Thursday, September 20, 2007

The End of the Grading Period

Good Morning, Students and Parents.

I have begun reading the personal narrative essays you turned in yesterday. Many of you are showing that you learned to use the 5-step writing process to produce a standard 5-paragrah essay. I can see that most of you made an honest effort to improve your writing by adding sensory details and dialogue. The most dramatic improvement I have noticed so far is in your introductions and conclusions. I am happy to see that you are providing your readers with backgound for understanding in your first paragraph as well as providing a sense of completion in your last paragraph. Good work!

During the remainder of this nine-week grading period, we will finish reading the short story "Zebra" by Chaim Potok. We will write responses to the literature and diagram the plot on the board, noting the events that advance the plot in the rising action portion of the story. We will discuss the theme and character development as well. Please continue to use the vocabulary words from this unit in your conversation when possible. At the end of the study of this piece, we will have a quiz on the selection. We will also read the short story "The Crush" by Cynthia Rylant.

We will continue our grammar review on types of sentence structure. We will refine our use of complex and compound-complex sentences and continue to work on correct punctuation of all sentence types.

Conduct during transition times remains a deterrant to the best use of our class time. I encourage you to always "be there, be ready" when it is time for instruction. If each student does her/his part, the class as a whole will benefit.

Friday is "Capital 7" day with rewards for those students who have shown mastery of the High-5 behavior objectives -- by accumulating fewer than 3 discipline notations in each class. About 3/4 of the students in our classes have attained this goal. Hurray for these good citizens! It is students like these that make it possible for teachers to do their jobs effectively.

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