Week 22 – Jan. 16 – 20, 2018

TUESDAY – Today we continued with the foundational work for students’ Argumentative Essay.  We reviewed the key elements of an Argumentative Essay and finished analyzing an “Exemplary” student essay and a “Proficient” one. Here is what is scheduled for the rest of the week…

WEDNESDAY – Students will receive prompt, t-chart, and articles for essay. Students will begin reading and annotating articles. Teacher will stress use of claim, counter argument, and rebuttal.

THURSDAY – Students will finish reading and annotating second article and write draft of essay. Students will finish initial draft for homework.

FRIDAY – Stududents will edit and revise essay. The second half of class will be spent in the Computer Lab on Read Theory.


Week 21 – Jan. 8 – 12, 2018


Monday – Tomorrow we will closely examine a PPT that reviews the key elements of Argumentative Writing. Students will also read and analyze two student exemplars – one is a proficient (we will do that one as a class), and the other is “Exemplary”, in other words, the essay was graded an “A”.  We will identify the differences between the two.

Tuesday – Thursday students will take the Mock ELA/Reading Milestones Assessment. On Wednesday and Thursday, we are on a Block Schedule.

Friday – Students will continue with Argumentative Writing.  Students will be provided paired texts for the Argument paper they will write. Students will read and annotate both articles, determine their position, write a clear and effective claim.

HOMEWORK THIS WEEK – Students are responsible to complete exercizes/quizzes on Read Theory Wednesday and Thursday of this week.  Assignments will be checked on Friday and two H.W. grades will be entered based on the average of quizzes for each day. Students must complete a minimum of 4 assignments each day.


Happy New Year – and WELCOME BACK!

Happy New Year! I can’t believe half of the school year is already complete. We are now officially in Unit III whose theme is – THE CHALLENGE TO MAKE A DIFFERENCE.

When you return tomorrow, January 4th, we will spend Thursday and Friday in the computer lab using ReadTheory and work further toward your exposure to paired texts and individual texts where you will answer comprehension questions and write written responses. Friday, January 5th we will also introduce the elements of Argumentative Writing.

Monday, January 8th, we will continue with the organizational structure of Argumentative Writing, go over claim and counter claim, citing text evidence, and research.  On Tuesday, January 9th – Thursday, January 11th, you will take the Mock ELA Milestones Assessment.  This is designed to expose you to the exact testing environment and time constraints of the real Milestones which will take place in April.   On Friday, January 12th, we will continue with Argumentative Writing.

I look forward to seeing all of you tomorrow.:)


Week 19, December 18 – 20

This is the last week before the Christmas Break.  School is in session Monday through Wednesday.  Tuesday and Wednesday are Early Release Days. Here is our Week-at-a-Glance:

MONDAY – Students will be given an additional 15 minutes, as needed, to complete the Q2 Touchtones and enter answers into IRespond. Once done, the class will begin watching the movie version of THE GIVER.

TUESDAY AND WEDNESDAY – Students will watch the remaining portion of THE GIVER. Students will complete a Venn Diagram comparing and contrasting the movie and the novel version.

December 15th Update

Today students took the Unit II Touctones Assessment. This is the quarterly reading comprehension test desgined by the County that all ELA teachers have to give. The purpose is to monitor growth in the area of reading comprehension in preparation of the Milestones.  All grades will be in Syngery by Monday.

Also, Monday of next week is the last full day of the semester.  Students who did not finish the Touchtones today will have an opportunity to finish it on Monday.  I will also use Monday as the final day to make up an assignment to help improve the grade of any failing student.

Lastly, Tuesday and Wednesday we will watch the remaining portion of THE GIVER and students will write a reflection piece.  Please make note that Tuesday, December 19th and Wednesday, December 20th are Early Release Days for students.

Spelling Bee Class Winners!!

Yesterday I  conducted the Class Spelling Bee for Periods 1, 2, 5 and 6.  Below are the top winners for each class. They will compete in the School Bee next week on Wednesday, December 20th.

PERIOD 1 – Trey Crain

PERIOD 2 – De’Kyrah Blackshire

PERIOD 5 – Joral Gordon

PERIOD 6 – Scott Mathis Park

Congratulations Students!

