8th Grade ELA
DEAR Time: Drop Everything and Read
Website: arbookfind.com - useful to check the reading level of a book a student may want to read.
Lit. Circles: Mondays and Thursdays

******Reminder: All children must have read 2 books (besides  their Lit. Circles reading) for each trimester. They have 15 minutes after lunch every day to work on this.

5/23 Editing/proofreading practice.
Lit. Circles: Cycle 6, session 7 - worked on author study posters for group projects. One more working period after today (Thursday.)

5/19 We celebrated Helen's birthday. 

Continued work on our thank you cards to our Confirmation sponsors.

5/18 Lit. Circles: Cycle 6, session 6 - last group discussions. All groups have now finished their books. Most children took the AR tests on their books and then started planning out their author-study posters.
"Roll of Thunder" group continued work on their author study poster, which they began during session 5.

5/17 Editing practice for subject/verb agreement problems.
Reviewed synonym, antonyms and homophones.
Introduced homographs (words that look the same but have 2 pronunciations and 2 meanings. Example: refuse (say no) and refuse (garbage)
Short lesson because different groups (entire class, volleyball team, violin players, band, etc. kept getting called down to the office to have their pictures taken.

5/16 No class - rehearsal for the music assembly tonight.

5/15 Editing/proofreading practice
Lit. Circles: Cycle 6, session 5 - group discussions, sharing with class, planning for session 6 on Thursday. "Roll of Thunder" group began work on their author study poster.
Tried on graduation gowns. All were OK.

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5/12 No class - 8th grade participated in the LI Shakespeare Festival.

5/11  Lit. Circles: Cycle 6, session 4 - group discussions, sharing with class, planning for session 5 on Tuesday. "Roll of Thunder" group finished their book and took the AR tests.

5/10 No regular lesson - Shakespeare practice.

5/9 Editing/proofreading practice
No regular lesson - Shakespeare practice.

5/8 
 Lit. Circles: Cycle 6, session 3 - group discussions, sharing with class, planning for session 4 on Thursday.
DEAR Time.
Introduced the final group project for all groups: an author study - showed the children 5 samples of author study posters, some commercially produced and others made by former students.
Gave out the guidelines and rubric for the poster and went over them.

5/5 Lit. Circles: Cycle 6, session 2 - group discussions, sharing with class, planning for session 3 on Monday.
DEAR Time.

5/4 Jessica presented her "Me in a Bag"
Lit. Circles: The children who read "Night" presented their painting design for a new cover for the book, discussed it and rated the book.
Vocabulary/spelling assignment

5/2 8th Grade Graduation Trip to NYC.

5/1 Editing/proofreading practice.
Lit. Circles: Cycle 6, session 1 - group discussions, sharing with class, planning for session 2 on Thursday.
DEAR Time.

4/28 Lit. Circles cycle 5 group project presentation by the children who read "To Kill a Mockingbird" - they acted out important scenes from the book.
I read the class another "Where I'm From" poem as a model of poems we will be working on next week.

4/27 Lit. Circles cycle 5 group project presentation by the children who read "The One and Only Ivan": they acted out scenes from "Animal Planet News."
I read the class a "Where I'm From" poem as a model of poems we will be working on next week.
APRIL: spelling/vocabulary worksheet

4/26 We celebrated completing our donut jigsaw puzzle by enjoying some real donuts.
Poetry: Two poems about April rain by Langston Hughes: compared the 2 poems to identify 6 things the poems have in common.
"In Time of Silver Rain" - identified rhyme (free verse), theme, mood, repetition.
To be continued.

4/25 Lit. Circles: Cycle 6 - the last cycle. The children formed groups, chose their books, set up their notebooks, filled out their grading sheets and began reading. First group discussion is next Monday, May 1st.

4/24 Lit. Circles: Cycle 5, Session 8 - all groups are working on their group project presentations which are due starting April 27th.

.4/13 - 4/21 Easter Vacation

4/12 No class due to half day schedule.

4/11 No class - Shakespeare workshop with Mrs. Schmid

4/10 Editing/proofreading practice.
Lit. Circles: Cycle 5, Session 7 - all groups are now working on their group project presentations which are due starting April 27th.

