Ms. Turner: 8th Grade English at Dr. Kevin M. Hurley Middle School (firstname.lastname@example.org)
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Directions: Scroll down to find classwork/homework listed by date.
The dates are listed in reverse order.
Months are highlighted in green; days/dates are highlighted in yellow.
Essential Question 2014-15: "The powerful play goes on and you may contribute a verse. What will your verse be?"
Virtual Bulletin Board: September though October Classwork and Homework Cache
Thursday, September 18th
Homework: Keep scrolling down through the twitter reminders to find your homework ...
1. Journal Activator: A twist on summer reading: How do your interactions with your family and friends affect the direction of your day?
Write an open response in your journal. This journal entry is a bit of a story. Have fun with it for the next 7-10 minutes. Writing begins from the heart. Don't think, just write. Thinking comes later. Revising and editing comes much later.
"You write your first draft with your heart. You rewrite with you head." (Finding Forrester)
Monday September 15 through Wednesday September 17
Last week we practiced the fine art of being part of a class, accepting and learning from our unique points of view, reviewing literary terms, keeping a journal and/or notebook, and most importantly listening to the wonder of words.
We discussed elementary school worksheets, vocabulary, grammar, punctuation, and the written word. we thought about our "verses" and were introduced to the use of the spoken and written word.
This week we will evaluate our summer reading and continue wondering about the spoken and written word. We will explore and wonder about the following:
“On the single strand of wire strung to
bring our house electricity, grackles and starlings neatly punctuated an
invisible sentence” (from “Of the Farm” John Updike).
“The difference between the right word and the almost right word is the difference between lightning and a lightning bug." Mark Twain
"I don't see any use in having a uniform and arbitrary way of spelling words. We might as well make all clothes alike and cook all dishes alike. Sameness is tiresome; variety is pleasing. I have a correspondent whose letters are always a refreshment to me, there is such a breezy unfettered originality about his orthography. He always spells "Kow" with a large "K." Now that is just as good as to spell it with a small one. It is better. It gives the imagination a broader field, a wider scope. It suggests to the mind a grand, vague, impressive new kind of a cow."
(Mark Twain, reported in the Hartford Courant, May 13, 1875)
"GHEAUGHTEIGHPTOUGH spells Potato" by Michael Rosen
GH is P, as in hiccough;
EAU is O, as in Beau;
GHT is T, as in naught;
EIGH is A, as in neigh
PT is T, as in pterodactyl;
OUGH is O, as in though.
MLA Citation: Rosen, Michael. Walking on the Bridge of Your Nose. New York: Kingfisher. 1995. Print.
"Hints On Punctuation" by Michael Rosen
I take it you already know
Of tough and bough and cough and dough?
Others many stumble but not you,
On hiccough, thorough, lough, and through?
Well done! And now you wish, perhaps,
To learn less familiar traps?
Beware of heard, a dreadful word
That looks like beard and sounds like bird,
And dead: it’s said like bed, not bead –
For goodness sake don’t call it “deed”!
Watch out for meat and great and threat
(They rhyme with suite and straight and debt.)
A moth is not a moth in mother
Nor both in bother, broth in brother,
And here is not a match for there
Nor dear and fear for bear and pear,
And then there’s dose and rose and lose –
Just look them up – and goose and choose,
And cork and work and card and ward,
And font and front and word and sword,
And do and go and thwart and cart –
Come, come, I’ve hardly made a start!
A dreadful language? Man alive!
I’d mastered it when I was five!
*Note: In the third line from the top, ‘lough’ is pronounced ‘lok’.
MLA Citation: Rosen, Michael. Walking on the Bridge of Your Nose. New York: Kingfisher. 1995. Print.
Friday, September 12th
Period A: Students completed a review: imagery, setting, mood, and were introduced to mini-lessons. As of Monday, September 15th, students in Period A will be caught up after attending an 8th grade assembly and missing class last Friday. Monday through Wednesday, students will use a rubric and evaluate their summer reading.
Periods B, D, and E: SWBAT break down Common Core standards into manageable parts.
RL SWBAT pose
and answer questions in order to show accurate literal understanding
of ideas, characters, settings, events and organizational elements in literary
identify significant literary devices, such as symbolism or irony.
identify an author’s, illustrator’s or film director’s style and explain how
style affects the mood and tone of a work.
provide relevant evidence and examples to support an interpretation of a
identify explicit references to elements of social, cultural, and historical
context that are found in a literary work, a documentary, and a film.
