Welcome to 8th grade ELA!

Week of March. 27
  • Wrapping up with summarizing and interpreting theme

Unit 6: Current Events & Global Experiences
Essential Questions:
  • What does it mean to experience life as a refugee?

Standards Assessed:
  • RL 8.1, RL 8.3, RL 8.4, RL 8.7
  • Writing 8.1 & related sub-standards

Important Links

Class Action Blog

Wednesday, May 24
Bell work: review of how to use grammar structure of appositives correctly. Then, students:
  1. Took WW Final (as needed)
  2. Turned in published persuasive argument
  3. Submitted on Google form (Key's Class ; Petersen's Class)
  4. Clean out folder (Keep = ANYTHING w/rating; recycle all else!)
  5. See Mrs. P about watching "Clouds Over Sidra"

Tuesday, May 23
Review today of citations, intro and conclusion paragraphs for persuasive essays. Students then continued working on drafting and revising their persuasive essays.
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Monday, May 22
Mini lessons on warrant, counterclaim & rebuttal. Students used given visuals to draft these sections of their persuasive arguments.
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Friday, May 19
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Thursday, May 18
Students worked on drafting their final persuasive arguments in class. We analyzed a sample paragraph (below) and identified information to include in lead-ins. Remember: lead-ins identify source & relevance of supporting evidence!
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Wednesday, May 17
Summative reading literature assessment!

Tuesday, May 16
  1. Group check of pages 1-2 of study guide
  2. Finish & turn in ALWtW paragraph
  3. Complete page 3 of study guide & Self check page 3 of study guide (linked)
  4. See Mrs. P for the persuasive film assignment sheet
  5. Submit proposed film for last persuasive writing piece: Key; Petersen

Monday, May 15
First, we corrected WW 9C. Then, students received back their last informational/expository paragraphs (describe experience of life as a refugee). They used these scores to identify goals. Then, we went over steps to create a "so what?" as well reminders about using transitions between examples and to begin the so what.

Friday, May 12
First, students corrected WW 9B (9C due Mon). Then, we went over revision goal of using specific commentary sentence stems to refer to evidence (below). Students worked on drafting their ALWtW paragraphs.
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Thursday, May 11
During class, students used prewriting structures to plan out the theme and supporting examples for the summative literary analysis paragraph. Then, they worked in partners to "blind grade" peer paragraphs using the expository paragraph rubric.

Wednesday, May 10
First, we corrected WW 9A; 9B due Wednesday. Then, students read the last chapter of ALWtW in small groups. They re-read pages 76 and 81 to identify foreshadowing details and explain how/why this description helps hint at the resolution of the story. Finally, students received the prompt for their summative literary analysis/informational writing piece and began working on a SWBSTF summary to review key plot info. and help with determining theme.

Tuesday, May 9
  • Went over WW Lesson 9 words with metacognitive markers.
  • Completed Socrative to test comp. of ch. 10-14 of ALWtW.
  • Reviewed voice & creating mature voice by using 3rd person pronouns and perspective
  • Students revised partner paragraphs & turned them in
  • HW: Read & notes for chapters 15-17 of ALWtW & WW 9A.

Tuesday, May 2
  • Greek/Latin root summative
  • Then, students continued working on paragraph in pairs
  • HW due Tuesday: read & notes for chapters 11, 12, 13, and 14 of ALWtW

Monday, May 1
  • Students worked in pairs on creating a summary of "La Luna" (Somebody - Wanted - But - So - Then - Finally) and then generating a statement of theme
  • Then, they used model paragraph with "Feast" to begin explaining how a theme is demonstrated by the character of the little boy over the course of the entire story.

Monday, April 24-Friday, April 28th
  • Aspire check-in
  • Reading A Long Walk to Water
  • Began analyzing theme paragraph connected to summative writing piece with A Long Walk to Water

Friday, April 21
During class, we briefly discussed the history of South Sudan and how the civil wars have impacted citizens of this country. Then, we examined the structure & text of the story to determine that the story features the perspectives of two different characters: Nya (gold, brown text) and Salva (black text). We read some of chapter one and completed summary & challenges for Nya (below) and made some inferences about the society Salva lives in. Finish the reading and do notes for Salva for chapter 1 for homework.
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Thursday, April 20
During class, we went over "so whats" and transitional sentences & lead-ins to introduce evidence from informational texts. Students worked on drafting their paragraphs to describe life as a refugee. They also did a "water walk" to get a taste of what life is like for one of the characters in A Long Walk to Water.

When done with paragraph
Questions for South Sudan Timeline
  1. What patterns do you notice in the history of South Sudan?
  2. How do you think this affects the lives of ordinary citizens?

