Monday, September 29, 2014

Assessment Weeks

Over the next two weeks, I will be taking a number of assessments.  There will be a mixture of Formative and Summative assessments. *items will require studying/preparation in advance

  • *Coming up with ideas for multiple anecdotes related to a theme (Tue)
  • Membean Test  (Wednesday) Review any words you have difficulty with
  • Learning Behaviors: Consistent practice on Membean (Tue)
  • Learning Behaviors (Fri)
  • *Reading Response: Claims and Evidence (Wed & Fri)
  • *Coming Prepared to participate in a Book club discussion (Fri)
  • *Predicates Rap: Formative -  Tuesday
  • *Subjects and Predicates: Summative - (Next Tuesday and Thursday)
  • *Final Draft of Memoir: (Next Thursday)
Further details for each of these pieces of work will be given well in advance either in class or on the blog.  Assessments in red should be your immediate focus

STRUGGLING WITH THEME: Reading or Writing?
Look at first video - it is chopped to just over 1min

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Growing Anecdote into Memoir

Recap of Grammar Lesson (Add this image to your grammar notes)

The Friday Message (due to shortened week)
This is POWERFUL... Look into your past and let whoever it was know how much a difference they have made. Win +2 if you do it and write a comment about what you told that person. (Maybe this material could also be used as part of your memoir?)

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

How to write a claim

Lesson Recap:

We also learned to watch for RED FLAG moments in stories

+1 if you write as a comment a sentence containing an advanced subject about how to 'write a reading response'

Monday, September 22, 2014

Writing Powerful Anecdotes

Lesson Recap: Remember the characteristics of effective anecdotes

Can you write anecdotes in a way that gets your readers to hear what you heard, see what you saw, feel what you felt?
Men Don't Play with Dolls on PhotoPeach

Sunday, September 21, 2014

H/W: Types of Subjects

Do you need help with your, 'types of subject' H/W?

Homework Help Link

Friday, September 19, 2014

Memoir: Identifying Structure and Craft

All classes: DO NOT FORGET YOUR TYPES of SUBJECTS  H/W: Due Monday

C/D class: Add this image to your lesson 2 notes in your digital notebook. I will be checking on Monday! (E/F class- You might want to add this to your notes too. Can you guess why?)

I'll be reading this w/end. Will you? - Keep a look out for those craft/structure moves you spot in your reading: +1 for each that you share with me (max. 2 plus points)

The Friday Message
Two minutes that should remind you about the only thing that really matters. PERIOD

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

Leave a comment about your week: learning/successes/opportunities for growth  etc.- not for a plus point - but because you care :-)

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Memoir: Neighborhood Walk

For Today's class:
Video for Neighborhood walk
Make a copy of this file and add it to your grammar folder.
Grammar Unit: Subjects, Predicates, and Tools

Today, we used google maps to revisit some of our old neighborhoods. Visiting your past is an excellent strategy to generate ideas for memoir.

Grammar H/W
This is an IMPORTANT task that needs to be completed by next Monday. It should take a max. of 5-10mins if you use google or youtube effectively. This is known as the 'flipped classroom model' - you learn the content at home - you practice and reinforce the learning in school.
Bonus Plus Point (Optional: Write a comment saying why 'chunking' might be a useful tool for improving your writing.)

Enjoy Srijon's work.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014


Use this link to make a copy of your Membean note taking sheet

H/W  C/D - E/F classes
10 mins of Membean practice between today and Friday. You should have approx. 20mins in total practice for the week. (We did 10 mins in class)

Structure and Craft
Spend 5mins writing about the 'structure and craft' moves in a sport that you play. - Write your post as a comment to this blog post. +1 bonus for doing this.


Reminder: All classes - You will need any addresses where you have lived for tomorrow's class!

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Getting Organized: From Identity to Memoir

Click on this link for the Parts of Speech test

Use this form for the Identity Unit Teacher Feedback Questionnaire (This is NOT a test) This form is just to provide feedback for the teachers on the unit and your suggestions for improvements.

Make a copy of this file and add it to your 'Memoir Slide' in your 7th grade RLA slideshow
Memoir Unit: Note Taking Sheet

Make a copy of this sheet: My Learning. My Goals

H/W - Due Thur
For Thursday:
Bring the addresses of the different homes you have lived in. We will be doing a google maps activity, so you will need to know the addresses/neighbourhoods where you have lived.

