Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Sensory Details

Source: pixabay.com


While you're reading (not talking), you need to get a couple tabs open:

  • Your highlighted copy of "A Very Old Man with Enormous Wings" by Gabriel Garcia Marquez
  • Socrative! (http://m.socrative.com is the address)

Goal #1: 

Yesterday you highlighted sensory details in "A Very Old Man with Enormous Wings."

You're going to choose your favorite, most descriptive sensory detail from what you read yesterday.

In Socrative, you'll be doing the following:

Choose the best sensory detail from the story and (1) type it into Socrative, (2) explain which sense it appeals to, and (3) explain how the description affects you as a reader.

Goal #2:

  1. Reread the passage from your group novel listed below. 
  2. Find specific instances where the author uses sensory details and copy them into your English Journal.
  3. State which sense each quotation appeals to, and how it affects you as a reader.

Of Mice and Men: pages 99-100 (First two pages of last chapter)
Saint Iggy: Pages 46-48 – A vile description of the apartment building where Freddie
sells drugs and a bunch of addicts hang out all strung out.
Lord of the Flies: Pages 134-135 – the description of the boys slaughtering the sow.
Romiette and Julio: pp. 178 – 180 – the description of Terrell’s gang threatening
Romiette & Julio
Secret Life of Bees: pp. 191-193

Goal #3: 
If you read this, Mrs. Roberts and I still want high fives, but you'll need to tell us who your favorite character is in your group novel, as well. **Be careful: We might ask why.

You have all period to fulfill this goal. I hope you read it.

Monday, September 29, 2014

How Authors Describe...



I am sorry I had to miss class last Friday. Hopefully Mrs. Roberts didn't cause too much trouble while I was gone.

Scoring your English Journal:

Today you're going to evaluate your English Journal. You'll need to open it in one tab and this SCORING GUIDE in another tab.

Copy and paste this into your English Journal 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 English Journal because _______________________________(explain why you earned that score based on the scoring guide).

"A Very Old Man with Enormous Wings:"

This week we're going to be looking more at how authors create descriptions. Authors use sensory details to make the setting and characters seem more real. Sensory details refer to how things smell, taste, feel, sound, and look, but show rather than tell.

Today, you'll need to spend some significant time reading "A Very Old Man with Enormous Wings." You'll need to open that link and click file/make a copy for your own use. I will explain how we will do this.

Friday, September 26, 2014

AOW #3

Hello everyone.

After we read, you will be taking another Reading Quiz. Yay!
I, or Mrs. Roberts, will give you the password. 

BEFORE YOU START: Take a look at the chart pictured here. (It is also on the wall next to the inference chart.) Remember, we take points off if you are not proofreading. Seriously, capitalize the beginnings of your sentences. Also, use periods at the end of them.

CLICK HERE for the quiz.

You will have 7 minutes.

Article of the Week:
  • You have a new article in your Newsela binder. Log in, read it.
  • Write two paragraphs in your English Journal under today's date. The first paragraph is your summary. The second paragraph is your reaction to the article.

Use whatever time you have left to look at what you're missing in your English Journal. Here is a handy-dandy list of all the entries you should have so far. This chart is behind my desk. Use it.

Important Reminder:
The grading period ends on October 10. You should have read at least two books by then. Next week we will be talking about writing book reviews for those books. Make sure you have at least one finished.

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Read, Write, Talk!

Source: We Know Memes

"Never trust anyone who has not brought a book with them."

Today we have priorities. Let's get to work.

Priority A:
Fill out this form. (I know. We fill out a lot of forms. Trust me: It's a good thing. It only helps you.)

Priority B:
Continue working on your collaborative Google Document from yesterday on setting and mood. Remember: I can look at your revision history to see if all of you are writing/participating/lending your voice to the group.


I'm putting that in capital letters because I have to remember to tell you about it. Also, it's important.

Priority C:
Group Discussion Questions and writing! Much like last week, take a look at these discussion questions. Answer them as a group, and pick one to answer in your English Journal individually.

If you cannot answer them well, that means you have some reading to do. You'll still need to write a thoughtful answer. Come back to it to add more detail later.

Priority D:
If you read this: 
4th period: Remind Ms. Black and/or Mrs. Roberts when we put netbooks away that we have some papers to give you. Then find someone in the room to give a high five.
6th period: When you put your netbooks away, give someone in the room a compliment, then a high five. Then go high five Mrs. Roberts and/or Ms. Black.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Creating Mood in a Setting

Source: Flickr

By now you probably know what this is going to say, but:

Let's Read!

