Friday, March 31, 2017

Classwork and Homework

 Wow, these weeks fly by....
Today in class we continued writing our first draft of our ______________(realistic, science, or historical) fiction story. As you were writing, you were to be thinking about Andrew Stanton's poster on Google Classroom. You were also looking at, did you hook the reader??? I had you think about the characters and setting. Could you picture them?

The rest of the period was working and wow, there was lots of thinking and writing going on...very impressive...

HOMEWORK:
1. Read and record the title, the pages and the minutes.

2. Finish the rough draft of your story and turn it in please.

Have a great weekend... Hopefully you will get to play in the snow...
Mrs. Downs

Thursday, March 30, 2017

Classwork and Homework

Hi all,
I saw some very hard workers and determined writers today. We went over some of the points Andrew Stanton had talked about yesterday in the TED talk. I also put onto my Google Classroom his poster that has some of these very points on it. Look at it to refresh your memory.

Then you sat with your writing partner and talked about the two quick writes you completed for homework last night. Some of you did them and others did not. It is a HOWLs grade for responsibility in trimester three.

After you talk, you then chose one of the two quick writes and on Google Classroom you pushed create, google docs, and started to write your story.

HOMEWORK:
1. Read and record your title, minutes and pages.

2. Complete at least half of your fiction story that was started in class today.

Have a great evening,
Mrs. Downs

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Classwork and Homework

Hi all,
I love it when I get soooo excited about teaching a lesson. I did just that today. I showed you various clips from a TED talk by Andrew Stanton, screenwriter of "Finding Nemo," "Toystory," and "Wall-E". I chose these clips because the beginning in not appropriate to share.  Each of these clips had a message about how to write an awesome story. You can watch the whole TED talk or watch only these minutes of the clip: 1:15-2:53, 5:18-7:40, 8:00-8:52, 9:39-10:41, 12:26-13:35, and 17:09-18:59. These clips have inspiring information about writing a story that people will want to read.

Next, you looked at your list of eight to ten story ideas that you created yesterday in class and outside of class and starred two of these. You went back to your seats and began a quick write about each of these ideas. I just wanted you to get the information down about each of these stories. You do not need to finish the entire story, just get you ideas about character, setting, plot, conflict, theme and symbol on paper.

HOMEWORK:
1. Read and record your title, page numbers, and minutes.

2. Finish your two quick writes about two of your story ideas.

3. Tomorrow we will visit the book fair.

Have a wonderful night,
Mrs. Downs

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Classwork and Homework

Hi there,
We had a productive, yet filled class today. We started out going over the questions and plot line (story arc) about the short story called, "What Are You Anyway?" We had some good discussions.
Then I talked about "small moments in your life and how these very moments could make you a wonderful, exciting short realistic fiction, science fiction, or historical fiction story. Then I let you sit with your writing partner and begin to generate eight to ten ideas for a story. You were to be sure you had ideas in all three fiction categories above.  Some of you created charts, while others of you just listed ideas. I had on the desks some prompting questions which now reside in my writing google classroom.

HOMEWORK:
1. Read and record your title, pages and minutes.

2. Create at least eight to ten story ideas in the genres of realistic fiction, historical fiction, and science fiction. You have to have some ideas in each genre.

3. See some of you at conferences tonight.... YOU MUST ATTEND with your parent/guardian.

Have a great evening,
Mrs. Downs

Monday, March 27, 2017

Classwork and Homework

Hi there,
What a rainy dull day, but happy inside this school...
Today we started a new unit called, "Writing Realistic Fiction." I did say that we are going to branch out and let you write realistic fiction, historical fiction or science fiction.  This is very exciting.

Today we talked first then read a short story called, "What Are You Anyway?" I talked about the terminology, the words, the era that story was written before we began the story. As I read the story you annotated it thinking about the characters, setting, plot, conflict, theme and symbols.
Copy and paste this link to your browser to see the story or click on the link:


Next, I paired you up with a peer and your discussed your annotations with each other.

