Thursday, December 6, 2007
The test will cover:
-General comprehension of your book
-Reading strategies (Passage Picker, Questioner, Visualizer, Connector)
-Literary techniques (sensory language, alliteration, simile, metaphor)
-General procedures for class and literature circles
You will be able to use your graded sticky notes and lit circle book for the short and extended response portion because you will need to support your answers with quotes/examples from the text. If you plan to have your late notes graded before the test, bring them to us by Friday.
Monday, November 19, 2007
For each set of sticky notes, you must turn in 3 notes for your role (Questioner, Visualizer, Passage Picker, or Connector) and 1 Wild Card Sticky note. The Wild Card notes change for each meeting.
wild card for Mtg #1: Find a passage that is confusing. Explain what confuses you & what you think it means.
wild card for Mtg #2: Find an example of sensory language. Copy the passage in which the example was found. Then, answer these questions: -How is the passage above an example of sensory language? -How does it enhance your understanding of what is happening it that part of the book?
wild card for Mtg#3: Find a word or phrase that is very "Bradbury." Copy the passage in which the word or phrase was found. Then, explain the meaning of the word or phrase in the context of your book. Why is this a very "Bradbury" word or phrase?
wild card for Mtg#4: Find an example of simile, metaphor, or alliteration. Copy the passage in which the example was found. Then, explain how the example is an effective use of this particular technique.
Tuesday, November 6, 2007
Lead introduces subject, and immediately engages the reader’s interest, impelling continued reading by using one of these leads: anecdote, quotation, quicklist, shocking statistic, sensory details, or concession.
The thesis skillfully and clearly presents the writer's claim, and the reasons in the best order.
Details, reasons, examples, and anecdotes are skillfully intertwined to elaborate thoroughly on each point. Support is substantial, specific, concrete, relevant, and/or illustrative.
All sentences sound natural and are easy-on-the-ear when read aloud. Each sentence is clear and has an obvious emphasis. Word choice is precise, powerful, and appropriate.
Information is purposefully organized into a structure that is appropriate to the needs and interests of a specified audience. Effective transitions enhance the reader's understanding of your position. The other side's best argument is appropriately acknowledged and then refuted.
Ends with a clear, satisfying sense of closure (a quote, question, reflection, prediction, etc.) that strongly persuades the reader and reinforces the writer's position on the issue.
All information gathered (interviews, pictures, facts, quotes) is cited correctly in the text and with a correctly formatted MLA Works Cited Page. Sources of information are credible and relevant.
Text is free of errors in sentence structure, punctuation, usage, and spelling. Careful proofreading is evident.
Paper is formatted correctly and easy to read. Your name is typed in the upper right hand corner of the paper. Title, if any, is no larger than 14-size font at the top and center of the page. Title may be in bold. (No separate cover page allowed.) Typed, (not bold, not italicized) Times New Roman size 12, double-spaced (correctly). Margins are appropriate: size (1”).
Tuesday, October 30, 2007
RT—Answers found In the Text.
Right There-the reader can find the answer in one sentence or two sentences next to each other. This requires one passage or quote from the text. Then, explain the relevance. It’s like a basic fact question or a simple test question.
TAS—Answers found In the Text.
Think and Search-the reader must read several separate sentences, paragraphs or pages to find the answer. Requires three passages or quotes from the text. Then, explain the relevance. Example: What evidence do we have that….?
AAM—Answers found In My Head.
Author and Me-answer the question with ideas derived from the book, but must also use own knowledge and experience. This should have your opinion or a judgment plus one passage or quote as support.
OMO—Answers found In My Head.
On My Own—You should be able to answer the question without reading or rereading the text by giving an opinion. The question is on a topic related to the reading. The reading should inspire the question but the question is about a bigger issue in our world or society.
Thursday, October 18, 2007
1. Choose a passage that indicates an important event or that exhibits good writing. Explain how the passage is important in order to the understanding of the book. In other words, how is it significant?
2. Create a visual representation that illustrates specific details of the quote. The visual representation may be a drawing, collage, or collection of symbols. It should fill the box (touching three sides). It should be obvious to this “viewer” how the picture relates to the quote. You may add words to the picture to help me understand it. It should have color and detail to represent specific elements of the scene you are visualizing. (Details from other sections of the book that you have read may be necessary to keep your representation accurate.)
Saturday, October 13, 2007
Late work conferences are still being held this Monday, October 15th. If you did not turn in any reading log, a conference is required with Mrs. Izzo or Mrs. Jackson in order to grade the work and discuss any difficulties or misunderstandings you had. Then, we'll enter the new grade in the gradebook and let you know your overall average for the class. If you are scheduled for a conference, you must be picked up by 5 pm.
