Friday, January 30, 2015

Aloha Friday!


100 Word Challenge: Finishing Touches  Aloha Friday! It's just about time to publish this week's 100 Word Challenge. Please look over your 100 Word Challenge: Picture Challenge (Week 19) story carefully. Did you skillfully integrate the words from this week's prompt? Did you use descriptive words and sensory details? Do the events in your story sequence flow naturally from one to the other? Did you avoid run-ons, fragments, and inconsistent verb tenses? Did you carefully review your spelling, capitalization, and punctuation? Please make sure your published writing is as good as it can be. 

100 Word Challenge: Publishing Time  Now it's publishing time! Copy your 100 Word Challenge: Picture Challenge (Week 19) story from your Google Doc and then login to Kidblog. Make a new post. Give your story an appropriate title; just make sure you put 100 WC: before it. Paste your story. Please color or bold the words from this week's prompt, so your readers can locate them easily. Finally, click "Publish."

Next, copy the web address of your posted story and then head over to 100 Word ChallengeScroll down and paste the web address into the box that says 'Blog Link'. Enter your first name, 6th Grade, Lakeview Middle School, and for location: Watsonville, California, U.S.A. Finally, click 'Submit'. Congratulations! You are an internationally published author! 

100 Word Challenge: Assessment Submission  At least once a month I will be asking you to submit one of your 100 Word Challenge stories to me to be assessed using our 100 Word Challenge Rubric and included as part of your Language Arts assessment grade. You may choose between the following stories: '...the light was SO bright...' (Week 17)'...what was that I could feel?...' (Week 18), or Picture Challenge (Week 19).

The story you select should represent your very best writing and most closely meet the criteria explained in 100 Word Challenge Rubric below. 

























Once you decide on the story you want to submit, go to Kidblog and copy the address of your selected story. Next, visit the Google form here and submit it to me. I can't wait to read your stories! 

Sacred Reading Time  Today I offer you another 20-30 minutes of uninterrupted class time to simply read and commune with your books. Some of you will invited to read outside, others in a cozy corner of the room, while most of you will hopefully become enraptured by the words on your pages right at your desks. Enjoy this time!


Homework  Make sure you read for 30 minutes at least once over the weekend and make an entry on your 3rd Quarter Reading Log. Don't forget to try one of the 100 New Year's Reading Resolutions for 2015 and make note of it on your log. I will be grading this week's Reading Log on Monday, February 2.

Thursday, January 29, 2015

'Tequila Worm' and Peer Editing

COME ONE, COME ALL! Santa Cruz County students are invited to attend the Latino Role Model
conference this Saturday at Harbor High School in Santa Cruz. Don't miss this great opportunity!

 Today's Learning Objectives  (1.) Describe how a particular story’s plot unfolds in a series of episodes as well as how the characters respond or change as the plot moves toward a resolution. (2.) Write narratives to develop real or imagined experiences or events using effective technique, relevant descriptive details, and well-structured event sequences. 



Tequila Worm: 'Into' and 'Through' the Text Activities  Due to overwhelming popular demand by many of you, who pleaded with me to keep reading yesterday, we are going to continue working with the text of the novel Tequila Worm today. In fact, we will be getting a jumpstart on next week's activities. You can find the document 'The Tequila Worm' Reading Guide (Week 2) in your Language Arts folders. 

We will begin with a 'Preparing the Learner Activity' (previewed below) in which you will compare and contrast your life experiences with that of the main character Sofia. We will then read the chapter entitled "Taco Head" (pgs. 36-40) together.   























Peer Editing: 100 Word Challenge  Today you will once again have an opportunity to share your current piece of writing, 100 Word Challenge: Picture Challenge (Week 19), (in whatever state it's in) with one of your peers in class. Remember that your task when reviewing someone else's writing is to both help with basic editing and to provide constructive feedback that is helpful to the writer. Your peer editing should include a balance of corrections, suggestions, and compliments. Positive feedback is important too!  

After you know who you will be sharing your writing with, click on "Share at the top of your document. Next, enter their full name and click "Done." The document should now be available in the "Shared with Me" or "Incoming" section of your Google Drive.

 

Remember to let our rubric (below) be your guide. If you notice on run-on sentence or fragment, let them know. If you can think of a more descriptive or precise word to use, suggest it. If verb tenses are inconsistent, make that clear. If a transition word or phrase might be helpful in moving events along, mention it. 