Reading: Many of you still need to work toward 30mins a day. Use tonight to improve your average. Keep your log up to date.

Monday, September 15, 2014

Tomorrow: Parts of Speech Test
To show mastery (Grade A) on 'parts of speech' you will need to be able to:

  • Identify 'adverb' parts of speech that DO NOT end in -ly
  • Classify at least 16 words that you have written into parts of speech
  • Know when a word is being used in a sentence as an adjective or a noun
  • e.g. We traveled to Spain's capital.  (What part of speech in Spain's?)
  • Know the parts of speech of some more challenging words e.g. is, everyone, this, those, never
Congratulations on your impressive presentations today. Enjoy some movie versions from your classmates.

Taya's piece has a message for all of us!

Friday, September 12, 2014

Writing Closings

For Monday: If you are reading your work - BRING A PRINTED COPY, this way you will not need to hold your computer. Videos can just be shown on your computer.  

Sign up in the slideshow below: Spots are filling FAST! - First come first served!

Read Carolina's piece (It is not finished but serves as an example of length, sophistication of ideas, use of structure and transitional phrases.) +1 if you write a comment stating 'specifically' what you are working on this weekend to make sure you are ready for Monday.

G/H class: Identity Portfolio: Final Draft

Use one of these techniques to bring your ideas together
Emotions Database: emotion

The FRIDAY Message - This is useful for your piece. Really worth 6mins of your life!

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Stepping into the 'Learning' Zone

You should have all your main body paragraphs written. Conclusion we will do in tomorrow's class. We will spend 15 minutes discussing conclusions. You will have 40mins of writing time and 20minutes of grammar (that we will spend editing your writing)

CHANGE for G/H Class - you do NOT need a printed copy of your piece for tomorrow for the grammar class. I will do this next week with you. 

Want to present to a large group on Monday? Sign up below. It does not matter that you are not finished. You can add your media/writing later. (Purely optional - but great for people ready to push themselves further!) C/D- Block E/F Block G/H Block

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Submitting Work

Effective writers create LEADS that ground the writer in time and place and give a hint to the theme, issue, or conflict.

 For Class

You will drop your working drafts in the files below after you have 'shared' the doc with me and made it 'editable' for me.

C/D class: Identity Portfolio: Final Draft
E/F class: Identity Portfolio: Final Draft
G/H class: Identity Portfolio: Final Draft

Student sample: This is a powerful lead that using the metaphor technique, but also hints at the theme for the piece. Well done Beatrice and Joaquin

A watermelon. I know that sounds funny, but i’m a watermelon. Outside, theres a hard shell, that keeps the world away, but inside, i'm a different nationality. Although a watermelon seems strong, the peel is easy to crack. Its red and green, and has that thin layer of white showing. A watermelon, smashed into a million little pieces. The colors- representing every part of me. The outside, the part that people see, the side that people judge. The inside, where my feelings are hidden, and where the seeds grow into something bigger. Finally, the little thin layer of white where my confusions begin, where my thoughts become actions.

My family and friends are so difficult to handle. They want me to be the sports star, the straight-A student, the most popular friend, the one who knows all the answers. They want me to be just like them: the same personality, the same mind, the same goals and the same hobbies.  They want me to be a reflection of them, the person on the other side of the mirror. But who am I, the person crouched up in the darkness, behind the mirror of perfection?

For H/W
You should have at least 3 paragraphs written for your final piece by Thursday's class.  All writing now for this final piece should appear in the files above.
Support: I am available for extra support with your project from 7:35am to 8:00am, during lunch, and after school Thur and Fri.

Official Date for Parts of Speech test has been pushed to Tuesday 23rd Sept (due to M.A.P. make ups)
You will be assessed on:
Can you name the 8 parts of speech
Can you classify words into the different parts of speech.
Can you label the parts of speech in a sentence

To show mastery (Grade A) on 'parts of speech' you will need to be able to:

  • Identify 'adverb' parts of speech that DO NOT end in -ly
  • Classify at least 16 words that you have written into parts of speech
  • Know when a word is being used in a sentence as an adjective or a noun
  • e.g. We traveled to Spain's capital.  (What part of speech in Spain's?)
  • Know the parts of speech of some more challenging words e.g. is, everyone, this, those, never

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

You Don't Always Get What You Want...

