Monday, October 31, 2016

Making Writing Exciting and a New 100 Word Challenge

As the smoke cleared, what did you see?  




















Making Writing Exciting: Interactive Scary Story Activity  Today you will be acting as assistants to a book publisher and working to make one of their dull stories more exciting. The story "The Abandoned House" is not as scary or exciting as the publishers were hoping for. Your task is to substitute some of the story's nouns and verbs to make the story more vivid and engaging. You can find the activity hereCan you apply what you learned from this activity to making your own writing more vivid, exciting, and engaging?  

Narrative WritingA New 100 Word Challenge  This week's 100 Word Challenge is asks you to incorporate the phrase ". . . as the smoke cleared . . ." What role will smoke play in your story? Check out the prompt below. 


The document 100 Word Challenge: ... as the smoke cleared ... can be found in your Language Arts Google Classroom. We will be publishing our stories this Friday! 

Grammar: Dependent Clauses and Complex Sentences  You probably notice that the phrase "as the smoke cleared" cannot stand alone by itself as an independent sentence. It's what we call a dependent clause because it is dependent on additional words (an independent clause) to form a complete sentence. When you combine a dependent clause with an independent clause you create a complex sentence. Let the good people at Flocabulary explain how dependent clauses, independent clauses, and complex sentences work, so, for one, you'll have a better idea how to incorporate the words "as the smoke cleared" into your own story. 

Homework  (1.) Read for at least 30 minutes at home each school night. (2.) Work on your 100 Word Challenge: ... as the smoke cleared ... story, which we will publish on Friday, November 4.

Friday, October 28, 2016

Aloha Friday!



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




'My Hero' Poem: Finishing Touches and Publishing It's just about time to publish the "My Hero" Poem that you have been working on over the past two weeks. Please look over your poem carefully. Did you use descriptive words and sensory details? Did you carefully think about each word you chose? Can your reader visualize the objects, people, places, and experiences your poem seeks to capture? Did you carefully review your spelling, capitalization, punctuation, and grammar? Please make sure your piece of writing is good as it can be.

Next, it's publishing time! Copy your poem from your Google Doc and then login to Kidblog. Make a new post. Give your poem an appropriate titlePaste your poem. Consider adding a picture. Finally, click 'Publish.' Congratulations! You are now a published poet! 


Author's Chair  I would like to celebrate some of our published poets today by inviting those who are interested to read your poems to the class today. 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.) 

Thursday, October 27, 2016

Are You Ready to Kahoot!?

Are you ready to Kahoot today?


Kahoot! Activity: Vocabulary Review  Your latest Flocabulary vocabulary quiz is tomorrow. Let's report to Kahoot! to prepare and have fun reviewing your vocabulary words! 

I would also encourage you to continue studying by reviewing your digital flashcards below. 




Kahoot! Activity: Fragments, Run-ons, & Complete Sentences Review  Over the past several weeks we have been focused on what a complete sentence looks like, and how to avoid fragments and run-ons. Today, let's also use Kahoot! to practice identifying complete sentences, fragments, and run-ons in order to prepare for a quiz you will have next week.

Homework  (1.) Read for at least 30 minutes at home each school night. (2.) Study for your Vocabulary - Unit 4 quiz, which you will be taking tomorrow, Friday, October 28(3.) Complete work on your  "My Hero" Poem, which will publish tomorrow, Friday, October 28. (4.) Complete your Run-On Sentence Assignment, which will be due tomorrow, Friday, October 28(4.) Complete your Vocabulary - Unit 4 (The Ballad of Ron and John) - Fix the Mistake assignment, which will be due tomorrow, Friday, October 28.

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Studying Vocabulary


Flocabulary Vocabulary with Digital Flashcards Today we are going to continue to study this week's Flocabulary vocabulary words:
  
campaign / collide / consequence / drastic / elaborate / inevitable / loathe / predicament / provoke / retaliate / sanctuary / siege / subsequent / treacherous / vow

To help you remember the meanings of these words I've created a set of digital flashcards using a program called Quizlet that you can find below. Please spend some time making sure you understand your words and make sure to study for Friday's quiz.



Homework  (1.) Read for at least 30 minutes at home each school night. (2.) 
Continue working on your  "My Hero" Poem, which will publish on Friday, October 28. 
(3.) Continue working on your Run-On Sentence Assignment, which will be due on Friday, October 28(4.) Continue working on your Vocabulary - Unit 4 (The Ballad of Ron and John) - Fix the Mistake assignment, which will be due on Friday, October 28.

