes - Reminder: Your 3rd Reading Response is due this FRIDAY!

Late Start Tomorrow!

Monday, April 7, 2014

Introduction to Non-fiction Reading

Today we learned about non-fiction text structures. We learned about the 3 types of non-fiction. We also learned about the different text structures that appear commonly in expository non-fiction. Can you list the 6 common non-fiction text structures? We also learned that some non-fiction writing blends combines elements of fiction writing. 

Bake sales on tomorrow. Bring some money to support causes if you would like too.
50mins of Membean (30 in class) by Friday

 All Classes: Optional but EXPECTED!
Do you want to get published in the Middles School Magazine? Read these guidelines below.  This is optional but I would hope that many of you will choose a small section of your work to present for publication

Task 1: Use tonight to select the poem or exerpt from a piece you want to present. Write an intro. ot the piece explaining why this section is so special.  Create a new file and drop your piece into this file. Add your new file to this doc. Tigertales Submission. More instructions tomorrow.

Friday, April 4, 2014


Congratulations on your poetry presentations today.

Next Week: We begin our new units. Make sure you have copies of the files below and shortcuts on your favorites bar. 

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

This has been a light H/W week - Hope you caught up with your independent reading!- How close are you going to get to 40?

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Speaking in Public: Poetry

Make sure you use your PIPES effectively to deliver your poems tomorrow
H/W All Classes (Due: Fri)
Make sure you have your poem effectively prepared to deliver to your audiences tomorrow.  You may have more than one poem ready to share if you choose to do so. 
Make sure you have dropped your Poetry Portfolio link in the correct class file below.
The two poems you wrote for this week should appear in your slideshow
E/F Class  Poetry Portfolio

C/D Class: You have until Friday to go and collect your personal KOBOS -So far only 7 people have signed up. After Friday, the Kobos will be offered to the E/F class on the FCFS basis.

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Fortunately/Unfortunately Poems

Learning Reflections
Write 1-2 SPECIFIC sentences summarizing your learning for our previous units. Remember, these comments will be used on your report card. Be precise and articulate!

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

All Classes
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
Poem 2: Fortunately/Unfortunately Poem- Due Thur

Step 4 Add 'poetic elements'

H/W - You must bring a PRINTED copy of  two poems tomorrow.  They can be any two poems from your poetry portfolio. (Save ink by not printing all the colored backgrounds with the poems.) The visiting authors will be in class tomorrow, so DO NOT FORGET TO BRING PRINTED COPIES of your poems. You will be reciting these poems in the library on Friday.

Next Friday, you will receive a grade for your finished Poetry Portfolio. Make sure you have all your poems included. (e.g. the two poems we did this week)

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Prepositional Phrase Poetry

G/H Class - Too many of your finished RF pieces are view only for me. I cannot edit your papers. Your class will only be graded once you change the permissions so I can edit!!! - check your paper!

Reading Classes H/W
Your task: Write a prepositional phrase poem that tells the story of your picture. You may need to do a little research for facts/ideas to use in your poem about your picture. Your finished piece should be put into a slide, added to your poetry portfolio, and your poetry portfolio link dropped into the files below.   (Due: Thur)

C/D Class Poetry Portfolio
E/F Class  Poetry Portfolio

Use this image of common prepositions to help you.

Mentor Poem


  • At least 16 lines long
  • Contains an anchor line or lines
  • Contains some poetic moves
  • An effective title

All classes: Tomorrow, you will be writing a simple poem about a news event. Be thinking about any news event that you would like to write about bring this idea to class. 

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