There are a couple of ways to make suggestions and comments. You can use the "Suggesting" function within Google Docs, where you can make suggested edits that the writer can then later accept or reject. Secondly, you could also simply highlight text and make comments and suggestions that way. 


Homework (1.) Read your A.R. book at home for at least 30 minutes and make a Digital Reading Log entry using the new 3rd Quarter Reading Log(2.) Complete both your 100 Word Challenge: Picture Challenge (Week 19) story and 'The Tequila Worm' Reading Guide (Week 1), both of which are due tomorrow, Friday, January 30.

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

We Are ALL Readers and Writers!

Discover the joy of books and READ.


 Today's Learning Objectives  (1.) Describe how a particular story’s plot unfolds in a series of episodes as well as how the characters respond or change as the plot moves toward a resolution. (2.) Write narratives to develop real or imagined experiences or events using effective technique, relevant descriptive details, and well-structured event sequences. 


Guided Reading: The Tequila Worm  Today we will read the chapter "Holy Host" of Tequila Worm together. As we read, we will continue to stop periodically to discuss the text and work on the guiding questions within your 'The Tequila Worm' Reading Guide (Week 1). We will also continue to add to our Story Plot Chart ('Tequila Worm').

Writing Time: 100 Word Challenge  If time permits, I would like to offer some time to continue to write and craft this week's Word Challenge: Picture Challenge (Week 19) story. Make sure you are using descriptive words and sensory details in order to paint a picture for your readers. If you would like to meet, I will be available at the author's table. 

Homework  (1.) Read your A.R. book at home for at least 30 minutes and make a Digital Reading Log entry using the 3rd Quarter Reading Log(2.) Continue working on your 100 Word Challenge: Picture Challenge (Week 19) story, which we will publish on Friday, January 30(3.) Complete  'The Tequila Worm' Reading Guide (Week 1), which is also due on Friday, January 30

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Reading 'The Tequila Worm'

Discover your 'happy place' and READ.

 Today's Learning Objective  Describe how a particular story’s plot unfolds in a series of episodes as well as how the characters respond or change as the plot moves toward a resolution.


Guided Reading: The Tequila Worm  Today we will read the first two chapters of Tequila Worm together: "The Storyteller's Bag" and "The Candy Bite." As we read, we will stop periodically to discuss the text and to provide you and your teammates the time to work on the guiding questions within your 'The Tequila Worm' Reading Guide (Week 1).

Introduction to Plot and Exposition  As many of you know the plot is the series of events in a story and usually centers around a central conflict--a problem faced by the main character. The plot begins with the exposition, which establishes the setting, introduces the characters, and gives the reader important background information. Watch the video below to familiarize yourself with the basic elements of plot. Then, start to think about what we already know about the plot and exposition of Tequila Worm by beginning to work on the document Story Plot Chart ('Tequila Worm'), which can be found in your Language Arts folders.  



Homework  (1.) Read your A.R. book at home for at least 30 minutes and make a Digital Reading Log entry using the 3rd Quarter Reading Log(2.) Continue working on your 100 Word Challenge: Picture Challenge (Week 19) story, which we will publish on Friday, January 30(3.) Continue working on your  'The Tequila Worm' Reading Guide (Week 1). 

Monday, January 26, 2015

Introducing a New Challenge and 'The Tequila Worm'

Are you ready for our new class novel? Introducing . . . The Tequila Worm

 Today's Learning Objectives  (1.) Write narratives to develop real or imagined experiences or events using effective technique, relevant descriptive details, and well-structured event sequences. (2.) Describe how a particular story’s plot unfolds in a series of episodes as well as how the characters respond or change as the plot moves toward a resolution.



Brianna, Showcase Writer
Showcase Writer: Brianna  Many of you continue to get wonderful feedback on your writing from readers all over the world. One student in particular just received a very special recognition for her "... the light was so bright ..." story. Our very own Brianna, from Period 2, was singled out for her poignant story about a girl coping with the loss of her grandmother, as part of the Week 17 Showcase. Her name and story have been published internationally and she will receive a special showcase badge and certificate for her achievement. If you see Brianna, give her props for this special honor! Her original story and new showcase badge are featured below.


































100 Word Challenge: Picture Challenge  This week's 100 Word Challenge is another picture challenge. Check out the directions and image below. 