Lastly, I handed out questions.  With your partner you were to complete two questions. If you did not finish it was to become homework.
You were also to do #8 on your own which is filling in the story arc/plot line.
Copy and paste the link to your browser to see the questions:
https://docs.google.com/document/d/1aObxYbrMJdokJn9fw7tUgWFauTgISt68KQQ3xP4Pujk/edit?usp=sharing

HOMEWORK: 1. You are to be reading out of realistic fiction, science fiction or historical fiction book. Record the title, minutes and page numbers.

2. Complete your two questions that you and your partner worked on today.

3. Complete the story arc/plot line on the back of the questions paper. It is #8.

Have a great evening,
Mrs. Downs

Friday, March 24, 2017

Classwork and Homework

Hi there,
Today in class was a review of simple, compound, and complex sentences. We talked about placing commas in these sentences. This I hope will help in your editing your companion book. We also talked about word usage, such as effect or affect. I also review proper nouns and how they need to be capitalized.

Then you took the remainder of the class to edit your companion book. It is DUE NO LATER than 9:00 pm tonight....

You have worked really hard on these books. CONGRATULATIONS!!!!

HOMEWORK:
1. Read and record your title, minutes, and pages.

2. Relax with your family...

Have a great weekend,
Mrs. Downs

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Classwork and Homework

Hi there,
 We are SO close to finishing our Companion Books!!!! Today in class I went over the rubrics I have handed out. Copy and paste the links below to three of them:

Companion Book Checklist:
https://docs.google.com/a/portlandschools.org/document/d/1M9RG1VKXijKpgUWl4YaAbx2KDAB5TNJXnVh4ijKpcFM/edit?usp=sharing

TaskCard:
https://docs.google.com/a/portlandschools.org/document/d/1s6eC5Fj30q0ZKLyDqpJuxsP4G45phsIVcT5axnOyv_8/edit?usp=sharing

Qualities of my essay:
https://docs.google.com/a/portlandschools.org/document/d/1NS9BkKONXqcOLBsuK274IYvBLwrPhwSl2rCoXC2t7JQ/edit?usp=sharing

I also handed out for you to look at the Informational Writing Checklist. I mentioned that I will be grading the overall book (X3), the lead (X3), transitions (X1), organization (X3). elaboration (X3), craft (X2), spelling (X1) and punctuation and sentence structure (X1). This is the Teacher's College writing rubric.

I went over the exact order of the book. Here is what I put on the board:


HOMEWORK:
1. Read and record your title, pages, and minutes.

2. Work on completing your Companion Book. It is DUE TOMORROW, FRIDAY, 3/24!!!  You have worked really hard, let's finish with a bang.

Have a great evening,
Mrs. Downs

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Classwork and Homework

Hi all,
-Sorry I am writing about classwork and homework on Tuesday for Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday.

-On Monday in class we perfected out Table of Contents.

-Then on Tuesday and Wednesday you were to work on your introduction and perfect that. Then be sure you have three chapters written with lots of analysis about the book you read.  Each time you give evidence from the book about your big idea in the chapter whether it is paraphrased in your own words or direct quotes from the book, you must give your analysis of the big idea from your perspective of what you believe or what you think the author is trying to get across.

-If you are unsure of what is expected I have handed out two checklist so far. They are on my blog page, I think from last Friday or even last Thursday.

HOMEWORK:
1. Read and record your pages, title, and minutes.

2. Continue working on your Companion Book. It is due Friday, 3/24. It will not be included in this trimester's grades. It will be in third trimester.

3. You should be getting your Companion Book organized and ready to be passed in in the format you chose. Digital, paper copy or on a website.

