Monday, September 30, 2013

Book Questions???

Books Out

GOAL #1: Scoring Writer's Notebooks (10 minutes)
Today you are going to evaluate your writer's notebook. Open your writer's notebook and open the SCORING GUIDE in another tab.

Copy and paste this sentence into your writers notebook AT THE TOP and complete the blanks based on the scoring guide.

I believe I have earned a ______ (enter a number from the scoring guide) on my writer's notebook because ______________________________ (explain why you earned that score based on the scoring guide.)

GOAL #2: Questions about your group novel (15 minutes, maybe more if you are diligent.)
Work with a partner at your table to answer the question on the BOOK QUESTIONS FORM. You may discuss the answers with your whole table, but each pair needs to complete a form for themselves.

Goal #3: Read this story
We will be reading A Very Old Man With Enormous Wings << Click the link to get the view only version then use File/Make a Copy to get your own editable version of the story. Look for sensory details in the story. Highlight parts that describe sounds, smells, sights, or texture.  (We will be working with this together tomorrow.)

Friday, September 27, 2013

Happy Friday, Pick your Article of the Week

Books Out.  Look for descriptions that show you the mood in your novel.  I'll be coming by to see what you found. 

Today we are going to do one more article of the week in class, but you get a choice of articles. Pick one of the three below to read.  Write a two paragraph response in your writer's notebook. (First paragraph summary, second paragraph your opinion/reaction.)

Pick One
No Tattoos Below Elbows And Knees: US Army
L.A. students breach school iPads' security
Glendale district says social media monitoring is for student safety (4th period you did this one last week. Don't choose it today.)

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Looking for mood (It must be around here somewhere.)

Welcome back readers. (Books out!)

Yesterday we looked at the way authors create mood in their writing through setting descriptions. Today we will practice that a bit more and then you get to look for examples of settings that show different moods in your group novels.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Setting descriptions create a mood

We read at the bell. (I don't even know why I'm still writing that. We always read at the bell.)

Today we are going to talk about how the setting of the story creates a mood for the story.

You will need three tabs open:
  1. This blog
  2. Your Writer's Notebook
  3. And also go to  Join room 6867

Things we are going to do:
  1. Watch a short video about mood in settings
  2. Write some settings with specific moods
  3. Look for mood in your group novels. 
I want you to be able to see how word choice and details create mood in settings. 

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

What are you going to accomplish today?

CC image via flicker by Mike Automania
Get out your books.  We still read at the bell.

Today we are going to make like tomatoes and catch-up.

I've been reading through your writer's notebooks and I'm finding some holes, little things you haven't finished like the second paragraph of your article of the week, or the quotes about characters chart. Sooo.....

Goal #1:  Catch Up
Complete any missing parts in your writer's notebook. See the chart at the front of the classroom for a list of what you need.  Go to those dates on the blog for more info.

Goal #2: Keep Reading
Continue reading your book, marking places that tell you something about the character or the setting.

Goal #3: Student Data Form
A few people joined us since the first week of school. Some of those people need to complete the student data form. ONLY if I ask you to. Student Data Form 

Monday, September 23, 2013

Setting contributes to characterization...

Happy Monday,
Art by: Cate Simmons

We will read at the bell.  Books out.

We have been looking at characters. Today we are going to move our analysis over to setting.

A detailed setting can tell you a lot about a character.  We will look at a setting together, you will look at settings in your books and, if you are very lucky, you might even get to create a setting that says something about a character.

Goal #1: Look closely at a setting
CLICK THIS LINK: to open a Word doc that is a description of a setting from Great Expectations.

Goal #2: Look closely at the setting in your book
Now, look at the settings described in your group novel.  Select two quotes from the novel that describe the setting, but tell you something about the character.

Goal #3: Create a Setting
Choose a character from your group book that doesn't have his or her own setting, or who's setting is not well described.  WRITE a descriptive paragraph about the setting for that character. (In Writer's Notebook) EXPLAIN (in a second paragraph) what you are trying to show about the character with the setting you created. There are some ideas HERE if you need help.

