Friday, September 22, 2017

Next week

Come to class Monday ready to start writing your final Memoir.  Your structure plan must be finished.

Next Week there are a few  summative assessments

Parts of Speech has been pushed to FRIDAY (C/D and E/F class)

Writing claims and writing about author's craft  - SUMMATIVE will happen on THURSDAY. ALL CLASSES. We will practice this one more time with this story, Everything Will Be OK on Monday. (Feel free to read it in advance if you would like to do so. Also - MAKE SURE you are familiar with some of the characteristics of author's craft seen here.

Use of dialogue

FINAL Memoir  DUE DATE: Wednesday 4th October. This is the SUMMATIVE. If  you score lower on this piece than you hope a resubmission (before the end of October) will consist of writing a second memoir from your other list of micro-moments. Get it right the first time. Our goal is to 'teach the writer' not simply 'correct' writing.

TIP: Talk about your outline with a family member. A STRONG OUTLINE LEADS TO A SUCCESSFUL PIECE. WILL YOUR OUTLINE BE READY?  If you discover something 'completely' new about yourself/how the world works - then you are ready

Thursday, September 21, 2017

Student mentor

H/W You need to have at least one outline for your memoir ready for Monday's class so we can begin to start writing. (many of you finished this in class). 

Make sure you are keeping up to date with your Parts of Speech practice in NoRedInk - Test next Wed.

You NEED to read this piece!!!

This is a PERFECT example of 'inside and outside' writing. - Well done Sola!!!

Title: I Can See Everything

The sun is hitting the back of my neck, but I make sure to cover it with my hair. Then my hair gets hot, but I just let it be. If it’s a hot day, then so be it. I am walking to the MRT after swimming, and the straps of the bag I am holding are digging into my shoulders. 
“Unh” I grunt as I start walking up the stairs of the bridge over the road. Out of habit, I looked down at my feet. I never know why I do it, or even how it looks from the outside. I just always watch my feet when I walk. 

It makes me think of a time when I was about eight, and I was walking in an underground train station in Japan with my mom. I would keep looking at my feet, noticing the way my feet moved, the way one foot went in front of the other, then the next, and then the next. 
“Look up, so you know where you’re going, and so you don’t bump into anything,” my mom said. 
“Okay fine…” I mumbled in reply. I didn’t understand. If you looked up, then you would see only what was in front of you, and you might trip on something below you. But if you looked down, then you could see if anything was in front of you, because if there was, let’s say, a person in front of you, you would see the feet and legs of that person, so you’d know they were there. Unless… there was something floating in the air that you might bang your head into. I thought about as I walked, the announcer’s voice mixed in with the song of a train leaving, mixed in with the sound of a train in the background. 
I just didn’t get it. I looked up quickly to make sure nothing was floating in the air for me to bump my head in, and took some time to glance at some other people. Most of them were looking up as they walked, and I just saw that as normal. There was this one person, though, who walked with his head down, and I thought to myself: he looks like such a sad person, and it looks so weird, why doesn’t he just look up and enjoy the view of the world?
And then I went back to watching my feet as I walked.

I am thinking about that time, seeing everyone as one species, and myself as another. I think about how if others look down as they walk, it was weird, but if I do, then its normal. Wait… I look down when I walk? Of course I do… but why didn’t I know that before? I realize, at that moment, that the way I see everything is different. Other people look down and make themselves look weird and sad and lonely. But I don’t look down, I watch my feet. All the time before that they were two completely different things. I never noticed. 
And all at once, on that bridge over the road on the way to the MRT, I understand. People see me the way I saw the man at the underground train station. People see me as weird, sad, lonely. People see me as an introvert who doesn’t like to look up. True, I hate looking at people in the eyes, but that doesn’t make me sad and lonely. That just makes me a girl who watches her feet as she walks. 
But I’m not the girl who watches her feet as she walks. I’m the girl who looks down as I walk. And I never knew they were really just the same thing. I thought, well actually, I never thought. I never really thought anything about my “looking down at shoes as I walk” thing. I never did. It was just normal. It was life. 
With the new knowledge about my life, I decide to look up.
I can see everything. I can see the people’s faces walking around me, I can see the trees surrounding me, I can see the sun shining down on the world. I get a little dizzy and unstable, because I can’t see my feet, can’t see where I am stepping. But I can see where I am going. I can see the end of the bridge, the stairs down, the shop below it. I can see the rails of the bridge, the train station above, the roof of it too. I can see the beauty of the world. I can see everything.

