Monthly Archives: February 2013

A Writing We Will Go…


the places you will go


It is Tuesday and we are still on the quest for good writing skills. All of the classes are not on the same page today so I am going to dividing things into Block 1 and Blocks 2 & 3. Make sure you are being very careful to read and complete the sections that go with your block. There will be a lot of information today.


Block 1 –

Today was an eye-opening experience for Block 1. We realized that SOME of the students are not doing what is expected from them. We discussed that in order to benefit from what is taught, explained, modeled, and practiced in class each day the students need to do their part in completing the requirements. Growth comes with practice and hard work, hopefully everyone will reconsider their role in class and begin giving it their all. With that being said, some of the students are doing an amazing job!! Yeah, for them.

AGENDA – Block 1 – February 26, 2013:

  • Discuss good learning practices, completing work, participating, and doing your best
  • Worked on RUPR (see yesterday’s blog for info on this) practice sheet
  • Free read & checked for books


  1. Finish RUPR Practice Sheet
  2. Complete one article on Achieve 3000
  3. Bring Free Reading book tomorrow
  4. BLOG TOPIC: After discussing good learning practices today, how could you improve what you do in and out of the classroom each day. How will doing these things help not only your grades but also your overall learning and understanding.

**Keep in mind that if you are unable to complete your work, participate, and follow classroom rules you will be staying after-school with me or Mrs. Jones. We are here until 4:00pm every day of the week.

Blocks 2 & 3 –

Today in Blocks 2 & 3, we also had to have a conversation about talking and talking and talking. This seems to have escalated to a level that class time is being wasted because a few people cannot be quiet and listen. In these blocks there is plenty of time for sharing, but I do draw the line when I am modeling a new skills or instructing and side-bar conversations are going on. I must admit that it is a very few students doing this, but it is enough that it has to be addressed daily. I have now reached my limit. If these students continue they will be able to stay after school with me any day of the week, I am here every day until 4:00.

QARThe new strategy for today was QAR – Question, Answer, Relationship – here is a Prezi that helps to explain it,

The following questions help the students find the answers to questions more efficiently:

Right There – in one sentence in the text, usually one word or a short phrase

Think and Share – in the text but found in several placesQAR 1

In My Head – not 100% in the text, not in the text word for word, comes from clues from both the text and prior knowledge

On My Own – entirely from prior knowledge, inference (draw conclusions), does not require information from the text, requires the student to make  a judgement about or relate to the topic

AGENDA – Blocks 2 & 3 –February 26, 2013:


  1. Finish RUPR practice if not done
  2. Bring Free Reading Book
  3. Complete QAR practice assignment
  4. BLOG TOPIC: Explain the 4 types of QAR questions and how to find answers in the text for each kind.

Here is some information you will need for tomorrow, you do NOT have to even open it tonight.  You cannot work ahead because you do not know what to do. I am just putting it on now so we can access it tomorrow.


QAR sample question practice

Have a great evening. Even though I had to write about some things happening in class right now, I still enjoy having you everyday. You are amazing students. I only want to make sure you are the best you can be. See you tomorrow


Countdown to ISTEP + writing…


ISTEPThis week we will be learning strategies and practice to be able to get the highest ISTEP+ scores ever. These skills, strategies, graphic organizers, workshops, and practices will not only be beneficial for the standardized test but will also help to guide better writing at all levels in the future. Each day I will be featuring one or more of these strategies, skills or practices, along with links to any materials that are needed.

Today’s strategy is RUPR. This strategy guides students in reading and using the writing prompt, making sure to include all of the information necessary.

Here is another explanation, including definitions for the acronym RUPR

These are the practice prompts that were used today before the notes were put on them.  RUPR from workbook

Here are the same pages with the notes on them. RUPR notes

REMINDER: Everyone needs a Free Reading book in class EVERYDAY! I will be checking for books tomorrow. The reading logs will be due soon.

AGENDA, February 25, 2013:

  • Free reading
  • RUPR strategy


  1. Finish the two prompts using the RUPR method
  2. BLOG TOPIC: Tell how you would include everything in the writing prompt by using the RUPR strategy. Explain this using all of the steps.

under the weatherHopefully, I will be feeling better tomorrow. If you are in Block 1 make sure you are doing Achieve 3000 at home. Have a good evening.

