Sunday, September 25, 2016

What's the Story? News and Notes From ELA Class

Last week students filled their journals with writing on topics like: "If a genie granted you three wishes, but you couldn't use them to make yourself rich, what would you do?" and "Write directions for how to do or make something."

Students also talked about the literary device "mood" and identified it in a play based on Edgar Allan Poe's "The Tell-Tale Heart."

This week we will continue to talk mood and Poe. In addition, we'll continue our weekly independent reading and journal writing, editing practice and vocabulary.

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

This Week in Journals

Here are the topics students have written about during journal writing time this week: 1). Is there something that really gets on your nerves, like watching someone scratch themselves, or seeing a classmate chew on a pencil, or hearing your little brother making weird sounds at the dinner table? 2). Think about being in kindergarten (or the earliest grade in elementary school that you can remember).  What do you remember most? 

Sunday, September 11, 2016

Letter to Future You

Based on this lesson by a teacher in Canada, students will be writing a letter to their "future selves."
Ok, so it's not too far into the future (I'll be collecting these letters and returning them during the last week of school in June).
The letter should be handwritten on loose leaf paper in class and should include:

A). a greeting (Dear ____)

B). a body in which you tell: 

1. How you feel about school starting

2. Goals you have for this school year (inside and outside of school)

3. Things you are currently into/interested in (favorite song, friends, etc.)

4. Things currently going on in your life

5. Things you predict will happen this year

6. What you plan to do to achieve this year's goals

C). a closing (sincerely, yours truly, etc.)

Here's an example written by a student last year:

Dear (name):                                                                          September 11, 2015

    If you’re reading this, then you made it to the end of 7th grade. Congratulations.  This is from your old less cool, non-lacrosse playing self.

What’s up?  I’m just writing this letter to let you know how I intend to be awesome in 7th grade.  

    I want to try to give my all in all of my classes.  I want to get projects in on time.  I want to stand up for others and myself.  It would be great if I could learn French, so I’ll try to accomplish that.  Part of middle school is trying  new things also.  I want to play lacrosse this spring.  I want to score a few goals.  In soccer, I want to win all of our games if possible.  The Plattsburgh team is going to be hard to beat, so if you’re reading this and you beat them, give yourself a pat on the back.  

One of my biggest goals in soccer is to bicycle kick it into the goal this season.  I could probably do it.  Another one of my goals is to make a shot at the goal from midfield, which would be pretty awesome.  

    If not, that’s fine.  Now, what about band? Was Mr. Vanier a good teacher? He seems like it.  Right now, in September, I plan to be awesome at the band concerts and in Jazz Band.  I’m considering joining chorus, even though my singing voice compares to the sound of gravel being ground together.  Maybe I could play the drums and sing at the same time.  I could steal the whole show. On a different note, I hope to excel in gym this year.  I know I could make the presidential fitness level.  

Another thing I want to do is run a mile that’s under 5 minutes and 30 seconds.  

That’s going to be hard, but I know I can do it.   

    One thing I definitely don’t want to do is stress about everything, like homework, and grades.  Those have never been a problem for me and they won’t be this year either.  If I just take the time to complete the homework and do my best, then I have no worries.  So, I hope that you, in the future, didn’t stress.

    On a more fun note, I plan on longboarding a lot this year.  If you’re reading this now and you have the badges of honor from falling off the longboard, congratulations.  Also, I want to ski a lot.  One of my top goals is to ski at Whistler-Blackcomb this winter, in Canada.  I want to get a pair of Line skis, which are pretty beast,  so I can shred the gnar.   Going to Jay Peak in Vermont would be sick also.  Of course, I also have to go to Whiteface at least 11 times this winter.   

    So yeah, this is just your old me writing to you way back in the school year, telling you my plans just in case you wonder why you became so awesome.  

See you soon!




Here's another example written by a student last year:

Dear (Name),
Hello. How are you? I am doing fine. I can’t wait to witness what this year has in store for me. I am sure you already know. What are you doing? I am just sitting here thinking about you and decided to write you a letter. I went to the most exciting soccer game ever last Friday. We won by the way. School started last week. I’ve currently had 14 math pages I’ve had to do for homework. This is my first ELA assignment I’ve had. I have also had to do that 9/11 assignment for social studies. Also on Friday I had my first 7th grade science quiz.
What are the different things you learned in all your classes? We haven’t learned a lot yet. I hope to read more this year and learn more about books in ELA. I also hope to learn about different presidents in social studies. I hope to learn about the human body in science. I also just want to be more confident and better at math in general.
 I am afraid about making my teachers mad at me and when I mean mad at me I mean MAD at me. I am afraid about advanced math too. I don’t know if I am going to drop it or just keep going with it.
I intend to do well in all my subjects. I hope to get at least reasonable grades in subjects like math and science. I also hope to get at least higher than a 95 overall in math.
I am going for my best time in the mile.I also have to goal to get really good times in all my exercises for gym. What was your time for your exercises in gym? I am also setting the goal to not drop out of advance math.
My favorite subject right now is ELA. My least favorite subject is Math. Social Studies and Science have always just been a tie in like and dislikeness for me. I really enjoy animation design and compositing which is what I want to be when I grow up. Do you still want to be a animator and compositor?
Right now while I am writing this I found out that I sort of like apple pie. And I also love chocolate milk. I also love all sorts of pasta but nothing cold. My favorite food is spaghetti. My favorite drink is chocolate milk. Chocolate milk and spaghetti don’t mix by the way. 
Right now my favorite computer game is Rollercoaster Tycoon 2 and my favorite mobile game is Infinity Blade 1. What’s your favorite mobile and computer game right now?
Are you even into Minecraft right now? Do you still play cobracraft?
Do you have an Alienware X-51 Gaming Desktop yet? How about an IPhone 6? Or a new TurtleBeach Earforce X-12 headset? How many new posters for your room do you have? Do they all have frames? Have you painted your room yet? Do you have those videogame themed shelves for your room? 
That’s really all I wanted to write I hope you had a great year in 7th grade!
                              Sincerely, (Name)



Thursday, September 8, 2016

Journals: 9/9 Topic

Image result for summer's end
Several times each week, students will write in their journals.
Here's the topic for Friday, 9/9: "What will you miss most about summer now that it's over?"
During the first quarter, students will be working on building up writing stamina and sharing their writing in small groups in class.
Effort counts and at the end of the marking period journals will be graded.

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Day One

What an opening day!
Between the singing, dancing, Pokemon hunting and researching there was a lot of excitement at Saranac Lake Middle School.
The rest of this week in ELA class we'll spend launching independent reading and journal writing, as well as getting to know each other, classroom routines, etc.