Check My Homework Info Bailey Middle School

Weeks of 3/19 and 3/26/18


For those who wish to get ahead and work on vocabulary during Spring Break, here is the next set of words that will be due for journal entry definitions on 3/23.  The vocabulary packet is due 3/27 and the quiz will be 3/28.  The last day of the 5th Six Weeks Grading Cycle is Thursday, 3/29.
  • realize (verb)
  • determine (verb)
  • reckon (verb)
  • theorize (verb)
  • estimate (verb) and (noun)
  • construct (verb)
  • comprehend (verb)
  • detect (verb)
  • ponder (verb)
  • confirm (verb)
  • evaluate (verb)

​The Literature Circle Interactive Study Guides for all novels are still live and can be accessed through BLEND or the link buttons in the last posting.  You can see the current journal writing prompts by clicking on the button below:

Weeks of 2/26/18 and 3/5/18

UPDATED 3/4/18:  Students are well into the current set of Literature Circle novels and reading with their group members, discussing their writing prompts and working together to improve their journal entries and understanding of the books they are reading.   A BLEND course has been set up with intensive Study Guides for each book so that groups may really have discussions full of depth and complexity.  Links to each of the study guides are inlcuded below for home use, and you can login to the Student Cloud and join the Literature Circle Depth & Complexity course by using the following code:

URL: https://aisdblend.instructure.com/enroll/WH3GTY

All students will be completing their March Istation leveling assessments and entering their scores into their Reading Level Tracking Charts prior to Spring Break.

The current vocabulary words were posted on Wednesday, 2/21 and definitions in journals were due Wednesday, 2/28.  The vocabulary packet for this set of words is due Wednesday, 3/7 and the quiz is Thursday,  3/8.  Students should be working with vocabulary at home to ensure success.  You can print out pages from the vocabulary packet by clicking on the button below.
  • culture (noun)
  • civilization (noun)
  • ordeal (noun)
  • establish (verb)
  • archaeology (noun)
  • descendant (noun)
  • legendary (adjective)
  • artifact (noun)
  • invade (verb)
  • existence (noun)
  • migration (noun)
  • conquest (noun)

Weeks of 2/12/18 and 2/19/18

We begin a new grading cycle and new Literature Circles.  Some students have already chosen and begun reading their new novels because they finished the last one ahead of time, which is great!  The remaining students willl choose one book from the following titles:
  • The Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan
  • Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins
  • The City of Ember by Jeanne DuPrau
  • Matched by Ally Condie
  • Life As We Knew It by Susan Beth Pfeffer
  • Uglies by Scott Westerfeld
As with the last Literature Circle, students will be reading each day in class within their groups and responding to a journal writing prompt that aligns with one of the six Literature Circle jobs.  Then they will be sharing out and discussing their responses among their groups to make their responses the best they can be and helping their group members do the same.  Summaries of all these books and the first six Literature Circle writing prompts can be seen by clicking on the buttons at the bottom of this posting.

With the new grading cylce comes a five-minute-per-night increase to the amount of time everyone should be reading outside of school, making the minimum independent reading time 35 minutes for homework.  Students should also be working on defining their vocabulary words at home to make sure they have written out ALL definitions for the following vocabulary words (as always, having complete vocabulary entries in journals ensures the highest grade for journal checks, vocabulary packets and vocabulary quizzes!):
  • commission (noun and verb)
  • yield (verb and noun)
  • submit (verb)
  • document (noun and verb)
  • fund (noun and verb)
  • contrary (adjective)
  • gauge (noun and verb)
  • impact (noun and verb)
  • sheer (adjective)
  • deliberate (adjective and verb)
  • abstract (adjective, noun and verb)
  • plague (verb and noun)

All of these are multiple-meaning words, and the vocabulary packets that will be worked on each day in class as well as the quiz are dependent upon knowing and understanding all the definitions.  These words were posted in the classroom and students were given class time to begin defining them on Thursday, 2/8, as well as an entire class period on Monday, 2/12 and additional time at the beginning of each class period, so they need to be completed no later than Wednesday, 2/14 in order to be given the vocabulary packet to begin working on .  A copy of the vocabulary packet may be printed out at home for students who are absent so they can work on it and not fall behind or miss the due date.  The quiz for these words will be given Friday, 2/23 and the vocabulary packets are due Thursday, 2/22.

Weeks of 1/29/18 and 2/5/18

Our goal is for all students to finish reading the novel they chose to read for the current Literature Circles by the end of this grading cycle, which is 2/9/18.  Some students have already completed their novels and moved on to reading another book.  The writing prompts for the week of 1/29 are posted below and the prompts for the week of 2/5 will be added to this posting before Monday, 2/5. 

Students will be taking their February Istation leveling assessments as soon as we are able to secure a Chromebook cart (hopefully, we will be able to start the week of 1/29.)

Vocabulary for the next two weeks is listed below, and students will be working on a vocabulary packet during Warm-Up time once they have defined all the words in their journals.  The next vocabulary quiz on this set of words will be administered Friday, 2/9/18.  Please note that multiple-meaning words is the focus for the next two weeks, so it is very important that students enter ALL definitions from the dictionary for these words in their journals.
  • crude​ (adjective)
  • foster  (verb)
  • calculate  (verb)
  • manual  (adjective and noun)
  • complex  (adjective and noun)
  • monitor  (verb and  noun)
  • employ  (verb)
  • duplicate  (adjective, verb and noun)
  • alternate  (adjective, verb and noun)
  • depression  (noun)
  • distinction  (noun)
  • poise  (verb and noun)

Weeks of 1/16/18 and 1/22/18 

Literature Circles continue and writing prompts for the next three weeks will be distributed in class for journal entries.  We will begin a new procedure regarding vocabulary and word study and students will still be defining the vocabulary words in their journals, but we will also be working from a packet of worksheets that better assist the students in acquiring, retaining and using the vocabulary in writing and speaking.  The packets will be distributed and collected again on a daily basis so that none of them can be lost.  Students will need to use warm-up time at the beginning of each class to work on the packets.  A quiz will be administered on Friday, January 26 as a summative assessment for this vocabulary unit.  Since students will have two weeks to work on this vocabulary, there is a total of 12 words in the set.  We will not be extending the assigned vocabulary words to include all parts of speech in the word families, so there is actually less work involved than we have been doing to date.  We will see how this procedure goes, then make a decision on whether or not to continue this procedure or return to the method we have been using so far this school year.  The vocabulary words are:
  • departure
  • admission
  • acquire
  • remote
  • tireless
  • contribute
  • impulse
  • somber
  • tribute
  • sufficient
  • effective
  • interpret

Week of 1/8/18

Literature Circles are well underway and students are reading and responding to the novels they chose to read through both written journal entries and group discussions.  The button below links to a document with the writing prompts and stems the students are using to help develop meaningful analyses of the texts they are reading and discussing.

We will resume weekly vocabulary next week and devote the extra time to getting accustomed to the Literature Circle routine.  

Students will be completing their January Istation leveling assessments and entering their scores into their reading level and text fluency tracking charts this week.  The MOY assessment in ELA will be administered in ELA classes on January 9 and 10 this week.


Weeks of 12/11/17 and 12/18/17

This week and the two days of class we have next week prior to the Winter Break will be our last sessions in which we model Literature Circle procedures and completion of Literature Circle jobs.  Similar to the manner in which we used Maniac Magee to model Literature Circles through read-aloud/think aloud, we will be using Gary Soto's memoir entitled "The Jacket."  Each day will be devoted to one of the Literature Circle jobs and each group will read a portion of the text while completing one of the Literature Circle jobs.  The groups will share out their responses to each job and we will discuss them in detail.  All students have migrated to their new groups for Literature Circle novels and will work in these groups to complete the jobs for "The Jacket."  

Students will also be entering their December Istation leveling assessment scores into their tracking charts in their journals and examining their progress.  We will visit the library on Wednesday, 12/13 to ensure that students have enough reading material to continue reading at least 30 minutes per day over the break (the number of minutes increases to 30 on Tuesday, 12/19, which is the last day of this grading cycle.)

ALL MISSING ASSIGNMENTS MUST BE TURNED IN NO LATER THAN WEDNESDAY, 12/13 IN ORDER TO BE GRADED IN TIME TO MEET THE DEADLINE FOR REPORT CARD GRADE ENTRIES.  PLEASE NOTE THAT I WILL STILL ACCEPT LATE WORK EVEN IF IT IS WAY PAST THE POLICY OF ACCEPTING LATE WORK THREE DAYS AFTER THE DUE DATE.

Please remember that "extra" means "in addition to" and not "instead of."  This means that all required assignments must be completed before any extra credit can be awarded.  Students who are missing assignments must complete them.

The last tutoring session prior to Winter Break will be Thursday, 12/14.

There will be a vocabulary quiz on Friday, 12/15 covering this week's and last week's words.  There will not be vocabulary assigned the week of 12/18 because we only have two days of class next week.  This week's vocabulary words are:
  • consider (verb)  consideration (noun)  considerate (adjective)
  • perceive (verb)  perception (noun)  perceptive (adjective)  perceptively (adverb)  perceptible (adjective)
  • reason (verb)  reason (noun)  reasonable (adjective)  reasonably (adverb)

The Six Weeks Assessment for this grading cycle will be administered on Thursday, 12/14 and will be a STAAR-type multiple choice test with two short reading passages and 10 questions.  Students should review their reading skills and strategies to prepare for the test.  Because it is not on a specific topic, there is no study guide that will help.  All the strategies we have been using this year and those acquired for the past six grades can be applied.  Advisory Period on Thursday 12/14 will be used for students with extra time accommodations to finish their tests, so Vocabulary Support class will not be available Thursday.

Week of 12/4/17

 IMPORTANT UPDATE POSTED 12/4/17:  DUE TO A SET OF FACTORS INCLUDING A LARGE NUMBER OF ABSENCES IN THE PAST SEVERAL WEEKS, THE NEED TO COMPLETE DECEMBER ISTATION LEVELING ASSESSMENTS, THE PUSH TO HAVE STUDENTS COMPLETE MISSING ASSIGNMENTS IN ORDER TO AVOID FAILING THIS GRADING CYCLE AND THE SIX WEEKS ASSESSMENTS THAT WILL BE ADMINISTERED NEXT WEEK, MANY STUDENTS HAVE STILL NOT BEEN ABLE TO CHOOSE LITERATURE CIRCLE NOVELS.  IN ADDITION, IF WE BEGIN READING NOVELS AND THEN HAVE THE HOLIDAY BREAK, IT WILL BE VERY DIFFICULT FOR STUDENTS TO REMEMBER WHAT THEY READ BEFORE LEAVING FOR THE BREAK ONCE RETURNING TO SCHOOL.  AS A RESULT, WE WILL BEGIN READING LITERATURE CIRCLE NOVELS WHEN WE RETURN FROM THE HOLIDAY BREAK INSTEAD OF THE ORIGINAL PLAN TO BEGIN READING THEM THIS WEEK.

This week, students will complete their December Istation leveling assessments and enter their reading and text fluency levels on their tracking charts in their journals.  PLEASE REMEMBER TO BRING YOUR EARBUDS AND YOUR INDEPENDENT READING BOOKS TO CLASS EACH DAY THIS WEEK!

Once all students have completed their leveling assessments, they will begin to read their chosen novels and perform their daily Literature Circle jobs.  The job entries in their journals will provide their discussion points for groups to talk about their daily reading.  Literature Circle procedures and jobs are included in last week's posting.  Each group will be expected to maintain a high level of discussion and interaction regarding the pages read each day, and all students are expected to complete a reasonable amount of reading during each class period.  

This week's vocabulary words are:
  • express (verb)  express (adjective)  expression (noun)  expressly (adverb)  expressive (adjective)  expressively (adverb)
  • indicate (verb)  indication (noun)  indicator (noun)  indicative (adjective)
  • develop (verb)  development (noun)  developer (noun)  developmental (adjective)  developmentally (adverb)
The next vocabulary quiz will be Friday, 12/15 on this week's and next week's vocabulary words, and that will be the final grade for the third six weeks grading cycle.  Progress reports go out this week, and those students who are failing or borderline failing have had the last three weeks to submit missing assignments and complete Flocabulary Classroom assignments in order to gain extra credit.   Remember, all four assignments for each Flocabulary Classroom assignment must be completed in order to gain extra credit.  The more assignments that are completed, the more extra credit is earned.  

Week of 11/27/17

Welcome back from Thanksgiving break!  We should all be well-rested and ready to begin our Literature Circles with enthusiasm and high spirits.  Literature Circles are what we have been preparing for with purposeful, meaningful modeling during our read-aloud/think-aloud of Maniac Magee.  To help parents and students fully understand Literature Circles, I am posting an overview of the procedures and routines we will be participating in on a daily basis for the next several months.  I am also posting a copy of the individual "jobs" that each student will be rotating through and have responsibilities for completing as we read our novels.  You can link to those documents by clicking on the buttons below. (Please note that we will not be using the job of "Researcher" during the first round of Literature Circles due to time constraints of a 46-minute class.)

There will be a vocabulary quiz this Friday on the following words:
  • portray (verb)  portrayal (noun)  portrayer (noun)  portrayable (adjective)
  • verify (verb)  verification (noun)  verifier (noun)  verifiable (adjective)  verifiably (adverb)
  • debate (verb)  debate (noun)  debater (noun)  debatable (adjective)
Homework is to read at least 25 minutes per day outside of school and keep up with vocabulary that is not completed during class time.

Tutoring sessions continue on Thursday afternoons from 3:45-4:15 and vocabulary support is available during Advisory Period on Thursdays.

Week of 11/13/17

Week of 11/6/17

All classes are on track to finish our read-aloud/think-aloud of Maniac Magee this week.  We will also be taking the November Istation leveling assessments and tracking our progress in advancing our reading levels.  Our next vocabulary quiz is Friday, 11/6 and the quiz will cover this week's and last week's vocabulary words.  This week's words are:
  • construct (verb)  construction (noun)  constructive (adjective)  constructively (adverb)
  • support (verb)  support (noun)  supportive (adjective) 
  • solve (verb)  solution (noun)  solver (noun)

Vocabulary support class continues to meet during advisory period on Thursdays and tutoring sessions continute to meet after school on Thursdays from 3:45 - 4:15.

Homework is to read at least 25 minutes each day outside of school and to keep up with vocabulary journal entries not made in class.

