Monday, August 31, 2015

Analyzing Character Traits and Paragraph Writing


"Eleven" Quiz  Show me what you know about the short story "Eleven," especially its central characters and their traits, by taking the online quiz here.

Analyzing Character Traits and Paragraph Writing  Today we will also examine the structure of a model paragraph and then write our own paragraphs analyzing the traits of one of the main characters from the short story "Eleven." The assignment Writer's Workout #1 can be found in your Language Arts Google Classroom.The assignment will count also towards your assessment grade and is due at the end of this week on Friday, September 4.   
Homework  (1.) In addition to the Writer's Workout #1, also make sure you complete and 'turn in' the assignments Character Traits in "Eleven" and Comparing Texts - Eleven/Who's the New Kid by this Friday, September 4. (2.) Read your A.R. book at home for at least 30 minutes and, if you choose, make a reading log entry using the Digital Reading Log. (Remember you must have made at least two entries by the end of the week.)  

Friday, August 28, 2015

Analyzing Character Traits and Comparing Texts


Taking Care of Reading Business  Aloha Friday! If you need to take an A.R. quiz, put the finishing touches on a Digital Reading Log entry, or if you would simply like to read from your A.R. book or an article on Newsela, you may use this sacred time to do so. 

Analyzing Character Traits  It's not enough to just make a "claim" about a character having a certain character trait. You need to support your claim using evidence from the story. What does the character do, say, or feel that caused you to associate a particular trait with them. Locate quotes and examples directly from the text to back up and strengthen your claims and ideas. Today you will further analyze the main characters in "Eleven" and their traits using the document Character Traits in "Eleven" that can be found in your Language Arts Google Classroom. This assignment will not be due until next Friday, September 4.

"Who's the New Kid" - Comparing Texts  Read the "Who's the New Kid?" by Lois Lowry below. What comparisons can you make between Lois Lowry's experience and Rachel's. What are some similarities and differences between "Who's the New Kid" and "Eleven"? Share your ideas using the document Comparing Texts - Eleven/Who's the New Kid located in your Language Arts Google Classroom. This assignment will not be due until next Friday, September 4.


 

Homework  Complete and 'turn in' the assignments Character Traits in "Eleven" and Comparing Texts - Eleven/Who's the New Kid by next Friday, September 4.  

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Identifying and Analyzing Character Traits in "Eleven"

 
Rachel

Mrs. Price 
Guiding Questions for "Eleven"  As we read the short story "Eleven" again (which can still be found here), we will also stop periodically to consider some guiding questions related to the text (which can be found below). Be prepared to discuss your ideas with your partner and small group and be ready to share out with the whole class. 



Identifying Character Traits  After reading the short story "Eleven," reflect on what you've learned about its main characters: Rachel and Mrs. Price. Who are they as people? What character traits do they reveal through their words, actions, and feelings? Using your character trait list form earlier in the week (you can still find a link here), identify several different traits you would associate with each character. You can post your trait ideas on your class's Padlet wall: Period 2, Period 3, Period 5.    

Analyzing Character Traits  It's not enough to just make a "claim" about a character having a certain character trait. You need to support your claim using evidence from the story. What does the character do, say, or feel that caused you to associate a particular trait with them. Locate quotes and examples directly from the text to back up and strengthen your claims and ideas. Today you will further analyze the main characters in "Eleven" and their traits using the document Character Traits in "Eleven" that can be found in your Language Arts Google Classroom. This assignment will not be due until next Friday, September 4. 

Homework  Read your A.R. book at home for at least 30 minutes and, if you choose, make a reading log entry using the Digital Reading Log. (Remember you must have made at least two entries by the end of tomorrow.)

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

"Eleven" by Sandra Cisneros


Meet the Author: Sandra Cisneros  Today we are going to begin reading the short story "Eleven" by the acclaimed Mexican-American author Sandra Cisneros. As a writer, Cisneros has often drawn on her childhood memories of her Spanish-speaking neighborhood in Chicago. Cisneros remembers being shy in school. "I never opened my mouth," she remembers, "except when the teacher called me, the first time I'd speak all day." She also remembers often feeling overlooked and misunderstood, which are feelings you may notice represented in the fictional character of Rachel in "Eleven." Before we read, listen to Cisneros share a few memories of her childhood in the video below.  