Think about it. There are so many things in the world that we are doing and don't even know — some good, some bad. And sometimes we judge others for doing things that we do without knowing. We as humans and as people are just all one big mystery, like a pearl at the bottom of the ocean, safe and sound and far enough away that nobody can truly get to it. Of course, we find fake pearls all over, pretending they are ours, pretending that we found it, but our real pearl is too far. Nobody will ever reach their pearl, but every realization, every observation, and everything we learn ourselves will get us closer to the bottom of the ocean, closer to our pearl, and that is what we really need. As long as we are closer to the pearl, we have more understanding of what we are and more importantly, who we are.

Video Mentor - Watch this for inside and outside writing. What symbols are also reinforcing meaning?

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

A Smooth Sea Never Made a Skillful Sailor

Secret Word - GRIT

H/W - Ideas that Matter - ALL CLASSES

The learning in this activity is your STRUGGLE. You have to be willing to really work hard at something that is difficult. This is what true SUCCESS really looks like! At the beginning of the year, we spoke about 'growth mindset' - now is the time to show it!

You must have a collection of at least 3 - 'ideas that matter' - and 3 small moments that capture that idea. These brainstorms will form the CORE of your final memoir. The hardest part is getting at your best idea. Spend QUALITY time thinking about this so you can come to school on Thur with some well thought out plans for your final memoir. Due Thur (C/D and E/F) Fri (G/H)

Your Generation
This video will teach you more about your life and your future then anything else you will watch this  year. I STRONGLY invite you to watch this when you have 15mins. over the next few days.

Comments Appreciated

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Text Structure

H/W - Practice these online exercises before next Thursday/Friday. SUMMATIVE Test on Parts of Speech will be on that day. They will also be practice on NoRedInk for you to do.
Parts of Speech Practice TEST

Lesson Recap: What is text structure?

Enjoy Clyde's excellent piece.  This is what a 4 reads like. What can you learn from this? (paragraphing was lost when I copy/pasted)

Shadows bent on the pointed snouts of the panting huskies, as the slowly fading light of the sky streaked crimson, blended with the colors of a ripe grapefruit. "Come here," came the quiet voice of my father, carried by the draft that breezed upon his face. His foot propped upon the rock, his face half-covered with darkness, he looked beyond the abandoned, worn out lookout tower that loomed over-head. "Coming, dad," I replied, grasped the faded red leash, and lead one of the dogs forward. My brother followed close behind, standing up from his spot on the rock. We trekked the few feet to where my father still stood, face set in a grim countenance. “Look at that. Just look at that,” he remarked. My eyes followed his line of sight, eventually settling on the setting sun, which was sending a rainbow of colors through the sky and onto the hill like a stone falling on ripples. “Yeah dad, it’s great.” I was interrupted by the whiny nudging of the dog below me. As I bent down and crouched to comfort him, suddenly I felt a chill behind me. I slowly turned around and stood back up to see what had happened. Then, I saw it. The warm air of the autumn light was missing. The sunset, the crimson blend of colors that lit up the smile on my father’s face, was gone. Instead, it was replaced by a repulsive splotch of colors; of rotten reds and faded oranges. As I turned back to the dog, I had a revelation, one that I did not know would change my life as I knew it. In the darkness that shaded his face, the darkness born of the dying sunset, I noticed for the first time, that his fur, the same fur that always seemed so perfect, was a bit ruffled at places. A little greying at places. The dog, after all, was not a pure husky. I had always known it, but had never given thought to it. It was a combination of one, and a foreign breed, an unknown breed. It was not perfect, and I found that I could relate to it better, and felt closer to it than ever before, because it was not perfect. I turned back to the sunset, its ugly blend of hues already causing me to cringe my face in instinctive response. However, I felt that I just had to store this memory. To capture this moment, to always remember and ponder upon this moment. “Hey dad, can I borrow your phone?” I could see him slowly drifting back to reality from the abyss of thoughts that the sight had left him in. This was his mother’s hill after all. Where he had been raised, where he had grown. His former home stood just at its base. And he was standing on the top of it all, relishing cherished memories that had been fondly made here. “Huh? Oh, yeah, sure.” He stammered, handing me his glistening phone, a circumstantial gift of being a businessman. I clicked on the “Camera” icon. As I held up the phone against the skyline, the focus blurred, the colors swirling and mixing while the camera attempted to pinpoint a spot to focus on. Then, it stopped. And for a second, the picture shifted. It became the perfect sunset again. I blinked, confused, and the sky was back to its ugly, imperfect self. I realized something that day. The sky, the dogs, they all were different from other sunsets and pure bred huskies. Unique. Imperfect. But the sunset was still beautiful. Could still bring my father to silence. Could still be made into a photograph of art. Could still be seen as perfect if one concentrated enough. And the dogs, I still love the dogs. Perfection is unreal, a concept created by society to fool itself into believing that flawlessness is the goal. Imperfection, weaknesses, strengths, the clash of good and evil in us; these are what is true perfection, and is the human soul.

