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Parent/ Student Communication

March 26th- Please Read  

March 26, 2018

Dear Parents and Students,

It is unbelievable that we are already starting the second week of Q-4.  Before we blink, the school year will be over.  

Students have an independent reading book assignment to complete.  This is over a book they chose to read during Q-3.  They have received the template, an exemplary example, and the rubric.  There is a copy of the rubric pasted below this communication.  This will be due on Wednesday.

We are currently watching Masterpiece Theater's The Diary of Anne Frank.  Students are analyzing the extent to which a filmed production of the drama stays faithful to or departs from the play by Frances Goodrich and Albert Hackett.  On Wednesday, students will write a compare and contrast essay.  This will be completed in class on Wednesday and Thursday.  

Please feel free to email me if you have any questions jordan_m@hcde.org.

Mrs. Jordan

 

 

Facebook Profile Project

Due: Wednesday, March 28

You will create a Facebook profile page using the independent book you have been reading for Q-3.

This profile page will contain:

1.    A relevant profile picture and cover photo (10 pts.);

2.    A biography page that depicts basic information about the character (occupation, likes, dislikes, etc.) (20 pts.);

3.    Two “wall posts” from other characters within the text (20 pts.);

4.    Two quotes from the selected character that are used as “status updates” (20 pts.)

5.    Continuous use of relevant, plausible information about the character and the text (20 pts.); and

6.    A sequential order of events that mimics the true Facebook layout (old information at the bottom, current information at the top) (10 pts.).


Please Read- March 12th  

Please note:  If students miss school Mon. - Wed., they will need to go to the following link to read play.  Students should have read Act 1, Scenes 1 - 5 by Thursday.

http://www.emcp.com/product_catalog/school/litLink/Grade08/U10-03annefrankact1/selection.php

 

March 12, 2018

Dear Parents,

I apologize that it has been a couple of weeks since I posted an update.  If your child is planning on attending SDHS, please take a moment to look over his/her registration form and sign.  This needs to be returned by Thursday.  Just a reminder, students do not have school on Friday. 

Please remember your child should be reading 20 minutes per night.  As always, there will be an independent reading book project.  This activity will take place in the next couple of weeks.  

The students have read several non-fiction texts about World War II and the Holocaust.  We are currently reading the play The Diary of Anne Frank.

There will be a test this Thursday, March 15th. 

Students will read one nonfiction text. Concepts that will be covered are the following:

·       Central Idea

·       Point of View

·       Paragraph Structure

·       Decoding unknown words

·       Understanding role of phrases in a text

Students will also edit this non-fiction text for:

·       Poor word choice

·       Redundancy

·       Passive voice

·       Dangling modifier

 

Regarding The Diary of Anne Frank, students should know the following:

·       What is the meaning of capitulation?

·       What does the Star of David represent to the various characters?

·       What is the meaning of the words insufferable and intolerable?

·       What is the meaning of mercurial?

·       Questions in which you are required to make inferences.

·       Comprehension questions.

Students will be able to use their textbook.

The root word that will be assessed is syn/sym. The PowerPoint is located on my website to help students study.

Please feel free to email me if you have any questions or concerns. williams_leigh@hcde.org

Thanks,

 Mrs. Williams


Please Read- February 23rd  

February 23, 2018

I hope that everyone is looking forward to a nice, relaxing weekend. On Monday, we will be having an Accountable Talk during class. Students will be able to use the articles we read during class on Wednesday and Friday to help support their discussion. Because several students were absent on Friday, I wanted to make sure that those students also had access to the article, so I have posted it in the "Rubrics, MLA Format, Exemplary Examples" section of my website. The article is titled "Life and Death in Hitler's Europe."

Students also have the opportunity to do some additional research in order to more thoroughly prepare for this discussion. Below, I have copied the leading questions that I handed out during class on Friday so that students who were not here will also have the chance to do additional research.

