Sep 14 2014


Teachable Moment

Filed under Starting Off

In the event of my absence, I will create opportunities for teachable moments. In this instance, I am heading to the doctor with my oldest daughter.

What is the significance of my trip to the doctor in your life?

Your assignment, should you choose to accept it, is to read the article assigned by the substitute teacher or teacher you’re dispersed to. You have to (1) highlight confusion, (2) show evidence of a close reading, (3) write a 1+ page reflection.

Read about it!

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Sep 11 2014


2014 Young Explorers Global Essay Competition

Filed under Starting Off

These essays are due THURSDAY, September 19th, 2014.

To print this slide, click it, then click the image on the next page for a full size copy.2014 Essay AnnotatedTo strengthen Southwest’s ability to participate in this district wide writing contest, I have attempted to gather resources students can use for this extensive essay project. Below, is how I would present the assignment and resources that could be used in your classroom.

First, I suggest you present the prompt in order to ensure each child understands the assignment itself. Words that could pose problems are:

  • deplete (also depletion) – having to do with the a serious decrease or to exhaust the abundance or supply of
  • degraded – to reduce in amount, strength, or intensity
  • sustainable – able to be used without being completely used up or destroyed – see more
  • sustainability – the ability to be sustained, supported, upheld, confirmed – see more
  • conserve – to protect from loss or harm – see more
  • expository – writing to explain, inform – see more
  • persuasive – writing to persuade, convince, sway – see more

Second, I would read through the PROMPT with them paying special attention to the terminology listed above. Take one RESOURCE through the prompt as you go through it; for instance – WATER. Have the children mark or highlight important/key ideas and instructions in the prompt.

Here is the WRITING PROMPT:

Currently our world population is slightly above 7 billion and by 2050 the population is expected to exceed 9 billion. In a world where we have already seen depleted and significantly degraded resources (water, soil, minerals, food, air, etc.) we have to wonder how can we avoid complete depletion or destruction of our resources and environment.  After selecting a specific resource, research sustainable efforts used to conserve this resource and protect our planet.

Write an expository essay presenting and explaining the current challenges and importance of sustaining the selected resource using international examples from around the world. Be sure to include current methods of sustainability used by different countries and support your discussion with evidence from your research. What conclusions can you draw?

Third, I would present a skeletal outline to those children who need the extra support.

I am introducing the topic – sustainability – today with this PPT . . Introduction to Sustainability.

The following 2 presentations can provide some more specific background on sustainability:

After students use these and other resources they can find on their own, they can decide where they want to focus.

Here is the WRITING PROMPT:

Currently our world population is slightly above 7 billion and by 2050 the population is expected to exceed 9 billion. In a world where we have already seen depleted and significantly degraded resources (water, soil, minerals, food, air, etc.) we have to wonder how can we avoid complete depletion or destruction of our resources and environment.  After selecting a specific resource, research sustainable efforts used to conserve this resource and protect our planet.

Write an expository essay presenting and explaining the current challenges and importance of sustaining the selected resource using international examples from around the world. Be sure to include current methods of sustainability used by different countries and support your discussion with evidence from your research. What conclusions can you draw?

Here is a suggested (skeletal) outline that could help anyone organize this assignment. It, like everything else about me, is not perfect. It will help, though. –  2014 Young Explorers Global Essay Competition – Outline With Countries.

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Sep 11 2014


ANOTHER Alternate Article of the Week: 9/11 Fiasco? – A Void in the History of September 11th

Filed under Starting Off

http://www.newyorker.com/news/daily-comment/twenty-eight-pages

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Sep 09 2014


Alternate Articles of the Week

Filed under Starting Off

This week’s article on Kelly Gallagher’s site may have more import for your parents, Ask them to read it with you if you read it, talk about it when you’re done, and include something from your talk with them after you read it in your reflection. Below, I offer some alternative articles that are directly related to you.

Check out these selected articles on a variety of topics for your Article of the Week Assignments. You will not find any follow up questions for the articles below, but you still have to (1) print it, (2) highlight confusion, (3) mark the text up with reading strategies, and (4) write a 1+ page reflection.