Week 17 – Dec. 4 – Dec. 8

This week our focus will be writing the Explanatory Essay that compares and contrasts the dystopian characteristics revealed in THE GIVER and the dystopian world that we live in today.  You will go through each step of the Writing Process and revise and edit your essay twice.  The essay due date is Friday, December 8th.  Here is our Week-at-a-Glance:

MONDAY – Review organizational structures of a compare/contrast essay.  Revisit thesis statement. Review ways to begin an essay. Stuents will write pre-write and intro of essay. Students will highlight thesis statement and revise as needed.

TUESDAY – Students will revise hook and thesis and then write the full draft.   Students will finish draft for homework.

WEDNESDAY – Students will take the Reading Index assessment in the 8th Grade Computer Lab (County mandated assessment.)

THURSDAY – Students will revise and edit essay. Students will rotate papers to edit for transition words and development of three ideas.

FRIDAY – Final version of essay is due.  Today will also be used as a make-up session for anyone missing a Summative. Students who are caught up (essay is submitted, no missing work), will work on Milestones designed assignments on Study Island.


I hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving Break!

Now it’s time to get back to work.  We have approximately 3 1/2 weeks before the Winter Break and there is much to do.  We will be wrapping up THE GIVER over the next 2 weeks and you will begin writing an Explanatory Essay at the end of this week.  As always, I will grade each part of the essay including the Pre-Write, Draft, and Final.  The Final version of your essay will count as a Summative. Here is our Week-at-a-Glance.

MONDAY – Review thesis statement- purpose and function. Finish THE GIVER puzzle piece based on the chapter your team was assigned. Listen to audio version of Chapters 12 and 13. Review H.W. Assignment based on chapters 11 – 23 Questions. Part I of H.W. is due 12/1, Part II is due 12/8.

TUESDAY – LEAP Lesson – Computer Lab – Study Island assignment on Compare and Contrast, as well as Text Structures.

WEDNESDAY – Mini Lesson on the organizational structure of an Explanatory Essay. Unpack Explanatory Essay Scoring Guide – page 142 in Springboard. Students will continue reading novel. Those who are ahead will work on Chapter questions assignment.

THURSDAY – Explanatory Essay – Unpack Writing Prompt options. Students will select topic. Students will create Pre-Write and share with partner for feedback – strengths and weaknesses.

FRIDAY – Mini Lesson – Greek and Latin Roots – PPT followed by rotation of students on Study Island assignment on prefixes and suffixes.When not on Study Island, students will continue reading THE GIVER or finish up the HW assignment that is due today.


Progress Reports Coming Home Today

Today, students will be bringing home their Progress Reports. Please sign it and return it to school tomorrow.  Also, as you know, Grade 8 is a critical year in terms of promotion.  If your child is failing 2 or more classes, they are in danger of being on the Retention List. It is not too late for them to pull their grades up.  Please make sure if they have a zero in anything, particularly a summative assignment, that they make it up.  Partial credit is better than nothing. Also, just a friend reminder that students are encouraged to make up work in Tutoring which is offered before and after school, as well as Saturday’s from 8 – 12. Of course, they can also complete the work at home.

Week 15, Nov. 13 – 17

We have reached the week before Thanksgiving Break; the year is truly flying by.  This week students will take a formative (quiz grade) on Reading Comprehension skills, vocabulary recognition and active and passive voice.  They will also begin working on a Jigsaw Activity for THE GIVER where students will work in a group that has been assigned a specific chapter in the novel. They will read, summarize, and select the most descriptive points to put on a puzzle piece. Students will decorate puzzle peices and connect them to make a giant puzzle on the walls of the classroom.  Here is our Week-at-a-Glance:

MONDAY – Review active and passive voice. Class will listen to and take notes on Chapter 6 of the THE GIVER. Review for Wednesday’s assessment.

TUESDAY – Review prefixes and suffixes. Leap Lesson based on the article “In mass shootings, focus should be on gun access, not mental illness, some experts say” by By Associated Press, adapted by Newsela staff. Students will respond to constructed response question andsubmit for classwork grade.

WEDNESDAY – Reading Comprehesnion Formative Assessment

THURSDAY – Begin working on Jigsaw Activity. Summarize assigned chapter. Begin creating draft of puzzle piece.

FRIDAY – Complete puzzle piece. Presentations. Mount piece on wall.