Homework This Week in Language Arts:
Each student has been supplied with a physical planner notebook. Please check the planner daily for any homework assignments and due dates. All middle school staff will be concentrating on the paper planner at the start of the school to help each student develop a daily routine of writing in and checking their planners. Teachers will give time at the end of each class and during study hall to update them.
Article of the Week
Research clearly shows that the best way to become a better reader and to learn to analyze texts is to… READ! No kidding. So we’re going to read widely – which means a variety of text, every week, on your own time. No complaining! You will not receive very much homework in my class. However, you will have one article to read, annotate, and respond to each week.
Vocabulary and Reading Comprehension Resources
This year, I will be taking a closer look at building students’ vocabulary and teaching them skills that will help them to better comprehend a text. Below, you will be able to find links to several resources I will be using in the classroom this year.
This year, most Wednesday class periods will be dedicated to Independent Reading. For each trimester, you will be responsible for reading TWO different books and completing the corresponding reading activities (found on the Monopoly Board). You will get a reading log and a genre log sheet to fill out. Because I want you to be reading a variety of different texts, you are NOT allowed to read more than two books under each genre, and I expect you to be filling out how many pages you are reading week to week.
At the start of each trimester, you will roll a dice and move your game piece around the Monopoly board. Each square on the board is dedicated to a reading activity. You will pair your first book with the first activity you land on. You need to complete two of these activities per trimester = two books per trimester. These will be graded. You will be expected to conference with me throughout the trimester so I can keep track of your progress.
For every book and activity you finish BEYOND these two books, you will earn Monopoly Cash to spend towards a prize at the end of the year!. Some prizes might include: Barnes and Noble Gift Cards, Free Books, Pizza Party, Kindle??? ***Extra books will not count towards the next trimester***
Each student has a Google Classroom account where teachers can create classes and students can join them. Here, I will be posting most of our assignments, especially Article of the Week. You will need to submit (TURN IN) your assignments on Google Classroom, not on loose-leaf. I will be able to send you comments and feedback through Google Classroom, so make sure you are watching for that.
Formative Assessment (Independent Reading assignments, Independent Writing assignments, quizzes, worksheets, Articles of the Week) –30; Summative Assessment (Papers, Essays, Tests)–60% ; Class Participation–10%
F 69 and below
If you have any further questions, you can consult my Syllabus, or send me an email. I would be happy to explain or talk about any questions you have.
Reading Power School
If you are looking at your grades on Power School and don’t understand what you are looking at, following this little cheat sheet!
Missing Assignments: If you have an “M” for an assignment, it means that you did not turn it in (either for an excused absence or because you didn’t have it done). If you have JUST an “M” in the box, it means you had an excused absence that day. If you have an “M” AND a “0” for the assignment, it means you didn’t hand it in at all. Once you turn it in, you will get credit for the assignment. (See Late Policy on my Syllabus for questions concerning missing assignments)
Check Marks: If there is a check mark for an assignment, it means that you turned in the assignment, but I have not graded it yet. **Some assignments might not be graded, it might just be an assessment for me to direct my instruction.
Forensics is a co-curricular activity offered to students in 6th, 7th, and 8th grade. The purpose of middle school forensics is to build self-confidence and oral competency by developing and practicing fundamental public speaking skills.
With the help of their coach, team members prepare an oral presentation from different categories including Prose, Poetry, Storytelling, News Reporting, Solo Acting and Group Acting, Group Improvisation, and Demonstration. These selections are then performed at scheduled tournaments and festivals where students are evaluated according to individual category standards. Students then choose a category and begin the search for an appropriate selection to be used in competition during the tournament season.
Upcoming Forensics Meets:
Battle of the Books
Early in the year, you can sign up to participate in a reading competition at Notre Dame called Battle of the Books. Students will be responsible for creating their own teams of up to four members. Their team will be responsible for reading the 20 books the WEMTA Battle of the Books committee has chosen for the year.
Teams have developed their own strategies for the competition. Some teams may have chosen to have all members read the twenty books. Some may have divided the books between the members. All questions for the competition will be answered with the book title and the author.
We will have five rounds of competition and the team with the most points will continue on to the WEMTA State Battle of the Books competition to be held at the end of February.
National Library Awareness Week
First sponsored in 1958, National Library Week is a national observance sponsored by the American Library Association (ALA) and libraries across the country each April. It is a time to celebrate the contributions of our nation’s libraries and librarians and to promote library use and support. All types of libraries – school, public, academic and special – participate.
Every fall, tens of thousands of schools enroll in our program. During the fall and winter, schools will conduct spelling bee programs at the classroom, grade, and/or school level, and send their spelling champions to the next level of competition as designated by their local spelling bee sponsors.
The word bee, as used in spelling bee, is one of those language puzzles that has never been satisfactorily accounted for. A fairly old and widely-used word, it refers to a community social gathering at which friends and neighbors join together in a single activity (sewing, quilting, barn raising, etc.) usually to help one person or family.
The earliest known example in print is a spinning bee, in 1769. Other early occurrences are husking bee (1816), apple bee (1827), and logging bee (1836).Spelling bee is apparently an American term. It first appeared in print in 1875, but it seems certain that the word was used orally for several years before that.
Those who used the word, including most early students of language, assumed that it was the same word as referred to the insect. They thought that this particular meaning had probably been inspired by the obvious similarity between these human gatherings and the industrious, social nature of a beehive. But in recent years scholars have rejected this explanation, suggesting instead that this bee is a completely different word.
One possibility is that it comes from the Middle English word bene, which means “a prayer” or “a favor” (and is related to the more familiar word boon). In England, a dialect form of this word, been or bean, referred to “voluntary help given by neighbors toward the accomplishment of a particular task.”(Webster’s Third New International Dictionary).
Bee may simply be a shortened form of been, but no one is entirely certain.