Since starting our novels, we've looked at character descriptions.
We've also looked at setting descriptions in relation to those characters.
Now we're going to focus our attention on how setting can create mood.

What is mood in literature?

Mood: the way the text makes the reader feel.

Today's plan:
  1. Look at how mood can be conveyed through pictures/photos.
  2. Watch a short video about mood in writing
  3. Work in your groups to analyze the mood in your novels. Share one document. Share it with me.

Period 4:

Period 6:

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Group Novel Settings

Source: Chip Kidd
Okay. Yesterday we spent a lot of time looking at a character named Miss Havisham from Great Expectations by Charles Dickens.

Today, you can focus your attention on your group novels.

Goal #1: Look closely at the setting in your book. 
Look at the settings described in your group novel.  Select at least three quotes from your novel that describe the setting, but tell you something about the character. Add these quotes to the same chart you were working on yesterday. (This should give you at least four entries on your table in your English Journal. The first one will be about Miss Havisham.)

You may work with the person sitting next to you to find quotes and discuss the characters, but you will all need to write in your own English Journals.

Goal #2: Join Remind
Some of you still haven't joined Remind. If you are one of these people, you have a zero in your gradebook. If you would like to change that, join Remind TODAY. This means you need to click on your period in the sidebar and follow the directions. 

Quite a few of you have still not completed the Student Data Form (linked in the sidebar). This is not optional. If you are one of these people, you have a zero in your gradebook. 

If you suspect you are one of these people, fill out this form.

Goal #4: Update your English Journal
Are you missing any entries or parts of entries? Fix that. This is your chance.

Goal #5: 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.  THINK about what you know about that character. WRITE a descriptive paragraph about the setting for that character (in your English Journal, under today's table). 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.

Monday, September 22, 2014

A Character's Setting


Hey Everyone!

I hope you had a relaxing weekend.
Now that we're back, let's get reading.

You will need three tabs open:
1. This blog.
2. Your English Journal in Google Drive
3. Socrative (room number: 504326)

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, too!  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 your own setting that says something about a character.

Goal #1: Let's look at this character together:

Miss Havisham is an incredibly rich and ancient (old) woman who was left standing at the altar on her wedding day many many years ago. She is bitter, angry, and still cannot let go of the memories of that terrible day. 


You'll need to create a table in your English Journal that looks like this:

Using the one-page text you have linked above (that you are now allowed to open), as well as what you already know about Miss Havisham, fill in the table above with quotes that describe setting, and what that shows you about the character.

Friday, September 19, 2014

AOW (Article of the Week) #2

Source: memegenerator.net

Happy Friday!

Let's read.

Last week I told you we would be reading an Article of the Week each Friday. This is what you'll be working on today.
  1. Open Newsela and log in by clicking "Sign In With Google."
  2. Click on "Binder" in the top left corner. Scroll all the way to the bottom to find today's article. It is about high school students who don't get enough sleep.
  3. Take the quiz at the end of the article (There is definitely a quiz! I checked!)
  4. You will need to write two paragraphs in your English journal today. In the first paragraph, write a summary of the article. In the second paragraph, write your opinion of the article and explain why you feel the way that you do. 

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Novel Discussion/Quiz

Hello again! 

Make sure you have your book out! 
We'll be reading.

Today we have four goals.

  1. I'd like us to look at a few examples from what you did yesterday. How were these examples successful? How can we improve them?
  2. You're going to take a Reading Quiz based on your novel. Click here to access it.
  3. Once your are done with your quiz, take a look at these discussion questions. Take some time to discuss the questions that pertain to your novel with your group. It is in your best interest to use evidence from the novel to support your answer.
  4. After you feel confident about any or all of the questions, choose your favorite, copy it into your English Journal, and answer the question in writing. This is an individual activity.

Bonus Goal:

This is a survey that I'm asking you to complete because I want to know your opinions about our classroom environment.
Please be honest. Your name is not attached to it, and it should only take a couple minutes. There's less than 10 questions.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Novel Inferences

Happy Wednesday!

We will read at the bell.

Yesterday you practiced making inferences about characters with passages from other texts. Today you will be able to make inferences and discover more information about the characters from your own novel.

You will need to click on the link that corresponds to your own group below. It will open a view-only file. You have a couple choices:
  • Have one person make a copy that you all share and work on together (remember that I can see who edits it and when!)
  • Each person can make their own copy and you can work individually or with partners to choose passages and write descriptions.
No matter which option you choose, you must share it with me.

Period 4

Period 6

Tuesday, September 16, 2014


Source: Bell of the Literati

Today you can get your netbooks!

For reading today, you can either read your choice novel or your group novel. Just make sure you're on track to finish the group novel by October 6!

