Spring Break

Arizona Marches On...

Arizona Marches On #Sweet…

There are no updates this week. Spring Break is upon us, and this is the time we take to prepare ourselves for the final stretch for the 4th Quarter. When I say we, I mean students as well as teachers… I will be taking the time to relax as well as catch up on some planning for next year when we switch over to common core standards. I’m currently working on my curriculum map for Language Arts/Literature for next year [see here]. With the focus on informational text being emphasized with next year’s switch to Common Core Curriculum, I will have to shift a few things around to meet those standards. However, it won’t be a major shift because informational text has been a point of emphasis during my first two years of teaching via Daily Reading Comprehension Worksheets, Vocabulary, and Active Reading Activities that focus on the previously mentioned. I look forward to the challenge.

Any students, parents, educators reading this enjoy your break because I know I will;) Arizona is still in the NCAA Tournament, so it will be an easy thing to do. I will also spend part of the break hoping my bracket numbers pick up the pace because my students are going to have a lot to say if they all beat me in our March Madeness Bracket Challenge…LoL

As a quick reminder to those who took advantage of the extension I offered, please make sure you turn your Research Paper Assignment in on our first day back, 4/3/2013…

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Facebook Math Challenge for Bell Work Prompt >>>> 6÷2(1+2) = ?

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Before we begin, I know I teach Language Arts. I also know that I am horrible at math. That being said, I think it’s good to mix things up in the class when the opportunity presents itself. I came across this on Facebook, and I thought it would serve for a good Monday morning bell work prompt. This as well as the 5W’s about their weekend activities. I digress, I posed this question in my Facebook status, and I had answers ranging from 1 to 6 to 9. I answered 9, and I’m 99% sure I’m correct. People were challenging the answer, so I did a little search on YouTube to get an evidence based correct answer. All that being said, I’m still 99% sure I’m correct. I will run it by the Math Teacher to get that final 1%.

Overall, I obtained my answer because of prior knowledge as well as knowing that I read from left to right, so that’s how I reached my answer. 6÷2 is 3, 2 +1 is 3, parenthesis indicate multiplication, so we end up with 3 x 3 = 9. Again, I could be wrong (99% sure I am right though). My wife later explained to me that using PEMDAS Order of Operations is a good way to explain it to the kids. My overall objective is to help students by reviewing PEMDAS, and hopefully having some fun while doing it. I think mentioning anything about Facebook brings a smile to the student’s faces… Continue reading

March Madness Bracket Challenge = Teacher For a Day;]

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[*Printable Bracket via SB Nation] As March Madness sets upon us, I have decided to let the students that are interested get a taste of the madness for themselves. Throughout the year, various students have asked if they could be the teacher for a day. They’ve either asked because they think I’m boring, or they think they can do a better job than I can;) Well, today is their chance. However, like in life, nothing is given, they must earn this via our March Madness Bracket Challenge. I’ve been scavenging the internet for a Language Arts lesson that connects the NCAA Tournament into the classroom, but I’ve had no luck. I did find one, but it was for math. I did find a few writing prompts that I will use for bell work. They can be viewed [here]. If anybody has one for Language Arts, please send it my way. I digress, participation will be optional. When I made the announcement, I had a medium level of interest. I think the whole idea of taking over the class is what really piqued their interest. I always welcome competition in my classroom. The winner will get to be the teacher on a to be determined half-day in April during their specific class. The winner will sit down with the teacher (me), and we will go over how to make a lesson plan with an objective for the class to reach by the end of the class period. This will not be a free for all;) The winners will be expected to teach the class something, and they will receive as much guidance as they need…

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Don’t Forget To Have Fun ;]

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On Friday, we had an Honor’s Assembly, and we ended up having some spare time in our Homeroom class. The kid’s decided to challenge yours truly to a race. They must have sized me up, and they figured I couldn’t carry my big frame too swiftly. They were sorely mistaken, and they learned a good lesson – never judge a book by the cover. I did promise the class that I would post a visual in the form of a video on our blog, but due to privacy issues, I decided against it. That being said, we will be viewing the race in our class during Homeroom.