Focusing on Character Traits in "Eleven"  As we read "Eleven" by Sandra Cisneros together, your job is to pay very close attention to the characters and their traits in the story. You can determine a character's traits by, among other things, paying close attention to their thoughts, feelings, and actions. Today you will begin to analyze the main characters in "Eleven" and their traits using the document Character Traits in "Eleven" that can be found in your Language Arts Google Classroom. An online version of the short story "Eleven" can be found here (the reading selection can also be found on pages 26-29 of your Language of Literature textbook).  

Guiding Questions for "Eleven"  As we read the text several times, we will also stop periodically to consider some guiding questions related to the text (which can be found below). Be prepared to discuss your ideas with your partner and small group and be ready to share out with the whole class. 



Homework  Read your A.R. book at home for at least 30 minutes and, if you choose, make a reading log entry using the Digital Reading Log. (Remember you must have made at least two entries by the end of the week.)

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Introduction to Fiction: Characters and Character Traits

Introducing the Digital Reading Log  Part of the requirement of this class is to read for at least 30 minutes a day during the school week. You may either read from your Accelerated Reader book or from an online article, such as Newsela. At least twice a week you must also make a reading log entry using our class's Digital Reading Log. When making a reading log entry, record the date, pages you read, and a short response to what you read for the day. Your responses will count towards your reading grade for Language Arts. If you read for at least 30 minutes yesterday, you may make your first entry now. Otherwise, you may use this time for silent reading. 

Introduction to the Elements of Fiction  Most of us know that fiction is a type of writing that comes from a writer's imagination. Different types of fiction share many common elements, including plot, character, setting, and theme. To learn more about the elements of fiction check out the video below.



Characters and Character Traits Characters are the people, animals and imaginary creatures who take part in the action of a story. Characters are reveled by their traits, or qualities. Courageous, kind, and selfish are three examples of traits. (Lists of character traits has been can be found here. You can learn about characters' traits by paying attention to their speech, thoughts, feelings, and actions; the speech, thoughts, and actions of other characters; the writers' direct statements about them; and their physical characteristics.  

Character Trait Activity Using Padlet, let's identify famous characters from literature or movies and TV shows and their traits.  Click your class period to go to the appropriate Padlet wall to get started: 2nd Period3rd Period, and 5th Period. Directions are posted on each wall.   

Homework Read your A.R. book at home for at least 30 minutes and if you choose make a reading log entry using the Digital Reading Log. (Remember you must have made at least two entries by the end of the week.)

Monday, August 24, 2015

Library Visiting and Grade Checking


Library Visit   We are heading over to the library first thing today to select your first batch of Accelerated Reader books. You may pick out any book you want as long as it is within your ZPD (Zone of Proximal Development) and an appropriate color level. Remember, you don't want a book that's too easy or too hard; rather, you want a book that "just right" for you. Most importantly, you want to find a book that's interesting and that you are passionate about reading. Make sure your A.R. book is always with you because there will be times when you'll have the opportunity to read your book in class. 

Grading Policy, Google Classroom, and School Loop  I finally started grading some of your assignments over the weekend, which means (though its early in the quarter) you finally have a grade in the class. First, let's review our grading policies using our online class syllabus so you know how your grade is calculated. 

Next, head on over to your Language Arts Google Classroom and check your scores and feedback on individual assignments. Some of you may want to consider fixing your completd assignments and resubmitting them for a higher grade. Others of you didn't finish assignments and/or they were never officially 'turned in'. Check the status of your assignment, so you can get the highest grade possible. 

Finally, head on over to School Loop and log in. In School Loop, I will show you how to check your grades and message your teachers if you have any questions or concerns.

Homework  Read your A.R. book at home for at least 30 minutes.

Friday, August 21, 2015

Aloha Friday!


Friday Assignment Turn-In  Aloha Friday! Congratulations on almost completing your first full week of 6th grade. Let's begin today by turning in all of your Language Arts assignments from the week. If you haven't already, please make sure you have completed and 'turned in' the assignments Learning to Read Story and Context Clues Practice. If these assignments have not been completed, please make sure you do so ASAP. Your grade in this class depends on it. 

Parkour Meets Newsela  Today you will be reading an informative nonfiction article at Newsela about the growing sport of parkour. To begin, get some background on parkour by checking  out the video below. 


Now head on over to Newsela and locate the article about how parkour is bringing different groups of people in China together. Select a lexile level that feels comfortable to you. I would recommend either 470L (Grade 3), 710L (Grade 4), or 1050L (Grade 7). After you finish carefully reading the article, take the quiz. If you finish early, feel free to read an article of your choosing and take its accompanying quiz. 

Accelerated Reader Goal-Setting  Today I will continue to meet with students to discuss your reading level, "just right" books levels, and to decide on your A.R. goal. Remember to record your personalized reading data and A.R. goal on document Reading Data and Goal-Setting Chart located in your Language Arts Google Classroom. I've placed in your Language Arts folders. 

Context Clues Quiz  If time permits, I would like you to show me what you know so far about context clues by taking the online quiz here. I will read read the questions and answers aloud and guide you through the quiz.

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Accelerated Reader, Goal-Setting, and Independent Activities

Are you ready to begin your reading adventure?
Introducing Accelerated Reading and Taking Your First Quiz  Watch the video below to get a basic introduction of how the Accelerated Reader program works.

 

Now that you know the basics, let's head on over to the Accelerated Reader website and take your first quiz of the school year and hopefully earn your first points. Earlier in the week, I read aloud the story Thank You, Mr. Falker. Now it's time to test your comprehension and take the quiz. 


Accelerated Reader Goal-Setting  Once you know what your reading level is, you will have a better idea of what level books you should be reading and what an appropriate reading goal would be for you for the quarter. I will be meeting with you during this time to discuss your reading level, "just right" books levels, and to decide on your A.R. goal. We will use a chart like the one below to help us in the process. 
You will then record your personalized reading data and A.R. goal on document Reading Data and Goal-Setting Chart located in your Language Arts Google Classroom. I've placed in your Language Arts folders. If I don't have time meet with you today, we will make time tomorrow. 

While I am meeting with students you will be working on the independent activities presented below.

Context Clues Practice  Let's continue to practice with context clues. Today hopefully you will have some fun by playing some online context clues related games here and here.  

Newsela Independent Reading  If you choose and time permits, head on over to Newsela. Remember to 'Sign in with Google.' Today you may select the article or articles of your choice, choose your preferred reading level, and take the associated quiz or quizzes. Good luck and happy reading! 

Homework  Don't forget that you have two Language Arts assignments that must be completed and 'turned in' by tomorrow, Friday, August 21, in order to receive full credit: Learning to Read Story and Context Clues Practice.

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

The Star Reading Test


Video of the Day  Need a little video pep talk? Kid President has one for all of us. Enjoy!  


Star Reading Test  Today we are going to take the Star Reading Test which is going to help provide a sense of what your current reading level is. Once we determine your reading level we will better be able to match you up with engaging books that are just right for you. Make sure you do your very best. Read carefully and use your new context clues strategy. Good luck! You can find a link to the test here.  

Independent Work Time  If you finish your Star Test early, you may either work on any assignments that you need to complete or you may continue to practice working with context clues using the link here. We will be having a 'Context Clues Quiz' very soon. 

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Newsela and Context Clues

Introducing Newsela  Today we are going to begin using a new online reading program called Newsela, which features engaging informative nonfiction articles at your reading level. After reading the day's article (today's is entitled 'Afghan children playing war wind up in hospital; police take away toy guns') take the accompanying quiz to check your understanding. To get started, go to the link here and get registered using the following codes: 2nd Period - N6GWEJ, 3rd Period - F8ZRV2, and 5th Period - XB7S8C. Next, select "Sign in with Google" and you're on your way. Good luck!

Context Clues (Day 2)  Let's continue to practice learning how to use context clues as a strategy to figure out the meaning of unknown words. To begin, let's listen to a musical tribute to the wonders of context clues by checking out the video below.  


Now let's practice using context clues by exploring the activity here.

Next, let's have some fun with context clues by playing some online games here and here.  

Finally, go to your Language Arts Google Classroom and locate the assignment Context Clues Practice and continue to familiarize yourself with the wonders of context clues. 