Then, watch video: interview with author Linda Sue Park & Salva Dut, main character.

Wednesday, April 19
Students used their word clouds to determine main ideas for informational paragraph about how to describe life as a refugee. Then, they went back to source material to identify specific, relevant facts & examples to back up these points. They will continue working on drafting these piece tomorrow.

Tuesday, April 18
Students received Greek/Latin root packet "sens" -- visuals and definitions due tomorrow. Then, we discussed the CNN visuals to explore our essential question: What is life like as a refugee? Lastly, we read and annotated an informational text article "Refugee children making dangerous trip to safety in Europe without parents" to gain a deeper understanding of this question. For homework, students are making a word cloud to answer this question: Describe what life is like as a refugee.

Wednesday, April 12
We discussed TED Talk and continued delving into our question: what does it mean to experience life as a refugee by examining & analyzing photos from CNN.

Tuesday, April 11
Students used rubric and checklist structures to revise and prepare their persuasive essays to turn in. We are starting our new unit with A Long Walk to Water last week. To prepare for this novel, students will be doing some short research to answer the question: What does it mean to experience life as a refugee?

Monday, April 10
Students worked on color-coding each paragraph of their drafts to make sure each section is fully developed. Then, they started working on using the rubric to evaluate each section to prepare for turning this piece in. Homework: works cited and in-text citations.

Friday, April 7
During class, we reviewed the parts and goals of introductory and conclusion paragraphs along with recommended strategies for various sections (below). In particular, we focused on the "call to action" section of the conclusion paragraph -- wrap up an argument by giving the audience a concrete action step. Students worked on drafting these sections.

Notes/recommendations for Intro. Paragraphs
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Notes/Recommendations for Conclusion Paragraphs
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Thursday, April 6
During class, we reviewed the counterclaim & rebuttal section of a persuasive argument. To review:
  1. State opposing side
  2. Supporting reason for this side
  3. Supporting evidence & warrant for this side
Contrast Transition
  1. New supporting reason
  2. New supporting evidence & warrent

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Wednesday, April 5
During class, we reviewed a model of a body paragraph to identify drafting targets (below) and students began drafting their body paragraphs.
  • Using lead-ins before evidence to introduce source
  • Using appositives to define connection of source
  • Using transition sentences between supporting evidence
  • Including warrant to explain connection between supporting evidence and claim
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Tuesday, April 4
During class, students either used feedback to revise reasons & supporting evidence (by doing additional research) or received feedback before continuing with research. For homework: all planning of reasons/supporting evidence done!

Monday, April 3
During class, students received back theme/summary assessments with "The Sniper." Then, we introduced persuasive writing topic that will precede our next story A Long Walk to Water. Students will be choosing a topic related to water and writing a persuasive argument to defend a position. For homework: select position & begin research.

Friday, March 31
Greek & Latin root assessment with "cogn" & "sci". Then, students worked in pairs and participated in the game "Minutes to Convince-It!," a cheesy on-demand persuasive writing exercise to practice generating organized CREW responses.

Thursday, March 30
Students cleaned out their folders and filed old assessments. Then, we reviewed notes on parts of an argument and went over an acronym to help structure supporting paragraphs for a persuasive argument: CREW (below) and analyzed an example (below). For homework, practice with argument analysis.
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Wednesday, March 29
Summative theme & summary assessment for this unit. Moving on to new unit starting tomorrow with persuasive writing!

Tuesday, March 28
With partner, on scratch paper, you will create a SWBSTF for the story as well as interpret the theme based on conflict & resolution.

Monday, March 27
We analyzed some sample themes from Fahrenheit 451 to identify "strong, specific, deep" themes presented by the conflict & resolution of the story. Then, we continued practicing summary and theme with "The Necklace."

Friday, March 17
Wordly Wise Lesson 8 test. Homework: summary practice worksheet with Fahrenheit 451.

Thursday, March 16
Last comprehension Socrative with Fahrenheit 451. Students then read the last 10 pages of the story in small groups and then began working on examining the conflict and resolution of the story in order to interpret theme.

Wednesday, March 15
Comprehension Socrative. First, we went over the summary practice with somebody-wanted-but-so-then-finally for "The Lottery." Then, we examined conflict & resolution in "Harrison Bergeron" to interpret them (below). Students worked in pairs to then apply this strategy to interpret theme in "The Lottery."
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Tuesday, March 14
Comprehension Socrative. Then, we broke into small groups to read "The Lottery" and create summary using somebody - wanted - but - so -then -finally tool.