The day before, I  used the Pac 12 Tournament as an opportunity to have some fun after school. I invited anybody that was interested in watching the Arizona Wildcats play the Colorado Buffaloes to stop by my classroom. We had about 10 to 12 students stop by to watch the game. Although the streaming on the Pac12 Network was a little bit infuriating at times, the kids and I enjoyed ourselves. During the invite, I recounted a story of how I snuck a miniature television into school during my sophomore year of high school to watch the first round of the NCAA Tournament in 1995. The kids all laughed at me, and they found that story completely outrageous;) I’ve said this before, and I will say it again, I think it’s important to connect with students on more than just curriculum. When you do that, it pays off, and they are more receptive when you are trying to teach them the planned curriculum. Plus it makes the classroom a lot more fun…

Class Update #15 [Week of 3/18/13 – 3/22/13]

    Week #1: View & Respond - Roots, Vocabulary HW, All The President's Men Viewing, & Research Paper Assignment...

Week #1: View & Respond – Roots, Vocabulary HW, All The President’s Men Viewing, & Research Paper Assignment…

Here is an update for 7th Grade Language Arts (Literature & Writing). I have a hyperlink to my lesson plans for the week of 03/18/2013 to 03/22/2013. If you would like to view the lesson plans, please do so here >>>Lesson Plans for Week 1 – Quarter 4  [click to open].

In Language Arts/Literature, students will continue viewing an adaptation of Roots: The Saga of an American Family, a novel written by Alex Haley , first published in 1976. It tells the story of Kunta Kinte, an 18th-century African, captured as an adolescent and sold into slavery in the United States, and follows his life and the lives of his alleged descendants in the United States.  During the view & responds, students will be actively watching via an episode guide that can be viewed [here]. The class will work on (7.SL.1) & (7.SL.5) common core speaking/listening standards with these view & responds. Students will participate in AIMS preparation via AIMS Buckle Down – Lesson: TBD. Students will also have extra help with comprehension of standards via Galileo Assessment Technology practice worksheets with an emphasis on S3C3: Author’s Purpose & Persuasive Strategies. Students will  be assigned Week #1′s vocabulary words. This week students will be given Week #1′s vocabulary words on Monday, and they will have one assessment in the form of homework due on 03/19/2013.  I will be pulling all of this year’s regularly scheduled vocabulary words from the Scripps National Spelling Bee & SAT lists for 7th Graders >>> [vocabulary guidelines & instructions]… Please make sure your student is completing their vocabulary homework every Monday because we will have a quiz assessment on those words every Friday. Continue reading

Bully Movie Trailer – View & Respond (La/Writing HW – 3/14)

Instructions: As mentioned in class today, you are responsible for viewing and responding to this movie trailer to the movie Bully. The trailer can be viewed below via YouTube. You are expected to view the story as well as read the background information that will be provided via IMDB. You will receive credit (10pts) by responding using the 5W’s as well as summarizing your thoughts (be specific) about the movie trailer. Your response will go in the comment section. Please leave your first name and the first initial of your last name when it prompts you to do so when making a comment in order to receive credit. If you have any questions, please see me on Friday during class…

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Jonylah Watkins – View & Respond

Jonylah Watkins - 6 Months Old

Jonylah Watkins – 6 Months Old

Today, the class will work on (7.SL.1) & (7.SL.5) common core speaking/listening standards during a view & respond activity about Jonylah Watkins: Chicago Baby Shot While Dad Changed Diaper. I came across this story while reading the news, and it’s a very sad topic. The activity will begin with a handout that can be viewed [here]. I will select volunteers to read the news article to give the background to the story. Students will be prompted to use their active listening skills (who, what, why, where, when) during the viewing of CNN news clip [here]. Once the news clip is complete, I will give students about 3-5 minutes to jot down any information they couldn’t during the viewing as well as answer the questions (4 of them) to help guide the impending discussion. I will then open the floor up for discussion by asking initial reactions. This is a very mature topic. That being said, I think it’s important to see what our youth is thinking and what they have to say about it all. This is a very important topic about safety in general as well as violence they may see or hear about. One of my main objectives with this type of view and respond is to engage, effectively, in a range of collaborative discussions (one-on-one, in groups, and teacher-led) on topics, texts, and issues, building on others’ ideas and expressing their own point(s) of views clearly. I hope to reach that outcome through the multimedia source presented as well as notes using 5W’s format, discussion, and the view/respond handout.

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View & Respond – Roots: The Saga of an American Family

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Today, the class worked on (7.SL.1) & (7.SL.5) common core speaking/listening standards with a view & respond about Crossing Over – How Roots Captivated an Entire Nation. I wanted the students to watch the documentary to get the background about the miniseries. In the future, the students will be viewing an adaptation of Roots: The Saga of an American Family, a novel written by Alex Haley , first published in 1976. It tells the story of Kunta Kinte, an 18th-century African, captured as an adolescent and sold into slavery in the United States, and follows his life and the lives of his alleged descendants in the United States. Due to the graphic nature of this miniseries, I have sent home permission slips [here] to inform parents that we will be participating in this view & respond to this miniseries in Language Arts/Literature from March 11th to March 22nd. This view & respond will also serve as a precursor to our Language Arts/Writing class’ Back to The Future Unit during the 4th quarter. 

We will also be using our active listening skills by using the 5W’s notes format (who, what, why, where, when). During the view & responds, students will be actively watching via an episode guide that can be viewed [here]. Once the video is complete, I will give students about 3-5 minutes to jot down any information they couldn’t during the viewing, and then I will open the floor up for discussion by asking initial reactions. Students will also participate in Journal Entries to summarize/reflect their thoughts about what was viewed for the day. This is a very mature topic. That being said, I believe the students will handle this accordingly as my students have done in the past. I’ve said this before, and I think it’s important to see what our youth is thinking and what they have to say about it all. One of my main objectives with this type of view and respond is to engage, effectively, in a range of collaborative discussions (one-on-one, in groups, and teacher-led) on topics, texts, and issues, building on others’ ideas and expressing their own point(s) of views clearly. I hope to reach that outcome through the multimedia source presented as well as notes using 5W’s format, discussion, and journal entries. Continue reading

Video

How To Do a Research Outline Explained by The President & Simon Cowell – [XtraNormal Video]

I tried my hand at video editing/making with the help of XtraNormal. I’m not quite sure how this will go over in class, but I thought I’d infuse some humor along with helpful information for the students sake. I made the video to give an extra visual for students when they complete this handout [here] in a hands on activity. The video will be prefaced with instructions from the teacher followed by the activity. The activity includes making an outline to be used for a 5-Paragraph Essay/Research Paper. The activity will take place on 3/14/2013. I thought the extra visual would help the activity run smoother. As previously mentioned, following the video, students will participate in hands on activity (activity #4 during the class) based on creating an outline, “5 Paragraph Essay Outline for Research Paper.” Student will be given instructions on how to complete handout via overhead projector, verbally, and visually w/ the previously mentioned XtraNormal video. Student will be given 7-12 minutes to begin their outline. Completion is encourages, but isn’t mandatory to receive a ticket out of class. We shall see how it goes. Here is a peek at the video [above]. As you can see, I don’t quite have video editing quite figured out yet. The clip is about 6 minutes. Not sure if I will do this again, and I only purchased a one month $10 subscription 😉

Students will be referring to this (below) during video… Continue reading

Class Update #14 [Week of 3/11/13 – 3/15/13]

    Week #11: View & Respond - Roots, Vocabulary HW, NFL Wonderlic Test Activity, and Research Paper activities/notes...

Week #11: View & Respond – Roots, Vocabulary HW, NFL Wonderlic Test Activity, and Research Paper activities/notes…

Here is an update for 7th Grade Language Arts (Literature & Writing). I have a hyperlink to my lesson plans for the week of 03/11/2013 to 03/15/2013. If you would like to view the lesson plans, please do so here >>>Lesson Plans for Week 11 – Quarter 3  [click to open].

In Language Arts/Literature, students will be viewing an adaptation of Roots: The Saga of an American Family, a novel written by Alex Haley , first published in 1976. It tells the story of Kunta Kinte, an 18th-century African, captured as an adolescent and sold into slavery in the United States, and follows his life and the lives of his alleged descendants in the United States. Due to the graphic nature of this miniseries, I am sending home a permission slip [here] to inform parents that we will be participating in this view & respond to this miniseries in Language Arts/Literature from March 11th to March 22nd. This view & respond will also serve as a precursor to our Language Arts/Writing class’ Back to The Future Unit during the 4th quarter. During the view & responds, students will be actively watching via an episode guide that can be viewed [here]. The class will work on (7.SL.1) & (7.SL.5) common core speaking/listening standards with these view & responds… Students will also be assigned Week #11′s vocabulary words. This week students will be given Week #11′s vocabulary words on Monday, and they will have one assessment in the form of homework due on 03/12/2013.  I will be pulling all of this year’s regularly scheduled vocabulary words from the Scripps National Spelling Bee & SAT lists for 7th Graders >>> [vocabulary guidelines & instructions]… Please make sure your student is completing their vocabulary homework every Monday because we will have a quiz assessment on those words every Friday. Continue reading