I will be available to help students in my classroom this week after school on two different days: Monday, December 9th and Wednesday, December 11th. Please encourage your child to use this time if he or she needs extra help or a quiet space to work on assignments for my class. Additionally, Ms. Geason coordinates the Homework Help club through SUN School each morning on the first floor of Beaumont. There is also an afternoon Homework Help club available to students as well. Homework Help club is free for students, though families must fill out a SUN School application. I have applications available in my classroom (they’re yellow in color, in case you see one in your child’s backpack).
MIDTERM PROGRESS REPORTS/SECOND QUARTER REPORT CARDS
Just a reminder that midterm progress reports will be calculated on Tuesday, December 17th, and that second quarter ends on Friday, January 24th. With Winter Break a mere two weeks away, time will go by quickly!
To encourage creative thinking, students will start each day copying down and responding to a vocabulary journal writing prompt. Students should have a notebook or composition book specifically for this purpose, as I will grade them at the end of the quarter. Through this activity, students will learn new vocabulary words, parts of speech for those vocabulary words, see the vocabulary words used in the context of a writing prompt, and then synthesize the information by writing a one-page response. Here are the thirty-eight journal topics for second quarter, in case a student is absent or misplaces his/her notebook or composition book. This week, students will complete journal entries 15-19. These are due on Friday, December 13th. Second Quarter Journal Topics
EMC: EXPLORING LITERATURE AND THE LANGUAGE ARTS: ROALD DAHL’S “GREEN MAMBA,” ZORA NEALE HURSTON’S “HOW THE SNAKE GOT POISON,” AND MONA GARDNER’S “THE DINNER PARTY”
For second quarter, students are studying Unit Two: The World Around Us in EMC: Exploring Literature and the Language Arts. This week, students will read Roald Dahl’s short story, “Green Mamba,” a story about Roald Dahl’s experiences while serving as a fighter pilot in Africa during World War II. Students will read the story on pg. 113-120; Zora Neale Hurston’s essay, “How the Snake Got Poison,” on p. 121; and Mona Gardner’s short story, “The Dinner Party,” on pg. 122-123. Comparing and contrasting these three different representations of snakes in literature, students will also complete the accompanying reader’s journal, writer’s journal, and guided reading questions. Questions about the stories and essay are due on Thursday, December 12th, the same day as the test. Through these activities, we will learn about theme, characterization, symbolism, suspense, dialect, vocabulary, connotation, denotation, and indirect objects.
HISTORY ALIVE: CH. 12 – “EARLY SOCIETIES IN WEST AFRICA”
For Social Studies, students will now begin Unit 3: “The Culture and Kingdoms of West Africa,” in History Alive: The Medieval World and Beyond.” For Chapter 12: “Early Societies in West Africa,” students will complete a Geography Challenge, read pg. 134-143 in the textbook, complete vocabulary and study guide assignments, as well as answer questions about the chapter on pg. 79-82 in their Interactive Notebooks. Through these activities, we will learn about West African culture between 500 and 1600 C.E. and African geography. All assignments are due on Friday, December 13th, the same day as our review game and test.
For Social Studies, students are required to complete a weekly current events assignment, due every Thursday. They should select a news story from a reputable news outlet (please see my News Sites page for suggested sites), then underline main ideas, highlight important facts or ideas, circle unfamiliar vocabulary, write notes or questions in the margins, summarize the article, and write a reflection about the article. Through this activity, we will hone their ability to extract meaning from informational text through careful reading, summary, and reflection; and develop their grammatical and vocabulary knowledge with regard to parts of speech, vocabulary definitions, and context of vocabulary usage. In addition, we will learn about what is happening in the world today. Their current event assignment is due Thursday, December 12th. Current Events Sheet
AFRICAN COUNTRY POSTER PROJECT
In the third unit of Medieval World History, we examine the culture and kingdoms of West Africa during the Middle Ages. To better compare and contrast where Africa was during this time versus now, each student will complete a poster for one African country. I have colored paper, markers, and colored pencils available in class for students to use should they need them. Through this activity, we will increase knowledge of political boundaries, world capitals, different types of government, economics, world languages, individual cultural contributors, and the spelling and meaning of vocabulary words falling under these categories. The African Country Poster Project is due on Wednesday, December 18th. African Country Poster Project
INDEPENDENT NOVEL PROJECT
I have revamped the Independent Novel Project for second quarter. Please see the link below for updated guidelines and project point values. Students’ second-quarter Independent Novel Projects are due on Thursday, January 9th. Students may select from the different options included on the assignment sheet. An alternative would be for students to select projects from my Enrichment Project Options page, instead of options on the Independent Novel Project assignment sheet. Any substitutions would necessitate a project proposal meeting with me in advance of starting alternative assignments. Through this activity, we will increase reading of fiction, expand skills in the six traits of writing, develop knowledge of literary elements (setting, plot, theme, characterization, and symbolism), and gain computer proficiency with different software applications. This assignment is due on Thursday, January 9th, but I will gladly accept projects early. Independent Novel Project