The last day of the quarter is Monday, October 22.
Friday, October 5, 2007
Reflections--sponsored by PTSA. The theme of this year's reflections contest is "I can make a difference by..." There are six categories to be judged at the natonal level: photography, visual arts, literature, musical composition, dance choreography, film/video production. This contest is perfect for LaVilla students because it gives you the chance to be recognized in your arts area--not just for writing! Deadline for submissions is November 12, 2007. Mrs. Soper is our contact for further information. You can ask any of your teachers for the entry form or more information. Prizes are awarded in all categories.
Red Ribbon Week is October 22-25. There is a writing contest to go along with all the other festivities. Of course, the theme is saying no to drugs and violence. Students can submit an essay, play, short story, one-act play, or poem to their PE or Health teacher by October 16, 2007. (There is also a submission box in the Main Office). The winner (of each category) will receive a 25.00 mall gift card.
Monday, October 1, 2007
•Text to text: Compare this week's reading to another book or even another kind of text like a movie or TV show. A basic response to this connection is to explain how the book you are reading reminds you of another book you have read before.
•Text to world: Compare this week's reading to something happening in the world. It can compare to a historical event, a current event, or an issue that affects society and the world community.
•Text to self: Compare a character in the book to yourself or compare an event in the book to something that has happened to you or someone you know personally.
For each connection, you should label the connection (T-T, T-W, T-S) and copy the passage that you are connecting to. Then, explain the connection in detail. Show us how the connection is meaningful and helped you understand your reading.
The reading log form is available to download at home. Go to:
Remember you will be graded on the following requirements:
RUBRIC: How did you do? Did you…
____ ____read at least 1.5 hours per week from books or magazines that appropriately challenge your reading level; (approximately 50-150 pages per week depending on individual reading level)
____ ____clearly document the title, author, pages read, & time spent reading; (Or, is a bookmark attached?)
____ ____fill or exceed all the space provided on the reading log handout;
____ ____include a very brief summary of the major events/elements of the week’s reading using SWBS or Fortunately/Unfortunately;
____ ____focus on the appropriate element of the standard or reading strategy for the week;
____ ____support a judgment (or opinion) through multiple references to the text, references to other works, authors, and/or non-print media, and/or references to personal knowledge (In other words, did you use many specific, varied details and quotes from the book and add your own explanation?);
____ ____define one or more new or interesting words from the reading;
____ ____discuss your reading with a parent or guardian and get a signature? Parent Signature—I’ve seen my child reading this week & we’ve discussed the reading log: _________
Saturday, September 15, 2007
Wednesday, September 12, 2007
--You must choose three (3) passages from your book for this reading log.
-- Passages should be anywhere from 1-3 sentences in length. You must include page numbers. Then explain why you chose it. Your explanation and comments about a passage must be longer than the passage itself.
--Your explanation and your support for your explanation must be detailed and must refer to the passage.
3 Required Passages
1. You must choose a passage that reveals one of the conflicts. Then, explain what type of conflict it is using details from the passage. Ex: Human vs. Human; Human vs. Nature; Human vs. Society; or Human vs. Self.
2. You must choose a passage that reveals the true nature of a character in the book through a choice they make. What does the character’s choice tell you about their personality?
3. You must choose a passage that is an example of “good writing” or an example of your writer’s style. Identify what good writing is, or what your writer’s style is. Then explain how the passage demonstrates this.
Thursday, September 6, 2007
______ The poem is obviously inspired by the model poem. (Evidence: Uses the line “I am from…” and “From….” as the framework for the images.)
______ The poem uses vivid, specific, original images that help the reader understand more about the writer’s life. The poem has a voice that is unique and sounds like the writer.
______ The poem uses sensory language and/or other literary devices (alliteration, similes or metaphors).
______ The poem is about a page in length (about 20-30 lines).
______ The poem is divided into 4-6 stanzas (about the same length as the model poem) and has appropriate, meaningful line breaks. (It should not look like a paragraph).
______ The poem is formatted neatly (typed or handwritten), single-spaced with an extra space between stanzas.
______ The folder is neat. (You can decorate with images from the poem but it's not required.)
We shared our favorite lines of our poems in class but we'd love to hear your favorite lines as comments on this blog. Remember if you want your favorite line published here, include your first name and last initial only. This way, we'll create our own collaborative poem.