Ice , Ice , Baby…


freezing rainAll of you are way too young to remember that song. but it seems like it might describe the weather tomorrow. Hopefully everyone will have a safe trip to school and we can finally finish the presentations in Blocks 2 & 3.

Also, Block 1, I will be looking at your newspapers and printing them. Tomorrow you can make any changes necessary before I print. So far the ones I have seen look really good.

Acuity Predictive C was given today and overall I would say it was a success. Everyone did not meet their goal, but each class did raise their scores from Predictive B. Now it will be on to preparing for the writing portion of the ISTEP test on March 5, 2013.

put on calendarTomorrow afternoon the rabbi will be here to speak about the Holocaust. She will only be talking about the Jewish people and the Holocaust itself during that time. She will not be talking about religion. The program will be 8th & 9th periods in the PAC at the high school. Anyone is welcome to attend. This will be the final activity of the Holocaust unit the students have been studying.




AGENDA, February 20, 2013:

  • ACUITY Predictive C


  1. Bring Free reading book tomorrow – required
  2. Be ready for presentations/newspapers
  3. NO BLOG TOPIC TODAY! Look out next week, there will be one every day.

This is a light news day due to Acuity, so this is all I have.  no news is good news

Practice Today, Perfect Tomorrow…


icey roadsA new week and already a change of plans. Originally, Acuity was going to be given on Thursday of this week, but due to the forecast of the impending freezing rain on that day the plans have had to be changed. Today was the day to review, discuss, and practice for the Acuity Predictive C test that will be given tomorrow. If anyone wants to look over the practice again, here is the link. Acuity Predictive C Practice Please make sure andpractice makes perfect have your Netbook charged and ready to go. Being prepared always leads to good results. Remember the goals you have set for yourselves and work toward those tomorrow when you take the test. I have all of the faith in the world in all of you. I know Predictive C will show improvement for everyone.

Again, there is more good news from Block 1. Several students are doing outstanding work on Achieve 3000. It seems the competition is building and everyone is rising to the challenge and out doing themselves every day. Here are the latest results:

  • JACOB RICE – reached his 40 Activity Goal status, was the school weekly top scorer, and was the state’s top scorer for February 14. These are all huge accomplishments!
  • KEATON BRIGGS – reached his 40 Activity Goal status, yeah for him. This takes a lot of hard work.
  • BRANDON HIRSCH – reached his 40 Activity Goal status. he has really been putting in a lot of hard work.

CONGRATULATIONS to all these students for their hard work and dedication.

Here is a few of the suggestions for new books to read offered by Good Reads. You can access this site by going to Book Reads and following the instructions. It is interesting and gives a lot of titles that you might not have known about.

good reads

AGENDA. February 19, 2013:

  • Discuss change of plans
  • Practice, discuss, and prepare for Acuity tomorrow


  1. Practice using the link above for Acuity tomorrow
  2. Charge Netbooks and bring them to school ready to use
  3. Bring your Free Reading book, yes I said Free Reading book, to classreading beach tomorrow. It may not be this warm, but reading is always good!
  4. BLOG TOPIC: Today was practice for tomorrow’s Acuity test. How are you going to use the practice to help get a higher score? Also, what else are you going to do to ensure you get the highest score you have ever gotten on this test?
  5. “PAWS” – “PAWS” will be given to anyone that proves to me you have readpaws the blog. You can do this by writing on a scrap of paper, “I read the blog on 2/19/2013”. If I were you I would not let this secret out. Everyone needs to work to get their “PAWS”.

Blocks 2 & 3 – the presentations will resume this Thursday, so make sure and be ready.

Have a great afternoon and evening. Rest, eat a good breakfast, and great things are ahead on the Acuity Predictive C test tomorrow.

Be My Valentine…


valentines day 3Well, today was Valentine’s Day and that seems to be a very special day for a junior high school student. Lots of gifts and candy have been seen being exchanged. At NJHS we get to celebrate Valentine’s Day again tomorrow when the PTSA suckers and roses will be handed out. It is great when there is something to look forward to. Speaking ofjob shadowing 1 that, tomorrow is also 8th grade Job Shadow Day. Students will be visiting many businesses around the community to see what a typical day is like there. This is always a great learning experience for all.

good job






Again, there are students to highlight today!