If you have any questions, don't hesitate to contact me at williams_leigh@hcde.org

Mrs. Williams (Pendergrass)

Accountable Talk on Monday, February 26th

We will be having an Accountable Talk on Monday. Most of this talk will be related to the two nonfiction articles that we have read in class. However, those of you that wish to look further into our world's past and present can do so. It might add some interesting thoughts to the discussion. Here are a couple of things to consider.

  • Is there anything in the world's past that might remind you of some aspects of what the Jewish citizens faced during World War II?
  • Is there anything happening in our world presently that reminds you of some issues that happened during the time of the Holocaust?

When you research and think about these topics, consider segregation, genocide, hate crimes, and war refugees.


Please Read- February 20th  

February 20, 2018

We have started our new unit - Courage in Life and Literature.  During this unit of study, students will learn how to analyze non-fiction texts as well as learn how to read a drama.  We will be reading various nonfiction articles about World War II and the Holocaust.  We will also be reading the play The Diary of Anne Frank.

This week students are learning about the root word syn/sym.  The syn/sym homework is due due Friday. There is a syn/sym PowerPoint on this webpage.

Please encourage your child to read their independent reading book 20 minutes each evening and fill out the reading log.  They must complete at least one book each quarter as there will be an assignment at the end of this quarter.

If you have any questions, don't hesitate to contact me at williams_leigh@hcde.org

Mrs. Williams (Pendergrass)


Please Read- February 12th  

February 12, 2018

Dear Parents and Students:

I hope everyone's week is off to an excellent start!  So many events are taking place this week at Loftis: tomorrow will be the "Escape Loftis" event; Friday we will be on an activity schedule due to the talent show; and Friday night will be the Valentine's dance. 

Students finished writing their common theme essay today.  We began working on this essay last week. Students that were unable to complete each step of the essay during class time where instructed to complete at home for homework.  The classes will go to the computer lab tomorrow and type the essay.

We will also be having an Accountable Talk (seminar) on Wednesday and an assessment on Thursday. 

The assessment on Thursday will include:

1.  Two excerpts from stories not yet read in order to apply knowledge:

  • common theme
  • characterization
  • inference

2.  Vocabulary words – phon (sound) and aqua/hydra (water)

  • Students will need to be able to use the root words correctly in sentences.
  • Students can use the homework to study the words or the PowerPoint presentations that are located on my Loftis webpage.

3.  Semicolon Usage - 

  • Students will analyze sentences and determine which sentence uses semicolons correctly.
  • Copy and paste the below link in browser to practice semicolon usage:

https://www.classmarker.com/online-test/start/?quiz=6n75a8223fd66344

 

Students may use notes in literacy notebook during this assessment. 

 

As always, your child is required to read 20 minutes per night as there will be an independent reading book project at the end of the quarter.

 

Thanks,

Mrs. Williams (Pendergrass)

williams_leigh@hcde.org


Please Read - February 6th  

February 6, 2018

Dear Parents,

Happy Tuesday!

The students are continuing to work on crafting theme statements, finding evidence to support theme statements, and explaining chosen evidence. 

This week, the students will also be crafting a common theme essay in which they will uncover a theme found in both the poem "Oranges" by Gary Soto and the short story "The Chase" by Annie Dillard.  Today we worked together as a class to uncover possible common themes in these two texts.  Also, the students were given information to support them during the writing process; some of this information is copied and pasted below this parent/student communication (instructions and example essay).  The following will be "essay" homework each evening, if students don't complete in class:

  • Tuesday - Complete introductory paragraph
  • Wednesday - Complete body paragraph 1
  • Thursday - Complete body paragraph 2
  • Friday - Edit and revise essay

As always, your child is required to read 20 minutes per night as there will be an independent reading book project at the end of the quarter.

If you have questions please email me at williams_leigh@hcde.org

Thanks,

Mrs. Williams

 

Common Theme across Uncommon Texts

Four Paragraphs

Utilize the exemplary text to help you with this assignment.

