Over the past three weeks, my students have been embarking on what we have been calling the ELA Apprentice.  Each week they have been given a task to complete for a test/project grade.  On the one hand, this has been a wonderful opportunity for the students to practice more problem-based learning in a style much like they will face in the real world.  They each had the opportunity to work in pairs, groups, or alone.  That said, there are many students who have not managed their time wisely, and thus, do not have the highest possible grade.  PARENTS, be sure to check Pinnacle so there are no surprises.  EVERY STUDENT has been given access to their grade in class, as well as the assignments they have been missing, for the past two weeks.

As a result, ALL missing assignments are due to me by the end of class on Monday, May the 19th, 2013.  I will not, under any circumstances, accept any work after the end of each class on Monday.

Below are links to the directions for the ELA Apprentice Assignments as well as the two most heavily weighted missing assignments.

Whatever grades assigned in Pinnacle by the morning of Tuesday, May the 20th, will be the ones on each student’s final report card.

As always, please do not hesitate to contact me with any questions that cannot be answered here.


Wednesday and Thursday, February 20th and 21st, 2013

Wednesday saw a continuation of Tuesday’s lesson where the students had the opportunity to view more videos, discuss the possible themes in groups, and finally share them with the whole class.  The students really enjoyed the integration of music into the ELA lesson.

PowerPoint: Putting Things in Order 2.20.13

HOMEWORK: Read for 30 minutes.

Today’s class periods featured discussion about the “Article of the Week” and why we must make sure that sentences and paragraphs are in proper order so that the reader can understand what has been written.  In conjunction with our current extended text Divergent by Veronica Roth, the students took a “Faction Quiz” where they answered questions to see where they will be placed within the classroom next week.  The students will be interacting with the story because the characters within the world of Divergent are separated into different factions, or family-style groups, based on an aptitude test (which uses their personality inclinations) to identify in which group they would best fit.

PowerPoint: Synthesis (Sentence Order and Theme) 2.21.13

HOMEWORK: Read for 30 minutes.  Complete the “Article of the Week” which is due Friday.

Tuesday, February 19th, 2013

Hopefully you had a wonderfully refreshing 4-day Presidents’ Day weekend!

This week we will be focusing on theme and sentence order in class.  To jumpstart the week’s focuses, we first addressed theme.  First, five television theme songs were played and the students had to identify the show to which it belonged.  If they could not, they had to identify what pictures came to mind as they heard the theme song.  The students heard the theme songs below:

Thereafter, we worked whole group to brainstorm on the themes presented in the music videos below.  Since visual images are easier to pull from than text, this served to provide the students with practice in identifying themes.

I chose to pull from a selection of songs from which the students would not be immediately familiar so that they were able to focus on the visuals and less on jamming out to their favorite song.

HOMEWORK: Read for 30 minutes, pull themes from the “Article of the Week”-“Teenage Gamers Better at Simulated Surgery than Medical Residents”

PowerPoint: Theme 2.19.13

Graphic Organizer: Theme Graphic Organizer