Thursday, September 30, 2010


...has begun!

The good news is that there is no studying, if you want. The bad news is that I expect you to work every day at the beginning of the period on improving your ability to use vocabulary, write and be neat.

Every day you'll write a sentence, and then every day I'll also use some from the day before to show you good examples or examples of how they could be better. You really won't need to study....IF YOU USE THIS TIME WISELY. (You also get 3 bonus points if your sentence is picked to be used!)

By wisely, I mean actually paying attention, not spacing out, not talking to your neighbor, not zoning out. I can only offer up the time and my knowledge; it's up to you to use it.

Pick words you struggle with, both spelling and vocab. Listen as I go over the spelling rules every day, and see how there are patterns for how words are used.

Note today, I had to do diligent and extensive. Note that today, I showed you those patterns. Now, tomorrow you show me you got it.

Learning isn't about lots of time; it's about focusing in and really taking in what is being taught. If you learn to focus and listen, truly trying to imprint it in your mind, then the learning becomes easier. Truly.

Focus and effort are all.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Reading comp

... the first unit of the year.

What have some of you learned?

Some have focused on the writing part more than the reading part. That's okay. Man, there, were some good, good efforts this week in your first essays.

Others, like Zach, understand the importance of reading--probably knew that before he even stepped in my room this year.

And still others? They did focus on the strategies, the main idea, the author's purpose.

I also liked how some connected to specific examples of reading comps that we did, like Alec, Chad and Tony.

All of these show me what you'll remember from these past two weeks. It helps me to see what mattered to you and if it's what I'd want you to remember.

We're doing okay. Thanks!

Next week? We begin looking for the important idea, a cross between what you got, what the author was trying to say, and what the theme was. Sometimes all three go together perfectly; sometimes we take our reading and can show that what we got was reasonable, but certainly a bit different than what the author's purpose was. That's the joy of reading, of any learning: making it our own!

Thursday, September 16, 2010


... and writing, or using the computer.

This year we will have both a work day and a reading day. I do give homework, but I do give time to get that work and reading done.

I have a friend who has helped me to make old laptops available for use as word processors in my classroom. Today, some of you took advantage of that.

Studies show that for some kids, kids who get antsy, or anyone who needs a break from sitting, standing at a computer to work can help. I will have two computers for use when standing and two for sitting.

It's been a wonderful first week, probably one of my best ever. We have started reading, writing and going over reading comprehension. You guys have been wonderful. Thank you!

Essay due Monday. Have a good weekend.

Thursday, September 9, 2010


...for the month of September.

Every month I will put up the month of work in English. It will have what we're doing in class for the day and what is due when.

If you're absent, you can check it. If you're looking to get ahead, you can check it. If you've forgotten what's due when, you can check it.

To find it, just go to the blog, look to the left, and under labels, click on calendar. And, of course, you know that you can click on a picture for a larger view.

In my classroom the calendar will be up next to the week in review, two places where you can get what you missed if you're absent. It is your responsibility to find out what you missed and THEN come to me. Don't ask me; know what you missed and come to me as an intelligent, involved student of learning.

I am an organized teacher; use it to your advantage.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

And more

...wonderful new faces!

Yesterday I only remembered to take pictures 2nd period. Sorry! So, today I made sure and took 7th and 9th's pics. Here are 9th.

7th's are below. I am so looking forward to teaching these classes. Most brought in their textbooks and so many brought in their letters signed. Thank you for that.

Letters due by Friday, green papers by Monday and comment on blog by next Friday and you'll have 3 freebie 100s. Go for it!

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Wonderful faces.

Here's 2nd period

Welcome to room 303 and to the school year 2010-2011.

Sometimes the first few days can seem to take forever, what with all the getting used to it all and everything. But, then, we'll be up and running. It looks to be a good year.

Remember, if your parents go on and leave a comment on the blog in the next week and a half (till Friday, 9/17), you'll get a free 100 to use on quizzes or poetry writing.

Also, letters signed and due back by this Friday (free 100) and Knowing Your Textbook (back of green table of contents) due Monday (free 100).

It feels great to be back. Here's hoping you feel the same!