The warm 3-day weekend wrapped up with the historic inauguration of our President on the same day as we celebrate the achievements and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, jr. In fact, I found out that President Obama is one of only 17 presidents to give an inaugural address to jump start his second term. Did you know that his second inauguration is not the first Presidential Inauguration to coincide with MLK Day? Interestingly enough, President Bill Clinton‘s second inauguration was also on MLK Day. How fascinating!
On our first day back (and the day before the Georgia Middle Grades Writing Assessment) we played an ELA version of Family Feud for the activator (the 10 minutes prior to the main lesson) and played Writing Assessment Review Jeopardy. The students seemed to have a wonderful time.
This afternoon was the last of the Pre-Writing Assessment after-school tutoring sessions. I want to thank all of the students who stayed after school or came during connections for additional help. That level of initiative is what will surely be the foundation of success. I am so proud to teach such students!
HOMEWORK: Get a good night of sleep! Read for 30 minutes and work on the Guided Book Review which is due in 1 week (on Tuesday, January, 29th, 2013).
On this Halloween week, we reviewed, researched, solved a crime, critiqued the writing of others, and tried to persuade friends to vote as we would. As the old saying goes, “variety is the spice of life!” The goal of this week was to prepare the students for creating more substantive long-form essays in the coming weeks.
Monday, October 29th, 2012
- The students participated in review activities to become re-acquainted with the grammar and writing concepts we have addressed to this point.
- 10-29-12 Grammar & Writing Check Up
Tuesday, October 3oth, 2012 (Library a.k.a. Media Center Day!)
- As a preview to online research, the students participated in a Web Quest where they followed specific instructions to learn more about things going on in the world.
- There were some broken links in the pre-made Web Quests presented so I compiled a a couple of articles to which the students were to respond with their thoughts.
- 10-30-12 Library Day!
Wednesday, October 31st, 2012 (HALLOWEEN)
- The students worked whole group to deduce who was guilty in “The Case of the Fallen Roses.” I enjoy the use of mysteries because it requires the students to use context clues, draw inferences, demonstrate their reading comprehension, in addition to using common sense to find the answer. The best part of it all is that it is fun, engaging, and does not feel like work either (oh, and I get to read in funny voices too).
- After the mystery was solved, the students worked on a differentiated assignment. They all had the same essay from which they were to pull out information (much like in the mystery) but the requirements varied based on whether they were Extremely Advanced, Advanced, On-Level, or Struggling Learners. In order to disguise this fact, I color-coded the requirements and assigned them to each student in that manner.
- 10-31-12 ELASI-ELA Scene Investigation
Thursday, November 1st, 2012
- The students worked with me to identify the strengths and weaknesses of up to three model papers. These model papers were ones written by actual Georgia 8th graders for the annual Writing Assessment. The scores of the papers we discussed were either a 1 (the lowest), a 2, or a 3. **A paper with a score of a 5 is the highest.
- 11-1-12 Upgrade It!
Friday, November 2nd, 2012
- The students completed a short quiz to review their understanding of the acronyms TAPP and DRAPES.
- The students then had to complete a timed writing of at least 3 paragraphs on the topic below:
- Election day is Tuesday. Which man do you think will be the best choice for President of the United States? You can choose from Pres. Barack Obama (Democrat), Gov. Mitt Romney (Republican), or Gov. Gary Johnson (Libertarian). Write a letter to your classmates to convince them to vote the same way you would.
- 11-2-12 Quiz & Timed Writing Day
How many of you watched the debate last night? How well do you think each man met the Common Core Georgia Performance Standards?
- ELACC8W1: Write arguments to support claims with clear reasons and relevant evidence.
- ELACC8W2: Write informative/explanatory texts to examine a topic and convey ideas, concepts, and information through the selection, organization, and analysis of relevant content.
- ELACC8L1: Demonstrate command of the conventions of standard English grammar and usage when writing or speaking.
Leave your (respectfully-written) comments below. Cite specific details. Everyone who participates (and includes specific details, examples, and support for his or her opinion) will receive extra credit toward their lowest grade this quarter.