Monday, October 22, 2012

Weekly Preview: 10/22-10/26, 2012

I apologize for not updating in a couple of weeks.  Last week, Jennifer Mangler and I presented at the 2012 ITEC (Iowa Technology & Education) Conference in Des Moines.  I learned so much in two days.  It was a great conference.

This week marks the end of the quarter.  Where did it go?  We're busy in room 101 wrapping up first quarter business.

6th GOAL:  Students are finishing up their 2nd mock trial.  This one is a civil case instead of a criminal case.  The kids have learned a lot and are playing their parts well.  On Wednesday, independent reading contracts are due, and students will complete self-evaluations to assess their progress.  After our mock trial unit is finished, they will move on to independent research projects.

7th GOAL:  Students are in the middle of their literature circle unit.  They have daily discussions on a book that their group has chosen.  All the books tie to this year's theme of Culture Clash.  This will be the only time this year where GOAL students have daily homework.  On Wednesday, independent reading contracts are due, and students will complete self-evaluations to assess their progress.

8th GOAL:  Students are working hard on research for their independent research topics.  This is the time of year where they determine their own learning, investigating a topic that is a learning passion for them.  We have everything from geckos to the Manhattan project to Vera Wang.  I'm looking forward to seeing what they learn.  After we're done with library research this week, students will have a week to compile their projects, and then we'll take a week to present.

8th Critical Concepts:  Students are in the middle of presenting their How-To speeches.  They are doing a great job remembering all the parts of a speech and all the skills that go into good oral presentations.  We will hopefully finish up this week.

Sunday, September 30, 2012

Weekly Preview: 10/1-10/5, 2012

I can't believe it's October.  Here in Iowa, the leaves are GORGEOUS.  I don't know if I've ever seen them prettier.  Enjoy the lovely fall weather, and check out the news for room 101:

6th GOAL:  This class is revving up for Mock Trial.  We'll spend the first part of the week learning more about the American judicial system and the differences between criminal and civil cases.  Then, we'll read about the details of our first case, assign parts, and prep for our first mock trial.

7th GOAL:  This class is still talking about Big Science.  We've had some deep and interesting discussions (my favorite part of GOAL classes), especially on the topics of space exploration and the size of the universe.  This week, we'll look into genetic research and the possibilities it holds.  Then, we'll start debating about what we think is best for our country.

8th GOAL & 8th Critical Concepts:  These classes will be taking the MAP test this week.  The technology is finally ready for us to begin.  We'll be testing on Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday.  On Wednesday and Friday, students will brush up again on Type to Learn and Fast Math programs.

Monday, September 24, 2012

Weekly Preview: 9/24-9/28, 2012

Fall is here!  Enjoy those beautiful leaves and perfect temperatures, and check out what's happening in room 101 this week!

6th GOAL: We've begun our Mock Trial unit.  We'll spend several days learning about the American Court System, and then we'll have the background knowledge we need to have some trials of our own!

7th GOAL: We're in the middle of our Big Science: For the Sake of the Nation unit.  We're looking at some current issues like pollution, genetic modification, and space exploration.  From there, we'll debate what should be the next big push in scientific research by our government.

8th GOAL & 8th Critical Concepts: We're continuing to work on keyboarding skills and fast math practice until the MAP testing program is ready to go.  Then, we'll spend 3 class days taking the MAP test to help give teachers, parents, and students an accurate picture of student progress.  We'll be taking this test 3 times this year to measure student growth.  To learn more about the MAP test, click here (Northwest Evaluation Association's website).

Monday, September 17, 2012

Weekly Preview: 9/17-9/21, 2012

Happy Homecoming Week!  Preparations and celebrations are under way, so catch that Trojan spirit!

Here's what's going on in room 101 this week:

6th GOAL:  Students learned about the class wiki today.  They'll be discussing their read-aloud book on this site.  They can post at school or at home, and it's a fun way to have a class discussion.  We'll be finishing our physical models of the humdingers this week, and then we'll be moving on to Mock Trial... always a favorite of GOAL students!

