Wednesday, December 21, 2011

December 21, 2011

Journal Entry # 33
Can you think of 3-5 things you can do to be a better son/daughter, brother/sister, friend?   Explain.

Share Out
Writing Assignment #6 was due today.  Students were invited to share their finished writing project.  Several students accepted this invitation.

Thanks for letting us celebrate with you!!
       Muktar                   Elfreda 

Class Discussion  
Continued discussion about from I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings.
Who is Maya Angelou?  Take a look at page 165 in the anthology. 

Began reading excerpt, page 167.  Looking through the lense of Cultural Context-what is the author's purpose in writing this piece.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

December 20, 2011

Journal Entry #
What do you want for Christmas?  Explain.  1 paragraph.

Journal Share Out!!
Kudos to:

Here are two of the journal entries that were read in class today!  (If you'd like to see these enlarged a bit, try clicking on one of the entries, then click on one of the thumbnails at the bottom of the page.)

Class Discussion
I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings

What does this title bring to mind?  Why do you think the caged bird sings?  What was the author trying to say to us in her title?

Monday, December 19, 2011

December 19, 2011

Journal Entry #
What was the best gift you every recieved?  Who gave it to you and why was it so special?  Explain.  1 paragraph.

In-Class Assignment
Think about a person who has had an important effect on your life.  Describe this person and what have you learned from him or her.   
*Designed  to be a ten minute assignment.   After this writing, you have time to work on your cover page of Writing Assignment #6 (or polish it if you are not finished yet).

Writing Assignment #6 is due this Wed., Dec. 21.

Finished with your paper??
            Try this.

Find a buddy/classmate and ask him/her to help you make your paper better.
What will they do for you?
   ~Check organization:
        Is there an Intro/Body/Conclusion?
   ~Check for "Hook" or "Lead"
   ~Check details
         there should be at least 3 details
                  each detail should be developed into its own paragraph
   ~Check Grammar, Punctuation, Spellling
   ~Say what they like about your paper.
           examples:  I really like how you describe the trip back from the airport.  I know exactly what it sounded like, felt like, smelled like.  You gave me a very vivid picture of the experience.
   ~Say what they would do to make the paper better.  
          example:  I would use more examples of how this person was mean.
                           I would have described how the road trip made us feel-                                       physically & mentally & emotionally.

Friday, December 16, 2011

December 16, 2011

Journal Entry # 30
If you were given $300 to spend, what would you buy?  Explain.

Many people in our class were on a field trip today.  We did not share out journal entries this week.  :(

Be sure to work on your writing assignment this weekend.  It is due on Wed., Dec. 21!!

December 15, 2011

Journal Entry # 29
What's the best thing that could happen to you?  Explain.

December 14, 2011

Journal Entry #28
What do you like to collect?  Explain.

S kim
Q uestion   Ask questions about what you read.
R evisit    Go back to the text to answer your questions.
R estate    Try to summarize or explain what you read in your own words.
R eread     Not sure if you "got" the important ideas?  Go back and reread.

December 13, 2011

Journal Entry # 27
Which do you think is more important, how a person looks or the way he/she acts towards others?  Explain in one (1) paragraph.

Class Discussion and Work
    continues to be centered around skimming Informational Texts.  Today we took a look at Functional Documents.   Examples of these kinds of texts include:  menus, vcr owner's manuals, bus schedules, memos, emails, recipes, directions.  The majority of Functional Texts are not read word for word.  Instead, we tend to skim through the table of contents or body of writing and then go back to read the parts that are most important or interesting to us. 

An example:  when you purchase a new video game it comes with a  booklet that contains a wide variety of information.  Very few players will read that booklet cover to cover.  Instead they will look for things like main characters, levels and worlds that the characters travel through, powers/levels and what functions the controller gives the players.  If they get stuck at a certain point in the game, they may go back to the booklet to look for hints or cheat codes.

Writing Assignment #6
We had time in class today to work on our latest writing assignment.  Before beginning, we talked through how to block out or make a rough plan for the body of our essay.
   topic-I want to be a famous singer.
Choose at least 3 details that support/explain why you want to be a singer.
     I love to sing.
     I have a great voice.
     I like to perform.
     I can sing.

Now ask yourself questions about each of your details.
     Why do I love to sing?  How do I feel while singing?  Is there a particular type of music that I enjoy singing the most?  Why?  When did I realize that singing made me happy?  How do I feel if I am not able to sing?  Where do I like to sing?