 4/7 Children purchasing books visited the book fair.
We worked on personification poem illustrations, Gifts of the Holy Spirit posters, and "Who Is This Saint?" assignment while waiting for them to return.
Last group read their camel report and we critiqued their results.

4/6 Lit. Circles: Cycle 5, Session 6 - all groups are now done with their books and have taken the AR tests for the books. They are now working on their group project presentations which will be presented starting on April 27.

4/5 Fourth group read their camel report aloud.
Groups acted out their dramatizations of the personification poems we have been studying.
Each person was assigned one object from the poems (toaster, train, steam shovel, hose) and had to draw it as a living creature.

4/4 Third group read their camel report aloud.
Personification in poetry continued: Read 5 short poems and examined each for personification, metaphor, alliteration, rhyme scheme/free verse.
In groups, each poem was prepared as a dramatic presentation. They will be shared tomorrow.

4/3 Proofreading/editing practice
Literature Circles: Cycle 5, Session 5 - two groups (Esperanza Rising and To Kill a Mockingbird) discussed their last reading and then took the AR tests on their books.
The other two groups (Night and The One and Only Ivan) discussed what their group project would be and got down to work.

3/31 First two groups read their camel essays aloud.
Personification: we completed 8 sentences by personifying the noun in italics.
Looked at 5 poems that personify objects and highlighted the personification in each.

3/30 Literature Circles: Cycle 5, Session 4: excellent, exciting group discussions; sharing with the class; planning for Session 5 on Monday.
These children are really into their books and have so much to say.
Two groups finished their books and took the AR tests on the reading.
DEAR Time

3/29 Presented last of the personification dialogs.
Topic sentences and details: we looked at a list of 20 details (supporting sentences) and decided which of 3 topic sentences each supported it.
Then we wrote an essay titled "Camel Facts" using the 3 topic sentences and all of the supporting details.

3/28 No class - Shakespeare workshop with Mrs. Schmidt

3/27 Editing/proofreading practice.
Literature Circles: Cycle 5, Session 3: excellent, lively group discussions; sharing with the class; planning for Session 4 on Thursday.
DEAR Time
Next personification dialog was presented.

3/24 Diocesan teacher workshops - no school


3/23 Literature Circles: Cycle 5, Session 2: group discussions, sharing with the class, planning for Session 3 on Monday.
DEAR Time.
Presented next 3 personification dialogs.

3/22 Personification dialog presented by Jordan, Joyce and Maliek.
Poetry: Reviewed yesterday's poem.
New poem: "Wind Song" - discussed title; stanzas; unusual format; mood and the words the poet chose to create the mood; rhyme pattern; repetition; Figures of Speech (alliteration, personification, onomatopoeia); vocabulary.
Broke the class into 3 groups and each was assigned one of the poems to present as a dramatic reading.
Then each group presented its assigned poem and all three were EXCELLENT.

3/21 First two pairs performed their personification 
dialog presentations.
Poetry: "Windy Nights" - stanzas; mood; Figures of Speech (alliteration and personification); rhyme pattern; unusual line arrangement.

3/20 Literature Circles: Cycle 5, Session 1: group discussions, sharing with the class, planning for Session 2 on Thursday.
DEAR Time.


3/17 Finish writing personification dialogs.
Practice acting them out. Presentations will start Monday.
Worked on 2 MARCH vocabulary/spelling assignments.

3/16 Lit. Circles group project presentation by the children who read "The Outsiders" - a movie of key scenes and an original song about the death of Johnny.
Gave out books and grading sheets for Cycle 5.
Children met and chose pages to read for Session 1 on March 20. Set up notebooks and grading sheets.
Worked on personification dialogs.

3/15 Discussed the Ides of March and the death of Julius Caesar.
Lit. Circles group project presentation by the children who read "Holes" - they wrote a new ending for the book.
Presentation also by the children who read "Night"
Worked on personification dialogs.

3/14.

3/13 The children who read "The Secret Life of Bees" showed their excellent video of scenes from the book and discussed their favorite characters and rated the book - 5s right across the board.
Worked on their personification dialogs with their partners.

3/10 Shared the last of the parodies of former students.
Formed Lit. Circles groups for Cycle 5 and chose books.
Reviewed personification and began writing personification dialogs with partners.

3/9 Some children printed their parodies.
Read the class some parodies from previous classes.
Lit. Circles: Cycle 4, Session 8 - last period to work on group projects which will be presented starting Monday.

3/8 Computer room - we typed our Robert Frost parodies.
Those finished worked on either of 2 vocabulary/spelling assignments.

3/7 Reviewing the movie they just completed for their Lit. Circles project on "The Secret Life of Bees"
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3/7 No regular class - extended Shakespeare workshop with Mrs. Schmidt

3/6 Editing/proofreading practice.
Literature Circles: Cycle 4, Session 7: all groups continued to work on their group projects which are due on March 13th. 


3/3 We sang "Stopping by Woods"
Last children recited it from memory.
Finished the 4th stanza of our parodies.
Vocab./spelling: WIND puzzle

3/2 Literature Circles: Cycle 4, Session 6: all groups continued to work on their group projects which are due on March 13th.

3/1 Shared several EXCELLENT reading logs based on "The Secret Life of Bees"
Played a recording of "Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening" read by Robert Frost himself.
We practiced singing the poem.
Next 3 children recited it aloud. Four to go.
Read some parodies of the poem from previous classes.
Children worked on their parodies. Stanza 3 due tomorrow.

2/28 No regular class - extended Shakespeare workshop with Mrs. Schmidt

2/27 Proofreading/editing practice
Lit. Circles: Cycle 4, Session 5 - all groups are now working on their group projects.
These will be presented starting March 13th.

2/20 to 2/24 Winter Vacation


2/17 Poetry: "Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening"
We sang the poem to "When the Saints Go Marching In"
Reviewed the definition of parody.
Next group of children recited the poem from memory.
Worked on stanza 2 of our parodies.

2/16 Literature Circles: Cycle 4, Session 4 - group discussions and sharing with the class. All groups have finished their books. Children began to take the AR tests on their books and discussed their group projects. Next session, Monday, Feb. 27.
DEAR Time

2/15 Poetry: "Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening"
Listened to "When the Saints Go Marching In" to refresh the tune in our minds.
Next group of children recited/sang the poem from memory.
Reviewed definition of parody.
Read the children sample parodies from previous classes.
Turned in first stanza of the parodies we wrote yesterday.
Spelling/vocabulary crossword riddle.

2/14 Poetry: "Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening"
First group of children recited poem from memory.
Reviewed definition of parody.
Read the children sample parodies from previous classes.
They began work on their parodies.
First stanza due tomorrow.

2/13 Lit. Circles: Cycle 4, session 3 (postponed from Thursday) - we changed all the future dates for Cycle 4 to reflect the missed session last Thursday.
Group discussions (excellent), sharing with class, planning for session 4 on Thursday.
Memorize Robert Frost poem for tomorrow.

2/9 and 2/10 Snow days - no school
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2/7 Poetry: we continued exploring the life of poet Robert Frost and linking it to his most famous poem "Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening"
Looked at cartoons, articles and photos that mention or quote from the poem.
Read an illustrated version of the poem.
Examined a book of photos of the places he wrote about.
Sang the poem to the tune of "When the Saints Go Marching In"
HW: must learn the poem by heart by next Monday.
Worked on vocabulary assignment.

2/6 Proofreading/editing practice
Literature Circles: Cycle 4, Session 2 - group discussions, sharing with the class - which went wonderfully well - some excellent connections were made between books, planning for session 3 on Feb. 9th.
DEAR Time

2/3 Continued work on poem "Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening" by Robert Frost - finished up Figures of Speech (metaphor, personification and alliteration), symbolism, references to the poem in novel and other poems, newspaper references, theme.