Can you bring the image pictured above to life in your writing? Write and write well, and infuse your story with a plethora of descriptive words and sensory details, with 'the picture of a street at night' serving as your story's backdrop. You may find the document 100 Word Challenge: Picture Challenge (Week 19) in your Language Arts folders. 


Class Novel: Introducing The Tequila Worm  Today we are going to begin reading the novel The Tequila Worm together as a class. However, before we do I would like you to participate in a couple of 'Preparing the Learner Activities' in order to get you engaged with the text. Please locate the document 'The Tequila Worm' Reading Guide (Week 1), which you can find in your Language Arts folders. Let's begin with the 'Agree/Disagree' activity. Read each statement and indicate whether you agree or disagree. Next, begin to write a response to the 'Journal Write' prompt about any rivalries you may have had in your life.


Finally, before I watch a new movie, I usually watch the preview so I have a better sense of what the film is about. Let's do the same for Tequila Worm. Check out the student produced preview below, so we are somewhat prepared for the novel.

                            


Homework  (1.) Read your A.R. book at home for at least 30 minutes and make a Digital Reading Log entry using the 3rd Quarter Reading Log(2.) Continue working on your 100 Word Challenge: Picture Challenge (Week 19) story, which we will publish on Friday, January 30(3.) Complete working on the 'Preparing Learning Activities' of 'The Tequila Worm' Reading Guide (Week 1).

Friday, January 23, 2015

Aloha Friday!


100 Word Challenge: Finishing Touches  Aloha Friday! It's just about time to publish this week's 100 Word Challenge. Please look over your 100 Word Challenge: '...what was that I could feel?...' (Week 18) story carefully. Did you skillfully integrate the words from this week's prompt? Did you use descriptive words and sensory details? Do the events in your story sequence flow naturally from one to the other? Did you avoid run-ons, fragments, and inconsistent verb tenses? Did you carefully review your spelling, capitalization, and punctuation? Please make sure your published writing is good as it can be. And don't forget my mom's little piece of advice:



100 Word Challenge: Publishing Time  Now it's publishing time! Copy your 100 Word Challenge: '...what was that I could feel?...' (Week 18) story from your Google Doc and then login to Kidblog. Make a new post. Give your story an appropriate title; just make sure you put 100 WC: before it. Paste your story. Please color or bold the words from this week's prompt, so your readers can locate them easily. Finally, click "Publish."

Next, copy the web address of your posted story and then head over to 100 Word ChallengeScroll down and paste the web address into the box that says 'Blog Link'. Enter your first name, 6th Grade, Lakeview Middle School, and for location: Watsonville, California, U.S.A. Finally, click 'Submit'. Congratulations! You are an internationally published author! 

Sacred Reading Time  For too many of us independent reading time has become a chore that we either dismiss or do reluctantly. I want you to start considering your reading time sacred and special, and something to look forward to. Today I offer you 30 minutes of uninterrupted class time to simply read and commune with your books. Some of you will invited to read outside, others in a cozy corner of the room, while most of you will hopefully become enraptured by the words on your pages right at your desks. Enjoy this time! 



Homework  Make sure you read for 30 minutes at least once over the weekend and make an entry on your new 3rd Quarter Reading Log. Don't forget to try one of the 100 New Year's Reading Resolutions for 2015 and make note of it on your log. I will be grading this week's Reading Log on Monday, January 26.

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Assessing and Peer Editing


Assessment: Central Ideas and Details  Over the past week we have worked closely with the nonfiction text "Shattered Lives" about the refugee crisis in Syria and the Middle East. Our primary focus has been on identifying central ideas and details, as well as summarizing. Today you will take a very short quiz so I can attempt to assess some of what you have learned. Your 'Central Ideas and Details Quiz' can be found here. You will need to utilize the various texts below to help answer the questions. 

Questions 1 and 2 will be related to the article "Shattered Lives," which you may review if need be.

Questions 3 and 4 are about the article "Making room for mariachi in school programs" below, and which can also be found here






















Peer Editing: 100 Word Challenge  Writing is a process that includes many stages, which includes brainstorming, drafting, revising, editing, and ultimately publishing. Most of us are currently in the middle of that process now with regards to this week's 100 Word Challenge. As we seek to improve our writing and make each piece as good as it possible be, it's important to remember how important editing is as part of the writing process. No published author writes a perfect piece of writing the first time through; they are constantly revising and editing until they should get it just right. 