Tuesday, September 4, 2007
Students will be graded on a combination of factors:
- Accurate Documentation of the title, author, and pages
- Getting a Parent Signature
- Reading at least 90 minutes (50-150 pages based on reading level and book difficulty)including calculating reading time accurately
- Doing a correct and thorough Summary and Strategy on the back.
It's a pretty easy assignment meant to keep students in the habit of reading. Let's hope we get 100% of them turned in for this assignment!
Tuesday, August 28, 2007
It’s time for eighth grade Language Arts.
I’m here to learn the rules.
They’ll help me be successful
To do my best in school!
When you’re entering the room,
So many things to do
Gum is not allowed in here
Get the sourcebooks, too.
And after you’ve completed that
Just look up on the board
To find the warm-ups written there
And have the rules explored.
Now what is that noise I hear,
Coming from above?
Please refrain from speaking now,
And show the speaker love.
If the teacher’s hand goes up,
Quiet we should be,
Raise our hands attentively
And turn our heads to see.
Wait until she calls the table,
Then we will line up,
Push in our chairs, then we go to,
The blue wall where we stop.
In our “L” shape we will stand,
Quiet one and all
The leader has to stop on cue
While we’re in the hall.
The bell rings, it’s a fire drill,
We line up near the wall,
We walk out really quietly,
Then we go down the hall.
The teacher tells us where to stop,
We follow her command.
Out the door, left to the fence,
In a straight line we should stand.
If someone calls on the intercom
I know you love to scribble,
On the desks, but when
Your hand begins to get the itch
Just halt that anxious pen.
In this class we don’t insult
We do not criticize
We do not make rude gestures
Or roll around our eyes
Don’t say up-shut or be too loud,
You know it isn’t cool,
You will be sent into timeout,
Cause that’s Ms. Izzo’s/Ms. Jackson’s rule.
Stack the sourcebooks uprightly,
And put them in the bin,
And when the teacher lets you out,
Push your chair back in.
If you have your folders out
Put them all away
Trash is not acceptable
Please don’t let it stay
But when you hear the bell ring,
That does not mean stampede!
You’ve gotta wait, Ms. Izzo /Ms. Jackson says
You have not yet been freed.
If by chance you miss a day
There are five things you should do
Ask your group and copy notes
That should get you through
Check the class assignment board
School notes can help too
Always ask a classmate
Which handouts you should do
If you miss too many days
You should stay after school
But with all these helpful rules
It will still be cool!
If you miss a class handout
Find the hanging file
Turn in an assignment late
By the turtle tile
It’s time for eighth grade Language Arts.
I’m here to learn the rules.
They’ll help me be successful
To do my best in school!
Tuesday, August 21, 2007
-Purchase your supplies We'll use the composition books this week.
-Get your Bradbury permission form signed and turned in by August 30 (A) & August 31 (B)
-Finish your summer reading summaries by August 30 (A) & August 31 (B) (See May, 29 Post)
Tuesday, August 14, 2007
Tuesday, August 7, 2007
Tuesday, May 29, 2007
Wednesday, May 23, 2007
Tuesday, May 22, 2007
•Do not write an inappropriate message or one that makes fun of others. Don’t scratch out anyone’s picture—even your own. You might regret this when it hurts someone else or when your own children read it. (or your mom)
•Do not say things that you don’t mean. Stick to common memories and experiences if you can’t think of what to say.
•Help the person remember memories you both shared.
–Were you in 2nd period together? Say so and then list some of the sensory details that the person won’t remember when he/she is 50.
–Arts areas? Talk about particular performances or field trips that you both experienced.
–Nothing else? Lunch…reminisce about the experience and how you won’t have to experience that again.
Write a short poem:
Your notes made me laugh out loud
“Talk to you later.” (ttyl)
Lunch—we shared a table
You spilled hot mashed potatoes-we laughed
Mrs. Jackson made us clean-up.
•Top Five Laughable Moments in 8th grade
•Top Five Lunches We Shared
Start with famous quotes: You could print a list of popular ones & bring it tomorrow.
–Charles Dickens said “It was the best of times; it was the worst of times.” He could’ve been an 8th grader at LaVilla. (Then, go on to list a few sad times and a few great times.)
•Another example: “Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once we grow up.” ~Pablo Picasso Then, write about how you see the person’s path as an artist.
–Print a template and write a note inside the cut-out.
–Write in a spiral or around the border of a picture.
Friday, May 18, 2007
Thursday, May 10, 2007
Our biggest class: 4A....
One of the pictures is blurry but everyone was laughing and it made me laugh.
And here's 1B. They could have posed for hours.
Friday, May 4, 2007
I'm writing this post in order to include links to some of the websites I use to find poems for teaching--and for enjoying on my own.
