Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Writing a Theme Analysis of 'Any Small Goodness'


Writing a Theme Analysis of Any Small Goodness  We have finished the novel, chosen a theme statement, and gathered evidence that supports our selected theme. Now it's time to write a paragraph in which we analyze theme. 

Here are a few guidelines for the paragraph: 

You will write your theme analysis using the document 'Any Small Goodness' Theme Analysis Paragraph, which you can find in your Language Arts Google Classroom. Make sure to use your Any Small Goodness - Theme Analysis Pre-Writing, other related Any Small Goodness documents, and of course the Any Small Goodness book itself, to support you in the writing of your paragraph. This assignment will be due Wednesday, December 21

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Analyzing Theme in 'Any Small Goodness'

Today you will analyze the theme of Any Small Goodness.
































 Today's Focus Question    How can we determine the theme or a central idea of a text through an examination of a story's characters?

Analyzing Theme in Any Small Goodness  We may have finished reading the novel Any Small Goodness, but our work with the text is not yet done. Today we will begin analyzing the theme of the novel, which will prepare us to write a final paragraph in which we identify its theme and provide evidence and analysis to support our understanding. 

As you know the theme of a story is its big idea. It’s a message, lesson, or universal truth that goes beyond the literal events of the story. In other words, it’s an idea that applies to people in general—not just the characters in the story. An author doesn’t usually come right out and tell you what the theme is; as a reader, you need to infer it. A story can have more than one theme.

As we've read the novel, we have thought about some possible themes for Any Small Goodness. I have consolidated the best of those ideas into a menu of themes that you will be able to choose from. Your first task is to examine the list of potential themes for Any Small Goodness below and select the one that you would like to write about. 

Once you have identified your chosen theme, you will begin to find and analyze evidence from the text that provides support for that theme. Specifically, I would like you to identify one character from the beginning, the middle, and the end of the novel, who through their actions and/or words best reveals your selected theme. Next, I want you to go deeper and explain why the evidence you found is important to understanding the theme. 

Today you will use the document Any Small Goodness - Theme Analysis Pre-Writing, which can be found in your Language Arts Google Classroom to organize your evidence and analysis. Over the next several days, you will use this pre-writing work to craft an organized paragraph in which you formally analyze one of the themes of Any Small Goodness

Homework (1.) Read for at least 30 minutes at home each school night. (2.) Continue working on your Any Small Goodness - Theme Analysis Pre-Writing.

Monday, December 12, 2016

The Good and the Holy in 'Any Small Goodness'

It's Nochebuena, the night before Christmas, and Any Small Goodness is coming to a close.
























 Today's Focus Question    How can we determine the theme or a central idea of a text through an examination of a story's characters?

Reflecting on "Green Needle Gang"  Before we begin today's reading let's briefly revisit the chapter "The Green Needle Gang" of Any Small Goodness. Look over the assignment Any Small Goodness - The Green Needle Gang (Ch. 8)Do you think Arturo has been listening to his father? Give details to support your answer.

Now let's take another look at the document Any Small Goodness - Prepare to Read and Character Map. Who is the character from the chapter "The Green Needle Gang" who is the most influential? What lesson does this character teach us? Might this lesson be a part of the puzzle to ultimately determining the theme of the entire novel?  

Guided Reading of Any Small Goodness: "Christmas Presents"  Today we conclude our reading of Any Small Goodness by reading the final chapter "Christmas Presents" together. As we read we will stop periodically to discuss and analyze the text. You will also be using the document Any Small Goodness - Christmas Presents (Ch. 9), which is located in your Language Arts Google Classroomto reflect on and respond to this chapter.

Homework (1.) Read for at least 30 minutes at home each school night. (2.) Complete the assignment Any Small Goodness - Christmas Presents (Ch.9), which is due Friday, December 16.

Friday, December 9, 2016

Happy Friday!



Flocabulary Vocabulary  Welcome to Unit 6 of Flocabulary's vocabulary program! This week's lesson "The Parade" features new set of words to interact with, learn, and hopefully begin to incorporate into our own vocabulary. This week's words are: 

anticipate / apparel / controversy / deluge / designate / equivalent / hostile / ingenious / jovial / makeshift / salvage / significant / terrain / unruly / vacate


After watching and interacting with the video and song a couple of times, study the words and their meanings with the PDF document Vocabulary - Unit 6 (The Parade), which can be found in your Language Arts Google Classroom. We will be having a quiz on these words next Thursday, December 15

Library Visit  Today we head to the library. Make sure you bring your books to either return or renew and your student ID card if you want to check out books. You may look for new books, read quietly, or take AR tests. Please take advantage of this opportunity and use your library time well. Time is running out this quarter to earn AR points towards your reading goal! 

