Monthly Archives: November 2012

Look Out North, Here We Come…


North 9Today was the first step for the 8th graders to become freshman. They went over to the high school to meet in groups with upper classmen, visit booths for information about many of the programs offered, and then listen to Mrs. Haller, the freshman counselor.

North 5This was a very informative day and gave all of the students the opportunity to learn more about things at North High School before they have to sign up for classes.

The next step is for everyone to have their parents call North Junior High School, 435-0975, and make an appointment with our counselor, Mrs. Schriber. This needs to be done as soon as possible. Take your green folder home and talk to your parents about all of the classes offered and what you might like to sign up for. Then you will be prepared when you get to your meeting with Mrs. Schriber.

The 8th grade ELA team is selling spirit wear sweatshirts to raise funds to purchase materials for our classrooms. These sweatshirts are really nice. They come in both girls and boys, crewneck and hoodie. They are $25.00. There are order forms here at school. The deadline to purchase is next Friday, December 7, 2012.

sweatshirt 2 If you can’t tell, the girl’s sweatshirt has sparkles on it and we all know that makes everything better.


Things have been really busy this week with Acuity, the blog, the North visit, and all of the other work we have accomplished. Congratulations on a job well done. As always, I am very proud of you!

There is no activity over the weekend, so get some rest and enjoy yourselves.

P.S. Kleenex, pencils, and extra free reading books!


Best Laid Plans…



have a way of making things confusing. When Block 1 tried to start taking Acuity Predictive B today we, along with Mrs. Yates’s class, discovered that Acuity was NOT working. Well, let me just say that caused us a bit of stress. Now that it is working, I can’t wait to see the amazing scores that start coming in. Yeah for the rockstars in my classes.

TASK SHEET, Novemebr 29, 2012:

  • ACUITY TEST Predictive B
  • Free reading when finished or Block 1 Achieve 3000


This will be another writing assignment in journal form. Follow the same guidelines: at least 10 sentences, answer everthing in the prompt, and HAVE A PARENT SIGN IT WHEN YOU ARE FINISHED.

Now that you have taken ACUITY Predictive B, how would you rate your performance. Did you do as well as you wanted to? Did you reach the goals that you previously set? What do you need to do before the next test, Predictive C, is taken?


  • CHARGED Netbook
  • Sticky Notes – if possible
  • Highlighter – optional
  • Free reading book – required, we will be reading tomorrow

 **We are in NEED of more books for our classroom library. After Christmas these books will play a huge role in what we are doing in the classroom. If possible, if you have any books at home that you are finished with and don’t need anymore, it would be really, really helpful if you could send them to school for the classroom library. We can sure use them. Thank you in advance for any help you can give with this.

Last thought:

  If this is how you felt today after taking the Acuity Test, then keep in mind that you will have plenty of opportunities to improve next time. The ultimate goal is for everyone to do their very best and I know that everyone will be working toward that goal individually too. After the next test this is how you should look and feel about your performance.                                            

You are the BEST!!

***Remember, Kleenexes and pencils make everyone happy!!! Also, I would like everyone to sign up to follow the blog. I will give everyone who signs up a “PAW”. If your parents sign up to follow it I will give you a “PAW” for them too. You could get a grand totel of 3 “PAWS” if you and both of your parents sign up. Pretty good deal if you ask me.

Have a good evening.

Tomorrow is a BIG day…


we will be taking the second Acuity test, Predictive B. If you remember, all of you set goals for how to improve on this round of Acuity testing. Today when you took the practice test, some of you did really well, while others not so great. This is a big deal and the results are VERY important. So you need to concentrate, take your time, and think!!! Originally the test was scheduled for Friday, but it had to be moved because you will be going over to the high school for freshman counseling on that day.

Task Sheet, Wednesday, November 28, 2012

  • Acuity Practice Test – if you were absent or didn’t finish you need to do this. Log on to Acuity, click TESTS, then Language Arts, and then take Kassenbrock 1. DO NOT do anything with the Predictive B entry. Email me the number you got correct.
  • Free reading when finished

Your activity for today will be a journal entry:

Knowing that tomorrow you will be taking the Acuity Predictive B Test, how will you prepare to do the best you can. What will you do before the test and during the test to get the highest score you can. Think about the goals you set for improvement. Do you think you will reach these goals? If so, why? If not, why?