     How do I know that I have a great voice?  What evidence is there that my voice is pleasant for others to hear?  Who has helped me realize that I have a strong voice?  What about my voice is great?

Use these questions and answers to develop each of your paragraphs.

December 12, 2011

Journal Entry #26
Are you a follower or a leader at school?  Why?  1 paragraph.

New Writing Assignment!!!
Writing Assignment #6
~Select one (1) of the topics below.
~Write a 5-7 paragraph essay responding to your chosen topic.
~Seeds of these topics are already in your journal.
~Due Wednesday, Dec. 21, 2011.
A)  What do you want to be famous for?
B)  Are you a follower or leader at school and why?
C)  What would you like to discover?

Focus Discussion:
What do you think of when you hear Hollywood?
   movies       white people       success       luxuries
   money        actors                 celebrity      bright lights

We continue to study and practice reading strategies, specifically skimming.

We use:  the title, the text (words), pictures (maps, photos, diagrams, tables, graphs), captions

also practicing this technique:
~read the 1st paragraph (introduction)
~read the first and last sentence of each paragraph
~read the final paragraph (conclusion)

Grammar Connection:
What does the colon (:) do?
*lets us know that additional information, facts, or a list will follow
*is used after the greeting in a formal letter 
*seperates hours from minutes (8:45 am)

December 09, 2011

Journal Entry #25
What would you like to discover?  Explain why.

Class share out of Journal Entries!!

Protocol for sharing our writing.
We listen to the reader.
We reflect (think about) what the reader has written.
BUT we do not comment or question the thoughts or opinions of the writer.

Focus Questions:
Have you ever experienced a natural disaster?
How did it affect your life?
How do you imagine you would react to losing your home to water, mud, wind, or fire?

Class discussion surrounding Hurrican Katrina (2005):  loss of homes & businesses, deaths, water height (avg, 8-12 ft.), + 25,000 people took shelter in the SuperDome, who and where were the people hardest hit by this disaster (bottom of the "saucer"  lower socio-economic strata)

How do you describe this to people who were not there?

Thursday, December 15, 2011

December 08, 2011

Journal Entry #24
What is the most exciting thing you ever did?  Explain and describe.

Practicing skimming techniques on informational texts.

December 07, 2011

Journal Entry # 23
   What can you learn from reading about other people's mistakes?   Name a few and explain your thinking.

December 06, 2011

Journal Entry #22
    If you were the principal, what are some changes your would make in the school?   Explain.

Review of skimming strategies/techniques.

Class Discussion:
Opinion                 vs            Fact 
+how you feek                                                             +something you can
+what you think about something                            prove or support w/evidence

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

December 05, 2011

Journal Entry #21
    Would you have a large snake as a pet?
                     Why or Why not?      Explain.

Class Discussion/Activating Prior Knowledge:
     What is the largest snake you have ever seen in person?

We are continuing to explore and practice our skimming techniques by:
       # reading the whole first paragraph
       # read the 1st and last sentence of each paragraph
       # read the last paragraph

       # Reflect:  Do I have enough information to get the gist (main idea) of the text?  If not, I will probably need to go back and read a bit more.

Class Read:  about Huge Freed Pet Pythons

December 02, 2011

Journal Entry #20
     What would you like to be remembered for at your school?   Explain.

Today we shared our our Journal Entries!
     Big Shout Outs To:
Thanks for sharing your journals with pride!

Today we  also discussed the semicolon (;).
Some of points to remember.
Semicolons help with run on sentences.
Semicolons help us to tell a little more when we have already finished a thought; but want to say something else about that same topic.
example:  pg 161 in Anthology
            "We had a big house; it was very comfortable."

In class:  skim for sentences using semicolons.

Monday, December 5, 2011

December 01, 2011

Journal Entry #19
     What are some of the reasons/forces that cause people to move to a new place.  Explain.

Skimming-Reading quickly and not in-depth.

One method of skimming involves using the text features.  What information can you gather from: 
     the title
     highlighted words
     bolded words
     illustrations (photographs, diagrams, graphs)

November 30, 2011

Journal Entry #18
     What is the best idea you ever had?    Explain.

November 29, 2011

Journal Entry #17
    Who is the greatest influence in your life?   Explain.

Focus on:  Literary Text Features.

Today we finished reading Zoya's Story.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Journal Entry  #16
    Where would you like to go that you have never been?  Give reasons/explain why you would like to go there.

Mr. Green will begin checking journals on Tuesday.

Focus Questions:
     Why do people read (when they don't have to)??!??
            for fun, learn, ...because I'm bored,'s peaceful

      What do you know about Pakistan or Afghanistan?
         was hiding Osama bin Laden, . . . war, . . . terrorists, . . . terrorism, . . .

Question to ponder~  What if the rules of your church/religion became the rules of the country?

Began reading in our anthology, "From Zoya's Story."

Who is telling the story?
Where is the story taking place?
When is the story happening?

November 23, 2011

Journal Entry  #15
      What's your favorite junk food? 
           Develop at least 1 paragraph about this junk food. 
                Try writing about:  why you like this food, where did you first taste
                 it, who introduced you to this food, how old were you when you
                 first tried it, how and where do you get it?

Peer Editing was our main activity today.  We read each others' Thanksgiving writing assignments and gave feedback. 

November 22, 2011

Journal Entry  #14
    What are at least three (3) things you're thankful for and why?            Explain in 1-2 paragraphs.

Can you use today's journal entry to expand your Thanksgiving assignment that is due tomorrow?
Journal Entry-  #10

What are some reactions people have to newcomers?
      Give examples. 
      1-2 paragraphs

ex.  I ws a newcomer once, . . .
       People have different reactions to newcomers. . . .
       I have seen newcomers treated . . .  (describe how you have seen them treated)

Accountable Talk - turn & talk
     example:  Responding to the journal prompt:   It sucks!  Maybe this isn't enough information.  You could ask, "

Monday, November 21, 2011

Journal Entry  #13
   List three (3) things you like/dislike about Thanksgiving and explain why.

Classwork - Outlining
     Today we focused on reading an Informational Text-how to pull information out of a piece of writing.
       "Coming To America," pg 157 in our anthology.
  We want to build on our skill of outlining.  So today we practice "skimming."  Skimming is when you take read or glance through a text quickly.  You are just passing quickly over the surface of the writing.  You do not look for many details when you skim.

While skimming through "Coming to America," we focused on the text features.  Text features are the pieces of text that jump out at us.  They may include:  different text sizes or fonts, bold lettering, different colored text, bullets, headings, subtitles, graphics (pictures, graphs, diagrams), and captions (the words that describe a graphic).

We also had a conversation about why people move to the United States.
Some of the opinions offered were:  to better their lives, make more money, it was hard to surved where they came from, they want freedom to be able to do what they want, to find good jobs, and they want rights.

Teaching Point of Skimming:
                look at the text features
                this helps us to get an idea of how the text is designed and what it                      will contain.

Writing Assignment #5  "Thanksgiving"
        Based on your journal entry for today, develop an essay that explains why you like or dislike Thanksgiving.  Remember the 8th grade criteria that we are using:  * 5-7 paragraphs in length 
            * organized with an introduction, body and conclusion

If you wrote a journal entry today, you can use your 3 likes/dislikes as your main ideas for the body.  Be sure to expand what you are saying by using details to create believable images for your readers.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Journal Entry  #12
    Can you be happy without a lot of money?
         Explain.      1-2 paragraphs
Share Out of Journals
     Way to go:
Natalie, Michael, Emmilexie, Juan, Laura, Erik, Aiden, Adreanna, Thomas, Damien, Eddie, Josue, Milton, Muktar, Jordan, & Mr. Green!!

Reading your next chapter of True Believer--share with Mr. Green.

November 17

Journal Entry  #11  ???  Anyone know what it was?  I was not in class!!

Writing Assignment #4
      Ref True Believer
       Criterial:  2-3 paragraphs minimum
                           due tomorrow-Friday, Nov. 18
        Write the next chapter(s) to the novel.
         Who would you select to be the main character(s)  and what would be the story line (plot)?

For example:  In the next chapter of the novel True Believer, Patrick decides . . .

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

1)  Journal Entry  #9
     If your class could take a field trip anywhere, where would you like to go?
     Explain why your destination would be educational.
     Why would you go there?
      What would you learn there?
       1-2 paragraphs

2)  Share Out/Celebrate Writing Assignments #3
                        Tomorrow, Wed., Nov. 16, is the last day you can present and turn in your this assignment.  We will not be
                         presenting in class tomorrow, but you can meet w/Mr. Green immediately after school and read your essay.

              Share Out Participants for Today!

                      Way to go, writers!

 3)  In Class Reading.
        beginning with               
3)  Homework
    Finish Reding the novel
     Reader's Reaction every 3 chapters

Great word that was introduced by a student:  abomination.  Not sure what it is?  Look it up here.

Monday, November 14, 2011

1)  Journal Entry  #8
   Describe the best summer you ever had. 
                                   1-2 paragraph(s)

2)  Share out/Celebrate Writing Assignment #3
                              In order to receive credit for this assignment, it must be turned in no later than Wed., Nov. 16. 

          First brave volunteers to share out were:


           Whoot Whoot!   Nice going, writers!!
3)  Homework:   Finish Reading the novel.
        Reader's Response every 3 chapters
        Due on Wed., Nov. 16

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Famous Visitor

Journal Entry #7
    What famous or not-so-famous person would you like to see visit your school?
     What would you show, tell, or want them to do?
     Explain 1-2 paragraphs

Outline/begin  writing Essay #3. 
This essay is due on Monday, Nov., 14, 2011. 
You're focussing on themes from  the novel, True Believer.
     This assignment will count for two (2) test grades.

      If you are looking for some feedback on your writing before you create your final, polished draft, you can send me a copy.  I would be happy to take a look at your essay and send you some feedback.   Look on the right hand side of the page and click on the Contacts and Resources page to find my contact information.  You will need to send it before Sunday if you want feedback you can use when creating your final draft.        Mrs. Bomster

Finish reading the novel.
     Part 4, #62, page 197.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Better Cafeterial Food??

Journal Entry #6
     How could your school cafeteria improve?
      What kinds of healthy foods would you like to see served?
                 Explain and give examples.  1-2 paragraphs

Class  Reading (pages 182194  #58)  Accountable Talk
      What major realization did LaVaughn make in our reading today? 

Reade  Reaction Worksheet

Writing Assignment #3               Due  11/14/2011

1.  Select one of the big ideas in the novel True Believer, then write a 4-6 paragraph essay to explain how this issue impacts you or people you know.

2.  You may use your Reader Response Notes.

3.  Include a title/cover pages.

4.  This assignment counts as two (2) test grades.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Sex & Violence

True Believer book cover

1)  Journal Entry #5
   Do you think today's movies/tv  programs contain too much sex and/or violence?
               Explain & give an example.
               1-2 paragraphs.

2)  Share Out

3)  Buddy Reading ( beginning at page 173, #54) and Accountable Talk about the text

4)  Reader's Reaction Worksheet.  You should have at least 10 responses recorded on your logs by now.

Remember:  Sharing Out and Reading Aloud in class is part of your Class Participation grade.  

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Family Stories

1)  Journal Entry #4
         Every family has stories that are repeated at family gatherings. Write your favorite family story.

2)  Buddy Reading (page 166-194)  and  Accountable Talk

3)   Reader's Reaction Worksheet

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

People I Admire

1)  Journal Entry #3  - 
               Write a list of  five (5) people you admire, and explain why you admire each of them.

2)  Buddy Read (pages 135-165 and166-194)/Accountable Talk

3)  Reader's Reaction Worksheet

Adult Men in True Believer

Annie's Dad
Myrtle's Dad

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

First Day of the 2nd Quarter Work!

Today we began creating our 2nd Quarter grades! 

We now have our first two journal entries for this quarter.  Here are the prompts.

#1  Describe the benefits and drawbacks of having your best friend live with you. #2  Choose an event in your life that would make a good basis for a book.  Explain why other people would be interested in reading about your experience.

Remember that one of our goals in journal writing has been to develop at least one paragraph that allows the reader to identify what you are writing about without having to actually read the prompt.  On way acheive this is to begin your writing by restating the main idea of the prompt.

Examples of restating/rewording the prompt in the beginning of your paragraph:

a)     There could be both benefits and drawbacks of living with your best friend.  For example, . . .
b)    Living with your best friend could turn out to be a blessing and/or a curse.  On the one hand, the two of you would always be able to . . .

Also introduced today:

       Discussion Topics
  • Coming of age issues/concerns
  • Sexuality
  • Virginity
  • Teen Pregnancy
  • Family issues/concerns
  • Single Parent Family issues
  • $$
  • Academic Success