Thursday, December 8, 2016

Arturo Strikes Back in 'Any Small Goodness'

How will Arturo get his venganza in the chapter "The Green Needle Gang" of Any Small Goodness?


 Today's Focus Question    How can we determine the theme or a central idea of a text through an examination of a story's characters?

Reflecting on "The Lunch Box"  Before we begin today's reading let's briefly revisit the chapter "The Lunch Box" of Any Small Goodness. Look over the assignment Any Small Goodness - The Lunch Box (Ch. 7)Why do you think the author titled this part of the book "The Lunchbox"? What's the significance of the lunch box? What does it represent?

Now let's take another look at the document Any Small Goodness - Prepare to Read and Character Map. Who is the character from the chapter "The Lunchbox" who influences Arturo the most? What lesson does he learn from this person? Might this lesson be a part of the puzzle to ultimately determining the theme of the entire novel?  

Guided Reading of Any Small Goodness: "The Green Needle Gang"  Today we will continue our reading of Any Small Goodness by reading the chapter "The Green Needle Gang" together. As we read we will stop periodically to discuss and analyze the text. You will also be using the document Any Small Goodness - The Green Needle Gang (Ch. 8), which is located in your Language Arts Google Classroomto reflect on and respond to this chapter.

Homework (1.) Read for at least 30 minutes at home each school night. (2.) Complete the assignment Any Small Goodness - The Green Needle Gang (Ch.8), which is due next Friday, December 16.

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

The Bueno and Malo in 'Any Small Goodness'

Any Small Goodness has arrived at a turning point. Find out what happens in today's chapter "The Lunch Box."






















 Today's Focus Question    How can we determine the theme or a central idea of a text through an examination of a story's characters?

Reflecting on "The Band"  Before we begin today's reading let's briefly revisit the chapter "The Band" of Any Small Goodness. Look over the assignment Any Small Goodness - The Band (Ch. 6)Do you think Papi has had an experience with troublemakers like this before? What makes you think so?

Now let's take another look at the document Any Small Goodness - Prepare to Read and Character Map. Who is the character from the chapter "The Band" who influences Arturo the most? What lesson does he learn from this person? Might this lesson be a part of the puzzle to ultimately determining the theme of the entire novel?  

Guided Reading of Any Small Goodness: "The Lunch Box"  Today we will continue our reading of Any Small Goodness by reading the chapter "The Lunch Box" together. As we read we will stop periodically to discuss and analyze the text. You will also be using the document Any Small Goodness - The Lunch Box (Ch. 7), which is located in your Language Arts Google Classroomto reflect on and respond to this chapter.

Homework (1.) Read for at least 30 minutes at home each school night. (2.) Complete the assignment Any Small Goodness - The Band (Ch. 6), which is due Friday, December 9(3.) Continue working on the assignment Any Small Goodness - The Lunch Box (Ch. 7), which is also  due Friday, December 9.

Monday, December 5, 2016

Being Strong and Gentle in 'Any Small Goodness'

How will Papi and his car Valentín deal with the gang of "meso-heads" in today's chapter?

















 Today's Focus Question    How can we determine the theme or a central idea of a text through an examination of a story's characters?

Reflecting on "The River"  Before we begin today's reading let's briefly revisit the chapter "The River" of Any Small Goodness. ook over the assignment Any Small Goodness - The River (Ch. 5). If you were on the school board, would you try to get Ms. Cloud back? Why or why not?

Now let's take another look at the document Any Small Goodness - Prepare to Read and Character Map. Who is the character from the chapter "The River" who influences Arturo the most? What lesson does he learn from this person? Might these lessons be a part of the puzzle to ultimately determining the theme of the entire novel?  

Guided Reading of Any Small Goodness: "The Band"  Today we will continue our reading of Any Small Goodness by reading the third chapter "The Coach" together. As we read we will stop periodically to discuss and analyze the text. You will also be using the document Any Small Goodness - Band (Ch. 6), which is located in your Language Arts Google Classroomto reflect on and respond to this chapter. 

Homework  (1.) Read for at least 30 minutes at home each school night. (2.) Continue working on the assignment Any Small Goodness - The Band (Ch. 6), which is due Friday, December 9

Friday, December 2, 2016

Aloha Friday!


100 Word Challenge: Finishing Touches  Before we publish this week's 100 Word Challenge, take another moment to carefully review your writing. Does your story flow naturally from beginning to end? Do you use descriptive words and sensory details? Do you skillfully incorporate dialogue? Do you carefully review your spelling, capitalization, punctuation, and grammar? Do you make sure your verb tenses are consistent and that you have employed correct and varied sentence structures? Please make sure your piece of writing is good as it can be.