Today you will have an opportunity to share you current piece of writing (in whatever state it's in) with one of your peers in class. Your task when reviewing someone else's writing is to both help with basic editing and to provide constructive feedback that is helpful to the writer. 

After you know who you will be sharing your writing with, click on "Share at the top of your document. Next, enter their full name and click "Done." The document should now be available in the "Shared with Me" or "Incoming" section of your Google Drive.

 

What things should you be looking for as your read your classmate's work? Let our rubric (below) be your guide. If you notice on run-on sentence or fragment, let them know. If you can think of a more descriptive or precise word to use, suggest it. If verb tenses are inconsistent, make that clear. If a transition word or phrase might be helpful in moving events along, mention it. 

There are a couple of ways to make suggestions and comments. You can use the "Suggesting" function within Google Docs, where you can make suggested edits that the writer can then later accept or reject. 



Secondly, you could also simply highlight text and make comments and suggestions that way. 


Finally, your peer editing should include a balance of corrections, suggestions, and compliments. Positive feedback is important too! 


Homework (1.) Read your A.R. book at home for at least 30 minutes and make a Digital Reading Log entry using the new 3rd Quarter Reading Log(2.) Complete both your 100 Word Challenge: '...what was that I could feel?...' (Week 18) story and Summary of "Shattered Lives", both of which are due and will be published tomorrow, Friday, January 23    

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Goal-Setting and Library Visit


Schoolgirl Who Devoured 942 Books in One Year Tells Us Why She Loves Reading 10-year-old Faith Jackson of Altrincham, England loves to read. How much? In 2014, this Mighty Girl read 942 books -- an average of 464 pages a day! It’s a remarkable feat all on its own, but even more inspiring considering that the avid reader used to struggle with literacy. Now, she’s thrilled to be spreading the word about the joys of reading with other kids. 

When Faith was around six or seven, she could barely read at all. Her mother, Laura Jackson, says, “When they tested her it came back as having dyslexic tendencies.” However, both her parents found ways to encourage her to keep trying. "I think the main thing was we didn't push her and they didn't make her read all the time at school. We just read to her instead to help her enjoy books rather than making it a big deal. It finally did click for her -- and then it just went off into the stratosphere.” (Via A Mighty Girl)
Faith Jackson and some of her books.
To learn more about Faith's story and watch a video of her explaining why she loves reading, visit here

Accelerated Reader Goal-Setting  Today, let's think about our own reading practice and examine where we are, where we have been, and where we are going. First, I will distribute some reading data to each of, which, among other things, indicates your current reading level as well as your ZPD (which stands for Zone of Proximal Development and is a suggestion of the reading levels you should currently be reading). I want you to record this data along with the corresponding colors (see below for reference) on your 3rd Quarter Reading Log. Next, please login to the Accelerated Reader site, click "Progress," then click "Current Marking Period," and review how you did with regards to achieving last quarter's goal. What will your reading goal be this quarter? Once you have decided and cleared it with me, go ahead and indicate your 3rd Quarter Reading Goal on your current Reading Log. I will later enter that goal into the Accelerated Reader system so you can track your current progress. Good luck this quarter! 


Library Visit  Now let's head on over to the library and find books that are within our Zone of Proximal Development, are of interest to us, and will help us reach our 3rd Quarter Reading Goal! Please bring with you any books that you are returning or renewing, along with your student ID card.   

Homework   (1.) Read your A.R. book at home for at least 30 minutes and make a Digital Reading Log entry using the new 3rd Quarter Reading Log(2.) Continue working on both your 100 Word Challenge: '...what was that I could feel?...' (Week 18) story and Summary of "Shattered Lives", both of which are due and will be published on Friday, January 23    


Tuesday, January 20, 2015

100 Word Challenge and Summary Writing

This Week's Prompt: What was that I could feel?


 Today's Learning Objectives  (1.) Write narratives to develop real or imagined experiences or events using effective technique, relevant descriptive details, and well-structured event sequences. (2.) Provide a summary of the text distinct from personal opinions or judgments.


100 Word Challenge: Can You Feel It?  This week's 100 Word Challenge is going to require you to get connected to your sense of touch. The prompt is below.  










What exactly are you touching or feeling? What does it feel like? Are you literally touching something or experiencing a feeling? How will this moment, this sensation, fit in the whole of your narrative? 

To help some of you get started I'm providing you with lists below of touching and feeling words that may help you describe and your reader picture what is being felt? 



