Now that you've all chosen your books, we have some work to do, and we're going to start with character analysis and inference.

This is a view-only file. Make your own copy. You will need to share it with me. If you don't share with me, you didn't turn it in. (Don't be that guy.)

Now that you've practiced with these character descriptions, remember that you are being introduced to new characters in your own novels that you can also make inferences about.

After you finish looking closely at the character descriptions above.
1. Go back to your own book and look at what you've read so far. Find passages that describe a character. 
2. Pick one passage and type that passage into your Writer's Notebook.
3. Explain what that passage says about the character. What can you infer from that passage?

Monday, September 15, 2014

Moving Forward.

Source: teenfictionbooks
Hello and welcome to your new seats!

Get comfortable. You're going to be here for a while.

No computers today. Weird, right?

Get your books out!

You've just joined a group that you're going to spend a lot of time with over the next few weeks.

  • Introduce yourselves (make sure you know everyone's name).
  • Together, create a list of books that you all have in common (meaning every single person at your table has read that book).

I'm going to be giving each table a list of books. 
  1. Read the synopsis for each book on your synopsis sheet, and begin to explore which titles you are all interested in reading.
  2. As a group, decide which book you will all read together.
  3. We're going to the library to check them out (this is why you need your ID)

When you return from the library, discuss your reading schedule with your group. You will need to have your book completed by Monday, October 6th

Friday, September 12, 2014

Article of the Week #1

Source: YA Book Lover Blog
Let's Read!

Today you will be reading and summarizing your first Article of the Week, or AOW as we like to call them sometimes.

I keep sending you to new websites, and today is not any different. Right now, follow these directions:
Scroll all the way to the bottom. Do Not Create an Account.
Enter Classroom Number 6867.
Wait for a question on your screen.

Today's Article of the Week is called "Obama announces plan to "degrade and ultimately destroy" ISIL". You will find it in your binder in Newsela.
  1. Read the article.
  2. Take the quiz
  3. Open your English Journal and above yesterday's summary, write today's date and title it.
  4. You will write 2 paragraphs here. In the first paragraph, summarize the article. In the second paragraph, write your thoughts about the issue.
  Important Information:
You must bring your ID on Monday. You'll need it.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

A list.

Check out this handy dandy list I made for you. Some of this should already be completed. Some of it we will work on today.

The first thing you will do after we read today is fill out the 9th Grade Reading Survey

This is your priority. 

When you are finished, these are your next steps:

Join Remind:
I only have a few people who have joined Remind. It may be that you didn't complete all of the steps. That's okay, but here is a link that will help you get it done. It should only take a minute or two.

Create an English Journal
  1. Create a new document in Google Docs.
  2. Name it with your period# Full Name English Journal (i.e. 4 Alyssa Black English Journal)
  3. Share it with Ms. Black using her gmail address

Join Newsela and take the quiz on the article you read.
  1. Go to Newsela
  2. Sign in by clicking "Sign in with Google" (this will make your life so much easier).
  3. Use class code NIIJN when it asks.
  4. Click on your Binder in the top left corner, read the article that has been assigned to you, and take the quiz.

Summarize the article from Newsela in your new English Journal
  1. In your new English Journal, write today's date, and type the summary of the article in this document.
If there is anything else on this list that you have not completed, get it done.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Summarize it!

Make sure you have your books out; we'll be reading.

Today we have four goals. Because we always have goals.

  • Create an English Journal in Google Drive.
  • Join Newsela.com.
  • Read and summarize an article that you will read on Newsela.
  • Join Remind. The directions are on your desk.

Creating an English Journal

  1. Create a new document in Google Docs.
  2. Name it with your period# Full Name English Journal (i.e. 4 Alyssa Black (English Journal)
  3. Share it with Ms. Black using her gmail address

Join Newsela
  1. Go to Newsela
  2. Sign in by clicking "Sign in with Google" (this will make your life so much easier).
  3. Use class code NIIJN when it asks.

Read and Summarize the article on Newsela
  1. Find the article that has been assigned to you. It's called "Americans flushing much more water than they think."
  2. Take the quiz that you will find at the end of the article.
  3. Write a summary of the article in your new English Journal. Make sure you label it with today's date.

There is a piece of paper at your tables with directions on how to join Remind. 
Remind allows us to send you important information via text or email.

  1. Get your phone out.
  2. Follow the directions on the paper.

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Summarizing a Text Pt. 2

Good morning! (or afternoon)

Please get your computers and sit in the same places you did yesterday. If you were not here, see me before you sit down.

We will read when the bell rings.

