Thursday, April 29, 2010

Google doc for 4th period

...and anyone else who wants to use their brains and get points.

You are working off of the post titled, "Titles" down below. You are trying to come up with good titles for poems your classmates have written. Have fun and think!


...of poems. We are one poem away from being finished with writing poems. Some people are doing a wonderful job with writing them. Everyone knows how to break lines for poetry. Most people have stopped using commas at the end of lines, and many students are using terms in their poetry. Lots of students have developed into wrapping of their lines. On the other hand, capitals and punctuation inside the lines still need some work for some, and proofreading and editing for many are still problems.

Overall, though, I am pleased. Poetry writing is just another way to organize your thoughts and convey your meaning.

The last phase of the writing process was the title. I saved title writing till the poetry unit, thinking it would be easier to do then. Some have done a terrific job. Others? At least they're writing the acrostic- which isn't what I want, but they're trying. But for many, they don't even do that.

Directions for a title (so it's not just a noun):
  • find the important idea or line.
  • find the most important phrase or idea from it.

That's it. 2 steps. Do it.

What could be good titles for these great poems?

Great poems need great titles to lure us in. That's what titles do.

Second's google doc's

...answers. Click here to see.

Also, a thank you goes out to Becca for writing a comment on the blog. It's so appreciated!

Friday, April 23, 2010

Poetry format

...the first of the last one!

Look at how Casey tells a story and how Amanda develops a theme. That's what I wanted for this last format.

Chelsea has a great title, one different from her acrostic word and she too paints a picture, a sad one, wouldn't you say?

Paige uses two words so has a two stanza poem developing the game of life.

Title, use of caps, terms and theme- wow!

Nicole, on the other hand, only has five lines, but, wow! Do they do the trick!

Michaela's on doing the impossible reminded me of how much I learned as I grew up.

It's not the outside forces that stop us; it's ourselves. We enjoy life when we put ourselves out there and try.

Another of our Mikayla's wrote just what I said not to: an acrostic off your name.

But, of course, she did it totally correctly, making a story, not just having adjectives, so the joke is on me!

Allee's is another short one that is right on the mark, how dogs think they're doing so right, but to us? They're doing so wrong!

Lizzie did one that spoke right to me.

But, I also loved how her lines wrapped to the next. Wonderful!

Two poems to go. A word going down, that then paints a picture or tells a story or theme, using terms, editing and capitals, while adding in a title when it's finished.

Only two to go. Do a good job!

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Book reports are and with some good, good results.

Keep in mind, we went over the format, but not the content.

So many of you wrote so well of your book, and, from the perspective of the Depression. Wow!

You wrote at the level of high school.

I expected five paragraphs with detail about your topic showing you had read the book, the whole book.

Look at what your classmates did.

Many of them typed their papers also. Thank you for that.

What I was really impressed with was the thinking that went into many of these papers.

The students here could take a time in history, connect it to the book that they read and then share it with their writing. Again I say, wow!

I'll end with Sam's, which is where I started my grading of these on Monday. It was a great place to start!

I'm looking forward to the last set of essays, and then it's on to DBQS.

Now, those? They should be terrific for you!

Google docs' answers

....for last week.

I hope you're beginning to see that I really just want people to read the blog post and answer some quick questions, which reinforce what I'm wanting you to understand.

It's postlearning--pun intended!! You're, hopefully, learning after the assignment (post) and you're learning from the post (the blog post).

I am sooooooooooooooooooooo funny. (not!!)

Click here.

For 2nd period

and others who want extra credit.

Read the post about Old Yeller, just down below, and then answer the questions in the google doc.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Old Yeller and

...good essay writing. (I've cropped and then highlighted the important parts from each of these essays.)

First, taking the time to write a title.

McKayla lets us in on the topic right from the start, pulling out the main idea to use as the title. Wow!

Macala then uses what she's learned to write a good 2 sentence intro.

She pulled the simile idea from the important idea unit. Wow!

Chris has excellent topic sentences in each of his body paragraphs.

We know from the first sentence what he will be developing in each paragraph. Wow!

Cameron does an excellent job of showing and telling what he is trying to develop.

Sometimes people show or they tell, but they don't do both. That doesn't work because you can't expect people to know what you're doing: you have to show it step by step. Cameron did that. Wow!

Sarah has a great concluding sentence to her body paragraph.

Just as a conclusion concludes the essay, a concluding sentence brings the reader back around to what was being done in the essay. Sarah reminded us of what Travis is and what he wasn't yet. Wow!

Michaela develops her conclusion into more than just a sentence ending.

She actually saved some detail to use in her conclusion but Michaela also made sure she tied up the whole essay and brought us to the topic's ending. Wow!

Zack used his second sentence to 'push it forward.

A conclusion needs to be at least two sentences. The first summarizes the topic that was developed while the second sentences brings it into our lives. Travis is a man we could all aspire to be. Wow!

Finally, Alissa puts it all together and has a great essay, and, let it be noted, without writing all that much.

