Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Bye Bye Birdie Links

The internet connection was not cooperating today in Drama Club, so here are some links to different productions of Bye Bye Birdie to watch. Auditions for the show are Tuesday, December 7, and Wednesday, December 8, after school in the cafetorium. There are TONS of roles for both cast and crew, both singing and nonsinging, both speaking and nonspeaking, so I hope everyone will turn up for a great production!


Monday, November 29, 2010

Weekly Preview: 11/29-12/3

I'm full of turkey and ready for a brand new week! :) Hope you all are too!

6th GOAL: This week, we'll be starting our civil trial. Jack & Jill will be on the witness stand! After wrapping up our mock trial unit, 6th grade GOAL students will move into independent research projects.

7th GOAL: Our independent research is done, and now we're moving into the project phase of the unit. Students will have this week to work on how they're going to show what they've learned to the class. Here is a great link that I used this summer in my Web 2.0 Tools Class. If you're not sure how you want to present, browse through these websites and look at all the possibilities. Remember that your INFORMATION is the important part. How you present is just the vehicle that you're using to show us what you learned. Don't forget to use the rubric I provided in class to see how the project will be graded.

8th GOAL: We'll be using this week to continue research for our independent research projects. Our goal is to become the expert on our topics!

7th Language Arts: We'll be finishing our pen pal letters this week. Final drafts will be due by the end of class on Thursday with all corrections finished from my teacher edits. Spelling words for Week 14 focus on the suffixes -able and -ible. It's a challenging list. Page 88 (1-20) and pretest corrections are due Wednesday.

Week 14 Spelling Words

Sunday, November 28, 2010

6th Grade Writing Opportunity

The Old Creamery Theatre Company is having its annual writing contest, and 1st-6th graders are eligible to enter, so give it a try! Click here for details!

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Weekly Preview: 11/22-11/23

It's going to be a short week here at FMS, but we're going to cram a lot into these 2 days!

6th GOAL: We'll continue our mock trials on Monday. We'll be finishing up our criminal trial and moving into our civil trial. We'll also be planning some questions for our Tuesday field trip. On Tuesday, during the regular GOAL class period, we'll be traveling to the Jefferson County Courthouse to take a tour and meet a judge. It will be a short trip, but it will improve our understanding of the trial process.

7th GOAL: Monday and Tuesday will be our last days to research for Independent Research Projects. Of course, more research can be done at home over Thanksgiving break if needed, but we won't take any more time after this week. Make sure your facts are ready, your daily logs are completed, and your NoodleBib is started! Mrs. Lantz will also be helping us learn how to use Diigo to keep track of all our online bookmarks so we can have them wherever we have internet access.

8th GOAL: We will be continuing our research for Independent Research Projects this week. Mrs. Lantz will also be showing our class how to use Diigo to keep track of our online bookmarks.


7th Language Arts: No spelling this week! We'll be working on pen pal letters this week. They're due for teacher edit by the end of the day Tuesday. This means the rough draft is written and revised, draft 2 is typed and peer-conferenced, draft 3 is self-edited for conventions and as close to perfect as possible, and an envelope is addressed and attached.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Weekly Preview: 11/15-11/19

Here's what's coming up next week in Room 101!

6th GOAL: 6th grade GOAL students are in the middle of their mock trial unit. Next week we'll have a local lawyer come to class to answer questions and tell us more about the American Judicial System. Then, we'll be ready to begin our first trial, The State vs. Hansel and Gretel Schmidt! Students have been prepping for the trial this week, and next week, the big event begins!

7th GOAL: 7th grade GOAL students are working on independent research projects. Topics have been chosen, and they will have next week to research and become the experts on their topics. Thursday will be our last day in the library, and we'll be wrapping up the research time using resources in our classroom.

8th GOAL: 8th grade GOAL students are finishing up the Holocaust unit by reading the play of The Diary of Anne Frank out loud. When we're done with this culminating activity, we'll get started on Independent Research Projects.

GOAL students have all started responding to the books I'm reading out loud on a class wiki. Links to the wikis can be found on the right-hand margin of this blog. Wikis are able to be viewed by anyone, but only invited members of the GOAL classes can respond. They are to use their school usernames and passwords for safety. 6th graders are hearing Things Not Seen by Andrew Clements. 7th graders are hearing The Cardturner by Louis Sachar. 8th graders are hearing To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee.

