Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Booktalks 8/31

Library Day means Booktalks! Here are the first books I booktalked in the 2010/2011 school year. Have you read either one?

Flipped by Wendelin Van Draanen (why not read it before seeing the movie?)

Letters from a Nut by Ted L. Nancy

Don't forget... you can see all the books I've booktalked by clicking the booktalk label at the right side of this blog or right underneath this post! :)

Monday, August 30, 2010

Week 2 Spelling Words

7th Grade Language Arts Students: Here are your spelling words for this week. If you forget to take your book home on Thursday night to study, you'll be able to access your words here!

Don't forget that your pretest corrections and your book assignment (p. 14, 1-20) are due Wednesday.

Week 2: Short Vowel Syllabication Patterns


Sunday, August 29, 2010

Weekly Preview

6th-8th GOAL: We'll have the laptops in class on Monday and Wednesday to finish up our Words of Wisdom projects. I'd like to start presenting on Thursday and finish up Friday. Tuesday is our library day, so we'll booktalk, and you'll have a chance to read and check out new books. You may also work on your Words of Wisdom projects in the library, provided there are no other classes working on the computers at that time.

7th Language Arts: On Monday, we'll have our spelling pretest for Week 2. You'll have the rest of the class period to work on pretest corrections & your spelling book assignment. Both will be due Wednesday. Pen Pal letters are due for teacher edit this Thursday. That means you've hand-written your rough draft, self-revised it, typed draft 2, peer conferenced with it at least twice, fixed it based on those conferences, self-edited, fixed again, and addressed an envelope. If you didn't get your rough draft in Friday, I expect to see it Monday. Otherwise, you can finish it up after school Monday.

Here's to another great week at FMS!

Friday, August 27, 2010

Words of Wisdom

GOAL Students: To present your Words of Wisdom, you may use any of the following Web 2.0 tools. You may also come up with an idea of your own, and that's great too. Run it past me in class. The sky is the limit!

Here's a quick example of the kind of project you can make with Zooburst!

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Wal-Mart Wins!!!

I never thought I would type those words, but I found the book at our little Wal-Mart in Fairfeld, Iowa! I now have 2 copies to check out, and there will be more coming when the Amazon.com order comes through. Ms. Mangler has a copy now too, and Mrs. Lantz has ordered three for the library. All your Mockingjay needs will be met!

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Sorry, Kids!

I could not be more disappointed in Amazon.com right now. I'm sorry you have to wait for the Mockingjay copies to arrive. I would have bought them at Target had I known they would get here so far after the book's release date. A fellow blogger even called Amazon.com to complain. I feel that I've vented by reading this blog. Maybe you will too. Hang in there. It will be here soon!

Monday, August 23, 2010

Learning How We Learn

GOAL classes are having a mini unit on individual learning. They're getting advice from others to see what's important to people at different stages of life, and they're examining their individual smarts, comparing right and left brain thinking and studying Gardner's theory of multiple intelligences (see image).
By understanding how we learn, we can make the most out of each class & learning experience, tailoring it to our own needs.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Welcome Back!

It was a good first day here at Fairfield Middle School... I was glad to see you all!

Here's what's coming up for the rest of this week:

GOAL Classes: We're going to start/work on/complete the reading survey. Then, we're going to get your notebooks set up for reading journals and reading logs. We'll discuss all the requirements of the independent reading contract at that time.

Language Arts Classes: We're going to complete a personal writing inventory, start DWA (Daily Writing Activity) journals, and get spelling books handed out. If we get all of that done, we'll move on to the first pen pal letter... we'll see how much we accomplish in that time!

Loved meeting you and/or seeing you again today. Here's to a great year!

Sunday, August 15, 2010

The Purpose

I maintain 2 blogs: one for myself and one for school. As I'm sure you figured out, this is my school blog. I probably need 3 different blogs for school. I know that this blog is probably trying to do too much. My school blog is for: 1. my students... with important information for them to know, 2. professional reflection... where I like to think about what I've done in class and what's ahead, and 3. my colleagues... where I like to post resources for them to use and where I keep track of some digital and building colleagues who blog and post resources of their own. Whew! It's a lot. For now, I'm keeping it all here in the Nelson Universe. We'll see if this format continues to suit my needs.

Why do I blog? I blog to write. I work hard to be a writing teacher who is also a writer. I communicate with others, I reflect on my life, and I get my ideas down and out of my ever-spinning brain.

Do you blog? If so, I'd love to read your blogs. Comment here, & leave me your blog's address. I'll check it out!

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Welcome Back!

Students, Parents, Colleagues... lend me your ear... Oops. Guess it's time to get out of the theatre mode and back into school mode. ;) Welcome back to another wonderful year at Fairfield Middle School.

This Monday, I'll be welcoming you new 6th grade students to my classes, so don't forget to come to orientation from 6-8 p.m. You'll feel much more comfortable with the building and your schedule. You'll also get to know your teachers a little bit too... it's always nice to see some friendly familiar faces the first day. I'm looking forward to meeting you all!

7th & 8th grade GOAL students: You'll have a special treat on the 3rd day of school. You'll get to meet some of the cast members from the current Way Off Broadway show Big River. This will tie in with the Mark Twain unit coming up at the end of the 7th grade year of GOAL. It will be a nice preview of what is to come for you 7th graders, and 8th graders can enjoy reflecting back on our trip to Hannibal last spring.

7th grade language arts students: Mrs. Wiegand, Mrs. Wolf, and I have been finalizing all the pen pals for this year. I'm anxious for you to be assigned to one. This will be the 38th year of the FMS Pen Pal Program. It's a great way for the community to get involved in our school and for you to get to know people in the community. It's also a great writing exercise (Sorry, it's the teacher in me... I had to bring that up).

It's back to work for me now. My bare walls are calling for posters and decorations. I will answer that call, and I'll see you all soon!