NOTE - Homework will be updated weekly; however, sometimes it will change due to the needs of the class. Please also refer to the student planner for the most up-to-date homework information.
WEEKLY HOMEWORK UPDATES:
JANUARY 1/21 - 1-24 - We will continue working on our class sample of the Research Report that investigates the causes and effects of sound pollution. On Tuesday, we will determine our main points and then find and paraphrase evidence for our second graphic organizer that will be used to write one of the body paragraphs. On Wednesday we analyze a sample research report on a different topic so that we can understand the "big idea" of what this report will look like before we start crafting the paragraphs for our class sample. On Thursday, groups will work collaboratively to create an introduction paragraph an on Friday we will start writing body paragraph one together as a class. Homework: Students will need to finish Graphic Organizer #2 for our Research Report for homework on Tuesday. If they don't finish analyzing the sample Research Report in class, it is possible that they will also need to finish that for homework on Wednesday. Other than that, students should be reading from an independent reading novel for at least 20 minutes for five days this week. Also, students need to secure a copy of A Long Walk to Water by Linda Sue Park by February 10th. Please let me know at least a week in advance if you need help acquiring a copy of this novel.
1/13 - 1-17 - This week we will begin to work through the class sample of the research report that students will have to move through independently in a few weeks for their summative assessment. Our class research report is based on the following questions: 1) . What are the causes of noise pollution? 2) What are the effects of noise pollution? We will review the prompt together on class and then read our first article, highlighting evidence that answers either research question. On Tuesday, we will repeat this process with our second article and then we will spend the rest of the week working on our graphic organizers where we determine our main point topics, best supporting evidence, and then paraphrasing the evidence in our own words. Homework: Students will need to finish highlighting evidence in our first article for homework on Monday night. On Thursday, they might also need to finish some of the paraphrasing in our graphic organizer if we don't move through it all together in class. Other than that, students should read from an independent reading novel for at least 20 minutes three days this week. Finally, if students plan on retaking the test, they should study the Study Guide posted in Google Classroom or their Sentence Structure notes at least four times for 15 minutes leading up to the retake
1/7 - 1-10 - Students will get to see how they did on their Sentence Structure Tests when we return and then will post-assess the ATL skills that were the focus of Unit 2. Then we will start our third unit of the year which is based on researching topics about how humans impact the environment. We will use this week to start building foundational skills for our research unit, including how to use context clues to predict the definitions of unfamiliar words and how to paraphrase factual information. We will also start exploring some topics related to human impact on the environment, as these will be the topics of their upcoming Research Reports. Homework: Students may need to complete a short "True/False" Trivia activity for homework on Tuesday night if we don't get to it in class. Other than that, they should read from an independent reading novel for at least 20 minutes for five days of the week. Also, if students plan on retaking the test, they should study the Study Guide posted in Google Classroom or their notes for at least four times for 15 minutes leading up to the retake and set-up a time to meet with me if they need extra support.
DECEMBER 12/16 - 12/20 - We will spend the first three days of the week reviewing all four sentence structures for the test on Thursday. On Monday, we will practice writing all different sentence structures and on Tuesday they will practice correcting run-on sentences and fragments. Then on Wednesday, they will rewrite a paragraph utilizing all of the different sentence structures so that the paragraph has sentence variety. They will have their test on Thursday and then on Friday all of MYP will go iceskating. Homework: The Sentence Structure graphics that they started in class on Friday is due on Wednesday. This is good review for the test, but students should also be studying their notes for 5-10 minutes each day. On the test, students need to know how many independent and subordinate clauses go in each sentence type, how to correctly write each sentence type, and why it is important to be able to correctly write with all four sentence structures. If students want to start their test early, they are allowed to come in Thursday morning before school to start and then finish in class later that day. Finally, students should read for at least 20 minutes from their independent reading book for a minimum of three days.
12/9 - 12/13 - We will continue learning about and working with different sentence structures this week in class. On Monday and Tuesday we will learn about complex sentences, and on Wednesday and Thursday we will learn about compound-complex sentences. On Friday we will review all four sentence structures by creating a sentence structure graphic. Homework: If we do not finish an activity or assignment in class, it may be assigned for homework that night. Other than that, students should be studying their sentence structure notes for about 5-10 minutes each night. This is much more effective than cramming the night before because it helps store the information in long-term memory. Also, optional Cultural Value essay revision packets are due to me by Friday and students should be reading for 20 minutes a night for at least three days of the week.
