November 13

Week 15: November 13 – 17


Today we went over claims (also known as thesis statements) and how to write them for explanatory essays. If you were absent, review the PowerPoint below and attempt the worksheet attached.

2017 claims-26cv3jn

Writing Claims Practice-qxa06g

Homework: Claims practice – Soft drinks in school cafeterias (top box on the back of the handout).

On-level reminder: Your vocabulary test is on Wednesday! Review your study guides and the quizlet.



Today, we workshopped claims and students wrote their claim for the prompt below. This was taken as a formative grade.

Prompt – How is middle school different from elementary school?

Homework: (On-level) study for your vocabulary test tomorrow! Quizlet:



Today we learned how to write strong introductions. Handouts and PowerPoints posted below.

2017 A Simple Guide to Extraordinary Introductory Paragraphs in-16j8pv2

Writing Effective Introductions practice-2awmdsu

Effective Introductions Handout Grade 6-2i932qp

Homework: None.



Today we practiced writing different versions of introductory paragraphs using different hook techniques.

Homework: Parents check ParentVue for Quarter 2 progress reports and sign off in your student’s agenda.



Today we drafted body paragraphs for the explanatory practice essay using transitions studied earlier this week.

Homework: Have a great break!

November 6

Week 14: November 6 – 10


On-Level: Roots vocabulary introduction. See handout below.

OL Homework: Complete flash cards or 3-column notes by Wednesday. They must include- the term, definition, and a sentence using the word correctly.

AC: Review for the Classical Roots Vocab test on Wednesday.

AC Homework: Study for test on Wednesday. Quizlet:


Tuesday: No School.



AC: Vocabulary Tests

All classes: Unpacked Embedded Assessment 2 from the textbook.

Homework: None.



Today we learned how to write strong topic sentences for our explanatory essays.

Homework: None. On-level Vocabulary Test will be on Wednesday, November 15. Quizlet:



Spelling Bee. Congratulations to our class finalists below!

Emma Meyers

Zhikai Huang

Grace Liang

Leo Etah

Phoenix Sheridan

October 30

Week 13: October 30 – November 3


Periods 1, 4, 5: Finished double entry journals. These were turned in at the end of class.

Periods 2 and 3: Analyzed model RACES to look for strengths and weaknesses. Double Entry Journals were turned in at the beginning of class.

Homework: None – Periods 1, 4, and 5 – Vocabulary Quiz on Wednesday, November 1, and Test on Friday, November 3. Quizlet link:

There will also be a Diagram Review Session on Wednesday at 8:15 am. This is not mandatory, but just for students who want to brush up on or refresh their diagramming skills.


Happy Halloween! Today we wrote 2-sentence scary stories. Winners will be posted in the hallway tomorrow for voting.

Homework: None! Vocabulary quiz tomorrow in periods 1,4, 5.

There will also be a Diagram Review Session on Wednesday (tomorrow) at 8:15 am. This is not mandatory, but just for students who want to brush up on or refresh their diagramming skills.


Periods 1, 4, 5: Vocab quiz and analyzing model RACES to prepare us to write our RACES response tomorrow in class.

Homework: Continue studying for your vocab test on Friday.

Periods 2 & 3: Classical Roots Vocabulary Practice. ONLY lesson 1.

Level A Classical Roots Word List-149e267


Homework: Finish vocab study guide: 3-column notes or flash cards with the term, definition, and a sample sentence.


In class writing – RACES responses.


Periods 2 and 3: Finish vocabulary study guides

Periods 1, 4, 5: Study for your test tomorrow. Quiz grades are posted in Synergy.


On-level: Vocabulary Test, finish RACES, journaling.

AC: Vocabulary Guides and journaling.

Homework: none.

October 23

Week 12: October 23 – 27


All periods:

We annotated our short stories that were due today and self-assessed them using the rubric handed out last week (in unit section). If you were absent today, you must complete this at home. Stories were annotated for the following:

1 strong exposition – label SAD

1 example of figurative language – label FL and type

2 examples of sensory detail – label SD

2 sentences of dialogue –label DG

2 brushstrokes – label CS

2 complex sentences – label CX

Using the rubric, grade your writing and justify your grade with what you did well/didn’t do.

