Welcome Back! 2018-2019 School Year!
October is quickly coming to an end! Here is an overview of what we worked on this month:
In reading we are continuing our close read strategies from "Notice and Note: Strategies for Close Reading" by Kylene Beers & Robert E. Probst. Students are working hard to identify Contrast and Contradictions, Aha Moments, Memory Moments, and recently introduced Tough Questions. As we roll into November, I will also be introducing Words of the Wiser and Again and Agains. A quick review of what each strategy means and how it helps students analyze and make inferences with the literature they are reading.
Contrast and Contradiction. When students notice a character behaving differently than they would expect or usually do, they need to STOP and ask themselves, "Why is the character doing that?". The answers can help students make predictions or inferences about the character, conflict, and or plot.
Aha Moment! When students are reading and suddenly a character realizes, understands, or finally figures something important out about themselves, the people around them, or their world, they need to STOP and ask themselves, "How might this change things?" The answer can help students undertand the theme of the story if the character realizes a life lesson or if the character solves a problem, it reveals the conflict.
Memory Moments: When students are reading and notice the author interrupts the action to tell a memory, they need to STOP and ask themselves, "Why might this memory be important?" The answers will help students determine the theme, conflict, or identify foreshadowing in the novel.
Tough Questions: When students are reading and the character asks himself/herself a REALLY difficult questions, they need to STOP and ask themselves, "What does this question make me wonder?". The answers will help students identify the conflict and give them clues and ideas about what will happen later in the story.
Words of the Wiser: When students are reading and a character (who is probably older and a lot wiser) takes the main character aside and give them advice, students should STOP and ask themselves, "What's the life lesson and how might it affect the character?" The answers will help students identify the theme of the novel.
Again and Again: When students are reading and they notice a word, phrase, object, or situation mentioned again and again, they must stop and ask themselves "Why does this keep showing up again and again?" The answers will help students identify the theme, conflict, or foreshadow what will happen later in the story.
Students are using these close reading strategies in our classroom novels The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton (7th grade) and The Face on the Milk Carton by Caroline Cooney (8th grade) and also applying them to their independent reading books.
Students have also been working hard on their Book Talks which are due at the end of this month. Their book talk assignment involves delivering a 5 minute book talk to the class about the novel they have read for independent reading. The object of a book to is to convince the listener to read the book you are recommending. This book talk is essentially a persuasive speech to convince the listener that they should read a specific book.
In writing, we are currently working on Halloween narratives and focusing on the elements of narrative writing. Students are working on SHOWING and not just TELLING their story, by using sensory details (Describing what the character sees, smells, tastes, touches/feels, and hears). They are using descriptive language to draw the reader into their story and helps the reader really imagine/picture what is happening.
School Phone: 732-775-5319
Welcome to Middle School Language Arts! I am looking forward to a productive and successful school year! To have such a year, you are expected to be an active participant in class. We will focus on analyzing and responding to various genres of literature and authentic texts (non-fiction texts). We will focus on different strategies to help us become stronger readers which ultimately will help us become stronger writers. Be ready to WRITE, WRITE, And WRITE!!
Materials & Supplies:
- 1 or 1 ½ inch binder
- Index Cards
Tests/Projects: (60%) Includes: Tests, projects, major essays, writing assignments.
Classwork/Homework/Participation: (40%) Includes: Notebook & binder checks, journal entries, classwork, and homework
*You will be provided with a participation rubric and be given a participation grade each week. Your participation is the key to your success, which includes: classroom discussions, homework, staying on task, being prepared and having a positive attitude.
- Follow directions the first time they are given.
- Stay on task during all work times.
- Keep hands, feet, and objects to yourself.
- Track the speaker, actively listen, and monitor your voice level.
- Come to class prepared (with homework, novel, and materials).
- Handle all classroom materials carefully.
Positive Behavior: Raffle System
I will be implementing a positive behavior system. You will be given raffle tickets for positive behavior displayed in class. You will write your name on the back of the raffle ticket and place it in your grade level bin. Every week, I will draw 3 raffles from the bin and those students will be able to pick a reward. The more raffles you receive, the better chance of being picked for the reward!
Consequences for Negative Behavior:
- You will be given three opportunities to change your behavior.
- If you do not take the opportunity to change your behavior, you will be given a teacher detention (15 minutes after school with me) and a phone call or e-mail sent home. If you cannot stay for the teacher detention the day it is given, then it will be scheduled for a day that you are available.
- If you receive 3 teacher detentions within a week, you will receive an Office Detention and a phone call home. Office detention is 1 hour.
Let’s have an amazing, productive, and fun year!!