image is in the midst of some changes and will be undergoing a re-design…much like parts of my own life.  There are some great things I cannot wait to announce, but will do so by the beginning of the 2015-2016 school year.  Stay tuned and remember that no matter how scary it may seem at the time, change is great!

-Ms. W.


Eleanor Roosevelt

My students are currently preparing for state-wide testing we call the CRCT.  This test, the Criterion-Referenced Competency Test, is set over five days and is administered to some elementary school students all the way through high school.  With the increase of standardized tests to measure student success, it is sometimes easy to not spend as much time reminding students of what it takes to be a successful and productive member of society.  We must remember to take them beyond being able to show what they know in tests and other assessments to continue pursuing their dreams and whatever makes them happy.  Thus, below are some great quotes from the ever-so-wise Eleanor Roosevelt:

  • “Life was meant to be lived, and curiosity must be kept alive. One must never, for whatever reason, turn his back on life.” ~ Eleanor Roosevelt
  • “With the new day comes new strength and new thoughts.” ~ Eleanor Roosevelt
  • “Life is what you make it. Always has been, always will be.” ~ Eleanor Roosevelt
  • “Do not stop thinking of life as an adventure. You have no security unless you can live bravely, excitingly, imaginatively; unless you can choose a challenge instead of competence.” ~ Eleanor Roosevelt
  • “Happiness is not a goal…it’s a by-product of a life well lived.” ~ Eleanor Roosevelt
  • “What could we accomplish if we knew we could not fail?” ~ Eleanor Roosevelt

Keep living, keep being inspired, and keep taking everything as it comes!


Ms. W.

Web Resources to Know (GoodReads)

I hope you all are enjoying your break (even you, parents) and are getting some much-needed rest!

In between a conference and a couple of workshops, I have been working to test out new web-based resources that will make ELA/Reading more interactive within my classroom next year.  Over the next few weeks, I will be publishing posts highlighting some of the resources I have come to know that will be of benefit to you as students, parents, and other educators.  Today’s focus is GoodReads.

GoodReads:  This is a social networking site centered around books.  Connect with your classmates, teachers, and other friends by ranking books you have read and leaving reviews for these books.  You can comment on the reviews of others, but what I love the most is that after you input 20 book rankings (by highlighting stars ranging from 1-5 stars to show how much you liked the books), GoodReads will start suggesting books you may like.

Once you sign up on GoodReads, you can even link your account with your Twitter account so you can let others know what you read and liked, what you didn’t like, what you are in the process of reading, and what you want to read next.  Of course, I welcome you to connect with me.  As I am sure you have guessed, my username is MsWillipedia.

Stay tuned for the next installment of Web Resources to Know!

-Ms. W.

Monday, November 5th, 2012

Have you ever had trouble understanding what it was that someone else was trying to say?  Well, in class today we learned how editing helps others improve their writing.  After brief notes on common editing marks, we worked whole group to edit a sample paragraph.  Thereafter, the students worked on their own to correct a sample paragraph called “The Beach.”  Finally, all students were informed of the requirements of their homework assignment (which will be worth a quiz grade) where they work in groups of up to 4 to create their own 12-question quiz.  This will serve as one way to review for the unit exam this Friday.

PowerPoint:Let’s Edit!

Sample Paragraph: “The Beach” (with key)

Homework: (DUE THURSDAY)

•Each student will work in a group (of their own choosing) of up to 4 students  to create a 12-question quiz.
•Each student is to create at least 3 questions for the quiz. (Divide the questions equally among yourselves.)
•You must also create a key. You will have to write a 3+ sentence justification of the right answers.
•You and your group will receive additional points toward their team’s grade for including higher-order-thinking questions. (Quiz Grade)



Extra Credit Opportunities

Lately I have been asked whether I will be providing any extra credit opportunities.  The answer is “yes” and “no”.  Any extra credit opportunities I present will either be here online on the blog, or via Twitter, or the will be presented in class in conjunction with an existing assignment.  For example, today’s quiz featured an opportunity for students to gain as much as 10 bonus points on their timed writing if they added additional examples of DRAPES.

My goal is to assist my students in completing their work to their fullest capabilities which is why I don’t prefer to offer extra credit in the form of additional work.  Please continue to use this blog as a means to assist you in supporting your student. Of course I am always glad to clarify any questions that may arise.


Wednesday, September 26th, 2012

Wednesday plunged us deep into class discussions on the following topics:

  1. Should college athletes be paid for playing?
  2. Should the elderly receive free bus rides?
  3. Should state colleges be free to attend?

The students really enjoyed discussing these and their opinions varied widely.  It was quite exciting!  We then took a step back to channel these ideas into a mind map and just practiced brainstorming.  In fact, the students were able to use the points brought up in discussion to assist them.

HOMEWORK: Complete week-long assignments

PowerPoint: (Forthcoming)

Tuesday, September 25th, 2012

Due to time constraints on Monday, this lesson was moved to Tuesday.  In all periods, we re-introduced the concept of clauses.  Since we covered clauses in-depth last year, this lesson focused more on the types of dependent (also known as “subordinate” clauses).  There are two types of clauses: independent and dependent.  While there is only one type independent clause, there are three types of dependent clauses: noun clauses, adjective clauses, and adverb clauses.  Luckily, these clauses act as they are named.

  • A noun clause is a group of related words with a subject and a predicate that together act like a noun.  You can check to see if a clause is a noun clause by seeing if it can be replaced by the word “it.”  If it can, it is a noun clause!
  • An adjective clause is a group of related words with a subject and a predicate that acts like an adjective.  This clause modifies (describes) a noun or pronoun.
  • An adverb clause is a group of related words with a subject and a predicate that acts like an adverb.  This clause modifies (describes) an adjective, a verb, or another adverb.

*Note: Before this lesson on clauses, 7th period went into a little more depth breaking down how to move from a writing prompt to a full-fledged essay on a topic.  The students will provided with the graphic organizer below:

HOMEWORK: Construct 5 questions you still have about clauses (if you have none, write 5 things you know about clauses).  They must be in the form of simple, compound, complex, or compound-complex sentences.

PowerPoint: 9-25-12 Be clause you’re worth it! (Take 2)

Graphic Organizer: Clauses Graphic Organizer

Friday, August 31st Lesson Recap

The Friday before a long weekend is always an exciting one.  This Friday we continued to review ways of persuading readers in argumentative writing as well as identifying the subject and predicate in a sentence.

The students watched a video of a young man being sentenced.  This served to create background knowledge before the students wrote their third BCR (Brief Constructed Response) answering the question:

  • Should juveniles be punished separately or as adults after committing a serious crime?

The TAPP strategy was introduced to help everyone best respond to the topic.

  • ›T=topic
    • ›What are you being asked to comment on?
  • ›A=audience
    • ›Who is supposed to read your response?
  • ›P=purpose
    • ›Why are you writing your response?
  • ›P=pattern (organization)
    • ›How should you structure (organize) your response?
      • ›Cause and Effect, Argumentative (persuasion), Problem and solution, etc.

HOMEWORK: Write a BCR persuading me to listen to your favorite song.

PowerPoint:TAPP & BCR #3 8/31/12