February 12-16

Week at a Glance:



  • Last Friday, progress report envelopes were sent home. If you are in my FIRST PERIOD ONLY, you need to return the envelope to me with a parent signature on the front.
  • Additionally, you need to bring back your Mercedes-Benz field trip permission slip. The SALMON colored permission slip needs to be completely filled out with $25 dollars.
  • The grades for embedded assessment #2 of unit 2 are live in the gradebook. If you see a ZERO, I have nothing from you. I did not receive any without names.  If you were absent the day these were turned in, it is your responsibility to turn yours in ASAP. Once again, we worked on the embedded assessment for an entire week IN CLASS.

Monday and Tuesday: Students are completing activity 3.4 in their SpringBoard.  In this activity, students are trying to answer the following question: what sport is more dangerous… football, dodgeball, or cheerleading? We will be reading 3 articles regarding the pros and cons of each sport.  After, students will complete text-dependent comprehension questions where they will analyze the reasons and evidence presented in each article.  Students will also watch a variety of news clips addressing each sport.

HOMEWORK- complete worksheet 3.4. This is due TUESDAY. SB 3.4 ( <— ADDITIONAL COPY)

Wednesday and Thursday: Students will participate in the great middle school debate: hot cheetos or takis? Which chip is better? Students will read two articles about the origin and nutritional value of each chip.  While doing this, students will make a claim, give reasons, and present evidence for their argument.

HOMEWORK FOR WEDNESDAY: (this was given in class–if you didn’t finish, it is HOMEWORK)

SB 3.5 part 1 

SB 3.5 part 2

Friday: Students will participate in the first classroom debate: hot Cheetos vs. takis. Each student will be responsible for making a claim, presenting reasons and evidence.

cheeto                                                     takis



February 5-9

Week at a Glance:

Monday: students are diving into Unit 3 “Changing Perspectives.”  This unit focuses our attention on argumentative writing and debates.  Today, students explored unit 3 vocab and analyzed what they will be doing for their first embedded assessment of unit 3.  HW- finish QHT/Unpacking chart.  See below for attachments.



unpacking graphic organizer— THIS IS DUE TUESDAY

Tuesday: Students will complete activity 3.2 in their SpringBoard where the “hot topics” of the unit will be introduced.  Students will participate in a “tug of war” activity. HW- TBD.

Wednesday, Thursday, Friday: Students will begin reading editorials and news articles regarding two of the “hot topics”  (activity 3.3 in SpringBoard). Students will analyze certain argumentative techniques used in each example. HW- TBD

IMPORTANT ANNOUNCEMENT- I am almost done grading all of the embedded assessments for unit 2! (expect these in the gradebook by Friday) Most students did a wonderful job.  You stayed on topic, used a plethora of evidence throughout your essay, and constructed clear and cohesive thoughts. There are multiple students in each class that turned NOTHING in (no rough draft, no final draft).  As a result, your first BIG grade of quarter 3 will be a ZERO. Students- I cannot explain how important it is that you stay on top of your assignments both big and small.  We worked on this assignment in class for an entire week. There is absolutely no excuse as to why you don’t have an assignment turned in. Furthermore, I applaud those who used class time wisely and followed the directions of the assignment.  Your hard work and effort showed in your final essays! 🙂

January 29-February 2

Week at a Glance:

Monday, Tuesday, & Wednesday: students are working diligently on completing Embedded Assessment #2 for unit 2. This is the LAST BIG grade in unit 2, therefore it is imperative that students complete the assignment.  We have now been working on this for 3 days (in class).  The Embedded Assessment #2 is due this WEDNESDAY (1/31). What you will turn into me:

  • Flee map (this is your rough draft)
  • Peer Editing Checklist (given today 1/29)
  • Final Copy of EA #2 done on notebook paper

In addition, I will link ALL of the worksheets you were given to help you complete this assignment. See below for the links:

Flee Map Graphic Organizer

peer editing checklist

EA 2 checkpoints   (this assignment was done in class last week)



Thursday: unit 3 scavenger hunt

Friday: finish unit 3 scavenger hunt and go to the library for check out!