  • BRANDON HIRSCH for reaching his 40 Activities Goal on Achieve 3000
  • KEE’VON HIGHTOWER for being the school high scorer for yesterday and being the school weekly high scorer on Achieve 3000

In Blocks 2 & 3, today was finally presentation day. Several groups went today and did a remarkable job. The multi-media portion of most of them was outstanding. The groups who still have to go will really have to be good to compete with what has already been presented. Due to Job Shadowing and the 3 day weekend they will wrap up next Tuesday. Plenty of time to add extras to what you already have.

teacher absentI will not be at school tomorrow. I have to go to a meeting downtown, but should be back at school around 2:00. Mrs. Martin will be here for me and she knows everything. Luckily, you will not have to NOT do the homework because I am gone, there will not be  any homework. The daily blog topics should resume next week.

Next Thursday is Acuity Predictive C and the goal is for everyone to raise their scores. I am confident that you can rise to the occasion andthinking cap again prove yourselves to be the best there is. We will be reviewing and practicing Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday , and scoring high on Thursday. Make sure and put your thinking caps on that day.

The rabbi will be at North Junior High School on Thursday afternoon to speak to the 8th graders about the Holocaust. This should be very informative and interesting, especially after all of the things we have learned about that time period in the recent weeks.

AGENDA, February 14, 2013:

  • All projects and presentations started today, will conclude next Tuesday


  1. Block 1 – Achieve 3000, this is a long weekend and a lot of points can be earned during this time. You have this week and next to get points in to raise your lexile scores. Try hard, you can do it!
  2. All Blocks – catch up on any blogs you need to finish
  3. All Blocks – FREE READ!! Record on your reading log. If you need one they are on the window ledge in my room

long weekend 1Have a good time tomorrow with Job Shadowing, enjoy your long weekend, let me know if you need anything, and I will see you Tuesday.



A Movie Today Took Students Away…


prizesToday there was a field trip for French, band, orchestra, and choir members and that left very few students in class today. Therefore, today’s blog is going to be brief. There is more good news though. Yesterday I posted that Leah Wentzel was a winner in the EVSC Digital Heroism Challenge. Today I found out that Ethan Warfield was also a prize winner. Both students won a $10 iTunes gift card. It looks like our blogging is paying off.



AGENDA, February 13, 2013:

  • All Blocks – catch up on unfinished work, Achieve 3000, blog posts, presentations (due tomorrow), free reading, Acuity custom practice


  1. Block 1 – at least one article for Achieve 3000
  2. Block 1 – newspaper project due tomorrow
  3. Blocks 2& 3 – multi-media presentations due tomorrow
  4. All blocks Acuity Custom Practice
  5. Catch up on all blog posts
  6. No new blog topic for today

valentines day 2Sometimes it is good to be able to step back and get thing caught up and be ready to start again. Hope everyone that went on the field trip enjoyed themselves. We had a relaxing day too! Be ready for the projects/presentations tomorrow. I am looking forward to seeing all of your wonderful work.

By the way, thought for the day again, “PAWS” for Kleenexes. Thanks!






That is our word for the week. If it isn’t presentations it is projects. This signals the end of a very interesting and thought-provoking unit. Everyone has put in a lot of hard work and now has much clearer view as to what it is like to be part of a team/group. That can be an eye-opening experience.


REMINDER: Your reading log will be turned in for a grade at the end of the grading period. My Personal Reading List. Make sure you are recording every book that you are reading or have read. We will be going to the library this Thursday.



A BIG round of applause goes to Leah Wentzel. She was a winner in last weeks Digital Heroism Challenge. Everyone posted comments for this challenge and she was the lucky winner.



AGENDA, February 12, 2013:

  • Block 1 – Achieve 3000
  • All Blocks – Acuity Custom Practice
  • All Blocks – Presentations/Projects – ALL due Thursday


  1. Block 1 – Achieve 3000, at least one article
  2. All Blocks – wrap up work on presentations.projects
  3. All Blocks – Acuity Custom Practice – optional, work on if you have time
  4. BLOG TOPIC: What would you either like to learn or review before Acuity, ISTEP writing, or ISTEP multiple choice. What do strength weaknessyou think your strengths are? What do you think your weaknesses are?

Get ready to practice!! The next few weeks will be filled with strategies, new skills, and review that will help you be the best you can be on the upcoming tests. Now all it will take is your effort and hard work. I have no doubt that you will bring those, you always do.