Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Digital Portfolio Presentations (Continued)


Warm Up: A.R. Update  Please visit the Accelerated Reader site today and check your progress towards reaching your quarter reading goal. You have until next Friday, May 30, to reach your A.R. goal. What are you to do between now and then to make this goal a reality? Considering you must return all library books this Friday, what do you plan on reading next week? You are welcome to check out books from my class library, visit the public library, or use books from your personal library at home. 

Digital Portfolio Presentations (Continued)  Students will continue to present their Digital Portfolios to the class today. Even though they were officially due yesterday, I encourage you to continue to work on and improve them. I plan on grading your Digital Portfolios "soon."  

Homework  30 minutes of silent reading at home. Make sure to record your reading on one of the digital reading logs available. Our weekly Google Form reading log is here and the Google Spreadsheet reading log can be found here.   

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Digital Portfolio Showcase


Warm Up: Submit Your Digital Portfolio  Congratulations! Today is the day you submit your Digital Portfolio and show off your accomplishment to your classmates. Follow the link here to submit your Digital Portfolio. You may want to review your portfolio one more time and have a good idea about what you want to focus on and what you want to say before presenting it to class.  

Digital Portfolio Presentations  As you know, Mr. McGinty has also been working on creating a Digital Portfolio. We will begin today with me showing off the digital work I have been doing. For your own presentation, you may want to show off the 'Home' and/or 'Bio' sections of your website. Next, you should take us on a brief tour of the rest of your website. Finally, you may want to select one particular digital assignment that you want to showcase. We will use the Class Dojo name randomizer to select the order of presentations.  

Homework  30 minutes of silent reading at home. Make sure to record your reading on one of the digital reading logs available. Our weekly Google Form reading log is here and the Google Spreadsheet reading log can be found here.   

Monday, May 19, 2014

Launching Our Digital Portfolios


How to Share Your Google Site  Good morning! I hope each of you had a wonderful weekend. We are coming down the home stretch of the school year and it's crunch time with regards to several important projects and assignments; the most important being your Digital Portfolio. The website must be completed by tomorrow. Today I will show you how to make your Google Site go live so it can be viewed by others. I will also show you how to make sure images and assignments imbedded within your site are viewable as well. Let's watch the video below to learn how to share our page and its components.  


Digital Portfolio Working Time  This is absolutely your last opportunity in class to put the finishing touches on your Digital Portfolio. Have you included an assignment for each category and reflected on it? Is the layout and design of your site visually pleasing? Have you included an introduction, biography, and an image? Have you made sure that your site and assignments are able to viewed by others? Get to work and let me know if you need help. Tomorrow you will have an opportunity to showcase your Digital Portfolio for your classmates.  

Homework  (1.) Finish your Digital Portfolio. Deadline: Due tomorrow, May 20(2.) 30 minutes of silent reading at home. Make sure to record your reading on one of the digital reading logs available. Our weekly Google Form reading log is here and the Google Spreadsheet reading log can be found here.   

Friday, May 16, 2014

Digital Portfolio Design Party


Digital Portfolio  Today is absolutely you last day to work on your Digital Portfolio. Just to remind you, a rubric has been placed in each of your Language Arts Folders explaining how your Google Site will be assessed. To sum it up, make sure you include at least one digital assignment for each category and that analyze and reflect on each, include a biography and an explanation of the purpose of your site, incorporate at least one photo or image, utilize an effective theme, layout, along with appropriate colors and fonts, and use proper spelling and grammar. If you need help, do not hesitate to ask. I can't wait to see your showcase of your digital work! Deadline Reminder: Your Digital Portfolio is due Monday, May 19.  

Homework  In addition to working on your Digital Portfolios, please make sure to do at least one more 30 minute session of silent reading at home. Record your reading on one of the digital reading logs available. Our weekly Google Form reading log is here and the Google Spreadsheet reading log can be found hereDeadline: I will be checking this week's reading log on Monday, May 19. You should have made, at the very least, five entries for the week.  

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Applying a Central Idea and Digital Portfolios

"Even when our heart aches. We summon the strength that maybe we didn’t even know we had, and we carry on. We finish the race. We finish the race. And we do that because of who we are. And we do that because we know that somewhere around the bend a stranger has a cup of water. Around the bend, somebody is there to boost our spirits. On that toughest mile, just when we think that we’ve hit a wall, someone will be there to cheer us on and pick us up if we fall." - President Barack Obama  
Applying a Central Idea  Today we will continue to apply the central idea of President Obama's remarks after the Boston Bombing a year ago to two survivors of that bombing featured in the Narrative Nonfiction article "I Survived the Boston Bombing." We will be focused on finding evidence that support our understanding of the central idea and then writing a paragraph that features a clear central idea, effective use of supporting evidence, and good organization and transitions. Deadline: This assignment is due tomorrow, May 16.

Finishing our Digital Portfolios  If you finish your 'Central Idea' paragraph, you may continue working on your Digital Portfolio. I have created a rubric and placed it in your Language Arts folders, so you'll have a better sense of how this project will be assessed. I'm also extending the deadline to give you a few extra days to work on it. New Deadline: The Digital Portfolio is now due Monday, May 19.  

Homework  (1.) Finish your "Applying a Central Idea" assignment. (2.) Continue working on your Digital Portfolio. (3.) 30 minutes of silent reading at home. Make sure to record your reading on one of the digital reading logs available. Our weekly Google Form reading log is here and the Google Spreadsheet reading log can be found here.

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Applying a Central Idea and Library Visit

Applying a Central Idea  In your Language Arts folder, you will find the assignment from yesterday entitled 'Applying a Central Idea.' We will continue to use this document to analyze President Obama's speech given in the aftermath of the Boston Marathon Bombing and apply our understanding of its central idea to the story of Sydney Corcoran in the narrative nonfiction article "I Survived the Boston Bombing." Finally, we will write a paragraph relating the ideas of the two texts. Deadline: the 'Applying a Central Idea' assignment is due Friday, May 16.   

Library Visit  Today will be our last visit to the library to checkout new books. All textbooks, A.R. books, and Chromebooks must be returned to the library next Friday. So make sure you pick out books to read today that you think you can finish within the next week. Many of you have yet to earn a single A.R. point this quarter. Time is running out! Let's get serious about reading! If you are not checking out books today, you may use your library time to either silent read or complete digital assignments on your Chromebook. 

Homework  (1.) Complete the 'Applying a Central Idea' assignment. (2.) 30 minutes of silent reading at home. Make sure to record your reading on one of the digital reading logs available. Our weekly Google Form reading log is here and the Google Spreadsheet reading log can be found here.

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Narrative Nonfiction and Applying a Central Idea


Warm Up  Today we will read a narrative nonfiction article about the Boston Marathon Bombing that occurred a little over a year ago. Before we do, let's watch the video below to remind ourselves what happened that day. 


Narrative Nonfiction: 'I Survived The Boston Bombing'  Now you will read "the incredible story of a teenager and her mother who lived through the horrific terrorist attack in Boston one year ago." The article for you to read has been placed in your Language Arts folder. A link to the article can also be found on the web here. Please follow along as we read together. After reading the article we will also watch the video "After the Bombing," in which Sydney Corcoran and her mother take us through their healing process.    

Paired Text: President Obama's 'We Summon the Strength' Speech  In light of the narrative nonfiction reading we have done and video we just watched, we will now read a 'paired text,' the speech President Obama delivered closely after the Boston Marathon Bombing. See if you can identify a central idea in the president's speech and whether that idea is illustrated by Sydney in "I Survived the Boston Bombing." An excerpt of President Obama's speech can be found at the end of the article we previously read. The video of the full speech can be found below.  



Applying a Central Idea  In your Language Arts folder, you will also find an assignment entitled 'Applying a Central Idea.' We will use this document to analyze President Obama's speech and apply our understanding of its central idea to the story of Sydney Corcoran in "I Survived the Boston Bombing." Finally, we will write a paragraph relating the ideas of the two texts. If we don't finish in class today, we will continue working on this assignment tomorrow. 

Homework  30 minutes of silent reading at home. Make sure to record your reading on one of the digital reading logs available. Our weekly Google Form reading log is here and the Google Spreadsheet reading log can be found here.

Monday, May 12, 2014

Honoring Mom and Honoring Hard Work


Warm Up: Newsela  Good morning! I hope you had a beautiful weekend and Mother's Day. Now it's time to get to work. Please visit Newsela, click on your 'Binder,' and locate the article "Video Game 'Minecraft; Finds Home In Schools." Make sure the reading level is set to "940L" (Grade Level: 6), read the article carefully, and answer the questions. Good luck!

Video: 'An Open Letter to Moms from Kid President'  Watch the adorable video tribute to moms everywhere below. What do you appreciate about the mother figures in your life?   

Independent Academic Work Time  I understand that some of you had some technical problems and computer issues this weekend. In a light of that and in honor of the hard work you've been doing, I would like to provide you with the time for the remainder of the period to work on completing your various digital projects. You may work on your Argument Essays, your Ancient Greek Writing Activities, or your Digital Portfolio. Use this time wisely! 