Monday, September 18, 2017

Characteristics of Memoirs

No New H/W - READ and be on the look out for Memory Moments
C/D and E/F - What truths will you write about tomorrow?

Lesson Recap

First anecdote: Student Sample 1

This was an accomplished piece. What was really good? What needs improving? +1 for any contributions

It was a sweltering day in Jerudong International School. I strolled into school, picturing the regular school day that I was routinely following. Little did I know that it was not a day for normality, but rather, a day for change. Ever since I had arrived at JIS, I had kept a mental note on how people of the same race stuck with the people of the same race. However, I had never questioned the mentality of the system that we were following blindly. Instead, I followed the crowd, like lemmings jumping off a cliff after watching others do it. I mean,after all, everyone was following it. Who was I compared to everyone else? Soon, I realised that my graduation ceremony was approaching rapidly. I was elated. It seemed that we were ready to evolve and that we were finally able to move on onto the next chapter of our life. Everybody should be able to participate in the celebration of our newfound maturity, I thought to myself. I was wrong. As the day went by, it seemed that my newfound maturity had an impact on how I saw actions now. Things like who spoke, who did this and who did that at our ceremony, all of a sudden, came into a clearer perspective, like I had just put on a brand new pair of glasses that let me see the world more clearly. It hit me. This was injustice. This was unfairness. This was inequity. From the favourites who were chosen whenever to do receive every privilege, 'earn' praise, or the outcasts who would simply stand at the figurative and literal back of the stage and be stepping stones just for the favourites to step on us then kick us away. I had to do something. I started acting out in class, telling my fellow outcasts how the graduation was going to play out or about the pure injustice of the situation. I listened to how they had noticed these signs of injustice but were not comfortable with speaking out loud about it, only in their mind. Eventually, fortunately or unfortunately for me, my teacher Mrs Ramsay noticed the rebellion in my actions, how I was no longer one of her soldiers that would do anything she would say. She noticed I had changed. She ordered me to step outside of the classroom and, on the outside, I willingly obeyed. However, on the inside, my mind was racing with, what should I say, is this worth it and how am I going to get her to see that she doesn’t. “What is the issue today? You are usually such an obedient student.” she stated. My mind’s mouth gaped open with shock. How could she be so oblivious to the obvious problem that impacted my classmate and I’s learning. I tried to stay calm as I started off my conversation with, “ I am so sick of how most teachers in this school pick favourites or have a bias to students. What makes your favourites like Jemima, Enya, Daniel better than any of the other kids or I in the classroom?” By now, the calm aura I had tried to retain was completely gone. In replacement was a blazing fire that enticed me to let the fire burn. As I passionately ranted on and on about how she abused power to give her favourites a higher platform to stand on and more opportunities, the weights that haunted me like “Blind Obedience” and “Conformity” had been thrown down a canyon, never to be seen again. As she interjected every 2 minutes to say, “I understand.” I knew she didn’t. She didn’t try to understand or couldn’t comprehend how any of the non-favorite students felt and how we saw food meant for all of us was stripped away and given to her favorites, making them stronger and more powerful. After our talk, I felt relieved. I had previously done my duty to my parents by telling them about the violation of fairness in the situation and apparently my mom had gone to talk to Mrs Ramsay about it. But after this talk, I felt like I had done my duty to myself to be able to speak up for not only myself, but for others. However, nothing about the graduation changed. The same favorites still spoke their rehearsed words of praise (mostly to Mrs Ramsay). I was the only outcast in my class who performed in the assembly to sing. Looking back to it now, I could have stayed quiet. After all, I had a part of the assembly unlike the rest of my classmates, standing quietly, watching their opportunity to be part of something fly away like feathers in the wind. But I realise the reason why I did do what I did is because I felt strongly and I wouldn’t allow the topic to be untouched anymore. So for my prior classmates, I wish that you all can learn how to stand up for others and yourself in cases of injustice for your future. From this experience, I learnt that the person I am is a collection of many perspectives, like mirrors in a carnival, and I can choose a compass to follow that will lead me to a different direction.

