How we’ve Transformed!

   The Transformation Unit has kicked off to a great start! The students have immersed themselves in getting to know their favorite poet by examining and breaking down the components of the poem that has captured their interest. Their use of Brain Frames have assisted them in deciding what quotes would best describe the theme of their poem. This would later reinforce their knowledge, when they start their poetic expository writing.

    And before the year (2016) ends, their Final Task is to fashion a poem of their own, based on the novel that they had previously chosen. It shall be displayed in class where students can view their classmates’ work. We call it the ‘Poetry Walk’. It showcases the artist’s visualization and description of their poem with the appropriate picture/s or maybe even a collage. How’s that to show off their creativity in English class!

Quarter 1-coming to a close…

I can’t believe the end of  Quarter 1/ Unit 1 is near.  Students recently completed their memoirs and had the opportunity to share their wonderful writing with other 8th grade students during our Reading Carnival.  The event began with a handful of student readers who shared their poetry and memoirs to the grade. Following these readings, they broke up into advisories and were given the time to read and comment on each of their unique moments.  After weeks of writing, revising, and editing,  it was a nice way to end the quarter and celebrate all the hard work put into these narratives.  Believe it or not, it will be the last formal narrative piece students will write in Middle School!!

This coming week begins our next unit, Transformations, which will focus on poetry and poetry analysis.

More to come on that soon!  Looking forward to seeing everyone at Parent Conferences over the next couple of weeks.


Getting in the Writing Groove With a Little Introspection

With a review of our Metacognitive Reading Strategies, followed by the summative assessment at the end of last week, there has been a great deal of focus on the necessary skills the students need to enhance their reading comprehension.  The time has come to slightly shift our focus away from these skills and begin taking a deeper and more comprehensive look at our writing.  Using The Glass Castle as a mentor text, students have begun analyzing the foundation of their Small Moments writing assignment, which will be a stepping stone for their summative writing assessment: a personal memoir.  This structure includes action, description, introspection, and  dialogue.

Along with our writing, we’ve continued to review literary terms as well as discuss our outside reading books in our book clubs.  Never a dull moment in English 8!

Don’t fret, I promise to have Gradebook up and running by the end of the weekend!

“What makes a child gifted and talented may not always be good grades in school, but a different way of looking at the world and learning.” -Chuck Grassley

Listening to the Voices Inside Your Head!

…Well, not any old voice, the Metacognitive Reading Voices of course!  This week, students focused on reviewing (and for our new students, learning) the 7 Metacognitive Reading Strategies: making connections, asking questions, sensory images, inferring/predicting, fix up strategies, determining importance, and synthesizing.  After practicing with the familiar text Eleven, students were given The Glass Castle , a short story that will continue to be a mentor text as we begin our personal memoirs, in order to perfect their skills. A summative assessment on these strategies will be given this Thursday and Friday, September 3rd and 4th.

In writing,  we have begun brainstorming about small moments–a meaningful and powerful moment that changed our view on life.  Through the writing workshop process and mini lessons centered around showing not telling, dialogue, and introspection, the goal is for students to draft and share one small moment in their life to the class in the next few weeks.

On another note, I really enjoyed meeting so many parents at Open House last week! If you were unable to make it, and would like to browse through my slide show, please feel free to email me and I will send it your way!



Let the Blogging Begin!

After a few training sessions, and a bit of practice, I think I’m officially ready to present MY FIRST OFFICIAL BLOG POST OF 2015-2016. YAY!

8th Grade English is off to a strong start! It must have something to do with the amazing students at ISM!! While much of the first few weeks involve setting up expectations for the year, we still managed to start embracing the wonders of what English has to offer.  Currently, students are focusing on key literary terms through the reading and analysis of various short stories.  Over the past week, we have read the short stories Charles and Eleven.  Within these stories, we focused specifically on plot, conflict, character analysis, voice and tone. Next week, we will begin reviewing and discussing the Metacognitive Reading Strategies. 

We have begun to set up our writing notebooks in preparation for the start of Writer’s Workshop next week.  Students will be writing about small moments in their life, which will be the base for their cumulative writing piece this quarter, a personal memoir.

Students have also gone over the outside reading expectations for the quarter.  The current requirement is 20 pages a night, followed by a weekly journal entry reflecting on what they read that week.

Well I think that is all for now!  I can’t believe we are finishing up our 3rd week of school already!  I hope everyone enjoys their 3 day weekend and I looki forward to meeting everyone at Open House next Thursday!

“Some books should be tasted, some devoured, but only a few should be chewed and digested thoroughly.”

Francis Bacon