Wednesday, October 4, 2017

College Is In Your Future


College Awareness Month In honor of College Awareness Month, let's learn about two of the universities that Mr. McGinty attended. 







Monday, October 2, 2017

Writing Nonfiction Narratives with Descriptive Language



Student Samples: Nonfiction Narrative Writing with Descriptive Language One element to focus on when writing a nonfiction narrative is including descriptive language. You should try to use precise words, descriptive details, and sensory language that show what settings are people are like and allow your readers to visualize what is taking place in your story in their minds. 

Here are few excerpts of descriptive writing from the nonfiction narratives of students in our classes: 

It was a typical, not sunny, not warm, just right kind of day. I was trying to get my pillow, which was a little bit in a country design, and pink with a yellow newborn chick on it with my date and time of birth on it.

“Nooooooo!” I screamed  from the hallway. I heard “I'm sorry” from the door, then I heard the door close, and then I heard silence and nothing else and I tasted something bitter. Something I never tasted before that fateful day.



I waited and waited but still no luck. I started to wonder if there were any fish in the ocean today. But then my older brother got a tug, so with excitement I went with my fishing rod and ran to my older brother. I helped my brother to reel it in. Once we reeled it in, we saw what it was. A giant crab.

We were having a campfire in the front yard and I could see the red and orange flames rising and rising, as they get larger. I felt warm and excited.

I had just remembered that I didn't know how to push myself on the swing. So I yelled to my sister to come and push me. Then she pushed me high in the air and I felt the breeze passing through my hair. But when I would come back down I felt like I was falling and I would never go back up. But then she pushed me again up high, over and over. One time she pushed me so high I felt like I was way past the clouds.

"Bye, I love you," I say to my parents. I slam the blue car door. I discover so many people in my sight so nervous. I discover one of my friends, so I walk over but stop at the large gate and discover a dandelion growing in between a crack. I pick it and whisper, "Please let these years be great and don’t let me get distracted by other things around me. Let me get the grades I want." Then I gently blow.

I felt the sunny breeze passing by my face while I was walking home from school. When I got home my sister let our family dog in our house. I chuckled while she let her in.

It was a hot day in Tamasopo, Mexico. I planed to be in the pool all day to escape the scorching heat. I got all my equipment for swimming which was only some shorts. I got to the pool with my feet boiling from the hot tile. I jumped in the pool. The water was refreshing.

It all began on a cloudy warm overcast morning. I was packing my stuff to go to my grandma's house in San Jose. My mom, my three sisters, and I got in my dad's old Honda minivan. While my sisters were raging for the tablet in the backseat, I heard the movement of the suitcases as they are thudding in the back.

The next day I remained homesick. I felt dizzy and bored and then all of a sudden my head hurt more, and I felt like my head was spinning in circles and that I had a really bad fever.

The last thing I saw was the faces of my brothers and the screams from my parents. Everything was fading until it was pitch black. My parents sped all the way to the hospital. My eyes finally opened, and I saw a bright light. I was in the emergency room. I looked across and I saw four doctors.

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Writing a Nonfiction Narrative



Nonfiction Narrative Assignment  Write a nonfiction narrative in which tell about a real-life experience that answers this question: 

When did a challenge lead to a triumph?

Begin by giving your reader background about the experience. Then, present a natural, logical series of events that shows how a challenge led to a triumph. Conclude by reflecting on the importance of the experience. 

Elements of Nonfiction Narrative  To learn more about the various elements of a nonfiction narrative, we will first watch the video and graphic below. We will then examine a model text to see if it has these elements. 



Thursday, September 7, 2017

Independent Reading and Launching New Perspectives Unit

CHILDHOOD is the theme of our first My Perspectives unit. The Essential Question: What are some of the challenges and triumphs of growing up? 
























Warm-Up: Independent Literacy Activities  Please enjoy about 15 minutes of "Independent Literacy" time. During this time you may quietly read from your library book, take an AR quiz, or read an article from Newsela. Happy reading! 

