Skip to main content

Week 4

We accomplished so much this week!  Students read "Does Teaching Kids to Get 'Gritty' Help them Get Ahead"?  Students practiced the second part of the Article of the Week assignment-writing a summary and response to the article.  Students wrote both parts of home for practice.  In class, I had several students share their work  with me. I projected the assignment  onto the screen, and we discussed each one as a class.  It was a way to provide valuable feedback to students and a great teaching opportunity for all!  
Practicing our summaries and responses

Learning to Annotate

After practicing all aspects of the assignment, students received their first official Article of the Week Assignment!  I am excited to read their responses, as well as discuss the topics that we will be learning  about.  

In addition, I introduced students to the Sentence of the Week activity.  I wanted to teach commas, so I found three sentences from well-known literature that used commas correctly.  Two were from Divergent and one was from In Cold Blood.  Here are the sentences I shared with them:  

My older brother, Caleb, stands in the aisle, holding a railing above his head to keep himself steady.

    From Divergent

      Today the crowd has a new kind of energy, a last day of mania.   

From Divergent

            The village of Holcomb stands on the high wheat plains of western Kansas, a lonesome area that other Kansans call 'out there'
      
In Cold Blood

Students were asked to write down everything they noticed about the sentence. We then discussed what they noticed as a class. It was awesome to see how they actually thought about each sentence and why the author used the punctuation he used.

Finally, students had to write their own sentences, emulating the structure and rules in each of the mentor sentences. They did this in groups and shared them with the class on a Google Doc. I LOVED reading their sentences. Look at the sentences below, and you will see how they imitated the original sentences!


Yes, there is a misspelled word. However, LOVE the structure!



Popular posts from this blog

Oreos in China and Read 180

A few years ago I read an article about what happened when Kraft introduced the Oreo to the Chinese in 1996.  It was not a success.  The Chinese thought the filling was too sweet-the cookie too bitter.  Kraft almost pulled the beloved cookie off the shelves. Instead, they began a quest to find out how to make the Oreo appeal to the Chinese. Enter the green tea Oreo, the mango Oreo, and an Oreo in the shape of a straw (not sure that still qualifies as an Oreo).  The revamped Oreos were a huge success! I found the article fascinating and decided to design a lesson around  it to share with my students.

First I showed them a news clip from CNN about the topic. Then, I taught them a few vocabulary words that appear in the article using Kate Kinsella's method.  Next, we read the article together and marked the text. I did a think aloud as I read aloud to them.  After that, students created a T-Chart listing the ten most important words in the text, as well as five main ideas from the tex…

Bottle Flipping

Last week someone posted article on Facebook about the newest trend with middle schoolers-bottle flipping.  If you haven't heard of it, you probably don't teach middle school or have a child in middle school! Consider  yourself lucky! If you know about it, then you also know it's annoying as heck.  Kids (usually boys), toss a partially filled water bottle into the air so that it flips in midair.  The goal is to have the bottle land upright.  This year I have had to ask several students to put their water bottles away because they wanted to flip them.  I know,  I'm mean!  



After reading the Facebook article I thought, "Hey!  I bet I can incorporate this into a lesson somehow."  Using my Oreo lesson as a model, that's just what I did.  First, I found two different articles about bottle flipping.  I went through both looking for key vocabulary words.  I then typed out the sentences with the words and created an activity where students had to guess the definit…

How to Train, Tame, and Enjoy a Seventh-Grader

I remember when my oldest son went to middle school.  I was a mess.  I was so anxious about whether he'd like his teachers, make friends, and be able to handle all of the work.  I think I was one of those parents that drive teachers crazy. No, I WAS one of those parents. I emailed teachers with questions that I could have asked my son (even when I asked him, I didn't trust his answer).  I checked his grades every day.  I constantly asked him whether or not he was caught up on homework. I asked him who he ate lunch with. If he didn't like a teacher, I wanted him transferred to another class.   If he messed up, I wanted to fix it.  If he didn't turn in an assignment on time, I wanted the teacher to let him turn it in late.  If he forgot his lunch, I wanted my husband to bring it to him (thankfully he refused). If he wasn't starting his homework when I thought he should,  I was practically putting the pencil in his hand and opening the textbook. In other words, I was …