Wednesday, March 18th, 2020 – 7th grade work

Hi 7th graders,

What day is it today? (pause for unanimous 7th grade shouted response) Yes! That’s right! It’s ROOTS DAY!…and day three of distance learning. Way to go, team!

Today you have five items for your Literature / ELA To Do List:

          1. Corpus quiz (must be completed by 11am, today)
          2. Notes for your new root – pedis (PEH dees)
          3. Tangerine reading and discussion questions
          4. Daily journal entry
          5. Daily reading

Let’s get started!

  1. Corpus quiz – you have several options to complete this:
    • Follow the link and take the posted quiz on the “7th grade Lit/ELA” Team page
    • Download the quiz here, fill it out, and send it back to me via email. If you choose this option, make sure to include your name at the top of the document!
    • Download the quiz, print it, complete it, and email me a picture/scan of it (front and back).
    • For all options, you must complete the quiz by 12pm (noon) today.
  2. New root notes
    • I will attempt to post a video version of notes for Pedis by 1pm today. Hooray for trying!
    • The PowerPoint notes for Pedis are right here(in case I, or technology, fails in the video lesson attempt)
    • Please record the notes in your ELA/Lit. notebook as usual. Make sure to include parts of speech!
  3. Tangerine reading and discussion questions
    • Keep up with the posted Tangerine reading schedule on your bookmark.
    • Record your responses to the discussion questions in your Literature notebook
      • If you are worried about mixing up your discussion questions and daily journal entries, you could:
        • respond to the questions on looseleaf paper that you later glue in to your notebook
        • record your discussion responses as normal and put a sticky note/flag/bookmark in the center of your notebook and record your journal entries at that point
        • use some other brilliant idea you come up with…as long as it ends with you keeping track of your materials and having hard evidence of your work
  4.  Daily Journal entry
    • Follow the directions on my teacher page (March 16th)
    • Prompt: Describe your new daily routine, start from the moment you wake up, and end when you go to bed. When do you work? What kind of breaks do you take? Do you share a schedule with a family member? Is it similar to the school schedule or completely different? What is your favorite part of the day? Why?
    • If you haven’t come up with a schedule, yet, take the opportunity to make one now!
  5.  Daily Reading log
    •  If you have NOT sent me your reading log:
      • Follow the instructions on my teacher page (March 16th) to make your online reading log, fill in your work from the past two days, and share it with me (grzegocki@st-johnschool.org).
      • Complete your 30 minutes of reading today and fill out the 3/18 row
      • I will be checking logs shortly and entering the points on PowerSchool.
    •  If you HAVE shared your reading log with me:
      • Complete your 30 minutes of reading today and fill out the  3/18 row
      • Use a new form of evidence today! For whatever evidence you choose, make sure to explain why it is important to the story / why you chose it.
      • Respond to my comments in your reading log (if there are any there).
      • You do NOT need to resend your log (unless you really, really want to, or if I send you a message)! You shared the log with me earlier, which means I can view it at anytime. This will save you precious time and me from an exploding inbox – a classic win-win situationhttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qfQPNl_h9_wHave fun and let me know if you have questions!

 

Tuesday, March 17th, 2020 – 7th grade work

Hi 7th graders,

Happy St. Patrick’s Day and day two of Distance Learning!

You have five things on your Literature and Language Arts To Do List today: one pager, Tangerine reading and questions, daily reading log, daily journal, and preparing for your roots quiz tomorrow.

So let’s get started!

  1. Tangerine One pager
    • Must be submitted to me by 3pm today.
    • Make sure your name is on the front and all items are easy to see in your picture.
    • Include parenthetical references that explain where the information on your one pager came from. If you don’t have room on the front of your one pager, you could use a numbering system and write the citations on the back. Here is a very rough sketch of what I’m suggesting:
    • Let me know if you have questions!
  2. Tangerine reading
    • Once you turn in your one pager, get a jump on your daily reading!
    • You need to read approximately 10-12 pages a day and answer the corresponding discussion questions, in complete sentences with text evidence, in your Literature notebooks.
    • I will collect evidence of your work on the days stated on your bookmarks.
    • Your first reading check in is on March 23rd.
  3. Reading log
    • If you have not shared your reading log with me yet, please do so! Follow the instructions from yesterday’s 7th grade post.
    • Read for at least 30 minutes today (Tangerine does not count!)
    • Complete the reading log for today, March 17th.
      • Keep the evidence column interesting and change the type of evidence you use each day. You are welcome to use summaries, photos, character descriptions, and more – just change it up every day. If you are stuck, please refer to the March 16th (Reading Log section) for various evidence ideas.
      • Note: I will periodically check reading logs to see what you are reading and how it is going. Each daily entry is worth points on PowerSchool.
  4. Daily journal
    • Follow the instructions posted on March 16th.
    • Prompt: (Today’s prompt requires you to look outside, possibly even go outside). Look outside and pick a plant. Describe it in detail and include a sketch if you wish. Where is it located? What are its dimensions? Does it have leaves? Flowers? Visible roots? Is anything visible (if you picked a seed or bulb you recently planted)? What kind of plant is it? How old do you think it is?
      • Remember which plant you picked, because you will be writing about the same plant next week!
  5. Tomorrow’s root quiz – Corpus
    • Review your notes and use your study strategies!
    • Contact me if you need some help.
    • Check back tomorrow morning for instructions on completing the quiz!

That’s all for today. Good luck, stay strong, have fun, and contact me with any questions. Oh, and, enjoy the sunshine at some point!

Tuesday, March 17th, 2020 – 8th grade work

Good morning 8th graders,

Happy St. Patrick’s Day and welcome to day 2 of Distance Learning!

You have two main areas of focus today – reading log and monologue.

  1. Reading log
    • Read for at least 30 minutes today and fill out your personal reading log for 3/17.
    • Keep the evidence column interesting and change the type of evidence you use each day. You are welcome to use summaries, photos, character descriptions, and more – just change it up every day. If you are stuck, please refer to the March 16th (Reading Log section) for various evidence ideas.
    • Note: I will periodically check reading logs to see what you are reading and how it is going. Each daily entry is worth points on PowerSchool.
  2. Monologue
    • Monologue selection – I am missing monologues from two students in Thomas and seven students in Mansfield. I will be emailing each person shortly to check in directly.
      • For those nine of you that need to select a monologue:
        • review the links from the “Myriad of Monologues” post
        • choose one that speaks to you
        • check the current monologue sign-up sheets (Thomas / Mansfield)
        • email me (grzegocki@st-johnschool.org) with your choice
      • For everyone, please review the bullet points below:
    • Monologue preparation – Several of you have sent me rough drafts of your “Questions to guide your monologue” or your annotated monologues. It’s a good start, but all of them need more work. Please review the points below to help guide your preparation process.
      • Your answers to the questions on the worksheet must be thoughtful and thorough – one to two sentences will not be enough. Your monologue should have annotations for every sentence – sometimes more than one. It might be about breathing, tone, body posture, or distinct changes in any of these things. You must take time to consider all the little details about your character and how that impacts the message they are trying to share. Some of this is already in your monologue, but most of it must be inferred by you, after closely reading the text!
      • Think about:
        • the setting of the monologue – Where is it happening? Why there? What will you do in your performance to show us that location? Consider how you would act in the following places – living room, library, diner booth, laundromat, race track, middle school hallway, public bus, private car, classroom, doctor’s office.
        • the physical/emotional traits of your character (and the person to whom they are speaking) – Are they loud? Quiet? Shy? Brash? Exhausted? Jubilant? Broken? Are they taller than the person they are speaking to? Shorter? Same height? Sitting down? Standing up? Exercising? In pain? Relaxed? What other characteristics might your character have? Why are they important? How will it support your performance?
        • what the character wants to achieve by sharing his/her/their thoughts (speaking the monologue) – Do they want help? From who? Are they trying to hurt someone? Help someone? Feel better? Feel worse? Explain something important to themself? To others? Intimidate someone? Express frustration? Prove that they are worthy of love? Demand action? Start a relationship? End a relationship? Why is your character speaking? Figure out their motivation!
        • how this speech impacts the characters who hear it – How does the speaker change? Are they relieved? Broken? Scared? Surprised? Hopeful? Playful? Curious? Frustrated? What about the other character(s)? How do you think they react to the monologue? How do they behave during the monologue? How will that impact your performance?
      • So, please review these prompts, adjust your responses, and use all of it to create the strongest possible performance. Remember, your worksheet and annotated monologue are not due until late March, which means they require a significant amount of thought and effort to complete.
      • Please check in with me at any time for feedback on your work or clarification of expectations. 

