Changing the World!

Class began with IR and students printing out their letters if they needed to. After everyone printed, I walked students through how to address, so if you missed class, use the photo below to help you with this process.


Students then addressed, stamped, and stuffed their envelopes and gave them to me to mail off today!

Next, students used this document to color code their letters before uploading them to the assignment posted to google classroom in order to turn them in.

Afterwards, students completed a second grammar checkpoint for practice since their test is on Monday. This allowed to see if they had improved since the first time we did this practice and also which skills were giving them trouble. I’ve linked both checkpoints below, so students can use them to study if they’d like.

Grammar Checkpoint 1

Grammar Checkpoint 2

Once students were done, they looked at their results to see if any patterns were emerging (for example, was it homophones that gave them trouble), and then they got into groups to review whatever they needed to review using the tools on this website.


  1. Read for 60 minutes.

20Time Showcase

Class began the usual way, but students did not have a welcome activity today. After reading, we were lucky enough to attend the 20Time Showcase the eighth grade language arts classes were putting on. This is a project all PV students do during their eight grade year where students choose something they are interested in learning about or how to do, and they do it while chronicling their process using skills they learned during language arts. The seventh graders went not only to see some of the projects and get ideas but to also practice their speaking and listening skills through having conversations with the students presenting. It was a super cool experience, and we debriefed afterwards about the projects that really stood out to students.

We spent the rest of our day watching CNN10, doing Notebook Thinking, and playing a vocabulary review game. In first/second block we did quizlet live, but the rest of the day tried out a new came called gimkit, and the students really seemed to enjoy it. Some asked me to post it in the vocabulary section of my website, but it doesn’t let me. 😦 We will just have to play again as a class!


  1. Read for 25 minutes.
  3. Argumentative Letter – Proficient Reader Slip (make sure you make improvements to your letter based on your reader’s feedback)
  4. Bring a stamp!

From Outline to Letter

Class began the usual way. Students completed a WA that had them reviewing certain grammar concepts.

During IR, students who did not yet complete their This I Believe speech reflection had time to completed it. If you were absent today or, for any reason, have not yet completed the speech reflection, it is now marked as “missing” in the gradebook. You can access it by going to this link. If we recorded your speech on the iPad, it is shared with you in your google drive.

After reading, we moved into Notebook Thinking, and the prompt is attached below. Students who are fans of Harry Potter were encouraged to write about any of the prompts below, and those that are not were encouraged to develop an app they wish they could have on their devices – even if it is outside the realm of what is possible.


After NBT, we moved into working on our argument projects. Students should have come to class today with a completed outline. I showed them my completed outline and explained that there step today is to take this outline and turn it into a letter. There is a video on my website that walks them through this process, and I suggested they watch just a minute or so of the video, pause it, and then complete the step themselves. When they are done, their letters should look very similar to my example; however, the date at the top would be the day we are actually sending them out – May 25th.

If students finished, they were able to go to the library to print after I looked over their letter.

Once done, they were encouraged to review grammar or vocabulary as we have tests in both coming up next week.


  1. Read for 25 minutes.
  2. Rough draft of your letter is due tomorrow for peer revision

FYI: Again, here is our calendar for the end of the year:


Deadlines Are Approaching!

Class began the usual way today. During IR, I finished conferencing with students about their argument checkpoint.

Since it is Friday, today was four-prompt Friday for NBT, and those prompts are attached below:

  • Write a story about someone who wakes up, and he/she is the last person alive on Earth.
  • You have the special ability to see how dangerous people are. When you look at someone, a number appears above their head – 1 being the least dangerous and 10 being the most. The new kid in your class just registered a 10. He smiles at you.
  • Explain your opinion on President Trump. Do you like him? Dislike him? Why?
  • Someone once said, “Failure is success if we learn from it.” What does this mean? Do you agree with it? How has it been relevant to your life?

Today was also a W.O.W. day, so after students wrote, they had time to volunteer and share as well.

We spent the rest of our time in the library, so students could work on their projects. They outlines should be done on MONDAY, and this page of my website will be crucial to them finishing – primarily the video about completing the outline and the review on explaining evidence.

I’ve also attached a few handouts below that the videos reference.


Arg Letter – Reminders for Explaining Evidence


  1. Read for 60 minutes.
  2. Finish your outline for MONDAY.
  3. Bring headphones next week.

Also, for your reference, here is our calendar for the end of the year. If you’re going to be gone any of the last few days of school, please make arrangements ahead of time to to complete the work you will miss.


Vocab Review and Work Time

Class began the usual way. Students completed a WA that had them reviewing different grammar concepts. With the grammar assessment less than two weeks away, these reviews are becoming more and more important!

During IR, I continued conferencing with students about their argument checkpoint. All students have the opportunity to review and reassess, and for some this is a required step to get them where they need to be.

After IR, we moved into NBT, and today’s prompt was CNN10. It covered concepts like demilitarization of North Korea, the volcano eruption in Hawaii, and this Laurel vs. Yanny debate.

When we were finished writing, students completed sentences for their last set of vocabulary words of the year, and then they had time to get in a group and review the latest words by playing memory.

We spent the last 25 minutes in the library working on our letter projects, and I was available to help and answer questions.


  1. Read for 25 minutes.
  2. Bring headphones through the end of next week.
  3. Outlines are due on MONDAY.

Hyphens and Outlines

Class began the usual way. Students completed a WA that had them practicing with hyphens. I’ve attached the activity below.

Hyphens Welcome Activity 1

During IR, I continued to conference with students about their argument checkpoint, and students who wanted to/needed to reassess had the opportunity to review and then reassess. This will continue throughout the rest of the week, so I will meet with every student at some point.

After IR and conferencing, students moved into Notebook Thinking. Since we didn’t have video Tuesday yesterday, we had that today, and it was an example of the impact the students can make when they send their letters.

After writing, students came up with synonyms and antonyms for their weekly words, and then I gave some directions for how to students should go about moving from their research to their outlines by watching the video I made for them piece by piece as they complete their work.

They also received this handout to help them with the cohesion of their pieces. How and when to use different types of transitions is explained more in-depth in the video.


We spent the rest of the time (about 30 minutes) in the library, so students could work on their outlines. I was available for that entire time to help students with questions.


  1. Read for 25 minutes.
  2. Outlines are due on MONDAY. We will have time on Thursday and Friday to work, but if you are behind (meaning you were still researching today), you should take some time at home to get caught up.
  3. Bring headphones the rest of the week.