Friday, September 27, 2013

Book Talks

Just wanted to send out a reminder that both 7th and 8th grade students have 8 points in booktalks this quarter.  The quarter ends on October 18.  The 8th graders really need to keep this in mind being that they will be at Eagle Bluff from the 16-18 of October.  I may also be attending with the students so 7th graders should plan on having their booktalks done before the 16th also.

Book talks can be done face-to-face with me, students can create a poster for the book, they can write a review of the book, dress up like a character and tell us about the book from their point of view or they can come up with other options. I am open to almost anything as long as they talk to me about it first.

Many students have done a wonderful job of completing booktalks but some have yet to complete any.  I will be working on adding these points to students grades this next week.  This can really help or hurt scores.  Please remind your student to stay on top of this.

Friday, September 20, 2013

Week in Review

We have had a very busy week not only in the classroom but also out of the classroom.  We had many people come and share their knowledge and experiences with us.  Here are some of the high lights and a couple things to keep in mind.

We were lucky to have a picture presentation on Africa.  The pictures were amazing and the information shared was superb.  I think that everyone in the room felt sometime through the presentation that they would like to go visit Africa themselves.

The Homecoming Court came and shared their activities and talents with us.  We got to hear how busy and well rounded they are.  We wish them all the best as well as our football team next Friday.  Our elementary and middle school will be taking part in the homecoming activities.  We will be dressing up next week to show our Warrior Spirit.

Monday- Neon Day
Tuesday- Favorite Team Day
Wednesday- Hat and Crazy Sock Day
Thursday- Wear Pink to show support for Breast Cancer.  The high school volleyball team will also have their "Think Pink" Night.
Friday-  Warrior Spirit Day (wear South Winneshiek clothing or colors)

Legacy Tour and Travel visited 8th graders on Friday to introduce the educational travel opportunity of heading to Washington D.C.  The trip will be June 1-7, 2014.  Students should have received 3 color brochures of attractions and a white paper with the dates, price and itinerary.  There will be a parent/student meeting for more information on this trip Wednesday, September 25, at 5:30.

Students continue to work hard in the classroom and out.  7th grade is working hard to create a poem on nature and 8th grade is moving from analyzing poetry to a review of genres.  From there we will move into strategies of becoming an active reader.

Outside of class the football team will be taking on Oelwein, cross country will be traveling to Waukon on Tuesday and Independence on Saturday, and volleyball has a home game Monday against Turkey Valley.  Students aren't just busy with school sponsored activities, many are also involved in their communities.  This makes for wonderful Warriors.

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Eagle Bluff

Eagle Bluff Trip is just around the corner for the 8th Graders.  The dates of their stay will be Wednesday, October 16- Friday, October 18.  The students will bring their bags to school and leave from here.  Here is the link to Eagle Bluff.  This is a wonderful learning experience for the students.

I have heard some students talking about appointments that may have already been scheduled.  Please check your calendar to make sure there aren't conflicts.  

Monday, September 9, 2013

How Good Readers Become Great Readers

I thought this was worthy of sharing.  I don't think that it ever hurts to be reminded about how we can become better at something.  This year all 7th and 8th grade students should be reading about 20 minutes a day.  I understand that we all have busy schedules and this is just a goal.  I have tried to mention different ways that the students can meet this such as, reading 10 minutes in the morning and 10 minutes at night,  reading while waiting to be picked up after practice or reading right before bed.  Some of my classes need to turn in their reading minutes each cycle so it is really important that they are keeping track of their minutes.  Also, students should be planning on getting 8 book talk points this quarter.  There are posters of the points and how they get those points in my classroom.

How Good Readers Become Great Readers
Look at the pictures.
Practice Reading. (just like everything else we need to practice)
Read "just right" books.
Read in your spot. (try to find a spot that is quiet and comfortable)
Read the whole time.
Share and talk about your books.

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

New Chapter

The new chapter of our book has gotten off to a hot start.  It seems that Mother Nature always knows when the school doors open to welcome back students.  She seems to bless us with unusually hot, humid weather.  This week, it appears, she may be relaxing a little as our temperatures seem to be a little more tolerable.  I give the students a lot of credit as the conditions were not the most suitable for quality learning.   Students did a wonderful job!

The Iowa Core will be something that both parents and students will be hearing and learning about this year and into the future.  These K-12 standards will help to ensure that our students are college and career ready.  The standards are grade specific and progress with your child.  Our focus this year is on the English Language Arts and Literacy standards.  These are standards that cross the curriculum so they should be seeing and hearing about them in other subject areas.  

I look forward to working with your student as we journey through literature.