Tuesday, October 12, 2010

End of Quarter 1 Quiz 10/15 (A) and 10/18 (B)

In class, we created a study guide for the end of quarter quiz. Here is a list of lessons you should study.

-Leads: quotation, quicklist, anecdote, concession, shocking statistic, sensory details

-Conclusions: prediction, echo, pointed question, instruction (Jackson/Izzo classes only)

-Parts of Speech (Grammar Rock) (Jackson/Izzo classes only)

-Bradbury short stories (Jackson/Izzo classes only)

-Question Answer Relationship (QAR: Right There, Think and Search, Author and Me, On My Own)

-Thesis statement

-Stages of Plot and types of conflict



Monday, September 27, 2010

Elaboration and Conclusions

Last week, we learned how to elaborate our body paragraphs. We taught five types of support. After providing time in class, we collected one revised body paragraph. Some of you took your paragraph home to finish it. It is a grade, so don't forget to turn it in.
This week, we are revising our conclusions. P.E.P.I is the acronym we use to help us write a "peppy" conclusion. It stands for prediction, echo, pointed question, and instruction to the reader. Again, if you take your conclusion home don't forget to turn it in next time we see you.
Rubrics for both assignments are available in class.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Revising Our Leads

We've recently handed back the first timed writing to our students. The first step was to revise our leads. We taught six "new and improved" types of leads to use and even gave them a handy acronym to remember them: QqacSs. (Like a duck says but with different spelling...)

Sensory Details
Shocking Statistic or Surprising Fact.

Then, we provided time for students to revise their original timed essay leads while we provided one on one feedback. If needed, students were given until next class to complete the new one-paragraph lead. Extra rubrics are available in class if needed. Next up: we'll revise a body paragraph and learn to add support and elaboration!

Friday, September 3, 2010

Plot Assignment Due 9/13 (A) 9/14 (B) Salzer due 9/15

It's time to prepare your first homework assignment. This week we practiced plot with Bradbury's short story "Fever Dream." Now it's time for you to try it on your own with a story from your textbook. Start by reading one of the stories listed below. Then complete the assignment (click here to download the form). If you forget to take your textbook home, check out the previous post to find out how to access it online.

If you are in Ms. Salzer's class, your assignment is due on Wednesday, 9/15.

No More Heavy Backpacks!

Tired of lugging home a big textbook? Well, you can access the entire textbook online. You can even listen to audio versions of the selections while you read along. To access the textbook, go to http://www.classzone.com/. Actually, click here to go directly to your book. You'll need this access code: 3767769-50. You'll be asked to create an account and then you can start using the online textbook at home or wherever you have internet access.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Back to School Supplies

If you've been in a store lately, you've probably noticed that all the "back to school" stuff is out there. In case you want to get an early start on your supply purchases for Language Arts, here's what you'll need to buy: Lots of 3x3 sticky notes, a composition book with lined paper (not spiral bound), a folder for assignments to take home, pens and pencils,notebook paper (and paper for your printer at home), a dictionary to keep at home. And one STRONGLY SUGGESTED item: A thumb or “jump” drive. It holds the equivalent of over 100 floppy disks and is more reliable for saving papers and Powerpoints. These can be purchased for as little as ten dollars and will be useful in all your academic classes at LaVilla. We look forward to meeting you all next week.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Final Exam Study Guide

For final exams next week, you should use your sourcebook and your four column notes to study. The test has multiple choice, true false, fill in the blank, matching, and short response. In class we came up with a list of lessons/concepts to study:

Literary Techniques
Word Roots (4-column notes)
Timed Writing
Leads (QqacSs)
Conclusions (Pepi)
Features of a feature article/angles
Works Cited
Punctuation Road Rules
Sci Fi lit circle book (short response)