2/2 Literature Circles: Cycle 4, Session 1 - group discussions (lively, animated, enthusiastic - these children really know how to discuss literature), sharing with the class, planning for session 2 on Feb. 6th.
DEAR Time
Bring a donation of soup and wear favorite team shirts tomorrow.
Volleyball game: 8th grade vs. Faculty

2/1 Poetry: reviewed what we learned last week about Robert Frost.
Gave class copies of his poem "Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening"
Examined poem for: stanzas, mood, rhyme pattern, figures of speech, setting. To be continued.

1/31 Lit. Circles: group presentation by the children who read "The Tale of Despereaux" - they created two original songs based on 2 different characters in the book and performed them to musical accompaniment.
Then they performed again for the 7th grade.
We shared cookies provided by Sr. Susan.
Worked on on-going spelling/vocabulary assignments.

1/30 Editing/proofreading practice
Lit. Circles: group presentation by the children who read "Kira Kira" - a poster of important events.
Gave out the books for Lit. Circles Cycle 4 which we will begin on Feb. 2nd.
Children met in groups to set up their notebooks for Cycle 4. They also got the new grading sheets and filled them out. Then they decided on the pages they would read for the first session.

1/27 Lit. Circles: group presentation by the children who read "The Watsons Go to Birmingham" - they created a poster and written description of important scenes.
Vocabulary/spelling assignments
Yearbook work

1/26 Lit. Circles: group presentation by the children who read "The Outsiders" - they did a film of the important scenes from the book.
Spelling/vocabulary: Snowflake Crossword

1/25 Poetry: "Last Word of a Bluebird as Told to a Child" by Robert Frost
Discussed poet and his farm/country background.
Narrative poem (tells a story); unusual format (one long stanza); time (late autumn); characters; person and point of view; rhyme scheme (couplets and 1 triplet); figures of speech (personification).

1/24 Yearbook work and vocabulary/spelling: Snowflake Crossword

1/23 Editing/proofreading practice
 Lit. Circles: Cycle 3, session 8 - since all groups have finished their books, everyone was hard at work on their group project presentations. These are due on January 26.

1/20 Yearbook work
Vocabulary/Spelling: Snowflake Crossword

1/19 Lit. Circles: Cycle 3, session 7 - since all groups have finished their books, everyone was hard at work on their group project presentations. These are due on January 26.

1/18 Catholic Schools Week project: "Kindness Warms the Heart"
Yearbook project: personality squares

1/17 Editing/proofreading practice.
Catholic Schools Week projects - we finished the "Catholic Schools Light the Way" art and began working on "Kindness Warms the Heart" mittens.

1/16 No school - celebration of the birthday of 
Dr. Martin Luther King
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1/13 Computer room: we typed all the corrections into our personification essays. Some children read theirs aloud to the class

1/12 Lit. Circles: Cycle 3, session 6 - since all groups have finished their books, everyone was hard at work on their group project presentations. These are due on January 26.

1/11 Worked on yearbook page: "Remember when..."
Vocabulary/spelling: Winter Crossword - began work.

1/10 Worked on the yearbook.
Discussed ode: a poem that expresses noble feelings.
Broke the class into 3 groups and gave the children copies of the poem: "I Am a Man: Ode to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr."
Children split up the parts and practiced presenting as a Dramatic Reading.

1/9 Shared some excellent reading logs with the class.
Corrected 2 vocab. assignments done last week while I was away at a funeral.
Lit. Circles: all groups have finished their books so the children continued to take their AR tests and began to plan/work on their group projects, which are due Jan. 26th.

1/6 Poetry for the Feast of Epiphany - "A Christmas Carol" by Harry Behn: looked up definition of "carol" and the difference between Epiphany and epiphany; mood; rhyme scheme; figures of speech (simile, alliteration, personification); word reversal; repetition.  

1/5 Lit. Circles: Cycle 3, session 4 - group discussions, sharing with the class, planning for session 5 on Monday. All groups finished their books, so the next session will be project time.
The children began to take the AR tests on their books.
DEAR Time
4 page packet (from yesterday) due tomorrow.