7th GOAL:  Students started their class wiki today for the read-aloud book.  We'll be finishing up our poetry unit this week and moving on to a unit called Big Science: For the Sake of the Nation.  We'll be debating in groups about what the next big government-backed science program should be.  The space race was the focus in the 1960's.  What should the focus be now?

8th GOAL:  Students took their Mandarin Chinese test today.  We'll finish the oral portion of the test on Tuesday, and then they'll get some time to practice keyboarding and Fast Math skills like the Critical Concepts classes have been doing.

8th Critical Concepts:  We'll be continuing the Type To Learn program to work on keyboarding skills and the Fast Math program to brush up on our math facts.  After this week, we'll be taking a break from these activities and getting into some MAP testing that will be completed by all the 8th grade students.

Have a great week, everyone!

Monday, September 10, 2012

Weekly Preview: 9/10-9/14, 2012

Hope everyone had a great weekend.  Here we go, just burning through September.

GOAL:  Each GOAL class will be getting their class wikis set up this week for the read-aloud book their class is hearing.  By the end of this week, the links on the right hand margin of this blog will be active.  Students should respond to the discussion as often as they can.  Parents and guardians, feel free to check out the pages.  You'll be able to observe, but you will not be able to contribute.  For safety reasons, the wikis are only open to the students for editing, and they will be only use their school usernames, not full first and last names.

Specifically, here's the scoop for each individual class for this week:

6th GOAL:  This week, students are exploring the differences between conceptual and physical models.  We'll observe a contraption called the Humdinger, and students will try to create physical models of how they think the Humdinger works.

7th GOAL:  We'll be finishing up writing and sharing pantoums this week as an end to our poetry unit. From there, we'll be starting our Big Science: For the Sake of the Nation activity.  This involves debating big ideas in science and trying to brainstorm what the next big government-backed science project should be.

8th GOAL:  Students will be writing and performing their skits using their Mandarin Chinese vocabulary.  They will also be studying their flashcards and taking their Mandarin Chinese vocabulary quiz.

8th Critical Concepts:  Students will continue to work on keyboarding skills with the Type To Learn program.  They are improving every day and doing their best to not just survive Keyboarding Bootcamp, but to come out on the other end as champion typists!

On a different note, Book Club AND Drama Club start this week.  Leave a comment if you have any questions about how to get involved or how to get your child involved!

Wednesday, September 5, 2012


Fairfield's own silver medalist, Matt Stutzman!  Awesome!

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Weekly Preview: 9/4-9/7, 2012

I hope you all had a nice 3-day Labor Day Weekend.  Here's how the short school week is shaping up in room 101:

6th GOAL: We've begun our read-aloud book, Okay For Now, by Gary D. Schmidt.  I'll be reading for a few minutes every day to start our class.  In the next few weeks, students will be responding to and discussing the book on a class wiki.  Stay tuned for details.  This class is enjoying its Models and Design unit.  We'll be investigating more black boxes this week including the Drought Stopper and the Humdinger.  Students will create both conceptual and visual models to theorize how these black boxes work.

7th GOAL:  We've begun our read-aloud book, The Cardturner, by Louis Sachar.  Like in 6th grade, students will, in the next few weeks, be discussing this book in a wiki.  This class is continuing its poetry exploration by working with alphabet dice poetry, graffiti poetry, and pantoums.

8th GOAL:  We've begun our read-aloud book, To Kill a Mockingbird, by Harper Lee, and in the next few weeks, students will begin discussing this book on a class wiki.  I'm excited to share this classic with them!  This class is working hard to learn Mandarin Chinese vocabulary.  It's hard work!  This week, students will be choosing the 50 terms they feel are most important to know to have a very  introductory knowledge of Mandarin Chinese.  They'll be using these terms in a skit and working up to a quiz sometime in the next week or so, depending on how long the skits take.

8th Critical Concepts:  We've moved on from our internet safety unit.  Now we're working on our keyboarding skills.  We'll be in the lab for the next few weeks working on a computer program called Type To Learn 4.  It starts students off at their current typing level, so it's very individualized.  Every student will be able to grow in his/her own keyboarding skills!  We're also still checking assignment journals every day, so students need to make sure they have theirs filled out for every class period.

