Weekly Update: Week of February 29, 2016

Hello everyone! Happy Leap Day!
Overview this week:
In Social Studies, students are finalizing their Otzi the Iceman presentations and will present their conclusions in front of the class this week. See the rubric here.
In English, students are making the final editing changes to their short stories. They are due this week. and we will celebrate our accomplishments as writers at the end of the week as we share our stories with one another. See the rubric here.

Need to Know:
1. Otzi Presentations
  • Tuesday, Mar 1st for C/D block 
  • Thursday, Mar 2nd for E/F block

2. Narrative Short Story due = Wednesday, March 2nd 

3. MAP testing starts THIS  week (language test today, reading test Wednesday)


Homework this week:
​1. ​Read ​20-​30 minutes a day
​​​2. Genre Wheel Entries (for finished books)
***students may also be completing various tasks for short stories and Otzi presentations, though they have class time for this as well


Table Talk:
– How have you grown as a storyteller while writing your short story?
– What are some good story ideas that other students have had?
– How do you think Otzi died?
– What evidence supports your conclusion?
– How did you make your presentation engaging and convincing?

Weekly Update: Week of February 22, 2016

Overview this week:
I hope students enjoyed their week of CWW and that they came home not only muddy but with lots of stories about their learning and experiences. 
In Social Studies, students are working in their groups to put their ideas into a presentation that proves their conclusions with evidence. See the rubric here.
In English, students are making final revisions to their stories and starting the editing process as well, focusing on peer-editing, sentence structure, and punctuation. See the rubric here.

Need to Know:
I have adjusted the due dates of the Otzi presentation and short stories. This will be communicated to students this week both in class and via email.
1. NEW Due date for Narrative Short Story (both C/D and E/F) = Wed, March 2nd 
     – this is the final day students will be allowed to edit/make changes
     – students are allowed to do some work on this at home at this point
2. NEW Due date for Otzi Presentations (C/D students) = Tues, March 1st
     – all groups will present in class this day
3. NEW Due date for Otzi Presentations (E/F students) = Thurs, March 3rd
     – all groups will present in class this day
4. MAP testing starts next week (reading and language usage first)

Homework this week:
1. ​Read ​20-​30 minutes a day
​​​2. Genre Wheel Entries (for finished books)
3. Learning Habits Survey Monday or Tuesday night (via student’s email)
***students may also be completing various tasks for short stories and Otzi presentations, though they have class time for this as well

Table Talk:

– What was the BEST part of CWW?
– What did you learn at CWW?
– How have you grown as a storyteller while writing your short story?
– How do you think Otzi died? What evidence supports your conclusion?

Weekly Update: Week of February 8, 2016

Overview this Week:
In Social Studies, students are working alone or in teams to answer five research questions about Otzi the Iceman by supporting their ideas with evidence. This week they will also begin figuring out how to put their conclusions into a persuasive and creative presentation. They will work on this the week after CWW as well. In English, students are now working on revising their short stories, and are focusing on balancing action, description, dialogue, and introspection to help them “show” and not “tell” the story. They will also have an in-class non-fiction reading assessment. Finally, students should continue to work on reading for their genre goal and completing their reflective entries after they finish each book.

Need to Know:
1. In-Class Nonfiction Reading assessment this week
    – no need to prepare for this – we have practiced and reviewed these skills and questions in class
2. CWW next week
    – Walker/McKnight schedule here if you want to print it
    – We are collecting recyclables (paper, plastic, glass, old toys, old electronics) all this week
3. Students may at this point spend SOME time revising short stories at home
    – not required to work on this at home 
    – should only be spending about 30 min at a time, if at all    
    – Revising is happening in class this week, editing the week after CWW
    – Final Draft Due Monday, Feb 29th
4. “Countries of the World Donut Challenge” (completely optional, click link for more info!)

Homework this week:
​1. ​Read 20-​30 minutes a day
​​​2. Genre Wheel Entries (for finished books)
3. Bring Recyclables for CWW

Table Talk: 
​- What are you currently reading?​
– Are you finished drafting your story? What are some areas that you will improve on when revising?
– How do you think Otzi the Iceman died? What evidence makes you think this?
– What are some ideas you have for making an interesting presentation about Otzi the Iceman?
– What will you be doing at CWW? What are you looking forward to?

Weekly Update: Week of February 1, 2016

Overview this Week:
In Social Studies, students are investigating a true historical mystery of the Neolithic era: How did Otzi the Iceman die? Students have developed hypotheses and are now using their background knowledge as well as a variety of sources to evaluate their theories and eventually draw conclusions. 
In English, students are working on drafting their short stories, and are focusing on balancing action, description, dialogue, and introspection to help them “show” and not “tell” the story. Students also continue to work on reading for their genre goal and completing their reflective entries after they finish each book.

Need to Know:
1. Students are working on their short stories in class only
     – Rough Draft Due Friday, Feb 5th
     – Final Draft Due Monday, Feb 29th
2. Grades will be updated tomorrow with the quiz from last week
    – those who want to retake the quiz should see me in tutorials this Thursday to review
3. “Countries of the World Donut Challenge” (completely optional, click link for more info!)

Homework this week:
​1. ​Read ​20-​30 minutes a day
​​2. Genre Wheel Entries (for finished books)

Table Talk: 
​- What are you currently reading?​
– What new genres have you enjoyed so far?
– What ​is your short story about?
– Why do writers use dialogue and introspection in their stories?
– How do you think Otzi the Iceman died? What evidence makes you think this?
– After seeing your report card comments, what are your strengths as a student?
– After seeing your report card comments, what do you need to work on getting better at as a student?