1/4 Mrs. Kennedy was the substitute since I was at a funeral.
Skills packet:
Vocabulary - substituting synonyms (adjectives)
Vocabulary - recognizing degrees of meaning in nouns
Vocabulary - recognizing degrees of meaning in adjectives
Reading - organizing ideas (time sequence and main idea)

1/3 Editing/proofreading practice.
Discussed the yearbook which we will begin working on this week.
Spelling/vocabulary: OLD/NEW YEAR

12/23-1/2 

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12/21 We cleaned out our lockers and our desks in order to make a fresh start in the New Year.
Worked on Christmas Tree Crossword and Santa's Christmas List - both spelling/vocabulary assignments. Must be finished over vacation.

12/20 School Mass - no ELA class


12/19 Lit. Circles: Cycle 3, session 3 -  very animated group discussions. All the groups are thoroughly enjoying their books.
Sharing with class.
Planning for Session 4 on January 5th.
DEAR Time

12/16 Read the class a short story "The Christmas Day Kitten" by British writer/veterinarian James Herriot.
Continued work on Christmas cards for our Church Buddies. Must be finished for HW.

12/15  Lit. Circles: Cycle 3, session 2 -  lively group discussions. Sharing with class. Planning for Session 3 on Monday.
Period cut short by the children receiving the sacrament of Reconciliation in the church.

12/14 Computer room - we typed our personification essays and added computer artwork to illustrate.

12/13 Read aloud the book "The Beautiful Christmas Tree" by Charlotte Zolotow.
Personification - 2nd assignment. The children have to write a first person story or poem from the point of view of a suggested object/animal or one of their own choice. Due tomorrow.

12/12 Lit. Circles: Cycle 3, session 1 - very lively group discussions. All groups seem to love their new books. Sharing with class. Planning for Session 2 on Thursday.
DEAR Time

12/9 Finished editing and typing poems from first period (religion.)
Spell/vocab/research assignments: Christmas Crossword Puzzle and Santa's Christmas List

12/8 No school - the Feast of the Immaculate Conception


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12/7 Read aloud the remaining personification essays.
Continued to work on first person shepherd poems.
Christmas Tree crossword puzzle.

12/6 Discussed the lives of shepherds in Biblical times (very difficult.)
Read from Charles Dickens's "Life of Jesus Christ" about the shepherds to were greeted by the angels.
Read Luke 2:8-20 about the shepherds and the angels.
Listened to the same section being read by a famous TV actor.
Tread the class a poem called "The Sheep Herd" by Sister Mariella.
Class began writing their own poems called "I Am a Shepherd and I Was There" - an imaginary first person account of that day.
Lit. Circles: Cycle 3 - Last group presented their project on Mockingjay. They did a film of eulogies for 2 separate characters.

12/5 Lit. Circles group presentation by the children who read "The Watsons Go to Birmingham" - they watched the film and presented their Venn Diagram poster comparing and contrasting the book and the movie.
Gave out books and grading sheets for Cycle 3 which starts on Dec. 12th. Then we set up our notebooks for Session 1.
Read aloud the next 5 personification essays.
Quiet reading: we started our books for Cycle 3.
Vocab/spelling: Ho Ho Ho - all words start with those letters

12/2 Lit. Circles group presentation by the children who read "The One and Only Ivan."
Read aloud the next five personification essays.
Vocabulary/spelling assignment: RED

12/1 Lit. Circles group presentation by the children who read "Chomp." They made a comic book version of the story as well as a wonderful film.
Personification essays: first 3 children read theirs aloud.
Remaining essays are due tomorrow.
Reviewed the def. of adjectives. Corrected assignment: Degrees of Meaning in Adjectives.

11/30 
Editing/proofreading practice
Personification: definition, examples where we find it (comics, ads, nursery rhymes, etc.)
Constructed sentences using personification.
Assignment: write a short story as a soccer ball, ice-cream cone or sneaker.
Finish for HW. Due Friday.
 
11/29 Editing/proofreading practice
Poetry: Compare/contrast two poems: "November Night" and "Fall Wind"
Examined mood, rhyme (free verse/couplets), figures of speech (simile and personification), ways they should be read (slow and quiet/loud and fast.
Constructed a Venn Diagram with the above information.

11/28 Editing/proofreading practice
Lit. Circles: Cycle 2, session 8 - all groups worked on their group projects which will be presented starting Dec. 2nd.

11/24-11/25 Thanksgiving break

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11/23 Finished reciting "Thanksgiving Day"
Finished "Sacraments of Initiation" assignment because we had no Rel. class today.
Vocabulary: Degrees of Meaning in Adjectives
Finish for HW

11/22 Yard time because the Thanksgiving Feast extended through recess.
Recited poem "Thanksgiving Day" individually.
Worked on religion assignment: Sacraments of Initiation

11/21 Recited poem "Thanksgiving Day" with gestures
Editing/proofreading practice
Lit. Circles: Cycle 2, session 7 - all groups are working on their group projects which are due Dec. 1st.

11/18 No School - Teachers" Professional Day Conference

"Over the river and through the woods to Grandfather's house we go..."
"Over the river..."

11/17 
Lit. Circles: Cycle 2, Session 6 - Children reading "Mockingjay" met for their final group discussion. They took the AC tests on their book and then met briefly to discuss their group project choice.
The other 3 groups have finished their books and continued to work on their group projects which are due on December 1.

11/16 We watched movie "A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving" because it ends with Charlie and friends reciting the poem we have been studying: "Thanksgiving Day"
Started to form Lit. Circle groups for Cycle 3.
Worked on Thanksgiving "EAT" vocabulary/spelling puzzles.

11/15 Poetry: "Thanksgiving Day" - continued from last week. Reviewed mood, rhyme scheme, figures of speech, setting (time and place).
Looked for repetition; shared another illustrated version of the poem; showed cartoons, news articles and ads that mention lines from the poem.
HW: children must memorize the poem by Monday.

11/14 
Lit. Circles: Cycle 2, Session 5 - Children reading "Mockingjay" met for their group discussion, sharing with class, and planning for Session 6 on Thursday.
The other 3 groups have finished their books and taken their AR tests. They began work on their group projects which are due on December 1.

11/10 Lit. Circles: Cycle 2, Session 4 - group discussions, sharing with class, planning for Session 5 on Monday.
3 groups out of 4 have finished their books, which they all loved. The groups that finished took the AR  tests on their books.

11/9 Poem: "Thanksgiving Day" - stanzas, mood, rhyme scheme, rhythm, Figures of Speech (personification, onomatopoeia, simile), Setting (time and place).
Listened to two different recordings of the poem and sang along to "feel" the rhythm.
Reviewed the 8 things poems and songs have in common learned last year.
 
11/8 Proofreading/editing practice
Worked on "I Am Thankful for..." poems.

Happy Birthday
 
11/7 Lit. Circles: Cycle 2, Session 3 - group discussions (which were excellent today), sharing with class (see photo gallery), planning for Session 4 on Thursday.
DEAR Time

nnn

11/4 Rewrote the paragraph done on the Co-ops about a time in American history the student would like to have experienced.
Worked on vocab/spelling assignment "In the Bag" - finish for HW
Began Thanksgiving spell/vocab assignment.

11/3 Lit. Circles: Cycle 2, Session 2 - group discussions

Group reports to the class
Planning for Session 3 on Nov. 7th.
DEAR Time

11/2 Editing/proofreading practice.
Measured children for their gowns (height only.) They need to get their weight tonight.
Vocabulary/spelling: "In the Bag" - finished up. If not, do for HW.

11/1 No school - All Saints Day


10/31 Halloween parade/party - no regular class

10/28 Field Trip to Sunken Meadow - see pictures in 8th grade photo gallery.

10/27 Lit. Circles: Cycle 2, Session 1 - group discussions
Group reports to the class
Planning for Session 2 on Nov. 3
DEAR Time

10/26 Editing/proofreading practice.
Co-op timed practice of the writing/copying section of the 2009 test.
Vocabulary/spelling: "It's in the Bag"

10/25 Lit. Circles: group project by the children who read "The Great Gilly Hopkins" - they performed a "lost scene" from the book.
Co-op practice using the 2009 test.

