Upcoming Deadlines


Journals will be collected Wednesday, September 20th.

The ELA Interim Assessment will take place on Wed., September 20th.

The Literary Elements Unit Test will be Mon., September 25th. 

I/R Project WORK DAYS will be September 26th, 27th, & 28th.

The I/R Project is due on Fri., September 29th.

The ELA Benchmark will be on Fri., September 29th.

We will visit the BOOK FAIR on Mon., Oct. 2nd !! Bring $$$$. 

The Notebook “Check” Test is Tues., October 3rd.

Friday, September 22nd

Students were given the first part of the period to complete the Friday directions of this week’s bell ringers. Additionally, students used this time to complete the remainder of their Plot Diagram brainstorm/rough draft by writing a 3 – 4 sentence explanation of their I/R book’s RESOLUTION—to explain the story’s ending, how the characters changed, how the conflict was solved, to tie up any loose ends, etc. Also during this time, students were directed to make sure they had in fact completed all of last night’s “Ribbons” homework.

All three of these assignments were then collected. (I will be very busy this weekend grading. Ha!)

We completed today’s class time concentrating on Monday’s Literary Elements Test. Students took out their three Literary Elements notes sheets, and they ” * ” important information they will see again on Monday’s test in the form of short answer questions. Students were not given the exact question, of course, but they were told that there would be short answer questions on the following: 

  • the definition of literary elements
  • the definition of imagery
  • Author Characterization Tools [found at the bottom of the CHARACTERIZATION notes]
  • the climax
  • Rising Action events/Complications from “The Bear Boy”
  • Conflict scenarios  [kind of like this Guided Practice]
  • the OMNISCIENT Point of View
  • the FIRST PERSON Point of View
  • THEME as related to “Ribbons”

Additionally, students were given a Study Guide to help them prepare for the test as well.

Students spent the rest of the period preparing for Monday’s Literary Elements Test by way of creating flashcards, re-writing their notes, reading over their notes again and again, etc.—-whatever works best for their individual learning style. 

HOMEWORK: TEST MONDAY! Make sure you prepare yourself for this first gold grade in order to do well! (70 points/GOLD grade)

Thursday, September 21st

Students were given time to complete today’s bell ringer directions regarding the continued review of coordinate adjectives. Additionally, students were directed to add 3 – 4 falling action events to their I/R Plot Diagram brainstorm page/rough draft.

Tomorrow, once students have been given time to complete the specific directions I will give, I will collect this week’s bell ringers sheet as well as the I/R Plot Diagram brainstorm page/rough draft. Students were reminded today that this “rough draft” will be included in the I/R Project’s gold grade. Students need to make sure they are prepared to turn in their 8 rising action events, a 3 – 4 sentence explanation detailing the I/R book’s climax, as well as 3 -4 falling action events.

We read “Ribbons” (starting on page 346 of the literature book) today in class. In order for students to have a better understanding of one of the characters found in the story, we discussed “foot binding” before starting the story. Students were given a handout to complete as they read the story. This handout will need to be completed for homework. 

Wednesday, September 20th

I collected journals at the beginning of the period.

Next, students completed their ENGLISH ACT Aspire Interim Assessment. 

Upon completing the assessment, students were directed to make sure they were caught up on their I/R reading and/or brainstorming (eight rising action events and a 3 – 4 explanation of their I/R book’s climax).  Students were then invited to work on assignments from another class or simply relax quietly until the dismissal bell.

HOMEWORK: None….OR…..get caught up on your I/R reading and/or brainstorming.

Tuesday, September 19th

Students were given time to complete the Tuesday directions of the Coordinate Adjectives bell ringer review, and then we went over the correct answers. Also, students were given time to brainstorm regarding the CLIMAX of their I/R novel. (Since last Wednesday, students have spent time writing down information and events that they will use to create their I/R Project. Students will be given three Work Days to complete this project starting one week from today.)

