Tuesday, November 24, 2015

News from 7-O English

All word work grades have now been entered, these are summative assignments that should be re-taken if a student got less than a 2.5.  The re-take window closes on December 7th.

The scores are based on the following:
0-1 incorrect (includes spelling) - 3
2 incorrect - 2.5
3-4 incorrect - 2
5 incorrect - 1.5
6-8 incorrect - 1
9 or 10 incorrect - IE = insufficient evidence
Most students are doing really well with choosing their path, while a few are not choosing well and consistently do not study or finish their work.  This may be a great opportunity to ask them about their study habits and how they are staying organized. 

The only homework over break is to read!  The students book shopped from more than $2,000 worth of new books yesterday as I had won a grant for brand new books plus picked up 3 boxes of books at the conference.  There is definitely no reason to not find an amazing book in our classroom with the students having access to many advance review copies as well.

I hope you have an incredible break.  Please know how thankful we are for these kids and just how much we love our jobs.

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Word Work Re-takes Explained

With our foray into word work, I thought it would be nice to explain the re-take policy for any of it.

How are they assessed?
The packets are assessed for completion as well as spelling.
The quizzes are assessed for correctness, as well as spelling.

Who can re-take?
Anyone that wants to show a deeper understanding of the words and their definition.

How does a re-take work?
Path 1:
If a child wants to -re-take the quiz, they can if they got more than a 2 on it.  They then need to see me to schedule a re-take. If they got a 1 or a 1.5, they need to do the packet (path 2) as their re-take since the quiz did not seem to work too well.

Path 2 and Path 3:
Simply fix the mistakes and do any missing work and re-hand in the same packet.

The window is open for 2 weeks after every due date.  So this time all re-takes are due to me be the 20th.

Further questions?
Contact me.

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Parent Survey Before Fall Conferences

In order to best prepare for our upcoming fall conference, I invite you to fill out the following survey so that I can prepare accordingly.so your needs can be met.

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

An Update on English Scores

I am entering the students' scores for their summative English assignment today and wanted to take a moment to address what they mean.  English scores are on a continuum of growth, meaning that a child getting a "2" on a standard this quarter is not reason for alarm or disappointment.  Two of the standards that students are scored on this quarter; standards 1 and 5, are hard concepts to conquer as they involve abstract thinking and expression.    These standards are practiced most quarters and we typically see great growth in not just skill, but also in confidence.

I will be addressing this with students today as well as they receive their summative scores.  My intention is certainly not to frustrate students (or parents) but instead challenge their thinking and their skills.  I will continue to do small group, as well as one-on-one instruction in class to help individual students as needed.

For the next two days students are working on their final speech of the quarter; a choral poetry performance.  This is a great way to boost speech scores and build their confidence as speakers.  These will be performed and videotaped next Monday.

Finally, students will determine their standards scores for the semester evaluating their own growth as well as setting goals for next quarter tomorrow.  I will send home copies of their self assessments on Monday.

Please continue to reach out to me with any questions or concerns.  I so appreciate your feedback and support.

Monday, October 26, 2015

Word Work Explained

As we near the end of our 1st quarter it is time for us to start word work.  There are 3 paths to success within our word work program in English.  Students can choose whichever path they would like every time word work is assigned.  This gives them a chance to be more successful as they can gauge what they need at the given time.

Path 1.
Students receive the list of words and study for the quiz.  The list of words can be found here and the quiz is typically the Friday following the week it is handed out.

Path 2.
Students are given the same 10 words as Path 1 but are asked to work with the words instead.  In a packet, found here, students figure out meaning and word relationships as they get to know the roots better.  There is no quiz for this path, the completed packet is due the same day as the quiz.

Path 3.
Do the same word work as the enriched English class; Caesar's Word Within Word.  This path also allows for the students to gain deeper knowledge as they work with the words and their meaning.  There is no quiz for this path, instead the completed packet is due the same day as the quiz.  That work can be found here.

This will be assessed under standard 6:  Command the conventions of standard English grammar, usage, and vocabulary.

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Fall Conferences Information

Student/Parent/Teacher conferences for the fall will be held in the OMS lunchroom on November 17th and November 19th from 4 PM to 8 PM.  At OMS, there are no sign ups for conferences, instead the teachers are all seated at tables in the lunch room and each conference lasts 5 minutes.  You simply approach the teacher(s) you would like to speak with when they are open or wait in line for them.  

If you do not feel that 5 minutes will be enough to discuss your child, please contact the individual teacher to schedule a meeting at a different time.

Due to the NCTE conference in Minneapolis, I will not be at OMS on the 19th of November and will thus not be available for conferences that day.  I have therefore set up an alternative day for conferences on November 12th from 3:30 PM to 8 PM.  The conferences on the 12th will be scheduled so that you do not have to wait for an open slot.  To secure one of these spots on the 12th, please follow these directions:

1. Click this link to go to our invitation page on VolunteerSpot: http://vols.pt/9mGNit 
2. Enter your email address: (You will NOT need to register an account on VolunteerSpot) 
3. Sign up! Choose your spots - VolunteerSpot will send you an automated confirmation and reminders. Easy!

 Note: VolunteerSpot does not share your email address with anyone. If you prefer not to use your email address, please contact me and I can sign you up manually.

I realize that the spots on the 12th are limited due to the longer time for each, and will therefore also be available on the 17th in the lunchroom for the 5 minute conferences.  That being said, I can also meet at a different time if you would like or feel we need to have a longer discussion about your child.    Please just contact me.

Next week, the students will bring home a parent questionnaire as we prepare for conferences, please take a moment to fill it out so I can make sure our meeting fulfills your needs.

Thursday, October 15, 2015

Time for October Book Orders

Good afternoon,
The students received the book order fliers today in English, and they received a lot of them!  The book orders are due to me by this coming Tuesday so that we can get the new books into the hands of students as quickly as possible.  I am very excited about this book order because of the great new books highlighted.  Note that there is a teen catalog of choices too and that some of the books in it are more mature.

I recommend shopping online, as there is a larger selection of books than in the fliers. 
To shop online: scholastic.com/readingclub
One-Time Class Activation Code: GXJ8R 

Or you can send in a check made out to Scholastic to order the books.

This month's book recommendations - it is so hard to pick!
  • Magnus Chase and the Gods of Asgard by Rick Riordan - the new series is here from the author of The Lightning Thief!
  • Crenshaw by Katherine Applegate - this one has been flying off my shelves.
  • Fantasy League by Mike Lupica - his latest is out in paperback.
  • Auggie & Me by R.J. Palacio
  • The Marvels by Brian Selznick - a masterful tale
  • The Babysitters Club Books 1 - 3 in graphic novel form
  • Courage & Defiance: Stories of Spies, Saboteurs, and Survivors in World War II Denmark  by Deborah Hopkinson

Happy reading and thank you for considering!