Argument Checkpoint and Research

Class began the usual way. Students completed a WA that had them reviewing different grammar concepts. Believe it or not, the grammar final is two weeks from Monday! Holy cow!

After going over the sentence, students have some time to review for their argument checkpoint – either with a partner or by themselves, and then they took the checkpoint. If you were absent, this is something you will have to come in before or after school to make up.

Next, students wrote sentences for our weekly words, shared them with their partner, and then a few students shared their sentences with the class before we moved into W.O.W. where a variety of students shared a variety of different types of writing. We will only have two more W.O.W. days before the end of the year! Can you believe it?!

Before heading to the library to complete topic proposals and research, I gave students a quick reminder of how to navigate the databases and what they need to access when it comes to moving on to their research. I also reminded them of this page of my website where I walk students through step-by-step how to complete this process. That way, when they are ready to move on, they can, and they don’t have to wait for the next lesson or demonstration because the demonstrations are in the videos.

Students had the rest of the time (about 25 minutes) to work. If they didn’t complete their topic proposal by the end of class, they need to finish over the weekend and email me a picture of it.


  1. Read for 60 minutes.
  3. RESEARCH – have at least five information boxes filled in on your research document
  4. Headphones all week next week

Review and Beginning

Class began like it normally does, but IR time was cut very short (for some students) today. After students had time to write down their synonyms and antonyms for the words from last week (engross, kindle, havoc, and translucent), IR ended in order to give time for students to do some review work with POV.

This review began with a quick whole-class review on choosing evidence, and for that, we used the presentation below.

POV Checkpoint – Reteaching

Last week, students took a checkpoint over POV. That score will ONLY go in the gradebook for students who scored proficient on it the first time around. Those students had a variety of options today related to language arts that they could have done during the first half of class.

For any student who struggled on a particular area – either analyzing a text for the appropriate POV of a character and/or explaining evidence – they had a different review task today, and they will have a chance to reassess tomorrow. That is the score that will actually go into the gradebook.

For those that needed to work on analyzing a text for POV, they completed an activity where they physically sorted evidence under the POV that it aligned with, seeing that while a piece of evidence here or there might work for something else, the VAST majority of evidence aligned with one of the POVS.

For those that needed to work on explaining evidence, this is the video they watched today to help them look at examples and think through errors and how to correct them.

They used the handout below to follow along.

Revisiting PoV Checkpoint – Explanations

Once the first half of class was over, students had a short break, and then they had an opportunity to look at example of people’s “This I Believe” projects. I had eight different essays out around the room, and students took at least two back to their desks to read just to get an idea of how their speeches will be constructed.

Some students already know the belief they want to speak about, and some students are unsure. For those that are unsure, I explained that their job today is to first figure out what belief they want to speak about, and they could do that by reading more examples OR completing the brainstorm sheet attached below.

TIB – Moments that Changed Your Life

Once students had their beliefs, they could go to google classroom to see where they will type their speech outline. I also provided an example for them, and that example is linked below.

Jeffers Example

Students had the rest of the time to work. These outlines are due Friday, but students should have time to complete it in class, so it is not homework at this point.


  1. Read for 25 minutes.
  2. Complete your lit circle day 4 reading/task for tomorrow


Static, Dynamic, and Point of View

*Apologies for the lack of post yesterday. I had a meeting that took me out of the building before the day was over, so there was no time to update.

Class began without a WA today since we had book talks; however, I did remind students about Friday’s deadline for getting missing work completed or retaking/revising any completed work. Unless other arrangements are made with me before then, I will close the gradebook at that point since the quarter ends on Tuesday, and I need time to finalize grades.

After book talks, we took some time to review old and new grammar concepts by playing Kahoot! The Kahoot! we used today covered most of the concepts (at least once!) that we have studied since the year started, and it included questions about appositives, coordinate adjectives, and comma splices (the new rules). Grammar is hard, so students are not yet expected to be experts in everything; however, if they felt they really struggled today, I recommended they take some time to review the Kahoots! in the grammar section of my website over the next few days. You can access the one we played today by clicking here.

Next, we turned back to point of view, and students added two new academic vocabulary words to their repertoire:

Static character: a character’s whose point of view does not change over the course of a text.