10/24 Editing/proofreading practice.
Gave out Lit. Circles books for Cycle 2 and the grading sheets which the children filled out.
They met in their new groups to choose pages to read for Thursday and to set up their notebooks.
Co-op practice: We used the 2009 exam to do the reading comprehension section as a timed exercise - 35 minutes for 40 multiple choice questions.

 10/21 Lit. Circles: group project by the children who read "Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone" - they did a TV interview with Harry, Ron and Hermione.
Co-op practice: a persuasive paragraph on why the reader should visit a certain place, as determined by the student.
Worked on Halloween "How to..." projects.

10/20 Class picture was taken.
Lit. Circles group project for Cycle 1 presented by the children who read "Catching Fire"
Co-op Test 2010 - we corrected the spelling and vocab. from yesterday.

10/19 Editing/proofreading practice.
Co-op Test 2010: reading comprehension practice, spelling, vocabulary, copy work (poem)
Finish for HW if not done.
Work on Halloween "How to..." projects.

10/18 Editing/proofreading practice.
Returned Co-op paragraphs and copy work from last test and went over the most common errors.
Worked on Halloween "How to..." projects.

10/17 
Lit. Circles:  Cycle 1, session 8 - all groups are now working on their project presentations which are due on October 20th.

10/14 Proofreading/editing practice
Co-op book 2011 - we did the copy work practice and the paragraph writing.
Worked on our Halloween "How to..." projects.

10/13 Lit. Circles:  Cycle 1, session 7 - all groups are now working on their project presentations which are due on October 20th.
We formed new groups and chose books for Cycle 2.

10/12 Proofreading/editing practice
Corrected spelling and vocabulary from 2012 Co-op test done earlier last week.
Reading comprehension from the 2011 exam: poetry and informative article.
Worked on Halloween "How to..." projects.

10/11 Proofreading/editing practice
No regular lesson - class went to Spanish so I could take the 7th grade to church to practice for their class mass.

10/10 No school - national holiday

 
10/7 Copied corrected "How to..." projects on good paper.
Co-op practice 2012 books: reading comprehension
Spelling #1-5, vocab.#31-35 and paragraph writing: what makes a good friend.
Finish for HW.

10/6  Lit. Circles:  Cycle 1, session 6 - last group will finish up their final book discussion and then take the AR tests on their books. The other 3 groups will work on their projects which are due on October 20.
Co-op practice: copy work - poem

10/5 Proofreading/editing practice
Shared some excellent reading logs to serve as models and inspiration.
Returned Co-op paragraphs from last week - discussed strengths and weaknesses. Read some aloud.
Co-op book from 2012: We did the Sentence Sense section and reading comprehension. 

10/4 Proofreading/editing practice
Discussed situations when we need directions (driving, cooking, assembling something, etc.)
Discussed the characteristics of good directions (brief, clear, organized, illustrations, etc.)
Looked at the directions to build a small balloon powered car)
Chose one of the following and wrote a set of directions:  How to comb a werewolf's hair, How to ride a broom, How to dance with a skeleton, or How to wrap mummy.
Finish for HW.
Worked on OCTOBER spelling/vocabulary assignment.

10/3 Lit. Circles:  Cycle 1, session 5 - group discussions, choosing and beginning work on projects for the groups that have finished their books, AR Tests.

9/30 Co-op Book 2013: reading comprehension (section from a novel by de Maupassant), corrected vocab. and spelling sections done yesterday.
Writing: Describe a family celebration that has special meaning to you.
October spelling/vocabulary search - begun

9/29 Lit. Circles: Cycle 1, session 4 - group discussions, sharing with the class, planning for session 3 on Monday.
Gave out list of group projects to be taped in Lit. Circle notebook since some groups have finished their reading and are beginning to plan their presentations.
DEAR Time

9/28 Co-op Practice 2013 exam: Copy work (poem), reading comprehension p.4, spelling p. 12 #1-10, vocabulary p. 13 #31-40.
Finish for HW.

9/27 Editing/proofreading practice
Discussed the qualities of a good reading log.
Gave out the 2013 Co-op books. We did 2 reading comprehension sections, the second one a poem.

