Friday, April 30, 2010
Example: James ate a sandwich.
Then each group was to create a new sentence using that complement as a subject and introducing a new complement, this one a predicate adjective.
Example: The sandwich was delicious.
In the next sentence, because an adjective cannot be the subject of a sentence, the groups used the complement from the last sentence to modify a new subject.
Example: The delicious juice is sweet.
Then the groups were to repeat the pattern with a sentence using a direct object. If they created a sentence such as "The sweet kitten scratched me," the object pronoun (me) becomes a subject (I) and the next sentence could be "I play soccer." They completed several rounds and recorded their sentences on a large piece of paper with markers.
For the most part, students successfully practiced using complements correctly, but as 8th graders often do, created some pretty crazy sentences:
“The happy llama met the sad llama. The happy llama was very dirty. Dirty llamas run the plains. The plains were filled with milk. The milk cleansed the filthy crias (baby llamas).”
“Brock killed the zombies. Zombies are tough. The tough zombies tasted good. The good citizens killed the zombies.”
“The deer ate corn. The corn was salty. The salty corn was delicious. The man hunted the deer. Dead deer taste delicious. The delicious deer tastes good with corn. The man attacked a ninja deer. A ninja deer is extremely dangerous. The dangerous ninja deer jump kicked Chuck Norris. Chuck Norris chin-punched the ninja deer. The ninja deer lost its ninjaness. The ninja deer is dead. Dead ninja deer have been revived to zombie ninja deer.”
And my absolute favorite of the day…
“Little Timmy danced a ballet. The ballet was difficult. Difficult ballets are little Timmy’s favorite. Susan, little Timmy’s mother, cried and covered her eyes in the back of the theater. The eyes were blue and filled with depression. Blue leotards are little Timmy’s favorite to wear on stage. Stage fright cowers at the sight of little Timmy. The children at little Timmy’s school tease him, but he doesn’t care. He refused to follow the narrow-minded rules of society. Susan has never attended a parent-teacher conference. Conferences always lead to uncomfortable situations and questions concerning little Timmy’s clothing choices. Clothing choices are important to little Timmy because he insists on looking fabulous. Important designer shoes are little Timmy’s most prized possessions and fill him with happiness.”
Ah, it’s May….what else can I say?
Monday, April 26, 2010
Friday, April 23, 2010
In the Guided Reading block, I choose material for my students to read, designate a purpose for the reading, and then guide them to use reading strategies needed for reading the text with the assigned purpose. I provide guidance focused primarily on reading comprehension strategies in a variety of whole class, small group, and partner formats.
In the Grammar/Writing block, I teach grammar or writing mini-lesson that provide the students with a model of what good writers do. My students engage in various writing activities from starting a new piece, finishing a piece, revising, editing, or illustrating. Another component includes weekly conferences that lead to a final published piece. In the Author's Chair, students have the opportunity to share their writing and respond to each other's writing at various stages in its development.
In the Self-Selected Reading block, students have silent reading time each Friday to read a book of their choice at their own independent reading level. Students participate in the Accelerated Reader program in the 8th grade at our school, but do not require that their book of choice be an Accelerated Reader book. I also conduct daily teacher read-alouds.
In the Working With Words block, students conduct a spiral study of Greek and Latin roots, as well as high frequency words we encounter as we read different texts. I chose the roots study to help my students better understand English vocabulary since more than 70 percent of English (and 95 percent of upper vocabulary) comes from Latin and Greek word origins.
In retrospect, this has been a great way to fit everything in that we language arts teachers must teach in the confines of a single school year, but at times I felt like the subject matter was disjointed.
Thursday, April 22, 2010
- Can we arrange our desks in a big circle?
- I dont' understand how to find an adverb when it's in between verbs.
- How many AR (accelerated reader) points do we need this quarter?
- I think we should read graphic novels for lit.
Wednesday, April 21, 2010
This video discusses the long-term risks of sharing inappropriate information on the Web. It encourages viewers to “think before you click” and offers tips for being responsible with photos, video and stories. Point include:
Why photos are permanent on the web
Future consequences of sharing inappropriate info
Tips for protecting reputations (personal and friends)
What to do when inappropriate info is shared
Today I found it necessary to have a talk with my students about cheating. Together we came up with this list to clarify the definition of cheating.
You are cheating if you:
1. Copy someone else’s work and claim it as your own.
2. Allow someone else to copy your work and claim it as their own.
3. Work on assignments with others when the assignment is meant to be completed individually.
4. Allow one person in a group do all the work for a group assignment and the other group members just copy down the answers.
5. Steal or otherwise view a test before it's given.
6. Write notes on flash cards, clothing, or skin to look at during tests.
7. Pretend you're sick on a test day and get the test questions from other students before taking the make-up test.
8. Use websites to purchase or get free essays/research papers.
9. Write down answers beforehand, get answers from other students, or help others students answer questions during a test.
10. Do not grade your own paper or a classmate’s paper honestly by marking answers correct that are wrong and/or changing the score.
11. Copy text, images, sound files, etc. from a website, paste it into an assignment or a personal webpage and claim it as your own.
12. Copy the ideas of another person and claim them as your own.
13. Turn in an assignment for credit in two different classes or school years.
Tuesday, April 20, 2010
1. Be in class on time and prepared (with supplies and completed homework).
2. Respect the rights and property of others.
3. Follow directions the first time they are given.
4. Raise your hand and wait for permission to speak.
5. Stay in your assigned seat unless you have permission to do otherwise.
I've had these rules since I began teaching in 2001. What is absolutely important for my classroom to run smoothly? Do I care if a kid gets up to sharpen his pencil without permission? Maybe I'll change it up a bit next year. I'll put it on my summer to do list.