Welcome to Kodiak Language Arts, 2016-2017 edition! This homepage will list what we've done each day in class, in reverse order (most recent at the top). Let me know if you need help finding something!

There is a link to Google Classroom on my Links page! 

Ten percent is what life brings you. Ninety percent is what you do about it. ~Alice Crowe, college professor and mother of film director Cameron Crowe 

What We Did In Class:


Jun14: Students worked on and turned in their Final Writing Assignment (senior letter) and any late work. Yearbooks were delivered during GO Time.

Jun 13: Students worked on their senior letters (Final Writing Assignment), and learned/practiced/reviewed addressing envelopes. Letters are due tomorrow at the END of class.

Jun 12: Students received their final assignment of the year, The Final Writing Assignment, due Wednesday (end of class). A copy of this assignment is on the Documents tab.

Jun 9: Final student day for monologues, except for absent students.

Jun 8: Students presented monologues.

Jun 7: Students began presenting their monologues. Again, these should be practiced, but don't need to be memorized, and a copy of their monologue is due when they present. We will continue with presentations tomorrow.

Jun 6: Students were again encouraged to use today to practice monologues, and to use their rubrics as tools to help evaluate the quality of their own monologues.

Jun 5: Students were encouraged to use today to practice their monologues, and they were also able to sign up for a presentation time. (1st and 2nd attended a short book talk; 3rd and 5th will do so tomorrow.)

Jun 2: Students had another day to work on the final monologues, and also received a Monologue Plotline sheet, due Monday. See Documents tab for a copy, if you were absent or can't find yours.

Jun 1: Students had another day to work on their Final Monologues, which we will start to present next Wednesday, Jun 7th.

May 31: Students got out their Final Monologue Instructions and Rubric sheet that they received about a week and a half ago, and we talked about the final timeline: writing this week, rehearsing early next week, and presenting starting next Wednesday.

May 26: Third day of monologue performances, and we only have a few to catch up with on Wednesday when we return.

May 25: Second day of monologue performances.

May 24: Students started their monologue performances today. Over the last few days, students signed up for a performance spot, and so Ms. Wamba is calling students in the order in which they signed up. Audience members captured what they liked about each monologue on a sheet provided in class. Students need to keep track of these sheets until all the monologues are finished.

May 23: Students practiced changing the meaning of a phrase by changing how they said it, and then they had the latter half of the class to rehearse their monologues. We start monologue presentations tomorrow.

May 22: Students practiced having an objective for their monologue: What they want the audience to walk away understanding about the character/monologue. This activity went back to their assignment from 5/12, "Making Meaning of Monologues." The second half of the class, students rehearsed their monologues with partners.

May 19: Students received information about the final performances of their current Springboard monologues (found on pages 263-269 of Springboard), which will start Wednesday, May 24th (next week!). Students also received some preliminary information about the final monologue project, in which they will write and perform their own monologues. To recap: Springboard monologue performances start next week, and writing their own monologues will start after the Springboard monologues are performed.

May 18: Students talked more about audience etiquette, and then saw a monologue by a former student who came back to perform the final monologue she wrote for this unit when she was my student. Current students analyzed what worked about it, and may use it as an example when they start writing their own monologues in a couple weeks.

May 17: (Sub in for Ms. Wamba) Students compared and contrasted two versions of Little Red Riding Hood, to see how changing the point of view of a story can change the story itself. This idea will be revisited in our final, self-written monologues, if students choose the fairy tale option. 

May 16: Day 2 of rehearsal performances. We didn't quite finish, and will finish up the last few students on Thursday.

May 15: Students started their rehearsal performances, which will take us into tomorrow. Audience members filled out a feedback sheet about the presenters, and were asked to hold onto it to use again tomorrow. The document name is "Monologue Rehearsal Performances" and is under the Documents tab.

May 12: Students told Ms. Wamba which monologue they wanted to perform, and filled out a "Making Meaning of Monologues" worksheet, which was due by the end of the period. Students then began practicing their monologues. We will have rehearsal performances (that is, rough performances, not intended to be totally ready) early next week, with final performances the week after.

May 11: Students watched and analyzed for presentational skills a stand-up monologue by Jerry Seinfeld. Homework was to choose one of seven monologues that are in their Springboard books.