The text of Maniac Magee can be found by clicking on the button below:

Week of 10/30/17

We are nearing completion of our reading and analysis of Jerry Spinelli's Maniac Magee!  Most classes have reached Part III (the final section) of the book and the climax is about to be revealed (it's really exciting, too!)  This week, students will complete their character analysis, figurative language and setting poster projects and they will be graded for the 2nd Six Weeks report cards.  Our Six Weeks Assessment will be administered on Wednesday, 11/1.  With this week's posting, I am including an electronic copy of Maniac Magee for students to use as a review for the Six Weeks Assessment, as well as for any students who might be absent so they can keep up with chapters read in class.  If anyone chooses to read ahead, please be respectful of other students by not revealing any events that have not been read in class (no spoilers, please!!)  The Six Weeks Assessment will include questions regarding the elements of fiction found in the book (characters, setting , plot, conflict, theme.)  Our systematic word study program continues with the following vocabulary words for this week:
  • discover (verb)  discovery (noun)  discoverer (noun)  discoverable (adjective)
  • apply (verb)  application (noun)  applicator (noun)  applicable (adjective)  applicably (adverb)
  • create (verb)  creation (noun)  creator (noun)  creative (adjective)

​Vocabulary support class continues to meet during advisory period on Thursdays and tutoring sessions continute to meet after school on Thursdays from 3:45 - 4:15.

Homework is to read at least 20 minutes each day outside of school and to keep up with vocabulary journal entries not made in class.

The text of Maniac Magee can be found by clicking on the button below:

Week of 10/23/17

 Students have been adding to their group's character analyses and interpretations of figurative language used by author Jerry Spinelli in Maniac Magee.  They will continue adding to these as we read more of the story, but this week they will be adding to the projects reflecting the elements of fiction by creating products that bring the setting of the story to life.  Our systematic word study program continues with the following vocabulary words:
  • illustrate (verb)  illustration (noun)  illustrator (noun)  illustrative (adjective)
  • generate (verb)  generation (noun)  generator (noun)  generative (adjective) generational (adjective)
  • assemble (verb)  assembly (noun)  

Students are now able to access Flocabulary from any device at any time.  There will be assigments that will be graded and assignments for extra credit in the Flocabulary classroom.  Most students have already joined the Flocabulary classroom, but for those who still have not done so, you can follow the simple directions in the document linked below:
  Reminder:  Students should be using Istation at home for at least one hour per week to strengthen reading skills.  

Tutoring continues on Thursday afternoons from 3:45 - 4:15 and the vocabulary support class continues during advisory period on Thursdays.  

Homework remains to read at least 20 minutes per day outside of school and keep up with any vocabulary jornal entries not completed in class.  Our next vocabulary quiz is Friday, 10/27 on this week's and last week's words.

Progress reports will be sent home by next week to mark the mid-point of the second grading cycle.  Students who are failing, borderline failing, and/or not keeping up with their assignments will receive a progress report.

Week of 10/16/17

Our read-aloud/think-aloud interactions have been developing in ways that show great skill and sharp insight in all classes, and I'm really impressed with some of the discussions among and contributions made by so many students.  Literature Circles should run at really high levels considering how well we are doing at this point with our mentor text and modeling.  Reading groups have produced character analyses and interpretations of massive amounts of figurative language.   We continue our systematic word study with roots and affixes and parts of speech.  This weeks vocabulary words are:
  • compose (verb)  composition (noun)  composite (adjective) and (noun)
  • evaluate (verb)  evaluation (noun)  
  • modify (verb)  modification (noun)  
I will be at a dyslexia conference on Thursday, and Ms. Kirk will be substitutuing.  Progress reports for the second grading cycle will go out next week.  

Because I will be out on Thursday for Professional Development, both the vocuabulary support class during advisory period and after-school tutoring is cancelled this week. 

Homework remains to read at least 20 minutes every day outside of school and work on/study vocabulary words for the next quiz.  Students should be using Istation at home for at least one hour per week.  All students were given a code to join the Flocabulary.com classroom and can now enjoy and complete the activities in our Flocabulary classroom at home!  Mackinvia.com and MyOn.com are both online libraries that students have access to in order to read ebooks and conduct research at home.

Week of 10/10/17

This week we focus on identifying and interpreting figurative and sensory language in Maniac Magee and continue our character analyses during the Rising Action of our mentor text.  This week's vocabulary words will be directly applied during group and class discussions.  They are:

  • describe (verb)  description (noun) descriptive (adjective)  descriptively (adverb)
  • relate (verb)  relation (noun)  relationship (noun) relative (adjective) and (noun) relatively (adverb)
  • justify (verb)  justification (noun)  justifiable (adjective)  justifiably (adverb)

Our next vocabulary quiz is this Friday, 10/13, and will be on last week's and this week's words.

Each year, all teachers are required to make a data-based decision and choose a Student Learning Objective (SLO) for an area of need, address and correct the need throughout the year, and show data of improvement.  This is done by administration of an assessment on a pre- and post- intervention basis, and an expectation that half the difference between the pre-assessment score and 100 points be realized on the post-assessment score by students.  These assessments are NOT graded for the gradebook and do not affect their averages for the grading cycles in which they are administered.  This year, comprehension is the focus and our SLO pre-test will be administered on Thursday, 10/12.

HOMEWORK:  Read at least 20 minutes each day.  Keep up with vocabulary work not completed in class; study vocabulary for quiz on Friday.

TUTORING:  Thursday afternoons; 3:45-4:15.  I will not be able to have a vocabulary support class this Thursday during advisory in order to administer 504 accommodations for the SLO test.



Week of 10/2/17

OPEN INVITATION TO ALL PARENTS/GUARDIANS!  ANYONE IS ALWAYS WELCOME TO VISIT ROOM 312 TO OBSERVE OUR LEARNING ENVIRONMENT.  I DO NOT NEED ADVANCE NOTICE; YOU ARE WELCOME TO SHOW UP UNANNOUNCED AT ANY TIME TO OBSERVE US.  JUST SIGN IN AT THE OFFICE, GET A VISITOR'S BADGE AND COME JOIN US FOR ALL OR PART OF THE PERIOD IN WHICH YOUR CHILD HAS READING.
6 Weeks Assessment scores were very impressive!  Clearly, students who used the study guide, kept their journals complete with both class notes and vocabulary entries, actively listened in class, used their suffix charts, and engaged in group and class think-alouds during our Literature Circle modeling using Maniac Magee excelled.  We are in the 7th week of school and everyone should be totally familiar with what is both necessary and available to succeed.  Every class has shown extremely strong performance and demonstrated the highest levels of achievement in reading for meaning during our read aloud/think aloud activities.  Vocabulary is becoming stronger, but I want us to be reading more in class, so vocabulary words will be reduced to three sets each week.  When appropriate, adverbs will be added back to the word families.  We will continute to analyze roots and affixes and parts of speech.

This week's academic vocabulary words are:
  • predict (verb)  prediction (noun)  predictable (adjective) predictably (adverb)
  • paraphrase (verb)  paraphraser (noun)  paraphrasable (adjective)
  • interpret (verb) interpretation (noun)  interpreter (noun)  interpretable (adjective)  

We will review how using your knowledge of root words, prefixes and suffixes, parts of speech and their
meanings and functions gives you the power to define the other members of each word family just from the definition of the verb.  Once again, an exemplar using several words from this week's vocabulary to help you is attached below.  The suffix chart was in a previous posting, but is included here again plus the roots and prefixes chart for use at home.
It is the first week of a new month, so we will be using Istation leveling assessments and getting the third month of reading and text fluency levels for our progress monitoring.  Remember, parents can download the Student Summary Handouts along with many other data reports via the Parent Portal on Istation.  At least 60 minutes on Istation per week outside of school is recommended to help strenghten skills.  The hour does not have to be consecutive minutes.