7th Language Arts: This week will be full of writing. Students will be working on the final drafts of their RAFT stories, corrected from teacher edits. Then they'll be starting a new pen pal letter for the 2nd quarter. Spelling for Week 13 focuses on the suffix "-ly." Pretest corrections and p. 82 (1-20) will be due at the beginning of class on Wednesday.

Week 13 Spelling Words

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Booktalks: 11/9 (Informational Nonfiction)

Today for library day, I had a request to booktalk informational nonfiction. GOAL students have a requirement of 4 books in this genre for the year, so we talked about the genre in general, and I gave them some suggestions.

What are some of your favorite informational nonfiction books? Feel free to comment with your book suggestions!

Monday, November 8, 2010

Weekly Preview: 11/8-11/12

We're all rested up from our glorious 3-day weekend, and we're ready to tackle another week of learning here at FMS! Here's the plan for the week...

6th GOAL: We're almost done with our preliminary research on the American Judicial System. Some possible guest speakers are also in the works, so students will have a chance to ask lots of questions. Our next step is assigning parts and doing research for our first case: The State vs. Hansel & Gretel Schmidt. Students will be the lawyers, witnesses, and jury members.

7th GOAL: We're in the process of finalizing topic selection and beginning research for our Independent Research Projects. Students will be in the library for a little over 2 weeks, documenting their daily progress and setting the next day's goal on a daily log. As expected, the topics so far cover a WIDE range of interests and passions!

8th GOAL: We had a delay on starting our read-aloud of the play The Diary of Anne Frank, but we got started last week. This will be the cap to our Holocaust unit. I love hearing this piece read aloud, and we have the perfectly sized class for the cast.

7th Language Arts: This is a maintenance test week for spelling, so there is no pretest. To review for the big test on Friday, students will be completing p. 75 (1-20), p. 76 (1-20), and p. 77 (1-20) which will be due Wednesday. We're also working on RAFT stories that will show understanding of the Voice trait of writing. Rough drafts are due at the beginning of the class Tuesday, and pieces are due Friday for teacher edit (revised, typed, peer-conferenced, and edited).

As always, feel free to e-mail or phone me if you have any questions or concerns, and have a great week!


I found out last month that my grant for handheld GPS units for GOAL had been approved. In the spring, students will start geocaching as a class, and they'll be able to check out the units for weekend family use as well. Our GOAL classes will have a membership to geocaching.com, so we'll all be on the same "team." What is geocaching? It's technology, connectivity, 21st Century Skills, geography, fun, exploration, cooperation, and more! Watch the clip below for more information...

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Exciting News... Mark Your Calendars!

I'm happy to officially announce that this year's musical will be Bye Bye Birdie! In the past, our production has always taken place the week after February parent/teacher conferences. This year, to accommodate our illustrious accompanist, Mrs. Andersen, and the rest of our band students participating in Ottumwa Solo Day, we're pushing our performance dates back a week. So... mark your calendars.

Bye Bye Birdie
An FMS Drama Production
March 3 & 4, 2011
7:00 P.M.
FMS Cafetorium

Monday, November 1, 2010

Weekly Preview, 11/1-11/4

It's Parent/Teacher conference week here at FMS, and I hope I get to see and meet lots of parents. Conferences are from 5:00-8:30 on Tuesday and Thursday evenings. There will be no school Friday. If you're a parent, and you can't attend conferences, feel free to call me or e-mail me to set up a time to discuss your student's progress.

Drama Club WILL meet on Tuesday, but at a special time. We'll be meeting in my classroom (room 101) from 2:30-3:30. Hope to see you there!

6th GOAL: 6th grade GOAL students are going to start their Mock Trial unit this week. We'll be getting some basic background information about the American Judicial system. Then we'll be having both a criminal trial and a civil trial with students playing each of the parts involved. This unit is always a favorite with GOAL students.

7th GOAL & 8th GOAL: 7th & 8th grade GOAL students will be starting their yearly Independent Research Projects. We'll start by brainstorming, continue with researching, and then students will be turning that knowledge into stellar projects. Independent Research Projects foster a passion for learning in an area of high interest for students. I always love seeing the end products too!

7th Language Arts: In language arts this week, we'll be focusing on the trait of Voice. We'll get the basics, and then we'll start a writing assignment called a RAFT story where students will be taking on the role of any inanimate object and writing from its point of view. Week 11 spelling words are "Words with More Letters than Sounds." Spelling p. 70 and pretest corrections will be due on Wednesday, and the posttest will take place on THURSDAY since we have no school Friday.

Week 11 Spelling Words