Friday, May 14, 2010

Permission Slip: Life is Beautiful

We're still in the middle of literature circles but we're thinking ahead to our next event. In Language Arts this year, we’ve found our students need more practice understanding irony. We would like watch a film that demonstrates situational, dramatic, and verbal irony and gives us the chance to meet the state standards in speaking, listening, and viewing. Many literary techniques are easily observed in the “text” of a film. The film we would like to show is Life is Beautiful (La Vita E Bella), an Italian film that won three Academy awards--best actor, best foreign film, best music (for Nicola Piovani’s original dramatic score). In this film, an Italian man chooses to hide the atrocities of the concentration camps from his young son by pretending that they are playing an elaborate game. His intention is to ensure that, for his son, life will always be beautiful. Much of the movie actually takes place in Italy, developing the main character and showing the love and happiness of their family before they are sent to the concentration camp. It is rated PG-13 for Holocaust-related thematic elements but because it is often viewed through the eyes of a child, there are not graphic depictions of violence or death. In the past, our students have been moved by this powerful and sensitive movie. We hope that you will trust us to discuss these issues thoughtfully and professionally. We have attended special workshops to ensure that our teaching of Holocaust issues is appropriate and sensitive. Please call us if you would like more information about the film. It is readily available at any video store or the public library if you would like to preview it yourself. Please return this permission slip by May 19th, 2010.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Literature Circle Discussions and Windowpane assignment

For literature circles, you will have two major discussions (see dates below). On each discussion day, you should come to class with a completed windowpane assignment. It is also your responsibility to have the required reading completed for each discussion. Each reading day (see below) you will be given time to read in class and we'll have a short mini-lesson halfway through to break up the reading time. Any reading or notes you don't finish in class, you will need to finish as homework. As we've been reminding you in class, you may need to get your own copy of the book from the library or bookstore.

Lost your windowpane assignment? Click here.

Monday, May 3, 2010

Feature Articles-due today!

We collected feature articles on Friday (4/30) and we'll continue collecting them from A day on Monday (5/3). If you didn't turn it in on your due date, we will accept it late without penalty. However, a zero will be in the grade book until we get it.

Need a copy of the rubric? Please attach it to your finished Feature Article. You can find that here.

Don't forget to get a copy of your literature circle book. Order them (see last post) or check them out from the library.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

We're getting ready to start lit circles. Order now!

We're starting lit circles soon. Literature circles are like book clubs in that thyey give the students "voice and choice" about their reading. The voice part happens when students meet in small groups to discuss the reading. The choice part happens when they choose the book.

This week students will rank their choices for the book they'd like to read for lit circles. We are usually able to give students their 1st, 2nd, or 3rd choice for this genre study. There are several factors that determine which book a student will get to read. One important factor is how many copies we own. We have enough copies available for in-school reading but many students will need to have their own copies in order to read at home. We don't have enough to check out a book to each student.

Once a student knows if they got the first, second, or third choice, he/she is "cleared" to make a purchase. The books are all popular young adult popular fiction or classics in the genre we're studying. These books are available at local bookstores, public libraries, and online sellers like http://www.bn.com/ or http://www.amazon.com/. Many of them are also available through Scholastic which gives us credits to buy more copies for the classrooms. Scholastic often offers a better price (anywhere from 5 to 13 dollars) than the other booksellers and delivers the books straight to school.

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.

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

Check out these catalogs to get some of the titles:

TRC Winter has Ender's Game and Uglies.
TAB April has Hunger Games and To Kill a Mockingbird.
TAB May has Catching Fire.
TAB January has The Book Thief, Chains, Fever 1793.

Scholastic orders need to be placed by 9 pm on May 3, 2010.

Remember, each student will find out in class which book they are approved to buy. Not every class will read all of the same titles. Students may start reading the copies we have in class. We will offer several opportunities for in-class reading. Students will need to be about halfway through the book by May 10.
Mrs. Jackson's 5th and 6th period classes have different choices. Go to
www.lavilla8gla.blogspot.com for more information.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Formatting our Feature Articles

On the 20th and 21st of April, we learned how to format our Feature Articles in the computer.

Each article needs to be typed in columns, single-spaced in Times New Roman Size 12. (Note: this is not the default in Word 2007 or newer. You'll have to set it to fix the default.

All articles will need graphics with captions, a sidebar, a call-out, and an MLA formatted Works-Cited.

Here are ten basic steps:

1. Finish writing and typing on the normal (default) settings. You’ll need at least a page of text for formatting to work. Save a copy.

2. Add your byline immediately under the title and subtitle.

3. “Select All” (Ctrl+A) and then make columns. Select all (Ctrl+A) again and choose single spacing (Ctrl+1)

4. Then, select just your title. Choose your color and font.

5. Select the first sub-heading. Choose the colors and font for that. (Be sure it coordinates with the title color/font.)

6. Use format painter (paintbrush icon) to make all subheadings match.

7. Next, Insert => Picture => Clip-art or from file. (or, paste from website and give credit in caption.) Make text wrap “tight” around graphics.

