Friday, February 27, 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 23) story carefully. Does your story flow naturally from beginning to end? Did you use descriptive words and sensory details? Did you carefully review your spelling, capitalization, punctuation, and grammar? Did you make sure your verb tenses are consistent and that you have employed correct and varied sentence structures? Please make sure your piece of 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: Picture Challenge (Week 23) 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. 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! 

If you post early enough and time permits, feel free to leave positive comments and/or constructive feedback for your fellow writers from around the world. 

100 Word Challenge: Assessment Submission  It is time again to submit one of your 100 Word Challenge stories to me from the past month 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 pieces: 100 Word Challenge: 5 Words (Week 20)100 Word Challenge: ... the silence was deafening... (Week 21)100 Word Challenge: ... but it said 'sweet' on the wrapper... (Week 22), or 100 Word Challenge: Picture Challenge (Week 23)

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! 

Finish District Benchmark Test  If you still need finish the District Benchmark test, please do so now. Go to www.pvusd.net. Click on Students, then scroll down to Illuminate Home Portal. Login as you did yesterday, locate the exam Gr 6 ELA CCSS Benchmark #2 under "Pending Online Assessments." Next, resume your test. Remember, you may 'Pause' the test at anytime by clicking the 'pause' button if you need to stop the test and then resume it later. When you are ready to finish the test once and for all, click Review/Finish and review your responses one final time before submitting your exam to be scored.   

Sacred Reading Time  If time permits, I offer you the rest of 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 twice over the long weekend and make a couple more entries 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, March 2.

Thursday, February 26, 2015

District Benchmark Test (Day 2)

Don't give up! Keep on keeping on!  

The District Benchmark Test  Today you will continue taking the District Benchmark exam online. Please read the passages carefully, use your various test-taking strategies, and try your best. Go to www.pvusd.net. Click on Students, then scroll down to Illuminate Home Portal. Login as you did yesterday, locate the exam Gr 6 ELA CCSS Benchmark #2 under "Pending Online Assessments." Next, resume your test. Remember, you may 'Pause' the test at anytime by clicking the 'pause' button if you need to stop the test and then resume it later. When you are ready to finish the test once and for all, click Review/Finish and review your responses one final time before submitting your exam to be scored.   
                            

Writing Time: 100 Word Challenge  If you finish the District Benchmark exam early, you may work on your 100 Word Challenge: Picture Challenge (Week 23) story, which we will be publishing tomorrow.

Submitting a Story to Be Assessed  In addition to publishing this week's 100 Word Challenge story tomorrow, you will also be selecting one of your stories written during the month of February to be graded by me using our 100 Word Challenge Rubric, which will count toward the assessment component of your Language Arts grade. You may choose between the following pieces: 100 Word Challenge: 5 Words (Week 20)100 Word Challenge: ... the silence was deafening... (Week 21)100 Word Challenge: ... but it said 'sweet' on the wrapper... (Week 22), or 100 Word Challenge: Picture Challenge (Week 23). Once you decide which story you would to have me review, you may make final edits and revisions of the story within Kidblog. Make sure your selected story represents your very best writing. You will be submitting the link to your chosen story using a Google Form tomorrow.

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.) Complete your 100 Word Challenge: Picture Challenge (Week 23) story, which we will publish tomorrow, Friday, February 27.  (3.) Complete your 'The Tequila Worm' Reading Guide (Week 3), which is due tomorrow, Friday, February 27. (4.) Decide on which 100 Word Challenge story for the month of February you will be submitting to Mr. McGinty to be assessed, and make final revisions and edits. 

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

The District Benchmark Test

You can do your best on the test!

The District Benchmark Test  Today you will be taking the second District Benchmark exam online. This is a very important test and I expect you to try your best. Since this exam attempts to measure your understanding of key content standards we have covered in class so far this year, your score will count as as assessment towards your Language Arts grade. Directions on how to log in the Illuminate Student Portal and get started with your test can be found below. 

Step 1: Go to www.pvusd.net. Click on Students, then scroll down to Illuminate Home Portal.   
Step 2: Students must select the Student tab on the Illuminate Home Connection screen.