Have a great evening,
Mrs. Downs

Friday, March 17, 2017

Classroom and Homework

Hi there,
-Today in class was a day to get yourselves organized and to see where you are in your companion book. We are about to begin final preparations for our Companion Books which are due on Friday, 3/24.
-So, I went over the Table of Contents once again giving specifics about what needs to be included. You must be sure you have capital letters, title of book, your name, introduction, titles of three chapters and RNB entries for each of your chapter. All of these have to have page numbers beside each.
Here is an example of a Table of Contents:
                     Table of Contents

                     "Rules of the Game"
                       Mrs. Downs

Introduction: The "Real" Chess Game           1

Chapter 1: Relationships Ebb and Flow         2-4
RNB: Relationship Map                                 5-6

And then the other chapters do the same...

-Then I handed out two organizers for you to help with your work over this weekend and into next week. Copy the links below to view them:
https://docs.google.com/a/portlandschools.org/document/d/1NS9BkKONXqcOLBsuK274IYvBLwrPhwSl2rCoXC2t7JQ/edit?usp=sharing

https://docs.google.com/a/portlandschools.org/document/d/1M9RG1VKXijKpgUWl4YaAbx2KDAB5TNJXnVh4ijKpcFM/edit?usp=sharing

So lot's of work and thoughts were done in class.

HOMEWORK:
1. Read and record your title, pages and minutes.

2. Work on your Chapter checklist to perfect one chapter and be sure to look at your Companion Book Checklist.  Both links are above for you to reference.

Have a great weekend,
Mrs. Downs

Thursday, March 16, 2017

Classwork and Homework

Hi there,
-Today in class we did partner talk about how to advertise our companion book. We were trying to talk about the book so we could finish writing our introductions in Google Classroom.

-I also had you submit your Table of Contents. I was thinking before I grade them, I am going to have you add your page numbers beside each chapter. I am also going to have you add which reading notebook entry(entries) you are going to include in your companion book. You will also write the page numbers for these also.

-If you finished the above, you were to begin to go back over your chapters and revise them by making sure you have outstanding specific and details from the beginning, middle and end of the book that are about each chapter. Also, to be sure you have deep, thoughtful analysis of your specific details.

HOMEWORK:
1. Read and record your title, pages and minutes.

2. Be sure your introductions are completed.

3 Work on your Table of Contents to include the above items.

NO MORE LATE WORK OR MAKE-UP WORK WILL BE ACCEPTED AFTER TUESDAY, 3/21.

Have a great evening,
Mrs. Downs

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Classwork and Homework

Wow lots of snow out there,

Today in class we did lots of instruction and little writing. So, with that said, we will do lots of writing work tomorrow.
-I went over how your Table of Contents needs to be added to the first page of your three chapters. You need to be sure it is completed by tomorrow as I will be grading them. Also, be sure you have chapter titles that are creative and make the reader want to read each chapter. The minimum is three chapters for most  of you.

-Then we went over how to begin to revise your chapters. On my blog, on 3/10,  I posted a simple way for you to think about each paragraph for the chapter. Remember you must have a topic sentence and then all other sentences in that paragraph have to be about the topic sentence.

-Then we talked about how each chapter should have black and red text. The black is for your analysis of the red which is the specific details/quotes from the book with page numbers. You should be able to see more black text than red. You want to have lots of your explanation about your story element and why the author may included it in the book.

-Be sure you have in mind at least one reading notebook entry that goes along with each one of your chapters. You can start recreating them by hand or on the computer. If you think your RNB entry is perfect, then just take a picture of it and load it onto your computer desktop for now.

-We talked about how to write an introduction. Please look at Google Classroom for some examples, sentence frames and possibly what to write about.

HOMEWORK:
1. Revise and edit your Table of Contents and be ready to pass it in tomorrow.

2. Begin your introduction on your second page of your companion book. Push all the chapter down so that page one is your Table of Contents and page 2(maybe 3 too) is your introduction.

3. Be thinking about your RNB entries to use with each of your chapters.

Have a great evening,
Mrs. Downs

Monday, March 13, 2017

Classwork and Homework

Hi there,
Boy this potential storm could really mess us up...
So, today in class you got right to work on writing your third piece for your three chapters. I looked at gave you a HOWLs grade for perseverance for having completed your third structure.