You can refer back to this post for future weeks assignments, so bookmark it! Happy reading.

Passive Aggressive People

Entertainment Violence & You

Apathy & You

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Sep 04 2014


Possible AotW – And now for something completely REAL!!! How a Bipartisan Education Reform Effort Became the Biggest Conservative Bogeyman Since Obamacare | Mother Jones

Filed under Starting Off

http://m.motherjones.com/politics/2014/09/common-core-education-reform-backlash-obamacare

2 responses so far

Sep 03 2014


Vocabulary List #1

Filed under Starting Off

Here’s the list:

  1. ¨Chide22    28%
  2. ¨Heedlessly23    29%
  3. ¨Sentimentality25    32%
  4. ¨Billowing26    33%
  5. ¨Evangelical23    29%
  6. ¨Picturesque27    35%
  7. ¨Disproportionate52    67%
  8. ¨Aversion27    35%
  9. ¨Implausibility19    24%
  10. ¨Omen20    26%

Have your voice count!!!

11 responses so far

Sep 03 2014


Fiction Introduction – Raymond’s Run

Filed under Starting Off

Focus on PLOT – This assignment was pulled out of the INTERACTIVE READERS.
Raymond’s Run by Toni Cade Bumbara
For 10 minutes in class, pp 3-5 – QUIET GROUP Work – Talking allowed in order to share insights.
REMAINDER of PERIOD
Pp 6-16 –SILENT INDIVIDUAL Reading
Highlight relevant text to support responses, Complete all  Active Reading Questions
Pp 17-18 – QUIET GROUP Work (if time allowed)
Follow Up Work
If you do not complete the assignment in class, you MUST finish it at home tonight.

Assignment is DUE 9/4/2014 when you walk in the door. There will be a test on the selection which will assess story elements, vocabulary, and strategies.

 

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Sep 02 2014


Vocabulary Word Lists Generated from Student Texts

Filed under Starting Off

We talked briefly about why it is SO important to have a deep and varied vocabulary. Then we got introduced tot he method by which we will generate vocabulary lists. Take a look at the following page to see how you will be building an expansive vocabulary – Student Driven Vocabulary.

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Aug 27 2014


Anti-Bullying Lesson Plan & Resources

Filed under Starting Off

Essentially I oppose all forms of bullying. I have adapted materials for middle school created by the Southern Poverty Law Center’s Teaching Tolerance program. The full plan and how it addresses appropriate middle school standards can be found here – BULLIED: A Student, A School, A Case That Made History.

Why, you ask, do we need to focus on bullying? Empathy – the ability for a person to care about the feelings of others so much so that s/he can know what it feels like to walk in another’s shoes. Compassion - sympathetic concern for the sufferings or misfortunes of others. It is essential for us all to want to care about others. This plan will help you gain an understanding of empathy and compassion. So, let’s get to it.

Before we view the film we will . . .

  1. First, take a Quick Bullying Quiz.
  2. Let’s look at and discuss the results of the quiz.
  3. Second, find out the answer to this question: How safe is your school?
  4. Let’s look at the results to discuss the climate toward bullying at the school.
  5. Third, analyze the actual situation as you answer some questions about Bullying By the Numbers.
  6. How close did you look at the numbers? Let’s discuss what we noticed while looking at the statistics.

After preparing ourselves, we will watch the film. As you watch the film, take notes so that you can answer these questions.

Questions about Courage and Empathy

  1. What did Jamie and his lawyers hope to accomplish by filing a lawsuit?
  2. What do you think Jamie felt on a typical day?

Questions about The Impact of Bullying: Dealing with Discrimination

  1. What role did bystanders play in Jamie’s bullying?
  2. What are some common misconceptions about bullying?

Questions about how this case Made History: Standing Up for Justice

  1. What is the constitutional basis of Jamie’s case?
  2. What are Jamie’s key messages when he speaks at the assembly?
  3. What lessons do you take away from his story?

After the film, answer the follow up questions for the film, BULLIED.

If time allows, we will discuss your answers to the follow up questions.