Step 3: Login protocol.
                     Username: student ID#
                     Password: student birthdate:
                                 Ex.: January 7, 2000 is entered Ja072000
                                 (the first letter only is capped). 


Step 4: Students select Assessments from under the list located under "What Would You Like to See." 

Step 5: Students click on the link for Gr 6 ELA CCSS Benchmark #2 under "Pending Online Assessment" to select your exam. 

Step 6: Students click Begin Test to start the exam. 



Step 7: You may 'Pause' the test at anytime by clicking the 'pause' button if you need to stop the test and then resume it later. When you are ready to finish the test once and for all, click Review/Finish and review your responses one final time before submitting your exam to be scored. 


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 23) story, which we will publish on Friday, February 27.  (3.) Continue working on 'The Tequila Worm' Reading Guide (Week 3), which will be due on Friday, February 27

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

'Tequila Worm' and Smarter Balanced Testing Practice

How will Sofia feel about beginning her life away from her family at Saint Luke's?
Find out in today's reading of Tequila Worm

 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: Tequila Worm  Today we read the chapter "Another Mundo" (pgs. 125-135) of Tequila Worm. As we read, we will stop periodically to discuss the text and, if time permits, work on the guiding questions from our 'The Tequila Worm' Reading Guide (Week 3). We will also continue to add to our Story Plot Chart ('Tequila Worm').

Smarter Balanced Online Testing Practice  Testing season is fast approaching. Tomorrow you will be taking the District Benchmark exam. In several weeks we begin the state and federally mandated Smarter Balanced Online Summative Assessments. To help prepare you, we will periodically engage in sessions of online testing practice.

Today we will begin one such practice session. Please visit the California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress site's practice testing portal here. You should screen similar to the one below; make sure you're logging on as a 'GUEST' and click 'Sign In'. 



Next, click 'Select Grade' and choose '6' and click 'Yes'.

Finally, click on 'Start G6 ELA Practice Test,' and eventually you'll arrive on the beginning of the test. Let's examine the format of the test, practice a few together, and then I will let you go ahead independently. 


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 23) story, which we will publish on Friday, February 27.  (3.) Continue working on 'The Tequila Worm' Reading Guide (Week 3), which will be due on Friday, February 27

Monday, February 23, 2015

'Tequila Worm' and a New 100 Word Challenge

Some strange things are taking place in the Tequila Worm. Could the 'canicula' be to blame? 




















 Today's Learning Objectives  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.  Write narratives to develop real or imagined experiences or events using effective technique, relevant descriptive details, and well-structured event sequences.  


Guided Reading: Tequila Worm  Today we read the chapter "The Canicula" (pgs. 112-124) of Tequila Worm. As we read, we will stop periodically to discuss the text and, if time permits, work on the guiding questions from our 'The Tequila Worm' Reading Guide (Week 3). We will also continue to add to our Story Plot Chart ('Tequila Worm').

Introducing a New 100 Word Challenge  This week we have another picture challenge. Check out the directions and image below. 









Apparently a "settee" is another name for a sofa or a couch. Regardless of what you call it, there are endless possibilities for a story here. Study the picture carefully and start crafting an imaginative and creative story using the document 100 Word Challenge: Picture Challenge (Week 23), which you can find 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 23) story, which we will publish on Friday, February 27.  (3.) Continue working on 'The Tequila Worm' Reading Guide (Week 3), which will be due on Friday, February 27

Friday, February 20, 2015

The Writing Process in Action






 Today's Learning Objectives  Write narratives to develop real or imagined experiences or events using effective technique, relevant descriptive details, and well-structured event sequences. Use technology to produce and publish writing and to interact and collaborate with others.


The Writing Process in Action  Not even the best writers can crank out a piece of publishable writing in a single sitting. For world renowned published authors and for each of us, writing is a process. That process has been evident in this classroom throughout the week and will continue today. Earlier in the week you were provided with a writing prompt, which was followed by time for brainstorming and prewriting. Next, came the drafting stage where each of your stories begin to stake shape and come to life. Today, we will continue the process by engaging in a peer revision and editing session, which will be followed by some time for final revisions and edits, and lastly, we will publish our writing! 

Peer Revising and Editing  Today you will have the opportunity to share your current piece of writing, 100 Word Challenge: ... but it said 'sweet' on the wrapper... (Week 22), 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 a 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.

