Thursday, January 23, 2014

To Kill a Mockingbird Reflection

8th Grade GOAL:  Today, you will blog about To Kill a Mockingbird.  You are basically writing a short piece on what the experience of the the story meant to you.  Some possible topics to discuss include:

* Favorite Characters
* Favorite Moments
* Lessons the Story Teaches
* Compare/Contrast the Book to the Movie
* Questions You Still Have
* Would You Recommend It and Why
* Analysis of Harper Lee's Writing Style
* Racism and How It Relates to the Story
* The Setting of the Story
* Comparing the Text to Yourself
* Comparing the Text to the World
* Comparing the Text to Other Texts

Refer back to the class wiki if you need refreshers.

Friday, December 13, 2013

Letters About Literature

6th and 7th grade GOAL students are participating in the Letters About Literature Contest.

For any writers needing some inspiration, here are the links to winning letters from the past:  Maybe those will help inspire you to think of how your favorite books have affected you.

Rules and guidelines for the contest can be found here:

Friday, November 1, 2013

Deep Thinking Friday

Questions Without Answers


 Is your mind blown? :) Discuss.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Update... It's Been WAY Longer Than a Week!

This teacher/blogger has been naughty!  It's been far too long since I updated this blog, but I'm back on the bandwagon.  Here's what's been happening in room 101 up to and during this last week of the first quarter:

English 8:  Students are busy finishing their Prezis on important women in history.  They're due Friday, and then students will have a chance to share the inspiring information they've learned.

5th GOAL:  5th graders started the quarter learning about cricket: all the rules, all the equipment, all the fun!  They practiced for a few days, and then Mr. Edlin came to umpire their big match.  They kept score and had a great time.  Now, they're finishing up research on a sport or game from another country.  They'll be creating projects to share their knowledge and to teach the class how to play the sport of game they researched.

6th GOAL:  6th graders are loving their read aloud book Okay For Now by Gary D. Schmidt.  They have been discussing the book on their class wiki.  They have also been busy with their Models and Design unit.  They have been creating physical models of the Humdinger, a mechanical device that hums when you pull a string and then dings when you let the string go.  They have been collaborating in groups and making models that will recreate what the Humdinger does.

7th GOAL:  7th graders' read aloud is The Cardturner by Louis Sachar.  They have been learning a little bridge while listening to the tale of Alton & his Uncle Trapp.  Online discussions have taken place on the wiki.  Students finished a unit on Big Science.  The debates were great between whether biotechnology or an environmental car should be what the government backs as its next big science project.  In the end, students presented their own personal opinions in the form of a campaign poster, complete with unique slogan.

8th GOAL:  8th graders are in the middle of hearing To Kill a Mockingbird as their read aloud.  Tom Robinson's trial has just started, and we're all engrossed!  Students have discussed the book in an online wiki.  They're also in the middle of a unit on Mandarin Chinese.  We've learned some basic vocabulary, and now students are writing skits to perform to show what they've learned.

Deep Thinking Fridays:  Deep Thinking Fridays started with a simple question: "Is Google knowledge?"  The video sparked such fantastic discussion that a 6th grader suggested we have a Deep Thinking Friday EVERY Friday.  What a great idea!  Since that first time, we've discussed many topics including: What is consciousness?, Just how small is an atom?, littering and pollution (video and image), and Is your red the same as my red?  Deep Thinking Fridays allow students to think outside the box and ponder big, mind-blowing questions and issues.  One student reported that Deep Thinking Fridays gave him a headache, but he liked it!  By pondering life's mysteries and dilemmas, students engage creativity and imagination.  They think about their place in the world, and they debate the possibilities and explanations.  The discussions have been amazing.  Stop into room 101 on some Friday, and see for yourself... Join the deep thinking FUN!

Friday, September 6, 2013

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Putting Words of Wisdom into Blogs

These links might help GOAL students who are putting Words of Wisdom projects on their blogs:

How to embed a Prezi into Blogger

How to embed a Google Presentation into Blogger

How to embed a Glog into Blogger

Uploading an iMovie to SchoolTube so it can be embedded into Blogger

Weekly Preview: 9/3-9/6, 2013

I hope everyone had a nice long Labor Day weekend.  Now it's time to get back to work, and we're actually on a regular schedule this week!  Here's what's happening this week in room 101:

5th GOAL:  Students are gathering their words of wisdom which are due at the end of the week.  We're also getting to know each other by playing some games that get us talking and thinking.

6th GOAL, 7th GOAL, 8th GOAL:  Words of Wisdom projects are due at the beginning of class on Wednesday.  We'll spend Wednesday in the computer lab embedding those projects in our blogs so we can share the wisdom with the world.  We'll be back in the classroom for the rest of the week, presenting the projects so the rest of the class and I can view the work each student has completed.

English 8:  This week, we're beginning our short story unit.

Monday, August 26, 2013

Weekly Preview, 8/26-8/30, 2013

hot weather photo: Weather - Hot Weather-Hot.gif It's the first full week of school, but because of the horribly hot temperatures, it's not going to feel like the first full week.  Here at the middle school, we're lucky to have air-conditioning, but since we're the only building in the district to be so lucky, we'll be on an 8:00-1:30 heat schedule all week.  Even with the shortened periods, we'll still be able to accomplish a lot of good things in GOAL class though!

5th GOAL:  This week, the 5th grade students will get used to coming downstairs to room 101 for GOAL.  We'll be getting to know each other, and then they'll get started on their Words of Wisdom assignment that the 6-8th graders have already begun.

6th GOAL, 7th GOAL, & 8th GOAL:  Outside of school, students are gathering their words of advice from multiple sources.  In class, GOAL students are in the computer lab this week.  They are setting up and/or modifying their Goodreads accounts and getting them linked to their school blogs.  They will be working on their blogs too, getting them ready to go for this school year.  I plan for their blogs to be a portfolio of learning of all the things we cover in GOAL this year.  FYI:  Library Day will still be on Tuesdays this year.

English 8:  Students are finishing up with classroom procedures, and they will be starting their short story unit.  FYI:  Library Day will be on Wednesdays this year.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Welcome Back!

It's the first day back to school!  I'm so excited with how things are changed up in room 101 this year.  First of all, I'll be having 5th graders in GOAL this year for the first time.  I think we're all going to have a blast together.  Additionally, I'm co-teaching English 8 with Mrs. Kaska for one period, and I think we're going to be a total dynamic duo.  I've missed teaching reading and language arts so much... I'm glad to be back in the game!

Here's the scoop for the opening week in room 101:

5th GOAL:  I actually won't start seeing these kids until next Monday.  Just an FYI:  Mrs. Lyon's & Mrs. Eeling's classes will come on Mondays and Thursdays.  Mrs. Copeland's, Ms. DeMoss's, & Mr. Philips's classes will come on Tuesdays and Fridays.  We might add Wednesdays with everyone together later on in the year.

6th GOAL, 7th GOAL, & 8th GOAL:  We're starting with a project called Words of Wisdom based off a book called Live and Learn and Pass It On by H. Jackson Brown, Jr.  Students will be interviewing relatives, friends, teachers, and community members to develop their own compilation of words of wisdom.  Next week, we'll be making sure everyone has a Goodreads account to document their independent reading, and we'll be blogging for the first time this year.  Words of Wisdom projects will be uploaded to their blogs.

English 8:  We'll be starting with a short story unit... stay tuned for details.  Hope everyone had a great first day... I know I did!