She has a two sentences intro, body paragraphs that are developed and clear and then a two sentence conclusion. It's all there. Wow!

I know we did the legwork for this essay together and in class. But, you guys did the notetaking for it and the developing of the essay. I was so very, very pleased with the efforts I found. I have confidence sending you to high school.

If you take the time to think, organize, use the whole of your notes (in this case, 3 out of the 4 parts of the book), and write carefully, you will be able to do anything that is asked of you.


Friday, April 16, 2010

The end of

...of Old Yeller and looking at vocab work, notetaking and reading.

I like to see what all you are taking in from my teaching.

Read through some and see what your classmates are saying about class.

Do you agree with them? Are you surprised at how much we do with our 41 minutes a day?

Book report is due Monday. I'm guessing most will say that the Depression was a tough time to live through--how right they'd be! Then, they'd just have to show how that was true through the book that they'd read.

Also, enjoy the new books. There are lots of WWII books for the reading. Read lots!

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Some great responses

on our third google docs!

A thank you goes out to Michaela for answering it a second time when she realized she had done the wrong assignment.

Click here to see it.

For out of 8th, I really liked Kaitlyn's and Mckayla's for Kelly's.

In 8th we have Nicole, Xavier and Michaela's for Peyton's.

For Michaela's, Christie, Marianne, Mikayla and Nick wrote some great details.

I was really looking for just a word or stat that shows you knew what a detail was. The specific move, the practice, the mistake, the going back and doing it. I am learning to ask less in these questions, not more. I thinking reading and doing the assignment is most of the task. The answers should be quick.

Again, thank you for teaching me how to use this technology to help you to be better writers. All who do these are getting full credit...this year. Next year's class will be held accountable for what they write. I have to first learn what I'm doing, and that's where you come in. Thanks again!

Google doc. assignment for 9th period

and anyone else who wants to get credit.

On Monday I wrote out the directions for this month's book report that is due Monday. Let's use those directions to make sure you know what you're doing.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Review for writing your

...April book report.

Look back at this post on our unit with picture books that we did. You've read the Depression Era book and now you just have to cement what was the most important idea you got from the book about the Depression.

Do remember to follow the format, one third of your grade, have detail from the book in order and using characters' names and actions, another third, and then proofread carefully for errors, the last third of your grade.

I wish I had more students taking the time to type or rewrite their papers. I know I take 'final draft quality', but at some point, you should be caring and doing more than just the 'have to'. You should be taking pride to do the best writing assignment you can do.

For one more post to check back on, go here. This one was the WWI set of papers, exactly what I am asking for here.

  • Introduce your most important idea and compare it to an everyday image- your first paragraph.
  • The 'It's true that' paragraph should be your setting the scene and introducing the characters and how the book started out, all in relation to your important idea.
  • The third paragraph is the 'It has' paragraph. Getting action from the middle of the book goes here--again, in relation and developing your overriding idea you introduced.
  • The next paragraph, 'Sometimes' should conclude the book and show how your important fit the whole book.
  • Your conclusion paragraph of two sentences, summarizes the important idea and then you do one more to push it forward, bringing it into your life.
You can do this. I'm expecting some good work from people. Don't let spring do you in. We have 10 more weeks of school. Use them to your benefit: go into high school having confidence in your ability to think, read and write.

Thursday, April 1, 2010


...calendar. There could be changes to the day to day, since the state tests are coming up, but the book report, essay number 12 and the poems will be the same.

It's just what we do in class might shift a little.

For 8th period

...and any others who want extra credit.

You will have to scroll down to Tuesday's date to the post titled, "Essay 11". Once you've read the post and the essays, please answer the questions in the google doc. below.

I think I'm improving on the questions, at least, I hope so! I am so enjoying reading your comments, though. Thank you to all who have shared their thoughts with me. It's insightful to read. Here's hoping my shorter answers don't ruin that for me!

You'll have till midnight on the 14th to get this completed.

Chapters 13-16

...of Old Yeller.

So, what am I looking for in these short responses?

I'm looking for an introduction sentence, which is the topic sentence, that introduces the topic you picked to write on.

It should also have the title underlined and the author's name.

Then, I'm looking for specific detail that develops that topic.

It should be in the order that it was given in the book, in short, in the right sequence.

Dylan makes his work, but I wish he'd done his good paragraph in order.

Aong with details in order, there should be explanations that go along with them,

allowing the reader to understand why those details were used.

Finally, there needs to be a conclusion where the writer comes back to the topic that was introduced.

If that's not done, it sometimes ends up being a summary rather than a focused paragraph developing a topic.

With the right detail, explanations and wording, a paragraph can do it all and still be short.

All detail of the four chapters is not needed.

Culling to use only the details that develop the topic allows a paragraph to be shorter.

Now, if your handwriting is neat enough, it will be a pure joy to read a paragraph developed in this manner.

And, if you're still working on that, well, then I guess I'll try to work at reading your handwriting,especially when you have such a clincher as Xaviar does.

The icing on the cake happens when not one, Paige, but two students, Brendan also, come up great titles for their paragraphs.