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Aug 27 2014


Kicking Off the Year with A LOT of Paperwork

Filed under Starting Off

This year is shaping up to be a stellar one. I can already tell that thet you will be some of the greatest graduates this school has seen yet!

I have issued every one of you several handouts, some of which MUST be returned by the end of the first week – this FRIDAY. Here is the list of handouts.

Students MUST have this form completely filled out and Signed/Initialed by a parent/guardian EVERY DAY.

  1. REQUIRED Independent Reading Log – Parent – Initials/Signature Required DAILY

Students MUST fill out and have these forms completely Signed & Returned by FRIDAY

  1. Video Usage Parent Permission/Walking Field Trip to Library Permission Form – Parent Signature
  2. Student Website Authorization Form – Parent Info & Signature
  3. Reading & Interest Survey – A Parent Signature is NOT Required
  4. Southwest Middle School Anti-Bullying Pledge for Students - 

Student MUST keep these handouts in a safe secure folder or pocket for use throughout the school day and/or for homework.

  1. Journal Starters for Responding to Literature – This is needed in class and at home every day.
  2. Article of the Week Rubric & Grades Cover Sheet/Approach Paper Scores – Predicted Scores Tracking Tool – This is needed in class weekly. When these fill up, students are expected to get PARENT SIGNATURES and then turn them into be filed.
  3. Writing Process Grades Cover Sheet/Common Assessment Student Accountability Sheet – This is needed in class weekly. When these fill up, students are expected to get PARENT SIGNATURES and then turn them into be filed.
  4. Proofreading Marks – A Parent Signature is NOT Required. This is needed in class weekly.
  5. How to Use Graphic Organizers - A Parent Signature is NOT Required. This is needed in class weekly.
  6. Multiple Intelligences Test – This should be filled out completely by the student and returned to me by Friday. A Parent Signature is NOT Required.
  7. Questions to Support Comprehension of Fiction/Nonfiction - A Parent Signature is NOT Required. This is needed in class weekly.

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Aug 23 2014


These 29 Clever Drawings Will Make You Question Everything Wrong With The World – The Mirror Post

Filed under Starting Off

I know we all enjoy seeing our friends and family post pictures of what’s going on in their lives: the first lost tooth, the latest lost great grand parent, the trip to the mountains, the trip over the dog into the living room, the broken elbow, the broken relationship. That’s one of the big advantages to social networking. Most of my extended family lives in another state. I subscribe to some amazing thought provoking stuff my friends and family appreciate. I feel that every person in my life is a miracle of humanity: my daughters, my mother and father, my girlfriend . .  All of you too are miracles of humanity. You will continue to become more miraculous as you grow and change…and change the world with you. I wanted to share this with you and my socially networked community of friends, family, anonymites, colleagues, present and past students. You must never stop thinking about the world, yourself, others. It is why we grow up. It is how we grow up. Enjoy. http://www.themirrorpost.com/2014/08/these-29-clever-drawings-will-make-you.html?m=1

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Aug 23 2014


Get ready to Write the greatest essay ever!| 60second Recap®

Filed under Starting Off

You will be asked to write papers for one thing, another, or maybe even a different topic. Get these videos under your belt (that’s an idiom that actually means ‘Master that!’), and you’ll have a head start on getting the best possible grade you can earn. That doesn’t mean you are guaranteed to get an A. It means you, personally, have a better chance at earning a better grade than you would have gotten had you not watched the videos. Now…GO! Watch! Grow!

http://www.60secondrecap.com/recap-resources/how-to-write-a-paper/

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Aug 23 2014


Hey kids! Check out this article on Efficient Ways to Check for Understanding.

Filed under Starting Off

Wanna be ready for some ways I’m going to look deep into your understandings? Read this. Do a short presentations on one or two of them? Request I use your favorites.

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Aug 23 2014


Compassion Games ..Let’s do this!

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https://www.facebook.com/compassiongames?ref=br_rs

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Aug 22 2014


This is interesting . . .11 Famous Authors Who Weren’t Published Until After Age 40 – 11 Points

Filed under Starting Off

http://www.11points.com/Books/11_Famous_Authors_Who_Werent_Published_Until_After_Age_40

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