I would encourage you to also engage in conversation with each about each other's pieces of writing. If you have questions about your partner's story, ask. If you're unsure about what your peer editor is suggesting, seek clarification.  

Finishing Touches and Publishing  Now that you've received feedback, it's just about time to publish this week's 100 Word Challenge. Please look over your 100 Word Challenge: ... but it said 'sweet' on the wrapper... (Week 22) story carefully. Did you skillfully integrate the words "but it said 'sweet on the wrapper" from this week's prompt? Does your story flow naturally from beginning to end? Did you use descriptive words and sensory details? Did you carefully review your spelling, capitalization, punctuation, and grammar? Did you make sure your verb tenses are consistent and that you have employed correct and varied sentence structures? Please make sure your piece of writing is good as it can be.

Next, it's publishing time! Copy your story from your Google Doc and then login to Kidblog. Make a new post. This week you once again get to title your story whatever you find fitting; just make sure you put 100 WC: before your chosen title. Paste your story. Make sure you highlight, color, or bold the seven 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'. Congratulations on being published writers!   


If you post early enough and time permits, feel free to leave positive comments and/or constructive feedback for your fellow writers from around the world. 

Author's Chair  I would like to celebrate some of our published authors today by inviting those who are interested to read your stories to the class today. Please pay attention to intonation (by making sure your tone changes to match what is being read), phrasing (by reading smoothly and using punctuation to tell you when to stop, pause or emphasize), and expression (by using your voice to express the feeling of what is being read). It takes a lot of courage to get in front of a group of people! During a reading, the audience should remain attentive and respectful, and afterwards should try to offer positive and constructive feedback. (Some "response stems" for feedback can be found below.) 



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 23.

Thursday, February 19, 2015

'Tequila Worm' and the 100 Word Challenge




 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.


Reading Activities: Tequila Worm  We will begin today by working on the guiding questions related to the chapter "The Packing Shed" from our 'The Tequila Worm' Reading Guide (Week 3). We will also to add to our Story Plot Chart ('Tequila Worm').

Writing Time: 100 Word Challenge  Let's apply what we learned from the peer review process yesterday to our own 100 Word Challenge: ... but it said 'sweet' on the wrapper... (Week 22) story. Did you recognize any strengths in the writing of your international peer that you would like to try emulate? Are their some stumbling blocks you noticed that you are going to work hard to avoid? Let's continue to learn from each other and grow as writers! If you would like to schedule a teacher conference today, 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.) Finish your 100 Word Challenge: ... but it said 'sweet' on the wrapper... (Week 22) story, which we will publish tomorrow, Friday, February 20

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

The 100 Word Challenge and Peer Writing Review


 Today's Learning Objective  Write narratives to develop real or imagined experiences or events using effective technique, relevant descriptive details, and well-structured event sequences.


International Peer Writing Review  One of the most beautiful things about the 100 Word Challenge is its ability to bring people from all over the world together to engage in a common task. No matter what country you live in, on any given week, kids dotted all around the globe are simultaneously brainstorming ideas for the same prompt, participating in a similar process, and attempting to improve on the same basic writing skills. The boundaries that typically divide us disappear, as we are all, essentially, in this together. 

In that spirit, I would like to spend some time today reading the work of some of your writing peers from around the world. Let's find out how they addressed this week's prompt and what each student is doing well and could potentially improve on. My hope is that this process of 'Peer Writing Review' will inform your own writing and provide you with clear models of what good writing looks like, as well as examples of some of the writing stumbling blocks we want to try to avoid. 

Let's use the same writing rubric we use to with our own writing to analyze the writing of our international peers. 


As you read the various writing samples, keep an eye out for whether your international peers are meeting each of the criteria for Proficient writing. What is your international peers strengths as a writer? What are some areas they meed to potentially work on? Record your findings using the document Peer Writing Review, which can be found in your Language Arts folders.











Each person form each team will be assigned a number with one of the writing samples below. You will then be provided time to read your assigned story and analyze it using your Peer Writing Review document. After you have had time to review and assess the writing of your international peer, you and those with the same assigned number will stand and share out your findings. 