8. To make your sidebar, insert textbox. Right click on its border to format textbox.

9. To create your call-out, select and COPY an intriguing line from your article. Then, insert wordart. Paste the quote into the word-art and format it to look the way you’d like.

10. Create a Works Cited for all quotes, research, & images/graphics.
Do this on www. Easybib.com.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Reviewing Leads

4/16 (B) 4/19 (A)

Today, we wrote introduction paragraphs for our feature articles. Before the work period began we reviewed the types of leads: quick list, quotation, anecdote, concession, sensory details, and shocking fact or statistic. If you did not turn in your introduction at the end of class, we need it as soon as possible. Each small piece of your article we collect is a small grade. We're doing this to help keep you on track and to give you feedback. The final draft of the feature article is due on 4/30 (B) and 5/2 (A).

Organizing your feature article

We spent the past two classes organizing our feature articles. First, we brainstormed the questions that our reader might have about our topic and then we divided those questions into categories. These categories became our possible subheadings. Next, we wrote interview questions (see stems below). Some of you finished filling out the exit slip (see below) for this lesson in class, but if you didn't it is due the next time I see you (4/16 B and 4/19 A).

•Use these stems to write interview questions:
–Tell me about a time when….
–Why do you….?
–How have you….?
–What advice would you give to ….?
–Describe how you….
•Avoid yes or no questions:
–Is…? Do you…?



Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Feature Articles: Step-by-Step

We've started our feature article unit.  After each lesson, we'll be collecting a small exit slip or product based on the lesson to make sure students are staying on track during this lengthy unit.  So far, students have submitted three choices for topics.  This was due on April 12 for B day, and April 13 for A day.  We're approving topics and handing them back during the next class period.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Where I'm From Poem Due: 3/18 (B) 3/19 (A)

For the past several weeks we've been reading and discussing poetry. Now it's time to write one. The poem we are writing this week helps us each answer the question, "where am I from?" What we have discovered is that our childhood memories and experiences are what shape who we are today. Therefore, we are from much more than just the place where we live or were born. Our poems are inspired by the original poem by George Ella Lyon. The poems are due on 2/18 (B) and 3/19 (A). We will accept them the following class period for full credit if you need the weekend to finish it because you should also be studying for your poetry exam this week. You each received a copy of the rubric, but here are the requirements just in case.

· Rich, broad range of words are carefully chosen and thoughtfully placed for impact
· Accurate, strong , specific words that energize the writing
· Fresh, original expressions or ordinary words used in unusual ways
· Vocabulary is striking and varied, but natural and not overdone
· Words evoke strong images

Sensory details and figurative language contribute significantly to the meaning of the poem; The poem uses imagery (all five senses) and other literary devices: an extended metaphor that unites the entire poem, alliteration, individual similes or metaphors, dialect, personification, repetition, allusion, hyperbole, and/or irony.
The poem is inspired by the model poem. It follows the guidelines for poem length (20-30), number of stanzas (4-6), and appropriate line breaks.
The poem is formatted neatly (typed or legibly written in pen), single-spaced with an extra space between stanzas. Careful proofreading for spelling, typos, and mechanics is evident.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Prepare for your poetry test

Before FCAT week began, we were studying poetry. We've read close to fifteen poems and we've had lessons on all of the literary techniques listed on your four column notes. So, the final assessment on this unit is coming up. It will be broken up into two sections: short response and multiple choice. The short response section will be given on 3/18 (B) and 3/19 (A). The multiple choice section will be the following week: 3/22 (B) and 3/23 (A). Your four column notes will be collected on the second day because you may still need them to study. For more practice, the textbook has some excellent poetry that may help you on the exam. The poetry bulletin board has all of the poems we've read, so if you've been absent at all check it out. We'll also have an in class review for the exam on 3/12 (B) and 3/15 (A).

This is just one of many grades we have coming up this quarter. We will be writing a poem, we'll have a sourcebook and book card check, and we will have an assignment to jump start our feature article/research unit. So, it's going to be a busy second half of the quarter.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

No More Heavy Backpacks!

Tired of lugging home a big textbook?  Even though we're giving time in class for our most recent assignment, it might help you to know that you can access the entire textbook online. You can even listen to audio versions of the selections while you read along.  To access the textbook, go to http://www.classzone.com/.  Actually, click here to go directly to your book.  You'll need this access code: 3767769-50.  You'll be asked to create an account and then you can start using the online textbook at home or wherever you have internet access.