Tutoring from 3:45 - 4:15 and vocabulary support class during advisory period every Thursday.  I was unable to hold the vocabulary support class last Thursday due to administration of accommodations for the 6 weeks test, but it will be back this Thursday.  

Week of 9/25/17

OPEN INVITATION TO ALL PARENTS/GUARDIANS!  ANYONE IS ALWAYS WELCOME TO VISIT ROOM 312 TO OBSERVE OUR LEARNING ENVIRONMENT.  I DO NOT NEED ADVANCE NOTICE; YOU ARE WELCOME TO SHOW UP UNANNOUNCED AT ANY TIME TO OBSERVE US.  JUST SIGN IN AT THE OFFICE, GET A VISITOR'S BADGE AND COME JOIN US FOR ALL OR PART OF THE PERIOD IN WHICH YOUR CHILD HAS READING.
This week we continue our read-aloud/think-aloud of Maniac Magee.  We will also be reviewing the skills and strategies we have acquired and retained in order to apply them when taking the 6 Weeks Assessment for the first grading cycle.  A study guide including an overview of the format and content of the test and what students should be prepared for is attached below.  The test will be administered Thursday, 9/28.  PLEASE DO NOT BE ABSENT ON THURSDAY BECAUSE THE GRADING CYCLE CLOSES ON FRIDAY, 9/29 AND TAKING MAKE-UPS ON MONDAY WILL MAKE IT VERY DIFFICULT TO MEET THE DEADLINE FOR GRADE ENTRY!!!

Because we have the 6 Weeks Test this week, academic vocabulary for the week has not only been reduced, I am also attaching an exemplar for journal entries below.  You will see how much less there is, and how simple and easy it will be to get the vocabulary entered into your journals.  We will review all vocabulary and lesson content Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday before beginning our read-aloud/think aloud each day.  On Friday, we will spend most of the period reading and thinking in our new Literature Circle groups that were set up last week.  Remember, all of this is to set us up for the student-led Literature Circles that will begin once we complete the modeling of the Maniac Magee reading/thinking.  I'm sure the students can't wait for me to let them do the bulk of the (accountable!!) talking because even I'm sick to death of hearing my voice!

Academic Vocabulary Words:
  • categorize (verb)   categorization  (noun)
  • visualize (verb)   visualization  (noun)
  • summarize (verb)  summarization (noun)

STUDENTS WILL BE ABLE TO USE THEIR JOURNALS (INCLUDING THEIR SUFFIX CHARTS AND CLASS NOTES FOR THE ELEMENTS OF FICTION AND FICTION STORY ARC), THE TEXT OF MANIAC MAGEE, AND ALL THE CHARTS AND BULLETIN BOARDS IN THE CLASSROOM TO HELP ANSWER TEST QUESTIONS.  AS ALWAYS, IF YOU HAVE BEEN KEEPING YOUR JOURNAL UP TO DATE AND YOUR ENTRIES COMPLETE, AND YOU HAVE BEEN PAYING ATTENTION IN CLASS AND WORKING WITH YOUR VOCABULARY AT HOME, YOU WILL EASILY SCORE A VERY HIGH GRADE ON THE TEST!!

The grades for the vocabulary quiz last Friday were GREAT!!  Most students scored 100 and their were only 9 failures.  I checked the journals of each student who failed and sure enough, they had very little work done or poorly done entries, proving that if you do your work, it is VERY EASY to get an A in Reading class.  Students who scored a 70 or below must take their quizzes home on Monday to be signed by a parent/guardian and returned on Tuesday.  It's important for parents to know that their child is not failing due to lack of ability, it is due to a lack of motivation and refusing to follow directions and do their work.

Students will also be bringing home printouts of their Istation leveling assessment reports for August and September and reviewing them with parents/guardians.  It is every students responsibility to know and track their reading level progress throughout the year and keep their parents informed of their levels and progress. These reports can be generated at home, too, by following the instructions on the handout that students brought home (this was a homework assignment and an email blast was sent to all parents/guardians via the Parent Connect system in TEAMS.)  You can find the reports via the Parent Portal on Istation.  Please sign the reports and have them returned to school (this is a homework assignment, too!)  Once I see the signatures on the reports and the vocabulary quizzes, they will be returned to the students to bring back home.  Students who scored an 80 or higher on the vocabulary quiz do not need to have it signed and returned, but they should be showing parents the high grades they've earned by doing their work and paying attention in class.  A special shout-out to the many students who greatly improved from the first quiz to the second...so many who failed the first quiz scored 100 on the second one.  WAY TO GO!  SEE WHAT A LITTLE WORK AND EFFORT CAN DO TO RESULT IN SUCCESS?

HOMEWORK:  Read for at least 15 minutes each night (NOTE:  This increases to 20 minutes on Friday for the 2nd 6 Weeks Cycle.)  Return signed Istation reports on Tuesday.  Return signed vocabulary quiz on Tuesday (students scoring 70 and below only.)  StudyMonday, Tuesday and Wednesday  for 6 Weeks Test on Thursday.  Make up any missing journal entries by Wednesday to raise your grade for the final journal check for this cycle.

TUTORING SESSION:  Thursday afternoon from 3:45 - 4:15.  Vocabulary support class Thursday during 8th period.

Week of 9/18/17

OPEN INVITATION TO ALL PARENTS/GUARDIANS!  ANYONE IS ALWAYS WELCOME TO VISIT ROOM 312 TO OBSERVE OUR LEARNING ENVIRONMENT.  I DO NOT NEED ADVANCE NOTICE; YOU ARE WELCOME TO SHOW UP UNANNOUNCED AT ANY TIME TO OBSERVE US.  JUST SIGN IN AT THE OFFICE, GET A VISITOR'S BADGE AND COME JOIN US FOR ALL OR PART OF THE PERIOD IN WHICH YOUR CHILD HAS READING.

Last week we began our read-aloud/think-aloud of Maniac Magee by Jerry Spinelli and the students were instantly hooked by this mentor author's incredibly engaging writing style.  Most kids did not want to leave the classroom when the bell rang because they wanted to read more...and the story has just begun!  I was THRILLED to see the amazing higher-order thinking skills being applied as students turned and talked to each other during pauses, then shared out some AWESOME inferences drawn from the text.  Skills including determining the meaning of unfamiliar words using context clues, identifying internal and external character traits, interpreting figurative and sensory language, monitoring comprehension, and so many more were applied to produce some really impressive responses.  We are reading for meaning!!  Congratulations to all my scholars who are showing that they are making HUGE gains already.

This week, we will continue our read-aloud/think-aloud and further develop and refine our decoding and comprehension skills as we identify and analyze the elements of fiction in Maniac Magee.  We will also review the fiction story arc as it relates to our mentor text.  Students have already studied the fiction story arc in their ELA classes, but we always align our curriculum and activities in Reading class with those in ELA to support and reinforce literacy skills and strategies.  ELA and Reading classes are closely related, and between the two classes, we are acquiring, retaining and applying skills and strategies that will make us better readers, writers, speakers and listeners.  