- Poetry 180--The poetry initiatiative created by Billy Collins when he was Poet Laureate.
- Favorite Poem Project--The poetry iniative created by Robert Pinsky when he was Poet Laureate.
- Poems for Teaching from the Academy of American Poets--A nice collection of poems available online and elsewhere that are perfect for the discussions we've been having in class. You might also like the broader website for the Academy of American Poets.
Enjoy the poems and be sure to tell me which ones you like!
Monday, April 30, 2007
Sourcebook checks are coming. These are the tables of contents that we've been keeping since January. These will be helpful for seeing if your sourcebook is up to date and for making sure you have all the notes to review for our comprehensive final exam which is coming up as well. Expect us to still add a few more lessons to this including a couple on poetry.
Thursday, April 26, 2007
Monday, April 23, 2007
If you're hoping to read 25 books by the end of the year, I'm not checking bookcards for a grade yet. Remember that to get full credit, you must include the date you finished it, the title and author, and the number of pages in the book. You should also be able to discuss the any books on your card and I should have seen you bringing it to class at some point. (Summer reading does count though.) This is just a small grade--just one of the eighth grade standards. So, be honest and fair on your card. However, I want you to get credit for everything you read so get them updated. Soon, we'll figure out how much we've read all together.
Just for the record, I've read 16 actual books so far but my book equivalent total is 30.5 books. To get your total, add all your page numbers and divide by 150. Our district counts every 150 pages of text as a book. How many have you read?
Saturday, April 14, 2007
Now, for the next step: the final drafts are due. Students should make revisions to the draft based on our conferences. The three pieces of advice I gave most often in conference were:
- Add more quotes from people you interview to give a balanced approach to the article.
- "Show, Don't Tell"--Be careful not to list directions that you expect the reader to follow. Give examples, anecdotes, and the experiences of others and yourself. (Note importance of quotes...) to allow the reader to see what to do, rather than be told what to do.
- Use the Blending Exposition lesson from the source-book to craft paragraphs that blend paraphrase, quotation, exposition, and narration.
Otherwise, students may need to "jazz up" their subheadings, titles, and subtitles as well as clean up the grammar, spelling, and typos. See the full rubric posted in the Files entry.
Progress reports fall on the same day as this due date. So, students who do not turn in a final draft will receive an unsatisfactory score on the progress report. They will, however, have a chance to save their grade. We've created a due date window to allow for emergencies. Students may turn in the final draft with no penalty until Wednesday, April 18th.
One last note: Showcase was truly amazing this year! Our students' performances were strong and the show was cohesive--never a dull moment. Every arts area was well-represented: from air guitar, to piano solos, t0 the Jungle Book, to dancers spelling out LaVilla, to Stabat Mater, and the list goes on and on. When I watch our students perform, I wonder how they do it all. But they do, and that's why they are so special. Thanks for a great show.
Tuesday, April 10, 2007
Have you heard about this writing contest from DA? Read the information below and see if you think you have what it takes to win. I know we have many good writers and this contest offers lots of opportunities for recognition. Here's the information:
During the months of February through April, the Creative Writing Department of Douglas Anderson School of the Arts is sponsoring the annual writing contest for middle school students. It is rare when we have an opportunity to recognize anything other than technical writing for young students, and rarer still when we can convince them of the joy of writing. This is one way in which we hope to do just that.
Students in grades 6th through 8th may submit any kind of writing (poetry, fiction, essays, etc.) and should only submit a copy of their work and not the original, as we cannot return submissions. Each entry should be accompanied with an entry submission (ask your language arts teacher) with contact information.
Entries will be judged for creativity and originality. Finalists and one winner will be identified and honored in each grade level. We will invite these students, their parents, and their teachers to our last Coffee Reading at 7 p.m. on May 1st to present them with a certificate and/or award.
Submissions may be mailed through school mail to school #107 or e-mailed as an attachment to jonesj5@educationcentral .org by April 15th.
Friday, March 30, 2007
Tuesday, March 27, 2007
Present a complete draft at scheduled conference time: ____/10
Article is typed with columns, callouts, graphics, etc. ________/10
Proofreading for typos and errors is obvious. ________/5
The byline is typed and placed appropriately ________/5
Article has three subheadings, title and subtitle ________/5
Article has at least 5 quotes from several sources ________/5
Student has attempted an engaging lead ________/5
Student has attempted a satisfying sense of closure ________/5
As soon as your conference is finished, use the feedback you receive to rewrite, revise, and craft your draft into a final, polished piece. I will collect that on progress report day. (April 17th and 18th.)