12/2 - 12/6 - We are finishing up our second unit on the year on Monday with some activities that encourage them to reflect on their individual growth in the skills and concepts covered in this unit. Then we will start a mini-unit on sentence structure which will take us to Winter Break. On Tuesday, we will learn about the building blocks of sentences, independent and subordinate clauses, on Wednesday we will learn about the components of a simple sentence, and on Thursday and Friday, we will spend time working with Compound Sentences. Homework: Students will be assigned a Unit Reflection via Google Classroom on Monday that needs to be completed for homework by Friday. I also encourage students to study their Sentence Structure notes for about 5-10 minutes each night to help them prepare for the test at the end of the unit. We will be slowly adding to our notes over the next two and a half weeks, spending one or two days working with each sentence structure/concept before moving on and adding the next type to our notes. If students consistently study in short increments over time rather than cram right before the test, their brains will truly learn and understand the information which will not only help them to memorize the information, but also to apply the concepts they are learn during class activities - ultimately strengthening their depth of understanding. Finally, students should read from their independent reading novel for at least 20 minutes for three days of the week.
NOVEMBER 11/18-11/22 - On Monday, students will finish up the graphic organizers on their essay outlines and then they will have the rest of the week, which is four class periods, to actually type their essays. Since this is a summative assessment, students are only allowed to work on it during designated times at school and are not allowed to work on it from home. If students miss a day of school or are feeling behind, they can talk to me about a morning before school when they can also come work on it. Homework: Since we are working on their summative assessment this week, the only homework is reading from their independent reading novel for at least 20 minutes for five days of the week.
11/12-11/15 - This week we are going to prepare for summative assessment for this unit, which is an essay that compares or contrasts the values demonstrated by both Beowulf and Superman in order to determine if there is one universal set of cultural values or if each culture has its own unique set of values. We will spend a day going over different types of attention grabbers and then writing a few different options for their essay so that they have choices when they sit down to write next week. Since this is a four or five paragraph essay, depending on their claim, we will spend three days creating an outline for their essay. Students will write their essays next week in class. Homework: Since we are starting their summative assessment this week, the only homework is reading from their independent reading novel for at least 20 minutes for five days of the week.
11/4 - 11/8- We will use this week to start preparing for the summative assessment of the unit, which is an essay that compares or contrasts the values demonstrated by both Beowulf and Superman in order to determine if there is one universal set of cultural values or if each culture has its own unique set of values. On Monday, we will practice how to correctly introduce, punctuate, and cite textual evidence. On Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday, we will watch the movie Superman: Man of Steel while taking notes about the values that Superman demonstrates in the movie and then comparing them to the values that Beowulf demonstrates in the book. We will finish the week on Friday reviewing the prompt and rubric for the essay, as we will begin outlining and writing next week. Homework: On Monday, students will be assigned their only homework for the week via Google Classroom which is the Heroes From Around the World assignment. I will review it in class on Monday, but students will have until Friday morning to complete it during Study Hall or for homework. Other than that, students should read from an independent reading novel for at least 20 minutes for three days of the week.
OCTOBER 10/28 - 10/31- We will start the week with finishing up the characterization charts, which is their formative assessment for the unit. We will also continue to read Beowulf: A New Telling over the course of the week, finishing the novel by Friday. As we finish up the book, we will continue to explore characterization, theme, and values that are expressed through the hero Beowulf. Students should be prepared for a quiz on Thursday or Friday. Homework: There isn't On Monday, students need to read and annotate Chapter 12 and on Tuesday students need to read and annotate Chapter 14. Also, students may choose to work on their formative assessments in Study Hall on Tuesday or they can come in early on Tuesday or Wednesday if they feel they are behind. Also, students need to bring in a signed permission slip by Friday in order to watch the movie Superman next week (it will be the second text that we use in our summative essay about how heroes demonstrate a culture's values). Students should also read their independent reading novel for 20 minutes at least three days this week.
10/21 - 10/25- We will start the week by collaboratively answering questions about Chapters 5-7, so that I can have a day to assess their understanding of the novel so far (since I was in Catalina last week). On Tuesday, we will evaluate different responses about characterization, preparing them for their summative at the end of the week. ON Wednesday, students will have a quiz on the chapters up to this point and we will discuss how symbolism in used in the book. Then on Thursday and Friday we will review the directions for their formative assessment, characterization charts, and they will have the rest of the time to work. Homework: There isn't much assigned homework this week, but it is possible that I will assign more reading from Beowulf if we can't fit it in during class. The only planned homework is reading Chapter 9 on Tuesday with two annotations. Since we are reading the majority of Beowulf together in class, students should still be reading an independent reading novel for homework, so that they can still reach their 20 minutes of reading for 5 days a week goal.
