Sunday, October 27, 2013

Sharing Narratives and revising
Happy Weekend!

Our week flew by with the students focusing on their narrative writing pieces, their second book reviews, and our work on comparing characters in a story.
     While working on their narrative pieces, the students worked hard on writing long and meaningful. They are focusing on sensory imagery, making their reader feel as if they are in the story. The students are trying their hand at writing meaningful dialogue and including their internal feelings within their writing pieces. These are difficult skills that they are challenging themselves with as they create their writing.
Making our writing better with help from friends
     As you may have seen at home, the students are also working on note taking for their second book review which is a book talk. Each student will have an opportunity to stand before the class and present their book choice for a given genre. During their book talk, they will focus on the theme of the book and how the main character grows and changes from the beginning of the book to the end.
     We also handed out the magazine and cookie packets for our school fundraiser. These packets went home on Friday. Please be sure and ask your child to take a look at the envelopes as they have many options to purchase to help our school raise money for "Save the Children" as well as fund great programs and extra curricular items for our school.
The fund raiser  this year is a combination of Save the Children and prizes. Students will earn Save the Children certificates and prizes for sales. The certificates will purchase egg-laying chickens for the hungry of Guatemala.

October 31, November 4 and November 7: Turn-In Days
Make checks payable to: Harrison Middle School

School Code: 2620326

All Magazines Count as Two Items Sold!

10/28-11/8 Student, Parent, Teacher conferences with Mrs. Rollins

Friday, October 18, 2013

Our Bloggers
Post by Abby and Claudia

The week flashed by so fast! It was a short week because of Columbus day, but that didn't stop us from learning! First, we got right on task by finishing up our book reports. After our book reports, we started up our narratives. Writing, writing, and more writing! We talked about how good "leads" are very important in stories and even read several novel's beginnings to see what hooked readers in and what was a little bit boring.
 We also learned about the four types of grammar sentences. The first one is a Declarative which means an informative sentence. The next one was an Imperative which is a sentence telling something important like a direction. The third one is Interrogative which is a question that someone would ask. The final one is an Exclamatory which means there is an exclamation point at the end of a sentence. This one shows excitement or anger.
creativity at work

 We continued our week working on character trait charts. We used the book Animal House And Iz and used the characters in it for our chart. We wrote down the character and their traits with evidence from the story to prove the traits. We will continue to chart traits to see how a character changes by the end of the book.  BYE :)!!!

Friday, October 11, 2013

Friday Fun!
Week 6

Happy Friday!
     This was a long and busy week with school work and more NECAP testing. We are officially done with testing this Fall and can now move on to uninterrupted learning. 
     We started our week continuing our book review writing. Most of our focus was on writing a plot compared to writing an introductory summary. Students worked hard at typing and completing their reviews. This was also our second week of Wordly Wise vocabulary work. Between our testing we were also able to work on our narrative pieces which had been put on hold for a while due to testing. The kids have so much enthusiasm for writing and it shows in their work. Our work this week has focused on a seed moment told with sensory imagery. Next week we will focus on "great leads." 
Book Review work
     In the last few weeks, most of our reading work has been working on Standard one: Supporting your thinking using details from the text. We have practiced inferencing and writing about theme while including details from text. We will be moving on to standard three: Comparing one or more characters in a story and how they grow and change over time in a story. As we learn these good reading traits, the students will have many opportunities to practice through the year with all of their novel reading.

     We ended our week with a visit from Ms. Vincenzi. She spoke to us about participating in "Letters to Uganda." We will be writing letters to students in a school in Uganda. These are refugee students who had to leave their homeland due to war. Ask your children to fill you in on the details of what they learned form Ms. Vincenzi.  This is a school wide activity. HMS has helped these children each year with clothes, school supplies, and more. 
*Please be sure to check your email for the conference sign-ups. Mr. Smith's homeroom-this is an option.
*No School on Monday 10/14

Have a relaxing weekend!

Friday, October 4, 2013

Theme work
Week 5

Happy Weekend!                  

     We started our week with our first Spelling packet. This was an introduction to what the packets will look like and the format. Each Monday of a spelling week, all of the students will take a pre-test with group 1 words. If they score 100%, then they will move to the group 2 words for that week. If they miss one or more, they will stay with the group 1 words for that week. Remember, Spelling and Wordly Wise vocabulary switch every other week.
     We continued our study of "Theme" this week while working in groups to find the theme of different picture books. Once the students were identifying the theme in picture books, we moved on to talk about the theme in novels. Many students started to see how an author can build his entire plot based on a theme and yet that theme can develop and change as the story and characters change.
Students then took their new knowledge and applied it to writing about the theme in their book review reports. We will continue to discuss theme throughout the year with each book we read. This will be a constant practice as we grow as a reading group.
     We also had a chance to check out our next book report books so we could get started on the reading. The Dolphins are starting with an Adventure Survival genre while the Geese are starting with Historical Fiction. Please continue to check in each night with your reader to be sure they are moving along in their books.
"NECAP thinking"

      As you know at home, we are in the thick of NECAP testing. The students have been so concentrated on doing their best effort. I am so proud of them! This years test is long and new to them with a large part of the testing on writing. They will surely need to relax and enjoy their weekend before we head into the second half next Wednesday and Thursday.
     After our NECAPS are complete, We will begin having students from alternate classes, writing our blog each Friday to fill you in on our learning.
   Also, please look for a conference sign-up email to be coming your way next week. We will be doing a short goal setting and check-in conference with our homeroom classes during the last week of October. During this check-in, your child's homeroom teacher will discuss academic goals that your child has set for him/herself with the help of both teachers. This will be a Parent and Student check-in. In February, we will set up a conference with Parents and both Teachers to discuss your child's academic progress.

Enjoy your weekend!