Dynamic character: a character’s whose point of view DOES change over the course of a text

To see what this looks like “in real life,” we watched the Pixar short “Lou.” (I don’t have an uploadable copy.) Afterwards, students discussed in their groups which characters were static and which were dynamic, and we also talked about the different signposts in the video. For example, there is a Memory Moment in the video that not only gives us insight into J.J.’s original POV, but it also leads him to an Aha Moment that changes his POV – showing us he’s a dynamic character!  Signposts can lead us to some pretty cool discoveries!


  1. Read for 25 minutes.
  2. Finish reading/annotating Part 1 of “The Veldt.” Remember: Directions are important!

Book Talks and Revision

Class began the usual way. Students had a WA that had them reviewing a variety of grammar concepts we have covered this year.

After reading, students gave book talks in order to practice speaking and listening skills, and then students completed sentences for their vocabulary terms this week.

Next, students had 20 minutes to work with their groups on finalizing their projects which are due tomorrow. Below you will see the list of steps and instructions they were given.


  • Complete your revisions based on the feedback given to you.
  • Read through your work again. How could YOU make it better on your own?
  • Check your work against the whole rubric.
  • Is your document completely in MLA format? This means that is should look like the green handout I gave you all the way down to font type and size.
  • Have you highlighted two correct compound (orange) sentences and one complex (green) sentence?


For a copy of the assignment/rubric, click here.

When this time was up, students had a few moments to discuss with their groups what needs to be done tonight, and I told them they would have only 5-10 minutes tomorrow to finalize any issues, check things over once again really quickly, and turn their project in.

We ended class by watching CNN10.


  1. Read for 25 minutes.
  2. Complete your part of the writing project.
  3. Bring your Outsiders book to class tomorrow, so we can turn them in to the library.

Revision Day!

Class began the usual way. The WA asked students to reflect on their highs and lows of the month, and then they had a few minutes to share in their groups.

After honoring students for their reading achievements, we moved into notebook thinking, and the prompt for that is attached below.

Inside a Pinata

Next, students heard about the next five books offered for literature circles. Today I talked about Out of My Mind, Never Say Die, Uglies, The Alchemyst, and The Name of the Star. Here is the presentation we have been using to walk students through each book. While I expand on the summary a bit, it still gives you a good idea about the content and plot of the titles.

The focus of today’s class was revision. Today, students received feedback on the rough drafts of the theme projects, and they had time to read through the feedback and make revisions. They were first supposed to work with their partners to revise their introductions and their conclusions, and then they cold move on to their own paragraphs. I was available to answer questions or help students figure out how to make a necessary revision.

We will have some time to finish this tomorrow, and then final drafts are due on Friday! Eeek!


  1. Read for 25 minutes.
  2. Final drafts due Friday
  3. Vocab quiz next week

We’re back!

Whew! It has been awhile since I’ve updated with what has been going on in class. Thank you for your patience in getting this back up and running!

Class began the usual way. Students completed a welcome activity that had them reviewing a variety of grammar/punctuation skills.

After reading, we went into notebook thinking, and today’s video prompt is attached below. I invited students to write about something they want to do that no one else has ever done or a time that they have worked really hard to achieve a goal.

After writing, we moved into more book previews for upcoming literature circles. We looked at the second set of five on this presentation. If you were absent, I encourage you to look through the summaries of the books you missed hearing about, so you can rate them on your handout.

Literature Circle Options – 2018

Next, we took some time to think about the signpost quiz taken last week. Students looked at the student examples provided on the last few pages of this document, taking note of the proficient example and what didn’t quite work with the others. After I walked them through an example, students completed the other three signposts on their own before discussing with their groups and sharing out as I class.

I explained to students that they do have a chance to reassess if they are not happy with their scores. The format of the quiz would be exactly the same, but it would be over a different section of text. Retakes can be done any day before or after school, but they would need to be completed before spring break.

Class ended with a grammar review! Students played Kahoot! in their groups, choosing the skill they most wanted to review.


  1. Read for 25 minutes.
  2. Review vocabulary for 10 minutes (QUIZ NEXT WEEK!)