10/13 - 10/18 - This week, I will be in Catalina on the 8th grade field trip, so Mr. Briggs will be teaching 7th grade Language and Literature. They will start the week reviewing the RACE strategy for short response answers and will use this to explain if Grendel from the cover of the book is scarier than the written description in the book. Then they will focus on how authors develop characters and they will focus their annotations in the book on characterization. They will end the week with a RACE response about a character trait shown in a clip from The Lion King. Homework: Since I won't be here this week, students won't have assigned homework unless they don't finish some of their work in class. As always, they should be reading for at least 20 minutes for five days of the week. 10/7 - 10/11 - We will spend Monday learning about the Statement of Inquiry, ATL skills, and the concepts in our new unit centered on how heroes represent values. On Tuesday, students will read the origin stories of three different American heroes and they will explore how these heroes reflect the historical context of when they were created. On Wednesday we will learn background information about Beowulf and the oral tradition and we will actually start reading the book Beowulf: A New Telling on Thursday and Friday. Homework: Students started their Ideal Hero project in class on Friday, but whatever they did not finish is their homework for the week - their picture and a printed out paragraph are due on Monday, October 14th. Also, optional summative paragraph revision packets are due in my basket by the end of the day on Thursday October 10th. As always, students should be reading from an independent reading novel for at least 20 minutes for three days of the week.
SEPTEMBER 9/30 - 10/4 - This week we are going to focus on the first activity of our second unit, which is the Paper Bag speech that uses every day items to symbolize the three most important values in their lives. Last week we went over the prompt and rubric and worked on their notecards so that they could start practicing over the weekend. On Monday, we will refine our notecards and practice speaking with intonation through reading children's books. On Tuesday, we will spend the majority of class practicing the speeches with a partner while being timed so that they can get feedback and make adjustments as needed. Students will actually present their speeches to the class on Wednesday and Thursday, so they need to bring their decorated bags, notecards, and items by that day. On Friday, we will start to explore the concept of how super heroes are created to represent the values of the culture that created them. Homework: Students should practice their speech aloud a minimum of three times before Wednesday because the more they practice, the more prepared they will be when they present to the class. If students didn't finish the majority of their notecards in class on Friday, they should work on them over the weekend so they can make small adjustments to them in class on Monday. Also, they need to remember to bring their decorated bags, items, and notecards by Wednesday. As always, students should be reading from their independent reading novel for at least twenty minutes for three days.
9/23 - 9/27 - Students will use the first few days of the week to finish their summative assessment for the unit which is an analysis paragraph about a kid who has made an impact. Last week, students read and annotated an article and created a graphic organizer; on Monday and Tuesday they will write, edit, and revise their paragraphs. We will wrap-up the unit on Wednesday with some final reflections about how they will make the world a better place and about the concepts and skills that we've practiced this unit. Then on Thursday we are launching into our new unit that will center around how people, heroes, and cultures express values. The first activity in this unit is a speech, so we will practice speaking with intonation and then go over the directions for their speeches on Friday. Homework: Students will be assigned a unit reflection on Wednesday via Google Classroom which is due by the beginning of class on Friday. Also, please remember that students will need a copy of the text Beowulf: A New Telling written by Robert Nye by October 2nd. As always, students should be reading for a minimum of twenty minutes for three days each week from an independent reading novel.
9/16 - 9/20 - Our class will spend Monday working on the group project about kids who have made an impact in the world and then they will present to the class on Tuesday. On Wednesday, we will go over the prompt and the rubric for the summative assessment, which is an analysis paragraph about a specific kid who has changed the world in a positive way. Then on Thursday, they will read and annotate an article about the kid they chose and on Friday they will create a graphic organizer for their analysis paragraph. Since this is the summative assessment for the unit, students will move through this process independently, but they will have access to all of the resources that we've created in their notebooks and previous paragraphs that we've written for practice over the last few weeks. Homework: On Monday, students should practice their section of the group presentation a few times so that they are comfortable presenting in front of class (it does not need to be memorized though). On Tuesday, students will be assigned an Evaluation for their group members in the project, which will be due by Thursday. Also, if students want to choose their own kid who made an impact for the summative paragraph, they need to find an article and bring a printed copy to class by Thursday; otherwise they will choose from my two class options of Peter Larsen or Malala Yousafzai. As always, students should also be reading from their independent reading novel for at least 20 minutes for three days of the week.
