Tuesday, December 30, 2008

A Belated Congratulations to Our Students of the Week

A belated congratulations to our Students of the Week for 12/15 to 12/19:

Period One - Miss Davis
Period Four - Mr. Sanford
Period Five - Mr. Abukar
Period Six - Mr. Craner

Friday, December 26, 2008

Some Test-taking Tips

Here are a few videos to help remind you how to do your best on the ELA assessment as well as in our class. Take a look...

Looking Ahead

I hope that everyone is enjoying their holiday break. When we return to school on January 5th, we will only have approximately two weeks before the New York State ELA Assessment. On the 5th and 6th we will be taking a practice exam and will take the time to grade and evaluate our progress. At the beginning of the following week, we will do the same thing in order to be sure that we are all prepared to do our very best on the assessment. Students have been doing a great job in preparing for the test and I have high hopes for the outcome.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Holiday Break and the ELA Assessment

Holiday break begins on December 23rd. Although I hope that every student has the opportunity to relax and have a little fun, I do want to remind everyone that the New York State ELA assessment is only a month away. Students can continue their practice for the ELA by reading the newspaper or a magazine article and summarizing its content. Students can also go over the ELA practice we have completed in class as well as their Cornell notes covering test-taking strategies. Students can also complete practice tests by going to the following website at the New York State Department of Education:

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Extra Credit Project

Students were given directions to create an extra credit project to help improve their grades. This project is optional, but is a great way to practice both their storytelling skills as well as their poetry writing skills.

The project asks students to use the haiku form of poetry to write an original story, retell a familiar story, or tell the life story of a person that they admire. Each project must contain at least ten haikus and related illustrations. Projects are due by 3 PM on Tuesday, December 23rd. Students who need extra help or any materials are welcome to stay with Ms. Short at lunch.

Creating Haikus

We have been studying various forms of poetry including haikus. The haiku is a Japanese form of poetry that was usually written about nature. It is comprised of three lines and has a specific number of syllables in each line. Line one contains five syllables, line two contains seven syllables, and line three contains five syllables. Some examples follow:

young shiny green frog
leaping from its lily pad
into the cool pond

snowflakes falling down
cold droplets stinging my skin
first snow of season

Monday, December 15, 2008

Students of the Week

The following are the students of the week for 12/8 to 12/11. Congratulations to each of these hardworking individuals!

Period One - Miss Mpaka
Period Four - Miss Patterson
Period Five - Miss Dweh
Period Six - Mr. Sanchez

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Samples of Poetry

As we discussed in class, poetry can be found in a variety of places, written in a variety of forms, and written about a variety of topics. Take a look at the examples below that highlight how classic poems can be used to sell modern products as well as express a person's innermost thoughts and feelings.

Introduction to Poetry

In addition to preparing for the ELA assessment in January, we began a short poetry unit this week. Students should review the following terms that we have studied in class.

poetry - a type of literature that expresses thoughts and feelings in compact and imaginative ways

rhythm - the pattern of stressed and unstressed syllables in a poem or it's beat

rhyme - the repetition of similar sounds at the end of words

repetition - repeating a word or phrase in a poem in order to emphasize a specific idea

Multiple-Choice Test Taking Strategies

For the past few weeks, we have been practicing a variety of test-taking strategies in preparation for January's exam. Students have also been practicing these strategies in all of their classes as part of the Do It Now (DIN) Activity. Students should remember to:
- read all directions before beginning any part of the test
- review the questions before beginning to read the selection
- read the selection with a critical eye underlining or circling key words or phrases
- star any information in the passage that can be used to answer any specific questions
- read all possible choices before selecting any answer
- eliminate silly or unrelated choices
- go back to the selection as much as needed

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Having Fun With English

Try this fun ELA game where you create as many words as possible using the letters provided.

Tumble Bees

I love to play Tumble Bees

Form words to fill the honeypot with this sweet online word game.

Pogo.com — play hundreds of fun games online!

Monday, December 8, 2008

Reminders for Checking Grades

Just a reminder that you can check your grade by going to www.mygradebook.com or clicking the link on this page. Each student has an individual password and the Classword for each class is as follows:

Period One - ELA7P1
Period Four - ELA7P4
Period Five - ELA7P5
Period Six - ELA7P6

Please remember that all classwords must be in all caps and all passwords must be in lower case. If you are having trouble logging on, please contact Ms. Short

Students of the Week

Congratulations to the Students of the Week for December 1st through December 5th, 2008.

Period One - Mr. Davis
Period Four - Miss Maddox
Period Five - Mr. Outley
Period Six - Mr. Santarelli-Hansen

Friday, December 5, 2008

Preparing for the State Assessment

We have been working hard to prepare for January's ELA assessment. If you would like to take a look at a sample test for the 7th grade ELA, please follow the link below. We will continue to practice for the assessment as well as review helpful test-taking strategies.