1. Abbie, Year 5, England




















2. Aaron, Year 6, Ireland













3. Jacy, Year 6, United Arab Emirates 

4. Luke Year 5/6, Australia 
Writing Time: 100 Word Challenge  If time permits, let's apply what we learned from the peer review process to our own 100 Word Challenge: ... but it said 'sweet' on the wrapper... (Week 22) story. Did you recognize any strengths in the writing of your international peer that you would like to try emulate? Are their some stumbling blocks you noticed that you are going to work hard to avoid? Let's continue to learn from each other and grow as writers!   

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: ... but it said 'sweet' on the wrapper... (Week 22) story, which we will publish on Friday, February 20

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

A 'Tasty' 100 Word Challenge

Sweet or not?

 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.


Introducing a New 100 Word Challenge  This week's 100 Word Challenge will require you activate your taste buds and sharpen your descriptive writing skills. Let's review the new prompt. 











What sorts of things might have the word 'sweet' on the wrapper? The obvious answer is candy. Check out a list of famous candies here. Want to get beyond candy? A list of other sweet tasting foods and desserts can also be found here.  

In your story, however, you will have to do much more than describing the sweetness of how something taste. The word 'but' in fact indicates that whatever is being tasted turns out to be not sweet, but rather something else entirely. To help you describe the various ways that something can taste a few different sensory 'taste' word lists have been included below. 




A list of descriptive sensory words that includes 'tasting' words, among others, can also be found below. 


Finally, once you decide what was in the wrapper and what it tasted like, you need to figure out how this edible item will figure into your story. Where will your story take place? Who is speaking or thinking the words ". . . but it said 'sweet' on the wrapper . . . " How do you build a story around it? That is your challenge this week.  The document 100 Word Challenge: ... but it said 'sweet' on the wrapper... (Week 22) can be found in your Language Arts folders. Let's get writing! 

Guided Reading: Tequila Worm  Today we will begin reading the chapter "The Packing Shed" (pgs. 102 - 111) of Tequila Worm. As we read, we will stop periodically to discuss the text and, if time permits, work on the guiding questions from our 'The Tequila Worm' Reading Guide (Week 3). We will also continue to add to our Story Plot Chart ('Tequila Worm').

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: ... but it said 'sweet' on the wrapper... (Week 22) story. 
(3.) Continue working on 'The Tequila Worm' Reading Guide (Week 3). 

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Happy Thursday!


100 Word Challenge: Finishing Touches and Publishing  It's just about time to publish this week's 100 Word Challenge. Please look over your 100 Word Challenge: ... the silence was deafening... (Week 21) story carefully. Did you skillfully integrate the words "the silence was deafening" from this week's prompt? Does your story flow naturally from beginning to end? Did you use descriptive words and sensory details? Did you carefully review your spelling, capitalization, punctuation, and grammar? Did you make sure your verb tenses are consistent and that you have employed correct and varied sentence structures? Please make sure your piece of writing is good as it can be.

Next, it's publishing time! Copy your story from your Google Doc and then login to Kidblog. Make a new post. This week you once again get to title your story whatever you find fitting; just make sure you put 100 WC: before your chosen title. Paste your story. Make sure you highlight, color, or bold the five 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'. Congratulations! 

If you post early enough and time permits, feel free to leave positive comments for your fellow writers from around the world. 

Author's Chair  I would like to invite those of you who are interested to read your stories to the class today. You may want to practice a few read-throughs before you read aloud from the front of the room. Please pay attention to intonation (by making sure your tone changes to match what is being read), phrasing (by reading smoothly and using punctuation to tell you when to stop, pause or emphasize), and expression (by using your voice to express the feeling of what is being read). It takes a lot of courage to get in front of a group of people! During a reading, the audience should remain attentive and respectful, and afterwards should try to offer positive and constructive feedback. (Some "response stems" for feedback can be found below.) 


    
Accelerated Reader Update  We have now reached the half-way point of the quarter, and in ideal world, each of you would have now earned at least half of the points towards your quarter reading goal. I will update each of you on your progress today and stickers will be awarded to those of you who are making a sizable dent in your reading goal.  

Sacred Reading Time  If time permits I offer you the rest of 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 twice over the long weekend and make a couple more entries 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 Tuesday, February 17.