Monday, March 13
Corrected WW 8B & C & comprehension Socrative. Then, we introduced summary tool (see below) and then broke into groups to review "Harrison Bergeron" and use the summary tool to create a concise, accurate, objective retelling of the literary elements in this short story.
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Friday, March 10 - No School; Parent Teacher Conferences

Thursday, March 9
Socrative and perspective analysis: How does Guy feel about Mildred and her friends based on his words, actions, and description? Then, we read in groups.

Wednesday, March 8
We started class by going over WW8A and doing a Socrative check-in on the reading; 8B & C are due on Monday. Students then worked in groups to clarify last night's reading based on the Socrative results. Lastly, we reviewed and practiced interpreting theme by analyzing the conflict & resolution of "Cask of Amontillado."

Tuesday, March 7
  1. Grammar review of homophones and correct usage of articles
  2. Socrative to check in on our comprehension of last night's reading of Fah 451
  3. Pre-assessment with theme (masteryconnect.com/bubblesheet)
  4. Review of theme with video
  5. Notes on theme (in section 2 of ELA ntbk)
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Monday, March 6
Discussed censorship both in students' lives/real world. Then, we discussed how censorship is treated in Fahrenheit 451 by Captain Beatty.

Friday, March 3
Took notes on symbols (below) and then analyzed how the Hound can be seen as a symbol.

Thursday, March 2
Summative reading assessment. Homework: re-read pages 21-23 and create picture of The Hound with 5C: Clear, Color, Complete, Correct, & Caption.
Drawing to Include (also label these parts)
  • # of legs (and label)
  • color of body (and label)
  • color of eyes (and label)
  • object on face that Hound uses to "subdue" its prey (label)
  • Caption: what is the Hound's use in this society?

Wednesday, March 1
Went over study guide & students read through "Gift of the Magi" -- text for summative reading assessment tomorrow. We also discovered parody is everywhere with a Mickey Mouse parody of the story!

Tuesday, Feb 28
Finished writing pieces and then worked on "study guide" with "Cask of Amontillado" for Summative T2 reading assessment Thursday.

Monday, Feb. 27
Finished revising/editing and publishing T2 summative writing piece (with checklist & rubric). For homework, practice with irony by watching the 3 videos and doing worksheet (2 sides!).

Friday, Feb. 24
Continued drafting/revising summative writing piece for T2.

Thursday, Feb. 23
Practice with using context clues to determine the meaning of words in context & summarizing with "Cask of Amontillado."

Wednesday, Feb. 22
Drafting in-class writing piece for T2.

Tuesday, Feb. 21
Stations to practice writing pieces of intro. statements, evaluating evidence, lead-ins, commentary, citing, and COPS for tomorrow's writing piece.

Thursday, Feb. 16
Quizlet for WW7
Lesson 7 WW test & working on planning for summative writing piece for Tri 2.

Wednesday, Feb. 15
Quiz on summarizing (RL 8.2), dramatic irony (RL 8.6), and determining the meaning of words in context (RL 8.4).

Tuesday, Feb. 14
Feedback on summaries--much improved! Students also evaluated samples of introductory statements and commentary from in-class writing pieces to identify writing targets and expectations before receiving their in-class paragraphs.

Monday, Feb. 13
Went over 7C; 7D due Wednesday. We then reviewed predictions from Fahrenheit 451 and strategies to keep track of the speaker when reading complex texts (below). Students read pages 1-7 in small groups and we created a summary (concise retelling) of this section together (below). For homework, read to 21 (break at bottom) and generate summary in Google form.

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Friday, Feb. 10
Corrected WW 7A & 7B; 7C due Monday. In class writing piece to explain why society in "HB" enable the society to be classified as a work of dystopian literature.

Thursday, Feb. 9
Re-read "Harrison Bergeron" with a focus on practicing summarizing: objective re-telling of the main events of a story. For homework, students are doing prep for an in-class writing piece tomorrow.

Wednesday, February 8
First, students took a formative assessment (quiz) on irony. Then, we continued our discussion with dystopia by watching a clip from Wall-E to identify details that relate to different characteristics of dystopian societies. For homework, students are reading a dystopian short story and writing an 8-10 sentence summary with transition words to organize ideas.
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Tuesday, February 7
During class, we identified one use of semicolons and went over the No Red Ink homework due Thursday (the next 2 sections). Then, we went over the irony homework (quiz tomorrow on irony!) and took some guided notes on dystopia, the topic of our new unit!

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Monday, February 6
Introduced WW 7A words and went over Greek/Latin root assessment. We also reviewed the notes on irony (see Thurs. Feb. 2nd) and practiced analyzing and classifying examples of irony during class.

