Friday, September 26, 2014

There Will Come Soft Rains

Here is a copy of  There Will Come Soft Rains if you need to finish your close re-reading.  Don't forget to track what is happening again and again.You will use your notes to help you develop your theme statement:

Here's your text-dependent question:

Look at the poem on page 326. Write to explain how the poem illustrates the theme of the story. Use evidence from the story as a whole to support the theme.

Thursday, September 25, 2014

You can improve your Lexile!

I recently shared Lexile (reading) level scores with you. Many of you wanted to know how you can improve your score.  This year, we have access to Achieve3000, a new program that allows you to read articles and answer questions.  When you practice these articles, I can see the results and the system can recalculate your Lexile level, based on how well you are doing.
Log in here to practice at home:
Go to
Remember that your username is “s” plus the student ID number.   Example: s1234568 or s01234567 
Your password is the district number “16” plus the first four letters of your last name, plus two digits for your birthday month and two digits for the day.          Example: 16brow0304

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Fever Dream

In class on Thursday and Friday, we worked on our TDQ responses and had writing conferences with the teacher.  If you were absent, please start by re-reading the story (not just skimming), and make notes of quotes and examples to use in your paragraph.  Then, write a response that answers the questions with a thesis statement, evidence from the text, and your own explanation to show how you understood what really happened to Charles. 
Here are some tips from our lesson:

Do you need a copy if the story to finish your TDQ from class?  Here's a link to a version you can use.   Click here:  Fever Dream

Here were the three text dependent questions to choose from.

How is it graded?

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

New standards: What are they?

The PTA has put together a user friendly set of brochures about the Common Core Standards.  In Florida, we use the Florida Standards but they are largely modeled after the Common Core State Standards (or CCSS).  Here's a summary of the highlights.  

A Sample of What We Will Be Working on in 8th Grade
Citing the evidence that most strongly supports an analysis of what is explicitly stated and/or implied from a book, article, poem, or play
Analyzing where materials on the same topic disagree on matters of fact, interpretation, or point of view
Building writing around strong central ideas or points of view; supporting the ideas with sound reasoning and evidence, precise word choices, smooth transitions, and different sentence structures
Planning and conducting research projects that include several steps and use many credible and documented print and digital sources
Analyzing the purpose of information presented in diverse media (e.g., print, TV, web) and evaluating its social, political, or commercial motives
Presenting findings and claims to others, emphasizing key points with relevant evidence and sound reasoning, adapting speech to the audience and the formality of the setting, and
responding to questions and comments with relevant observations and ideas
Using strong, active verbs to create a clear picture for the reader (e.g., walk, skip, meander, lurch, limp)
Interpreting figures of speech (e.g., irony, puns) and developing a large vocabulary of general academic words and phrases