I talked about how you should begin to think about which RNB entry(entries) you will use for each chapter as a visual. You can also use other visuals as well.

I also reiterated that your specific details from the book should be in red text. This means you should have some red in each chapter and lots of black which is your explanation/analysis of the meaning of the red.

I talked about if there isn't any school tomorrow and/or Wednesday you should be sure all three chapters are written, have red for details/quotes and have great analysis for each. Remember to analyze is about the deeper meaning for you and/or what you think the author meant.  Also, for you to begin editing and revising each of the chapters. Read them out loud to yourself or someone else to see if they make sense.

HOMEWORK:
1. Read and record your title, pages, and minutes.

2. Finish your third essay/chapter. 

3. After Wednesday, I will not accept any more make-up or late work.

GRADES CLOSE THIS FRIDAY!!!

Have a great evening and I HOPE to see you tomorrow.
Mrs. Downs


Friday, March 10, 2017

Classwork and Homework

Hi there,
TGIF... lots of you have been working really hard on the companion books.
Today in class we went over the two structures you have completed, the two story elements that are in each one of the structures.
Next, you began your third structure. You could do one you already have done as you are only required to do two different ones. Or you can chose another different one. You are to create this structure with your third story element. Remember you are trying to get across a big idea for each structure. Once you have the big idea in your head or on paper, you need specific details, quotes or retelling from the beginning, middle and end of book. This needs to be completed by Monday. NOT the CHAPTER, just the structure.
You had the rest of the period to work on that.

I worked with a few students yesterday and we came up with the following of how to organize your writing... This may or may not make it easier for you...
Here we go...
1st paragraph- state your big idea and analyze it in life, not using the book to explain it. Just your thoughts of the big idea in the/your world... (Remember NEVER use I in an informational book) Needs to only be about two to five sentences.

2nd paragraph- Give two specific details from the beginning of the book along with your analysis/explanation of its meaning relating to the big idea.

3rd paragraph-Give two specific details from the middle of the book along with your analysis/explanation of its meaning relating to the big idea.

4th paragraph-Give two specific details from the end of the book along with your analysis/explanation of its meaning relating to the big idea.

5th paragraph- Restate your big idea from your first paragraph and a few other sentences to wrap it up. Again two to five sentences is all you need.

Hope this helps organize a bit better.

HOMEWORK:
1. Read and record your title, pages, and minutes.

2. Finish the structure for your third chapter/essay.

Have a great weekend... stay warm.. it is going to be freezing..
Mrs. Downs

Thursday, March 9, 2017

Classwork and Homework

Hi there,
Today in class you had the time to write your second chapter/essay for your companion book. I showed an example of the what you should be thinking about the whole book looking like. You need to remember that along with your Table of Contents, Introduction, and Conclusion, that within each chapter you should have the writing piece and a visual, which should be one or more of your reading strategies that go along with your writing. You should have used this reading strategy for either specific details or big idea and analysis.

Below is the example:




HOMEWORK:
1. Read and record title, minutes and pages.

2. Complete and submit on Google Classroom your second writing piece for your companion book. I should also be able to see your first writing piece as well before it.

Have a great evening,
Mrs. Downs


Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Classwork and Homework

What a beautiful day it turned out to be.
Today in class we started by looking at the writing Google Classroom. There are informational writing structures on there to help you complete tonights homework. I explained each one and talked about how you have to complete another informational structure, not boxes and bullets, with another one of your story elements.  You can be creative in how you show the informational structure. It does not have to be like the ones on Google Classroom.

Then you went back to your chairs and thought about which story element you wanted to write about, what was the big idea of that story element and which structure would best fit that. Then you began creating it in your reading notebook on page 54.

HOMEWORK:
1. Read and record your title, page numbers and minutes.

2. Complete your structure for chapter/essay #2. If you have time, you could begin to write your chapter using your strategy.

