If a child can't learn the way we teach, maybe we should teach the way they learn.

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Sailing into September

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We continued to work on subjects, predicates, adjectives, adverbs, prepositions, and prepositional phrases.  The majority of students are now easily able to identify these parts of speech.  

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We have been working on personal narratives and have finished the rough drafts. I have been breaking it down into small portions so they can really identify with the different elements of the plot. I have been writing my own personal narrative with them and allowing them to give me some useful feedback. After reading several students’ drafts, I am quite impressed with their use of adjectives, adverbs, dialogue, and figurative language.  When they hear examples it really challenges them to step it up. We start revising and editing tomorrow.  Each student will have a peer conference and a final conference with me before they publish their stories.

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Each Friday, I have students present book commercials. We discussed how public speaking takes much effort and practice. The students not only are preparing for the commercial with the proper content, but their speaking skills are the most important part of the presentation. 

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Our highlight for the week was our lesson on literary genres.  Each class worked in groups to create genre posters to hang in the classroom.  Now, they have a visual aid to help determine the genre of their novels.






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Two Weeks Down….

Cross posted on Class blog.

I continued to work on important grammar skills by using the mentor sentences at the start of each class. These skills included subjects/predicates, prepositions, adjectives, and compound sentences.

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Several students also practiced sharing their first “Book Commercials” in class. I have assigned students dates to present Book Commercials through December. 

Most students have started their second novel since school started. They are adding books to their A to Z charts as soon as they complete each book. Here is my current A to Z chart:



 The students are really enjoying both class “read aloud” novels. It does take a lot of time out of class, so I have tried to minimize the read aloud time to 10 minutes or less.


I started with personal narratives for our first writing assignments. The students created a graphic organizer and they have written introductions. We are going to draft the “Rising Action” and “Climax” portions of the stories this week. The following week will conclude the drafting process when they write the “Falling Action” and “Resolution” portions to their stories. The final step will include publishing the stories on the blogs.


I am really enjoying all of my classes.  I have had a great turn out for my “Book Club” both this week and last week.  We have about 12 students signed up weekly.

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It’s a NEW Year!

Cross posted on My Classroom Blog

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I cannot believe summer is gone, and a new year has begun.  I haven’t been blogging all summer, so I’m ready to get back into the swing of things.  I am spending another year teaching Middle School Language Arts and I am thrilled to be teaching the same thing for two years in a row.  I have four classes this year.  My sixth and eighth graders are both split into two classes.  I also have a combo class of seventh graders and some of my eighth graders.  I am really looking forward to this group.

We had a great first week of school.  The students are eager to learn.  I jumped right into the curriculum and have already reviewed several skills.  We started each class with a “Mentor” sentence, which leads to my grammar or reading lesson for the day.

I introduced and/or reviewed the following skills:

  • linking and helping verbs
  • subjects and predicates
  • adjectives
  • possessive nouns
  • declarative sentences
  • compound sentences and compound predicates
  • proper nouns
  • prepositions
  • Author’s point of view
  • Setting

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I started two “read aloud” novels.  A couple of classes are reading Tuck Everlasting by Natalie Babbitt, while the other classes are doing So B. It  by Sarah Weeks.  Both novels are excellent.

I started my reading workshop (read to self from Daily 5).  Hopefully, we will be able to start our writing workshop next week.  I have had the opportunity to have an individual conference with about 98% of the students.

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In order to provide my students with more “reading” time,I am offering “Book Club” starting next week.  We are meeting on Tuesday and Thursday mornings before school in my classroom. Book Club will be a time for quiet reading without distractions.  We will celebrate completed novels and share ideas for other books to read.

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