You can find the assignment 100 Word Challenge: '...what was that I could feel?...' (Week 18) in your Language Arts folders. 

Summary Writing: "Shattered Lives"  Last week you read the non-fiction article "Shattered Lives" from Scope Magazine about the current refugee crisis in Syria and the Middle East. Today you will write a summary paragraph of that article. What is summarizing?

You can find the assignment Summary of "Shattered Lives" in your Language Arts folder. To help you practice the skill of summarizing, the paragraph has been scaffolded; all you need to do is complete the missing pieces. The assignment also contains several guiding questions to help remind you of the relevant details in the article.       

Library Visit Tomorrow  We are scheduled to visit the school library tomorrow. If you need to renew or replace, please make sure your bring your books along with your student ID card. 

Homework  (1.) Read your A.R. book at home for at least 30 minutes and make a Digital Reading Log entry using the new 3rd Quarter Reading Log(2.) Continue working on your 100 Word Challenge: '...what was that I could feel?...' (Week 18) story, which we will publish on Friday, January 23(3.) Complete the assignment Summary of "Shattered Lives", which is due on Friday, January 23 

Friday, January 16, 2015

Aloha Friday!


Warm-Up: 10 Minutes of Academic Free Time  Happy Friday! You have 10 minutes to use in any academic way you see fit, including: putting the finishing touches on this week's 100 Word Challenge, fine-tuning your CAP Scholarship essay, taking an A.R. quiz, reading or checking out a book, communicating with teachers, or researching a topic of interest. Your 10 minutes begins now. Go!

100 Word Challenge: Publishing Time  Now it's publishing time! Copy your 100 World Challenge: '...the light was SO bright...' (Week 17) story from your Google Doc and then login to Kidblog. Make a new post. Give your story an appropriate title; just make sure you put 100 WC: before it. Paste your story. Please color or bold the words from this week's prompt, so your readers can locate them easily. Finally, click "Publish".  

Next, copy the web address of your posted story and then head over to 100 Word Challenge. Scroll down and paste the web address into the box that says 'Blog Link'. Enter your first name, 6th Grade, Lakeview Middle School, and for location: Watsonville, California, U.S.A. Finally, click 'Submit'.

Guided Reading of 'Shattered Lives': Focus on Central Ideas and Details  We will now continue reading the narrative nonfiction article "Shattered Lives" together. As we read, our objective is still to determine the central ideas of the text by focusing on the article's details. You can find the assignment "Shattered Lives": Central Ideas and Details in your Language Arts folders.

Homework  (1.) Make sure you read for 30 minutes at least once over the weekend and make an entry on your new 3rd Quarter Reading Log. Don't forget to try one of the 100 New Year's Reading Resolutions for 2015 and make note of it on your log. I will be grading this week's Reading Log on Tuesday, January 20(2.) Complete the assignment "Shattered Lives": Central Ideas and Details, which will be due next Friday, January 23.    

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Narrative Nonfiction: 'Shattered Lives'


 Today's Learning Objective  Determine a central idea of a text and how it is conveyed through particular details.


Preparing to Read 'Shattered Lives': Video and Vocabulary Preview  Today we will read a powerful story about an 11-year-old refugee of the Syrian war, the broader refugee crisis in the Middle East, and the humanitarian efforts in the region. But before we read, we will watch a video in which the author of the article "Shattered Lives," Scope Magazine's Kristin Lewis, introduces her story and provides some background about the current refugee crisis in the Middle East. 

Next, we will preview some of the key vocabulary in the story featured below. 















Guided Reading of 'Shattered Lives': Focus on Central Ideas and Details  We will now read the narrative nonfiction article "Shattered Lives" together (a copy of the article has also been placed in your Language Arts folders). As we read, our objective is to determine the central ideas of the text by focusing on the article's details. Remember, a central idea is one of the main points the author is making and is always supported with details from the text. You can find the assignment "Shattered Lives": Central Ideas and Details in your Language Arts folders. 

Homework  (1.) Read your A.R. book at home for at least 30 minutes and make a Digital Reading Log entry using the new 3rd Quarter Reading Log(2.) Complete your 100 World Challenge: '...the light was SO bright...' (Week 17) story, which we will publish tomorrow, Friday, January 16(3.) Complete your Cabrillo Advancement Program (CAP) Scholarship Essay (and the application if you're actually applying for the scholarship), which is also due tomorrow, Friday, January 16.