Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Tuesday, January 31st

Hello February; Goodbye January!


Today we got caught up a little bit. I checked to see if you had completed your five-paragraph essay on "Year-round school versus traditional school". If you did not finish, please bring your essay in tomorrow for half-credit. 

After I checked your essays, I passed out an "Organization" rubric. This rubric looks identical to the "Ideas" rubric you got last week; the only difference is, it is a rubric to score how well your paper is organized, not how good your ideas are. 

We went over what makes a score of "1" different from what makes a score of "3" and "5". During this discussion, I used many examples to try illustrating why Organization is such an essential part of good writing. 

If you were absent today, you have no homework. Please just make sure you have completed your 5 paragraph essay on "Year-round school versus traditional school". 

See you tomorrow!

-Mr. O'Mera

Monday, January 30, 2012

Monday, January 31

Today we had a debate about the issue of year-round school versus traditional school. After our debate, we started a draft to an essay about this topic. The essay needs to be a traditional 5-paragraph essay; please see the following format: 
  • Paragraph One: Introduction--tell the reader what you are going to tell them
    • Paragraph Two: Main idea #1
    • Paragraph Three: Main Idea #2
    • Paragraph Four: Main Idea #3
  • Paragraph Five: Conclusion--tell the reader what you just told them
To get credit for your draft tomorrow, you must have five paragraphs of writing. Don't worry to much about it being "good" writing; this is only your first draft!

Objective: SWBAT discuss/write about issue

Homework: Finish Draft

Welcome to Week 5!


Welcome back! I posted on Friday that it was my hope to have your "IDEAS" papers graded and returned today; unfortunately, that did not happen. Expect those back sometime this week.

This week, we are going to discuss the issue of year-long school. Do students learn more who attend year-long school? Why do we have such a long break off for summers, anyway? During a long summer break, do most students forget all the material they learned during the school year? Or does the break serve as a cooling off period essential for students to catch their break from the marathon that is the current school year?

Also this week, we are going to be working on the trait of Organization. Starting Tuesday, you will begin to understand what it means to have an organized paper. You will be given a rubric, very similar to the Ideas rubric you got last week, and with that rubric you will grade sample papers.

By the end of the week, you will be turning in your essays on siblings to be scored using the Organization and Idea rubrics.

Lets have a great week!

Friday, January 27, 2012

Quick Note

I hope to have your papers scored and ready to return to you on Monday! Have a fantastic weekend!

-Mr. O'Mera



Last week, we took notes trying to answer the question: "What is Good Writing?" The list of notes you took went like this:
 Good Writing Has:

  1. Ideas that are interesting and important
  2. Organization that is clear and effective
  3. Voice that is individual and appropriate
  4. Word Choice that is specific and memorable
  5. Sentence Fluency that is smooth and musical
  6. Conventions that are correct and communicative
Now, as we move forward, we will continue to answer the question "What is Good Writing" by looking at each of the Six Traits of Writing in depth. Up first, is IDEAS: 

Here is a look at what we will be doing the week of 1/23-1/27:

Friday, 1/27-
Due to the bowling trip, we will be catching up on any homework and assignments that we have missed, and we will be reading and writing, your choice of topic and/or book.
Homework: Read or write 35 Minutes

Thursday, 1/26-
Today we will be read sample paper #3, grade it using our "IDEAS rubric", and have a discussion about why we gave it that grade. It is important that we continue to remember that even if we do not "like" a paper or subject, we can still recognize it as "good" writing.
Homework: None

Wednesday, 1/25-
Today, I will introduce our upcoming "D.E.A.R. projects", with due dates to be announced soon. It is really important that you get a book that interests you and read it all the way through! Also, today I will introduce you to our "IDEAS rubric". Using the piece of writing you have worked on the past couple of days, we will grade it a 5, 3, or 1. To get used to grading our writing, we will first grade three sample papers together as a class.
Homework: None

Tuesday, 1/24
For the last day, we are going to start our third piece of writing. Remember, we are writing from our writing territories, and this piece of writing can be in any form on any topic (as long as it is appropriate).
Homework: Read 20 Minutes

Monday, 1/23
Today, we are going to write our second piece from our writing territories. If you are absent, please complete a piece of writing, in any form, about one of your writing territories. Go for at least 3/4 a page in length, and try to write until the end of your paper.
Homework: Read 20 Minutes

Monday, January 2, 2012

Week of 1/2-1/6

Tuesday 1/3-

Objective: SWBAT establish writing territories

Homework: Write for 20 minutes 

Wednesday 1/4-

Objective: SWBAT establish reading territories

Homework: Find a new book to read and bring it to class by Friday 

Thursday 1/5-

Objective: SWBAT outline and discuss story elements

Homework: Find a new book to read and bring it to class by Friday

Friday 1/6-

Objective: SWBAT evaluate word choice and sentence fluency

Homework: Read for 30 minutes

Welcome to third quarter!

Can you believe it? You are now halfway on your journey to becoming an eighth grader! Wow! Time really does fly when you are having fun, working hard, and, most importantly, when you are writing lots. I want to congratulate you on your hard work and progress during the first two quarters; I also want to urge you to work even harder during the next five months: the harder you work, the smarter you will become and the more fun you will have doing it.