1st Paragraph – Introduction needs to be a least 3 sentences make sure you mention the theme that both “Oranges” and “The Chase” share.  This will be the last sentence of your first paragraph; it is your thesis statement.

 2nd Paragraph – “Oranges” by Gary Soto.  Use PEEL to develop this paragraph.  Cite 2 pieces of evidence from the poem demonstrating how the poem supports this common theme.  In-text citations should be used.  Each piece of evidence should be explained thoroughly.   Don’t forget conclusion sentence!

3rd Paragraph – “The Chase” by Annie Dillard.  Use PEEL to develop this paragraph.  Cite 2 pieces of evidence from the story demonstrating how the story supports this common theme.  In-text citations should be used.  Each piece of evidence should be explained thoroughly.   Don’t forget conclusion sentence!

4th Paragraph – Conclusion paragraph needs to be at least 3 sentences.  Make sure you restate your thesis statement/common theme in the first sentence. 

 

 

Analysis - Theme Across Texts 
Model Essay - Block - Example Text
Do not plagiarize

The poem “Nikki-Rosa” and the short story “The Treasure of Lemon Brown” have several themes related to love and happiness. Nikki Giovanni and Walter Dean Myers use evidence throughout the texts to support the various themes related to love and happiness.  However, one theme in particular is supported by both of these texts.  Both the poem and the short story share the theme of every person has something special to protect and share with the ones they love.

Giovanni uses a discussion of her parents at the beginning of the text as an example of people with something that they protect and want to pass down to their children. Giovanni’s parents protect and share a sense of pride in their community. She writes, “it never gets across how much you/understood their feelings/as the whole family attended meetings about Hollydale” (lines 13-15). Giovanni is suggesting that she understood that her parents were proud of living in Hollydale and had passed that feeling on to her.   As the poem progresses, Giovanni uses her parents’ struggles to highlight how she sees the value of family as a gift she received from them: “And though they fought a lot/it isn’t your father’s drinking that makes any difference/but only that everybody is together and you/and your sister have happy birthdays and very good/ Christmases” (lines 22-26).    It is clear that Giovanni was taught not to focus on the struggles that her family faced; she has learned to reflect upon the happiness in her life.  Finally, Giovanni uses the ending of her poem to provide additional support for the theme. She does this when she discusses how a biographer would never understand her family. She says, “I really hope no white person ever has cause/to write about me/because they never understand/Black love is Black wealth” (lines 27-30). She is saying that a person outside of the family and the community may not see the lessons and values parents have to pass on to their children because they are very personal. Through Giovanni's words we gain insight into her parents' pride about their community.

The textual evidence that Myers uses to express the theme focuses on parents as well. He begins by showing Greg’s father’s desire to pass on a feeling of pride in doing hard work; “His father had been a postal worker for all Greg’s life, and was proud of it, often telling Greg how hard he had worked to pass the test” (2). Greg had heard this message many times, but it took a meeting with Lemon Brown to understand what his father was really telling him.  As the story progresses, Myers uses Lemon Brown to highlight the idea that parents have something important to pass on to their children. This becomes clear when Lemon tells Greg about the objects that Lemon’s son kept with him while he was in the Army: “I traveled around, and one time I come home, and there was this letter saying Jesse got killed in the war…They sent back what he had with him over there, and what it was is this old mouth fiddle and these clippings…That was my treasure, and when I give it to him he treated it just like that, a treasure” (7). Lemon found these items valuable in teaching his son about who he was and his son held on to that until his death. This begins to help Greg understand the stories that his dad is always telling him about his past.  Myers uses the ending of his story to provide additional support for the theme. He does this through Greg’s realization that his father’s words hold value: “Greg pushed the button over the bell marked Ridley, thought of the lecture he knew his father would give him, and smiled” (8). He knows that despite the fact that he is in trouble, his father’s words will be valuable in understanding his father’s past and provide a lesson for the future.