**Remeber to write at least 10 sentences. Think about this topic before you write. When you are finished let a parent read this and then have them sign it. If it is not signed you will not get credit.

I will be your best cheerleader. I know that all of you are very capable of doing your best and improving your score from last time, but if you don’t try your hardest I could easily turn into

The Grinch and I will be watching over you all of the time.

Supplies for tomorrow, November 29, 2012:

  • CHARGED Netbook
  • Free reading book

Other things needed:

  • Sticky notes (Friday)
  • Highlighters (anytime)
  • Kleenexes (always)
  • Pencils (we are out!)

Put some thought into the activity tonight and don’t forget to get it signed.

See you tomorrow, ready to do great things!

Thank You, M’am, what a nice thing to say…


Today was the day to rearrange the room and change seats. We used the “stick” method to assign places, that way everyone got a fair chance.

It seems as though reading the blog was too much for many of the students to do. Hopefully, after much discussion participation will be up tomorrow. Remember there are points given for the activities assigned each day.

Today we began our journey to become better, more active readers. This will be a way for you to become “active” instead of “passive” readers. I can’t wait to see where this road takes us and how far we come.

Task Sheet for November 27, 2012

  • Changed seats
  • Discussed “marking” text, I DO, YOU DO (this means I will model what I want you to do and then you will practice it) on Thursday
  • Free reading
  • Listened to “Thank You, M’am” p. 356-359 (Black/red book, Prentice Hall)

**Here is the activity for today. This is due TOMORROW at the beginning of the period – NO late or make-up accepted.

Write the dialogue (what’s being spoken).

1. Oh no Max exclaimed I think that Dr. Holmes was referring to Eliot the novelist, not Eliot the poet.

2.  No the taxi driver said curtly I cannot get you to the airport in fifteen minutes.

3.  Mary is trying hard in school this semester her father said.

Write yes if the sentence contains dialogue, or write no if the sentence doesn’t contain dialogue.  If it has dialogue, write it correctly.

4.  Catherine said that she did not want to interfere.

5.  The exhibition was opened last week Ann explained.

6.  Ann explained that the exhibition had opened last week.

This can be done on scrap paper, but the sentences have to be written out.

What is needed for class Wednesday:


Free reading book. This is a requirement starting today.



CHARGED Netbook to take Acuity Practice Test


Supplies needed for Thursday, November 28, 2012:



Sticky notes, if you have any



Highlighter, if you want to use one. This would be helpful.



Classroom necessities we could really use:


Kleenex, we have none right now and noses need blowing




Pencils, everyone forgets now and then and needs to use these


Just wondering if anyone would be interested in ordering from Scholastic books? We will be using a free reading book EVERY day so this might come in handy. Also, every time an order is placed there are bonus points earned so we can order books for our classroom library. Ask your parents, they are always happy to buy books, and we can talk about it tomorrow in class.   

Make sure you read the blog carefully and have everything completed and ready for class tomorrow. Show someone at home our blog and what we are doing in class. Maybe they can follow us and make a comment too!

See you tomorrow, rockstars!


ACUITY, are we ready yet…


This was the look on my cat’s face when he was picked up at the vet after our vacation. This isn’t him, but he looked about this unhappy. Maybe if we dressed him in a Christmas suit he would get some holiday cheer.

It is good to be back to school with all of you. It is even nicer that the reports left while I was gone were very good. This doesn’t surprise me.

Every day, or most days, I am going to put something on the blog. You will be required to complete whatever task is there and turn it in the next day. There will be NO make-up with this work. If you are absent it is due the day you return, unless other arrangements have been made. The posts should be on by 8:00pm, if there is nothing there at that time you will know there is nothing for that day. I would love to get pictures, etc. to put on each day. If you have anything interesting please send it to me so it can be shared with everyone.