100 Word Challenge: Publishing Now it's publishing time! Copy your story from your Google Doc and then login to Kidblog. Make a new post. Give your story an appropriate titlePaste your story. Consider adding a picture. Finally, click 'Publish' and copy the link to your published story. Make sure, however, that when you publish that you make your post "Public," so people around the world can read your story. 

Now it's time to share your story with the 
100 Word Challenge. In order to login, I will provide you a working Username and Password. Next, fill out the form similar to the one below, making sure to include the link to your Kidblog story. Click 'Submit' when you're done. Congratulations! You are now an internationally published writer!



Once you have published your story, you are welcome to comment on other stories. Your comments, however, should be respectful, specific, and helpful. If you liked something about someone's writing, explain what specific aspect of their writing you appreciated. For example: I loved your use of descriptive details! If you have a tip about how a student could improve their writing, make sure to share in a way that is helpful and not hurtful. For example: I really liked your story, but I thought you could have used a few more sensory details.

Author's Chair  I would like to invite those of you who are interested to read your stories to the class today. You may want to practice a few read-throughs before you read aloud from the front of the room. Please pay attention to intonation (by making sure your tone changes to match what is being read), phrasing (by reading smoothly and using punctuation to tell you when to stop, pause or emphasize), and expression (by using your voice to express the feeling of what is being read).  

It takes a lot of courage to get in front of a group of people. During a reading, the audience should remain attentive and respectful, and afterwards should try to offer positive and constructive feedback. (Some "response stems" for feedback can be found below.) 


Sacred Reading Time  If time permits today, I want to offer you some uninterrupted class time to simply read and commune with your books. Some of you will invited to read outside, others in a cozy corner of the room, while most of you will hopefully become enraptured by the words on your pages right at your desks. Enjoy this time!

Thursday, December 1, 2016

A 'Resplendent' Librarian in 'Any Small Goodness'






















 Today's Focus Question    How can we determine the theme or a central idea of a text through an examination of a story's characters?

Reflecting on "Piano Lessons"  Before we begin today's reading let's briefly revisit the fourth chapter of Any Small Goodness, "The Coach." Look over the assignment Any Small Goodness - Piano Lessons (Ch. 4) and review the questions. 

Now let's take another look at the document Any Small Goodness - Prepare to Read and Character Map. Who is the character from the chapter "Piano Lessons" who influences Arturo the most? What lesson does he learn from this person? Might this lesson be a part of the puzzle to ultimately determining the theme of the entire novel?  

Guided Reading of Any Small Goodness: "The River"  Today we will continue our reading of Any Small Goodness by reading the fifth chapter "The River" (pgs. 64 - 77) together. As we read we will stop periodically to discuss and analyze the text. You will also be using the document Any Small Goodness - The River (Ch. 5), which is located in your Language Arts Google Classroomto reflect on and respond to this chapter. 

Homework  (1.) Read for at least 30 minutes at home each school night. (2.) Continue working on the assignment Any Small Goodness - The River (Ch. 5), which is due next Friday, December 9(2.) Continue working on the story 100 Word Challenge: Five Words, which will be published tomorrow, Friday, December 2(3.) Complete the assignments Any Small Goodness - The Coach (Ch. 3)Any Small Goodness - Piano Lessons (Ch. 4), all of which will be due tomorrow, Friday, December 2.

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Loving and Helping Each Other in 'Any Small Goodness'

What is the significance of the words "Love each other. Help Each other"? Find out in today's chapter "Piano Lessons" of Any Small Goodness.
 Today's Focus Question    How can we determine the theme or a central idea of a text through an examination of a story's characters?

Reflecting on "The Coach"  Before we begin today's reading let's briefly revisit the third chapter of Any Small Goodness, "The Coach." Look over the assignment Any Small Goodness - The Coach (Ch. 3) and review the questions. 

Now let's take another look at the document Any Small Goodness - Prepare to Read and Character Map. Who is the character from the chapter "The Coach" who influences Arturo the most? What lesson does he learn from this person? Might this lesson be a part of the puzzle to ultimately determining the theme of the entire novel?  

Guided Reading of Any Small Goodness: "Piano Lessons"  Today we will continue our reading of Any Small Goodness by reading the fourth chapter "Piano Lessons" together. As we read we will stop periodically to discuss and analyze the text. You will also be using the document Any Small Goodness - Piano Lessons (Ch. 4), which is located in your Language Arts Google Classroomto reflect on and respond to this chapter. 