Homework  (1.) 30 minutes of silent reading at home. Make sure to record your reading on one of the digital reading logs available. Our weekly Google Form reading log is here and the Google Spreadsheet reading log can be found here. (2.) Deadline: Your Argument Essay is due tomorrow, Tuesday, May 13.

Friday, May 9, 2014

Is Your Game Face On?

Gamers: Bumgarner, Hudson, and Cain
District Writing Assessment: Argument Essay  It may be Friday, but we're not slacking. Lace up your spikes, get your game face on, and let's start writing as a team! Today will be our last class day to work on our Argument Essays. I am available to help and answer any questions you may have. I've also placed two different transition word lists into each of your new Hapara Language Arts folders. Transitions help provide continuity between ideas and organization and structure to your writing. Use
them! Deadline: Your Argument Essay is due on Tuesday, May 12. Don't strike out! Hit a home run!

Homework  In addition to working on your Argument Essay, please make sure to do at least one more 30 minute session of silent reading at home. Record your reading on one of the digital reading logs available. Our weekly Google Form reading log is here and the Google Spreadsheet reading log can be found hereDeadline: I will be checking this week's reading log on Monday, May 11. You should have made, at the very least, three entries for the week.  

Thursday, May 8, 2014

Introducing Hapara and Argument Writing


Introduction to Hapara  Good morning! We are going to learn about an exciting new technology program today that is going to make my life as a teacher and your lives as students so much easier. Turning in, organizing, and locating student digital work has been a major problem for many of us. Hapara is about to change all of that. Watch the brief video above to learn how it works.  

Google Drive/Hapara Assignment Management  Now that we understand a little about how Hapara works, we're going put the program to use within our own Google Drives. Open Google Drive now and follow along with Mr. McGinty as he shows you your new Hapara class folders, how to access new assignments, and how to move assignments from your old class folders to your new ones. If you need additional information about how to access, move, and share documents check out the link here. Mr. McGinty will also show you what he is able to see on his own screen and how Hapara is going to make his job as a teacher much more effective.  

District Writing Assessment: Argument Essay  We have examined the prompt, analyzed the supporting texts, discussed the issues involved, chosen our point of view, and started organizing our ideas by pre-writing. Now it's time to start writing the actual essay. Within your newly created Hapara Language Arts folders you will find three documents: (1.) The essay template you will use to write your essay. (2.) An Argument Essay Outline to help you structure your essay. (3.) And an Argument Essay Checklist to remind you of the elements you must include. You will have today and tomorrow to write your essay. You may begin now. Please let me know if you have any questions.   

Homework  (1.) Please work on your Argument Essay outside of class. (2.) 30 minutes of silent reading at home. Make sure to record your reading on one of the digital reading logs available. Our weekly Google Form reading log is here and the Google Spreadsheet reading log can be found here.
  

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

District Writing Assessment - Argument Writing


Video Warm-Up  Let's watch the short video above together as a class. How do the ideas about technology use presented in the video relate to the issues we are exploring in our Argument Essay assignment? 

Argument Essay - Pre-Writing  Now that we've read the source texts and explored the issues involved, it's time for us to take a clear stand and begin to develop our own ideas. Use the pre-writing document here to organize your own thinking and start developing your essay. 

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

District Writing Assessment - Argument Writing


Argument Writing: Analyzing Supporting Texts and Determining Our Position Today we will continue to analyze a series of supporting source texts related to the use of digital technology, which will guide us in thinking about the issues involved, help us take a clear position in the debate, and provide us with evidence to support our thinking. 

Task 1: Read and examine Source # 2 in small groupsRead Source # 2 together in small groups. Look for evidence that supports both sides of the debate and include it on your evidence notetaking guide, which you can still find here.  

Task 2Read and examine Source # 3 independentlyRead Source # 3 on your own. As you read, continue to look for evidence that support the two positions at stake in this debate. Write your evidence using the same evidence document.  

Task 3Evaluate evidence and determine your position.  Your job now is to carefully examine and evaluate the evidence from both sides and come to a determination on where you stand on the issue. Should we shut down our screens for a week or not? Once you have decided on your position, you will write a clear statement on where you stand at the bottom of the evidence document you've been using. This statement may ultimately end up serving as the thesis statement for your Argument Essay.

Now that you've taken a position, tomorrow you will begin to organize your thinking, and start the process of writing your Argument essay.  