Here is today’s activity:

Rewrite the sentences inserting the correct punctuation.

1. The ginkgo tree whose leaves turn bright yellow in the fall came to this country from Asia

2. The address for the governor’s mansion is 391 West Ferry Road Atlanta Georgia

3. The villagers enjoyed fairs festivals and good conversation

4. When the intermission was over the members of the audience moved back to their seats

5. Andy took the elevator to the third floor rushed into the office and asked to see his father

Again, these will be due tomorrow at the beginning of class. Remember ALL Acuity Custom Tests are due this Friday, November 30. All other work from last week is due by this Wednesday, November 28.

**If you have any sticky notes, of any kind, please bring them to class with you tomorrow. Also, make sure and have your free reading book with you EVERYDAY, I will be checking. We are going to read at least 20 minutes each day.**

Have a good evening!

I am thankful for a movie day…


what about you? Today will be a good way to start your long weekend.


Have a wonderful holiday and remember all that you have to be thankful for.


My trip has been wonderful. Having time to spend with my daughter, son, and husband is always the best in my world. I will be glad to be back with all of you and my friends at school. There is no assignment today, just watch the movie and be good. Please thank Mrs. Martin for taking her time to fill in for me. You were lucky to have her.

    Happy Thanksgiving! You are the best, see you Monday.

As I sit here writing…


I can hear the waves lapping at the shore and it is a sound that makes me very happy. I hope everyone had a great day. We had a really good one. Here are a few of the things we did:

 Had lunch at Angelina’s, a restaurant we love!


Got our breakfast muffins at Modica Market here in Seaside, that is where “The Truman Show” was filmed.

 Spend quite a bit of time at Sundog Books, I think you can understand why I like that place so much.



  Did some shopping at an open air market and shops called Perscipacity



Ate delicious burgers and fries outside at Pickles, a local favorite, and finally




 we are back at our condo and ready to watch Monday    Night Football. It has been a full day and the only thing missing was all of you and Mrs. Yates. Please tell her I said “hello” and that I miss her too!!


Now it is time for me to give you your daily activity. I’m having fun while all of you are getting smarter everyday.





Read the passage and then answer the questions on another piece of paper. If you don’t finish in class you can do this at home. It really won’t take that long.

Most Americans know all about our Thanksgiving history and traditions, but did you know that many different countries and cultures have similar ways of giving thanks? Here are just a few of the ways that people around the world have shown their gratitude.



Each fall, the ancient Greeks held the three-day Festival of Thesmosphoria, which they dedicated to Demeter, the goddess of grains. This festival, though, was not as celebratory as the festivals we know today. It began with Anodos, the ascent. On this day, married women climbed a hill and built leafy shelters, where they slept. The second day was dedicated to the Nesteia, or the fast, during which the women did not eat in order to make themselves pure. On the third day, the Kalligeneia, the Greeks had a feast, and they offered gifts of seed, cakes, fruit, and pigs to Demeter. They hoped that Demeter would be grateful enough to give them a good harvest that year.

The ancient Egyptians held their harvest festival in the spring since that was the time when they reaped their crops. Like the Greeks, the Egyptians honored a god who they believed was responsible for the well-being of their harvest. To give thanks to Min, the god of vegetation and fertility, the Egyptians had a parade and a feast—sound familiar?

Not to be outdone at anything, the ancient Romans had a fall harvest festival called Cerelia to honor Ceres, the goddess of corn. (If the name sounds familiar, it’s because the word “cereal” came from this particular deity!) The Romans offered the first fruits of the harvest to Ceres, but they also knew how to have a good time. The day included parades, games, sports, and of course, a feast. What would a festival be without a feast?


Like those ancient civilizations, the American settlers of 1621 celebrated Thanksgiving to give thanks for a good harvest (which had been successful only with the help of the Native Americans). Still, Thanksgiving did not become an official holiday until President Lincoln made it so in 1863. The U.S. was in the midst of its bloody civil war; Lincoln wanted to remind Americans to be thankful for what they did have. He wrote that “the year that is drawing towards its close, has been filled with the blessings of fruitful fields and healthful skies

Other nations also take time out to give thanks and celebrate autumn.

Canada celebrated its first Thanksgiving in 1872, after the Prince of Wales recovered from an illness. Remember— at that time, Canada was a part of the British Empire. Canada’s Thanksgiving is a lot like our own with families coming together and even eating turkey, only it takes place on the second Monday in October.

Jewish people around the world celebrate Sukkot in autumn. During this eight-day harvest celebration, each family builds an outside tent called a sukkah. They decorate it with leaves and branches and place tables inside. Families use the sukkah to eat, pray, and give thanks to God.

In the southern Indian state of Kerala, people celebrate the harvest festival of Onam. During the festival, people give thanks for what they have and remember others by delivering food to the needy. They also decorate their homes with flowers and watch elaborate fireworks displays.

Lithuanians make sure they have a good harvest each year by creating a boba (the Lithuanian word for “old woman”). The boba is molded into a doll shape from the last sheaf of grain at harvest time. Each family keeps the boba until spring in the hopes that she will keep the spirit of the crop alive until replanting the following season.

China’s autumn festival is not a thanksgiving, but it celebrates the bright harvest moon. It is called Zhong Qui, or the Festival of the Autumn Moon, and it takes place in September, when the moon is at its brightest. During this time, the people honor the Moon Goddess with mooncakes, traditional pastries that can have many different kinds of ingredients. In the evening, children take part in parades that feature colored lanterns.

***Answer these questions on a separate piece of paper. Use letter answers only.

1. Which event prompted the writing of this article?

A.  The start of a new year in the Jewish tradition

B.  The appearance of the brightest moon of the year

C.  The approach of Thanksgiving in the United States

D.  The end of a harvest in ancient Greece


2. What would you expect an Indian family to do after it gives thanks for what it has in the harvest?

A.  It would remember others by delivering food to the needy.

B.  It would decorate a tent with leaves and place tables inside.

C.  It would celebrate with a parade and colored lanterns.

D.  It would give the children dolls called bobas to celebrate with.


3. Which is an expression of someone’s personal opinion?

A.  Thanksgiving in the United States has more meaning than that in Canada.

B.  They decorate it with leaves and branches, place tables inside, and offer thanks.

C. The  family keeps the boba until spring so that she will keep the spirit of the crop alive.

D.  China’s autumn festival is not a thanksgiving, but it celebrates the bright harvest moon.


4. You can figure that the word deity refers to a . . .

A.  God or goddess

B.  Harvest moon

C.  Festival with mooncakes

D.  Parade with lanterns


5. Many cultures show their gratitude every autumn. What is a synonym for the word gratitude?

A.  Resentment

B.  Appreciation

C.  Greed

D.  Tradition


6. The topic sentence for one of the paragraphs is, “Jewish people around the world celebrate Sukkot in autumn.” Which sentence would not logically belong in that paragraph?

A.  Families use the sukkah to eat, pray, and give thanks to God.

B.  Each family builds an outside tent called a sukkah.

C.  In autumn, families come together and even eat turkey.

D. The festival goes on for eight days.


7. After reading this article, you can predict that there will probably be another article written about . . .

A.  Why the Lithuanians bring in the harvest with a boba

B.  How countries around the world ring in a new year

C. How the people of China spread thanks around the world

D.  Why some countries frown upon a holiday for giving thanks


8. Which of the following is the best explanation for why we celebrate Thanksgiving in the month of November?

A..We didn’t want our Thanksgiving to fall at the same time as Canadian Thanksgiving.

B.  In the United States, we don’t reap our harvests until the end of November.

C.  Holidays at other times of the year tend to be more solemn than Thanksgiving.

D.  It started with Lincoln, and it was held as “the year that is drawing towards its close . . .”

OK, that’s about it for today (except don’t forget about Acuity Custom Tests). Only two more days until Thanksgiving and time for celebration, thanks, rest, and fun. Tell Mrs. Martin what a great job she is doing because I know she is. Also, tell Mrs. Jones I said “hello” too. I didn’t get many comments so I will look forward to some tomorrow.