Friday, September 20, 2013

Social Media and the Poetry of Rudy Francisco

Good morning,

Goal #1:
When the bell rings we READ. Make sure you have a book in your hands.

Goal #2:
Today we will do one more article of the week together.

Goal #3:
Later today periods 6 and 7 will get to go hear Rudy Francisco perform.  He is only here periods 6 and 7, so I can't take period 4.  Use this link to see the unblocked version. (Wear headphones if you are watching it in class.)

HOMEWORK:  Keep up with reading your group novel.  Make sure all entries in your writer's notebook from this week are complete. 

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Character Inference

Ahoy landlubbers,  (It's talk like a pirate day)

Swab those decks and get out your books mateys. We will read at thar bell. 

Yesterday, we looked at characters, but we need to go deeper. We need to infer.
Today I want you to find (or add to what you found yesterday) at least three examples of quotes from your book that tell you something about the character beyond the author's exact words.

Also, a class of 9th graders at another school is doing a survey about student use of technology. I will not see your responses and your participation is optional. I WANT TO TAKE THE SURVEY

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Character Descriptions

Happy Wednesday

We will read at the bell. You can read your choice book or your group book.

Today we will look further at characters.  I found some great character descriptions for us to play with.
I'll show you how I would analyze a few and then let you take a look at the rest on your own or with your partner.

(This is view only. Make your own copy. You do not have to share it back to me. I will look at your work in class.)

After you finish looking closely at the character descriptions above.
1. Find a passage from your book that describes the character you are reading about.
2. Type that passage into your Writer's Notebook.
3. Explain what that passage says about the character.

If you finish early you can continue reading.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Looking at characters

Good morning or Good afternoon (depending on your period)

We will read at the bell. (You need to get that first book finished soon.)

Yesterday, your book group chose your shared novel.  Today, we go to the library to pick up that novel. Be sure you have your student ID.

When you get back start reading, but LOOK for the things in your book that say something about your character.

Use sticky notes to mark places where your character SAYS or DOES something that tells you about the character.

Look for character MOTIVATION. What does this character want?


WRITE: A paragraph in your writer's notebook about what you read today.  Focus on what you learned about the main character(s). 

Monday, September 16, 2013

Book Groups: Goals and Characters

We will read at the bell.  Have your book ready.

Today you are probably in a new seat with new people.

Our Goals Today:
  1. Take a look at the books your group has on your table. 
  2. Agree on a book you will read together. (Sorry, choices are limited due to library quantities.)
  3. Use the calendar in your planners to agree on a schedule to FINISH reading the book by October 4th. 
  4. Create a collaborative character together, who will become and honorary (imaginary) member of your group.   Directions for collaborative characters. 

Check the white board up front to make sure you have completed everything on it. 

Friday, September 13, 2013

Article of the week...

We will read at the bell.  Get your books out.

Today we begin something we call "Article of The Week" or AOW. This is always a current non-fiction article we feel students can learn something from. Today we are reading it together in class. Eventually, the AOW will become a weekly homework assignment.

I'll be giving you a hard copy of this in class. If you are absent you can read it here.

Thursday, September 12, 2013

What are you missing?

Welcome to your first early out day.  Our periods are shorter, but we have just as much to get done.

We will read at the bell. Get your book ready.

Take a look at the small white board up front. it has a list of all the things you should have done by now, no matter when you joined my class. If you haven't completed any of those things you need to get caught up. The dates next to some tell you which blog post will help you with it.

Each of these things will be going into my gradebook this weekend. Make sure you get credit by having them done.

1. READ: this article about J.K. Rowling's new project.
2. Summarize it in your Writer's Notebook.
3. Put the summary about this article ABOVE the one you wrote yesterday and make sure you have a date on both.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Our Three Goals Today...


We will read at the bell.

We have three goals today
1. Take the  9th Grade Reading Survey.
2. Start a Writer's Notebook Doc in Google Docs (see directions below)
3. Read and summarize one of the two articles below. (Write the summary in your new Writer's Notebook.)

Creating a Writer's Notebook
1. Create a new document in Google Docs.
2. Name it with your Period# name Writer's Notebook  (i.e.  4 Johnny V Writers Notebook)
3. Share it with Mrs. Roberts using her gmail address.

Writing a summary in your new Writer's Notebook
1. Read one of the articles below. You can choose which one.
2. Write a summary that clearly states the main idea and at least three supporting details.
Super Size To Go
Heart Attack Grill

Tuesday, September 10, 2013


Greetings younglings,

We will read at the bell. 

Getting started:
  1. Take out your Partner Article.
  2. Get a post-it from the center of your table.
  3. Write your name on it.
  4. List the Text Features you used on your partner article.
  5. Put the post-it on the paper you are about to turn in.
Today we are going to look at your summary skills. We will watch a short clip of an excerpt from the State of the Union Speech President Obama gave in February. You will annotate your own copy of the text.

What is his main idea?
What are his supporting details? 

Complete the Exit Slip summary activity. 

 (Hint, you can copy/paste this summary frame into the form if that helps you.) (This is as easy as it gets folks. You are all going to ace this.)

In his 2013 State of the Union speech, the author, _______(Author)____________, argues/claims/ contends that ____________(Main Idea)_____________________.  According to the President, _____________(Supporting Detail 1)______________.  In addition, President Obama states/discusses/claims/suggests _____________(Supporting Detail 2)____________________________. 

Also, President Obama states/discusses/claims/suggests __________(Supporting Detail 3)___________.

Monday, September 9, 2013

Formatting Partner Interviews

Welcome back,

We will read at the bell.

Today let's focus on getting your partner interviews in good shape. Many of you have a draft of what the article says by now, so we will work on formatting today.

I will show you how to:

  • Format your article in columns
  • Add a title
  • Add a byline
  • Add a picture
  • Add a block quote (sometimes called a pull quote)
The goal is a hard copy (printed) version of your article ready to post in our classroom by tomorrow. Let's get this done. 

Friday, September 6, 2013

Day 4: Textbook check out and catch up day.

Wow, what a week huh?

We will read at the bell.

Today is our day for textbook checkout. I will tell you more about that in a minute, but have your ID ready.

Besides checking out your textbooks you have some items to catch up on:

  1. Finish the text features chart you began yesterday. You should already have this in Google docs, if not scroll down and read the post from yesterday.
  2. Finish your partner interview that you started on Wednesday. There is more info about that on the post from Wednesday.
  3. Sign up for Remind101 texts if you haven't already. Directions for signing up for texts or emails are on the window next to the computer cart.
  4. Begin a draft of your article about your partner. Use at least five text features in your article. This article is due as a hard copy (printed out) on Tuesday. Make it look as good as you possibly can.  If you don't have computer access at home I have a template you can use to write the article by hand, ask me for one. 

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Day 3: How Fear Works, text features study.


We will read at the bell. Please have your computer started up and a book in your hands. 

Today we begin a quick study of nonfiction texts.  You will read a short article and analyze the text features of the article.

Read this: How Fear Works
Complete this: Text Features Organizer

If you finish and have time left over you can begin working on a draft of the article about the partner you interviewed yesterday.

Friday we have textbook check out. Bring your ID and a backpack to carry your books. 

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Day 2: Lets get going...


Welcome to day 2 of 9th grade.  Today I hope we will be getting out those netbooks and I have some work for you to do.

  1. Get logged into your netbook. Ask for help if you can't remember your password. 
  2. Get to this blog page and BOOKMARK it. Ask if you need help bookmarking.
  3. Complete the Student Data Form
  4. Read this article about Mrs. R to get to know her better. 
  5. Interview a partner about him or herself. Your partner will also interview you. Use these questions. Save your notes because you will use them for a writing assignment later this week. 
  6. Get and independent reading book. 
Don't forget:
Return the Netbook Use Contract if you haven't already
Textbook checkout is Friday, bring your ID and backpack.
Picture makeups are Thursday in 301 if you need an ID.