Through the use of examples in both the story and the poem, Nikki Giovanni and Walter Dean Myers support the theme of every person has something special to protect and share with the ones they love.  We see this theme develop through the characters thought and actions.  As the theme develops in both pieces, the reader is able to see how it becomes important to the main characters and that it has helped them to grow.


Please Read- January 31st  

January 31, 2018

Dear Parents,

I hope everyone's week is off to a great start. 

So many students have been absent due to illnesses.  I do hope all of the kiddos that have been absent feel better soon.  In order to help parents and students keep up with missing assignments, I will put a missing indicator for any assignments that I do not have in PowerSchool.  When your child is feeling better and returns to school he/she can see me for any missing work or I can place assignments in attendance office for you to pick up.  As always, if you have questions please email me at williams_leigh@hcde.org

The root word your child is studying this week is phon which means sound.  The phon homework is due Wednesday, January 31.  There is a Powerpoint with these words located on this webpage.  It is also important that your child is reading a minimum of 20 minutes each evening and filling out his/her reading log.  As always, there will be an independent reading book project at the end of the quarter.

This week, we will be studying Annie Dillard's short story "The Chase".  Students will decode unknown words, study plot development, characterization, and conflict.  Students will also learn about semicolon usage.

Thanks,

Mrs. Williams (Pendergrass)


Please Read- January 24th  

January 24, 2018

Dear Parents,

I apologize that it has been a couple of weeks since I posted an update.  The weather has created lots on unexpected days off, but I am glad we are having an uninterrupted week of school this week. 

The root word your child is studying this week is aqua/hydra which means water.  The aqua/hydra homework is due Wednesday, January 24.  There is a Powerpoint with these words located on this webpage.  It is also important that your child is reading a minimum of 20 minutes each evening and filling out his/her reading log.  As always, there will be an independent reading book project at the end of the quarter.

This week, we have started our "Degrees of Happiness" unit.  The first text in this unit is the poem "Oranges" by Gary Soto.  Students will analyze figurative language being used, determine how the author develops the characters, and uncover the theme.  

Students will have an assessment on Friday.  This test will include:

1.  A excerpt from a story they not yet read in order to apply their knowledge on the following:

  • theme
  • central idea
  • plot development
  • characterization
  • inference 

2.  Questions about the poem "Oranges"

  • plot development
  • figurative language
  • central idea
  • theme

3.  Vocabulary words - Mob/Mot

  • Students will need to be able to use these mob/mot words correctly in sentences.
  • They can use their homework to study the words or the PowerPoint located on this webpage.

4.  Comma Usage - 

  • Students will read a paragraph with missing and misplaced commas and make corrections.  The commas that are missing or misplaced are from sentences that use coordinating conjunctions, complex sentences that use subordinating conjunctions, sentences with introductory words and phrases, and sentences that include commas in a series. 
  • Copy and past the below link in your browser for practice on comma usage:
    https://www.classmarker.com/online-test/start/?quiz=gf75a69263e74537

 Please feel free to email me if you have any questions or concerns. williams_leigh@hcde.org

Thanks,

Mrs. Williams


Parents/Students - please read - January 9th  

January 9, 2018

Dear Parents,

I hope everyone's winter break was wonderful.  Reports cards for quarter 2 will go home with students on Friday.  

The root word your child is studying this week is mob/mot which means move.  The mob/mot homework will be due tomorrow (Wednesday, January 10th).  There is a Powerpoint with these words located on this webpage.  It is also important that your child is reading a minimum of 20 minutes each evening and filling out his/her reading log.

We will be working this week on how to correctly use commas in complex sentences and using commas with transition words and phrases.  Students will also be introduced to expository (informational) essay writing.  

 Please feel free to email me if you have any questions or concerns. williams_leigh@hcde.org

Thanks,

Mrs. Williams (Pendergrass)


Please read - December 8th  

Dear Parents and Students,

Take a moment to review the class calendar for upcoming assignments. 

There is test scheduled for Tuesday, December 12th.  Below is the study guide.  Please remember, you will be able to use your literacy notebooks, textbook, short story folder, and writing folder.  There is a chron/temp PowerPoint online if you would like to look over your vocabulary words this weekend.  Below is the study guide.

You will read two metaphorical poems that you have not analyzed before.  It will be important to annotate these poems for better understanding.  Questions will cover the following:

·        Central Idea

·        Structure

·        Analysis of repetition

·        Tone

·        Analysis of figurative language/poetic devices

You will have questions over The Hitchhiker that will include the following:

·        Tone

·        Author’s purpose

·        Foreshadowing

·        Symbolism

·        Character perspective/point of view

Correlating, Coordinating, and Subordinating Conjunctions:  
You will read several paragraphs and locate where the commas are missing in the sentences that contain subordinating and coordinating conjunctions.  You will also decide which correlating conjunction pair works best in sentences. 

Root Words Chron/Temp (Time)

You will read a story and fill in blank with the correct Chron/Temp word.  You will have a word bank.

You may use all of your notes in your literacy notebook, textbook, short story folder, and writing folder.


Q-2 Independent Reading Assignment  

Dear Parents, 

Today, students were sent home with instructions and a rubric regarding the upcoming independent reading interview.  Please see the information below.  If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact me.

Ms. Pendergrass

williams_leigh@hcde.org

 

Second Quarter Independent Reading Interview 
(Interviews will take place December 13th, 14th, and 15th.  You will be assigned your interview date on Monday, December 4th)

Your independent reading interview is a conversation about your experience with the book you chose to read this quarter.  To prepare for your interview, follow the steps below:

What to do:

1.       Finish book you committed to reading for Quarter 2.

2.       Place 5 Post-it notes inside your book on five different pages that you find particularly interesting, beautiful, or significant.  Make notes on the Post-it to remind yourself why you chose each page (see attached sheet with exemplary examples of Post-it note annotations).

3.       Preview the interview questions at the bottom of this sheet and think about how to answer them.

4.       Bring your book and your Post-its to your independent reading interview.

At the beginning of your interview, you will be asked to explain at least one of your Post-it notes.  You will also be asked to answer a few of the following questions.

Interview questions:

·         What is your favorite quotation in the book?  Locate the page that the quotation is on and explain what it means.

·         Describe the main character.  What is his or her greatest flaw?  What is his or her greatest strength?

·         What genre is the book?

·         Did you relate to any of the characters in the book?  Who did you relate to the most and why?

·         What is the overarching theme of the book?

·         Describe the setting(s) of the book.

·         What is the main conflict that takes place in your book?  How does this conflict help the author develop the characters? 

·         If the book is nonfiction, when did the events of the book take place?

·         If the book is nonfiction, what did you learn from the book?

·         To whom would you recommend this book?  Why?

Independent Reading Interview – Quarter 2

20 pts.

15 pts.

10 pts.

5 pts.

0 pts.

Communication Skills – Student can speak effectively, has come prepared, and communicates clearly and fluently with the teacher.

 

 

 

 

 

Reading Comprehension – Student can recount plot with accuracy, shows evidence of utilizing comprehension strategies such as questioning, making predictions, and making text-to-text, text-to-self, and text-to-world connections.

 

 

 

 

 

Character Knowledge – Student shows ability to relate to/infer character emotions, motivations, actions, and personal qualities.  Student can identify major transitions (changes) undergone by character.

 

 

 

 

 

Analysis/Response – (Indicated through 5 Post-it annotations).  Student demonstrates ability to select / analyze passages that are significant to the narrative throughout the full scope of the text and have significant meaning to them.

 

 

 

 

 

Connections – Through conversation, student connects literature to life, whether on a personal level or by drawing similarities to other novels or world/community/ cultural issues.

 

 

 

 

 

                                              Total Score:                 /100