ELA Newsletter Week 14

It’s beginning to look a lot like finals…

One of the most challenging parts of teaching English Language Arts and Literature classes at Brehm is the finals that encompass the end of the term before a long break (once in December before winter break and once in May before we depart for summer).

Over the years, I have done finals in many ways. Different students’ finals can look very different based on each students’ strengths and the focus areas we have for them. Some students need practice with traditional exams that cover the content from the entire semester with a focus on analysis of reading material and demonstration of various writing and reading strategies. Some have a skills-based final where I give various fluency, comprehension, and decoding exercises and I use these assessments to track their progress. Others are set up as a mix of stations where content and skills are tested. Needless to say, finals take quite a bit of thought and prep in this content area!

Since returning from Thanksgiving, students in language arts and literature have finished up their novel studies, have worked on their writing assignments and final projects related to those novels, and/or worked on specific reading strategies that they will employ on their final exam. In the upcoming week, I will be out on Monday but students will work on a reading, grammar, and writing exercise. The rest of the week will be spent in practice, content review, and reteaching before their finals the following week.

In creative writing, students have rethought the writing they were doing and decided whether they wanted to continued with the haunting story they had started using the Story Arc as their outline or if they wanted to morph their haunted stories in holiday tales. The goal is to finish these stories by December 15th. (Fingers crossed.)

Congratulations to the winner of the Thanksgiving Reading Challenge: Avery Davis!!!!

Week in Review: Nov. 28- Dec.2 —Use these to ask your kids what they are learning!
Junior High Language Arts-Word Play (lect, -logy, err-, fin-); Viewed The Legends of Ga’Hoole movie, created analysis chart comparing the book and the movie, discussion.

Language Arts-Word Play (lect, -logy, err-, fin-); Visualizing and Verbalizing image writing; V/V non-fiction Mark Twain biography page and comprehension questions; V/V non-fiction Montgomery Bus Boycott informational passage and comprehension questions

Literary Strategies- Word Play (lect, -logy, err-, fin-) Continued and finished working on five-paragraph essays comparing three main male adults in the book Staying Fat for Sarah Byrnes. Editing and conferencing completed.

Creative Writing-Idiom Word Play (pay through the nose, bring down the house, talk through your hat, high on the hog); Choose your own adventure-decide if it is best to continue your current writing, morph the story into a new direction, or start fresh while still focusing on the Story Arc as the outline.

Modern Literature- Word Play (lect, -logy, err-, fin-); finished Pop Music vs. Classic Poetry mini-unit; Commonlit poetry practice with Tupac Shakur and We Wear the Mask.

Week in Review: Nov. 28- Dec.2 —Use these to ask your kids what they are learning!
Junior High Language Arts-Word Play (lect, -logy, err-, fin-); Viewed The Legends of Ga’Hoole movie, created analysis chart comparing the book and the movie, discussion.

Language Arts-Word Play (lect, -logy, err-, fin-); Visualizing and Verbalizing image writing; V/V non-fiction Mark Twain biography page and comprehension questions; V/V non-fiction Montgomery Bus Boycott informational passage and comprehension questions

Literary Strategies- Word Play (lect, -logy, err-, fin-) Continued and finished working on five-paragraph essays comparing three main male adults in the book Staying Fat for Sarah Byrnes. Editing and conferencing completed.

Creative Writing-Idiom Word Play (pay through the nose, bring down the house, talk through your hat, high on the hog); Choose your own adventure-decide if it is best to continue your current writing, morph the story into a new direction, or start fresh while still focusing on the Story Arc as the outline.

Modern Literature- Word Play (lect, -logy, err-, fin-); finished Pop Music vs. Classic Poetry mini-unit; Commonlit poetry practice with Tupac Shakur and We Wear the Mask.

Finals Scheudle