Yesterday you read an article about the drought in California and highlighted the six most important points. Here are the next steps:

  1. Reread the article.
  2. Either as a table or with the person sitting next to you, take what you've highlighted and choose the three most important points in the article. (Maybe highlight them in a different color.)
  3. Use those three most important points to help you to create an objective summary of the text. Click here to find the exit slip activity you will need to complete before you leave class today.

  • An objective summary does not include your opinion (i.e. do not use "I" in your summary)
  • Do not quote the text or copy the exact sentences into your summary. When you summarize, you explain the main idea and important supporting details in your own words.
  • You can copy and paste the following frame into the form to help you.
In his article "___(Article Title)___", the author, ____(Author)_____ argues/claims/contends 
that ______(Main Idea)____. According to the article, ____(Supporting Detail 1)________. In addition, Rogers states/claims/discusses/suggests __(Supporting Detail 2)___. 
Also, Rogers claims/suggests/states/discusses 
______(Supporting Detail 3)____.

Monday, September 8, 2014

Summarizing a Text

Source: Pixabay.com
Happy Monday! 
(I know you're excited.)

We will read when the bell rings.

Today we will be taking a look at your summary skills. There are a few steps to take before we can do this:

  1. Open the "California Drought" article by Paul Rogers by clicking on the link. This will take you to the article in Google Drive that is view only, which means you cannot edit it. The catch is that you need to be able to edit it.
  2. Click on File, then Make A Copy. This will give you a version that you can edit.
  3. Your challenge is to read the article and highlight the six most important points that the article makes. This number should be familiar to you. Make your choices count. (It may be a good idea to read the whole article once before you make any highlights.)
  4. When you are finished, discuss your choices with your table, and see if you can answer this question:
What is the main idea of the article?

Be prepared to share what your table decides.

Friday, September 5, 2014

Six Word Memoirs Continued

Books Out, Netbooks On!

Reminder: If you have taken a book from the classroom library, please check it out on my desk.

I know yesterday was hectic. Let's slow down just a bit today.

Fourth Period

Everyone needs to open their Six Word Memoir Google Document.

For those of you who have not finished your six word memoirs or they have not been approved, take this time to do so.

Once that is completed, write/type your rationale for your six word memoir on the next page (in complete sentences, in paragraph form) Why did you write what you did? How does it relate to your experiences?

The last thing you will do is share your 6 word memoirs and rationale with your group.

6th Period:

We will be going to the freshmen assembly today!

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Six Word Memoirs

Reading First!

While you are reading, you need to log into your netbook and get to this blog!

Today we will create six word memoirs in Google Drive. Before you do this, you must share your document with me.The following steps should guide you through this process
  1. Open Google Drive and create a New Document (If you need help with this, ask your neighbor or an adult.)
  2. Go to File and click Share. Enter my email (located on the back whiteboard) where it asks you to. Please see the chart in the room for our emails and other important information.
  3. Create a Six Word Memoir in this document. It must fill the whole page. It must have your name on it. Most importantly, it must be exactly six words and free of spelling errors.
  4. Once an adult (Ms. Black, Ms. Morrow, Ms. Allen, or Mrs. Roberts) has approved your memoir, you may print it out.
If you're feeling ambitious, think about how you could make your words stronger or more creative by switching words around or using a thesaurus to find synonyms.

Important notes:
  • If you are in my 6th period, you may have heard that there is an assembly on Friday. You must meet here in this classroom before we go to the assembly.

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Computer Time

Get out your independent reading books. If you do not have one, take this time to go find one off the bookshelves. If you borrow a book, be sure to write it down!

I told you yesterday that we would be using our computers in this class almost every day. That starts now. This means we have a few goals for today:
  1. Get a netbook: You will be assigned a number and that number will be yours permanently.
  2. Sign in: The adults in the room will help you do this if you do not know what it is and/or how to do it.
  3. Access this blog: The website is posted in the room and on the stickers you received yesterday.
  4. Fill out the Student Data Form, if you have not done so already.
  5. Sign into your Gmail account to make sure you can. Visit Google Drive if you've never done so. Take the time to explore the site and see what you can do if you have not done so already.
Once everyone has successfully achieved these goals, our first project of the year will be to write a Six Word Memoir. We will talk about this, but here are some helpful videos and websites to help you in this process:
And one last thing I want to make clear before you leave today:

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Welcome to Fresh English

Hello and welcome to Point Loma! 
We're going to have a fantastic year of learning together, and that means we have a lot to do today. The first thing to know is that this blog will be where we start each day, and it will link you to everything else you will need for our class. We're very excited to get to know all of you, so let's get started!

A few reminders for Wednesday (that's tomorrow):