Have a great evening,
Mrs. Downs


Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Classwork and Homework

What a dreary day... but so enlightening in class...
Today we talked about how you have to have completed all 10 reading strategies, put stickies on them to identify the story elements, completed your table of contents on google docs, and completed your box and bullets from the beginning, middle, and end of your book about one of your three story elements you selected to write your chapters on.

If this was all done, then on Google Classroom there is a place for you to write a chapter of your companion book. We talked a lot in class today about how the chapter should have lots of analysis of specific details of the book. You can make connections as to how you understand your big idea in the box. There should be more than one or two paragraphs as you are talking about one of your story elements and adding lots of your own analysis. There should be specific details from the book that support your big idea in the box. Lots of analyzing this is what it is all about. There is no right or wrong way to analyze. It is your thoughts and perspectives about the book. The more you write about your thoughts connected to details from the book, the better it will be. This was your classwork today. Most did not finish the chapter.

HOMEWORK:
1. Read and record your title, minutes and page numbers.

2. Finish your chapter of the companion book.

Have a great evening,
Mrs. Downs


Monday, March 6, 2017

Classwork and Homework

Hello,
Today in class we talked about the text structures you will use to create your chapters in your companion notebook. The list of them is on page 50 of your notebooks. It is also here if you copy and paste the link:
https://docs.google.com/a/portlandschools.org/document/d/1zLWHDNtX9bsqqDQ3uJmpYo5FHMSx9QXiffFFnEun1kw/edit?usp=sharing

Then I showed you a beginning example of the structure you are doing in class today called boxes and bullets. You were to think of which one of the chapters you want to use this structure for. Remember the chapters are about one of the story elements you circled on pg. 50 in your notebook.This is on my Google Classroom. You must complete the boxes and bullets for homework tonight.
Be sure your Table of Contents is completed and creative titles.

You spent the rest of the period creating your boxes and bullets.

HOMEWORK:
1. Read and record your title, pages and minutes.

2. Finish your boxes and bullets structure.

Have a great evening,
Mrs. Downs

Saturday, March 4, 2017

Classwork and Homework

Hi there,
On Friday we had guests in for each of our ELA classes to read to us. This was in celebration of Read Across America Day, Dr. Seuss' birthday on Thursday. I felt it was an awesome day. We had speakers that were motivating and shared their love of books with each class. A nice educational day for all.

HOMEWORK:
1. Read and record your title, pages and minutes.

2. Be sure to have your Table of Contents completed by Monday

Have a great weekend,
Mrs. Downs

Thursday, March 2, 2017

Classwork and Homework

Hi star students,
Today in class you looked at RNB #9 and 10. You completed a self-assessment on each of these strategies. Then you turned in your notebook for me to grade.

Then we learned about writing a Table of Contents. We did a practice one using "Rules of the Game". The key was to be sure you are thinking about what each of your story elements are for the three chapters. Then come up with a creative question or statement as a title for the chapter. Some examples are on my Google Classroom for your ELA class. The more creative you are the better it will be. Remember you have to have an introduction, three chapters and a conclusion all with creative titles. You are to create this on Google Docs.

I also did a bit of a talk about what are the expectations for Read Across America tomorrow. We need to be active listeners, respectful audience and have respectful body language.

HOMEWORK:
1. Read and record your title, pages and minutes.

2. Finish your Table of Contents on Google Docs.

Have a great evening,
Mrs. Downs

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Classwork and Homework

Hi all,
Today in class you were in partners and talked about which three story elements you are focusing on. Then you talked about why did you choose those three, and which one has the least amount of information from the beginning, middle and end of book.
Several of you came to class today without all nine of your reading strategies completed with stickies. Which means you are behind where you should have been today. So, then you had to put stickies on your reading strategies and fill in your planning chart.
If you came to class today prepared, then you began work on your reading notebook strategy #10. It is due tomorrow.

HOMEWORK:
1. Read and record your titles, minutes, and pages.

2. Finish reading notebook strategy #10. Be sure you put stickies on the three story elements.

Have a great evening,
Mrs. Downs