Homework  (1.) Read for at least 30 minutes at home each school night. (2.) Continue working on the assignment Any Small Goodness - Piano Lessons (Ch. 4), which is due Friday, December 2. (2.) Continue working on the story 100 Word Challenge: Five Words, which will be published on Friday, December 2. (3.) Complete the assignment Any Small Goodness - The Coach (Ch. 3), which is also due Friday, December 2.

Monday, November 28, 2016

Sacred Reading, AR Test Taking, and a 100 Word Challenge









Sacred Reading and AR Test Taking  Welcome back form Thanksgiving break! I hope that you not only enjoyed time with your family and good food, but also that you took time to read a good book or two. If you would like to take AR quizzes, you may do so now. Otherwise, I offer you this time to simply read and commune with your books. Some of you will invited to read in a cozy corner of the room, while most of you will hopefully become enraptured by the words on your pages right at your desks. Enjoy this time! 

This Week's 100 Word Challenge: Five Words  This week's challenge is an interesting one. It doesn't involve a picture or a designated phrase, but it's rather made up of a random assortment of five words (wideorangecrocodilewithin, and collapsed). Read more about the challenge below. 



You can find the assignment 100 Word Challenge: Five Words in your Language Arts Google ClassroomHow will you strategically weave these 5 words throughout your story, while still constructing a logical narrative? What will these specially chosen words add to your story? Remember the words can be used in whatever order you see fit. Also, remember as you write to continue developing your imagery by using precise words and sensory details. We publish on Friday, December 2. Be creative and have fun!    

Homework  (1.) Read for at least 30 minutes at home each school night. (2.) 
Continue working on the assignment 100 Word Challenge: Five Words, which will be due on Friday, December 2.

Monday, November 21, 2016

Standing Tall in 'Any Small Goodness'

What lesson will we learn from Coach Tree in today's reading of Any SmalGoodness?




















 Today's Focus Question    How can we determine the theme or a central idea of a text through an examination of a story's characters?

Reflecting on "Corn Fungus"  Before we begin today's reading let's briefly revisit the second chapter of Any Small Goodness, "Corn Fungus." Look over the assignment Any Small Goodness - Corn Fungus (Ch. 2). What does Papi mean when he says, “When no eyes are upon him, that is a person’s true test”? Discuss with your partner and be prepared to share your ideas with the whole class.

Now let's take another look at the document Any Small Goodness - Prepare to Read and Character Map. Who is the character from the chapter "Corn Fungus" who influences Arturo the most? What lesson does he learn from this person? Might this lesson be a part of the puzzle to ultimately determining the theme of the entire novel?  

Guided Reading of Any Small Goodness: "The Coach"  Today we will continue our reading of Any Small Goodness by reading the third chapter "The Coach" together. As we read we will stop periodically to discuss and analyze the text. You will also be using the document Any Small Goodness - The Coach (Ch. 3), which is located in your Language Arts Google Classroomto reflect on and respond to this chapter. 

Homework  (1.) Read for at least 30 minutes at home each school night. (2.) 
Complete the assignment Any Small Goodness - Corn Fungus (Ch.2), which will be due tomorrow, Tuesday, November 22. (3.) Continue working on the assignment Any Small Goodness - The Coach (Ch. 3), which will be due on Friday, December 2

Friday, November 18, 2016

Missing Cats and Silent Heroes in 'Any Small Goodness'

Discover what happens to the family cat Huitlacoche in today's chapter "Corn Fungus" of Any Small Goodness

 Today's Focus Question    How can we determine the theme or a central idea of a text through an examination of a story's characters?

Reflecting on "American Names"  Before we begin today's reading let's briefly revisit the first chapter of Any Small Goodness "American Names." Look over the assignment Any Small Goodness - American Names (Ch. 1). What do we know about the character Arturo? What is he like? Is he the kind of person you thought he would be initially after previewing the text? Discuss with your partner and be prepared to share your ideas with the whole class.

Now let's take another look at the document Any Small Goodness - Prepare to Read and Character Map. Who is the character from the chapter "American Names" who influences Arturo the most? What lesson does he learn from this person? Might this lesson be a part of the puzzle to ultimately determining the theme of the entire novel?  

Guided Reading of Any Small Goodness: "Corn Fungus"  Today we will continue our reading of Any Small Goodness by reading the second chapter "Corn Fungus" together. As we read we will stop periodically to discuss and analyze the text. You will also be using the document Any Small Goodness - Corn Fungus (Ch. 2), located in your Language Arts Google Classroomto reflect on and respond to this chapter. 

