Show What You Know

Today was assessment day…on the subjunctive, that is.

After a two-song individual review, we had a brief whole-class review.  Thereafter, the students completed the quiz linked below on the use of the subjunctive mood.

Subjunctive Formative Assessment

While others finished up their quizzes, the students who finished early had the opportunity to work on a subjunctive board game quietly.  Other students opted to use the in-class computers to finish their KidBlog posts.  Once everyone finished, we had a quick, on the floor discussion about our previous experiences with poetry.  We formed an oval in the center of the room and passed around the Sphere of Knowledge to take turns sharing.


  • Read for 30 minutes.
  • Study for the Lesson 10 Vocabulary Quiz on Friday.
  • CompleteKidBlog posts:
    • Input your “If I Were President” speech onto KidBlog.  This is due by 11:59 p.m. Friday, January 30th, 2015.
    • Respond to at least 2 other classmate’s “Dear Dr. King” posts.  Try to respond where no previous responses were made. This is also due by 11:59 p.m. Friday, January 30th, 2015.


The Subjunctive Mood

When I was in school, I remember learning about the different verb forms and tenses in my foreign language classes and marveling at the large variety of them, thinking “thank goodness there aren’t this many in English.”  This was before I went deeper into my studies of English and realized how wrong I was.

As a result of this experience, my students and I, thanks to the Common Core Georgia Performance Standards, explored the subjunctive mood.

Subjunctive mood

In English, the subjunctive mood is used to explore conditional or imaginary situations. It can be tricky to use, which partially explains why many speakers and writers forego it. But it’s quite useful (and aesthetically pleasing, at least to us), and careful users of English should do their part to preserve it.

Source: Grammarist

The subjunctive is used in English to express a command, desire, hypothesis, purpose, doubt, or supposition.


  • I wish he were here.
  • If I were in Boston right now, I would be preparing for a blizzard.

The students took notes on this concept and we worked through the example sentences as well.  Each student received a handout with more notes, examples, and exercises in order to practice what they had learned.  If the students did not finish their handout, they were to complete it for homework tonight.

Below are resources for further practice and explanations of the subjunctive mood:




Literary Devices in (Digital) Center Form-Day 2: Wednesday, October 29th, 2014

Today’s lesson was a lot like yesterday’s lesson.  In fact, it was a continuation of it.  After sharing the literary devices they found in their favorite songs for last night’s homework, the students continued working on their Literary Devices Centers using the iPads.  As they finished each set of activities, they logged evidence of their work through creating a corresponding blog post on KidBlog.

Thereafter, for the classes where there was a little extra time, otherwise it was for extra credit, the students applied what they knew of literary devices on this page at Today’s Meet.

We wrapped up class with a little review activity using the Plickers on literary devices.


**Extra Credit: Create a silly, one paragraph mini story using a literary device (or two) and post it on Today’s Meet.


Literary Devices as Centers: Tuesday, October 28th, 2014

Yesterday’s class periods showed that the students had a pretty firm grasp of the basic and more widely-used literary devices.  How fantastic!  As a result, today we moved into centers using the iPads.  After a quick recap of yesterday’s lesson as a relay race, each student received a school iPad with which they were to visit this blog.  They then had the opportunity to choose any of the literary devices of interest to them and complete the accompanying activities.  They then posted evidence of what they learned by applying that literary device in the context of a short story or analysis on their KidBlogs.

We will be continuing these self-directed centers again in class tomorrow.


  • šRead for 30 minutes.
  • šBring in the lyrics (either typed, printed, or hand-written) of your favorite song and highlight as many examples of literary devices as you can find.
  • Annotate each example with an explanation of how that highlighted portion serves as a valid example of that literary device.
  • šContinue work on your Genius Hour project.
  • šStudy for Friday’s vocabulary quiz.


Argumentative Rough Drafts: Monday, October 6th, 2014

Today the students had a work-on-your-own day where they had the majority of class time to work on their argumentative essay rough drafts.  Once the students finished, they were instructed to generate three questions they had about their work.  I also provided the following examples to assist them:

  • Is my essay clearly written?
  • Is my essay engaging?
  • Is my essay persuasive enough?
  • How can I make my essay more ____________?

If time allowed, the students were permitted to work quietly in pairs to conduct a Mini-Charette where they swapped paper with their partner, read their partner’s work silently, drafted any thoughts or questions that arose while reading their partner’s work, and finally they discussed these questions plus the questions generated by the paper’s author.  This workshopping technique provided the students with another perspective on their work.  The students who did not finish early will be doing a more in-depth version of this in class tomorrow.

Before class came to an end, we debriefed on the writing process and I addressed any questions, comments, or concerns that arose.  We then took a moment to recognize those who had taken the time this weekend to log onto  As stated Friday, those students will receive an additional 10 points onto their lowest quiz grade.