January 22-26

Week at a Glance:

Monday: Students practiced “researching” using articles I provided (the links below).  We also read part of Temple Grandin’s autobiography and analyzed it. NO HOMEWORK.







Tuesday: We are still working with the Temple Grandin story.  Students will view clips from the Temple Grandin movie and respond to the following: how can animals help people in positive ways. Sheet 2.19 is due WEDNESDAY and is HOMEWORK if not finished in class. (see below for an additional copy)

SB 2.19 

Wednesday, Thursday, Friday: Students will begin brainstorming/drafting for the final embedded assessment of unit 2:



By the end of the week, students will be given a flee map (this specific graphic organizer has been used multiple times this year).  The flee map will serve as the rough draft. After flee maps (rough drafts) are completed, students will participate in peer editing and student-teacher conferences to ensure their final copy will meet the needs of the scoring guide. Finally, students will write their final copy of their embedded assessment. This assignment is due Wednesday, January 31 (next Wednesday). The majority of this assignment will be done in class.  Students may take this assignment home to be completed if they wish.  Since students have over a week to complete this embedded assessment, there should be very little excuses as to why a student doesn’t have a final copy. This assignment will be the first big grade of quarter 3.

January 16-20

I hope everyone had a wonderfully, long weekend!

Week at a Glance:


Tuesday: Students read “Saying Farewell to a Faithful Pal” in the SpringBoard. After, students completed questions 1-5 (1st and 3rd periods) or 1-6 (2nd and 4th periods).

HOMEWORK- finish whatever you did not finish in class. You should have written this down in your agenda because each class was assigned different tasks.

Here are my “clues” for questions 1-5:


Wednesday: Students will read a passage called “Dogs Make Us Human” in the SpringBoard and complete questions 1-6 on pages 154-155. HOMEWORK- tbd.

Thursday: Students will watch specified clips from the movie Temple Grandin in which they will analyze ways animals impact humans (SpringBoard 157-158). HOMEWORK- tbd.

Friday: Library for check out.


January 9-12

First and foremost, I need to congratulate THE University of Alabama (my alma mater) for winning the college football national championship in which they took the Dawgs to the house of pain.  ROLL TIDE!


Week at a Glance:

Monday: no school because the Tide rolled over the Dawgs (or there was “ice”)…  🙂

Tuesday: Students are working toward writing a multi-paragraph explanatory essay for embedded assessment #2 of unit 2.  While we won’t be writing this essay for another couple of weeks, students are preparing to write by learning about hooks, thesis statements, and what CHANGE can mean to an individual.  We completed SpringBoard pages 135-137. NO HOMEWORK.

Wednesday: Today, we focused our attention on writing an awesome introductory paragraph to this multi-paragraph essay.  Students participated in stations where they examined 6 quotes about change from influential figures, interpreted the meaning of the quote, and discussed whether or not they agree/disagree with the quote.  Additionally, students began drafting an introductory paragraph using a quote as a hook. NO HOMEWORK.

Thursday/Friday: Students will begin completing activity 2.15 in their SpringBoards.  This activity has students examining the change an animal can have on a human (both positive and negative) while answering comprehension questions. NO HOMEWORK.

A look at embedded assessment 2 (reminder- this is the END PRODUCT of unit 2… we are not completing the actual assignment at this moment in time):

ea 22


Enjoy your long weekend! 🙂


January 4-5

Although it is a short week, there is still homework!

Thursday: Students began unpacking embedded assessment #2 for unit 2 today in class.  While we are not starting this multi-paragraph essay until much later, it is always beneficial to know what our ending goal in the unit is going to be.  See below for what the prompt for EA #2 is:

ea 2

In class today, students worked in partners to unpack this assessment using an unpacking graphic organizer and page 164 (scoring guide) to assist them. Remember- you are to shorten each bullet point into “kid friendly” terminology.

FOR EXAMPLE- “integrates evidence from various sources…” can be shortened to- use a lot of evidence!


Vocabulary words for the QHT chart on the back of the graphic organizer:

  • thesis statement
  • introduction
  • nonfiction
  • conclusion
  • imagery
  • hook
  • fiction

Here are the directions to this entire assignment as they were posted in class on the board: