Week of December 15th

I’m listening to “A Charlie Brown Christmas” and enjoying the savory smell of turkey curry casserole drifting through my house as I write! I’m also enjoying having working electricity after last week’s windstorm.

For starters, students will complete journal entries 60-63 this week. Words include idle, immoral, immune, and impetuous!

In Language Arts, students will finish reading Suzanne Fisher Staples’ bildungsroman, Shabanu: Daughter of the Wind, a coming-of-age story about a nomadic Pakistani adolescent in the Cholistan Desert. Students will read chapters 16-23 and answer a variety of discussion questions.

Students will start writing an essay this week, “A Day in the Life of a Muslim Teen,” about how Muslim beliefs and practices influence a fictional, devout, Muslim teenager. To prepare for the essay, and gain background information on the difficulties modern-day Muslims face in the United States, students will watch and discuss two spoken word poems: “I Am a Muslim Teen” and “What If I Told You the Truth About Islam?” A Day in the Life of a Muslim Teenager Essay

Zahra Abukar did a fabulous job presenting about Islam to my two core classes, and she and her cousin, Samrana Munye, have offered to return to my classes to talk more about remaining questions students might have about Islam, now that they’ve had the chance to study it a bit more in class. I’ll work on scheduling that for January, before the end of second quarter.

For those interested in exploring travel options for their children, I’ve scheduled another informational meeting this Tuesday, December 16th, at 4:00 p.m., about Spring Break 2016: Paris and the French Riviera EF Tour. This will provide me with the chance to answer any additional questions and assist anyone with registration, should they need help.

This Tuesday, December 16th, teachers will finalize second quarter midterm progress report grades. Please make sure your to check your child’s grades in Synergy so there are no surprises.

This Friday, December 19th, I’ll hold a “Friday Fun Day” in my classroom, where students’ ticket in the door will be completion of all work in my Language Arts and Social Studies classes. Students in both core classes have voted to watch the movie, Elf. Students with missing work will attend study hall in another room on Friday to complete missing assignments.

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Week of December 8th

I hope everyone had a great weekend! My Christmas tree is up and the smells of turkey soup and holiday bread are wafting through my house as I write!

For starters, this week, students will complete journal entries 56-59. This week’s words include: gullible, haggard, harass, and hearty!

Students who have a Backstage Pass, and turned in their permission slips and $5 to Ms. Dunn, will participate in a Backstage Pass Field Trip this Wednesday, December 10th, between 1st and 4th periods. Students will eat lunch as soon as they return to school.

Zahra Abukar, an eighth-grader at Beaumont and practicing Muslim, will join my PM Core class during 6th period this Wednesday, December 10th, to discuss elements and practices of Islam, and share personal experiences as a modern-day female Muslim in Portland. Zahra is very excited to join us, and we’re very excited to have her as a guest speaker!

In Social Studies, students will learn about the beliefs and practices of Islam on pp. 93-103 in their History Alive: The Medieval World and Beyond textbooks and demonstrate their comprehension by writing down answers to questions about the chapter and drawing sketches on pp. 55-59 in their Interactive Student Notebooks. They will also pick an article from Junior Scholastic or the Smithsonian Tween Tribune to analyze and summarize for their group current event presentation on Friday.

Smithsonian Tween Tribune

Junior Scholastic Online

In Language Arts, students will continue their study of Suzanne Fisher Staples’ bildungsroman, Shabanu: Daughter of the Wind, a coming-of-age story about a nomadic Pakistani adolescent in the Cholistan Desert. This week, students will read chapters 8-15 and answer a variety of discussion questions.

Please note that second-quarter midterm grades will be calculated in just over a week, on Tuesday, December 16th. To participate in a “Friday Fun Day” during my class on Friday, December 19th, the day before Winter Break, students must have all assignments for my classes turned into me by Thursday, December 18th. If not, they will spend the two periods in another room to complete missing work.

On the travel front, I will lead an EF Tour for students to Paris and the French Riviera during Spring Break 2016. The trip will be geared toward my current French students, students who plan to take French with me next year in eighth grade, and students who plan to take French as ninth graders. To get the best price, please consider registering prior to Winter Break. Fore more travel information, check out this link: http://www.eftours.com/tour-website/1681167KE

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Week of December 1st

Bonjour!

For starters, this week, students will complete journal entries 51-55. This week’s words include: frugal, futility, giddy, glutton, and grotesque! Daily Journal Topics

I’m very excited to announce that I just received my online password for Junior Scholastic and Scope magazines! (I will receive hard copy magazines in January.) Students will get to use online articles from Junior Scholastic this week for their current event group presentations on Friday.

Junior Scholastic Online

Zahra Abukar, an eighth-grader at Beaumont and practicing Muslim, is joining our class tomorrow to discuss elements and practices of Islam, and share personal experiences as a modern-day female Muslim in Portland. Zahra is very excited to join us, and we’re very excited to have her as a guest speaker!

In Social Studies, students will read Ch. 8: “The Prophet Muhammad,” on pp. 83-91, about his life and the expansion of Muslim lands. They’ll summarize four major times of Muhammad’s life, as well as the spread of Islam, and complete a map activity, on pp. 49-54 of their Interactive Student Notebooks.

In Language Arts, students will continue their study of Suzanne Fisher Staples’ bildungsroman, Shabanu: Daughter of the Wind, a coming-of-age story about a nomadic Pakistani adolescent in the Cholistan Desert. This week, students will read chapters 2-11 in class and answer a variety of discussion questions.

On the travel front, I will lead an EF Tour for students to Paris and the French Riviera during Spring Break 2016. The trip will be geared toward my current French students, students who plan to take French with me next year in eighth grade, and students who plan to take French as ninth graders. I’ll have my first informational meeting for parents and students this Tuesday, December 2nd, at 6:30 p.m., in my classroom (Room 212). I hope to see you there! In the meantime, please check out this link for more travel information: http://www.eftours.com/tour-website/1681167KE

I’ve purchased half-year subscriptions for Scholastic Scope (a monthly Language Arts magazine) and Junior Scholastic (a bi-weekly Social Studies magazine). Thirty copies of each magazine for a half-year costs $286. I went ahead and put it on my credit card, but if you can chip in for any portion of this, I’d be greatly obliged! If you can’t afford it right now, please don’t worry about it. So far, I’ve collected $271 from parents in my core classes. Thank you to all of you who have chipped in so far!!

Merci!

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Week of November 24th

Bonjour!

For starters, this week, students will complete journal entries 48-50. This week’s words include: fortitude, fret, and frivolous! Daily Journal Topics

This week, students will embark on the second unit of the year: The Rise of Islam. They’ll focus on geography of the Arabian Peninsula, and how that impacted trade and people’s way of life. Additionally, they’ll gain background on and start reading Suzanne Fisher Staples’ bildungsroman, Shabanu: Daughter of the Wind, a coming-of-age story about a nomadic Pakistani adolescent in the Cholistan Desert.

On the travel front, I will lead an EF Tour for students to Paris and the French Riviera during Spring Break 2016. The trip will be geared toward my current French students and students who plan to take French with me next year in eighth grade. I’ll have my first informational meeting for parents and students on Tuesday, December 2nd, at 6:30 p.m., in my classroom (Room 212). I hope to see you there! In the meantime, please check out this link for more travel information: http://www.eftours.com/tour-website/1681167KE

I’ve purchased half-year subscriptions for Scholastic Scope (a monthly Language Arts magazine) and Junior Scholastic (a bi-weekly Social Studies magazine). Thirty copies of each magazine for a half-year costs $286. I went ahead and put it on my credit card, but if you can chip in for any portion of this, I’d be greatly obliged! If you can’t afford it right now, please don’t worry about it. So far, I’ve collected $260 from parents in my core classes. Thank you to all of you who have chipped in so far!!

Merci!

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Week of November 17th

Bonjour!

For starters, this week, students will complete journal entries 43-47. This week’s words include: ferocity, flatter, flounder, folly, and forlorn! Daily Journal Topics

To write for an audience and learn more about students in other cultures, students will continue writing their Ghanaian pen pal letter-writing odyssey this week! David Del Mar, Co-Founder and President of local non-profit Yo Ghana! http://www.yoghana.org/, was kind enough to visit our classroom recently to tell us more about Ghanaian schools and culture, and the goal of his non-profit organization. Students will exchange letters four times throughout the school year with students at Angel’s Academy, just outside of Ghana’s capital, Accra. For an interesting overview of Ghana, recently nicknamed “The African Lion” for its tremendous economic growth, check out the video Portrait of a Nation: Ghana:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KCph51bHZ6E (27:30).

Now that students have finished reading Crispin: The Cross of Lead and finished their amazing, life-sized character silhouettes, they will focus intently on their character analysis essay, based on a character in Crispin who has overcome (or not overcome) obstacles in the book. They will use quotations captured in character silhouettes as textual evidence.