Homework  30 minutes of silent reading at home. Make sure to record your reading on one of the digital reading logs available. Our weekly Google Form reading log is here and the Google Spreadsheet reading log can be found here.

Monday, May 5, 2014

To Unplug or Not Unplug? (That is the question!)


Writing Warm-Up  What do you see as both the benefits and the problems with the use of technology and electronic media? How do computers, smart phones, Chromebooks, and services such as Google, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Snapchat help us? Additionally, what issues can arise from their use or overuse? Explain your initial thinking here.  

Argument Writing: Examining the Prompt and Supporting Texts  It's time for the District Writing Assessment! We will be writing Argument Essays in which we take a position on the use of electronic media. Today we will examine the prompt and begin to analyze a series of supporting source texts, which will guide us in thinking about the issues involved, help us take a clear position in the debate, and provide us with evidence to support our thinking. 

Task 1: Examine the prompt. I will provide you with a paper copy of the District Writing Assessment for Argument Writing packet. We will read the prompt together, review key vocabulary, and make sure we have a clear understanding of what we are being asked to do.  

Task 2: Read and examine Source # 1 together. As we read and re-read the text together as a class, we need to think about which side of the debate the evidence supports. You will take supporting evidence notes using the document here.  

Task 3: Read and examine Source # 2 in small groups. Read Source # 2 together in small groups. Look for evidence that supports both sides of the debate and include it on your evidence notetaking guide.  

Task 4: Read and examine Source # 3 independently. Read Source # 3 on your own. As you read, continue to look for evidence that support the two positions at stake in this debate. Write your evidence using the same evidence document.  

Tomorrow you will be tasked with reexamining the prompt, the source documents, and your gathered evidence, and determining exactly where you stand on this issue. Once you take a position, you will begin to organize your thinking, and start the process of writing your Argument essay.  

Friday, May 2, 2014

Happy (Friday)!


Warm Up: A.R. Check  Happy Friday! Today is the official half-way point of the 4th quarter. You should have achieved half of your Accelerated Reader goal by now. Have you? Let's check here. If you came up short, you need to recommit yourself to reading. How do you plan on making reading a bigger priority during these final weeks of 6th grade? How can I support you? Just to remind you, A.R. makes up a sizable percentage of your final Language Arts grade.  

Newsela: Nonfiction Reading Practice  Please visit Newsela and log in. Click on 'Binder' and locate the article entitled "In Afghanistan, childhood is often a full-time job." Make sure the reading level is set to 950L (Grade Level: 6). Read the article carefully and answer the questions. 

Digital Portfolio: Free Working Time  Today is your last day to work on your Digital Portfolio in class for a while. Use this time wisely. Many of you have spent a lot of time personalizing your page with cool themes, layouts, fonts, and images. As important as that is, remember, the main focus of your portfolio should be on the academic content. Have you included at least one digital assignment for each category of the template? Have you begun to explain, analyze, and reflect on these assignments? Today I plan on touching base with each of you about the status of your Google Site, so be prepared to share questions, concerns, and/or successes. 

Even though we will not be dedicating a lot class time to working on the Digital Portfolio after today, you should continue to work on it, fine-tuning the layout, adding new assignments, and analyzing and reflecting on your work. Final Deadline: Friday, May 16

Homework  30 minutes of silent reading at home. Make sure to record your reading on one of the digital reading logs available. Our weekly Google Form reading log is here and the Google Spreadsheet reading log can be found here.  Deadline: I will be checking this week's reading log on Monday, May 5. You should have made at the very least three entries for the week.   

Thursday, May 1, 2014

Creating a Digital Portfolio (Adding and Managing Pages)

Creating a Digital Portfolio (Adding and Managing Pages)  The original Digital Portfolio template I provided you came loaded with a series of pre-built pages. As you continue to build and personalize your Google Site, however, you may decide that you want to add, delete, or edit these pages. Maybe there is another assignment or accomplishment category that you want to add or maybe there is one I originally included that you want to get rid of. Perhaps you simply want to change the name of a page or the order they appear on in the navigation section of your website. Today's mini-lesson will show you how to do all of this. We will stop the videos periodically to answer questions and let your practice and play on your own website. 


                                              How to Add Pages in Google Sites


How to Edit Navigation in Google Sites

Homework  (1.) Continue working on your Digital Portfolio. Deadline: Your completed Digital Portfolio must be completed by Friday, May 16. (2.)  30 minutes of silent reading at home.  Make sure to record your reading on one of the digital reading logs available. Our weekly Google Form reading log is here and the Google Spreadsheet reading log can be found here