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Repairing Run-Ons and Flocabulary Vocabulary


Grammar: Introducing Conjunctions and Repairing Run-On Sentences  We have also been focused on identifying dreaded run-on sentences and practicing ways to repair them. One way to do that is to use conjunctions. Allow your friends from Flocabulary to explain the power of conjunctions.

https://www.flocabulary.com/conjunctions/
  
Now let's practice the three different strategies we've learned to fix run-on sentences: with a
period, semicolon, comma plus coordinating conjunction. You can find the Run-On Sentence Assignment in your Language Arts Google Classroom


Flocabulary Vocabulary  Welcome to Unit 4 of Flocabulary's vocabulary program, which features the 'Ballad of Ron and John.' With Ron and John's battle as the backdrop, we have a new set of words to interact with, learn, and hopefully begin to incorporate into our own vocabulary. This week's words are: 

campaign / collide / consequence / drastic / elaborate / inevitable / loathe / predicament / provoke / retaliate / sanctuary / siege / subsequent / treacherous / vow

After watching and interacting with the video and song a couple of times, study the words and their meanings and work on the activity Vocabulary - Unit 4 (The Ballad of Ron and John) - Fix the Mistake, which can be found in your Language Arts Google Classroom

Homework  (1.) Read for at least 30 minutes at home each school night. (2.) 
Continue working on your  "My Hero" Poem, which will publish on Friday, October 28. 
(3.) Continue working on your Run-On Sentence Assignment, which will be due on Friday, October 28(4.) Continue working on your Vocabulary - Unit 4 (The Ballad of Ron and John) - Fix the Mistake assignment, which will be due on Friday, October 28.

Monday, October 24, 2016

Star Testing and Poetry Writing


Star Reading Test  Today you will take the Star Reading Test in order to reassess your reading level. My hope is that each of you will show growth today compared to the assessment from the first quarter. Considering how dedicated many of you have been to your reading, I'm excited to see how well you do. You may take the test here. Remember, after logging in to click on "Star Reading." Read carefully. Good luck! 

Writing Activity: "My Hero" Poem  Today is your last class day to work on your "My Hero" Poem. Remember to think carefully about each word you choose. Consider reading each line of your poem as you write. Are you capturing the tone and feelings that you're aiming for? Also, as you continue to improve and revise your poem, consider adding more sensory details. A handy list of sensory details can be found here. Can your reader visualize the objects, people, places, and experiences your poem seeks to capture? The "My Hero" Poem will be published on your Kidblog on Friday, October 28.

Homework  (1.) Read for at least 30 minutes at home each school night. 
(2.) Continue working on your  "My Hero" Poem, which will publish on Friday, October 28 

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Personal Hero Poetry


Personal Hero Poem Template  To guide you in writing your poem about your personal hero, use the template featured below, which you can also find in your Language Arts Google Classroom.

Teacher Model  Here is a sample poem creating by your teacher, Mr. Gibbs. 


Poetry Rubric  How will you be assessed on your writing? Check out the rubric below. 

 

Friday, October 14, 2016

Understanding Theme and Avoiding Run-On Sentences

What lesson does Tarik learn in "Nadia the Willful"? Could this be a clue to the theme of the story?




















Identifying and Understanding Theme in "Nadia the Willful"  Today we will closely examine two suggested themes of the short story "Nadia the Willful," which can essentially be considered two different claims. We will select the the claim that best fits our understanding of the story's theme and provide evidence from the story to support our ideas. You can find the assignment Nadia the Willful - Understanding Theme in your Language Arts Google Classroom. This assignment will be due next Friday, October 21

Grammar Lesson: Avoiding Run-On Sentences  Let's learn more about what a run-on sentence is and how can you put a stop to them by watching our friends Tim and Moby from BrainPop. (Remember you can access BrainPop through the Apps section of your Google Drive.)  

Thursday, October 13, 2016

Run-on Sentences and Academic Business Time


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!

Grammar Practice: Run-on Sentences  Something problematic that I have noticed in some of your writing is the frequency in which you are using run-on sentences. A run-on sentence is two more sentences that are not properly joined or separated. A couple of examples can be found below. 



There are different ways to repair run-on sentences. Review the image below for ideas on how to fix them.





Now that you better understand what a run-on sentence is and some of the different ways to fix them, let's practice. Practice identifying run-on sentences here. Next, practice repairing them here. Finally, play a game in which you identify fragments, run-on, and sentences for cash and prizes here

Academic Business Time  If need be, you may use the remainder of class time to work on completing your assignments. Otherwise, you may use this time to silent read, take AR quizzes, read Newsela articles of your choice, or practice your typing.   

Homework  (1.) Read for at least 30 minutes at home each school night. (2.) Complete the assignment Nadia the Willful - Characters and Theme, which will be due tomorrow, Friday, October 14 

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Identifying Theme in "Nadia the Willful"

"Nadia the Willful" Background: The Bedouins, the group featured in today's story, are an Arab people of the Sahara and the desert lands of the Middle East. The leader of a Bedouin tribe or clan is called a sheik. Bedouins live as nomads, or wanderers, searching the desert for oases (placed with water and pasture) where they can settle with their goats, sheep, camels, and horses. When water becomes scare, the group moves on. Life in the desert is hard and dangerous. Food is scarce, sandstorms are common, and temperatures can reach up to 130 degrees Fahrenheit. 

 Today's Learning Objective   Identify the theme of a story.