Friday, February 3
Students completed the Greek & Latin root assessment for "pend." Then, they listened and "voted" in the "Parody Grammys."

Thursday, February 2
Students continued drafting their paragraphs and finishing up recording--we're almost done!

Wednesday, February 1
Continued recording and the written portion of the parody project. Thanks to students who are recording on their own tonight!

Tuesday, January 31
Students worked on the written portion of the parody project. They are writing 170-250 word paragraphs to describe the steps they took to create the parody and how they found the process.

Monday, January 30
Students began recording musical parodies and also worked on some Aspire test prep with poetry to reinforce some of the tone/mood skills we've covered this unit. For homework, complete the 1) Greek & Latin root visuals + definitions and the "Wood Pile" open response.

Friday, January 27
  1. Scan WW test
  2. Record score and staple bubble sheet on top (turn into basket face down)
  3. Continue working on lyrics for musical parody
  4. Create Google Presentation with lyrics (group into stanzas like song organized or into logical pauses/breaks)
  5. Find karaoke version of your song on Youtube and practice (#makesperfect)!

Thursday, January 26
Quiz on RL 8.4: interpreting tone, mood, and imagery. Then, students spent time working on their musical parodies--lyrics due on Monday! WW Lesson 6 test and WW 6E due tomorrow.

Wednesday, January 25
Corrected WW 6D; 6E and test on Friday. Then, we defined and practiced identifying the rhyme scheme of a song/poem (below). In class and for homework, students worked on determining the rhyme scheme of their parody songs and generating lyrics to make sure their parody song makes sense and follows the same rhyme scheme + syllable pattern!
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Tuesday, January 24
Grammar focus: functions of coordinating conjunctions. We took notes (below) and students' grammar homework (due Thursday) is practice with identifying how conjunctions are used in sentence. We also went over the tone analysis of "Party in the CIA" and students received this assessment back before working with partners to share their interpretation of tone in their chosen songs. Lastly, students worked on identifying the syllables of each line of the song to prepare for writing the musical parodies!

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Monday, January 23
Corrected WW 6C; 6D due Wednesday. We analyzed one more example of parody: Goodnight iPad by Ann Droyd (below). Finally, students started working on their parody projects for ELA/Tech. For ELA, identify song, analyze connotation of words/images, and work through tone analysis (author's attitude about the topic) + game plan for humorous imitation.
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Friday, January 20
Goodnight Moon
  1. Name at least 4 objects mentioned in the great, green room
  2. What is the volume associated with the "old lady?"
  3. What is the purpose of this book?
  4. The word "goodnight" is repeated very often -- how do you think the repetition of this word helps to relate to the purpose of this book?
  5. Identify and explain the "mood" (intended feeling) of this story.

Thursday, January 19
During class, we continued exploring parody in art. Today we examined parody in music. We're still applying close reading skills of interpreting the tone in literature, poetry, music, so we took a few notes (below) and then worked through analyzing the tone of Weird Al's song "Another One Rides the Bus." For homework, parody analysis of "Can't Watch This."
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Wednesday, January 18
Corrected WW 6A; 6B due Friday. We then went over interpreting the mood of paintings (last night's homework) and then introduced concept of parody. We worked on comparing and contrasting the original painting with a parody to explain why a work can be classified as a parody (example below). Students also received their OM&M essays to be signed.
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Tuesday, January 17
Grammar check in: defining coordinating conjunctions and FANBOYS acronym to help remember these connecting words. Students reflected on and gave feedback on the HSPT--way to go, guys! and then we started our new unit with some notes on mood (below)! For homework, mood analysis of paintings.
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Friday, January 13
BINGO with words from lessons 1-5 of WW.

Thursday, January 12
Kahoot to celebrate/practice!

Wednesday, January 11
In-class, on demand writing piece for HSPT practice (and Aspire and life!).

Tuesday, January 10
Focus on in class writing piece. Went over Loyola rubric to map against part of 5 paragraph essay, evaluated sample essay with rubric, and started brainstorming ideas for opinion-based prompts.

Monday, January 9
Test prep--timed reading and verbal section.

Friday, January 6
Test prep--timed reading section.

Thursday, January 5
Test prep--timed verbal section!

Wednesday, January 4
HSPT Verbal test prep focus. Students drew visuals of & explained the logic questions to the class then self-checked the remaining questions. For homework, make flashcards for unknown vocabulary in the exam.

Monday, December 17
During class, we went over the format for and question types for the reading section of the HSPT (see below). Students examined a practice passage and classified questions and then self-checked the HSPT verbal section they took last Friday.
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Friday, December 16
8th graders worked on finishing their Of Mice and Men essays. Then, worked on taking entire, timed verbal section.

