Monday, September 24, 2012

Non-Fiction Readings

Several non-fiction articles are coming up this week (as you may know, New York State's  transition to Common Core calls for a greater balance in literary and informational texts).
We'll start with an article by Gregg Easterbrook which first appeared in Time Magazine: "Why We Shouldn't Go To Mars." This article follows on the heels of a story we read last week, Ray Baradbury's "Dark They Were and Golden Eyed," which takes place on Mars.
We will also begin to integrate instruction to address the following Common Core Standard:
:Demonstrate command of the conventions of standard English capitalization, punctuation, and spelling when writing

The students will practice editing by working with timely passages that contain mistakes.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Ray Bradbury, Mars and More

This week finds us continuing our unit on science fiction by looking at Ray Bradbury's "Dark They Were, and Golden Eyed." The story takes place on Mars and it has us thinking about the Curiousity Rover landing which happened last summer.
The scientists who worked on the Mars landing were inspired by Bradbury and posted this tribute.

Saturday, September 15, 2012

A Film and Some Book Recs

I mentioned to several classes that I would post a link to the short film version of Ray Bradbury's "All Summer in a Day" (we viewed the ending in class and compared it to the ending of the short story). That film can be found here.
Also, Ms. Tice (our student teacher from SUNY Plattsburgh) and I gave book talks on Friday. The book I shared was Vivian Vande Velde's All Hallows Eve
In keeping with our current science fiction theme, Ms. Tice shared Feed by MT Anderson and Singularity by William Sleator.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012


3-2-1 is the name of an assignment that I like to give from time to time. To complete it, the student writes 3 comments about a story they have read. Then they write two questions about what they read. Finally, they draw a doodle based on the reading.
As an example, I did 3-2-1 based on our viewing of the short film Robbie.

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Sci Fi Unit Blasts Off

We'll kick off our science fiction unit this week by viewing the short film, Robbie.

Readings this week will include a non fiction article about a robot teacher (yikes! someday I'll be obsolete?!) and Ray Bradbury's "All Summer in a Day."

Our independent reading will continue as well, and for those who'd like to read some science fiction during our unit of study, you may wish to check out this list of titles from the website Story Snoops.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

We Read Here

After a great first day of school, we're planning to launch our independent reading program tomorrow by visiting the library to get books.
Independent reading, or "sustained silent reading" has plenty of benefits.
Finding a book that's "just right" is important to our IR program's success, so Mrs. Kennedy (middle school library media specialist) and I are ready to help.
One of my favorite resources for helping students find books to read is a book blog called Story Snoops. I visit this site frequently to get ideas about book recommendations.
I also like to watch book trailers to find out about new titles. Here's a site with several trailers for you to watch.
Last year, seventh graders read over 1200 books. I'm looking forward to seeing if this year's students can top it!

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Twas the Night Before School

And all through the house...
Well, some creatures are still stirring in my house, but I thought I'd share a back to school message for students from one of my new favorite authors, John Green. You can watch it here.
John is the author of Paper Towns and The Fault in Our Stars (among others).