Monday, August 27, 2012

Welcome back!

Welcome back!

We're off to another great school year at FMS!  I look forward to using this blog to communicate with you and let you know all of the great things that are happening in my classroom.  Come visit anytime!

6th GOAL:  Students started the year by getting their reading logs and contracts ready.  They also completed a reading survey that we discussed.  Next, they'll be starting their Models & Design unit, which is a hands-on physics unit.  We'll be starting with black boxes and exploring black boxes in science (Black boxes are things that, for a variety of reasons, cannot be easily understood or studied, like black holes, atoms, etc.).

7th GOAL:  Students started the year by getting their reading logs and contracts ready.  They are beginning the year with a nontraditional poetry unit, sparking their creativity and ability to think outside the box with words.

8th GOAL:  Since 8th graders will have an English class this year that includes a reading requirement, they will not be keeping a reading log in GOAL.  This class jumped right into a unit on Mandarin Chinese.  We discussed the importance of learning a foreign language and some of the benefits of that language being Mandarin Chinese.  Students are working on learning initials and finals to be able to read Chinese Pinyin, and we'll learn some basic vocabulary.

8th Critical Concepts:  Students learned all about their assignment journals, really discovering every nook an cranny in an effort to keep organized this year.  From there, students will work on a unit called Netsmartz.  This unit will address cyber-bullying and being safe on the internet.

If you have any questions or concerns this year, please feel free to contact me at school by phone (see our website for information at or by e-mail at  I know we're all going to have a great year!

P.S.  Don't forget picture day tomorrow (8/28/12)!

Monday, April 30, 2012

Weekly Preview: 4/30-5/4, 2012

I can't believe we're into May.  Where has this year gone?  Here's how we're spending our time together in room 101 this week:

6th GOAL: On Monday, students will be presenting their Oral History assignments.  On Wednesday, we'll be starting research for our Westward Expansion unit which will culminate with our trip to historic Nauvoo, Illinois.

7th GOAL: Monday will be students' last day to work on Independent Research Projects.  We'll start presenting on Wednesday, and that will take us through the rest of the week.

8th GOAL: Students will continue to work on their documentary films this week.  They should be recording scripts, editing video, creating titles and transitions, and finding music this week.  Movies need to be finished by May 10.

7th Language Arts:  Parts of Speech packets are due Monday.  For the rest of the week, students will be splitting into small groups and choosing a part of speech they will teach to the class.  They can design this lesson in any way they'd like.  In the past we've had raps, game shows, and many other creative lessons to learn the parts of speech.  We'll start presenting these lessons on Friday.  Spelling words this week focus on the endings: -tial, -cial, -cious, and -tious.  Pretest corrections and book page 196 (1-20) are due Wednesday.

Week 32 Spelling Words


Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Weekly Preview: 4/23-4/27/2012

I'm getting this out a little later than I'd like, but there are many great things happening in this last part of the school year.  Busy times!  Here's what's happening in room 101 this week:

6th GOAL:  Students are in the middle of their unit on consumption.  They're keeping daily consumption logs, and they have an oral history interview project due next Monday.  In class, they've been reporting on the secret lives and histories of everyday things we use every day, and they've been comparing consumption habits of people in other countries compared to ours.

7th GOAL:  Students are working hard on their independent research projects.  They're transferring the knowledge they've gained into a project to share with the class.  We'll start presenting these on Monday.

8th GOAL:  Students are working hard on their documentary films.  This week, they're finalizing scripts, getting scripts recorded, editing video, and finding pictures.  We have to be done with these movies by our big fundraising night on May 17!

7th Language Arts:  Students are working hard learning the 8 parts of speech with many in-class activities.  If all goes well with individual work, they'll be splitting up into groups to teach the class about a certain part of speech next week.  Spelling words this week focus on turning adjectives into adverbs by adding -ly or -ally.  Pretest corrections and book p. 190 (1-20) are due Wednesday.

Week 31 Spelling Words

Monday, April 16, 2012

Weekly Preview: 4/16-4/20, 2012

Spring has sprung! Here's what's happening in Room 101 this week:

Book Fair! All GOAL classes will be attending the Book Fair on Tuesday, along with having their regularly scheduled library day.

6th GOAL: Students are starting their "Stuff" unit on consumption. We'll be looking at consumption trends in our own lives and across the globe. On Monday and Wednesday, we'll be tracing our own stuff across the globe to find that stuff's path to us. Thursday and Friday, students will be analyzing one particular product to see its consumption history. Posters with data collected will be due at the end of the class on Friday.

7th GOAL: Students have this week to finish research for their independent projects. Next week, they will be working on the project made from this research.

8th GOAL: Students are continuing to work on their documentary films. This week, interviews should be completed, and students will also be working on research, scripts, and storyboards.

7th Language Arts: Students will be learning more about the 8 Parts of Speech this week. We'll be playing Preposition Ball, and students will be planning a way to teach the class about a certain Part of Speech. There will not be a spelling pretest this week because it's a review week. We'll have a Maintenance Test on Friday for weeks 25-29. Book pages 183 (1-20), 184 (1-20), and 185 (1-10) are due Wednesday.

Monday, April 2, 2012

Weekly Preview: 4/2-4/13, 2012

We're rested and relaxed after a great spring break... Here is what happened last week & what's coming up this week in room 101:

6th GOAL: Students have finished their daily literature circle discussions, and they have prepared their projects to show what they've learned. They could choose any format, so we have ideas for skits, news broadcasts, and journals. They will begin presenting projects on Monday, April 9, and presentations will go throughout the week. The projects need to show an overview of the book, deep thinking connections, and a highlight of the moral dilemma(s) in the story.

7th GOAL: Students are starting independent research projects this week. Last week, they chose topics, and this week, they'll begin their research. They can choose any topic that's an area of passion learning for them. They will be researching and becoming experts on their topics. They'll show what they've learned in a project to share with the class.

8th GOAL: Students are starting their documentary film projects. This year, we'll be focusing on the personal interview and using the personal interview to highlight a topic. Last week, they chose groups and topics. This week, they're arranging their interviews, writing interview questions, and doing preliminary research on their topics.

7th Language Arts: Students are busy working with the 8 parts of speech. Last week, we took the Parts of Speech Pretest, and we reviewed each part of speech in detail. This week, students will be making parts of speech flip booklets to become their study guides for the Parts of Speech test. We'll take the test several times before the ened of the school year. When students score 100%, they'll be added to the Parts of Speech Hall of Fame, and they won't have to take the test again. No one made the Hall of Fame from the pretest, so everyone has some studying to do! Spelling for week 29 focuses on the Latin forms: miss, manus, fluere, and animus. Pretest corrections and book p. 178 (1-20) are due Wednesday.

Week 29 Spelling Words

Monday, March 12, 2012

Weekly Preview: 3/12-3/16, 2012

This week is really going to give us a taste of spring with temperatures in the 70's. I hope it doesn't give us an unmanageable taste of spring fever as well! Here's room 101's week in preview:

6th GOAL: Students will be continuing literature circles. They seem to be enjoying the discussion with their groups. Remember, there is daily homework during literature circles. :)

7th GOAL: Projects are done, process papers and annotated bibliographies are handed in, and History Day is next week! This week, students will give each other mock interviews to prepare for judging, and they'll also show their projects to the class.

8th GOAL: Students are hard at work on their Images of Greatness display boards. These boards are due Friday, and also by Friday, I'd like to see their costumes (or a picture of their costume) so I know if anyone needs help before the big night next Thursday.

7th Language Arts: Students will be typing their epidemics research papers this week and having peer conferences. The final draft will be due next Wednesday. I've never seen some of the students in this class work harder than they have writing this paper. I'm excited to see the results! Spelling for week 26 focuses on Greek Forms "gram," "chron," "phon(e)," and "scope." Pretest corrections and book p. 160 are due Wednesday. The posttest will be Friday.

Week 26 Spelling words:

Monday, March 5, 2012

Weekly Preview: 3/5-3/9, 2012

The beginning of March has already brought a snowstorm with an early dismissal and 60 degree temperatures. I don't know what else is in store with the weather, but here is what's happening in room 101 this week!

