Friday, September 14, 2012

Homecoming Week

What a week!  From the excitement of our first all-school pep rally to Back to School Night, the middle school has been abuzz with excitement.  There is no question we have certainly had our fun this week.  That being said, the students' dedication to their school work remained strong. Click the picture below for more Homecoming Week pictures.

Homecoming 2012
In composition, we began the week analyzing and mimicking sentence structures used by the masters.  By breaking fantastically written sentences into their parts and then imitating them, students were able to learn by observation and practice.  And who better to teach us about great writing than J.K. Rowling, Katherine Patterson, Madeleine L'Engle, and Roald Dahl?  Students were excited to share their newly created sentences, especially if Mr. Dunning was the subject!  We also continued work on our How-To pieces.  We paid particular attention to using elaboration and details in order to convey a clear and concise message.  Additionally, we began to practice positive response.  Students learned how to give specific praise as well as constructive feedback.  While it will certainly take some time to master those skills, the class was off to a good start as they shared and commented on each other's pieces.

During literature class, we read Ray Bradbury's short story, "All Summer in a Day."  Students discussed how to make valid predictions and then did so as they read the story.  Many astutely pointed out the connection between the protagonist in The Outsiders and the one in the short story.  We also finished Chapter 3 and Chapter 4 of The Outsiders.  Chapter 4 is considered the turning point of the novel, and students recorded passages that they felt were significant.  For each one, they needed to provide evidence of their thinking.

Advising class was dedicated to Dodec presentations.  This community building activity was a great opportunity to learn a little more about each other and to practice our speaking and listening skills. Click on the picture below to see more pictures from the presentations.

Zachary's Dodec

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