That’s all for today! I am working on Movie Talk presentations and what that will look like in Distance Learning mode. I will share more information with you soon!

Good luck and remember to get outside and enjoy the sunshine at some point!

7th Grade work for Monday, March 16th, 2020

Hi 7th graders,

Welcome to day one of our great distance learning adventure! Thank you for being here – I’m proud of all of you for your willingness to learn and adapt in these new circumstances.

While I already miss seeing you in the classroom, I look forward to the creativity, persistence, positivity, and growth I know you will demonstrate throughout this process. And, when things get tough, remember, I might not be with you physically, but I’m still your teacher! If you ever have questions, suggestions, ideas, or just a really good book recommendation, I am always available via email (grzegocki@st-johnschool.org) and will be most responsive Monday – Friday from 9am to 3pm.

You have three areas to work on for Literature and Language Arts today – daily reading, daily journal, and your Tangerine research one-pager. Check out the bullet points below for details, and remember that you have a roots quiz this Wednesday:

  • Tangerine research one pager
    1. Follow the directions on your assignment sheet. If you have lost the assignment sheet or never received it, you can review the directions here.
    2. When you have finished, scan or take a picture of your one pager and email it to me (grzegocki@st-johnschool.org). Make sure your picture is clear – you writing must be legible and your illustrations easy to see.
    3. As it states in the directions, your one pager is due Tuesday, March 17th, 2020 (tomorrow).
  • Daily reading (includes weekends)
    1. Purpose: The benefits of reading are many and wonderful. Sometimes we forget all the amazing things we gain from reading. Luckily, we have a lot of time on our hands right now, time that can be well spent with books!
    2. Instructions:
      1. Make a copy of the “ReadingLog 2020 Template” I shared with you on Office,  rename it with the first letter of your first name and your entire last name, then share the new document with me. For example, my reading log would be saved as “GRzegocki ReadingLog 2020”. If all goes according to plan, I will end up with 109 reading logs, one for each 7th and 8th grader I teach, by the end of the day.
      2. Read at least 30 minutes from any book you choose. This could be your book talk book or any other book you want to read. It should be appropriately interesting and challenging for you. Let me know if you need some help finding a book!
      3. Fill out the reading log you created, renamed, and shared with me in Step 1.
      4. The “Evidence” section of the reading log is flexible and I’ve listed some options below. Let me know if you have other ideas!
        1. Record a quote that you liked or stuck with you, and explain why you liked it or how it connects to the story.
        2. Write a one- to two-sentence summary of what you read.
        3. Describe an important character that showed up in your reading.
        4. Draw a picture/comic relating to what you read, anything you consider to be important, for example a scene, the setting, a character, or an object that impacts the plot.
        5. Insert a picture of you reading (this can be as simple or creative as you like – see my sample entry 😁)
      5. Have fun!
  • Daily journal (includes weekends)
    1. Purpose: Sometimes it’s easy to be overwhelmed by a situation, or to block it out entirely, because it is too strange, daunting, or disruptive. Some of you might even be struggling with feelings of frustration, boredom, or anxiety regarding our current situation. One practical way to address and get control of those feelings is to confront them in small manageable ways every day. To that end, you are going to keep a journal while away from school. By reflecting on and writing about your experiences, you can put a name to your feelings, learn new things about yourself and your surroundings, and create an important record of day-to-day life during a rare time in history!
      • L.O. I can think about my life and surroundings using different perspectives and record my reflections.
      • S.L.E. Think critically and solve problems AND articulate ideas clearly, creatively, and effectively
    2. Instructions:
      • Write and/or draw for 5 to 15 minutes every day on the writing prompt I give you or on your personal experiences that day. The time is a general guideline and you are always welcome to write for longer, if the mood strikes you.
      • Record your entries in your Literature notebook (or an extra journal or notebook, if you choose). Whichever form you choose, all journal entries MUST be in the same central location and bound together. In other words, random loose leaf pages will NOT work for this assignment, but a physical journal or well organized Word document will.
      • For every entry, record the date and the writing prompt at the beginning. If you want to go for extra accuracy, you can also include the time of day.
      • Think about the given writing prompt for a bit (some prompts will require more time than others), then thoughtfully and thoroughly respond to it in writing. You can respond with words, pictures, poems, stories, and more. You will share your favorite entry with me once a week.
    3. Today’s writing prompt:
      • Describe your at home work/learning space. Where is it? What does it look like? What can you see from your workspace? Does it share any similarities with your learning spaces at school? Why have you set it up like this? Is there anything you would change about this space? If so, what and why? (You can answer any, all, or none of these questions. Use them if you have need, otherwise, happy writing!)

That’s it for today. Remember to embrace the exciting opportunities this learning experience has to offer…and to contact me with any questions.

Have fun!

8th grade work for Monday, March 16th, 2020

Hi 8th graders,

Welcome to day one of distance learning and thank you for being here!

I am proud of all of you for your willingness to learn in a new way and the persistence, positivity, ingenuity, and growth I know you will demonstrate in the weeks ahead. When it gets tough, remember, I might not be with you physically, but I’m still your teacher! If you ever have questions, suggestions, ideas, or just a really good book recommendation, I am always available via email (grzegocki@st-johnschool.org) and will be most responsive Monday – Friday from 9am to 3pm.

For today, you have two main areas of focus for Literature – monologues and starting your daily reading log.

  • Monologues
    1. If you haven’t picked a monologue, you need to do so today. Check the list of monologues already selected for your class (Thomas and Mansfield) to make sure yours isn’t taken, then email me (grzegocki@st-johnschool.org) with the name of your selection.
    2. Read over your monologue, and any additional information provided.
    3. Thoughtfully and thoroughly complete the “Questions to guide your monologue” worksheet
      • This will help you understand who your character is and why this speech is important to him/her/them, both of which affect the way you will perform your monologue!
      • Note: You need to download and type your answers in the Word document so you can submit your work electronically.
    4. If you are done with steps 1-3, begin to annotate your monologue with your performance ideas. We practiced this in class with “Almost 16”.
      1. Pay particular attention to the changes in tone, topic, or thoughts, as dictated by the content or how you choose to perform it.
      2. You can use these changes to break up your monologue and make it easier to memorize (and perform) in the weeks to come!
  • Daily reading (includes weekends)
    1. Purpose: The benefits of reading are many and wonderful. Sometimes we forget all the amazing things we gain from reading. Luckily, we have a lot of time on our hands right now, time that can be well spent with books!
    2. Instructions:
      1. Make a copy of the “ReadingLog 2020 Template” I shared with you on Office,  rename it with the first letter of your first name and your entire last name, then share the new document with me. For example, my reading log would be saved as “GRzegocki ReadingLog 2020”. If all goes according to plan, I will end up with 109 reading logs, one for each 7th and 8th grader I teach, by the end of the day.
      2. Read at least 30 minutes from any book you choose. It should be appropriately interesting and challenging for you. Let me know if you need some help finding a book!
      3. Fill out the reading log you created and shared with me in Step 1.
      4. The “Evidence” section of the reading log is flexible and I’ve listed some options below. Let me know if you have other ideas!
        1. Record a quote that you liked or stuck with you, and explain why you liked it or how it connects to the story.
        2. Write a one- to two-sentence summary of what you read.
        3. Describe an important character that showed up in your reading.
        4. Draw a picture/comic relating to what you read, anything you consider to be important, for example a scene, the setting, a character, or an object that impacts the plot.
        5. Insert a picture of you reading (this can be as simple or creative as you like – see my sample entry 😁)

Have fun!

That’s everything for today. Please contact me with any questions.

A Myriad of Monologues

Hi 8th graders,

Remember, when selecting a monologue, choose something that:

  • resonates with you (e.g. connects with your personal experience)
  • plays to your strengths (e.g. comedy, drama, being quiet, moving around, etc.)

If you are looking for a monologue for your project, check out some of these links:

If all else fails, trying searching for a monologue with particular elements you want to include (e.g. “short comedic, teen monologue” or “middle school monologue with intense drama” or “middle school monologues about friendships” or…you decide!)

Go forth and find your monologues!

Looking for a historical fiction book?

Hi 7th graders,

It’s almost the 3rd trimester and you know what that means…time to read historical fiction!

Next trimester’s Book Talk genre is historical fiction. According to ReadWriteThink.org (and many other sources), historical fiction is written to portray a time period or convey information about a specific time period or an historical event. Usually the event or time period is about 30 years in the past. So, if you want to read a book set during the Civil Rights Movement (mid-1950s to late 1960s), it needs to have been written sometime after 1985.

History is long, so there are multitude of magnificent books in this genre. It might be difficult to pick just one!

Check out the links below for tons of suggestions:

We are picking third trimester presentation dates this Friday, February 22, 2019.

Learning from Mistakes and Appreciating Others

Dear 7th graders,

Making a bad choice does not define who we are as individuals; it is our actions afterwards that demonstrate our true character. By the same token, acknowledging the goodness we see in others encourages us to share our own gifts.

In order to grow as a person, you need to acknowledge the mistakes you have made and appreciate the good things you have in your life. This apology / thank you letter is an opportunity to reflect on your choices, grow in your moral development, and build the courage to act for the common good.

If you were sitting at the lunch table closest to the stage during the spaghetti lunch on Tuesday, December 10, please review the assignment sheet for the Formal Apology letter. Your double-spaced rough draft is due Thursday, December 12, 2019.

If you were sitting at any other table at lunch on Tuesday, December 10, please review the assignment sheet for the Formal Thank You letter. Your double-spaced rough draft is due Thursday, December 12, 2019.

The final hand written draft of your letter is due Friday, December 13, 2019. It is worth 10 points in Language Arts.

Please contact Ms. Rzegocki with any questions.

Sincerely,

Ms. Rzegocki and Mr. Tice

“The Highwayman”

Hi 7th graders,

To prepare for our discussion tomorrow, please watch the animated version of “The Highwayman” below. When you have finished, answer the three questions beneath the video in your Literature/LA notebook. As usual, you need to write in complete sentences.

Make sure to include examples from the story that support your opinions and inferences!

L.O. I can analyze the impact of using animation to tell the story of “The Highwayman”

S.L.E. Think critically and solve problems

Questions for tomorrow’s discussion

  1. How do the illustrations add to the meaning or mood (feeling) of the poem?
  2. Why do you think the artist chose this style of art (flowing, dreamy, less defined) rather than more precise images?
  3. Is there anything you would have changed about this vision of the poem? What would you do differently and why?

Remember to answer in complete sentences and include specific examples from the animation that support your ideas.

 

Text to Film Comparison for “The Lottery”

Hi 8th graders,

We’re continuing to practice literary analysis (having an opinion, backing it up with evidence, and explaining exactly how your evidence supports your opinion) – hooray! Your 2-3 paragraph comparisons are due on Friday, 11/1, for Thomas and Monday, 11/4, for Mansfield. You can review the film here:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s1TV1R1kK9A

Make sure to use evidence from the text and the film to support your response to the prompt!