Welcome to Mrs. Hutchings’ 8th Grade ELA Class

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Dear Students and Parents,

Please familiarize yourselves with this blog, which is updated daily by 3:15 p.m. Why not earlier? As Robert Burns put it, “The best laid plans of mice and men go oft awry.” Our class is a living entity, which means we change the lessons as we live them. Updates at 3:15 p.m. mean the most accurate reflection of our classroom lives.

Carefully read the About page for how this blog works as a resource and as a communication tool with me.

I am looking forward to our year together,

Mrs. Hutchings

ELA: January 15-19, 2018

Monday 1/15

No school in observance of MLK Day

Tuesday 1/16

School was canceled due to winter weather.

–> See? I used passive voice. Why? Because the RECEIVER (the thing that gets done, aka school getting canceled, is more important than the doer)

Wednesday 1/17

Recorded and discussed new roots #4-7. Our first silver root quiz for this grading period is Friday, covering #1-7. See the Roots Page at the top of this blog for details. 

Passed back Active & Passive Voice test. Checked scores, discussed trends, and collected all APV notes, handouts, etc. in one page protector stored in the Archive Tab of your binder.

Completed the activity for  “Introduction to Poetry”by Billy Collins, and discussed the poetry memorization project –> Both assignment links will be posted on Wednesday by 3 p.m.

Homework = BRING YOUR BOOK TOMORROW for free read time. Poem sign up is tomorrow and  Friday. Our first roots quiz (silver) is now MONDAY 1/22 , covering #1-7.

FYI: Next Tuesday, 1/23, OMHS counselors will come to register you for 9th grade during our class.

Thursday 1/18

Friday 1/19

 

Student Release Letter and Form

Dear Parents and Students,

This semester, I’m pursuing my National Board certification, which is an assessment to certify me as an accomplished practitioner in teaching, thanks to a grant bestowed by our own PTO. Mrs. Jackson, 8th White Team math teacher, recently went through this assessment process, too (and she passed this December, which is an incredible accomplishment!). There are a few things I’d like to give you a heads up about.

  • First, this National Board assessment requires that I submit short recordings/photographs of my classes, which means your student’s image and voice may be recorded over the semester. Know that the focus of the recording is on me and my teaching rather than the students.

  • Second, this National Board assessment requires that I submit student work samples. No student’s last names will be used. And, again, the focus is more on my responses to student work rather than the students themselves. 

  • Lastly, since I submit both recordings and student work samples to the National Board, they have broad rights to my submissions.

On Wednesday, January 3, I will send home a hard copy of the Student Release Letter and Form, via your student, for you to give permission (or not) for me to use your student’s image, voice, and/or student work. Please read the letter carefully since it details exactly what National Board’s purpose is and how they will use your student’s likeness and work. This form is due by Tuesday, January 9. 

If you have any questions, feel free to email me or call the school. I am grateful for a chance to work with your student to become a better teacher during this National Board process. 

Best,

Mrs. SK Hutchings

8th Grade ELA

Oak Mountain Middle School

shutchings@shelbyed.org

ELA: January 8-12, 2018

Monday 1/8

Look at this Google Slide presentation to see our new roots and the in-class read/write/notes and then writing assignment. Use the Active & Passive Voice in Authentic Writing handout to help with the read/write/notes. If you were absent, use this condensed version instead: Makeup Work for APV in Real Writing.

Homework = Complete the RACE question from today’s Google Slide presentation, if not turned in by the end of class. Bring your own book Thursday to read after the APV test (gold).

Tuesday 1/9

Completed the root review activity (third slide on this Google Slide presentation) that is similar to the writing we will do on next week’s silver root test.

Passed back the work we graded yesterday (Identifying APV worksheet) to store in our NOW tab. Completed the APV Identify and Revise Worksheet with Annotations. Finish for homework, if needed.

Took a pop quiz on the basics of active and passive voice. Discussed how Thursday’s gold test on APV will ask students to:

  1. Find verbs/phrases, doers, and receivers.
  2. Know the pattern of active and passive sentences.
  3. Change passive into active.
  4. Explain why one purposefully uses active voice.
  5. Explain why one purposefully uses passive voice.

Homework = Completed the APV Identify and Revise Worksheet with Annotations, if needed. Bring your own book Thursday to read after the APV test (gold).

Wednesday 1/10

Looked carefully at the following picture: New York Times’ WGOITP?. Zoom in to notice small details. What is going on in this picture? What do you see that makes you say that? What more can you find? Recorded answers in our Writer’s Notebook.

Graded yesterday’s homework (APV Identify and Revise Worksheet with Annotations) for 20 silver points.

Worked in small groups to complete the Review for APV Test, focusing on #1-14 and the 3 reasons why one might use passive voice on purpose: to manipulate an audience, to escape blame, and to focus on what needs to be done (rather than the one doing it). Reviewed key as a class.

Homework = Study for tomorrow’s active/passive voice test. I’ll have a review session before school open to any who want to come. Bring your own book tomorrow to read after the APV test (gold).

Thursday 1/11

Reviewed before taking the active and passive voice test (gold). When done, we read novels for fun.

Homework = Tomorrow, we’ll go to the library for the last 15 minutes of class to checkout. FYI: Makeup work issued today is due by end of day on Friday.

Friday 1/12

Take the Speak Up Survey.

  1. Visit https://speakup.tomorrow.org
  2. Select your group (i.e. parents, students, educators)
  3. Search for your school by entering your ZIP code or by selecting AL and your school’s name from the list.
  4. Read the instructions and begin the survey.

In your Writer’s Notebook…

  1. Remember Wednesday’s strange picture about the shirtless man?
  2. Visit The New York Times again, scroll down a bit, and read about what actually is going on in this picture.
  3. In your own complete sentences, answer the following:
    1. What actually IS going on in this picture? How is it like (or not like) you originally guessed?
    2. How might this zoo’s exhibit be effective (or not), in your opinion?

Homework = First, there is no school on Monday in observance of MLK Day, so do some good works for our fellow man. Second, APV tests will come back to you on Tuesday to discuss grades. Last, we will do free reading time for 10 minutes each day next week, so have your book of choice with you.

 

ELA: January 1-5, 2018

Monday 1/1

Tuesday 1/2

Wednesday 1/3

Reviewed the Shelby County Code of Conduct rules and protocols, specifically tardies, truancy, dress code, cell phones, and locker searches. Click here if you were absent.

  • Organized our binders by storing all roots from the 2nd 9 weeks in one sheet protector in the roots tab. Also, compiled all materials from And Then There Were None into one sheet protector in the archive tab.
  • MAKEUP for WRITER’S NOTEBOOK: Read Neil Gaiman’s New Year’s wish for us (below). In three lines, explain your reaction to what he wrote. In another 3 lines, explain what his advice might look like in your life, if you were to live out his advice.
  • Completed the crystal ball activity (see me if you were absent). Due tomorrow for a grade and to be displayed.
  • Passed out and discussed the need for your parent’s permission on the Student Release Letter and Form, via your student, for you to give permission (or not) for me to use your student’s image, voice, and/or student work. Please read the letter carefully since it details exactly what National Board’s purpose is and how they will use your likeness and work. This form is due by Tuesday, January 9.
  • Complete exit slip about verbs. See me if you were absent for makeup.

Homework = Complete crystal ball activity, if needed. Get your Student Release Letter and Form signed and returned ASAP (due no later than Tues. 1/9). FYI: New root list  starts on Monday 1/8.

Thursday 1/4

Quickly reviewed exit slip sentences and verbs from yesterday. Pass back student answers. Introduce our new grammar unit called Active and Passive Voice, by doing a quick situation survey.

Introduced a new grammar unit–one that is immediately useful for writing now and forever–called Active and Passive Voice.  As a class, we messed around with  this  Active and Passive Voice Notes (Annotated) sheet, and we consolidated them down into just this: Active Passive Voice Notes Made by Class

Homework = The Active/Passive Voice test (gold) is one week from today. Get your Student Release Letter and Form signed and returned ASAP (due no later than Tues. 1/9). FYI: New root list  starts on Monday 1/8.

Friday 1/5

Reviewed yesterday’s Active Passive Voice Notes Made by Class and the “zombie rule” before watching  this clip from the film Ratatouille to complete the  APV Ratatouille worksheet. Checked answers to notice patterns and how those patterns fit without our APV notes so far. Then, we completed the Identifying APV worksheet.

Homework = Finish the Identifying APV worksheet, if needed.

Get your Student Release Letter and Form signed and returned ASAP (due no later than Tues. 1/9). FYI: New root list  starts on Monday 1/8. The Active/Passive Voice test (gold) is one week from today.

 

ELA: December 11-15, 2017

Updated OMMS Exam Schedule

  • M 12/11 = None
  • Tu 12/12 = 8th grade history and ELA
  • W 12/13 = science and electives
  • Th 12/14 = math
  • F 12/15 = makeup exams (dismiss at 1 p.m.)

______________________________________________________________

Monday 12/11

Reviewed heavily for tomorrow’s ELA final exam (the final roots test) using the ROOTS page at the top of this blog and Mrs. Acton’s Quizlet. Link removed for final exam. See Mrs. Hutchings for help.

Reviewed details from last week’s gold ATTWN Project (ATTWN Project Instructions & Grade Sheet). Worked on finishing rough drafts and starting final drafts. New due date = when you walk into class on Wednesday.

Here is an example of what a ROUGH DRAFT might look like for Anthony Marston: MarstonTombstone_FRONT and Marston-Tombstone_BACK . Notice that I picked a tombstone for my shape and glasses for my symbolic images.

FYI: We will watch the 2015 BBC miniseries And Then There Were None on Wednesday and Thursday, we will finish most of it, and you may bring food/drink those days.

Homework = Tomorrow is our final exam on roots. It’s also the last class day to work on the project. Plan accordingly. Project is due Wednesday when you walk into class.

Tuesday 12/12

Took the ELA final exam on roots. Continued working on the gold ATTWN Project (ATTWN Project Instructions & Grade Sheet). Due tomorrow when you walk into class.

Homework = Complete project. Due tomorrow when you walk into class.

Wednesday 12/13

Took up ATTWN Projects. Those who got permission forms signed continued watching the 2015 BBC miniseries And Then There Were None.

Homework = You may bring food/drink to class tomorrow as we watch our movie.

Thursday 12/14

Those who got permission forms signed finished watching the 2015 BBC miniseries And Then There Were None. Discussed director choices to alter the novel. Also discussed why Christie herself changed the ending for the stage production.

Homework = All makeup work is due tomorrow.

Friday 12/15

Dismissed at 1 p.m.

Merry Christmas, kiddos! I wish you good food, good rest, and good books