Monday, September 11, 2017

Who Am I?

Your paper is due by the end of tomorrow's class - You should have a draft today and finish the writing in class tomorrow.
Choose one of your 4 pieces of writing and re-see, revise, redraft for submission for a final grade
TASK: Write a personal narrative about a past experience that you feel influenced you to be the person you are today. OR about a past experience that taught you an important lesson about how the world works

BIG TIP - Start as close to the HEART of your piece as possible

Memoir Rubric: 

Explanation of Rubric Below


All work submitted via Seesaw

Friday, September 8, 2017

Membean Magic

Remember - Come to class on Monday with a clear idea of something you want to write about that teaches the world something about you or how you see the world. You can choose any of the ideas we started this week to work on. This will be your first writing grade. Make sure you have an idea so you can start straight away once class begins.

Shout out to the Membean superstars. Next test Oct 9th. How will your minutes stack up?

The Friday Moment

Thursday, September 7, 2017

Judge not least ye be judged...

No New H/W - Make sure you are reading!!!
Membean Test tomorrow. Will your minutes be up to date?

Lesson Recap

Special shout out to Zi - The only student across all classes who didn't jump to judgment in the images.  Ask her why, then you will learn true wisdom!

Your biggest take awy from today's lesson? Comments appreciated.

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

How Culture Influences Me...


H/W - Finish the first 12 lines of your  'Where I'm From' Poem - 

Your poem will be judged on the 'specificity of your ideas' 
e.g. I like pizza NO
e.g. Domino's and Pizza's Hawaiian special. Fried ham and pineapple covered in sour cream YES


See these additional samples to help you

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

Do the best you can until you know better....

Lesson Recap

"Do the best you can until you know better. Then when you know better, do better." Maya Angelou

Comments appreciated...

H/W - Read and be thinking about our writing topic for tomorrow

For those interested...
This is where we are going with our writing. We will take this entire week to get here...

My Second Grade Story
       By Caroline Meredith E/F

         The classroom was quiet. All you could hear were second graders scribbling down words onto a clean sheet of white paper. I was one of those second grade students, determined to spell every single word correct because if I did, I wouldn’t have to take the real test next week. I was used to spelling every single word correct. I was proud of my great reputation as a speller, and I didn’t want that taken away from me. “That was the last word. Please bring your paper to the front,” my teacher announced, breaking the silence in the room. I pushed my seat back, walking to the front with confidence. My teacher looked at my paper, and then quickly wrote something down and held it in front of me.
         When I saw what was written, I panicked. There was a big “-1” circled in ink in the top right corner of my test. “Oh no!” I thought. I scrambled back to my desk to find my pencil. I hesitated but then decided in my head, “It’s only one letter.” I was glad that I realised my classmate’s paper was right beside me, so I looked to see how the word was spelled. I quickly erased the wrong letter and wrote down the right one. I ran up to the front and waved the paper in front of my teacher. “I looked back at my paper and I didn’t actually get this wrong,” I said as naturally as I could. I think she was rightfully questioning me in her head. “So isn’t this a one hundred, and I won’t have to take the test next week?” I asked. “Alright,” she said as she crossed out the big “-1” in the top right corner that I was so ashamed of. She handed it back to me. Who knew that that moment would be one that I would remember for the rest of my life? That moment built my character so much more than I could have imagined. “That was close!” I thought to myself as I walked back to my desk.
         Later that day a classmate walked up to me. “Did you get a one hundred on the pre-spelling test?” “Yes,” I said proudly and with a smile. “Did you?” I asked. “No.”
         As the days turned into nights and the nights turned into days, guilt washed over me. A dispute went on between my head and my heart, and both wanted control over the other. “What do I do?” I had a moment alone with my mom to discuss what had happened days earlier. “Mom, I have something to tell you,” I said as my face blushed red with embarrassment. “You know how we do pre-spelling tests at school?” My mom said, “Yes,” and I went on. “Well,” I paused. “I cheated on it because I didn’t want to take the test next week and I wanted everyone to think I was a good speller and now I feel really bad,” I said quickly as I could. “Have you talked to your teacher about it?” my mom asked in a comforting voice. “No. Can you? I’m scared to.” We discussed it and decided to email her.
           “Caroline, can you come here please?” my teacher asked in class later that week. My face turned red as a tomato again as I got out of my seat and headed toward the desk. “I got the email your mom sent.” The conversation continued. “I wish this day would be over. I’m so embarrassed,” I thought. “Just don’t do it again,” my teacher said as I stood up. I hurried to my desk, relieved that it was over. All the guilt, gone.
         As I look back to that day, I am glad that I had that experience. It made me better. I was able to learn when I was young that when we make mistakes, we can always find a way to fix them. When I do fix them, I feel so much better! Honesty is so important in our daily lives. By being honest we build trust, friendships, character, and relationships. Imagine what would the world be like without honest people. After all, mistakes may hold or tear us down in the beginning of the story, but in the end, they just build us up and let us fly.

Imagery Inner Thinking Reflection Figurative Language

Saturday, September 2, 2017

Thursday, August 31, 2017

4 Day Weekend

Reflection of Learning - How have you grown as a reader and writer in ELA?

Have a lovely break.

Image result for have a breakWhen we return next Tuesday, we will write a short anecdote about a time when we did or didn't show one of our core values. Be thinking about what your core values are and when you did or didn't live up to one of them.  e.g. Sticking up for people who can't defend themselves.

Next Friday - You will have your first Membean test. To be 'exemplary' - you will need to have 40mins of practice time BY NEXT FRIDAY (This includes anytime we have already done in class already)

Anybody who completes 1 new book over the w/end wins +2 (or finish half of one and reach half way in another)

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

author's craft

1. Advance notice: Tomorrow, we will select one of the 'moments that matter' from our lives and identify a 'micro moment' inside  that event and write a short piece of writing about it. Tonight,  you can just look at your list and choose one of your micro moments to write about, so you are ready to start writing at the beginning of tomorrow's class. (optional)

2. Author's craft work will not be graded until tomorrow.  Feel free to edit your piece if you would like to. (optional) Sample from today's class

 G/H class - The second activity is not for your class.

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Introduction to Membean

Advance Notice: Enjoy your independent reading tonight. Tomorrow you will discuss a craft move you spotted in your book. Be on the look out for that move as you read tonight.

Lesson RECAP: Reteaching
For all those that do not understand CONNOTATION of words - Watch this video
Bonus +1 - Can you add two words in the comments - one with a negative connotation and one with a positive connotation?

