Friday, September 30, 2016

Publishing Friday


100 Word Challenge: Finishing Touches  Before we publish this week's 100 Word Challenge, take another moment to carefully review your writing. Does your story flow naturally from beginning to end? Do you use descriptive words and sensory details? Do you skillfully incorporate dialogue? Do you carefully review your spelling, capitalization, punctuation, and grammar? Do you make sure your verb tenses are consistent and that you have employed correct and varied sentence structures? Please make sure your piece of writing is good as it can be.

100 Word Challenge: Publishing Now it's publishing time! Copy your story from your Google Doc and then login to Kidblog. Make a new post. Give your story an appropriate titlePaste your story. Consider adding a picture. Finally, click 'Publish' and copy the link to your published story. Make sure, however, that when you publish that you make your post "Public," so people around the world can read your story. 

Now it's time to share your story with the 100 Word Challenge. In order to login, I will provide you a working Username and Password. Next, fill out the form similar to the one below, making sure to include the link to your Kidblog story. Click 'Submit' when you're done. Congratulations! You are now an internationally published writer!





Once you have published your story, you are welcome to comment on other stories. Your comments, however, should be respectful, specific, and helpful. If you liked something about someone's writing, explain what specific aspect of their writing you appreciated. For example: I loved your use of descriptive details! If you have a tip about how a student could improve their writing, make sure to share in a way that is helpful and not hurtful. For example: I really liked your story, but I thought you could have used a few more sensory details.

Author's Chair  I would like to invite those of you who are interested to read your stories to the class today. You may want to practice a few read-throughs before you read aloud from the front of the room. Please pay attention to intonation (by making sure your tone changes to match what is being read), phrasing (by reading smoothly and using punctuation to tell you when to stop, pause or emphasize), and expression (by using your voice to express the feeling of what is being read).  

It takes a lot of courage to get in front of a group of people. During a reading, the audience should remain attentive and respectful, and afterwards should try to offer positive and constructive feedback. (Some "response stems" for feedback can be found below.) 


Thursday, September 29, 2016

Analyzing Character and Writing Short Narratives


Analyzing Characters in 'Dear Future'  Today we are going to continue working with the short story "Dear Future." Our focus will be on analyzing the character of James, as we track his changing attitudes about growing up from the beginning of the story to the end. Finally, we will also consider the question: What causes James's attitude to change? Once again, you can find a copy of the story "Dear Future" in your Language Arts Google Classroom (and a link to it here). 


In order to reflect on what James's attitude is at various points in the story we are going to participate in a jigsaw activity. The class will be divided into three groups. One group will analyze James's attitude at the beginning of the story, the second group will examine James during the middle of the story, and the third group will take on the task of looking how James's attitude has has changed by the end of the story. Each group will record their reflections on their respective Padlet wall (At the beginning of the story, In the middle of the story, and At the end of the story). Afterwards, will share out our work with the other groups and work together to answer the question: What causes James's attitude to change?  

The Analyzing Character ("Dear Future") assignment can also be found in your Language Arts Google Classroom(This assignment is due tomorrow, Friday, September 30.)


Writing Time: 100 Word Challenge  If time permits today, you may work on your 100 Word Challenge: Five Words story. As you begin to craft your story, make sure to consider the following questions: Does your story flow naturally from beginning to end? Do you use descriptive words and sensory details? Do you skillfully incorporate dialogue? Do you carefully review your spelling, capitalization, punctuation, and grammar? Do you make sure your verb tenses are consistent and that you have employed correct and varied sentence structures? Please make sure your piece of writing is good as it can be. We are publishing tomorrow! 

Homework  (1.) Read for at least 30 minutes at home each school night. (2.) Complete your 100 Word Challenge: Five Words story, which will be published tomorrow, Friday, September 30. (3.) Complete the assignments Making Inferences ("Dear Future") and Analyzing Character ("Dear Future") by tomorrow, Friday, September 30

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Fiction and the Future


Scope Magazine Fiction Story: "Dear Future"   Today we are going to continue to explore short fiction and characters by beginning to read a story from Scope Magazine entitled "Dear Future." Following in the footsteps of Sandra Cisneros's "Eleven" and Lois Lowry's "Who's the New Kid?," "Dear Future" is another piece of literature about identity and growing up. As we read, we will pay special focus to making inferences and analyzing characters. You can find a link to the story "Dear Future" here, as well as in your Language Arts Google Classroom. Additionally, two "Dear Future" activities (Making Inferences and Analyzing Character) can be located in your Language Arts Google Classroom. We will spend the next several class periods working through this story (and its accompanying 'paired text') together.   

Homework  (1.) Read for at least 30 minutes at home each school night. (2.) Continue working on your 100 Word Challenge: Five Words story, which will be published Friday, September 30. (3.) Complete the assignments Making Inferences ("Dear Future") and Analyzing Character ("Dear Future") by this Friday, September 30

Monday, September 26, 2016

Preparing the the CELDT Test and a New 100 Word Challenge

Will a pink giraffe find its way into your 100 Word Challenge story this week? 

CELDT Test Overview  The CELDT (California English Language Development Test) is coming. Many of you will be taking this important test this week. In order to help you be successful on the CELDT, Ms. Prestridge has prepared a Google Slide Show about it here.  
Genevieve, Showcase Winner

Showcase Writer: Genevieve  Many of you have been receiving some wonderful feedback on your writing after publishing you first 100 Word Challenge story on your blogs. One student in particular just received a very special recognition for her story. Our very own Genevieve, from Period 3, was selected as a winner of the Week 2 Showcase for her beautiful and creative story about a girl who leaves her family behind for "Paradise World." Her name and story have been published internationally and she will receive a special showcase badge and certificate for her achievement. If you see Genevieve, give her props for this special honor!  Her original story and new showcase badge are featured below.  




This Week's 100 Word Challenge: Five Words  This week's challenge is an interesting one. It doesn't involve a picture or a designated phrase, but it's rather made up of a random assortment of five words (pink, giraffe, drilling, teacher, and quietly). Read more about the challenge below. 




You can find the assignment 100 Word Challenge: Five Words in your Language Arts Google ClassroomHow will you strategically weave these 5 words throughout your story, while still constructing a logical narrative? What will these specially chosen words add to your story? Remember the words can be used in whatever order you see fit. Also, remember as you write to continue developing your imagery by using precise words and sensory details. We publish on Friday, September 30. Be creative and have fun!    

Homework  (1.) Read for at least 30 minutes at home each school night. (2.) Continue working on your 100 Word Challenge: Five Words story, which will be published Friday, September 30. 

Friday, September 23, 2016

Aloha Friday!


Flocabulary Vocabulary Quiz  Happy Friday! You've learned, practiced, and studied your vocabulary words this week. Now it's time to show me what you've learned! You can find your Vocabulary Quiz below. Good luck!



Library Visit  Today we head to the library. Make sure you bring your books to either return or renew and your student ID card if you want to check out books. You may look for new books, read quietly, or take AR tests. Please take advantage of this opportunity and use your library time well. Time is running out this quarter to earn AR points towards your reading goal! 

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Fixing Fragments and a Vocabulary Kahoot

Are you ready to Kahoot today?

Identifying and Fixing Fragments  Let's continue practicing identifying and working with fragments. Visit the Online Writing Lab today and identify whether the clause is a fragment or complete sentence in Exercise 1. After completing the 10 questions, click "show my score" and find our how you did. Next, try Exercise 2. This time you will be provided with fragment and you need to identify the choice that corrects the fragment so it is now a complete sentence. Once again, click "show my score" to get your results. Tomorrow, we will be having a 'Fragments Quiz' in which you will similarly need to be able to both identify fragments and correct them. If you would like to learn more about fragments and study for your upcoming quiz, try the links here and here.

Finally, for homework tonight, continue your practice by completing the activity Identifying Fragments - Practice, which can be found in your Language Arts Google Classroom. This assignment will be due next Friday, September 30.

Kahoot! Activity: Vocabulary Review  Your lastest Flocabulary vocabulary quiz is tomorrow. Let's report to Kahoot! to prepare and have fun reviewing your vocabulary words! 

I would also encourage you to continue studying by reviewing your digital flashcards below. 
  
  
Homework  (1.) Read for at least 30 minutes at home each school night. (2.) Complete your Vocabulary - Unit 2 (Bottom of the Ninth) - Fix the Mistake assignment, which is due tomorrow, Friday, September 23.  (3.) Complete your Comparing Texts - Eleven/Who's the New Kid assignment, which is also due on due tomorrow Friday, September 23(4.) Study for this week's Flocabulary Vocabulary quiz. 

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Writing a Compare and Contrast Paragraph



Compare and Contrast Paragraph: "Eleven" and "Who's the New Kid?" Now that we've read both "Who's the New Kid?" and "Eleven," and discussed their similarities and differences, it's time to write a short paragraph comparing and contrasting these two texts. Your paragraph should feature a clear topic sentence, details that identify similarities and differences, and transition words that help your reader better understand the connections you are making. Write your paragraph using the document Comparing Texts - Eleven/Who's the New Kid located in your Language Arts Google Classroom. Make sure to refer back to the venn diagram we worked on collaboratively, as well as the resources above and below. This assignment will  be due on Friday, September 23.


























Flocabulary Vocabulary with Digital Flashcards Today we are going to continue to study this week's Flocabulary vocabulary words:

ample / collaborate / concise / distinct / diversity / dominate / ignite / linger / mimic / objective / parody / rural / strive / superior / urban

To help you remember the meanings of these words I've created a set of digital flashcards using a program called Quizlet that you can find here, as well as below. Please spend some time making sure you understand your words and make sure to study for Friday's quiz. 


  
Homework  (1.) Read for at least 30 minutes at home each school night. (2.) Continue working on your Vocabulary - Unit 2 (Bottom of the Ninth) - Fix the Mistake assignment, which is due on Friday, September 23.  (3.) Continue working on your Comparing Texts - Eleven/Who's the New Kid assignment, which is also due on due on Friday, September 23.

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Identifying Fragments and Comparing Texts


Grammar Warm-Up: Identifying Fragments Practice  Today we are also going to continue practice identifying fragments. For a refresher on what a fragment is and how to identify one, check out the link here. Next, identify fragments and win cyber prizes by doing the online activity here. Read each passage and use your mouse to choose the part that is a fragment. 

Comparing Texts: "Who's the New Kid?" Read the "Who's the New Kid?" by Lois Lowry below. What comparisons can you make between Lois Lowry's experience and Rachel's. What are some similarities and differences between "Who's the New Kid" and "Eleven"? Share your ideas using the document Comparing Texts - Eleven/Who's the New Kid located in your Language Arts Google Classroom. This assignment will  be due on Friday, September 23.


 

Homework  (1.) Read for at least 30 minutes at home each school night. (2.) Continue working on your Vocabulary - Unit 2 (Bottom of the Ninth) - Fix the Mistake assignment, which is due on Friday, September 23.  (3.) Continue working on your Comparing Texts - Eleven/Who's the New Kid assignment, which is also due on due on Friday, September 23.

Monday, September 19, 2016

Avoiding Sentence Fragments and New Flocabulary Vocabulary


Grammar in Context: Sentence Fragments  A sentence expresses a complete thought. A fragment is only a piece of a thought. Let's examine several fragments in the short story "Eleven" we read earlier this year and see if we can transform them into complete sentences. 



BrainPop Video: Sentence Fragments  Let's continue to learn about what sentence fragments look like and how to avoid them by watching a BrainPop video. I will show the video whole-class and then lead you in an interactive quiz. If afterwards, you would like to explore the topic independently in BrainPop, you may. Just go to Google Drive. Click on the group of squares located towards the top of your Drive screen. Click "More" to see additional apps. Locate "BrainPOP" and click. 



Once you're in the BrainPop program, enter 'Sentence Fragments' in the search bar. From there, locate your chosen topic and explore the video and related activities. 



Flocabulary Vocabulary  Welcome to Unit 2 of Flocabulary's vocabulary program. This week we have a new set of words to interact with, learn, and hopefully begin to incorporate into our own vocabulary. This week's words are: 

ample / collaborate / concise / distinct / diversity / dominate / ignite / linger / mimic / objective / parody / rural / strive / superior / urban

After watching and interacting with the video and song a couple of times, study the words and their meanings and work on the activity Vocabulary - Unit 2 (Bottom of the Ninth) - Fix the Mistake, which can be found in your Language Arts Google Classroom

Homework  (1.) Read for at least 30 minutes at home each school night. (2.) Continue working on your Vocabulary - Unit 2 (Bottom of the Ninth) - Fix the Mistake assignment, which is due on Friday, September 23.