E/F class: Identity Portfolio: Final Draft

Recap of today's session

H/W: Your outline  with your seed idea and structure should be finished by tomorrow

Make sure you are studying your grammar 'parts of speech'

Monday, September 8, 2014

"Walking the Talk"

H/W:  YOU choose how to spend your time!
This week you need to plan your time effectively so that you meet the first major deadline for having your identity piece turned in. (Sept 15th) Assessment instructions are in last week's post on the blog.  Make sure you focus on the 'do' part of the planning!

My Expectation:  You will be close to finishing your planning sheet BEFORE Wednesday's class

Are you studying your 'parts of speech?'  Test coming at the end of this week.

Are you keeping your reading log up to date and continuing with 20-30mins min. of independent reading.

Coming this Week

  • M.A.P. testing
  • More 'parts of speech' practice
  • Reading log assessment
  • Independent time to work on your identity project

"Failing to plan is planning to fail" anon.

Friday, September 5, 2014

Weekly Reflection

Reminder: Can I Change Sheets: Due Monday!
Homebase: Are you making deposits or withdrawals? 

The final due date for the identity presentation is a week on Monday (15th)

Over the weekend, you really should have an idea of what connects all your different pieces of writing and poetry in your identity portfolio: Your SEED idea

Are you:
Somebody who always avoids a challenge?
Somebody who is trying to be something that you are not?
Somebody who uses their heart as a compass?
Somebody who only believes things that you find out for yourself.
Somebody who parents give too much or too little?
Somebody who worries to much about things that never happen?
Somebody who loves the unexpected or needs structure in your life?
Somebody who lives in a virtual world?

Your 'theme' is almost like an 'extended metaphor' (we will cover this in class on Monday) that ties all these ideas together.  e.g.  a patch work quilt, a circus, a jigsaw puzzle.

+1 if you can share your seed idea in the comments and say what your theme will be

Next Week
You will have your Parts of Speech assessment at the end of next week - Do you know your parts of speech? Can you name the parts of speech for any sentence you find in your reading book? Will you practice for the test using the online exercises and purple words like these students promised?

The Friday Message : This is worth 9 mins of your life!

C/D and E/F classes will have a MAP test on Monday.

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Planning the Final Project

Recap from today's session.

Organize your time going forward taking into consideration these due dates below

Due date for final summative presentation: Mon 15th Sept (approx. 10 days time) (You will have at least x3 days of class time next week to work on this project.)

Parts of Speech Practice TEST coming End of Next Week!
(You know what you know - Study what you don't!!!)
Making progress:

Resource found by Ryan

 MAP Testing
 C/D and E/F will have your first M.A.P. test tomorrow.

What are you reading? - Maybe get an idea from these 7th graders

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

My Online Identity

Recap of today's session

Watch this to learn about your 'digital dossier'

H/W: (Due: Fri)
Finish your 100% poem (look in the slideshow to see the example of the poem)
Your poem should contain:
1) Domain specific language (words and phrases associated with being online. e.g. selfie, jpeg, drive etc.)
2) Specific ideas that capture your online identity - e.g. tweets to check in, torrents to check out
This example is 'showing' not telling how I spend my time on line
3) A 'continuum' format  e.g. 100%, Days of the Week, a recipe etc.


All classes: DO NOT FORGET your purple set of 'parts of speech' cards in a ziplock bag for tomorrow

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Bias and Prejudice

Make a copy of this file: 7th Grade RLA Units of Study

Bias and Prejudice
H/W All Classes: Due Thur
Bring in your purple card cut up in a ziplog bag.

Can I Change? - Do you have true grit?'
Your 30 day challenge due date is next MONDAY. The photograph on your sheet should be a picture of you working on your challenge! Make sure you have specific details of how you intend to achieve your goal. You may get parent input for ideas here.

Monday, September 1, 2014

Welcome Back

First reading log assessment was given today. MANY of you are not using your log correctly. Logging reading is an expectation. You will know the reasons for the data collection in a few weeks.
Next reading log assessment will be in two weeks. Make sure your log is completed and up to date. (Ask a friend to help you set up your log is yours is not recording properly. The link to do it from the beginning is here: Reading Log - Look in older posts to find the video explanation.)

H/W C/D and E/F classes
Spend 30mins reading tonight. Remember the class goal is to read 40 books this year! Use stickies to divide up your reading book like the image below. If you are close to finishing, set up this system for your next book. Set yourself a goal when you will finish this book.

Coming tomorrow: Do you know your 'parts of speech?'
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