RI SWBAT determine
a central idea of a text. Analyze its development over the course of the text,
including its relationship to supporting ideas; provide an objective summary of
RI SWBAT analyze how a text makes connections between and
distinctions among individuals, ideas, or events (e.g., through comparisons,
analogies, or categories).
RI SWBAT determine an
author’s point of view or purpose in a text and analyze how the author
acknowledges and responds to conflicting evidence or viewpoints.
Periods A, B, D, E: Students have reviewed basic literary terms, organized their notebooks to include a title page, copyright page, and table of contents, and transitioned a bit to 8th grade independent, self-directed skills and strategies.
If you have followed my lead all week you do not have any homework. If you thought this week was nothing to worry about, because a test was not directly related to our activities - yet, than you need to go back through the information on this page.
Complete the challenges and exercises we practiced this week. Organize your notebook/journal. Check our the twitter page and learn that it leads you to this page with quick references and photos.
Monday through Wednesday, you will use a rubric to evaluate your summer reading. Summer reading notes must be in class. This evaluation continues to introduce you to those 8th grade independent, self-directed expectations.
Time flew by this week and we did not go over the mini-lessons yesterday. You will receive that study guide Monday and we will continue our conversation about mini-lessons and taking advantage of this year to practice high school independent, self-directed expectations.
Thursday, September 11th
Class: Summer Reading and the Elements of Literature, Summer Reading and the Elements of Fiction
SWBAT Periods A, B, D, E: How do the following definitions help explain "moving the plot forward" - imagery, setting, mood, tone?
SWBAT Periods A, B, D, E: Why is it important to know the definitions and word combinations we study?
SWBAT Periods B, D. E: What are the elements of an information text? (Period A will answer this tomorrow.)
SWBAT Periods B, D, E: How do the elements of an information text compare to the elements of literature? We reviewed the elements of literature this week. (Period A will answer this tomorrow.)
1. Know all elements of fiction definitions we reviewed and practiced this week.
2. Notebook checks tomorrow: title page, copyright page, pages left blank for your table of contents, class notes for Monday, September 8th, TUesday, September 9th, Wednesday, September 10th and Thursday, September 11th.
Note: Are you organizing your notes by including topic labels for our mini-lessons?
Example a: During class we I have explained that dialogue is conversation between two and/or among more than two. We talked. During that mini conversation we not only discussed the definition of dialogue, but also reviewed the use of the prepositions between and among. Did you identify the mini discussion about prepositions as a grammar/parts of speech topic?
Example b: We also discussed the following questions: Who are the characters? and How complex are they? During that conversation I asked if anyone know the term that identified the relationship between the pronoun you in the second question and the noun character in the first question - pronoun antecedent. Did you label that mini grammar lesson?
Example c. We have discussed the format of different kinds of questions.
- Who are the characters? (Question that needs an explicit response.)
- How complex are they? (Question the requires an explicit understand of the word, complex, and higher order thinking.)
- How do they interact with one another and affect the direction of the plot? (Question that requires an explicit understanding of the interact between and/or among characters, followed by higher order thinking and the synthesis of information.)
We are just beginning to break down questions into managable parts. Did you note this mini-lesson in your journal?
Wednesday, September 10th
Class:Summer Reading and the Elements of Fiction
SWBAT: Can you identify and explain the plot of your summer reading without summarizing the novel? Plot: inciting incident/conflict, rising action, climax, falling action, denouement.
SWBAT: How do the following definitions help explain "moving the plot forward" - character, protagonist, dialogue, dialect, interior monologue, four methods authors use to craft/develop characters?
SWBAT: How do the following definitions help explain "moving the plot forward" - imagery, setting, mood, tone?
SWBAT: Why is it important to know the definitions and word combinations we study?
- Evaluate your summer reading. Do not redo or rewrite anything. Identify your approach to summer reading. Use this week's class notes, definitions and discussions to write notes in the margins of your summer reading. Identify what you did and what you know to do now.
- Check your journal. Have you completed your title page and copyright page? Have you left a few blank pages for your table of contents? Do you label your daily notes with a day and date?
