Saturday, October 31, 2009

The Latest Editorial - Due November 6th

Students are required to write an editorial explaining what lessons they have learned at HW Smith and how those lessons will help them to be successful high school students. Students can include both academic and social lessons in their editorial.

Second Installment of 25-Book Assignment

This is a reminder that the second installment of the 25-book assignment begins Monday, November 2nd and continues through January 13th, 2010. Students are required to read six books and write a one-paragraph summary for each. This will count towards each students' second marking period homework grade.

Happy Halloween

Ms. Short would like to wish all of her students a safe Halloween!

Sunday, October 11, 2009

In the News

Last week, President Obama was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. The news was meant with mixed reactions from people across the world. Listen to President Obama's personal reaction. Now, what do you think?

New Vocabulary

To help better understand the biography of Harriet Tubman, students will be learning and utilizing the following vocabulary beginning this Tuesday:
- incentive
- cajole
- incomprehensible
- disheveled
- instill
- eloquence

Stay tuned for practice vocabulary cards!

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Another Extra Credit Opportunity - Due 10/16/09

The Post-Standard is sponsoring a Halloween Story contest. Children's writer Bruce Coville, of Syracuse, has written the beginning of a scary Halloween story, and he needs children to finish it. A winner is chosen in each of the three age groups: kindergarten through third grade, fourth through sixth grades and seventh through ninth grades. (Each winner receives a $25 gift certificate to Dougherty's Masquerade and an autographed copy of one of Coville's books. Winning entries will be published Oct. 29 in the CNY section of The Post-Standard.

Students are required to submit their ending of the story by next Friday, October 16th, to Ms. Short. Ms. Short will then forward all entries to the Post-Standard.

(Please note that submissions can be no longer than 250 words.)

Here is the story:

The reason Mark Anderson wasn't supposed to go into the old Washburn Cemetery was simple - old Gnarly Carker, the cemetery caretaker, didn't like kids.

The reason Mark often went into the cemetery anyway was also simple - it was between his house and his school, and it was a lot faster to go through it than it was to go around it. And as long as Gnarly didn't catch him, it was no problem.

Today - Halloween, of all days! - Gnarly had caught him.

Mark had been creeping along behind the tombstones, pretending that he was on a secret mission behind enemy lines, when he felt a cold, rough hand clutch him by the neck.

"Gotcha!" said a familiar voice.

"Let me go!" cried Mark, trying to twist his way out of Gnarly's grasp. But years of digging graves had given the old man a grip of steel, and Mark was held tight.

The old man turned Mark around so that they were face to face. This did not improve things, since Gnarly's face was one of the more frightening things about the cemetery. It was lean and craggy, with a hawklike nose and a single fierce eye. (The place where the other eye had been was covered by a black patch; according to the older kids at Mark's school, the only thing under the patch was an empty socket.)

"So, it's you," said Gnarly. "I thought it might be. You're the sneakiest of the lot, always cutting through here, disturbing the graves. Disturbing the dead."

"Let me go!" said Mark, struggling to break free from Gnarly's grasp. "I don't think so," said Gnarly. "Not tonight. I think it's time you found out why you shouldn't cut through here."

"What do you mean?" asked Mark nervously.

Gnarly began to laugh. "I think it's time you spent the night in Washburn Cemetery. Then you won't laugh so much, boy. Then you won't be sneaking through here. Then you'll know why Gnarly Carker wants you to stay away!"

Thunder rumbled in the darkening sky as Gnarly hauled Mark between the white tombstones, toward the little shed at the edge of the cemetery. Scarlet leaves fell all around them, seeming to whisper of the night to come, and the terrors it might hold ...

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Extra Credit Assignment

Due by Friday, 10/9/09, at 3PM.

Find the names of three different abolitionists and two specific facts about each. Use the internet or any other resources to find your information. Submit this information to Ms. Short by Friday at 3 PM.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Acuity Testing

It's that time of year again- acuity testing. Acuity is an electronic testing program that mirrors the NYS ELA assessment and helps determine student strengths and areas in need of improvement. All 8th grade students will be taking their acuity exam during ELA classes on 10/6 and 10/7.