Identifying Theme in "Nadia the Willful"  Today will be reading a wonderful piece of short fiction entitled "Nadia the Willful" and try to identify its theme. You can find the story here, as as well as on page 67 of your Language of Literature textbook. First, examine the "Background to the Story" section, as well as the images featured throughout the text. Take note of the setting of this story. Read the "Text Analysis: Conflict and Theme" section to remind yourself what a conflict is and how it can help a reader determine the theme of a story. 

As we read "Nadia the Willful" together, we will also pay special attention to the characters and their actions, speech, thoughts, and how they change, as clues to determining the story's theme. You can find the assignment Nadia the Willful - Characters and Theme in your Language Arts Google Classroom

Homework  (1.) Read for at least 30 minutes at home each school night. (2.) Complete the assignment Nadia the Willful - Characters and Theme, which will be due on Friday, October 14 

Monday, October 10, 2016

Quizzing Vocabulary and Introducing Theme

What is Theme?

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




Introduction to Theme in Literature  One of the elements of fiction that may not be very familiar to you is theme. You probably have been asked: What is the theme of the story? What exactly does that mean? Watch the video below to learn more. 




Now you understand that theme is the meaning or moral of a story. It is a message about life or human nature that the writer shares with the reader. Most themes are unstated. You must figure them out by paying attention to what happens in a story. You can gather clues to the theme of a piece of literature by looking at the characters, the plot, the setting, and the story title.

Next, let's consider some of the pieces of literature we've studied so far this year, including: Thank You, Mr. Falker, "Eleven," "Who's the New Kid?", "Dear Future," and "On Turning 10." What are some of the themes or messages about life of these various texts? Do any of these stories or poems have similar or shared themes? Head over to your class's Padlet wall (Period 3, Period 5, Period 6), choose one or more the pieces of literature we've read, and identify the theme.

Homework  Read for at least 30 minutes at home each school night.

Thursday, October 6, 2016

Flocabulary Vocabulary and Academic Business Time



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!

Flocabulary Vocabulary with Digital Flashcards  Today we are going to continue to work with this week's Flocabulary vocabulary words:

allegiance / chronological / context / diligent / generate / majority / meager / negotiate / obstacle / possess / poverty / prejudice / prosecute / remote / transform

First, work on the activity Vocabulary - Unit 3 (Mandela is Free) - Fix the Mistake, which can be found in your Language Arts Google Classroom

Next, to help you remember the meanings of these words I've created a set of digital flashcards using Quizlet that you can find here, as well as below. Please spend some time making sure you understand your words and make sure to study for Monday's quiz. 




Academic Business Time  On Monday several important assignments are due, including Vocabulary - Unit 3 (Mandela is Free) - Fix the Mistake and Text Marking: “On Turning 10”. If need be, you may use the remainder of class time to work on completing your assignments. Otherwise, you may use this time to silent read, take AR quizzes, read Newsela articles of your choice, or practice your typing.   

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

New Flocabulary Vocabulary

This week's Flocabulary vocabulary unit is inspired by the life and legacy of Nelson Mandela.

Flocabulary Vocabulary  Welcome to Unit 3 of Flocabulary's vocabulary program, which this week is inspired by the life and legacy of Nelson Mandela. With Mandela as the backdrop, we have a new set of words to interact with, learn, and hopefully begin to incorporate into our own vocabulary. This week's words are: 

allegiance / chronological / context / diligent / generate / majority / meager / negotiate / obstacle / possess / poverty / prejudice / prosecute / remote / transform

After watching and interacting with the video and song a couple of times, study the words and their meanings and work on the activity Vocabulary - Unit 3 (Mandela is Free) - Fix the Mistake, which can be found in your Language Arts Google Classroom

Homework  (1.) Read for at least 30 minutes at home each school night. (2.) Complete the activity Text Marking: “On Turning 10” which is due Monday, October 10 (3.) Complete the activity Vocabulary - Unit 3 (Mandela is Free) - Fix the Mistake, which is also due on Monday, October 10. (4.) Study for 'Mandela is Free' vocabulary quiz, which will take place on Monday, October 10

Monday, October 3, 2016

Introducing Poetry and Marking Poems



 Today's Learning Objectives   * Explain how the author develops the point of view of the narrator or speaker in a text. * Compare and contrast texts in different forms or genres (e.g., stories and poems) in terms of their approaches to similar themes and topics. * Determine a theme or central idea of a text and how it is conveyed through particular details. Determine the meaning of words and phrases as they are used in a text, including figurative and connotative meanings; analyze the impact of a specific word choice on meaning and tone.

Poetry Marking: "On Turning 10"  In this activity, you will explore how the speaker of the poem “On Turning 10” feels about growing up by marking the text and answering questions. The activity Text Marking: “On Turning 10” can be found in your Language Arts Google Classroom.



Homework  (1.) Read for at least 30 minutes at home each school night. (2.) Complete the activity Text Marking: “On Turning 10” which is due Monday, October 10.