Tuesday, March 3, 2015

News and Deadlines from English

The students all have vocabulary quiz 9 this Friday.  They were given the words yesterday in class and can also access the words on mrsripp.com

All re-takes of vocabulary quiz 8 end on Friday as well.  Few students have retaken the quiz resulting in many IE's.  If a child has an IE, they will not be able to attend the end of quarter CARE trip.  To re-take a quiz, the student has to complete one of the following options http://www.mrsripp.com/2015/01/vocab-quiz-re-takes... and can then re-take it.

Students are finishing up their book club projects with one final work day for it on Friday.  All groups will present on the 10th.  This is a summative project for standards 1 and 7, while it is formative for standard 10.  To see our standards, go here 

Students are also working on their narrative writing project.  This is due by March 26th to show mastery of standards 5 and 8.  I have encouraged students to reach out to me for feedback and discussion, some have but many have not.  

Today we watched this poem from Suli Breaks https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7Uc_mvwOUf0&featur...  - I asked the students to respond to it as if they were parents.  I encourage you to watch it and discuss with your child.

I have a sub Thursday and Friday as I travel to North Carolina to present at a conference, i am sorry to be away from the classroom but now that they will work hard.  I am proud to be able to tell other educators what the 7th graders at OMS are doing to change the world (and me as a teacher!).

Friday, February 27, 2015

A Great Video to Watch

We have been discussing poetry and especially trying to break down stereotypes of what poetry is or sounds like.  One of my favorite poets is Suli Breaks.  Behold one of the videos we watched and discussed in class today.

Friday, February 13, 2015

Our Quarter 3 Writing Project

Plan for Writing Thursday

Goal:  To show mastery of standards 5 and 8 by March 26th.

Standard 5:  Write stories to share events, using powerful details and an order of events that makes sense.

Standard 8:  Master punctuation, grammar, spelling, vocabulary and correct formatting of work.

Product:  Up to you, it has to be written (typed or handwritten), it should be your very best work, and needs to be a full story.  

Plan your writing - you only have 6 Thursdays in class to work on this, what will you do each Thursday? Do you need to work on it outside of class?

Random answers: Yes, it can be mature as long as it makes sense within the context of the story. Yes, you may hand it in early, whenever you are ready. No, you may not work on it with a partner since I need to see how your write by yourself. It needs to be a full story, I don't know how lng that is for what you are doing.

Monday, February 9, 2015

Book Club Final Project

Now that you have finished your book, it is time to showcase it to the rest of the class by doing a book-talk.  A few things to keep in mind: you want to discuss parts of the plot but not give  too much  away, please do not make it a summary of the book.  You need to select passages to showcase to support your discussion of the theme and you need to give some sort of verdict; was this a great book or not for book clubs.  

Your purpose:  
To either entice other students to read your book or let them know why this was not a good book club book.

How:  
Up to you!  Think creatively about how you want to share your opinion, this can be via a live book-talk, an iMovie, an Animoto, interpretative dance, visual art - whatever you can come up with.  However, do not spend all of your time on the presentation part, there needs to be deep thought placed into what you are sharing.

Length and depth:
Your project is to be presented in front of the class and should take between 2 and 5 minutes to present.  All group members must be involved in the work and in the presentation.  You will get time in class to work on it.  

Components to discuss include:
  • Title and author
  • Hook
  • Small summary
  • Theme
  • Recommendation
  • Specific parts of the book that illustrates why a reader may love or dislike the book
  • Anything else you may need to sell your book and your understanding of it


Why:
To develop your speaking skills (standard 10), to develop your understanding of theme and how to summarize (standard 1), to develop your deeper thoughts and use text evidence (standard 7), and to finish book clubs in a meaningful way.

Please remember that I am looking for deep content, not assessing how creative you are.  I would rather have you spend your time preparing a stellar book talk based on what you say and not how it looks.


Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Introducing Book Clubs and Stations in English

We have reached the point of the year where students are ready to start book clubs giving them an opportunity to have rich literacy discussions as well as a shared reading experience.  Students have self-selected their books and started reading them yesterday, their first book club meeting will be tomorrow.

We will also be starting stations in English; 14 minute rotations that the students will work through in their book club groups.  This offers me chancre to give them more independent reading time, as well as targeted instruction challenging them at their level of need.  We are spending the next few days previewing expectations as well as the work they may do in a station.    Our station schedule is as follows

Black Days

Group 1
Group 2
Group 3
Group 4
Group 5
Group 6
Mini-lesson
IR
Skills Application
Writing (Vocab grammar, language review, free write)
IR/Book Clubs
Writing (Vocab grammar, language review, free write)
Skills Application
Mini-lesson
IR
IR/Book Clubs
IR/Book Clubs
IR/Book Clubs
IR
Skills Application
Mini-Lesson
IR/Book Clubs
Writing (Vocab grammar, language review, free write)
IR/Book Clubs




Orange Days

Group 1
Group 2
Group 3
Group 4
Group 5
Group 6
IR/Book Clubs
IR/Book Clubs
Writing (Vocab grammar, language review, free write)
Skills Application
Mini-lesson
IR
IR/Book Clubs
IR/Book Clubs
IR/Book Clubs
IR
Skills Application
Mini-lesson
Writing (Vocab grammar, language review, free write)
Writing (Vocab grammar, language review, free write)
IR/Book Clubs
Mini-lesson
IR
Skills Application


Updates from English

All permission slips were handed out today in English class for the CARE trip on Friday.  They are due no later than this Thursday with the $10 to cover the trip.  If a scholarship is needed to cover the cost, please let me know.

Book orders are due this Wednesday, thank you to those who have ordered already.  Here is a link with more information http://www.mrsripp.com/2015/01/book-orders-for-jan...

All English grades have been entered on Infinite Campus.  All other semester/quarter grades are due by this Thursday at 4 PM.

All pictures from the day in the life of a student should be emailed or placed into their Google drive by next Tuesday.

We started book clubs today, students have 4 weeks to finish their self-selected books.  

Standards assessed this quarter will be standards: 1, 3, 5, 8 and 9.  A link to all standards can be found here http://ow.ly/HYEU0

Please let me know if you have any questions or if I can be of any help.

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Book Orders for January Going Home Today!

We always love when it is book order time and January has brought an exceptional slew of books for us to choose from.  In fact, I have already placed 8 books into my "to order" pile for the class.  Students were given the book order forms today and they are due to me by next Wednesday, the 28th.  Note a teen catalog was sent home, please be advised that some books are a little more mature.

Remember; you can order books online - every time you do we get a $3 coupon to order more books for the classroom.  They are also running a special deal with extra bonus points this month which just translates to more books for the classroom.    Thank you so much for considering!

To order online

  •  ENTER the one-time Class Activation Code GXJ8R 
  •  SHOP from any of the magazines or enter by book title.  Note: there are more books online than in the magazines.
  •  SUBMIT your order and earn FREE Books for our classroom
  •  

Some of my "Can't Miss" recommendations this month are:

  • The Selection Pack by Keira Cass - love, action, and a little bit of drama
  • El Deafoby Cece Bell - a new Graphic novel like Smile or Drama - phenomenal read.
  • Lies We Tell Ourselves by Robin Talley
  • The Wrap-Up List by Steven Arntson
  • Prisoner B-3087 by Alan Gratz
  • Guts & Glory: The American Civil War  by Ben Thompson
  • Duke by Kirby Larson - dogs, loyalty, war and adventure.  
  • Rain Reign by Ann M. Martin - amazing read about a gril who is a little bit different.
  • Brown Girl Dreaming by Jacqueline Woodson - this just won the National Book Award - an amazing read.
  • The One and Only Ivan by Katherine Applegate - a new classic.
  • Stella by Starlight by Sharon Draper - her latest must read!