Thursday, December 15
Test prep day -- we focused on antonym questions and the logic questions. Main strategy for logic questions: create a vertical visual of the first two statements and use this visual to help determine the relevance/logic of the third statement.

Wednesday, December 14
Reviewed conclusion paragraphs, especially the restatement of the thesis & so what? Students used tools like a step-by-step instructions for citing explicit details and sentence stems for the so what? to work on wrapping up their Of Mice and Men essays--due at end of class on Friday.

Tuesday, December 13
Reviewed crafting topic sentences by answering prompts as well as revising topic sentences to state main ideas rather than supporting details. Students worked on drafting their literary essays for Of Mice and Men. For homework, review conclusions & so whats by watching video & completing the worksheet.

Monday, December 12
No class due to Nutcracker performance and schedule.

Friday, December 9
We went over choices for in-class essay prompts with Of Mice and Men (below). Then, we corrected WW 5E, students took the lesson 5 test, and began working on the planning for their essay, including selecting a prompt, evaluating strongest, most relevant evidence, and drafting thesis statements and topic sentences.
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Thursday, December 8
During class, we revisited students' work to make connections between ideas and evidence about George as a solid or poor friend. Then, we divided into small groups and finished Of Mice and Men. Students shared mixed reactions to the story's ending.

Wednesday, December 7
Today, we focused on friendship (the best ship to sail on!). Students reflected on qualities of true friends. Then, they were assigned to provide relevant support to determine if George is either a true or poor friend. Students met in pairs, then groups of 4-5 to evaluate and identify the strongest details to support their side.

Tuesday, December 6
Went over comp. questions for chapters 1-3 and then focused on test prep. We went over verbal classification question stems as well as synonym question stems and strategies to attack both types of questions. Then, students practiced classifying each type of question before answering the questions in a timed situation.
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Monday, December 5
Corrected WW 5B & 5C; 5D due Wednesday! Students also finished their acrostic poems to describe Lennie and George based on their dialogue. We also went over scores and responses from last Thursday's formative assessment. HW: Finish chapter 3 of OM&M and answer comp. questions.

Friday, December 2
No class -- Parent Teacher Conferences.

Thursday, December 1
Grammar/editing practice and a formative assessment with RL 8.1 & RL 8.3 on pages 30-73 of Of Mice and Men. Then, students continued working on their acrostic poems for Lennie & George.

Wednesday, November 30
Test prep today. We focused on strategies to attack analogies in the Verbal section of the HSPT.
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Tuesday, November 29
We worked on making inferences about characters based on their dialogue. Students were paired up and chose either Lennie or George, are interpreting each character's dialogue, and writing acrostic poems to capture their characterization.

Monday, November 28
First, we previewed the new lesson of Wordly Wise words with Lesson 5 -- 5A due Wednesday. Then, we made (scary accurate!) predictions about our new novel, Of Mice and Men based on the front and back cover and did some research about both the novel and author. Finally, we reviewed strategies to keep track of a speaker in a complex text and began reading the novel.

    • Look for names & pronouns
    • Look at the structure of a text
    • Use background knowledge about characters
    • Look for patterns in conversation
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Tuesday, November 22
Cleaned out folders, returned signed assessments, and continued watching TKaM. If you have access to Netflix, watch the rest over Thanksgiving!

Monday, November 21
Returned final reading and writing assessments. We also began watching To Kill a Mockingbird!!

Friday, November 18
We worked on editing for accurate citations, present tense and thesis statements that answer prompts. Great work on your writing pieces! No homework!

Thursday, November 17
We reviewed commentary and lead-ins and students worked on drafting their final writing assessment for To Kill a Mockingbird.

Wednesday, November 16
Students completed Greek/Latin root summative and reading literature summative (RL 8.1, RL 8.3, and RL 8.4).

Tuesday, November 15
Students finished the RL 8.7 summative during class. Then, we went over the reading literature practice for the last reading assessment of the trimester (tomorrow). Finally, they worked on planning for the final writing piece: a thesis + two paragraphs for this trimester. For homework, study and complete the planning for tomorrow's writing piece.