Homework  Continue working on the assignment Context Clues Practice, which must be completed and 'turned in' by Friday, August 21

Monday, August 17, 2015

Reflecting on Learning to Read and Introducing Context Clues


Writing Warm-Up: Reflecting on Learning to Read  To begin today, we will finish reading Thank You, Mr. Falker. The story is centered around Trisha's struggles to learn to read. What is your story of learning to read? What do you remember about your journey to becoming a reader? How do you feel about yourself as a reader now? Go to your Language Arts Google Classroom and locate the assignment Learning to Read Story and begin to share your experiences and feelings regarding reading. This assignment should be completed and 'turned in' by Friday, August 21.  

Introduction to Context Clues When you are reading and you come across a word you don't know, what do you do? The answer I hear from too many kids is "I skip it." Did you know that there is a vocabulary tool and reading strategy that can magically help you figure out the meanings of unknown words? Today we are going to learn how 'Context Clues' can help you unlock the meaning of words you thought you didn't know and help make you a much more empowered and successful reader.

So, what are 'Context Clues' exactly? Read the explanation below to find out.  



Next, let's watch below as Tim and Moby from BrainPop further introduce and explain how context clues work.




Now let's practice together. Work with the members of your team to figure out the words in bold below by by paying attention to the context clues in red.  


Finally, watch how context clues could have helped the young man in the video below.  


Homework  Continue working on your  Learning to Read Story, which should be completed and 'turned in' by Friday, August 21.  

Friday, August 14, 2015

Rights, Responsibilities, Rules, and Read-Aloud


Warm-Up: Complete Student Survey  Welcome to the second day of sixth grade. Take a few moments to complete your Getting to Know You - Student Survey from your Language Arts Google Classroom. When you are finished click the "Turn In" button on the top of your document. If you finished early, you can take a few minutes to explore and personalize your new Chromebook. 

Rights and Responsibilities  As citizens and as members of this classroom community we have both rights and responsibilities. For example, we have the right to learn but we also have a responsibility to work hard. What do you you think some of our classroom rights and responsibilities should be? Share your ideas on one of our class Padlet walls: Period 2 here, Period 3 here, and Period 5 here.  


Classroom Rules, Procedures, and Expectations  How should we enter the classroom? When do we get to sharpen our pencils? What do I do if I need to use the bathroom? Do you give detention? During this time, I will answer all of your questions regarding classroom rules, procedures, and expectations, as well as share potential consequences for violating agreed upon rules. To learn more about the class and my expectations, you can access our class syllabus here.    

Read-Aloud: Thank You, Mr. Falker  The book we are going to read aloud today features a teacher that made a big difference in one young girl's life. Before we read, think about an important teacher in your life. Why is this teacher so important to you? Now in your small groups have a conversation about the important teachers in your lives that made a difference. Next, as you listen to the story think about what makes Mr. Falker such a good teacher.

Thursday, August 13, 2015

The First Day of School


Attendance  Welcome to Lakeview Middle School! When I call your name, indicate that you are present and share a little about yourself. What elementary school do you come from? What's your favorite movie, book, or animal?  

Name Tag Activity  Let's make name tags so we can learn who we are. In the center of your name tag write your name largely and clearly. In the four corners or your name tag draw and illustrate symbols that represent your likes and interests. An example can be found below. It represents me, Matt, and my interest in writing, baseball, nature, and photography.  



Welcome to Google Classroom  Here at Lakeview Middle School technology is an integral part of the teaching and learning process. Google Classroom will be one of the important tools we use this year. Watch the video below to learn a little bit about how Google Classroom works.


Now let's get you set up. Head on over to Google Classroom. From there I will provide you with the class code you will need to get started. 

Student Survey  After you you join my Language Arts Google Classroom, you will find your first assignment: Getting to Know You - Student Survey. Click on it in order to open the assignment. The survey consists of a series of questions which allow me to get to know you better. Answer each question to the best of your ability. If you don't finish in class today, try to finish for homework. If you need a little extra time to finish, I will provide some at the beginning of class tomorrow. When you are finished, click on "Turn In" and you're done. 

Homework  Complete the Getting to Know You - Student Survey. Deadline: This assignment is due tomorrow, Friday, August 14