9/9 - 9/13 - We will spend the majority of the week learning and writing about a kid named Iqbal Masih who made a positive impact in Pakistan by advocating for the rights of children slaves. We will read and annotate an article together on Monday and then students will work collaboratively to create a graphic organizer for their paragraphs on Tuesday. Then they will write, edit, and revise their paragraphs on Wednesday and Thursday. Students will have the option of working independently or with a partner and be able to ask each other and me for help and guidance along the way. Finally, we will end the week on Friday by going over a group project centered on kids who have made a positive impact in the world. Homework: On Monday, students may need to highlight evidence in the article to support their claim if they did not finish this in class. On Wednesday and Thursday, students have the option of researching kids who have made a positive impact, as this will help them come to the group project on Friday with good ideas (but this isn't mandatory homework). Other than that, students should be reading from their independent reading novel for at least 20 minutes for three days each week. Finally, students should get a copy of the book Beowulf: A New Telling by Robert Nye by Tuesday, September 24th. If you are unable to secure a copy of this book, please let me know at least a week in advance so that I can provide a copy for you.
9/3 - 9/6 - On Tuesday, we will continue working with the "Alex's Lemonade Stand" article, taking time to create a claim, rereading the article to look for supporting evidence, and then generating our three main point topics for our upcoming paragraph. Then on Wednesday, we will collaboratively create the graphic organizer as a class and on Thursday we will write an argumentative paragraph. We go through the process together so that I can model how to think like a writer and so that we can hear many different perspectives and choices that authors make. Next week, students will start to move this same process of reading an article, creating a graphic organizer and then writing a paragraph more independently, with the ability to work with a partner or ask me questions. This is preparing them for their summative assessment for the unit where they will go through this process independently, but they will have already gone through it twice in class and received formative feedback along the way. Homework: If we do not finish the graphic organizers in class on Wednesday, students will need to finish this for homework before class on Thursday. Also, students should be reading from an independent reading book for at least 20 minutes for three days a week (they get to read two days in Study Hall to hit the five day total). This is very important in order for them to maintain consistent growth in their overall reading ability. Finally, students should get a copy of the book Beowulf: A New Telling by Robert Nye by Tuesday, September 24th. If you are unable to secure a copy of this book, please let me know at least a week in advance so that I can provide a copy for you.
AUGUST 8/26 - 8/31 - We will start the week by reviewing the structure of a three-point paragraph and then analyzing a sample argumentative paragraph together as a class that they will have in their notebooks as a resource. Then we will use short videos to specifically practice how to write main points with a supporting piece of evidence and thoughtful analysis. We will end the week reading and annotating an article about Alex's Lemonade Stand and identify the main idea of the article that will help us create a claim. Next week, we will work through the process of writing a three-point paragraph about the article together and then they will start to move through the process more independently. Homework: The students need to finish their Words to Live By assignment over the weekend, as it is due on Monday. On Wednesday, students might need to write a few sentences for our class paragraph at home, depending on how much we accomplish together in class. Other than that, students should be reading from an independent reading book for at least 20 minutes for four nights each week.
8/19 - 8/23 - We are going to start this week discussing the power of words, which will dovetail into their only homework assignment for the week called "Words to Live By." Then on Tuesday we are going to go "book shopping" in our class library to create a "To Be Read" list in our notebooks and they will self-assess themselves on our ATL skills for this unit relating to specific communication skills. On Wednesday, we are officially launching into our first unit and we will explore the debatable question: Do kids truly have the ability to make a significant impact on the world and to make it a better place? During the end of the week, we will look at how the purpose for why something was created and the structure of how it is created are related concepts and then we will specifically type these concepts to writing. Homework: On Monday, students will be assigned the Words to Live By assignment. They will be given the directions in class which we will go over together and we will also look at multiple samples. This assignment is due on the following Monday, August 26th. Other than that, students should be reading from an independent reading book for at least 20 minutes for three nights. Since we are book shopping on Tuesday, everyone should have a book by then, but they are also welcome to get independent reading books from our school library, the public library, or any other method that works for them.