Next, we spent time discussing JOURNALS. These will be collected tomorrow at the beginning of the period. To date, students should have four journal entries. Students were also told that these entries would need to be written on composition paper that is attached to their composition books. (Some students have not been bringing their journals to class; therefore, they have written entries on loose-leaf paper. Entries written on loose leaf paper need to be written in the journal. I will not accept loose-leaf written entries taped/stapled/tucked/folded/attached to composition paper.)

Continuing our Literary Elements unit, today we took notes on POINT OF VIEW. We reviewed the traditional story of the Three Little Pigs and then read The True Story of the 3 Little Pigs. Afterwards, we discussed the opposing points of view seen.

In order to get a head start on Thursday’s lesson plan, students finished the period by taking notes on our last literary element: THEME.

Tomorrow students will be completing the ELA Interim Assessment for Shelby County. We will pick back up with “normal” class stuff on Thursday.

There is no new homework tonight; however, students have a number of big assignments/assessments coming up:

  • Journals due TOMORROW;
  • Literary Elements Test Monday, September 25th;
  • I/R WORK DAYS Sept. 26th – 28th;
  • I/R Project due Friday, September 29th;
  • ELA Benchmark is also Friday, September 29th;
  • Notebook “Check” Test will be Monday, October 2nd.

Monday, September 18th

This week, students will spend “bell ringer” time reviewing coordinating adjectives. As a refresher, together, we completed the first five sentences, and then students were directed to create their own sentence using  a pair of coordinate adjectives correctly on the provided line.

After quickly reviewing the four categories of conflicts and the differences in internal verses external conflicts, student read The Third Wish which begins on page 312 of the literature book. Students were told to read with this purpose: look for examples of internal and external conflicts.

For homework, students need to complete their fourth journal entry. Click on the link below to see the prompt and an example.

**Please be aware that students should complete their journal entry on today’s story The Third Wish; however, the example given is based on Monday’s story Each Kindness. 

HOMEWORK: Complete today’s fourth journal entry as needed. Additionally, journals will be collected Wednesday. Make sure that by Wednesday you have four COMPLETED journal entries.

Friday, September 15th

At the beginning of the period, I collected the “Exposition” homework which was assigned on Wednesday.

We then reviewed the parts of a Plot Diagram. Again, in an attempt to get the students to begin thinking about their I/R Project, I had them record their first FOUR of EIGHT events that would be classified as Rising Action on their own papers. Students were directed to keep their work in the “Classwork” section of their binders.

Next, as we continue our Literary Elements units, students completed notes on CONFLICT. Additionally, together, we completed a guided practice handout to identify the different types of conflict.

Finishing out the period, I read students the children’s story Each Kindness. 

HOMEWORK: Students need to write down examples of internal and external conflicts found within the story.

Question of the Day: How many conflict examples do we have to have for each? Your answers in each column should be a representation of the whole story; therefore, I am not assigning you a specific number. Rather, I want students to have answers that represent the beginning, the middle and the end of the story in both columns. 

Students who would like to read the story again, can click on the link below. If you have any trouble with the link below, simply search “Each Kindness video” and a variety of suitable videos of the story will appear. 

Thursday, September 14th

Students were given back a number of graded assignments at the beginning of the period—many of these assignments were on the progress reports that went home last Friday.

Additionally, at the beginning of the period we discussed that I will be collecting journals next Wednesday. By then students should have FOUR journal entries. We discussed how this should be one of those “easy” grades—that I was not judging student’s on their thoughts or opinions—rather, the journal entries would be graded on fulfilling the specific requirements  given in the prompt. Finally, I spent time  informing students that their journal entries must be written on the paper that comes attached to the composition book itself. In other words, if a student did not have his journal in class the day I posted a prompt to be entered, he most likely recorded his response on a loose-leaf sheet of paper. That response will need to be transferred into the composition book by way of REWRITING the entry into the composition book. I will not accept entries that have been stapled, taped, or glued into composition books. I will not accept entries that have been folded in half and tucked inside the composition book.

Next, I collected the Character Trait Chart that was originally assigned last Friday, September 8th.

