Friday, November 22, 2013

Extra Credit Opportunity

To earn five points in your lowest grade, please watch one of the video clips below and complete the two following sentence stems:
One new thing I learned from the video was...
Something I found surprising was...

You can leave your response in the comments section below.  Remember to write your name with your comment.  Also, remember that you will not see your comment right away because it needs to be moderated. 

To earn extra credit, you must submit your comment by midnight on Sunday, 11/24/13.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

NSBE Conference

Congratulations to our HW Smith students that will be represnting the Syracuse City School District at the NSBE conference:
Tydre B.
Myles C.
Jordan H.
Nathaniel H.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Photos from the Lewis Hine Exhibit at the HW Smith Museum of American History

Building Background for Our Informational Reading Unit

In our next unit, we will be focusing on strategies to read and make sense of informational texts.  We will be building off what students are learning in Social Studies by studying the Industrial Revolution and child labor at the turn of the century in the United States.  Students can learn more about the time period by watching the following:


Students can also follow the links below to additional videos at

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Utilizing Transitions to Make Your Writing Make Sense

Transitions are an important part of writing.  Transitions help the reader to make sense of the writing.  Watch the clips below to help you better understand transitions and how they are used effectively in writing.

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Punctuating Dialogue

Need help with punctuating dialogue?  See the video below.

Friday, November 8, 2013

Narrative Writing Prompt

Students in 8th Grade ELA are writing a narrative about a memorable moment.  Students are required to pick a memorable event and choose a moment within that event to explode and focus in on.  Students are working on the body of the narrative.  Students are tasked with balancing:

- sensory details (descriptions that appeal to the reader's sight, hearing, touch, etc.)

- actions (what the characters are doing)

- personal thoughts (the narrator's thoughts during the episode)

- dialogue (what characters say)

Thursday, November 7, 2013

AVID - Question Four Rewrite

To help AVID students rewrite their question four from the post-assessment.  Here is the question four that was rewritten for class:

Authors purposefully make decisions about how to present information to readers. The way in which an author structures a piece, contributes to its meaning and style. Both "The Bully" and "To Forgive" examine bullying. Analyze the texts and determine how the differing structures and literary devices contribute to meaning and style of each.
In your response, be sure to:
explain how "The Bully" was put together and WHY the author chose a chronological story structure
explain how "To Forgive" was put together and WHY the author chose a short poem (twenty lines)
describe how each author uses figurative language to contribute to the theme and style
include relevant text-based details from both passages

Exploding a Moment

Review how to take a big event and focus in on one specific moment to explode for your narrative writing piece.