Monday, September 30, 2013

Reviewing the Plot Diagram

Don't forget to review the five parts of the plot.  All stories, no matter how basic, follow this outline.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

"Casey at the Bat"

Today we read and acted out the poem, "Casey at the Bat."  Students can see an adaptation of the poem by watching the Disney video below.  (It will also help in completing the plot diagram and extension questions for tonight's homework.)

Text of "Casey at the Bat"

Casey at the Bat by Ernest Lawrence Thayer 

The outlook wasn't brilliant for the Mudville nine that day:
The score stood four to two, with but one inning more to play,
And then when Cooney died at first, and Barrows did the same,
A pall-like silence fell upon the patrons of the game.

A straggling few got up to go in deep despair. The rest
Clung to the hope which springs eternal in the human breast;
They thought, "If only Casey could but get a whack at that—
We'd put up even money now, with Casey at the bat."

But Flynn preceded Casey, as did also Jimmy Blake,
And the former was a hoodoo, while the latter was a cake;
So upon that stricken multitude grim melancholy sat,
For there seemed but little chance of Casey getting to the bat.

But Flynn let drive a single, to the wonderment of all,
And Blake, the much despis├Ęd, tore the cover off the ball;
And when the dust had lifted, and men saw what had occurred,
There was Jimmy safe at second and Flynn a-hugging third.

Then from five thousand throats and more there rose a lusty yell;
It rumbled through the valley, it rattled in the dell;
It pounded on the mountain and recoiled upon the flat,
For Casey, mighty Casey, was advancing to the bat.

There was ease in Casey's manner as he stepped into his place;
There was pride in Casey's bearing and a smile lit Casey's face.
And when, responding to the cheers, he lightly doffed his hat,
No stranger in the crowd could doubt 'twas Casey at the bat.

Ten thousand eyes were on him as he rubbed his hands with dirt;
Five thousand tongues applauded when he wiped them on his shirt;
Then while the writhing pitcher ground the ball into his hip,
Defiance flashed in Casey's eye, a sneer curled Casey's lip.

And now the leather-covered sphere came hurtling through the air,
And Casey stood a-watching it in haughty grandeur there.
Close by the sturdy batsman the ball unheeded sped—
"That ain't my style," said Casey. "Strike one!" the umpire said.

From the benches, black with people, there went up a muffled roar,
Like the beating of the storm-waves on a stern and distant shore;
"Kill him! Kill the umpire!" shouted someone on the stand;
And it's likely they'd have killed him had not Casey raised his hand.

With a smile of Christian charity great Casey's visage shone;
He stilled the rising tumult; he bade the game go on;
He signaled to the pitcher, and once more the dun sphere flew;
But Casey still ignored it and the umpire said, "Strike two!"

"Fraud!" cried the maddened thousands, and echo answered "Fraud!"
But one scornful look from Casey and the audience was awed.
They saw his face grow stern and cold, they saw his muscles strain,
And they knew that Casey wouldn't let that ball go by again.

The sneer is gone from Casey's lip, his teeth are clenched in hate,
He pounds with cruel violence his bat upon the plate;
And now the pitcher holds the ball, and now he lets it go,
And now the air is shattered by the force of Casey's blow.

Oh, somewhere in this favoured land the sun is shining bright,
The band is playing somewhere, and somewhere hearts are light;
And somewhere men are laughing, and somewhere children shout,
But there is no joy in Mudville—mighty Casey has struck out.

Friday, September 20, 2013

"Sorry, Wrong Number"

Watch the classic movie based on the radio play we read in class.  There are nine total clips to make up the movie.  Think about how the movie is similar and different to the play we read in class.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Open House

The Open House for HW Smith K-8 @ Levy will be held this Thursday from 6:30 to 7:30 PM.  Please come and meet the 8th grade team of teachers.  

Fix Up Reading Strategies

What do good readers do when they don't understand what they've read?  Skip over it?  Give up?  Of course not!  They use Fix Up Reading Strategies!  Review them below:
&    Define Your Purpose For Reading
Ask yourself why you are reading.  What are you trying to get out of it?  Is it for entertainment?  Is it to give you information?  Is it to persuade you to do or feel something?  Reading to learn or pass a test requires more concentration than reading for enjoyment.
&    Read the Author’s Note
Sometimes the author will present background information as an author’s note.  By reading this section, you will be preparing your brain to take in new information and connect it to what you have already learned.
&    Reread
It is OK to reread text that you’ve already read.  Maybe you misread a word or left out a word that holds the meaning to the text.
&    Look At The Pictures, Illustrations, Charts, and Graphs
These are used by the author to help you understand what you are reading.  Pictures and illustrations help you visualize what you are reading.  Charts and graphs are used to present the information in a more visual manner.  By closely examining these, you can deepen your level of understanding.

&    Figure Out the Unknown Words
You may use context clues, identify roots and affixes, or use a dictionary to determine the meaning.  Do not just skip the word altogether.

&    Make a Mental Image
Take time to make a movie in your head.  As you read the descriptions of characters or settings, paint a picture.  This strategy will help you visualize and comprehend better.
&    Make Connections to What You Already Know
As you read you should be thinking about how the information fits with what you know about yourself, what you’ve read in other texts, and how things operate in the real world.  This will help you remember what you read.
&    Stop To Think
Every so often as you read, you should stop and think about what you have read.  If you don’t remember anything you have read, why continue?  Pause and summarize in your head.
&    Read Ahead
You might want to continue reading for a couple of sentences if you are confused.  If the confusion does not clear after a couple of sentences, try another strategy.
&    Look at Sentence Structure
Sometimes an author’s style of writing may contain awkward sentence structure.  Try moving the words around in your head until they make better sense.
&    Ask Questions
If you ask questions as you read, you will be more actively engaged with the text.  You will be looking for answers to your questions, and will remember what you read.
&    Make Predictions
As you read, think about what might happen next.  You will be making inferences and drawing conclusions about the characters and plot.
&    Ask For Help
When you are not understanding what you are reading, and you do not know which fix-up strategy to use, ask someone.  You might ask a friend or you might need help from a teacher or parent.

* Remember that you should not continue to read if you are not able to summarize what you have read so far.  If you do, you are just wasting time “saying words” and aren’t learning or understanding anything from the text.

Friday, September 13, 2013

Reviewing How to Roadmap for Fiction

In an effort to boost comprehension, students are continuing to use the roadmapping strategy that they learned last school year.  Students in ELA are reviewing this strategy and how to effectively use it when reading fiction texts.