Unit Introduction: Childhood Today we are going to be a launching our New Perspectives unit on "Childhood." We will begin by thinking about what it means to grow up - both the challenges and triumphs. We will discuss what we look forward to in adulthood, as well as what we will miss about childhood. We will watch a few videos (including those featured below) to start answering the unit's essential question: What are some of the challenges and triumphs of growing up? 




Today we will also explore some of the texts we will be exploring during this unit, make some unit goals, and preview some of the unit's academic vocabulary. 

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Accelerated Reader Goal-Setting and Newsela


Accelerated Reader Goal-Setting  Once you know what your reading level is, you will have a better idea of what level books you should be reading and what an appropriate reading goal would be for you for the quarter. I will be meeting with you during this time to discuss your reading level, "just right" books levels, and to decide on your A.R. goal. We will use a charts like the ones below to help us in the process. 



You will then record your personalized reading data and A.R. goal on the document Reading Data and Goal-Setting Chart located in your Language Arts Google Classroom. If I don't have time meet with you today, we will make time tomorrow. 

While I am meeting with students you will be working on the independent activities below.

Newsela Independent Reading  If you choose not to read an A.R. book today, head on over to Newsela. Remember to 'Sign in with Google.' Today you may select the article or articles of your choice, choose your preferred reading level, and take the associated quiz or quizzes. Good luck and happy reading! 

Friday, August 25, 2017

The Star Reading Test and Introducing Accelerated Reader



Star Reading Test  Today we are going to take the Star Reading Test which is going to help provide a sense of what your current reading level is. Once we determine your reading level we will better be able to match you up with engaging books that are just right for you. Make sure you do your very best. Read carefully and use your new context clues strategy. Good luck! You can find a link to the test here.  

Introducing Accelerated Reading and Taking Your First Quiz  Watch the video below to get a basic introduction of how the Accelerated Reader program works.

 

Next week I will provide you with the results of your Star Reading Test, we'll work together to determine your A.R. reading goal for the quarter, and we'll head to the library to pick out awesome books that are just right for you. In the meantime, feel free to take your first quiz on the read-aloud Thank You, Mr. Falker at the Accelerated Reader website

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Introducing Google Classroom and Kahoot!


Welcome to Google Classroom  Here at Lakeview Middle School technology is an integral part of the teaching and learning process. Google Classroom will be one of the important tools we use this year. Watch the video below to learn a little bit about how Google Classroom works.


Now head on over to Google Classroom and explore! Notice that I have posted a question for each of you to answer. 

Introducing Kahoot!  Kahoot! is a game-based learning platform, which is "all about coming together and making learning awesome." To see how it works check out the video below.



Kahoot! Activity: Subjects, Predicates, and Fragments Review  Now let's have fun together reviewing the basic components of a sentence, subjects and fragments, and identifying fragments, all while trying out Kahoot! for the first time. Report to Kahoot! and I will provide you with the necessary code to get started.  

Monday, August 21, 2017

Grammar: What Makes a Sentence a Sentence?







The Building Blocks of a Sentence: The Subject and the Predicate  Every complete sentence contains two essential parts: the subject and the predicate. The subject tells who or what the sentence is about, while the predicate tells what the subject does. 

Let's begin by having our friends at Flocabulary explain how subjects and predicates work. 



Now that you better understand what subjects and predicates do, let's practice identifying subjects and predicates in a sentence with the assignment Complete Subjects and Predicates

Incomplete Sentences: Sentence Fragments  A fragment is a group of words that does not form a complete thought, and is missing a subject, a predicate, or both. 



Friday, August 18, 2017

Vocabulary: Introducing Context Clues


Introduction to Context Clues When you are reading and you come across a word you don't know, what do you do? The answer I hear from too many kids is "I skip it." Did you know that there is a vocabulary tool and reading strategy that can magically help you figure out the meanings of unknown words? Today we are going to learn how 'Context Clues' can help you unlock the meaning of words you thought you didn't know and help make you a much more empowered and successful reader.

So, what are 'Context Clues' exactly? Read the explanation below to find out.  



Next, let's watch below as Tim and Moby from BrainPop further introduce and explain how context clues work.


Now let's practice together. Work with the members of your team to figure out the words in bold below by by paying attention to the context clues in red.  
Next, watch how context clues could have helped the young man in the video below.  


Now let's explore context clues with our friends from Flocabulary. 



Next, let's further practice using context clues as groups by working through the activity here.

Finally, it's time for some independent practice. You are going to begin work on the assignment Context Clues Practice and continue to familiarize yourself with the wonders of context clues. 

Homework  (1.) Continue working on the assignment Context Clues Practice, which is due next Friday, August 25(2.) Continue working on your Learning to Read Story, which is also due next Friday, August 25

Thursday, August 17, 2017

Read-Aloud and Reading Reflections


Read-Aloud: Thank You, Mr. Falker  The book we are going to read aloud today features a teacher that made a big difference in one young girl's life. Before we read, think about an important teacher in your life. Why is this teacher so important to you? Now in your small groups have a conversation about the important teachers in your lives that made a difference. Next, as you listen to the story think about what makes Mr. Falker such a good teacher.

Reflecting on Learning to Read  The story Thank You, Mr. Falker 
centered around Trisha's struggles to learn to read. What is your story of learning to read? What do you remember about your journey to becoming a reader? How do you feel about yourself as a reader now? Today you will work on your own Learning to Read Story and begin to share your experiences and feelings regarding reading. This assignment should be completed and turned in tomorrow Friday, August 18.  

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

First Day of School



Attendance  Welcome to Lakeview Middle School! When I call your name, indicate that you are present and share a little about yourself. What elementary school do you come from? What's your favorite movie, book, or animal?  

Name Tag Activity  Let's make name tags so we can learn who we are. In the center of your name tag write your name largely and clearly. In the four corners or your name tag draw and illustrate symbols that represent your likes and interests. An example can be found below. It represents me, Matt, and my interest in writing, baseball, nature, and photography.  


Student Survey  After completing your name tag, you will begin work on your first assignment: Getting to Know You - Student Survey. The survey consists of a series of questions which allow me to get to know you better. Answer each question to the best of your ability. If you don't finish in class today, try to finish for homework. 

Homework  Complete the Getting to Know You - Student Survey. Deadline: This assignment is due Friday, August 18.

Monday, June 5, 2017

It's Christmas Time in 'Tequila Worm'

Creating the nacimiento is a "gift of sacredness," says Abuelita. Find out how in today's reading from The Tequila Worm.









 

 Today's Learning Objective   Describe how a particular story’s plot unfolds in a series of episodes as well as how the characters respond or change as the plot moves toward a resolution. 


Guided Reading: Tequila Worm  Today we read the chapter "The Christmas Nacimiento" (pgs. 170 -181) of Tequila Worm. As we read, we will stop periodically to discuss the text and, if time permits, work on the guiding questions from our 'The Tequila Worm' Reading Guide (Week 4). We will also continue to add to our Story Plot Chart ('Tequila Worm').

Thursday, May 25, 2017

It's Getting Hot in 'Tequila Worm'

Some strange things are taking place in the Tequila Worm. Could the 'canicula' be to blame? 


















 Today's Learning Objectives  Describe how a particular story’s plot unfolds in a series of episodes as well as how the characters respond or change as the plot moves toward a resolution.


Guided Reading: Tequila Worm  Today we read the chapter "The Canicula" (pgs. 112-124) of Tequila Worm. As we read, we will stop periodically to discuss the text and, if time permits, work on the guiding questions from our 'The Tequila Worm' Reading Guide (Week 3). We will also continue to add to our Story Plot Chart ('Tequila Worm').

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

'The Tequila Worm' and "The Packing Shed"

Sofia learns the value of hard work in the 'Packing Shed'.






Guided Reading: Tequila Worm  Today we will begin reading the chapter "The Packing Shed" (pgs. 102 - 111) of Tequila Worm. As we read, we will stop periodically to discuss the text and, if time permits, work on the guiding questions from our 'The Tequila Worm' Reading Guide (Week 3). We will also continue to add to our Story Plot Chart ('Tequila Worm').