6th GOAL: Students will begin literature circles. Their theme is Moral Dilemma, and we have groups reading the following books: Wish Me Luck by James Heneghan, Nothing But the Truth by Avi, The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins, and Holes by Louis Sachar. Students will meet each day for discussion and talk about the section they've read. They will bring their book and completed discussion sheet to class. After discussion, they will decide how many pages they will read for the next day, and then they'll have the rest of the period to read.

7th GOAL: Students are finishing up process papers and annotated bibliographies for History Day. The big day is approaching!

8th GOAL: Students should be done with Images of Greatness essays, timelines, and bio-riddles. This week, they'll start to work on their display boards. It's time for that artist to come out in everyone!

7th Language Arts: Students will be finishing up the epidemics research paper rough drafts this week. They'll finish the body on Wednesday, and write introductions and conclusions at the end of the week. Next week, we'll be ready to type! Spelling for Week 25 focuses on the prefixes -uni, -mono, -duo, and -bi. We'll actually take the pretest on Tuesday, and the corrections & book assignment (p. 154, 1-20) will be due on Wednesday. Posttest will be on Friday.

Week 25 Spelling Words

Monday, February 27, 2012

Weekly Preview: 2/27-3/2, 2012

Here's the scoop this week in room 101:

6th GOAL: Students will be finishing up the Great Ocean Rescue activity this week. We'll discuss the oceanography resources on the other side of the DVD, and then we'll be moving into literature circles. 6th grade literature circles will center around the theme of Moral Dilemma. This will be the only time in GOAL when students will have daily homework. They will participate in daily discussions with their group, and they will have a small sheet of 4 questions to prepare for that discussion.

7th GOAL: Students will be finishing up their projects for National History Day, and we'll be moving on to annotated bibliographies and process papers. The big day is approaching quickly, so we need to move on these written parts of the entries. Students doing website projects have an earlier deadline and must be done with everything by March 6, so time is of the essence.

8th GOAL: Students will be handing in Images of Greatness essays on Monday. The rest of the week will be spent completing timelines, creating bio-riddles, and finding quotations. All of these are due on Friday.

7th Language Arts: Students will continue working on their epidemics research papers this week. Toward the end of the week, we'll discuss introductions and conclusions and how to add them to the body of the paper. It's a maintenance test week for spelling this week, so students will not have a pretest on Monday. They'll be reviewing weeks 19-23, and completing book pages 147 (1-20), 148 (1-20), and 149 (1-10) which will be due on Wednesday. On Friday, we'll take the maintenance test.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Weekly Preview: 2/20-2/23/2012

It's Parent/Teacher Conference week! Don't forget about this fantastic opportunity to touch base with teachers about how things are going in class. Conferences will be held in the Fairfield Middle School Commons on Tuesday and Thursday (February 21 & 23) from 4:00-7:30. There will be an early dismissal on both Tuesday and Thursday for students and no school Friday.

Here's what's happening in room 101 this week:

6th GOAL: Students are still working on the Great Ocean Rescue activity. They finished one mission last week and still have three to go.

7th GOAL: Students are working hard on their History Day projects. Our goal is to have these completed by Wednesday of this week so we can go on to working on process papers and annotated bibliographies. If students need to come in before school to work, they just need to let me know the day before so I'm sure to be here.

8th GOAL: Monday and Tuesday will be the last research days for Images of Greatness. Then, students will work on their essays which are due next Monday, February 27.

7th Language Arts: We extended the deadline, so Design-An-Ad papers will be due at the end of class on Monday. For the rest of the week, we'll be working on sharing Writer's Workshop stories and starting our epidemics research papers. Students have been working in social studies and science classes to get all the facts needed for this paper. Spelling for Week 23 focuses on different suffixes. Pretest corrections and book page 142 are due on Wednesday. The posttest will be on Thursday, since there is no school Friday.

Week 23 Spelling Words

Monday, February 13, 2012

Weekly Preview: 2/13-2/17, 2012

Happy Valentine's Week, everyone! Hope you have a little love in your heart as you jump into this week. Here's what's happening in room 101:

6th GOAL: Students are starting their Great Ocean Rescue missions. They're learning about oceanography, and they're learning to defend their positions. They're also learning to compare individual observations to make the best group decision.