Additionally, we will continue our word study program focusing on parts of speech and affixes.  Below you will find a button linking to a suffix chart that we will be using in class to help us with our vocabulary development.  You can and should be using it at home to keep up with your vocabulary entries for your journals.  We will have our next vocabulary quiz Friday, 9/22 and it will be on last week's and this week's vocabulary words, which are listed below and include the other parts of speech in each word family:

  • identify (verb)  identification (noun) identifiable (adjective)
  • connect (verb)  connection  (noun)  connective  (adjective)
  • monitor (verb)  monitor (noun)  monitory  (adjective)
  • sequence (verb)  sequence (noun)  sequential  (adjective)

Whatever your current grade is as of the Progress Reports that went out last week, ALL students have the opportunity to easily raise your average to an A if you do not currently have one.  The many students who do have an A average can easily maintain it.  All it takes is focus and initiative to succeed, and to simply keep your journal entries up to date and complete for vocabulary and class notes.  This will show that you are using class time productively and will get a high journal check grade and classwork grade.  Having a journal that is complete and in good order guarantees that you will have the answers to all questions on the vocabulary quiz, and therefore get a high quiz grade.   By maintaining the outstanding participation that was shown during this week's read-aloud/think-aloud, you will ensure a high participation grade.  These four grades can raise your average to an A or keep it at an A!  I BELIEVE IN ALL OF YOU.  I HAVE CONFIDENCE IN ALL OF YOU!  I KNOW HOW BRILLIANT YOU ALL ARE BECAUSE YOU HAVE SHOWN ME AND PROVED IT TO ME LAST WEEK.  KEEP UP THE GOOD WORK AND I WILL CONTINUE TO PUSH YOU TO SUCCEED!

Homework for this week is to read  at least 15 minutes each night and work with/study your vocabulary so you are sure to do well on this week's quiz.

Vocabulary support class will be held during advisory period on Thursday and tutoring will be Thursday after school from 3:45 - 4:15.  All students are welcome to attend either or both!

Lastly, I will be at a Professional Development training class on Wednesday, 9/20.  You will have the best substitute teacher in the world with you during your weekly library visit.  Her name is Ms. Kirk, and she has a daughter who is a Bailey Bear!  Make sure you come prepared with your Istation and network logins, and any library books that need to be returned or renewed.  

Week of 9/11/17

OPEN INVITATION TO ALL PARENTS/GUARDIANS!  ANYONE IS ALWAYS WELCOME TO VISIT ROOM 312 TO OBSERVE OUR LEARNING ENVIRONMENT.  I DO NOT NEED ADVANCE NOTICE; YOU ARE WELCOME TO SHOW UP UNANNOUNCED AT ANY TIME TO OBSERVE US.  JUST SIGN IN AT THE OFFICE, GET A VISITOR'S BADGE AND COME JOIN US FOR ALL OR PART OF THE PERIOD IN WHICH YOUR CHILD HAS READING.  

 This week we are introducing the five elements of fiction (characters, setting, plot, conflict and theme) and defining what they are, how they interact and have an effect on each other, and how authors use these elements to create interesting and engaging stories.  We will also begin reading our first novel, Maniac Magee by Jerry Spinelli.  Students will be reading the text of the novel as the Reading teachers model RIT (Reading is Thinking) strategies and oral fluency through a read-aloud and think-aloud.  This will provide students with a solid foundation for acquiring, retaining and applying RIT strategies to their own independent reading for homework and all future Literature Circles (as well as reading in general!)  We will be reading Maniac Magee for the next several weeks and adding to reading strategies and the structural elements of fiction along the way.  Below you will find links to a document with definitions of the five elements of fiction as well as a great Flocabulary rap/video that brings the five elements to life.

A NOTE REGARDING VOCABULARY:  The results of the first vocabulary quiz were mixed.  There were many scores of 100, 90 and 80 which clearly shows that many students are completing their vocabulary work both in class during warm-up time and at home for homework.  Additionally, the students who are keeping up with their journal entries are doing a great job of it!  However, there were also many failing grades and many journals that have little to no entries in them.  This is unacceptable, especially considering that ALL students were given a COMPLETE copy of journal exemplars for last week's vocabulary AND there were only three words assigned.  Remember, keeping up with your journal entries gives you everything you need to score highly on both vocabulary quizzes and journal checks, both of which are important grades.  If you are making a choice NOT to do your work, you are making a choice to fail.  I was far too generous in grading the journals and gave credit for anything that was entered, even if it was incomplete or incorrect.  I cannot do this in the future and it is unfair to all the students who are doing their work.  As much as I dislike lowering standards, I am reducing the number of vocabulary words from five each week to four.  Also, I am reducing the requirements for vocabulary entries to definitions and parts of speech and reducing the number of other forms of the words in the word families.  Below is a detailed list of this week's vocabulary words and the necessary members of each word family:

THIS WEEK'S ACADEMIC VOCABULARY JOURNAL ENTRIES:
  • define (verb)  definition (noun)  definitive (adjective)  
  • infer (verb)  inference (noun)  inferential (adjective)
  • comprehend (verb) comprehension (noun) comprehensive (adjective)
  • acquire (verb)  acquisition (noun) acquisitive (adjective)

Lastly, all students must complete their September Istation leveling assessment if they did not finish it last week.  This is an especially important month for Istation reading levels, as the scores are reported to the district (this is a mandate from AISD for all students and we would like to get it done this week so we can move on to the intervention lessons that Istation delivers to each student based on their scores.  Lessons are custom-tailored based on the individual student's areas of weakness and help strengthen these skills.)  All students were given instructions on how to install Istation at home and should be spending a minimum of one hour per week on Istation outside of school.  Be sure that you enter Bailey Middle school in the domain field; this will ensure you are entering your 6th grade Istation classroom instead of your 5th grade classroom from elementary school.  There is a toll-free number on the instruction sheet and an email address to contact Istation support if you are having difficulty installing the program at home.

TUTORING SESSIONS WILL BEGIN THURSDAY, 9/21/17 AND I WILL BE SENDING HOME LETTERS TO THE PARENTS/GUARDIANS OF THE STUDENTS WHO SHOULD BE ATTENDING, BUT ANYONE IS WELCOME TO ATTEND IF YOU DO NOT RECEIVE A LETTER.  TUTORING SESSIONS WILL BE EVERY THURSDAY FROM 3:45-4:15 IN ROOM 312.

Homework remains to be reading a minimum of 15 minutes each day of the week outside of school and working with your vocabulary at home.

Week of 9/5/17

IMPORTANT UPDATE POSTED 9/6/17:  Thank you to everyone who came to Back-to-School Night!  If you did not receive a handout with instructions for accessing Istation at home, these instructions are being sent home with your child today (Wednesday, 9/6/17.)  Please be sure to follow these simple instructions so that all students are able to use Istation at home.  I recommend a minimum of one hour per week on Istation outside of school hours.  The more they use Istation, the higher their reading levels will be, the more they will receive individualized intervention lessons to strengthen reading skills in comprehension, word analysis, vocabulary and text fluency.  Additionally, I am posting the PowerPoint presentation outlining Reading class objectives, activities and student expectations.  You can link to the presentation by clicking on the button above this update post.

Back-to-School Night is Tuesday, 9/5 from 6:30pm until 8:30pm.  I hope to see everyone at Bailey for this important event and I will be reviewing our scope and sequence of instruction for the year, student expectations and general information regarding Reading class.  

All students should have completed their beginning-of-year benchmark reading leveling assessments last week for both MyOn.com and Istation.  A Lexile score is assigned based on the results of the MyOn.com leveling placement assessment and Istation scores students in the following components:  comprehension, word analysis, vocabulary and text fluency.  The comprehension, word analysis and vocabulary components are also aggregated to result in an overall reading score that aligns with a level reported as the month within a given grade year.  For example, a 6.5 score equates to an average student in the fifth month of the sixth grade school year.  Please note that even though we begin our school year in August, most schools in the U.S. begin in September, so a 6.5 score would translate to December of the sixth grade year.

The number of vocabulary words this week has been reduced to three instead of the usual five due to the Labor Day holiday, as well as simplify the work load for students to become comfortable with establishing work and study habits to ensure success.  Additionally, I am providing a full exemplar of what the vocabulary section of their journals should include to make sure they will score highly on both vocabulary quizzes and journal checks.  You can link to the document from the button below.  We will have our first vocabulary quiz on Friday, 9/8.  The quiz will include the five vocabulary words from last week and the three words from this week, which are:
  • demonstrate
  • influence
  • observe

Week of 8/28/17

I hope everyone is safe and secure as we all deal with the lingering deluge of rains associated with hurricane Harvey.  

Each week, students in Reading classes will be responsible for five academic vocabulary words.  The academic vocabulary words are all chosen from Bloom's taxonomy, which is a classification system used to define and distinguish different levels of human cognition—i.e., thinking, learning, and understanding. Educators have typically used Bloom’s taxonomy to inform or guide the development of  assessments (tests and other evaluations of student learning), curriculum (units, lessons, projects, and other learning activities), and instructional methods such as questioning strategies.  Command of these words has a direct and meaningful impact on the following areas of cognition:  Knowledge, Comprehension, Application, Analysis, Synthesis, and Evaluation.   Additionally, proficiency in the grammar skills embedded in our vocabulary work (root and base words, how affixes can change words from one part of speech to another within a word family, proper usage of parts or speech, verb conjugation in proper tenses, etc.) can greatly increase achievement in decoding of text and the main components with which students' reading levels are determined (word analysis, vocabulary, fluency and comprehension.)  Vocabulary words will be posted to this website each Sunday and students are encouraged to spend a few minutes each night studying the definitions, parts of speech, spelling, conjugating verbs in the simple present, simple past, and simple future tenses, synonyms and antonyms for the word, and other forms of the word in each word family.  For example, in addition to the verb "conclude,"  students will be responsible for the noun form "conclusion,"  the adjective form "conclusive," and the adverb form "conclusively,"  as well as the conjugations "conclude, concludes, concluding, concluded, will conclude, shall conclude, going to conclude."  Students will use the first 5-7 minutes of class (warm-up) time to work on their vocabulary, but they are encouraged to work on their vocabulary at home, as well.  There will be a vocabulary quiz every other Friday on the ten vocabulary words from the previous two weeks.  Students will be permitted to use their journals on these quizzes, so the quality of their journal entries will have a direct link to the success on quizzes.  If they do not have what they need in their journals, they will be less likely to have reference material to assist them on quizzes.  A complete journal entry will ensure high grades for both vocabulary quizzes and journal checks.

This week's academic vocabulary words are:
  • conclude
  •  classify
  •  analyze
  •  explain
  •  recognize
To assist students become comfortable with the vocabulary routine, I will provide the other parts of speech in the word families that they are responsible for at the beginning of the year.  After several weeks, students will be responsible for finding the other members of the word families on their own.  At the bottom of this posting is a link to a document with the other parts of speech in the word families.

This week will be devoted to establishing benchmark reading levels for all students.  We will be using two different leveling assessments throughout the year:  MyOn.com's Lexile placement assessment and Istation's reading leveling assessment.  Istation will be administered on a monthly basis (the first week of each month) and MyOn will be administered once in each semester.  Students will be required to track and be aware of their reading levels all year long.  I will be sending home instructions for accessing both programs from home and students are encouraged to use Istation's intervention lessons to strengthen reading skills.  MyOn provides thousands of titles of a wide variety of text genres for students to read independently on any mobile device.

Homework for this six-weeks grading cycle is to read for at least 15 minutes on a daily basis and to spend a few minutes each day working with their academic vocabulary outside of school.  Remember:  reading is not a chore!  It is a pleasurable activity that should be considered joyful, especially considering that students are able to choose the text they read independently!


Below is my contact information should anyone need to get in touch with me.  Email is the preferred method, and if you call my cell phone, I will do my best to return your call as soon as possible.  My planning periods are third and eighth periods.  Please note that the classroom telephone is the least effective way to reach me, as I do not answer it during class time to minimize distractions to instruction time (the ringer is turned off and all calls will go to voicemail until I have a chance to retrieve them.)  

email:  peter.nunziato@austinisd.org
​cell phone:  512-410-9961

Welcome to 6th Grade Reading Class!

This posting is an introduction to Mr. Nunziato's 6th Grade Reading Class website.  Here you will be able to track everything we are doing in class, assignments that students are responsible for, announcements, and general information to ensure the success of all students taking my class.  The first official posting will be for the week of 8/28, and I typically have each week's posting up no later than Sunday evening for the week beginning the following day.  

The Final Week!


Well, this is it...time to bid farewell to the 2016-2017 school year.  It's flown by so quickly and I want to thank all my wonderful students, their incredibly supportive parents and guardians, all the stellar teachers, administrators, and staff members at Bailey Middle School and everyone who is involved in our learning community.  It takes a village, and I am indebted to all the special people who contributed to our collective success this year.  I also want to wish everyone the very best for the 2017-2018 school year and a happy, healthy, fun-filled, restive and recuperative summer.  DON'T FORGET TO KEEP READING OVER THE SUMMER!!! Whether you are at the pool, the beach, the water park, the ball field, the back yard or anywhere else, reading is a fun, rewarding and enriching pastime.  While we are on the subject of reading, be sure to keep on top of your Summer Reading Assignment!  The 7th grade assignment is linked in the button below. As a reminder, the flyer for the PTA fundraiser with which purchases made at Book People result in a substantial donation to help our school can be found in last week's posting.

Even though we are in the final week of school, there are still assignments that need to be completed no later than Wednesday, 5/31.  These include journal entries for the final set of academic vocabulary words (see last week's posting for these) and the media literacy questions on pages 971 and 977 of our textbook.  Grades must be posted on Wednesday, 5/31, so I must have these completed in order to meet the grade entry deadline.  

FINAL ISTATION READING LEVEL REPORTS:
On Wednesday, 5/31, students will receive their final Istation reading level reports.  This report includes their monthly reading levels from August, 2016 - May, 2017.  The report can also be generated at home by logging in to istation.com and clicking on "customer login" and then entering the student's username and password.  Please note that the report cannot be generated by logging in to Istation from the student cloud.  It must be accessed from an internet browser via istation.com.

Once again, thanks for all the memorable experiences and ESPECIALLY for providing and participating in the laughter we have shared in our classroom this year.  I will miss you very much!

Week of 5/22/17

I just can't believe how quickly this year has passed and I am in somewhat of a melancholy (vocabulary word!) state of mind.  Of course, it's rewarding to know that my students are moving on to bigger and better things, but I will miss seeing them on a daily basis.  Bailey is the largest campus I have ever taught at, and it seems that even though we are in the same building, I don't get to see former students as much as I'd like to see them.  I can't imagine what it must be like to be a parent seeing their child head to college...

On Thursday, 5/25, students will take the final 6 Weeks Assessment.  It will be another STAAR-type test with a nonfiction passage and 11 multiple-choice questions.  Because the test is general, there is not a "study guide" and students should review their nonfiction reading skills and strategies in preparation for the test. Strategies to review include:  re-reading text, monitoring for comprehension, using the dictionary to define unfamiliar vocabulary, summarizing and paraphrasing, noting features of nonfiction texts (illustrations, graphs, bullet points, captions, etc), organizational patterns (cause & effect, description & classification, compare & contrast, etc), chunking text (making notes), identifying author's purpose (inform or persuade for nonfiction).

Below is the FINAL set of academic vocabulary words (I can hear the cheers and shouts of joy from here.)  

- acquire
- describe
- alter
- characterize
- combine

Due to the long holiday weekend, the final vocabulary quiz will be taken on Tuesday, 5/30.  

SPECIAL ANNOUNCEMENT:  THE BAILEY PTA IS HOLDING A FUNDRAISER IN PARTNERSHIP WITH BOOK PEOPLE.  20% OF ALL PURCHASES BETWEEN JUNE 11TH AND JUNE 17TH WILL BE DONATED TO THE PTA. THIS IS A GREAT WAY TO SUPPORT OUR SCHOOL, SO PLEASE TAKE ADVANTAGE OF THE OPPORTUNITY.  AS YOU PROBABLY KNOW, BOOK PEOPLE IS AN AWESOME DESTINATION (IT'S ALWAYS ON MY LIST OF PLACES TO TAKE ANYONE WHO VISITS ME FROM OUT-OF-TOWN!)  THE ATTACHED FLYER MUST BE PRESENTED IN ORDER FOR THE DONATION TO APPLY, SO PLEASE PRINT IT OUT AND SUPPORT THE PTA. THE BUTTON BELOW WILL LINK YOU TO THE FLYER

Week of 5/15/17

We are in the home stretch for the 2016-2017 school year!  Students will have grades for two more vocabulary quizzes, the final Six-Weeks Assessment, the Three-Paragraph Expository Essay, two more Classwork/Participation grades and one final Journal Entry check as opportunities to raise or maintain their grades for the final grading cycle.  

This week's academic vocabulary words are:

- cultivate
- recite
- perform
- manipulate
- interpolate

Week of 5/8/17

This is STAAR testing week for 6th grade and all students will be taking the math assessment on Monday, 5/8 and the reading assessment on Tuesday, 5/9.  Students in periods 6 and 7 will be attending class as these classes begin after the testing concludes on Monday and Tuesday.  Students are still required to complete their journal entries for this week's academic vocabulary:
  • recall
  • adapt
  • calculate
  • consider
  • establish

Please note that the three-paragraph essay that is due Monday, 5/22 is a work-in-progress until the due date. See last week's posting for details and links to resources, or students can access the assignment from their Google classrooms.

Since STAAR testing concludes on Tuesday, we will no longer be meeting for tutorial sessions on Thursdays for the last three weeks of the school year.

Week of 5/1/17

We wrap up our Shared Literature Circle reading of Edgar Allan Poe's "The Pit and the Pendulum" mid-week and move directly into our review of nonfiction reading skills and strategies using the Spanish Inquisition during the Middle Ages as our topic for investigation.  Students will be reading a variety of expository texts regarding the Inquisition from the following resources (these links are also available in each Google Classroom.):
Students will be researching the Spanish Inquisition in class using Chromebooks, but they should also  be spending time outside of class researching the topic, as well.  Upon choosing any sub-topic of interest, students will be required to write a three-paragraph (minimum) expository essay citing at least three references from their research within their essay.  This assignment is due Monday, 4/22/17.

Academic Vocabulary for this week:
  • compile
  • inspect
  • locate
  • operate
  • recognize

Week of 4/24/17

We begin our final set of Literature Circles using the first mentor text, "The Pit and the Pendulum" by Edgar Allan Poe.  Leading up to STAAR testing, we will be using ficiton, nonficition and poetry mentor texts to review and apply all the reading skills and strategies we've learned this year.  You can link to the full text that we are using in class via the button below.

Academic Vocabulary Words for this week are:
  • employ
  • interact
  • segment
  • dictate
  • edit

Tutoring sessions continue Thursday afternoons from 3:45 - 4:30pm.  Students should be reading at least 45 minutes each day outside of school and spending at least 10-15 minutes of that time studying vocabulary for the Friday quizzes.

Week of 4/17/17

We wrap up our unit on Tone and Mood in Literature this week with a test on Wednesday and move into our next Literature Circle, which will be conducted as a class and serve to review all the reading skills and strategies we learned this year leading up to the STAAR assessments.  On Thursday, we will introduce the adapted Literature Circle procedures which will include a daily rotation among read- and think-aloud modeling of recall and application of those skills and strategies.  We will discuss the options we have for mentor texts and each class will vote to choose a class novel.  We will be selecting a text that is available on our eBook resource or one that we have a full class set of traditional bound copies so that everyone can read it.  We will have our weekly academic vocabulary quiz on Friday and below are the academic vocabulary words. To help you make your own exemplars, I am providing the parts of speech you should be able to define and use, as well as the other words in their families that you should know. You should be able to conjugate each verb in the present, past and future tenses. The first word is conjugated below to remind you if you forget. You should be able to name several synonyms and antonyms for the vocabulary words. You should be able to identify the parts of speech for each as well as use them correctly in sentences.

FIRST VOCAB WORD: indicate (verb) Conjugations: (present tense: indicate, indicates, indicating) (past tense: indicated) (future tense: will indicate; shall indicate) Word Family: indication (noun) indicator (noun) indicative (adjective)

SECOND VOCAB WORD: critique (noun) NOTE: The American Heritage Student Dictionary we use in class only has this word as a noun, but it can also be used as a verb, so here is the definition for critique as a verb: "To evaluate a theory, practice or piece of work in an analytical and detailed way." As you might have guessed "criticize" is a synonym for "critique" when it is used as a verb. There are no other words in the family.

THIRD VOCAB WORD: devise (verb) Word Family: deviser (noun)

FOURTH VOCAB WORD: conclude (verb) Word Family: conclusion (noun) conclusive (adjective) conclusively (adverb) conclusiveness (noun)

FIFTH VOCAB WORD: categorize (verb) Word Family: categorization (noun) category (noun) categorical (adjective) categorically (adverb)

REMEMBER: WE HAVE STUDIED AND ACQUIRED SKILLS AND STRATEGIES AND WE HAVE TOOLS IN OUR JOURNALS AND POSTED IN THE CLASSROOM THAT SHOULD ENABLE US TO DO EVERYTHING WITHOUT EVEN NEEDING THE DICTIONARY AFTER DEFINING THE POSTED VOCABULARY WORD.

Week of 4/10/17

This week we will be studying tone and mood in literature.  We will be reviewing the definitions of tone and mood that we acquired earlier in the school year and then applying our knowledge by analyzing various excerpts from literary and expository texts to determine the tone and mood.  TONE is the attitude an author implies regarding their work and conveys through their writing and MOOD is the feelings about the work that the reader infers as a result of reading the work.  We will be working towards a much deeper and broader understanding of tone and mood to follow up on the introduction we had earlier in the 2016-2017 school year.  Click on the button below for an overview presentation of what we will be doing this week.

The majority of students have completed their April Istation leveling assessments already and I'm happy to report that there were some spikes in the scores for Overall Reading and each of the four components assessed:  Word Analysis, Comprehension, Vocabulary and Fluency.  The few students who were either absent on the administration day or unable to complete the assessment for any reason will complete theirs this week.  May will be the final leveling assessment and I am hoping to be able to send home final reports showing each of my students' performance from August through May.  Remember, you are always able to do that at home if you installed Istation using the instructions I sent home in August of last year.  I noticed that very few students maintained usage of Istation at home, and it's really a great way to provide additional support, particularly for those students who can benefit from intervention and practice in applying reading skills and strategies.

This week's Academic Vocabulary words are:
  • prioritize
  • formulate
  • extend
  • subjective
  • objective

IMPORTANT NOTICE: This will be the final week that I will be providing exemplars for academic vocabulary journal entries.  By now, all students should be well-versed in what an exemplar journal entry for academic vocabulary looks like and should assume the personal responsibility for doing the work of using a dictionary to find the definitions, conjugations of verbs, and additional parts of speech for each word in the word families.  They should be well-versed in being able to change one part of speech to another through the use of suffixes and prefixes, and they should be able to use the vocabulary within the proper grammatical rules and framework.  I do not want them to become dependent upon provision of the exemplars because this does not reinforce dictionary skills.  Additionally, all students are able to use dictionaries on STAAR assessments and they do NOT receive the level of support nor the many additional tools that  I have been providing.  It's time for them to be able to do the work on their own, not just copy the work I have done for them into their journals.  In fact, I have learned that I have been doing too much for them and this does them more of a disservice in giving them a false sense that they will always be given the answers in advance of assessments.  Next year, I will only provide exemplars for a short period of time and focus on ensuring that students are able to do the work on their own.  Any student who receives 504 accommodations for note-taking assistance will continue to receive additional support, but they should also be doing whatever they can to enter their own journal notes, as well.  For this week, two of the vocabulary words (subjective and objective) entries are purposely limited to the context in which we will be using them in reference to the lessons and activities for tone and mood, so they do not include every single definition and member of the word families to which they belong.  This is to both simplify the amount of work the students will need to do regarding vocabulary as well as avoid any possible confusion as we use them specifically for the lessons and activities. You can link to this final set of exemplars for the year by clicking on the button below.
Tutoring sessions continue every Thursday afternoon from 3:45 - 4:30 pm.
We are officially in the final six-weeks grading cycle, and students should now be spending 45 minutes each day outside of school reading.  Remember!! Reading is a pleasurable activity and students are always able to choose their own independent texts, so this is not really to be even considered "homework".  Also,  10 - 15 minutes of this time can be deducted for studying and working with the assigned vocabulary for this week, and I'm fine with some of the time deducted for any required reading for another core subject.  Ideally, at least 20 minutes of the total time should be spent on the student's independent reading choice of book. 

Week of 4/3/17

I am happy to announce that there has been a marked improvement in the weekly vocabulary quiz grades. While there have always been students who diligently kept their academic vocabulary journal entries in good order and spent a portion of their daily reading time outside of school reviewing and studying their vocabulary (and consequently saw a direct correlation between that diligence and higher grades), many more students have joined their ranks.  This has brought up averages in reading considerably, and consequently, there has been a drastic reduction in the number of borderline failing and failing students.  The academic vocabulary words are all chosen from Bloom's taxonomy, which is a classification system used to define and distinguish different levels of human cognition—i.e., thinking, learning, and understanding. Educators have typically used Bloom’s taxonomy to inform or guide the development of  assessments (tests and other evaluations of student learning), curriculum (units, lessons, projects, and other learning activities), and instructional methods such as questioning strategies.  Command of these words has a direct and meaningful impact on the following areas of cognition:  Knowledge, Comprehension, Application, Analysis, Synthesis, and Evaluation.   Additionally, proficiency in the grammar skills embedded in our vocabulary work (root and base words, how affixes can change words from one part of speech to another within a word family, proper usage of parts or speech, verb conjugation in proper tenses, etc.) can greatly increase achievement in decoding of text and the main components with which students' reading levels are determined (word analysis, vocabulary, fluency and comprehension.)

This week's academic vocabulary words are:
  • differentiate
  • organize
  • develop
  • correlate
  • outline
You can link to this week's academic vocabulary journal exemplars by clicking on the button below:
 thThe Six Weeks Assessment for the 5th grading cycle will be administered Tuesday, 4/4/17.  This will be a STAAR-type assessment with two short reading passages and corresponding multiple choice questions for each passage and across both passages.  There is not a traditional way to "study" for these type assessments other than reviewing the many reading strategies we have been acquiring and applying throughout the year.  Students will be able to use dictionaries to assist them with unfamiliar vocabulary within the passages, although they should well be able to use context clues and their knowledge of roots, affixes and word analysis skills without needing the dictionary to do so.

Literature Circle final projects are due Monday, 4/3, and students have had daily class time to work on these projects for nearly three weeks.  No projects will be accepted late due to the length of time students have had to work on these projects and the fact that the grading cycle closes on 4/7.  I will need sufficient time to grade the Six Weeks Assessments, Final Projects and students' journals reflecting this week's vocabulary and enter all those grades before the gradebook closes.

Tutoring sessions, as always, are Thursday afternoons from 3:45 - 4:30pm

Week of 3/27/17

All students should have finished reading their Literature Circle novel by 3/20/17 and should now be working on their Final Projects.  There are still a few students who have not finished reading their novel and these students were instructed to do that over the weekend.  Any student who has not finished reading their novel and has not begun working on their project is at risk, as with each passing day, they have less time to complete his/her project in time to submit it by the 4/3 deadline.  No projects will be accepted late, as everyone has had nearly three weeks since first being told about the three options to choose from for their projects and the grading cycle closes on 4/7.  I will need between 4/3 and 4/7 to devote enough time to each project in order to grade it appropriately.  Students will be given class time each day this week to work on their projects except for our regular Wednesday visit to the library at which time they will work on Istation intervention lessons.

This week's Academic Vocabulary words are:
  • elaborate
  • modify
  • decode
  • debate
  • perceive
Academic Vocabulary Journal Entry Exemplars can be found by clicking on the button below:
This week, we wrap up our read-aloud/think-aloud of Maniac Magee and prepare for our launch into Literature Circles upon return from the Thanksgiving break.  We will also introduce our routines for Literature Circle activities and the process for previewing and choosing the texts that will comprise our first round of Literature Circles.  A more detailed account of those procedures will be posted the week of 11/27/17.  Since the next vocabulary quiz would be administered next Friday and we will be on break, and we will be on a grade-wide field trip this Thursday, there is a vocabulary holiday this week (no vocabulary words are assigned.)

Господи Иисусе! - шумно вздохнул Хейл.  - Похоже, Стратмор здорово промыл тебе мозги. Ты отлично знаешь, что ФБР не может прослушивать телефонные разговоры произвольно: для этого они должны получить ордер.

0 thoughts on “Check My Homework Info Bailey Middle School”

    -->

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *