Welcome to Mrs. Hutchings’ 8th Grade ELA Class

Featured

Dear Students and Parents,

Please familiarize yourselves with this blog, which is updated by 3:15 p.m. daily. Why not earlier, you may ask? 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

POETRY STATIONS

THE REAL (Bad) STORY BEHIND NURSERY RHYMES

Use the links to research your chosen nursery rhyme. You must know the ENTIRE TEXT  of the nursery rhyme, so look it up on your own, if needed.


STAFF PICKS

  1. “A Coat” by William Butler Yeats
  2.  “Mother to Son” by Langston Hughes
  3.  “Alone” by Edgar Allan Poe
  4.  “Having a Coke with You” by Frank O’Hara
  5.  “Life Doesn’t Frighten Me” by Maya Angelou
  6. “Dreams” by Langston Hughes
  7. “Phenomenal Woman” by Maya Angelou

ART AND POETRY

“Landscape with the Fall of Icarus” by artist Peter Brueghel


Just in case you need to access each station’s directions from in class…

ELA: November 11-15

Give to Toys for Tots! Donate cash or check (payable to OMMS) to help us help Marines provide for families in need. Every little bit helps. Money is taken up in 8th grade ELA classes November 4-22.

Monday 11/11

No school in honor of Veterans Day

Tuesday 11/12

Today, while I was absent, Mrs. Lampkin had students record roots #15-17 onto their roots list in the roots tab of their binders. See the roots page for details. NOTE: Our roots quiz on #1-17 is now on MONDAY.

Mrs. Butz, our 8th grade counselor, helped students create their four-year plan for OMHS. Contact her with questions or if you were absent: sbutz@shelbyed.org and 205.682.5210.

Homework = Our roots quiz is now MONDAY, covering roots #1-17. We’ll start poetry stations tomorrow in addition to getting back many graded items.

Wednesday 11/13

Today, after free-read time, we reviewed this week’s newest roots (see roots page for details). We got back Friday’s gold poetry forms/terms test, discussed trends, and checked grading.

We also completed round 1 of POETRY STATIONS, carefully writing work on loose leaf paper. Remember, we signed up for these stations on Friday. If you were absent, see me.

Homework = We’ll finish rounds 2 and 3 of poetry stations tomorrow and will turn in our work then. Our roots quiz is now MONDAY, covering roots #1-17.

Thursday 11/14

Today, after free-read time, we reviewed this week’s newest roots and out older roots (see roots page for details). We completed rounds 2 and 3 of POETRY STATIONS, carefully writing work on the same loose leaf paper as yesterday. If you were absent, see me.

Our roots quiz is now MONDAY, covering roots #1-17. We’ll start poetry stations tomorrow in addition to getting back many graded items.

Friday 11/15

TBA

ELA: November 4-8, 2019

Give to Toys for Tots! Donate cash or check (payable to OMMS) to help us help Marines provide for families in need. Every little bit helps. Money is taken up in 8th grade ELA classes November 4-22.

Monday 11/4

Today, after free reading time, we started our new unit on poetry. We discussed and took notes on HAIKU and LIMERICK forms. Here’s an extra sample of limericks for your amusement.

Began poetry note card assignment on a lined 3 x 5 index card:

  • ON FRONT (lined side): Write your name, class, and date on the pink line. On the blue lines write either your own limerick or your own haiku–must be original to you and follow the rules of the poetic form. This is a rough draft, so it can be messy. The idea is to play with language and mess around with syllables to get it right.
  • ON BACK (blank side): Record the final draft of your limerick or haiku in ink. Illustrate it with color and effort.

Homework = Finish poetry note card, which is due Wednesday when you walk into class. Our gold test on these poetic forms/terms is this Friday.

Tuesday 11/5

Today, we had a sub for half a day while I had professional development with the ELA Department. Here’s what we did.

Homework = Complete the poem activity card you started yesterday (see info from Monday about what is required on the front and back of the card)–due tomorrow for a silver grade.

We will have a gold-grade poetic forms and terms test this Friday, which requires that you 1) know the definitions for the poetic forms and 2) be able to identify them when you see them. For example, if I show you a poem that only has 3 lines, you should know it’s a haiku b/c a haiku only have 3 lines.

Wednesday 11/6

Today, after free-reading time, we reviewed this week’s new roots #10-14 (go to the roots page for details). Then, we continued our poetry study by discussing and taking notes about these types of poetry: Narrative + Epic + Ballad (here are the Google Slides for visuals) and Lyric. Lastly, we too a mock pop quiz, that had similar questions to a part of Friday’s test.

  • What kind of poem…has 3 lines? 5 lines? 1000+ lines? Is a story? Has a refrain? Is about a historical figure? Is about love and loss? Is about thoughts/feelings/emotions (and not at all a story)? Has 5-7-5 syllable count? Has aabba rhyme scheme?
  • What term means…strong descriptions using the 5 senses? Comparing using like or as? Comparing NOT using like or as? No rhyme scheme?

Homework = Review for the gold poetic forms and terms test that’s this Friday, which requires that you 1) know the definitions for the poetic forms and 2) be able to identify them when you see them. For example, if I show you a poem that only has 3 lines, you should know it’s a haiku b/c a haiku only have 3 lines.

Thursday 11/7

Today, after free-reading time, we reviewed this week’s new roots #10-14 before we completed our final poetry notes on SONNETS. Lastly, we practiced for tomorrow’s test by completing the Poetry Review Slides. Note that answers to each slide are in the speaker notes section at the bottom the screen (do not go in to presentation mode or answers will be hidden).

Homework = Review your notes and he Poetry Review Slides to prepare for tomorrow’s gold test. FYI: It’s library day tomorrow, but because of our test, we’ll stay in class. Those who need to go may write a pass for me to sign so you can check in/out your books.

In LEAD class today, we watched a clip of comedian Trevor Noah interviewing author Jason Reynolds, among other things. Here’s Reynolds’ letter to you and here’s an interview about why he does what he does.

Friday 11/8

Today, we briefly reviewed our notes before taking the poetry forms and terms test for 55 gold points. Afterwards, student had free-read time and could go to the library as needed to renew/check-in their books.

Students also got to sign up for next week’s poetry stations, based on their interests. You may only pick ONE activity from EACH color to sign up for, yielding three different colored activities.

Pick ONE Blue Activity: Pop Music Hunt The Real (Bad) Nursery RhymesNonsense Poems

Pick ONE Green Activity: Breaking the RulesPoetry of Hip HopStaff Picks

Pick ONE Orange Activity: Art and PoetryEnd of the WorldFight for Life

Also, see Poetry Stations blog post for the extra materials for some of these stations. I’m pumped about this because FINALLY we can see what good stuff poetry can do, rather than learning the dry (but necessary) facts.

Homework = Lots of reminders….

  • No school on Monday in honor of Veterans Day
  • Toys for Tots fundraising continues next week. I’ll have a “bake” sale every day in class ($1 each item) until I run out. Thank you, parents, for helping!
  • Our next root quiz is one week from today.

ELA: October 28 – November 1

Monday 10/28

Today, after our free-reading time, we added new roots t#5-9 on to our list. See roots page for details. Remember, our first silver quiz is this Friday on all nine roots. We also began a gold-grade, in-class project on mood, tone, and diction. It’s due on Halloween, and all will present it to the class.

Students had about 25 minutes to make their choices, read/annotate the directions, and brainstorm their ideas. Many started their rough drafts, too.

Homework = Bring your free-read book every single day. Tomorrow, we’ll do the rough draft, Wednesday will be the final draft and rehearse, and Thursday we’ll present/turn in projects. Root quiz is Friday.

Tuesday 10/29

Today, after our free-reading time, we reviewed our newest roots by adding on the following to the root review page in our roots tab: Sketch 1 image to help you remember the root “mis-” and it’s definition “wrongly,” labeling the image with the root/def. Do the same for “anti-.” Store in the roots tab.

We also had 40 minutes to complete our rough drafts on the Mood & Tone Project . I worked in small groups with all students to discuss, brainstorm, clarify, and encourage their work.

Homework = Bring your free-read book every single day. Tomorrow, will be the final draft and rehearse, and Thursday we’ll present/turn in projects. Root quiz is Friday.

Wednesday 10/30

Today, after free-reading time, we reviewed our newest roots by adding on the following to the root review page in our roots tab: Sketch 1 image to help you remember the root “rupt” and it’s definition “break,” labeling the image with the root/def. Repeat for “script/scrib.” Store in the roots tab.

We also continued working on the Mood & Tone Project. Students finished final drafts, checked their work against their option’s rubric, and rehearsed presenting their projects.

Homework = Continue to bring your free-read book every single day. Tomorrow, we’ll present/turn in projects. MAY HAVE ONE MORE DAY TO WORK, so we’ll now present on Friday. Root quiz is Friday.

Thursday 10/31

Today, we reviewed all of our roots, specifically by using our root knowledge to complete this sentence: Interrupting someone is when a person ___ into another’s conversation. TIP: On tomorrow’s quiz, there will be questions like this where you use your root knowledge to complete the sentence.

We continued yesterday’s work, finishing out final drafts and rehearsing our performances/presentations. See yesterday for rubrics. Had free-reading time afterwards.

Homework = Root quiz is tomorrow along with presenting our projects.

November 11/1

Today, we had free-read time before we took our roots quiz on #1-9. Then, we presented our Mood and Tone Projects. Lastly, student had a chance to complete this bonus creative writing card (see last slide).

Homework = Next unit is poetry!

ELA: October 21-25, 2019

Monday 10/21

Today, we started a fresh list of roots for this second nine weeks grading period. We also discussed the 4 test dates for roots. See the roots page for details.

Then, we completed the pre-reading activity for Poe (FYI: Save the “author” part for tomorrow). Lastly, we listened to master actor Christopher Lee read Edgar Allan Poe’s classic tale of terror “The Tell-Tale Heart.” As we read, we sketched images we heard and wrote a 3 sentence summary of the story.

Homework = None! We’ll continue “TTH” tomorrow. We do to the library Friday.

Tuesday 10/22

Today, we reviewed our 4 new roots by creating visual mnemonic devices–in short, we created 3 pictures to help us remember the 3 definitions for these 4 roots. See the roots page for details.

We added another term to our toolbox definitions sheet in the toolbox tab in our binders = TONE: the author’s attitude/feelings about what he’s writing (very similar to tone of voice when speaking aloud…but since author’s have silent words on the page, they use diction to create their tone, which affects the mood in the reader!).

Continuing yesterday’s study of “The Tell-Tale Heart” by Poe, we read passages of the story from the textbook very closely to answer #1-10 and #15 on the TTH Reading Guide. Turned in.

*** If you were absent, here is a link to the story that you may use to complete the reading guide; there are no page numbers on this link, so you may skip that part of the reading guide. Here too is a graphic novel version of the story–very good!***

Lastly, we looked at how tone words work in writing, analyzing our new tone/mood words toolbox sheet. Student wrote a quick “thank you” note to me (2-3 sentences) and wrote it using a tone word chosen from that new toolbox sheet. For example, some students wrote a thank you note to me…but their tone was critical. Thankfully, no students wrote me a thank you note in a romantic tone! 🙂

Homework = We have 2 things Friday: a small silver quiz on mood/tone/diction and a visit to the library.

Wednesday 10/23

Today, we continued the root review (on the same page as yesterday). We picked 1 example word for each root–a word we understood pretty well. Then, we completed this fill in the blank sentence for each of those 4 example words: The ex. word “___” has the root “__” and means “____.” BE SURE to include the little root definition inside the bigger ex. word definition, like this –> The ex. word “entomb” has the root “en-” and means “to CAUSE a body to be put in a tomb.”

Then, we worked in small groups to solve a puzzle: how to match tone with passages from Poe’s “The Tell-Tale Heart.” We argued over answers and generally had a good time. At the end, we individually completed a writing alignment to prove why the tone was picked for a passage, using diction as evidence.

If you were absent, complete this individual version of today’s activity: TTH Tone Slips with Directions and Prompt.

Homework = We have 2 things Friday: a small silver quiz on mood/tone/diction and a visit to the library.

Thursday 10/24

Today, we added to our root review sheet by recording the word “enphoniporting,” circling the 3 roots in it, and then making up our own definitions for this nonsense word. Must use the root definitions of cause, sound, and carry somehow in the bigger word definition!

We discussed passages and images from the Poe: Tell-Tale Heart and Cask of Amontillado Google Slides, taking notes on our own loose leaf paper. We read, as a class, this simple and dangerous revenge tale. Here is my annotated copy with vocab. and plot points marked. At each black line in the text, we stopped and summarized (1-2 sentence in our notes) the chunk we’d just read.

Here’s a simplified version of the story, which is also quite good!

Homework = Tomorrow, we meet in the library to check out books and we also have a short mood/tone/diction quiz.

Friday 10/26

Today, we met in the library to check out good books. Next week, for 5-10 min. a day we’ll read for fun–no grades, not work, just relax and read a book, comic, or magazine of your choice. Bring yours daily!

Once we got back to class we dove back into Poe’s “Cask of Amontillado.” We re-read each section (here is my annotated copy of the story with vocab. and plot points marked) and decided the section’s tone. We recorded answers/thinking on our note sheet from yesterday.

  • List whether the section’s tone is vengeful (cold, mean, wants to hurt someone on purpose) or humorous (ironic, sarcastic, we “get the joke” but Fortunato doesn’t).
  • Give 2 pieces of diction from each section that proves the tone you chose.
  • Example: Section 1 = vengeful b/c of the diction “punish with impunity” and “immolation” (aka destruction)

Took a quiz on tone, mood, and diction using today’s notes.

Homework = Bring your fun read book next week, since we’ll be reading for fun the first 10ish minutes of class every day next week. Looking ahead, we’ll do a gold mood/tone/diction project next week along with our first silver root quiz for this grading period.