Thursday, April 29, 2010

Blog Question of the Week

All students are reminded to answer the blog question of the week for Bronx Masquerade. Use the link on the right below the picture of HW Smith to connect.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010


Upcoming Quiz

Students will have a quiz on the novel, Bronx Masquerade, on Monday, May 3rd. Students began reading the novel before Spring Break and have been working steadily on understanding the novel and applying it to their own lives ever since. The quiz will cover all material up to page132 including important characters, plot developments, vocabulary, etc.

The Home Stretch

Students are in the home stretch to finish eighth grade. As of yesterday, all eighth grade students completed the NYS ELA Assessment. As their teacher of two years, I see many of many students developing a case of senior-itis meaning many of them have already finished the school year in their head although we have seven weeks left of school. Please encourage students to continue to do their best work and turn in all assignments. If you have any questions about your child's progress, please feel free to contact me at your earliest convenience.

Saturday, April 24, 2010


Don't forget that Monday, April 26th, is the beginning of the NYS English Language Arts exam. On Monday, eighth graders will be completing Book One which is the reading comprehension section. Students will read approximately five different articles, excerpts, and/or poems and answer multiple-choice questions based on those readings. Students will also complete Book Two on Monday which is the listening section of the test. Students will listen and take notes on a passage that is read to them and then answer three or four short-answer questions and then one extended-response question.

On Tuesday, students will complete the reading and writing section of the test. Students will read two related passages, excerpts, and/or poems and then answer a few short-response questions based on the readings as well as write a short essay.

Students should be sure to get plenty of sleep and a good breakfast on the days of the exam. Also, the exam will begin promptly at 8:15 am so students should get to school on time.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Updated Grades

Students will receive a print out of their updated grades when we return to school on Monday, April 26th. Parents are asked to look over this report and encourage their child to turn in missed assignments before grades are due for progress reports. The grade report will also need to be signed and returned as a homework assignment.

Nikki Grimes: 2009 National Book Festival

Here some words and poems from the author of Bronx Masquerade, Nikki Grimes.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Many Assignments Due This Week

Since so many students will be out of the building various days for field trips, the following is a break down of assignments due this week:
- Spring Sport Editorial (Due by Friday)
- Signed Parent Letter (Due by Friday)
- Read up to pg. 64 in Bronx Masquerade (Due by Thursday)
- Character Chart Completed for Characters up to page 64 (Due by Thursday)
*Other classwork assignments will be given throughout the week. Any that are not finished in class become homework.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Spring Break

Don't forget that this Friday is the last day of school before Spring Break. Students will return to school on Monday, April 26th. Enjoy a peaceful break!

Link to the Bronx Masquerade Blog

Ms. Constantine, our student teacher, created a blog for students to comment on the novel we are reading in class, Bronx Masquerade. Check it out!

Students of the Week

Congratulations to those students who were named Student of the Week for April 5th to April 9th, 2010:
Period One - Aseel A.
Period Three - Hassan O.
Period Five - Safa A.
Period Six - Abdinoor M.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Earning a HW Pass

Want to earn a HW pass? In the comment section, give two strategies or tips students should follow in order to be successful on the ELA exam. Remember that your comments will not automatically post. Simply write them and submit them (with your name) and I will post them.

The NYS English Language Arts Exam

Eighth grade students will take the NYS ELA exam beginning Monday, April 26th. Unfortunately, this is the day students return from Spring Break. Students will continue practice for the ELA in class in the next few weeks, and will also be working on ELA practice during their Spring Break. If any student is having difficulty with the practice exam at home, he or she can contact Ms. Short through this blog or by email (

Final Installment of 25-Book Assignment

Students are required to read six books for the fourth marking period. All summaries are due by June 11th. Because so many students have not turned in their summaries by the deadline in the past, it is Ms. Short's suggestion that students turn them in as they read instead of waiting until the end of the marking period.

Bronx Masquerade

Students have begun reading a very innovative novel called Bronx Masquerade by Nikki Grimes. The novel is in multi-genre format written in both poetry and prose. The novel surrounds the stories of several different students in an English class in the Bronx. Below are links to reviews about this work of fiction: