Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Family Letter Homework

Welcome to your new families!   

Homework:  20 points
Due by Friday, October 21, at 5pm

One paragraph EACH:

Part I Read "Ten Rules for Group Learning"  and select the one that you think is most important to your team's success.  Give a detailed explanation as to why you chose the rule.  

Part II  Discuss your feelings about our new FAMILY learning environment.  Are you excited about having people to depend on and work with?  Do you fear or anticipate any problems?  If so, offer potential solutions or preventative measures you can take.


1. Move into your groups quickly, sit close together, use first names, and get right to work. Do not engage in "off-task" discussion. Make it your responsibility to encourage everyone to participate.

2. Read aloud all instructions and given information. Getting all of the facts into the "record" helps ensure that everyone is aware of the assumptions and the expectations of the assignment. 

3. Listen carefully to each other. Try not to interrupt. Respond to, or at least acknowledge, comments made or questions asked by other group members. 

4. Do not accept confusion passively. If you do not understand the information that someone is presenting, try to paraphrase what was said, or ask someone to help you paraphrase it. 

5. Ask for clarification whenever someone uses a word in a way that you find confusing. The correct use of vocabulary is an essential part of successful communication and writing. 

6. Do not split up the work. Everyone should focus their attention on the same task at the same time. It is much easier to resolve conflicts when group members work together and check for agreement frequently. 

7. Make a habit of explaining your reasoning or "thinking out loud," and ask others to do the same. The process of constructing and refining explanations helps everyone to relate the information being presented to what they already know. 

8. Monitor your group's progress and be aware of the time constraints. It is important, and appropriate, to ask each other how what you are doing will help your group complete the assignment. 

9. If a group member gets stuck, review and summarize what you've done so far. This process creates new opportunities for group members to ask questions, and often it will reveal important connections and creative opportunities.

10. Question-asking is the engine that drives strong writing. Re-read the guidelines above and identify as many different ways as you can to generate questions during group work.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Vocabulary Extra Credit Giveaway!

We discovered so many new vocabulary words in Jill Yablon's Indelible Moment Story, "How I Survived 8th Grade."  (You can find that document in your Google Docs!)  I would like to present 16 students with this extra credit giveaway!

To Win:
Choose one of the vocabulary words in the list below.
a.)  Write the definition, as found on www.dictionary.com
b.)  Use the word correctly in an original sentence (one created by YOU)

Giveaway Rules:
1.  A student may post no more than one comment to THIS post to enter the giveaway.
2.  Once a word has been chosen and a comment has been written for it, no other student may receive credit for it.
3.  If a word is chosen and either its definition or its use in a sentence is incorrect, a student may correct the error for extra credit.
4.  To receive credit, commenter must post both the definition and the original sentence in the same comment.
5.  The giveaway ends once all 16 words have been chosen and completed.

And so ... here are your 16 words!  Which 16 students will win extra credit?
1.  quintessential (adj.)
2.  aptitude (n.)
3.  androgynous(adj.)
4.  lithe (adj.)
5.  expound (v.)
6.  eradication (n.)
7.  feign (v.)
8.  stoic (adj.)
9.  elated (adj.)
10.  redemption (n.)
11.  catapult (n. or v.)
12.  defy (v.)
13.  scoff (v.)
14.  innocuous (adj.)
15.  relinquish (v.)
16.  vulnerable (adj.)

Good luck!
Are you going to keep this finding to yourself or tell your friends?

Jill's Indelible Moment

In case you missed the assignment for your first GoogleDoc commentary:

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Unit #1 Vocabulary Love

We sure are working hard to learn all these new words!

Here's what we're working on in our Vocabulary books this week:

1.  Due Wednesday, October 12, by 11.59pm (submit via email):
     Part I:  Write five original sentences using any five vocabulary words. Each sentence should feature only one new vocabulary word.
     Part II:  Write 2-5 sentences that include all of the words you used in Part I together.  (If you can do it in one sentence, then go you!)

Later this week, we'll be voting on the blog for the best sentences created by your classmates!  Be sure to do your best work so you get chosen!

2.  Due Thursday/Friday, October 13/14, in class:
     Complete the exercises on pp. 24-26 (Completing the Sentence, Synonyms, Antonyms, Choosing the Right Word).  You may complete them in pencil in your book.

Good luck!

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Vocabulary: Unit #1

Are you loving your shiny, new Vocabulary Book?  Please remember to bring it to class with you every day, and to take good care of it.  Use pencil only when writing in it.

The first 20 flashcards on the Unit #1 words will be due on Tuesday, October 11!

Fun fact:  your vocabulary book comes with an online resource!  Check it out to get more information about the words, including an audio sample and some additional example sentencesYou can even download the MP3 files to play on your iPod, your phone, your enormous speaker system at home ... 

... oh yeah.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Schoolhouse Rock still rocks.

I know it's corny, but I still adore Schoolhouse Rock.  It reminds me of Saturday morning cartoons and enormous bowls of sugary cereals.

What's not to love?

Nouns Test on Wednesday!

As you know (and are very excited about), we are having a test on NOUNS this Wednesday, October 5.

You know everything you need to know!  Review your worksheets, textbook exercises, and class notes.  Be sure not to miss class on Monday/Tuesday, because a little nerdy classroom competition might just be all you need to get prepared!

Test Prep Office Hours:  Tuesday, 4-5pm