Finally, we continued on with our study of the various Literary Elements. Today’s focus was on PLOT. After taking notes on PLOT, we read “The Bear Boy.” Afterwards and together, we completed a thorough Plot Diagram for today’s story. I had a strong desire for students to see how much effort goes into creating a Plot Diagram especially since this grading period’s I/R Project focuses on the Plot Diagram specifically.

HOMEWORK: Students were directed to look back at last night’s homework to make sure they completed it correctly. This assignment will be included in students’ overall I/R Project grade….which again will be a GOLD grade.  Look back at yesterday’s post to see a detailed description of what students have been asked to do.



Wednesday, September 13th

WELCOME BACK!! Although I was happy to get an unexpected break for a couple of days, I am immensely thankful that my students were brought back to me safe and sound today. It seems like all weathered the storm with little to no damage to homes and yards. What a praise, indeed!!

We were really only in our classroom briefly today. Students were told to make sure their journal entries were up-to-date. I will be collecting journals next week after students are given their 4th journal prompt. Even if a student has been out when a prompt was given, students are still responsible for making up journal entries. Prompts can be found at the top of this webpage, or students have been invited to ask a friend for any missing prompts.

We then headed to the B-11 Computer Lab where students were given information regarding their I/R Project. The I/R Project will be due Friday, September 29th. I am hopeful that I will be able to give the students two or three full class periods to create their projects in class. Students will get definite information about work day dates as well as a handout that explains all of the project’s requirements either this Friday or Monday.

HOMEWORK: Students were directed to come back to class tomorrow with Friday’s Character Trait Chart 100% complete. No EAETs will be given for this assignment if it isn’t done. Instead, students will be earning ZEROs. After all, this was assigned last Friday, September 8th. Also, students need to come back to class tomorrow with their EXPOSITION information regarding their I/R book. Specifically, students need to come back with the following recorded on their own sheet of loose-leaf paper:

  • a list of the MAIN CHARACTERS with a brief description of them each;
  • information regarding the SETTING (time and place the story is happening as well as the initial mood in the beginning of the story);
  • a write-up about the basic SITUATION of the story as sensed in the first one – three chapters. (What is the conflict? What is driving the action? What is going on in the beginning  of the story that will be resolved by the end of the book?)

Afterwards, we visited the Media Center where there was a representative from the the North Shelby Library there. She was able to give us all kinds of cool information about the fun things going on at the library—many of which are FREE!!! As a parent of an almost driver, I loved hearing about the “Free DMV Practice Tests” the North Shelby Library has on their website. Here’s their link: http://www.northshelbylibrary.org/index.php?lang=en Check it out!  Students will be given information to bring home about getting a library card in the near future. I will post something here when that occurs.



Friday, September 8th

Students were given time to complete the Friday directions of this week’s bell ringers which reviewed common, proper, concrete, and abstract nouns before the week’s worth was collected.

Next, we quickly reviewed our characterization notes from yesterday. Students were encouraged to share some of their thoughts regarding the characters they were introduced to in Voices in the Park (the children’s story we read yesterday).

Continuing on with characterization, students read “The Night the Bed Fell” by James Thurber. There are a number of zany characters throughout this short story and Thurber uses lots of the characterization tools we discussed yesterday.

For homework, students need to complete the Character Trait Chart.  Students were instructed to make sure they were following the directions which are at the top of the homework handout. Additionally, students were shown an example Character Trait Chart based on Margot, the main character from “All Summer in a Day”— the short story we read Wednesday in class.

Thursday, September 7th

Students had time to complete the Noun Enrichment directions for Thursday as their bell ringer at the beginning of the period. Bell ringers will be collected tomorrow after students have time to complete the Friday directions.

Students were then asked to take out their SETTING notes, and we quickly reviewed the material before reading An Angel for Solomon Singer. This is a children’s story and is NOT found in the textbook; however, we still discussed how the settings found within the story affected Solomon’s life.

Next, we took notes on our next Literary Elements: IMAGERY & CHARACTERIZATION. Following the notes, we read aloud another children’s book, Voices in the Park. Afterwards, students responded to a third journal prompt.

HOMEWORK: Complete the journal prompt as needed.