Periods 1, 4, & 5:

We completed the vocabulary anticipation guide below. Answer key is attached. Here is the Quizlet link:

Homework for periods 1, 4, & 5: Complete a study guide (two-column notes or flash cards) that include the word, definition AND a sample sentence using the word. These will be checked on Wednesday for a homework grade.

President Intro Vocabulary Anticipation Guide-2gzzctk

Periods 2 & 3:

We began reading and annotating “Catch the Moon.” We also unpacked our embedded assessment.

Homework for periods 2 & 3: None.


Today we annotated our short stories (AC: Catch the Moon, On-Level: President Cleveland, Where Are You?) for figurative language, word choice and cool syntax. You can access a digital copy of the stories below:



Homework for periods 1, 4, & 5: Complete a study guide (two-column notes or flash cards) that include the word, definition AND a sample sentence using the word. These will be checked on Wednesday for a homework grade.

Homework for periods 2 & 3: Finish annotating your short story for the annotations detailed above.



Periods 1, 4, & 5: Continued reading and annotating the short story. If students did not finish in class, they will finish reading and annotating for figurative language (type), cool syntax and word choice.

Periods 2&3: We started our Double Entry Journals today. If you were absent, we will get you started on this tomorrow.

Homework for periods 1, 4, 5: finish reading and annotating “President Cleveland, Where Are You?” for figurative language (type), cool syntax and word choice.


Today we worked on Double Entry Journals. If you were absent, we will get you caught up when you return.

Homework: None. Periods 1, 4, 5: Your vocab quiz will be on Wednesday, November 1, and your test will be on Friday, November 3.


Today we continued working on our Double Entry Journals. These will be due on Tuesday for periods 1, 4, & 5.

Homework: None, but periods 1, 4, and 5, should continue studying your vocabulary. The quiz will be on Wednesday, November 1, and the test will be on Friday, November 3.


October 16

Week 11: October 16 – 20


Today we learned the SAD (Setting, Action, Dialogue) strategy for writing expositions for narratives. See PowerPoint below for more information.

SAD Narratives-1w57yjg

Homework: None.


Today we continued practicing writing expositions via a gallery walk. Students incorporated brushstrokes and figurative language into their expositions.

Homework: None.


Today we began working on the 2nd embedded assessment: writing a short story narrative. Students were given the rubric below and a plot diagram to work on for their pre-writing. The plot diagram will be due at the beginning of class tomorrow if it was not finished today.

SpringBoard Unit 1 Embedded Assessment 2-pgx7yk

Plot Diagram-250dl5z

Homework: Finish plot diagram for pre-writing.


We continued working on our short stories and voted for the winning writings from Wednesday. Winners will be announced tomorrow.

Short stories will be due on Monday at the beginning of class. Friday will be spent working on them. Anything not finished in class tomorrow will need to be completed over the weekend.

Homework: None.


Students finished their short stories. If they did not finish, they should finish for homework as they are due on Monday.

Homework: Finish short stories if needed.

October 9

Week 10: October 9 – 13

I can’t believe it is already the second quarter! This week’s plans are posted below.


  1. 6th grade dance this Tuesday – you must return your permission slip to attend.
  2. Color Battle on Thursday – keep those donations coming!
  3. Next week is conference week. Please return conference appointment forms ASAP.


Today we analyzed short story narratives for figurative language, syntax and elements of short stories to prepare us for writing our own short story next week.

Homework: None.


We continued annotating narratives in class and discussed the difference between figurative language and sensory detail.

Homework: None.


Today we learned brushstroke techniques to improve our writing. Handouts, notes, powerpoints and homework are posted below for people who are absent.

AC Materials:

Brushstroke Cloze Notes-r1e4fi

Brushstroke Homework AC-1pm6n2i

Brushstroke Powerpoint-s2yexr

Brushstrokes Notes-zl6k92

On-Level Materials

Brushstroke Cloze Notes OL-1m473ko

Brushstroke Homework OL-15p3nif

Brushstroke Powerpoint OL-1fg1tcx

Homework: Complete Brushstroke practice homework due Thursday.


Today we practiced writing sentences with brushstrokes using images as inspiration. I also conferenced with students who are still confused on the techniques to build confidence for the learning check tomorrow.

Homework: Practice with brushstrokes if needed to prepare for learning check tomorrow. Find interesting pictures online or in picture books and write sentences about them using different brushstroke techniques.


Brushstroke learning check and narrative journaling.

Homework: None.

October 2

Week 9: October 2 – 6

This is the LAST week of the 1st quarter, so let’s have a strong finish! This week’s plans are posted below.


Today we discussed the difference between short stories and personal narratives as me prepared to write our final assessment for our narrative unit, a short story. We then read “Thank You M’am” by Langston Hughes and analyzed cause and effect as well as the use of dialect.

Homework: None. Grade recovery (extra credit) due on Friday, October 6.


We read and annotated Thank You Ma’am.

Homework: None. Grade recovery (extra credit) due on Friday, October 6.


We studied plot diagrams and created our own based off of stories we are familiar with. This will prepare us to craft our own plot diagram when we begin pre-writing for the final narrative assessment.

Homework: None.


We finished Daedalus and Icarus and our annotations. We then practiced writing with varied sentence structure and discussed how our writing can be improved by varying sentence structures for emphasis.

Homework: None. Grade recovery (extra credit) due on Friday, October 6 – TOMORROW. Late work will not be accepted.


Today we wrote in our journals responding to a narrative prompt, incorporating figurative language and varied sentence structure. These are skills that we will be using when drafting our short story final assessment at the end of next week.

Homework: None.

September 20

Grade Recovery Opportunity

I have posted a “grade recovery” opportunity below. This will be worth 5 additional points added to your test category. This will be due on Friday, October 6. Please do not work on this over the fall break! I want you to enjoy your time off – you will have plenty of time to work on it when you return to school. However, if you finish before the deadline, you are free to turn it in early.


September 19

Check ParentVue/StudentVue

This is a friendly reminder to check StudentVue/ParentVue regularly. There are quite a few students who have missing assignments that are entered into the gradebook as a zero. Please make up all missing work in a timely manner so that your grade can be updated before the end of the quarter. After quarter 1 is over, I will no longer accept late work from quarter 1.

September 18

Week 8: September 18-22

This week’s plans are posted below. As a friendly reminder, please check grades regularly. We are rapidly approaching the end of Quarter 1, and I don’t want there to be any surprises when report cards come out. I always accept late work, so be attentive to getting that turned in in a timely manner.


Today the Inner Dialogue Narrative summative assessment was assigned. We will be working on first drafts today, conferencing tomorrow, and then we will write our final drafts on Wednesday. This is a summative grade and (with careful proofreading and thoughtful writing) will be a great opportunity to bring grades up. The assignment is posted below. The final draft will be turned in on the paper provided.

2017 Inner dialogue prompt narrative-11xozrt

Homework: Finish first drafts and complete the self-editing checklist (participation of a friend/sibling/parent may be required). The self-editing checklist is available below.

EDITING CHECKLIST – Merritt-2cesd1o


Today, students wrote in their journals and practiced using dialogue while I held writing conferences about first drafts for the inner dialogue summative assessment. Tomorrow, students will begin writing their final drafts which will be due at the end of class.

Homework: Finish any final edits on your first draft so that you are ready to write your final tomorrow.


Work session: Using your edits from your first drafts, write your final drafts on the paper provided. We will be sharing these in class tomorrow.

Extra credit opportunity – see most recent post on the blog.

Homework: None.


Inner dialogue personal narratives were turned in today. If you were absent, you can turn them in tomorrow.

Today we read one of the short stories in the textbook and discussed characterization as a class. If you were absent, we will get you caught up tomorrow.

Homework: None.


Inner Dialogue Personal Narratives were graded and passed back today. Students reflected on these in their writing portfolio. If you were absent, you can check your grade in ParentVue. For the remainder of the class, students journaled, practicing with dialogue and characterization.

Homework: None – enjoy your break!