Friday, September 16, 2016

Publishing Friday




100 Word Challenge: Finishing Touches  Before we publish this week's 100 Word Challenge, take another moment to carefully review your writing. At the very least, make sure your spelling, capitalization, and punctuation are as good as they can be. My mom, Irene McGinty, who was also used to be a classroom teacher, also has this piece of advice:


100 Word Challenge: Publishing Now it's publishing time! Copy your story from your Google Doc and then login to Kidblog. Make a new post. Give your story an appropriate titlePaste your story. Consider adding a picture. Finally, click 'Publish' and copy the link to your published story. Make sure, however, that when you publish that you make your post "Public," so people around the world can read your story. 

Now it's time to share your story with the 100 Word Challenge. In order to login, I will provide you a working Username and Password. Next, fill out the form similar to the one below, making sure to include the link to your Kidblog story. Click 'Submit' when you're done. Congratulations! You are now an internationally published writer!





Once you have published your story, you are welcome to comment on other stories. Your comments, however, should be respectful, specific, and helpful. If you liked something about someone's writing, explain what specific aspect of their writing you appreciated. For example: I loved your use of descriptive details! If you have a tip about how a student could improve their writing, make sure to share in a way that is helpful and not hurtful. For example: I really liked your story, but I thought you could have used a few more sensory details.

Author's Chair  I would like to invite those of you who are interested to read your stories to the class today. You may want to practice a few read-throughs before you read aloud from the front of the room. Please pay attention to intonation (by making sure your tone changes to match what is being read), phrasing (by reading smoothly and using punctuation to tell you when to stop, pause or emphasize), and expression (by using your voice to express the feeling of what is being read).  

It takes a lot of courage to get in front of a group of people. During a reading, the audience should remain attentive and respectful, and afterwards should try to offer positive and constructive feedback. (Some "response stems" for feedback can be found below.) 


Thursday, September 15, 2016

Vocabulary Quizzing and Writing with Imagery




Flocabulary Vocabulary Quiz  You've learned, practiced, and studied your vocabulary words over the past two weeks. Now it's time to show me what you've learned! You can find your Vocabulary Quiz below. Good luck! 


What is Imagery?  Words that appeal to readers' senses are referred to as imagery. Writers usually try to describe places, characters, and events in ways that help readers imagine how they look, feel, smell, sound, and taste. 

As writers we use imagery to help create mental pictures in the minds of our readers. We want to show our readers what is happening, as opposed to just telling them. 

Descriptive Writing Resources  To be successful writers, students need tools and resources. Featured below are word lists that you can reference to help make your writing more descriptive and interesting. In addition, consider using an online thesaurus in order to find a more descriptive word for your story.  

Writing: The 100 Word Challenge  We will now continue working on 'the 100 Word Challenge' stories we started earlier this week. But today our focus is on making our writing more descriptive and interesting. Look over your writing. Is there a way you could describe something that would better allow the reader to visualize what is taking place? Is there a more precise verb you could use? Are there sensory details that you could include, which might better appeal to your readers' five senses? 

We've also arrived at the point where some of you may need to consider revising and even cutting parts of your narrative. This week you only have a total of 100 words to tell your story. Word choice becomes very important. Use your words sparingly. Make sure the words you choose make an impact, are important and necessary to the story, and help your reader visualize what is happening. Additionally, avoid repetition. If you've written a similar idea once, there is no need to say it again. Be concise and precise!  

You can still find the assignment 100 Word Challenge: Roald Dahl Inspired Story in your Language Arts Google Classroom. Let's start writing! Please have a close to publishable final draft ready by tomorrow, Friday, September 16. Tomorrow we publish our stories to our Kidblogs, as well as to the 100 Word Challenge website!

Homework  (1.) Read for at least 30 minutes at home each school night. (2.) Complete our 100 Word Challenge: Roald Dahl Inspired Story, which is due tomorrow, Friday, September 16(3.) Time to order books as part of this week's Scholastic Book Order is running out. Get your order in by Friday

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Kahooting and Kidblogging

Are you ready to Kahoot! today? 

Kahoot! Activity: Vocabulary Review  Your Flocabulary vocabulary quiz has been rescheduled for tomorrow, Thursday, September 14. Let's report to Kahoot! to prepare and have fun reviewing your vocabulary words! 

I would encourage you to continue studying by reviewing your digital flashcards below.   