Monday, November 14
During class, we watched the ending of To Kill a Mockingbird to clarify a) Bob Ewell's killer b) why Heck Tate insists that Bob Ewell "fell on his own knife" and c) Scout's "coming of age" in the text. We practice using strategies to attack and annotate a prompt, brainstorm ideas, and set up the main ideas & organization of points by generating thesis statement and topic sentences. Then, we viewed a scene that is not in the original novel in order to do a final evaluation of director's choices---RL 8.7 (which we'll finish tomorrow). For homework, complete the whole cream packet.
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Friday, November 11
We went over comparing a film and its original text and evaluating director's choices (see notes below). Then, students took a formative assessment on this standard (RL 8.7). We also went over some assessments, including the RL 8.1 assessment from yesterday and vocabulary assessments: Greek/Latin root (pels/puls) and WW Lesson 4. For homework, complete the book and comp. questions!

Thursday, November 10
We went over 11.3 formative assessment on RL 8.1 and RL 8.3 and then took another formative assessment on RL 8.1. For homework, read both 26 & 27 + comp. questions

Wednesday, November 9
We reviewed the Jem's coming of age in chapter 23 (below). Then, we began reading chapter 24 in small groups in order to infer Scout's comping of age about the concept of "being a lady." Finish reading chapter 24 & 25 + comp. questions (in your mailbox!) for tomorrow.
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Tuesday, November 8
We defined the "Coming of Age" genre and applied our understanding of this concept by examining Mississippi Trial, 1955. Then, we began reading chapter 23 in small groups in order to identify and interpret an example of Jem's "Coming of Age" in the text.
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Monday, November 7
  1. Correct WW 4E
  2. WW Lesson 4 Test
Reading Homework:

Friday, November 4
Cubs' mania!

Thursday, November 3
  1. Check comp. questions for chapter 20
  2. "Pig pickin'" activity with characters in TKaM

Wednesday, November 2
  1. Correct WW 4C & 4D
  2. Check comp. questions for chapter 19
  3. Reading Lit quiz: RL 8.1 & RL 8.3 (masteryconnect.com/bubblesheet)

Tuesday, November 1
  1. Go over chapter 18 comp. questions
  2. Director's choices activity with Mayella Ewell

Monday, October 31 -- Happy Halloween!
  1. Brief into to Edgar Allan Poe
  2. Read & make predictions about "The Tell-Tale Heart"
  3. "Tell-Tale Heart" comparison/evaluation: text to film

Friday, October 28
  1. Correct WW 4B
  2. Small group reading of chapter 18 + create SEAL analysis of Mayella Ewell (to present)

Thursday, October 27
  1. Check comp. questions for chapter 17
  2. Director's choices activity -- give "stage & costume directions" for actor playing Bob Ewell, then compare to how this actor portrays him in film
  3. Adding to "Gotta Catch 'Em All" Characters from the trial

Wednesday, October 26
  1. Check WW 4A
  2. Go over comp. questions for chapter 16
  3. Small group reading of chapter 17 + create SEAL analysis of Bob Ewell (to present)

Tuesday, October 25
  1. Interpreting theme with chapter 15 of TKAM <3
  2. Small group reading of chapter 16
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Monday, October 24
  1. Introduce new WW Lesson 4
  2. Aspire test reading lit. practice (w/open response & Socrative)

Friday, October 21
  1. WW Lesson 3 test
  2. Finish TKAM project
  3. Reading homework -- CHAPTER 15!!!

Thursday, October 17
  1. Go over comp. questions for chapter 14
  2. Formative assessment with interpreting mood (masteryconnect.com/bubblesheet)
  3. Continue working on TKAM project

Wednesday, October 16
Corrected WW 3D; 3E & test on Friday. We went over comp. questions for chapters 12 & 13. Then, students received groupings and began working on project to group and define characters based on their STEAL details. For homework, read chapter 14 & complete comp. questions.

Tuesday, October 15
We continued practicing examining diction and imagery to interpret the mood of a text. Then, students evaluated a sample paragraph with rubric before receiving their own paragraphs back. For homework, chapter 13 + comp. questions.

Monday, October 14
Went over WW 3B & C as well as comprehension questions for chapters 10 & 11. Then, we examined some strong responses that demonstrated a specific evaluation of director's choices (below). Last, we took notes on and started practicing interpreting the mood in a text by examining diction and imagery (notes below). For homework, read & comp. questions for chapter 12.
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Thursday, October 13
Went over chapter 9 comprehension questions. Then, we went through and analyzed Langston Hughes's poetry. Lastly, we watched, compared, and evaluated how the audience learns about Atticus taking on the Tom Robinson case in the novel versus the movie. Deep thinking today, guys!
For homework, chapters 10 & 11 + comprehension questions due Monday.