Make a copy of this file: Membean  Note Taking Sheet

The expectation for Membean is that you complete:  (This will begin NEXT WEEK)
  • 30 mins of practice per week. (Meets)
  • 40mins+ practice per week (Exemplary)
  • This practice MUST be done on at least 3 different occasions

Monday, August 28, 2017

MAP Week

Membean Notetaking Sheet - Make a copy of this file

No new H/W between Monday and Wednesday. - Make sure you are reading your 30mins.

Reading Volume Assessment Thur
500+ Pages - Exemplary (Approx 2+books)
400+ Pages - Meets (Approx. 2 books) book)
250-400 Pages - Progressing (Approx 1
<250 Pages - Below

You need to keep your reading log up to date to gain credit for the material you have read.

Sample answer for the CRAFT  Question from Michelle (G/H) +2

Find a craft move the author uses to reveal the theme. One technique the author uses to show the theme is dialogue, especially at the end when the girl is having the conversation with the woman and the woman tells her she never really realized what a beautiful house she lived in until they accidentally wondered in. Dialogue openly expresses feelings and how people feel after certain events. Dialogue is raw, and it cannot be changed once it's said, unlike texting or other forms of written communication. This conversation with the woman the girl had 30 years later shows the feelings of the woman for the girl 30 years after she walked into her home, and what she told the girl is something she can't take back, so either she meant what she said, or she was completely lying, but whatever she meant behind her words, she can't change them now.

Friday, August 25, 2017

Use for today' lesson: Reread the Paperbag Princess

Summative Rubric - Unit 1
Next Thursday - Range of Reading Grade. If you have read 2+ books = Exemplary!

Lesson Recap

Going forward, you will ALWAYS be conscious of having to use various types of evidence.

Every full 5 day week, I place the 'Friday Message' on the blog. 
(optional) Win +1 if you can write a claim about this video

Thursday, August 24, 2017

Writing Claims about Themes

H/W - Just read tonight. Feel free to write anything down about your reading you notice (optional)

Lesson Recap

Claim = An arguable opinion about  a text

e.g. In the opening scene of the short story, Thank you Ma’am by Langston Hughes the author teaches readers that when faced with desperate situations, people will often do whatever it takes to survive

Sentence Starters

Help - I don't get claims.... READ THIS

Big tip for finding claims - Google the topic or cliche and adjust your claim based on the images you find e.g. perseverance. You CANNOT just copy the quote, but you can use the quote to help build an idea. e.g.

Image result for perseverance

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Author's Craft and Its Purpose

Today, we covered an important skill on authors craft and purpose.

H/W - Choose one author's craft move from your reading tonight and using the steps from today's lesson explain critique that move

Secret word is ELEPHANT

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

From Avid Reader to Interpretive Readers: SEE THINK WONDER

Today,  we learned how to transition from avid readers (plot junkies) to interpretative readers (deeper thinkers). Great readers recognize that there has only ever been one plot ever written, "nothing is what it seems."


H/W - Read for 15-20mins.  For 10-15 minutes use your SEE THINK WONDER  (STW) strategy to go deeper into your text to discover more about a section you have just read. Select a few lines, words, or paragraphs and see where STW might take you.  Write a short paragraph about your thinking in your reader's notebook.

IMPORTANT: the secret word is Onion ( You will need this word tomorrow!)

Monday, August 21, 2017

Notebook Design

H/W - Read for 25 mins. Spend 5-10mins collecting your thinking about your reading. Are you using a strategy to collect your ideas?

 Reader's Notebook cover pages. Final DUE DATE - Wednesday. 

OPTIONAL - Write a brief comment explaining the message the guess speaker was delivering today. 
+ point for all contributions

RECAP of guidelines for Notebook Design

Friday, August 18, 2017

Thursday, August 17, 2017

Getting Back into Books

H/W - Make sure you are reading for at last 30mins. You will be held responsible for this reading tomorrow.

Optional: Begin designing your Reader's Notebook Cover Page
C/D Class
E/F Class
G/H Class

Example - More details on this in Friday's Class

Final Cover design will be due Monday. How will yours compare?

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