KidBlog: Getting Started  Mr. McGinty has a blog. Shouldn't you have a blog of your own? Today each of you will have the opportunity to set up your very own blog using the site Kidblog



After arriving at the site, click on "Students" in red, and then I will provide you with your class code. 

Next, try signing up by linking your Google account. Once you're logged in and if you have time, try making your first blog post. Entitle it "About Me" and introduce yourself to your community of fellow bloggers. Without using your last name, tell your readers about yourself, your background, your interests, your values, your passions, your dreams, etc. Have fun! 

We will hopefully be using KidBlog a lot this year, as a way to express ourselves, improve our writing, and connect with people from around the world. In fact, on Friday you will be publishing your 100 Word Challenge stories on your newly created Kidblog.  

Homework  (1.) Read for at least 30 minutes at home each school night. (2.) Continue working on your 100 Word Challenge: Roald Dahl Inspired Story, which is due this Friday, September 16(3.) Study for tomorrow's Flocabulary vocabulary quiz! (4.) Time to order books as part of this week's Scholastic Book Order is running out. Get your order in by Friday. 

Monday, September 12, 2016

Celebrating Reading and Introducing the 100 Word Challenge

This week's 100 Word Challenge is inspired by Roald Dahl, the legendary author of such children's books as
Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and The BFG





















Welcome to Mr. McGinty's Reading Dream Team  It's early in the school year, but we already have students who are making great strides in their reading. Today I would like to celebrate several of students who have recently read books, passed the AR quiz, and are making progress towards their reading goals. Keep up the great work! 



Introducing the 100 Word Challenge  Are you ready to take your writing to the next level? Are you ready to publish your writing and have it read by people all over the world? If so, the 100 Word Challenge is certainly for you. 

What's the 100 Word Challenge all about? According to 100 Word Challenge

"We ask children to write in school but often there is no apparent purpose that they can see other than pleasing their teacher! This can prompt some very reluctant writers in our classrooms. The 100 Word Challenge seeks to address this problem. It is a weekly creative writing challenge for children under 16 years of age. Each week a prompt is given, which can be a picture or a series of individual words and the children can use up to 100 words to write a creative piece. This should be posted on a class blog and then linked to the 100 Word Challenge blog . . . One of the special things about 100WC is that those entering a piece are encouraged to visit other blogs and leave a constructive comment. Peer ‘talking’ to peer is very powerful and we have seen a real improvement in some writing that has come from suggestions from other children."

100 Word Challenge Student Samples  Recently students were tasked with incorporating the words Black, Flamingo, Extraordinary, Poked, and Underneath into a short creative narrative story limited to only 100 words. Below you can find a a few samples of what students from around the world came up with. 


Adriana, Year 5/6, Melbourne, Australia
















Kate, Year 7, Christchurch, New Zealand
















Taylor, Year 8, Wellington, New Zealand 




























Elliot, Year 6, Wellington, New Zealand 









































This Week's Challenge  This week's 100 Word Challenge is inspired by works of renowned children's author Roald Dahl. Dahl is the creative force behind some classic literary characters. A few are listed blow. Which is your favorite? 








Option #1: One idea for a story this week is to choose to become one of Dahl's characters and "tell the story of an adventure you go on. Don’t retell Mr. Dahl’s version, create your own!" What might become of Willy Wonka in your retelling? What about Matilda, Charlie, or James of James and the Giant Peach

Option #2: You are also given the option this week I've creating a story specifically inspired by the story The BFG and its focus on dreams. Your prompt: You can mix a dream for someone. Think about their character and what sort of dream you would like them to have. What happens when they wake up? A little background on The BFG is below. 







You may either choose Option #1 or Option #2 to write your story. The most important guideline, however, is that your story can only be 100 words long. 

Tomorrow and throughout the week we will discuss the elements of narrative writing in more detail. But today, if time permits, decide on your basic story and start writing. Before ultimately publishing our stories to our own class blog, we will start writing using a Google Doc. You can find the assignment 100 Word Challenge: Roald Dahl Inspired Story in your Language Arts Google Classroom. Let's start writing! 

Homework  (1.) Read for at least 30 minutes at home each school night. (2.) Continue working on your 100 Word Challenge: Roald Dahl Inspired Story, which is due this Friday, September 16. (3.) Continue to study for Flocabulary vocabulary quiz, which has been rescheduled for Thursday, September 15