Wednesday, August 31, 2016

It's Library Day!







Library Visit   We are heading over to the library 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. 


Enjoy your books! Take care of them. And make sure an A.R. book is always with you because there will be times when you'll have the opportunity to read, write about, and discuss your book in class.  Happy reading!

Homework  (1.) Complete your Character Traits in "Eleven" and  your Newsela 'Pokemon Go' article assignment, both of which must be completed by this Friday, September 2. (2.) Read your new A.R. book for at least 30 minutes tonight. 

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Analyzing Character Traits and Accelerated Reader Goal-Setting


 Today's Learning Objective   *Cite textual evidence to support analysis of what the text says.


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 (which can still be found here) 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 is due this Friday, September 2


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 each of you today 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. 

Homework  (1.) Continue to work on your Character Traits in "Eleven" assignment, which is due this Friday, September 2 (2.) Read your Newsela 'Pokemon Go' article carefully, answer the 4 questions, and write a summary paragraph about what you read. This assignment must be completed by this Friday, September 2

Monday, August 29, 2016

The Star Reading Test and Introducing Accelerated Reader



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.  


Introducing Accelerated Reading and Taking Your First Quiz  Watch the video below to get a basic introduction of how the Accelerated Reader program works.

 


Later this week I will provide you with the results of your Star Reading Test, we'll work together to determine your A.R. reading goal for the quarter, and we'll head to the library to pick out awesome books that are just right for you. 

Homework  Read your Newsela 'Pokemon Go' article carefully, answer the 4 questions, and write a summary paragraph about what you read. This assignment must be completed by Friday, September 2

Friday, August 26, 2016

Aloha Friday!


Friday Assignment Turn-In  Aloha Friday! 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. 

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

Identifying Character Traits  Now that we've read the short story "Eleven" several times it's time to 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 3Period 5Period 6.

Newsela Article: "Pokemon Go" points to a world of augmented reality  As many of you know the new game "Pokemon Go" is taking the world by storm. Watch the brief video below and then head over to your Language Arts Google Classroom and find the link to the Newsela article about this phenomenon. Click the link to the Newsela article. Make sure the article is set to 900L (5th Grade reading level). Read the article carefully. Take the 4 question quiz. Make sure to have this assignment completed by next Friday, September 2.

Thursday, August 25, 2016

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 3Period 5Period 6.    

Homework  (1.) Don't forget two assignments are due tomorrow: Your Learning to Read Story and Context Clues Practice assignment. Make sure they are completed and 'turned-in' in order to receive full credit. (2.) Study for the Context Clues Quiz we'll be having tomorrow! Make sure you understand how context clues can help you figure out the meaning of unfamiliar words. Review your homework assignment, my Blog posts on the topic, and the online activities and games we played. 

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

"Eleven" by Sandra Cisneros

 Today's Learning Objectives  Describe how a particular story’s plot unfolds in a series of episodes as well as how the characters respond or change as the plot moves toward a resolution. Explain how the author develops the point of view of the narrator or speaker in a text. Cite textual evidence to support analysis of what the text says.


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. 

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Introduction to Fiction: Characters and Character Traits


Lakeview's Student Creed  According to our principal, Dr. Rosa Hern├índez, "Our intent in reciting the creed on a daily basis is to to build a positive school culture at LVMS that promotes high academic achievement, fosters the development of our student’s self-esteem, and reinforces the value of community. Our student creed reinforces Lakeview Middle School's core values of: Perseverance, Respect and Responsibility, Integrity, Diversity, and Excellence." 

What does reciting a creed at other schools look like? Check out the videos below.




What is Lakeview's creed? Check it out and get to know it. 


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 can be found here, as well as below. 



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: 3rd Period, 5th Period, and 6th Period. Directions are posted on each wall.   

Homework  Complete your Context Clues Practice assignment and Learning to Read Story, both of which are due Friday, August 26.

Monday, August 22, 2016

Focus on Vocabulary: Context Clues



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 check out this video tutorial about the different ways you can use context clues to unlock the mystery of words you don't know. 


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 26.

Friday, August 19, 2016

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 26.  

Thursday, August 18, 2016

Rights, Responsibilities, 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 3 here, Period 5 here, and Period 6 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.

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

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  (1.) Review class blog, syllabus, and Google Classroom with your family. (2.) Complete the Getting to Know You - Student Survey. Deadline: This assignment is due Friday, August 19.