Wednesday, October 12
Corrected WW3A; 3B & C due Monday. We then finished watching the documentary about Scottsboro and students read and created tweets to comment on the social justice issue presented in the text and about the Scottsboro Case (a few below!). For homework, read & comp. questions for chapter 9.
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Tuesday, October 11
Went over comp. questions for chapters 7 & 8 and introduced lesson 3 WW words. During class, we did some research to learn more about the historical context of TKAM by focusing on the Scottsboro Incident/Case. Students watched part of a documentary entitled: Scottsboro: An American Tragedy and took notes in a viewing guide. For homework, they'll be analyzing three poems by Langston Hughes that were written as a response to this incident.

Friday, October 7 (Cough, Ms. Dohan's Birthday, Cough)
Students took the pels/pulse Greek & Latin root assessment. They worked on some NoRedInk capitalization practice (specifics on wiki). Then, we went over chapter 6 comp. questions and broke into small groups to read chapter 7. Read & complete comp. questions for 7 & 8 over the long weekend!
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Thursday, October 6
Shortened class period due to Rocket Run! We reviewed chapter 5 comp. questions, made predictions about chapter 6 based on given chapter titles, and students took a formative assessment with RL 8.3.
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Wednesday, October 5
We started class with some editing practice. Students then finished the paragraphs to compare Scout's feelings towards Miss Maudie and Calpurnia. Check the 8th HW page for homework!

Tuesday, October 4
SEAL analysis of Miss Maudie. 8th graders also received the Greek/Latin root vocabulary for this week. Last, we discussed and practiced planning during on-demand writing pieces. On-demand planning is...
  • brief (5 minutes or less!)
  • goal = decide on ideas & how they'll be organized + details to support
  • not in complete sentences (oftentimes use abbreviations)
Students then worked on planning their own ideas & then moved into drafting for an in-class paragraph. They'll finish the paragraphs tomorrow in class!

Monday, October 3
Socrative to review summary/main events of chapter 4 along with checking chapter 4 comp. questions. Then, students engaged in debate over whether or not to honor or alter the language of the text, specifically derogatory terms. Finally, we began reading chapter 5 in small groups, focusing on Miss Maudie's SEAL details & defining words in context.
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Friday, September 30
Students took their lesson 2 WW test (after correcting WW 2E). Then, they selected homemade bookmarks by the 6th graders and wrote thank you notes! For homework, read and complete chapter 4 comp. questions! (List of chapter titles below).
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Thursday, September 29
For bell work, each class voted on the "best" title for chapter 3. Key's class chose "Be Our Guest," while Petersen's class chose "The Great Compromise." We reviewed chapter 3 and compared the class analysis of Calpurnia versus Miss Caroline (below). Finally, we practiced the process of analyzing and evaluating director's choices (RL 8.7). For homework, students are to compare, contrast, evaluate, and articulate Walter's visit to the Finches' home.
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Wednesday, September 28
Corrected WW 2D; 2E & test on Friday. We also went over comp. questions for chapter 2 and discussed students' descriptors of Miss Caroline (below). We went over a context clue quiz from last Thursday before breaking into small groups, reading chapter 3 and identifying/interpreting Calpurnia's SEAL details & defining words in context.
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Tuesday, September 27
Students self-checked their analogy homework and we went over a few of the "cast" of TKAM characters. Then, we focused on reading standard 8.3 by reviewing some notes about inferences and using the "STEAL" acronym (below) to help examine characters and make inferences about their personalities. We started reading chapter 2 in order to record Miss Caroline's SEAL details and make inferences about her character. For homework, finish reading chapter 2, complete comp. questions, and WW 2D.
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Monday, September 26
Corrected WW 2B & C. WW 2D due Wed. Went over strategy to attack and solve analogy problems. Worksheet for analogy practice due tomorrow. Then, we went over comprehension questions for chapter 1. For homework, students are working on getting to know the characters from chapter 1 of TKAM by using the text to answer basic questions about them and cutting these "cards" out to glue in Section 2 of ELA notebook.
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Friday, September 23
No class

Thursday, September 22
We continued practicing identifying the speaker & using context clues to support our comprehension of TKAM. We went over homework, then, students took a short quiz to practice using & identifying context clues in pages 6-7 of TKAM. For homework, students are finishing chapter 1 by reading pages 9-16 and then answering comprehension questions to review the information presented in the chapter.