7th GOAL: Students are working hard on their projects for National History Day. We'd like all projects to be finished by the end of the day on Wednesday, February 22.

8th GOAL: Students are researching their Image of Greatness. It promises to be a great show on March 22, full of authors, scientists, philosophers, athletes, musicians, and more! We'll be in the library researching all this week. Students have detailed project timelines, and they received two copies of this (one for school and one for home).

7th Language Arts: We've wrapped up Writer's Workshop (students can still get pieces in if needed... late is better than not at all!), and we'll be working on the annual Design-An-Ad contest for the Fairfield Ledger. Ads will be due Friday. Spelling this week focuses on frequently misspelled words... always a challenging list! Pretest corrections and p. 136 (1-20) are due on Wednesday.

Week 22 Spelling Words

Monday, February 6, 2012

Weekly Preview: 2/6-2/10, 2012

Where has this year gone? We're at the 3-week reporting period for the 3rd quarter already! Check that portal, and make sure you (or your child) is caught up. Here's what is happening in room 101 this week:

6th GOAL: Students are finishing up with Independent Research Project presentations. We've had many amazing projects so far! When we're done, we'll begin the 6th grade oceanography unit extension activity called The Great Ocean Rescue. Teams of students will be solving mysteries based on video and written information. They'll get to debate their findings, and the class will try to find the correct answer while trying to spend the least amount of imaginary money possible for each mission.

7th GOAL: Students are moving out of the research phase of National History Day competition and into the project phase. We have exhibits, documentaries, websites, and performances, so every project will be branching off into its own territory. We'll have a little over 2 weeks to complete these projects, so some students will need to work at home to finish by the deadline.

8th GOAL: Students are finishing their Independent Research Project presentations this week and moving into the unit called Images of Greatness. Students will choose a person who exemplifies the concept of greatness to them. We'll be researching in the library for two weeks, and we'll be using that new knowledge in many ways in the next 6 weeks. Stay tuned for more details.

7th Language Arts: This is our last week of Writer's Workshop. All final drafts are due on Friday, February 10. To make the deadline, some students will need to be typing and/or conferencing at home with their writing. Spelling Week 21 words are all words that come from names or places. Pretest corrections and book p. 130 (1-20) are due on Wednesday.

Week 21 Spelling Words

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Weekly Preview: 1/30-2/3, 2012

58 degrees today? Where is our winter? Get out there and enjoy it, and when you come back in, check out what is happening in room 101 this week:

6th & 8th Grade GOAL: This week, students are presenting their independent research projects. I can't wait to see the fruits of their labors!

7th Grade GOAL: This week is our last for library research for National History Day. Students are encouraged to work outside of school on this project!

7th Grade Language Arts: Students are continuing work with Writer's Workshop this week. Pen pal letters are due for teacher edit this Friday, February 3, and all pieces are due in final draft form on February 10. Spelling for week 20 focuses on the assimilated prefix -ad. Pretest corrections and page 124 (1-20) are due on Wednesday. The posttest will be on Friday.

Week 20 Spelling Words

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Weekly Preview: 1/23-1/27, 2012

Sickly slacker teacher apologizes for the lateness of this weekly preview. I blame the pneumonia! Sorry for the delay. Here's what's happening in room 101 this week:

6th & 8th GOAL: Students are working on their projects that will show all the fantastic knowledge they've gained about their independent research topics. We hope to start presenting on Monday, January 30.

7th GOAL: Students are beginning their History Day research. We have the library for 2 weeks, so we have to use every second we have to get that research done. Students, of course, can work outside of class. I know that their families will be supportive and helpful on our learning adventure.

7th Language Arts: Students are working hard on Writer's Workshop pieces. Because of computer lab issues, I'm extending the deadlines a bit. Pieces will now be due for teacher edit on 1/27. Pen pal letters are due on 2/3. All final drafts of every piece will be due on 2/10. Hopefully these accommodations will help the students meet the deadlines with a little less panic. Spelling words for week 19 focus on plural nouns, and book page 118 will be due Wednesday along with pretest corrections.

Week 19 Spelling Words

Monday, January 16, 2012

Weekly Preview: 1/17-1/20, 2012

I hope all you students enjoyed your day off on Monday. I got a lot done today during our teacher work day, but there is ALWAYS more left on the "to do" list!

Here's what's happening in room 101 this week:

6th & 8th GOAL: Students will be continuing (and finishing) research for independent research projects. Friday is our last day in the library!

7th GOAL: Students will begin working on projects for National History Day competition in March. Our goal is to have topics finalized this week and tons of research done!

7th Language Arts: Students will have a maintenance test for spelling (weeks 13-17) this week, so there will be no pretest on Tuesday. Spelling book assignment pp. 111 (1-20), 112 (1-20), and 113 (1-20) will be due Wednesday with the actual maintenance test on Friday. For the rest of the week, students will be working on Writer's Workshop. Students are all in various stages of the writing process, working toward the teacher edit deadline of 1/24 and the final draft deadline of 2/3.

Monday, January 9, 2012

Weekly Preview: 1/9-1/13

Here's what's happening in room 101 this week:

6th GOAL & 8th GOAL: These classes will be in the library this week, becoming experts on the topics they've chosen for their Independent Research Projects. It will be a great unit with a wide range of topics... everything from the stock market to poison dart frogs, from the abortion controversy to constellations... everything from the Eiffel Tower to survival skills. These projects are always a highlight of my year. I love experiencing the results when kids are finding their learning passion!

7th GOAL: Students will be continuing their unit on consumer testing, moving from paper towels to bubble gum. They're designing their own experiments, collecting data, and graphing the results.

7th Language Arts: Students will be working on Writer's Workshop this week. On Tuesday and Thursday, we'll be in the classroom working on rough drafts, revisions, and peer conferencing. On Wednesday and Friday, we'll be in the lab typing. The grading scale for Writer's Workshop is as follows:
4+ final draft pages (must include 3rd pen pal letter) = A
3-4 final draft pages (must include 3rd pen pal letter) = B
1-3 final draft pages (must include 3rd pen pal letter) = C
1 page or less of final draft (must include 3rd pen pal letter) = D

The deadlines for Writer's Workshop are:
January 24: Teacher Edit box closes... no new pieces will be accepted for teacher edit after this date
February 3: Final Draft deadline... any writing that students want to count for their Writer's Workshop grade must be finished by this time

For spelling this week, we'll be focusing on words that come from Spanish. On Monday, we'll take the pretest and work on the book assignment. Pretest corrections and p. 106 (1-20) are due Wednesday. On Thursday, we'll review the words and take the posttest.

Week 17 Spelling Words

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Weekly Preview: 1/3-1/6, 2011

Happy New Year! I hope everyone had a great holiday. I'm rested, rejuvenated, and ready to tackle the last half of the school year! Here's what is happening in room 101 this week:

6th GOAL & 8th GOAL: These classes are starting their independent research projects. The theme for this unit is "Find Your Passion!" Each student will have 2 weeks of research on a topic of their choice. Independent projects are the chance for students to become the expert on a topic of their learning passion. They will have 2 full weeks to research, another week to work on an action projects showing what they've learned, and a week to present and hear the research of their classmates.

7th GOAL: Before we begin the intense experience of preparing for National History Day, students will be spending 2 weeks in the world of consumer product testing. This week, we'll develop tests to determine which paper towel is best. Next week, we'll develop tests to determine the best bubble gum.

7th Language Arts: We have begun Writer's Workshop. During the month of January and into part of February, students will be writing a piece of their own choosing, both topic and format. They will also include another pen pal letter in their total volume of writing for Writer's Workshop. Aside from spelling, each week will be filled with the writing process and should be a very productive time. This week's spelling list focuses around words with pronunciations that change depending on the suffix added. Spelling p. 99 was due today. Also, please note that because of typing lab restrictions, we will be taking spelling tests on Thursdays during Writer's Workshop times.

Week 16 Spelling Words