Monday, February 28, 2011

Weekly Preview: 2/28-3/4

6th GOAL: We're starting a new unit on consumption. We'll start by taking a pretest on Monday. For the rest of the week, we'll look deeper into some of our everyday "stuff" to see how it's made and how much is really consumed. The truth is shocking!

7th GOAL: We're working on process papers and annotated bibliographies for National History Day competition. History Day is 2 weeks from Tuesday, and we're starting to really feel the pressure!

8th GOAL: We're starting to put together our exhibition trifold displays for Images of Greatness. We'll also be tweaking our papers, timelines, and bio-riddles so they're ready for the big night on March 17!

7th Language Arts: We'll finish up our parts of speech review, and then we'll be working on a writing assignment based on the 7th grade epidemics interdisciplinary unit. Spelling book p. 141 will be due on Wednesday to accompany this week's words.

Week 23 Words

Plus, don't miss this year's FMS production of Bye Bye Birdie this Thursday and Friday night, March 3 & 4, at 7:00 p.m. in the FMS Cafetorium. Admission is $2 for adults and $1 for students. Middle School Activity Passes get in free. Come see how hard the students have worked, and be entertained by this rocking musical!

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Images of Greatness Timeline Tools

8th grade GOAL students might need some time this weekend to finish up Images of Greatness timelines and bio-riddles. Here are a couple of online sites that might help... they're new to me, but they might be worth checking out:

Timeline tool from
Here's a blog entry talking about different timeline tools w/ web addresses included.
Timeline Maker from Teachnology (thanks, Mr. Munford!)

Students are always welcome to do their timelines the old-fashioned way too with nice printing and pictures or with printed captions actually glued to paper. Many word processing tools have great options for making a nice visual timeline too.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Weekly Preview: 2/21-2/25

6th GOAL: Students will be finishing up their oceanography unit this week, completing the activities that accompanied Great Ocean Rescue.

7th GOAL: We seem to be starting the week a little behind already, but I'd hoped students would be able to start building exhibits, compiling & recording documentaries, and practicing performances. I'd like the projects finished this week because History Day is not going to wait for us. This will probably mean homework if we're going to get back on track with deadlines.

8th GOAL: Papers and annotated bibliographies are due today (Monday). The rest of the week will be spent on writing bio-riddles and creating timelines. Both are due Friday.

7th Language Arts: We'll be working on Spelling, Week 22 (Frequently Misspelled Words). Book page 136 (1-20) is due on Wednesday. We'll also be finishing our persuasive presentations and dipping into parts of speech if we have time.

Week 22 Words

Monday, February 14, 2011

Weekly Preview: 2/14-2/17

Happy Valentine's Day! What a wild, weird week this is going to be! With ITBS and parent/teacher conferences, the schedules are messed up every single day. We'll all have to go with the flow.

6th GOAL: We're finishing up Great Ocean Rescue, and we'll spend the rest of this week completing the in-class activities that relate to oceanography on the other side of the laser disc. There are some great photos and video clips that go along with them.

7th GOAL: We're working hard on History Day projects this week. Here's our agenda for the next month... 2/14-2/17: plan & organize exhibits, write scripts for performances and documentaries; 2/21-2/25: build/create exhibits, practice performances, create documentaries; 2/28-3/4: write/edit/publish process papers and annotated bibliographies; 3/7-3/11: practice mock judge interviews, perfect projects, prepare for competition; 3/14: last day to panic; 3/15: History Day! It's going to be here before we know it!

8th GOAL: We're working hard on Images of Greatness projects this week. Our research is done, so here's the agenda for the time we have left: 2/14-2/17: write/edit/publish essays and annotated bibliographies; 2/21-2/25: create timelines and bioriddles, submit quote; 2/28-3/11: create trifold display boards, create costume; 3/14-3/17: memorize and practice bioriddle, prepare accompanying dish; 3/17: Images of Greatness takes place at 7:00 pm in the FMS Cafetorium. We have lots of work to do to get to that point!

7th Language Arts: This week we're going to be doing mini-persuasive projects. This will be in class activities that will give students the feel of a persuasive presentation. We will also be working on Week 21 Spelling, Words from Names and Places. Pretest corrections and p. 130 (1-20) are due on Wednesday. The posttest will be on Friday.

Week 21 Words

I hope to see all you parents and guardians at parent/teacher conferences this week. They take place from 5:00-8:30 on Tuesday and Thursday nights. See the school website for details, or leave a comment here if you have questions. Have a wonderful week!

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Library Day Booktalks

With shortened periods and 2 grades needing to finish research today, I didn't take a lot of time today for booktalks, but here are the few I highlighted:

A Killing Freeze by Lynn Hall

Eleven by Patricia Reilly Giff

Shooting the Moon by Frances O'Roark Dowell

Happy reading!!!

Monday, February 7, 2011

Weekly Preview: 2/7-2/11

This week's schedule is a revision of last week's schedule, thanks to our 3 snow days.

6th GOAL: More Great Ocean Rescue! Each group is getting better with every mission in using the data provided, debating skills, and problem-solving strategies.

7th GOAL: The snow days last week really messed with our History Day research. We'll be trying to finish up our research by Wednesday of this week. We'll use Thursday and Friday as our days to analyze research and draw conclusions.

8th GOAL: The snow days have also messed with Images of Greatness research. Since the date is set, we won't be adding extra days to the end of the project. Students will be researching through this week. Next week, the major work begins.

7th Language Arts: We've carried over spelling from last week. Page 124 (1-20) will be due on Wednesday. Refer to last week's Weekly Preview for the list. The rest of this week will be spent working on Design-An-Ad. Rough drafts are due Tuesday, and final drafts will be due Friday.

Don't forget that ITBS testing starts Tuesday. Students, get plenty of sleep, and eat a good breakfast. Let's all do our very best!

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Bye Bye Birdie Costume Ideas

If you're playing a teen girl: Consider combinations of the following (some are links to click): poodle skirts, big, swingy skirts, blouses that button up, sweater sets, scarves around the neck, cat-eye glasses, saddle shoes or plain white tennis shoes, bobby socks, rolled-up jeans, capri pants, thick belts around the waist. Here are some more links to teen girls' fashion in the 1950's: #1

If you're playing a teen boy: Consider combinations of the following (some are links to click): bowling shirts that button, plaid or madras shirts that button, plain shirts that button, rolled-up jeans, khaki pants, converse sneakers, high school letter jackets, brown or black loafers.

If you're playing an adult female: Consider combinations of the following (some are links to click): 50's style women's hats, full skirts, pencil skirts, sweater sets, plain blouses, "flats" or "pumps" shoes, aprons, trenchcoats. Here are some more links to women's fashion in the 1950's: #1 #2 #3 #4

If you're playing an adult male: Consider combinations of the following (some are links to click): button-down shirts, brown or black shoes, navy/black/khaki dress pants, neckties, sportscoats/blazers, cardigan sweaters, 50's style men's hats. Here are some more links to men's fashion in the 1950's: #1 #2

If you're playing both a teen and an adult: You have the following options... 1. You can have 2 costumes. 2. You can have a teen costume with some kind of long coat over it for when you're an adult. Consider something like a trenchcoat or an adult's winter coat.

Things NOT to wear: Modern tennis shoes, short skirts, shirts with modern logo.

Here's a clip from the production of Bye Bye Birdie I just saw in the Twin Cities. It gives some ideas for costumes and hairstyles.

I'll add to this page as I find things, so check back often! :)