9/26 Editing/proofreading practice
Returned Co-op practice paragraphs on someone we would like to spend a day with. Read several aloud as examples of fulfilling all the requirements of the task.
Lit. Circles: Cycle 1, session 3: group discussions, sharing with the class, planning for session 4 on Thursday.
DEAR Time

9/22 Literature Circles: Cycle 1, session 2 - group discussions, sharing with the class, planning for session 3 on Monday.
DEAR Time

9/21 Finished the Sentence Sense section of the 2014 Co-op book we started yesterday.
Worked on Reading Comprehension section: understanding the poem "Travel" by Edna St. Vincent Millay.
Copy Work - Copy in script and ink the excerpt from the poem "The First Snowfall."
Spelling: p. 12, #6-10
Persuasive paragraph writing: Pick someone living whom you would like to spend an entire day with and explain why. Finish for HW.

9/20 Co-op Book 2015 - reading comprehension and spelling practice.
Continued to work on SEPTEMBER vocabulary/spelling assignments.
Gave the children their latest STAR Reading results today. Ask to see them.
Gave the children the information/permission slips for our first field trip to the Outdoor Education/Challenge Course at Sunken Meadow State Park.

9/19 Proofreading/editing practice
Lit. Circles: Cycle 1, session 1 - group discussions, reporting to the class; planning for session 2 on Thursday; DEAR Time.
Worked on 2015 Co-op book: reading comprehension and vocabulary #31-40.

9/16 Corrected the reading comprehension and spelling work from the 2016 Co-op exam.
Worked on the final parts of that test:
"Copy Work" in which the child copies a section of a poem EXACTLY in pen and script.
Paragraph writing in which the child writes a personal response paragraph, also in pen and script.
Finish for HW.

9/15 We took the STAR reading placement tests - results will be sent home by Monday. We will take the tests twice more during the year to gauge reading progress.
Co-op practice - 2015 test: reading comprehension (story 3) and spelling (#1-10). Finish for HW.

9/14 Lit. Circles - gave the children a list of reading response logs to tape into their notebooks. We looked them over and explained any that they were puzzled about.
They must complete a log after each reading assignment - 2x a week: for Monday and Thursday.
The log must be between a half and a whole page in the notebook. 
I would like each log to have 2 different responses (see list.)
Co-op Practice - finished the USAGE section from the 2015 test we did yesterday after school.
Also did the SENTENCE SENSE section.
The children have been given an index card to take down notes on items that come up on tests year after year. They should study these frequently to do well on the test.

9/13 Corrected the Co-op vocabulary done yesterday.
Gave out the writers' notebooks from sixth grade and set them up for Lit. Circles, Cycle 1, which begins on Monday.
Groups met to decide on the number of pages to read for the first session.
Worked on the "September" spelling/vocabulary searches.

9/12 We formed our Lit. Circles groups for Cycle 1 and chose the books we will be reading.
Gave the children copies of the Co-op books from 2016 and introduced them to all the parts of the test.
Worked on reading comprehension and vocabulary.

9/9 Continued working on the September spelling/vocabulary assignments.
"Class of 2017" sweatshirt orders were sent home today. There are S, M and L shirts in the classroom for the children to try on. Please return ASAP. Thank you.

9/8 Discussed the need for yearbook pictures. Please search through your photo collections and send in anything related to this class. The more pictures we have, the better the yearbook will be.
Continue to send in those baby pictures. We now have about half.
Computer room: we took the AR tests on the 2 required summer reading books.

9/7 Worked on two different vocabulary/spelling assignments related to September/Back to School. Children used a variety of reference books as well as online resources to find the answers.

9/6 WELCOME BACK TO SCHOOL. WELCOME TO 8th GRADE.
BE SURE TO WATCH THIS SPACE EVERY DAY FOR:
A summary of what we did during the day
Homework assignments
Literature Circle information
Announcements
HW: Bring in a baby picture to be used in the yearbook ASAP.
Gave out calendars and lunch order forms.
Early dismissal for the rest of the week.
Quiet reading books due starting tomorrow and everyday thereafter.