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Finding Dresses in 'Tequila Worm'

Will Berta and Sofia be able to transform what they find at Johnson's 
Ropa Usada into dresses good enough to wear to Saint Luke's? Find out today.

 Today's Learning Objectives  * Describe how a particular story’s plot unfolds in a series of episodes as well as how the characters respond or change as the plot moves toward a resolution. * Explain how an author develops the point of view of the narrator or speaker in a text. Write narratives to develop real or imagined experiences or events using effective technique, relevant descriptive details, and well-structured event sequences.

Guided Reading: Tequila Worm  Today we will begin reading the chapter 'Five New Dresses' (pgs. 92 - 101) of Tequila Worm. As we read, we will stop periodically to discuss the text and, if time permits, work on the guiding questions from our 'The Tequila Worm' Reading Guide (Week 3). We will also continue to add to our Story Plot Chart ('Tequila Worm')

Monday, May 22, 2017

'The Tequila Worm' and "Berta's Quinceañera"

Have you ever attended a quinceañera? What was your experience like? 




\

 Today's Learning Objective  * Describe how a particular story’s plot unfolds in a series of episodes as well as how the characters respond or change as the plot moves toward a resolution. * Explain how an author develops the point of view of the narrator or speaker in a text.


Preparing the Learner Activities: Tequila Worm  Happy Monday and welcome to a new week of Tequila Worm! You can find your new 'The Tequila Worm' Reading Guide (Week 3) in your Language Arts folders. To help us get "into" the text this week, we will begin with a couple of 'Preparing the Learner Activities.' First, you will examine several general statements (that are relevant to this week's reading) and decide whether you personally agree or disagree. Next, write a response to the 'Journal Write' about a time you spend away from your home and family. 



Guided Reading: Tequila Worm  Today we read the chapter "Berta's Quinceañera" (pgs. 80-91) of Tequila Worm. As we read, we will stop periodically to discuss the text and, if time permits, work on the guiding questions from our 'The Tequila Worm' Reading Guide (Week 3). We will also continue to add to our Story Plot Chart ('Tequila Worm').

'Tequila Worm' and "The Drive-in"

Do you have memories of seeing a movie at the drive-in?



 Today's Learning Objectives   * Describe how a particular story’s plot unfolds in a series of episodes as well as how the characters respond or change as the plot moves toward a resolution. * Explain how an author develops the point of view of the narrator or speaker in a text.

Guided Reading: Tequila Worm  Today we read the chapter "The Drive-In" (pgs. 72-79) of Tequila Worm. As we read, we will stop periodically to discuss the text and, if time permits, work on the guiding questions and 'Preparing the Learner Activities" within our 'The Tequila Worm' Reading Guide (Week 2). We will also continue to add to our Story Plot Chart ('Tequila Worm').   

Friday, May 12, 2017

The Action is Rising in 'Tequila Worm'

Will Sofia leave her family to attend a new school? Read to find out.

 Today's Learning Objectives  Describe how a particular story’s plot unfolds in a series of episodes as well as how the characters respond or change as the plot moves toward a resolution. * Explain how an author develops the point of view of the narrator or speaker in a text.

 

Mini-Lesson: Plot and Rising Action  As we continue to read The Tequila Worm, we will also continue to discuss the structure of its plot. We are now beginning the Rising Action, which is the main part of the story, where the main conflict becomes clear and where the drama and tension of the story escalates. Learn more about the Rising Action and the Elements of Plot by referring to the graphic and video below. 

            

And now that you have a better idea what the Rising Action is and how fits into the structure of the Plot, which events and conflicts from Tequila Worm can we add to our Story Plot Chart ('Tequila Worm') so far?
         
Guided Reading: The Tequila Worm  Now we will read the chapter "The Fancy School" (pgs. 41-49) of Tequila Worm. As we read, we will stop periodically to discuss the text and work on the guiding questions within our 'The Tequila Worm' Reading Guide (Week 2). If any additional significant events and conflicts come up in this chapterfeel free to add them to your Story Plot Chart ('Tequila Worm')?

Thursday, May 11, 2017

Introduction to Plot and Exposition and 'Tequila Worm' Guided Reading



 Today's Learning Objectives  Describe how a particular story’s plot unfolds in a series of episodes as well as how the characters respond or change as the plot moves toward a resolution. * Explain how an author develops the point of view of the narrator or speaker in a text.


Introduction to Plot and Exposition  As many of you know the plot is the series of events in a story and usually centers around a central conflict--a problem faced by the main character. The plot begins with the exposition, which establishes the setting, introduces the characters, and gives the reader important background information. Watch the video below to familiarize yourself with the basic elements of plot. Then, start to think about what we already know about the plot and exposition of Tequila Worm by beginning to work on the document Story Plot Chart ('Tequila Worm'), which can be found in your Language Arts Google Classroom. 

 

Tequila Worm: 'Into' and 'Through' the Text Activities  We are going to continue working with the text of the novel Tequila Worm today. You can find the document 'The Tequila Worm' Reading Guide (Week 2) in your Language Arts Google Classroom. We will begin with a 'Preparing the Learner Activity' (previewed below) in which you will compare and contrast your life experiences with that of the main character Sofia. We will then read the chapter entitled "Taco Head" (pgs. 36-40) together.   



Monday, May 8, 2017

Introducing 'The Tequila Worm'


Are you ready for our new class novel? Introducing . . . The Tequila Worm
Class Novel: Introducing The Tequila Worm  Today we are going to begin reading the novel The Tequila Worm together as a class. However, before we do I would like you to participate in a couple of 'Preparing the Learner Activities' in order to get you engaged with the text. Please locate the document 'The Tequila Worm' Reading Guide (Week 1), which you can find in your Language Arts Google Classroom. Let's begin with the 'Agree/Disagree' activity. Read each statement and indicate whether you agree or disagree. Next, begin to write a response to the 'Journal Write' prompt about any rivalries you may have had in your life.


Finally, before I watch a new movie, I usually watch the preview so I have a better sense of what the film is about. Let's do the same for Tequila Worm. Check out the student produced preview below, so we are somewhat prepared for the novel.


Friday, January 20, 2017

Writing Poetry: "I Am From" Poems



Introduction to 'I Am From' Poems  This school year we have read and analyzed the poems of others. Now it's time to write our own. Since this will be one of the first attempts for some of us at writing poetry, I thought it would be a good idea for us all to use a similar format that is scaffolded and accessible. Today we will begin writing "I Am From" poems.

A poem by George Ella Lyon called "Where I’m From" is the inspiration for this activity. In her poem Lyon uses descriptive language and sensory details to tell the story of the everyday things, people, and places that together tell the story of where she comes from. You can read her poem here and watch the video version below. 

                                       

The poem lends itself to imitation and many have tried, including students. Check out some of the student examples below. 


By Evelyn from Lakeview Middle School




Writing Your Own "I Am From" Poem  Now it's your turn to write a poem that illustrates where you are from. The "I Am From" Poem template can be found in your Language Arts Google Classroom. If you're having trouble getting started and would like an opportunity to brainstorm ideas before drafting your poem, try using the "I Am From" Pre-Write document, which can also be found in your Language Arts Google Classroom

As you move forward in the writing process and begin to improve and revise your poem, consider adding more sensory details. A handy list of sensory details can be found here

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Poetry: "Oranges" and Sensory Details

The poem "Oranges" is featured in the book of poetry Fire in My Hands By Gary Soto 

 Today's Learning Objectives   To understand and appreciate poetry and to recognize imagery and its effects. 

"Oranges" by Gary Soto: Noting Sensory Details  Today we will read the poem "Oranges" by Gary Soto, which is rich with imagery and sensory details.  Remember that writers use sensory details to appeal to a reader's senses -- sight, hearing, touch, smell, and taste. These details can help the reader visualize the scene the writer is describing and create images that evoke feelings within the reader.

As we read "Oranges" take note of Gary Soto's use of sensory details using the document "Oranges" - Sensory Details, which can be found in your Language Arts Google Classroom.






Homework  Continue working on the "Oranges" - Sensory Detailswhich is due tomorrow, Friday, January 20