Sunday, August 25, 2013

Purpose and Motives for Presentation of Info Part 2

As I mentioned in my last post, I couldn't find a presentation that met my needs for meeting Common Core English Language Arts Standards » Speaking& Listening » Grade 8, so I created one.  Actually, I made two.  This is the second one and the foldable that goes with it.  As my class goes through it, discussing it, they will take notes in a foldable, which they will then add to their interactive journals. 
I wish I had some new and fabulous foldable design to share, but I went with the tried and true layered design because it can hold so much info.

The definition for demeanor that I used came from Bing Dictionary.

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Purpose and Motives for Presentation of Info

I couldn't find a presentation that met my needs for meeting Common Core English Language Arts Standards » Speaking & Listening » Grade 8, so I created one.  As my class goes through it, discussing it, they will take notes in a foldable, which they will then add to their interactive journals. 


This is the foldable they will create.  The cover template came from HERE.

Below, you will see photos of the foldable while I was making my sample.  I am a visual person.  Messy writing, particularly mine, drives me nuts.  I also spend a great deal of energy explaining to my students that first impressions count, and when it comes to their work, that often means their handwriting/neatness.  Even most of my poor-handwriting students slow down and try to give their best once they realize this fact.  Anyhow, I created the lined portion.  Students could have just used the lines in their notebooks, but many of my students bought wide-lined notebooks instead of narrow.  They would not fit all the info in on the wide lines so making something I know will work for all of them seemed my best option.  I printed the cover, measured it, and created a back that was sized to match. 


As for the cover, again, I don't like mess.  I show my students how to lightly pencil in guide lines that show them where to write. 


I hope this helps those of you who will also be working to meet this Common Core learning standard.

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Interactive Reading Notebook Post 1

For the past couple of days, I have been working on setting up example, interactive notebooks for language arts and reading.  For the first week of school, my students will be setting their notebooks up and creating some pages that tap into background knowledge and (hopefully) help them take ownership of and pride in their notebooks. 

I figured I would share how we are starting the reading notebook.  The students will have to create a cover for it that titles it as their interactive reading notebook.  They can draw it, write it, or create it on their computers.  (I am very lucky.  My district has a laptop initiative that allows every student from 6th grade through 12th grade have a school-owned laptop to use at school and at home.  It has a VERY low initial fee and a contract that governs usage and a $100 deductable should the student damage the laptop.  Most families take the district up on this deal.  I also have two laptops in my room that students, who were unable to afford the plan, may use.  Thus, the only students that really do not have computer access are those that lose the right through misuse of their laptop from a prior year.)

The Last 10 Books I Read, where students will reflect on the books they have read most recently.

My Reading Timeline, where students will reflect on the books that have shaped their lives.

I Read Because... will help students consider the reasons they read.

My Heart Map helps students identify what is important to them so they can use it as criteria for picking books.

The first 4 pages are set up as a table of contents.  Then, the students will create some pages that demonstrate their reading background and allow them some creativity to make their notebook theirs.  None of these page idea are mine.  I came across them on Pinterest, and they are all pinned at various points on my reading board.  Some have been slightly modified for my grade-level or preferences, but others are exactly as the originators designed them.  The pages with book images were printed on my home printer.  My students will have the option of printing at their homes in color or on our grade-level printer in black and white.  The "I Read Because..." page uses random scrapbook papers I have collected over the years punched with a 1 1/2 inch circle punch.  The timeline is made using blue masking tape I had leftover from a painting job.  Finally, the cover art/title was sealed using packing tape so it can stand up to the use it is going to receive.  For the covers, I used backgrounds by and a digi font by
I hope to get photos of the language arts notebook up soon, and I need to finish a few more pages that will be part of setting up the reading one too.


Sunday, August 4, 2013

Common Core Standards for 8th Grade English/Language Arts

Here are the Common Core Standards for 8th grade English/Language Arts as I will display them in my classroom. They are printed two to a page, but I separated them before laminating so I could hang the one (or multiples) on which my class is focused each day. The boarder is from BeArtless, and the font is Champagne & Limousines. You can download a copy of it HERE.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

"You Are" for My Middle School, Language Arts Classroom

A couple of years ago, a pin on Pinterest inspired me to create this You Are list for my 4th grade classroom. Last year, I moved to middle school, where I teach 8th grade language arts. I still love the idea of this list, but the one I had no longer worked for my students and what I asked of them in my classroom. Here, then, is the one I created for my language arts classroom and my older students. You Are file to download. I've started using 4Shared instead of Google Documents, since I was having so many issues with Google Docs. Please let me know if you can't access these. By the way, this is on a wall in my house! We are moving into a new building, and I will try to remember to post a photo of it in the context of the school as soon as it is up.

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Close Reading

Recently, I attended one of my district's workshops for middle school English-language arts teachers. The idea was to give us some instructional strategies, particularly for those teachers that hadn't begun to implement Common Core last year. This will be the first year my district requires Common Core standards at the middle school level. While I supplemented our state/district standards and benchmarks with Common Core standards last year, I was still excited to have some ideas tossed my direction. One of the lessons we were shown was how to use Close Reading more effectively. Here is the poster I've made to put up in my classroom to help my students understand what I am asking of them when I indicate 1st, 2nd, and 3rd reads. In case it is useful to anyone else, here' the link to get it: Close Reading It is formatted for a 11" x 17" paper.

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Make Mistakes

I love this quote and wanted to make it artful to hang in my classroom. You can print it from Google Docs here if you like it too. It comes from Neil Gaiman's blog. The backgrounds are from Be Artless, and the fonts are skinny jeans solid and lemon chicken. :)