- Thinking homework from Thursday, September 4th: How do you learn? You might begin by identifying the kind of notebook/journal you have chosen to use this year. Explain why this notebook/journal is the "Goldilocks" journal for you. Wonder if you will be able to use it like a comfortable chair or if you need to make some adjustments and/or additions.
Tuesday, September 9th
Class:Summer Reading and the Elements of Fiction
Summer Reading Fiction: Making COnnections: four methods an author uses to develop characters1. Character: Who are the characters? How complex are they? How do they interact with one another and affect the direction of the plot?
- Identify the purpose of knowing definitions and using definitions to enhance the quality of their writing and/or class discussions.
- Discuss and being using tools to evaluate summer reading.
Summer Reading Fiction: Discussion 2. Setting: Where and when does the novel take place? What mood or atmosphere is established by the author? Identify any symbolic meanings to the setting?
3. Theme: What is the central idea or message that the author tries to convey in the book? Identify a passage from the novel.
4. Conflict: What major conflicts exist; Man vs. Man, Man vs. Nature, Man vs. Society, Man vs. Self? Explain.
5. Imagery & Figurative Language: What sensory (sight, sound, hearing, smell, touch) detail does the novel convey? What types of poetic language do you see in the book? How does the author use metaphor, symbol, etc. to enhance the story?
Cite Your Supporting Evidence! Include MLA citations. Guide to Writing MLA Citations
1. Image glued into notebooks/journals during class is used for inspiration to complete homework.
2. Use the following definitions and the information from our class discussion to evaluate the image you glued into your notebook.
Tone: It is an expression of a writer’s attitude toward a subject. Unlike mood, which is intended to shape the reader’s emotional response, tone reflects the feelings of the writer. Tone can be serious, humorous, sarcastic, playful, ironic, ...
Setting: It is the time and place of the action in a novel.
Mood: It is the feeling or atmosphere (setting) the writer creates for the reader. The use of connotation, details, dialogue, imagery, figurative language, foreshadowing, setting, and rhythm can help establish mood.
Imagery: Words and phrases that create vivid sensory experiences for the reader. Most images are visual, but imagery may appeal to the senses of smell, hearing, taste, or touch.
Monday, September 8
Class: Summer Reading and the Elements of Fiction Learning Guides:
SWBAT define protagonist and identify the protagonist in their summer reading fictional novels.
SWBAT define and practice the following terms:
- the four methods an author uses to develop a character/protagonist
- interior monologue
A. Class: Notebooks/journals, literary terms and summer reading
Students discussed and worked with images of animals to practice their understandings of the following literary terms:
1. Character: A person who takes part in the action of
a story, novel or play. Sometimes
characters can be animals or imaginary creatures, such as beings from another
planet or even inanimate objects, personified.
2. Protagonist: The protagonist is the main character in a script,
novel, or traditional literature story.
3. Four Methods an Author Uses to Craft a Character:
a. A writer may describe a character’s physical
b. A character’s nature may be revealed through
his/her own speech, thoughts,
feelings, or actions.
c. The speech, thoughts, feelings or actions of
other character’s can be used
to develop a character.
d. The narrator can make direct comments about a
4. Dialect: A dialect is a particular variety of language
spoken in one place by a distinct group of people. A dialect reflects the colloquialisms, grammatical
constructions, distinctive vocabulary, and pronunciations that are typical of a
region. At times writers use
dialect to establish or emphasize character development and/or settings.
5. Dialogue: Dialogue is conversation between two or more people
that advances the action, is consistent with the character of the speakers, and
serves to give relief from passages essentially descriptive or expository.
6. Interior Monologue: A character is thinking, or wondering, or making
sense of a situation within his or her own mind. This is an extended expression
of thought, but it is not spoken out loud.
- Students were given a series of animal photos to practice their understandings of the four methods an author uses to create a character. (See Twitter for images - https://twitter.com/MsTurnerRoom212)
- Students are expected to complete anything they did not complete during class.
- Students should practice their study skills by reviewing class notes, definitions and thinking questions every evening.
Friday, September 5
Periods B, D, and E attended class today.
Period A was used for Dr. Whalen's "Welcome" assembly. However, Period A did receive the homework assignment.
1. Class Materials: due Monday, September 8th
Choice!!! "Notebooks" are like comfortable chairs; places you want to BE, to watch a film, play a game, think a bit, refresh and then go on. https://twitter.com/MsTurnerRoom212
2. 2014 Syllabus http://teacherweb.com/MA/DrKevinMHurleyMiddleSchool/dsturner/-2014-syllabus-workscited.pdf
- Student-choice college-ruled notebook/journal
- You will need one 2-pocket folder for each quarter
- 3 pens
- 3 pencils and a hand-held pencil sharpener
- 3 highlights (3 different colors)
- glue sticks
- 1 box of tissue given to your homeroom teacher
…a few supplies are pictured below.
While I prefer a soft cover composition notebook, you might prefer something different and that's OK.
3. We shared our individual visual stories, and used them to create a poster - the beginning of our story together. Go to Twitter to find photos of our class stories https://twitter.com/MsTurnerRoom212
4. These two days are simply an introduction: a time for you to get to know me, and a time for me to get to know you. Here is a list of words, phrases and sentences that we have bounced around during class. Do you remember hearing any???
- "Who are you? said the Caterpillar to Alice.
- When I learn your names, my brain takes photos of your faces and matches those imaginary photos to the letters in your name. Take time to notice how you learn and prepare to let us know.
- "points of view and opposing points of view": "Opposing" does not have a negative connotation, but is a positive way to remember that we all have something to say; we all have a voice. It is as important to participate in our discussions as it is to listen to the contribution of others.
- The word combination "and/or" is another way of saying you have a choice.
- Implicit understanding is implied, hinted at, iferred.
- Explicit information is direct, clear, and straight-forward.
- Expository writing is a formalized, written way to explain.
- Descriptive writing is filled with sensory information.
- "Tell me a visual story."
- Write the story you illustrated last night for homework.
- Your individual visual story is your voice; the visual class stories taped together are our collective voices.
- When I look at our class stories taped together, I can imagine the wonderfully diverse discussions we will have this year. I am going to thank you in advance. (Go to https://twitter.com/MsTurnerRoom212 to find a photo of your class story.)
- Research is figuring out.
- "The powerful play goes on and you may contribute a verse. What will your verse be?" (Apple iPad Air Advertisement https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jiyIcz7wUH0) Did you notice that you do not HAVE TO contribute a verse, but you "MAY contribute a verse".
- The personification project is another way that I can get to know you.
Homework: Periods A, B, D, E.
1. Supplies due Monday, September 8th
Note: All students were given planners and will get notebooks for science, math social studies and English and these notebooks might be different for each class. However, all students also have a bag of supplies that is carried from class to class. This bag of supplies includes, pens, pencils, hand-held pencil sharpener, eraser, glue sticks, high-lighters, and maybe a 4G thumb drive. Please remember to get a folder each quarter for English. Each student binds an autobiographical anthology at the end of the year and these folders hold the pages from quarter to quarter.
2. Pets and/or animals personified due Monday, September 8th.
You are to complete your own animal personification photo.
Print out an original photo of an animal - no Google images - or draw an animal.
- Personify the animal by adding a caption - interior monologue or dialogue.
- Bring in your "animal personification" project Monday, September 8th.
Remember our interior monologues and dialogues are G-rated, Disney friendly, maybe a bit cheeky, but always kind.
It is our responsibility to bring more kindness to the world.
Thursday, September 4th - "Accentuate the Positive"
1. Students received the following:
- Schedule, locker/locker combination and planners
- 8th grade syllabus
- Required parent signature forms (medical, photo release, technology contract, picture day...) Due Monday, September 9th.
- Even though we are housed in a middle school, 8th grade is the first year of high school according to the Commonwealth of Massachusetts
- Massachusetts is not a state. Massachusetts is a commonwealth.
- Each student will "figure out" the gifts he/she was given at birth, his/her learning style, what it means to be an independent, self-directed learner, and strategies for self-advocation.
1. Help your parents fill out all the paperwork you received during homeroom today. Complete and sign everything. Bring all the paperwork back to your homeroom teacher tomorrow, Friday, September 5th.
2. Thinking homework:
I shared quick stories about how I learn everyone's names, and then I asked each of you to begin noticing how you learn something new. We will continue this discussion after everyone has had time to notice and make notes about how they learn.
3. Homework due tomorrow, September 5th:
You received an asymmetrical piece of paper during class. Tell me a visual story on that asymmetrical piece of paper using geometric shapes. Include color and/or pattern to tell your story.
… and remember to accentuate the positive. YAY!!! Click on the video below to listen to this classic tune.