Wednesday, September 21
We corrected WW 2A; 2B & 2C are due next Monday. We continued our practice with tracking the speaker by reviewing homework and discussing strategies that helped us complete this piece. Then, we jumped back into context clues by identifying common types of context clues (below) and identifying these types in sample sentences + defining these terms. For homework, complete context clue worksheet & TKAM tracking speaker + context clue wkst.
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Tuesday, September 20
We went over the context clue homework (and will pick up with this piece tomorrow). Then, we read the first five pages of To Kill a Mockingbird and discussed why "Family History" fits as a title for this first section. Finally, we went over strategies to keep track of the speaker in a complex text (notes below). For homework, read and annotate the hand out of pages 7-9 of the novel.
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Monday, September 19
Introduced lesson 2 Wordly Wise words. Then, students viewed and discussed the criteria for their in-class writing piece on Friday. Then, they evaluated a student sample, compared against teacher's ratings, and finally, self-evaluated their own piece. They received their scored rubrics back and then made some writing goals. Then, we identified visual details from the cover and made predictions about the plot and meaning (below). Finally, we started practicing using context clues to determine the meaning of unknown words (homework).
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Friday, September 16
Students took the Greek & Latin root assessment. Then, they worked on a "pop" writing assessment related to last night's homework to apply and show their expository writing skills.

Thursday, September 15
Quick game to review/study for tomorrow's Greek & Latin root test. We finished our analysis of "Brother, Can You Spare a Dime" using the TP-CASTT model (below). For homework, students are working on showing their understanding of life in America during the 1930s, the setting of To Kill A Mockingbird. Look back at both the lyrics of the song and the pictures and select the strongest details that help illustrate the economic status, race relations, and feeling of the 1930s. (Model below for America in 2011).
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Wednesday, September 14
We continued our discussion with the historical context of TKAM: America in the 1930s. Students worked in pairs to present important details and inferences based on pictures. We also continued analyzing "Brother, Can You Spare a Dime" using the TP-CASTT model. Finally, students began a grammar diagnostic on NoRedInk.

Tuesday, September 13
Went over Greek/Latin root using context clues. Then, we took quick notes on historical fiction (below) as our first novel, To Kill a Mockingbird, is a work of historical fiction. We began analyzing and interpreting "Brother, Can You Spare a Dime?" as a way to learn more about the setting of this story: the 1930s South.
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Monday, September 12
Students received new vocabulary lesson with Greek & Latin root words. We practiced generating and explaining visuals for tonight's homework. Then, we reviewed how to use EasyBib as a tool to cite sources (notes below). For homework, cite, evaluate, and create bookmark to turn in tomorrow for lamination.
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Friday, September 9
During class today, students took Lesson 1 Wordly Wise assessment. Make sure revise paragraph for "student-friendly" language & fill in the bookmark with your work!

Thursday, September 8
Socrative & quick review of paraphrasing. Then, we focused on taking our paraphrasing and distilling the most important information to create a concise summary of the gritty guy or gal's background, challenges, response to obstacles, and accomplishments. For homework, complete this summary and WW1E + lesson 1 test tomorrow.
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Wednesday, September 7
Corrected WW 1C & 1D; 1E & Lesson 1 test on Friday. We took notes on, examined examples of, and practiced paraphrasing during class today (notes below). For homework, go back and paraphrase your annotations of your figure's accomplishments, struggles, and response to challenges.
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Tuesday, September 6
Today we examined the biography.com's informational text on Amelia Earhart to evaluate whether or not she can be classified as a gritty person. We started with three questions to help guide our evaluation:
  • What is/are this person's accomplishments?
  • What challenge(s) did this person face?
  • How did he/she respond to challenges?
For homework, use either Britannica or Biography.com to do research to 1) evaluate whether or not ___ passes the "grit test" and 2) print out & annotate the answers to the questions above.

Friday, September 2
Corrected WW1B & went over directions for C & D (due Wednesday). Then, we started creating a collage of all the word clouds we created to visualize/describe grit. Lastly, we read the story of the Mendez family in order to examine a real-life person/people who have shown grit in the face of challenges. For homework, complete the worksheet about Separate is Never Equal.

Thursday, September 1
We continued our discussion with grit in class. First, we went over the video questions. Then, we practiced some word attack strategies along with reflected on quotes related to grit. For homework, students are brainstorming words/phrases related to grit and making a word cloud (see the 8th homework page).
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Wednesday, August 31
Corrected WW 1A & did quick activity to introduce a new study strategy for WW: drawing pictures to represent the word's meaning. Then, we reflected and discussed qualities of successful people in order to explore this unit's topic: grit. Students began watching & completing a video guide for Angela Duckworth's TED Talk: Grit: the power and passion of perseverance.
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Tuesday, August 30th
No class due to MAP testing.

Monday, August 29, 2016
Handed out books for 8th grade ELA. Went over the vocabulary schedule, including Wordly Wise and began a new WW cycle (which means WW 1A is due on Wednesday). Finally, we quickly did "Summer BINGO" to check in about each other's summers!
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