On the travel front, I will lead an EF Tour for students to Paris and the French Riviera during Spring Break 2016. The trip will be geared toward my current French students and students who plan to take French with me next year in eighth grade. I’ll have my first informational meeting for parents and students on Tuesday, December 2nd, at 6:30 p.m., in my classroom (Room 212). I hope to see you there! In the meantime, please check out this link for more travel information: http://www.eftours.com/tour-website/1681167KE

I’ve purchased half-year subscriptions for Scholastic Scope (a monthly Language Arts magazine) and Junior Scholastic (a bi-weekly Social Studies magazine). Thirty copies of each magazine for a half-year costs $286. I went ahead and put it on my credit card, but if you can chip in for any portion of this, I’d be greatly obliged! If you can’t afford it right now, please don’t worry about it. So far, I’ve collected $240 from parents in my core classes. Thank you to all of you who have chipped in so far!!

Merci!

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Week of November 12th

Bonjour!

First quarter has ended, grades are finalized, and second quarter has begun!

For starters, this week, students will complete journal entries 41-43. This week’s words include: extravagant, fatigue, and ferocity! Daily Journal Topics

To write for an audience and learn more about students in other cultures, students will embark on their Ghanaian pen pal letter-writing odyssey this week! David Del Mar, Co-Founder and President of local non-profit Yo Ghana! http://www.yoghana.org/, was kind enough to visit our classroom last week to tell us more about Ghanaian schools and culture, and the goal of his non-profit organization. Students will exchange letters throughout the school year with students at Angel’s Academy, just outside of Ghana’s capital, Accra.

Now that students have finished reading Crispin: The Cross of Lead and finished their amazing, life-sized character silhouettes, they will focus intently on their character analysis essay, based on a character in Crispin who has overcome (or not overcome) obstacles in the book. They will use quotations captured in character silhouettes as textual evidence.

On the travel front, I’ve decided to spearhead leading an EF Tour for students to Paris and the French Riviera during Spring Break 2016. The trip will be geared toward my current French students and students who plan to take French with me next year in eighth grade. I’ll have my first informational meeting for parents and students on Tuesday, December 2nd, at 6:30 p.m., in my classroom (Room 212). I hope to see you there!

I’ve purchased half-year subscriptions for Scholastic Scope (a monthly Language Arts magazine) and Junior Scholastic (a bi-weekly Social Studies magazine). Thirty copies of each magazine for a half-year costs $286. I went ahead and put it on my credit card, but if you can chip in for any portion of this, I’d be greatly obliged! If you can’t afford it right now, please don’t worry about it. So far, I’ve collected $195 from parents in my core classes. Thank you to all of you who have chipped in so far!!

Merci!

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Week of November 3rd

Greetings! Students have finished reading Crispin: The Cross of Lead and most of you had a chance to see their amazing, life-sized character silhouettes at conferences (in addition to their fabulous biopoems!) They will present their character silhouettes to the class on Monday and get a chance to see what other students created. With character silhouettes completed and published, students will now embark on a character analysis essay, based on a character in Crispin who has overcome (or not overcome) obstacles in the book. They will use quotations captured in character silhouettes as textual evidence. On Thursday, students will participate in a literary tea party, where they will take on the persona of one of the characters in Crispin, while enjoying herbal tea, hot apple cider, hot chocolate, and cookies. For journal entries, students will complete 36-40. Daily Journal Topics

For Social Studies, students will continue preparing their Medieval Europe Group Project presentations and have started putting those together. Some of the topics chosen include The Byzantine Empire, A Peasant’s Life, The Bubonic Plague, Medieval Architecture, Medieval Art, and Medical Diseases and Treatments. As it’s election season, students will prepare a group Oregonian ballot measure presentation for Friday, discussing the pros and cons of each ballot measure in front of the class.

I’ve purchased half-year subscriptions for Scholastic Scope (a monthly Language Arts magazine) and Junior Scholastic (a bi-weekly Social Studies magazine). Thirty copies of each magazine for a half-year costs $286. I went ahead and put it on my credit card, but if you can chip in for any portion of this, I’d be greatly obliged! If you can’t afford it right now, please don’t worry about it. So far, I’ve collected $160 from parents in my core classes. Thank you to all of you who have chipped in so far!!

Please note that the last day of first quarter is Friday, November 7th. First quarter report card grades will be finalized on Monday, November 10th. Veterans’ Day is Tuesday, November 11th. Students will not have school on either Monday, November 10th or Tuesday, November 11th.

I’ve updated Synergy as of all assignments received last week. Please encourage students to turn in any missing work so they can get the best first quarter grades possible.

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