May 10: Students continued with the concept of body movement, doing a few non-vocal movement exercises to see how bodies move differently with different motivations and intentions.

May 9: SECOND SBAC MATH DAY     Students tested in the morning, and had abbreviated classes in the afternoon. In LA class, students started learning about body movement and gestures.

May 8: FIRST SBAC MATH DAY     Students tested in the morning, and had abbreviated classes in the afternoon. In LA class, students continued presenting their poems, and practicing good audience etiquette.

May 5: Students practiced good audience etiquette (listening, front focus, polite clapping) as students presented their poems to the class. These poems were not memorized.

May 4: Students chose poems for themselves, and practiced delivering them with eye contact and vocal variety.


May 2: SECOND SBAC ELA DAY     Students tested in the morning, and had abbreviated classes in the afternoon. In LA class, students listened to some poems, from which they can choose for a presentation.

May 1: FIRST SBAC ELA DAY      Students tested in the morning, and had abbreviated classes in the afternoon. In LA class, students turned in their reading packets, reviewed writing strategies, and started talking about stage fright and eye contact.

Apr 28: Students had the first half of the class to complete the packet they were given yesterday. We then went over questions that students really wanted to understand better. The packets themselves are due Monday.

Apr 27: Students received a reading packet to help practice some skills for Monday's SBAC reading assessment. This packet is also worth a class grade. *I do not have an electronic copy of this document, so students need to see me if they need another copy.*

Apr 26: Students heard Ms. Wamba use vocal variation in a poem (The Sneetches), and then practiced vocal variation by reading stanzas of the poem from yesterday in front of the class.

Apr 25: Students briefly analyzed the poem Stopping By Woods On A Snowy Evening for understanding, and then learned about vocal variation strategies: volume, rate, pitch, and inflection.

Apr 24: Students turned in their research packets and self-scored rubrics from their argumentative essays, and started discussing what they know of performance and public speaking (our next unit).

Apr 21: (Sub in for Ms. Wamba) Students had one final class period to work on their essays. The essays are due on Monday, April 24th.

Apr 20: Another work day for the district argumentative essay assessment. Tomorrow will be the last class work day, and the final essays are due on Monday the 24th.

Apr 19: Students had another day to finish up research and to draft their argumentative essays. Students have through Friday to use class time to work on them, and if they are still not finished, they may finish them up over the weekend. Final essays, packets, and self-scored rubrics are due on Monday.

Apr 18: Another research and writing day for students' argumentative essays. These essays will be due Monday, Apr 24, although students only have through Friday Apr 21 to work on them in class.

Apr 17: Welcome back from Spring Break! Students continued their research and writing (begun before we left for break), and will have the remainder of the week to complete their essays on a Google Classroom Document.

Apr 7: Students had another research day for their topics. Some students started writing their outlines, although we will have time for this after break, too.

Apr 6: Students worked on researching their topics. We won't be writing the essays until after break.

Apr 5: Students started brainstorming topics, and then researching these topics, for their final argumentative essay. We'll use the time up to break to research, and then the first days after break to write.

Apr 4: Students took brief notes on parallel structure, sentence types, FANBOYS, and rhetorical questions.

Apr 3: Students practiced turning their claim/counterclaim statements into full paragraphs by adding evidence (logos). We also discussed using word choice to increase the pathos.

Mar 31: Students showed their completed organizers (page 155) to Ms. Wamba, and then practiced using transitions to create claim/counterclaim statements (also called concession and rebuttal statements). Students turned these in at the end of class.

Mar 30: Students discussed the use of violent video games for kids, and then read two opposing viewpoints on the topic in Springboard (pg. 152-155). After reading, they completed the short graphic organizer on page 155 that asks students to list reasons and evidence for both sides of the issue.

Mar 29: Students turned in their Rhetorical Appeals paragraphs from yesterday, and we went over some in class, specifically looking for the appeals in each paragraph. After this, students took notes on Claim and Counterclaim (notes under Documents tab).

Mar 28: Students finished the Rhetorical Appeals skits from yesterday, then read an article on Fidget Toys (available on Google Classroom). After reading, students wrote a persuasive paragraph (see Documents tab) about the article, with the intention of including the rhetorical appeals in the paragraph, as well as good paragraph structure.

Mar 27: Students took notes on Rhetorical Appeals, and created a short appeal with their table group. We didn't get to all the groups in today's class, and so will finish up the group appeals tomorrow.

Mar 24: Students continued sharing their paragraphs from yesterday, and then had time to complete a worksheet (or at least start on it) over the Persuasive Info Packet that they received last week. This packet and the worksheet are available under the Documents tab if any students need them. The worksheet is due Monday.

Mar 23: Students reviewed reasons and evidence, and then had some time to create reasons and evidence over silly topics. Students then wrote a paragraph using their created information (the purpose of all this being to be able to recognize the format of reasons vs. evidence, and how they all fit together).

Mar 22: Students turned in their SOAPSTone charts, and took notes on Reasons and Evidence. After this, they practiced finding reasons and evidence, and creating some reason and evidence statements of their own.

Mar 21: Students completed an example SOAPSTone chart on page 134/135 of Springboard over the essay from the (purple or pink) packet (the essay is called The American Dream?). After this, they read a short article on page 139, and completed a SOAPSTone chart for it. The chart is due tomorrow.

Mar 20: Students shared their listed problems (from the first page of Friday's packet) with their table groups, and then we discussed some of them as a class. Students then received a second packet, "Persuasive Info Packet" (it's purple or pink!), and we read the sample essay as a class. Tomorrow we will use this essay to complete a SOAPSTone chart (this is new to most kiddos). This second packet is also available under the Documents tab.

Mar 17: Students received the first of several packets about argumentative writing. This first one is called "Writing About Problems And Solutions," and is available in the Documents tab. For Monday, students should fill in the first page.

Mar 16: Choir students gone in the morning. Students completed peer review sheets about the experience of working in groups for their slideshows.

Mar 15: Students continued presenting their slideshows. For the most part, we are finished, although we have a handful of students who will present first thing in tomorrow's class.

Mar 14: Students started their presentations today! Audience members took notes on the various slideshows. We will continue tomorrow.

Mar 13: Students had today to work on the last bits of their slideshows. Presentations start tomorrow!

Mar 10: Students worked again on their slideshows, and were asked to think about whether they needed to do any work over the weekend, and make any necessary plans for this.

Mar 9: Students worked again on their slideshows.

Mar 8: Students started a research slideshow with their groups. Each group got a topic ("Advertising (some product category) to youth"), and using this topic, and the research criteria they talked about on Mar 3rd (notes), they need to create a slideshow explaining how advertising this category of products to youth affects youth. Focus is on their ability to explain, and their ability to evaluate their research materials using the criteria we took notes on. See Documents for information.

Mar 7: Students used the thesis they came up with yesterday to create a concluding paragraph for the body paragraphs they were given. This was turned in at the end of class.

Mar 6: Students looked at an essay that had had the intro and conclusion paragraphs removed. Determining the subpoints, and the topic of the essay, students worked on figuring out the thesis of this partial essay. Using this thesis, students will write conclusion paragraphs to this essay tomorrow.

Mar 3: Students took notes on criteria with which to evaluate resources: authority, accuracy, credibility, timeliness, purpose, and audience. Students then read a short article on pages 108-109 of the Springboard workbook, and completed a chart on page 109 about these criteria.

Mar 2: Students logged into Google Classroom to write their Celebrity Influence Paragraphs, using information from our discussions and the commercials we watched to cite evidence and to analyze that evidence. These paragraphs should be printed out, and are due tomorrow, Friday March 3rd.

Mar 1: Students continued the celebrity influence conversation, this time specifically trying to come up with a topic sentence for the question, "Why can celebrities have a significant influence on consumer choices?" After crafting these topic sentences, we watched a short playlist of commercials (on my Links tab) to gather evidence for the paragraphs we'll write to answer this question.

Feb 28: Students continued talking about celebrity influence, specifically, "How are celebrities able to influence others?" Students jotted down thoughts as we discussed. This will be the basis for our next paragraph, which we will start tomorrow.

Feb 27: Welcome back! Students brainstormed different products they'd purchased/asked for based on commercials, and we started talking about celebrity influence.

Feb 17: Students analyzed some commercials. Ms. Wamba also checked the students' technique definitions from yesterday's class.

Feb 16: Students turned in yesterday's worksheets, and we played a True/False game about what we remembered from the readings. Students then turned to pages 99-100 in Springboard and paraphrased (yes, in their own words) the five different advertising techniques in the given organizer. Ms. Wamba will check these definitions tomorrow. (Students did NOT need to draw pictures for the "visualize" portion of the organizer.)

Feb 15: (Sub in for Ms. Wamba) Students read two short articles in their Springboard workbooks, $211 Billion and Counting (pages 90-91) and Facts About Marketing To Children (94-96), as well as completed a short worksheet using the information found in the articles. (see Documents for this worksheet) These will be collected tomorrow, Feb 16th.

Feb 14: ELA Testing (last day in language arts class, now moving it to GO Time to finish up any kiddos not yet finished)

Feb 13: ELA Testing

Feb 10: ELA Testing

Feb 9: ELA Testing

Feb 8: Students had another day to work on the district ELA assessments, reading or writing, depending how far along they were. This will continue for a few more class periods.



Feb 3: Students had a 3rd day to work on the district ELA assessments. Some student had finished the reading portion and moved on to the writing, others will move on during our continued testing this next week.

Feb 2: Students worked on their persuasive product posters with their groups (this was the second day for this, as the first was Tuesday, Jan 31). These posters are due Monday.

Feb 1: Students had a second day to work  on their district reading assessments. Tomorrow students will not be working on the assessments, but will continue the poster project from Tuesday (this is because Ms. Wamba will be out of the classroom, and subs can't log onto the testing system). On Friday, we'll be back at the assessments.

Jan 31: Due to a kink in the system, students couldn't get onto the district reading assessment online program today, so students started making persuasive product posters instead. These are generally being done in groups, although some students asked if they could work by themselves. Today was a brainstorm day, and Thursday, students will be able to start creating the final posters. Lost of great creativity happening!

Jan 30: Students started a district reading assessment today, given on the computer. Other teachers who have already given this test (or one like it, for 6th grade teachers), have told us to expect this to take multiple days.

Jan 27: Students practiced logging into the testing system through which we'll take our next assessment, and using the tools that are available. This way when they log on to do the assessment starting Monday, they will be more familiar with what there is available.

Jan 26: Students had the entire period to write, edit, review, and ask questions about their essays. This was our final work period before the essays are due on Monday, the 30th.

Jan 25: Students practiced creating conclusion paragraphs in groups, based on a given intro paragraph. Some of these were shared and discussed. Students had the rest of the time to work on their essays, now due on Monday, Jan 30th.

Jan 24: Students took notes on conclusion paragraphs. We will do a practice activity tomorrow. (The essay due date has been pushed to Monday the 30th.)


Jan 20: Students took brief notes on body paragraphs (hint: think ACE), and then worked on their baseline essay revisions.

Jan 19: Students took brief notes on thesis statements, and practiced created some thesis statements from given subpoints.

Jan 18: Students continued talking about their intros (HBTS), and familiarized themselves with the three sources we used at the beginning of the year to write the baseline napping essay. Students then revised their intros for this baseline essay. Later, we will focus on body paragraphs and conclusions.

Jan 17: Students shared more of their intro paragraphs (from last Friday), and talked about the purpose of various parts of an essay: intro, body paragraphs, topic sentences, supporting details, commentary, transitions, and conclusions. Tomorrow we will start revising intros from the Baseline Sleeping and Napping Essays (from last September). These revised essays are tentatively due Thursday, Jan 26th.

Jan 13: Students continued Wednesday's lesson about intro paragraphs, reviewing the parts of an intro, and then creating an intro paragraph based on a given thesis statement. Some of these paragraphs were shared at the end of class, and students looked to see if each paragraph had all the necessary parts.

Jan 12: (Sub in for Ms. Wamba) Students worked with an expository essay about toothpaste to look at organizational structures. Students will come back to this packet next week.

Jan 11: Students took notes on intro paragraphs. We will continue working with these over the next few days.

Jan 10: Students did a gallery walk of their poems, looking for imagery in each poem that matched its symbol.

Jan 9: Students had one final day to work on their symbol poems, due tomorrow (with their plan sheets).

Jan 6: Students continued working on their symbol poems, due Tuesday.

Jan 5: Students used the plan sheet from yesterday to start creating poems about themselves, using their symbols.

Jan 4: Students looked at a list of symbols around the world, seeing what different objects meant symbolically in different cultures. Using this discussion, and yesterday's process for coming up with symbolic meanings, students filled out a worksheet that asks them to choose a symbol for themselves. Students will use this plan sheet to create a symbolic poem about themselves.

Jan 3, 2017: Happy New Year! Today students reviewed symbolism, and came up with figurative, symbolic meanings for various common objects, such as ducks, spoons, forks, noodles, socks, etc. I had students break the task into thinking what the object actually DOES, and then using those actions as a jumping off point for thinking of "big idea nouns."

Dec 22: Students finished presenting their Tangerine projects, and had an opportunity to work on missing work/collect missing work to work on over break.

Dec 21: Students started "presenting" their projects to the class. These were simple presentations: students gave their name, project, theme, and explained a favorite part of their final project. Lots of very creative thinking!

Dec 20: Students had one last work period to work on Tangerine projects. Brief presentations start tomorrow!

Dec 19: Students had yet another work period for their projects, which are due Wednesday. We also talked about getting missing assignments in, and that most assignments were available either here under the Documents tab, or on Google Classroom. Tomorrow is our last day to work on projects.

Dec 16: Students had another work period for their projects (or their paragraphs--the due date was pushed back to Monday Dec 19th). Students have two more work periods for their projects.

Dec 15: (Sub in for Ms. Wamba) Students worked either on their projects, or their literary analysis paragraphs (both assignments are over the novel Tangerine).

Dec 14: Students worked on their literary analysis prompts (found on Google Classroom, EA 3-1: Effects and Consequences in Tangerine). Students were urged to go over their work, edit, revise, and evaluate using their rubrics (rubric is also on Google Classroom). This is the second and last class period for these paragraphs, although they aren't due until this Friday.

Dec 13: Students discussed how the main character in Tangerine, Paul, changed (or developed) over the course of the novel. Using this information, students started writing to a literary analysis prompt that is on Google Classroom (EA 3-1: Effects and Consequences in Tangerine). Students will work on this tomorrow in class, too, and it is due on Friday.

Dec 12: Students continued brainstorming and sketching out their ideas for the Tangerine book projects, due Dec 21st. (Please note that we will spend a couple days, starting tomorrow, on a different assignment, but will then come back to this project at the end of the week.)

Dec 9: Students started brainstorming their Tangerine projects (Tangerine Book Project--see Documents). Students will have some class time next week (although not every single day).

Dec 8: Students worked in groups to come up with "symbolic meanings" for various items: a cooking pot, a cat, a basket, or a candle. The idea was to see how a literal object could have meaning greater than itself. As an example, students talked about the cooking pot symbolizing bountiful harvest, warmth, home, protection, and access to basic needs. Using our discussion from this activity, we turned back to Tangerine and the objects we thought could be symbols: what representative, figurative meaning did these objects have? Using this information, students worked again with their SIFT worksheets (see Documents), and then continuing on to the other parts of the worksheet. SIFT sheets are due tomorrow. NOTE: All the parts of SIFT must connect to the chosen theme; the parts do not necessarily need to connect to each other (although they can).

Dec 7: Students finished their Conflict Tree Maps, and then discussed symbols, and how symbols represent something figurative beyond themselves. We brainstormed symbols from Tangerine, and students started filling in their SIFT worksheets, due Friday.

Dec 6: Students went over Character vs. Self (in their conflict maps). Students then took the information from their SIFT chart (from yesterday) and thought about what theme these literary elements supported. We finished by copying down an example paragraph explaining how the SIFT elements supported our chosen theme. Homework: Choose a theme with which to work on the assessment SIFT piece (and possibly on the project as well).

Dec 5: Students went over (and wrote onto their Conflict Type Map) Character vs. Society conflicts from Tangerine. Students then learned about an analysis process called SIFT and completed an example SIFT on page 188 of their Springboard workbook. We'll use this example SIFT to help complete another SIFT analysis about the novel in a few days.

Dec 2: Students took the theme worksheet, and the conflicts they identified on it, and starting categorizing the conflicts by type. We specifically went over Character vs. Nature, as a class, and we'll go over each of the other types in the next few days.

Dec 1: Students finished filling in some of the major themes on the Tangerine Theme Worksheet (from yesterday), and then students had some time to start identifying conflicts in Tangerine that connected to the various themes. These sheets are due tomorrow.

Nov 30: Students took notes on theme and conflicts, and we discussed themes from Tangerine, using the Tangerine Theme Worksheet (see Documents). We'll continue the worksheet in class tomorrow; it wasn't homework.

Nov 29: Students took a quiz over Tangerine.

Nov 28: Students worked in groups to answer some Level 2 questions about Tangerine. Students then switched to new groups and shared their answers with the new groups. This was in part a review for tomorrow's quiz.

Nov 23: Students played more with word parts, and translated a letter written in word parts.

Nov 22: Students played with word parts today, and brainstormed vocabulary related to certain word parts. Tomorrow we'll make up our own words!

Nov 21: Students received some papers back and we talked about working more with figurative language. Students then worked with character, deepening their understanding of novel characters by imagining them in new and different scenarios, and predicting how they would respond in these new situations.

Nov 18: Students practiced restating prompts to better start their literary analysis paragraphs, and then worked on an actual literary analysis paragraph, over the novel Tangerine. These paragraphs are found on Classroom, and due Monday, Nov 21st.

Nov 17: Students took brief notes on different transitions that can help a writer transition into evidence, or transition into their analysis (explanation). Students then received a copy of the ACE Response Rubric, and practiced scoring some of the ACE paragraphs that groups wrote a few days ago.

Nov 16: Students discussed foreshadowing, and how things can be foreshadowed, depending on the medium (in text: words, in movies/TV: sound and pictures, in comics: words and pictures). Students then looked at the Foreshadowing Cartoon example to see how a story could be foreshadowed in one comic panel, and finally, students read a short story, over which they created a single-panel foreshadowing cartoon, due tomorrow. The example and the assignment are both available on the documents tab.

Nov 15: Students worked in their groups to create an ACE response to a question about theme. Ms. Wamba collected these group responses, and we'll go over them in a later class.

Nov 14: Students worked in groups to discuss some basic questions about the current section of the novel, and to create some leveled questions. These questions will be used for the final quiz. Side note: You need to be reading!!

Nov 10: Students took a vocabulary quiz today over vocabulary related to Unit 3, and then had the rest of the period to read their class novels, work on reading log #2 (due Tuesday the 15th), and/or work on essay revisions if they wanted to redo their personal narrative essays (also due on Tuesday the 15th).

Nov 9: Students looked at flashback examples in Tangerine, and discussed what clues the author is giving to let the reader know that a flashback is starting or ending.

Nov 8: Students received their personal narrative essays back, and completed a reflection sheet over this assignment. Students who wish to revise their narrative to try for a higher score may do so, turning in the revised final draft by Tuesday, Nov 15th. Students also turned in their first Reading Log (for Tangerine) and received their second Reading Log, due next Tuesday, Nov 15th.

Nov 7: Students went back to basics by reviewing what makes good evidence, and looking at examples (and non-examples) of good text evidence. What they learned: good evidence looks like quoting directly from the text, or paraphrasing the text so specifically that we know exactly where in the text they were looking. 

Nov 4: Students practiced writing leveled questions while participating in literature circles centered around their novel, Tangerine.

Nov 3: Students took notes on the Unit 3 Vocabulary, over which we will have a quiz next week.

Nov 2: Students received their Tangerine novels today, which we'll be reading over the next few weeks (reading schedule on Documents as well as Classroom). The first reading log, over Figurative Language, is due next Tuesday, Nov 8th.

Nov 1: Students turned in the ACE responses from yesterday, and discussed some questions relating to being the new kid, not being allowed to participate in your favorite activity, and to being the least favorite of your parents' children. These three topics will play a big role in our next novel, Tangerine, which we'll be passing out tomorrow or Thursday. Students then "unpacked" the unit, by looking ahead at the final assessment prompt, and listing needed skills and knowledge to complete that writing task.

Oct 31: Students worked on an ACE response (see Documents tab) for the story Seventh Grade by Gary Soto, due tomorrow.

Oct 28: Students used the information from yesterday's compare/contrast to brainstorm and write a solid paragraph giving dating advice to a fictional student named Mortimer. The paragraph needs to include at least two examples from the story (as examples or non-examples), take into account the strengths and weaknesses of Mortimer, and give him specific advice to try to solve his problem. This assignment is on Classroom (Dating Advice Columnist) and is due Monday.

Oct 27: Students turned in their character analysis sheets from yesterday, and worked on a compare/contrast map for two of the characters (Victor and Michael) from Seventh Grade. This is getting us ready for a creative writing assignment that we'll do tomorrow.

Oct 26: Students finished up their discussion of 7th grade behaviors, and we read the story Seventh Grade as a class. After reading students worked on a short character assignment, due tomorrow.

Oct 25: Students discussed typical 7th grade behavior to get into the mood of the next short story we'll read tomorrow (appropriately called Seventh Grade). Students turned in their personal narrative essays. We had printing problems, so I had students used the electronic turn in button so I would know who was finished to start the grading. Some students had printed at home and I took and recorded their hard copies.

Oct 24: Students had one last class period to write and revise their personal narratives. We talked briefly about narrative endings, and how their reflections are, in effect, part of their conclusion. Students were encouraged to use both their rubrics and provided peer editing sheets to go over their work. Students may print their final drafts in class tomorrow.

Oct 21: Students had the class period to write and revise, and we emphasized using their rubric (page 42 of the Springboard workbook) to help guide necessary revisions. We are on track to turn in the narrative essay on Tuesday, Oct 25th.

Oct 20: Students looked over some writing rubrics, and then read "Why Couldn't I Have Been Named Ashley," a short personal narrative about a girl's unusual name, noting the great descriptive and figurative language, and sensory details in it. Students shared examples of the descriptive language they found in it. The story is on page 33 of Springboard.

Oct 19: (Sub in for Ms. Wamba) Students practiced descriptive writing by looking at pictures and using their writing skills to describe the scene.

Oct 18: Students watched Ms. Wamba model some narrative lead (intro) strategies, including reaction (reflective beginning) and action. Students then had time to work on revisions for descriptive language and to try their own narrative leads.

Oct 17: Students discussed what made our descriptive writing so good on Friday (sensory details, backstory, figurative language), and then we read a little about leads (intros) for narrative pieces. I am very fond of what I call the "reflective beginning" (called a Reaction in Springboard). Students then had more in-class writing time, but were told that if they did not have a full rough draft by the end of class, they would need to be writing outside of class. (We are starting to look at revision techniques, and if students don't have anything to revise, it gets a lot more difficult.) Personal narrative essays will be due sometime next week.

Oct 14: Due to a power outage in the morning, we had to do a "Plan B No Technology" lesson. Students practiced creating descriptive sentences and paragraphs, using sensory details and figurative language, which we then shared with the class.

Oct 13: Students continued their drafting after a mini-lesson in which Ms. Wamba showed students some descriptive writing. Tomorrow students will do a short descriptive writing activity, and then finish their drafting.

Oct 12: Students officially started drafting their personal narrative essays--many got past the ideas stage and actually have multiple paragraphs! Over the next week or so, we'll work on introductions, conclusions, descriptive details, and other revisions. Ms. Wamba also collected Brown Girl Dreaming novels.

Oct 11: Students had a short discussion on characterization, and then completed a brief assignment about characterization on Google Classroom: 1.6 BGD: Using Language to Define Character. This is due tomorrow.

Oct 10: Students discussed the story "Bad Boy," looking for its incident, response, and reflection. Students then identified character traits in the main character and found text evidence to support those traits. This all involved filling in an organizer on Page 26 of the workbook, which Ms. Wamba will look over tomorrow.

Oct 7: Students took a quiz over the novel Brown Girl Dreaming. Due to a shortened class schedule because of an assembly, we didn't get a chance to discuss "Bad Boy," and we will do so Monday.

Oct 6: Students did the "Before Reading" section on page 21 of the Springboard workbook, which asked them to think about choices and consequences, sensory details, and figurative language. Students then read an excerpt from Bad Boy by Walter Dean Myers, looking for examples of how language can shape character. Students finished this short reading as homework.

Oct 5: Students discussed the many different storylines in Brown Girl Dreaming, and then chose one of the bigger storylines to summarize using a comic strip summary. These are due tomorrow.

Oct 4: Students read a short personal narrative written by Ms. Wamba, and discussed what makes a good idea for a personal narrative (basically, anything meaningful to the author that held a learning experience). We looked at some of the stories we've already read to see their subjects (being on a sports team, learning to walk, taking in a dog), and then spent a little time brainstorming our own ideas, some of which were shared with the class.

Oct 3: Students logged into Classroom to complete activity "1.5 BGD: Tone of Novel," over Brown Girl Dreaming. This is technically due tomorrow.

Sept 30: Students created a short review skit for the story Dust Tracks, then worked with Ms. Wamba to come up with an example response to a prompt about tone, using the ACE strategy we discussed on Wednesday.

Sept 29: (Sub in for Ms. Wamba) Students got a choice between reading their class novel, working on the journal entries for the novel, and working on drafts of their own personal narratives (which were brainstormed on Tuesday).

Sept 28: Students took notes on the ACE strategy (a strategy used to format responses to literary questions) and tone. Tomorrow we will write a class example together, using a prompt about tone, and the ACE strategy to format the response.

Sept 27: (Sub in for Ms. Wamba) Students brainstormed some incidents in their own lives that could be turned into narrative essays. Students outlined the incident, the response, and the reflection in their notebooks.

Sept 26: Students completed a formative assessment over the novel (BGD), identifying Incident-Response-Reflection for some portion of the novel. (This could be as small as one poem, or could encompass a selection of poems.) Students then read a different short except ("Dust Tracks in the Road") and identified Incident-Response-Reflection in that.

Sept 23: Students practiced finding Incident-Response-Reflection (the personal narrative structure from yesterday) in the short story on pages 15-16 of the workbook, and we discussed their findings in class. This is the same activity students will do for the formative assessment on Monday, over the novel Brown Girl Dreaming.

Sept 22: Students reviewed plotlines, then looked at personal narrative structure (incident-response-reflection) and how it fits into a traditional plotline.

Sept 21: We finished discussing the quotes about choice from yesterday, and students took some notes about what they should be able to do by the end of this unit. This involved looking at the final prompt of the unit, and listing what skills and knowledge they would need to complete that prompt. If students aren't sure how to do some of the things at this point, no worries! These are the things we'll be covering over the next few weeks!

Sept 20: Students used their workbooks for the first time, paraphrasing 6 famous quotes (on page 5) about choice, to better understand the nature of choice and consequences. Students then explained if they agreed or disagreed with the quotes, which led to some class discussion.

Sept 19: Students discussed their journal entries and thoughts on this novel (Brown Girl Dreaming) with their table groups, and then as a whole class. Students also received their Springboard workbooks, although other than putting their names in them, there is no assignment yet.

Sept 16: Students took notes on "denotation" and "connotation," and then did a brief activity to see how we associate different ideas with different words--even words that are considered synonyms (e.g house, mansion, shack, condo).

Sept 15: Students received a reading timeline for the novel (Brown Girl Dreaming), and a double journal entry template, both on Google Classroom. Students had the rest of class to read and work on journal entries.

Sept 14: Students discussed some aspects of the civil rights unit by analyzing some photos: explaining what they saw in the photos, and then what they thought those things meant (finding evidence and making inferences). We specifically looked at Ruby Bridges, and then connected her to the novel we'll be reading, Brown Girl Dreaming. Students received these novels today.

Sept 13: (Sub in for Ms. Wamba) Students had one final day to work on their baseline essays. Please make sure these get turned in electronically, so I can give you credit!

Sept 12: Students had another period to work on the baseline essay. 

Sept 9: Students had all period to work on their baseline napping essay, using the resource packet they were given yesterday (and you can get an extra copy on my Documents link). The document on which students type is found on Google Classroom, and called Baseline Napping Essay.

Sept 8: Students did a brief assignment for me on Google Classroom, and then received a packet of resources from which they will write their first essay (this is simply a baseline essay). Students should read through the resources for tomorrow's class.

Sept 7: Students finished up the DRP from yesterday, and practiced logging onto computers. Each student is assigned a specific computer number for the year.

Sept 6: Students started a district reading assessment called Degrees of Reading Power. Students will half of tomorrow's class to complete it, if they are not finished already, before we move on to some baseline writing.

Sept 2: Students learned a little more about Ms. Wamba, went over the "rules and regulations" (a copy of which can be found under the Documents tab), and did a collaborative project that involved building towers out of paper and paper clips--and nothing else.

Sept 1: Students played the name game, and learned a *teeny* bit about Ms. Wamba. More tomorrow, including policies and procedures :)