Homework  Complete the assignment Any Small Goodness - Corn Fungus (Ch.2), which will be due Tuesday, November 22

Thursday, November 17, 2016

Newsela Article and Sacred Reading

Today's Newsela article is about the life and legacy of Cesar Chavez.

Appropriate Behavior with the Substitute  I'm sorry I couldn't be with you today. I fully expect you to be on your very best behavior with your substitute today. Please stay in your seats, stay focused on the work outlined here on the Blog, and, most importantly, treat your substitute with decency and respect. Remember, I can monitor your computer use from home and expect to see that you focused on your assignments and not goofing around.If you don't have a working Chromebook today, partner up with someone at your table and work with them. I expect to receive a positive report form the substitute upon my return. Students that choose to not to be their best selves today may receive serious consequences upon my return. Have a great day!

Newsela Article: 'Activist and Labor Organizer: Cesar Chavez'  Today you have an opportunity to read a Newsela nonfiction article about one of our country's greatest heroes: Cesar Chavez. You can access the article here or find a link to it in your Language Arts Google Classroom. After visiting Newsela and logging in, please set the article to a reading level of 810L (5th grade level). Read the article about Cesar Chavez carefully. Next, take the 4 question quiz. Finally, write a short paragraph explaining the central (main) idea of the article, while using details and evidence from the text to support your claim.

Sacred Reading Time  If you finish your Newsela article early, I would like to offer you some class time today to simply read and commune with your AR books. Enjoy this sacred reading time!

Homework  (1.) Read for at least 30 minutes at home each school night. (2.) Complete the assignment Any Small Goodness - American Names (Ch.1)The Circuit - Literary Devices, and The Circuit - Visualizing, all of which are due tomorrow, Friday, November 18. 

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Vocabulary Quizzing and Sacred Reading


Flocabulary Vocabulary Review  Today you will be assessed on your understanding of this past week's Flocabulary vocabulary words. Take a few minutes to review. Your quiz will begin shortly. 



Flocabulary Vocabulary Quiz  You've learned, practiced, and studied your vocabulary words. Now it's time to show me what you've learned! You can find your Vocabulary Quiz below. Good luck!



Sacred Reading Time  While I meet with a few more students individually today to make reading goals, I would like to offer you some class time today to simply read and commune with your new books. Some of you will be invited to read outside, others in a cozy corner of the room, while most of you will hopefully become enraptured by the words on your pages right at your desks. Enjoy this time!

Homework  (1.) Read for at least 30 minutes at home each school night. (2.) Complete the assignment Any Small Goodness - American Names (Ch.1), which is due on Friday, November 18

Monday, November 14, 2016

Introducing the Novel 'Any Small Goodness'


Warm Up: 'The Circuit' Quiz  Today you will take a short quiz to demonstrate some of what you learned from the story "The Circuit". You can find the quiz here. If you complete the quiz early, you may silent read or take A.R. quizzes until the rest of your classmates are finished.

Introducing and Previewing Any Small Goodness  Today we are going to begin reading as a class the novel Any Small Goodness by Tony Johnston. The novel features a boy, Arturo, who moves to Los Angeles from Mexico with his family, and describes how Arturo and his family adjust to their new neighborhood. Although life in the new neighborhood presents challenges, Arturo learns about acts of “small goodness” that come to define his experience.

Before we read the novel, however, let's watch a short video about life in East Los Angeles, which serves as the setting of Any Small Goodness. What's the message of this video? How will this portrayal of Los Angeles compare to the one that we are about to explore in the novel? 


Our focus as we read is going to be to continue to analyze how the development of characters can help to reveal a story's theme. As we read, pay close attention to Arturo as well as the other characters that make up his East Los Angeles universe, and take note of what their words, actions, and feelings. What lessons do they learn from each other? These may all ultimately be clues to the story's themes. 

Lets begin today by previewing the novel Any Small Goodness by using the document Any Small Goodness - Prepare to Read and Character Map, which is located your Social Studies Google Classroom. After previewing the novel, also note how you will use this document to track the characters that Arturo interacts with throughout the novel and the important lessons he learns from them. This document will be used throughout our reading of the novel and is not to be 'turned in' until the end of this unit. 

Guided Reading of Any Small Goodness: "American Names"  Today we will begin by reading the first chapter of Any Small Goodness, "American Names," together. As we read we will stop periodically to discuss and analyze the text. You will also be using the document Any Small Goodness - American Names (Ch.1) to reflect on and respond to this chapter. 

Homework  (1.) Read for at least 30 minutes at home each school night. (2.) Complete the assignment Any Small Goodness - American Names (Ch.1), which is due on Friday, November 18