Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Need an extra credit opportunity?

This quarter, we are offering an extra credit opportunity. If you would like to earn some extra points toward your first timed writing test, this is your chance. All you need to do is revise one, two, or all three of your body paragraphs from the transportation essay you wrote the first week of school. You can earn up to two points per paragraph based on the quality of your revision. Remember to consider the lesson we taught on elaboration. Try to include personal, real-life examples, add specificity, and try developing your ideas further. When you finish, turn in the original essay along with the revised paragraphs (on separate paper) to earn extra points.

Friday, September 11, 2009

A New Assignment for All Classes: Main Idea

Students will read a story from the textbook this week and apply some of the strategies we've been learning.  First, students choose a story.  These stories are listed in order from easiest to hardest.  Students should pick a story that will provide a challenge for them.  Students in the gifted program are expected to choose one of the last two stories in the list.
  • “The Day I Got Lost” by Isaac Bashevis Singer pg. 534
  • “Thank You M’am” by Langston Hughes pg. 172
  • “Raymond’s Run” by Toni Cade Bambara pg. 288
  • “The Tell Tale Heart” by Edgar Allen Poe pg. 522
  • “Up The Slide” by Jack London pg. 156
Next, students will read the story and use sticky notes to practice the strategies we've been learning in class. 

Each student will complete four sticky notes:
  • 2 "It says....I say" notes  
  • 1 "Main Idea" strategy
    • Choose from Sketch to Stretch, Most Important Word, Catch All the Conflict, or I'd Agree with That.
  • 1 Summary of the story
    • Use Somebody Wanted But So
      • OR
    • Fortunately/Unfortunately.
The assignment is due on September 22 (A: 1st, 2nd &; 3rd) and September 23 (B: 4th, 5th, & 6th).  Students may refer to the notes in the sourcebooks and the samples posted in the classroom.

Memoir Folders

The first week of school, we wrote six word memoirs to decorate our folders. The folders will become a reading/writing portfolio where we'll keep all graded work.

Here are our examples:

Fear change, love change, always changing.~Mrs. Izzo

Attempted normal life, still got surprises.~Mrs. Jackson

Friday, September 4, 2009

Get off to a good start with reading!

Parents and Students:
There's been no major homework so far assigned (only book pockets and folders)although we have kicked off our pursuit of the 25 books read per student. This means you can expect to see your students reading books form our clasroom libraries.

We also began giving out Scholastic Book Catalogs today and making recommendations for some new popular titles to keep students excited about reading. Parents now have the option to order online directly through Scholastic or to use the traditional paper order form and check. I'd encourage you to try the online order since your child won't have to carry cash or a check to school. The even better part is that for each online order you place, Scholastic donates a free book to our classroom library.

To get started, go to the Web address below and enter the personalized user name and password for Mrs. Izzo's class or Mrs. Jackson's class in the sign-in fields on the right side of the page. Note: You do not need to create your own user name and password.

Go to:

If you have Mrs. Izzo:
User Name: lavillaizzo
Password: marbles

If you have Mrs. Jackson:
User Name: lavillajackson
Password: marbles

Ordering online is the most convenient way to use Scholastic Book Clubs. You can order anytime, right up until the online order due date. You’ll also get instant access to over 500 additional titles plus online-only specials and discounts.