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Responses From Authors to Student Essays

Student essays were posted to the blog, and the authors responded to them.

posted on: February 10, 2007

Chasing the King

In Chasing the King by Joshua Stein, Jason Skids,(who goes by his last name) Skids, is a great soccer player. Skids has everything going for him. Skids and his friends play for the Bay Side United Soccer Team. Skids thinks his life is great and that everything is going his way; however, his life takes a sudden twist. He has to move to Brazil! Little does Skids know, but the move will turn out to be an adventure of a lifetime. In addition, the move teaches him the lesson of perseverance.
Skids and his friends love to play soccer. When Skids reaches high school, him and his friends make the varsity soccer team. He is thrilled and can not believe that he made the varsity soccer team in his freshman year. Skids thinks he is one of the best soccer players around. However, once he gets to Brazil, he finds out that in comparison to others he is slow and not the great player he thought he was.
When Skids' dad first told him they were moving to Brazil he was so upset. They had to move because of his dad's job. Skids was crushed. He would never see his soccer team, friends, and school again. Skids was so worried about the move. Brazil was so far away and he did not even really know where it was. Also, he did not know how to speak Portuguese.
Skids dad said that it would be a good experience for Skids and that it would be fun. Skids did not see how it could be fun. Skids did not talk to his dad for a week. He was just so angry. Skids father left for Brazil first to look for a house for the family. Skids' dad promised him that they would not move until Skids finished he soccer season. After that though, it was off to Brazil.
Once he arrived in Brazil, Skids missed his home and was depressed. He could not stand having people talk around him and not be able to understand them. The one bright spot was that soccer appeared to be very popular in Brazil, which is called “football” instead of soccer. Skids first chance to make some friends was in a football pickup game. Skids immediately noticed that the Brazilian players were faster than him and had better moves than his. Neverthless, he had a great time playing the game he loved so much. Well, until near the end of the game when a player in a bright yellow jersey blocked his first opportunity to score. Skids was quickly learning he was not the best soccer player around. The goalie in the yellow jersey easily blocked Skids attempt to score. Once again, Skids became depressed.
As time goes by, Skids meets a lot of people and makes many new friends. He plays soccer almost every day and becomes amazing at it. He learns Brazil style tricks and is in the best shape of his life. Skids hopes that he can play soccer for a carrer. The thought makes him so happy. Skids starts to realize that maybe the move to Brazil was a good idea.
His dream eventually comes true and he gets to play for team U.S.A in the World Cup. He is so proud of himself. Life is great for Skids. The move taught Skids not to judge a place before you get to know it. What I will take away from this book is that as long as you keep trying and practicing you will get to your goal.

posted on: February 06, 2007

The Highest Stand

In the book The Highest Stand, by Tonie Campbell, an Olympian, Dede Savage, is reminiscing on his past. As he entered the Olympic Stadium, he frequently reminded himself of all the wrong choices he has made in his past. His friends forgave him, but that wasn’t enough for Dede. At college, Dede started training with the goal of breaking the college record for track. Eight years later, Dede wins the gold medal for hurdling in the Olympics. As he struggles with trying to keep his popularity, Dede learns that friendship is more meaningful than popularity.
Dede enters the Olympic Stadium for a hurdling competition. While he’s getting ready for the race, he reminisces to the past of how he used to be a nerd, but slowly became popular. The inspirational words of an Olympic athlete made him realize that no one should stand in the way of what you want. These words gave Dede the courage Dede needed to stand up to the bullies. Since Dede stood up to the bullies, he slowly became popular. He decided that popularity meant more to him than his old friends so he befriended them. Rosa, a girl Dede likes, says she’s not happy with the choice he makes. Since then, Dede only thought about how he had hurt his best friends.
When Dede was in high school, he got kicked off the track team since his grades were declining. After that, Dede decides to become a nerd for his old friends. Rosa and his friends accept his apology and Rosa begins to tutor Dede to get him back on track. Eventually, Dede is confident with himself again and he tries out for track and makes it. Without Rosa's knowledge and encouragement, Dede could have never pulled it off.
Apparently, Dede goes to college for track. When he gets there he beats the college track record. Due to Dede’s amazing skills, the Olympic track team tests him and he gets accepted. A tragedy happened and Dede breaks his leg and can’t play in the Olympics until eight years later. Dede pities himself of how he lost a chance to win the Olympics.
Dede comes back when he is 31 years old. Dede pulls his hamstring. Even though he is in an abundance of pain, he perseveres himself to keep running. Dede crosses the finish line at first place. He smiles thinking of his win. Dede’s parents cry with tears of joy. Dede has never had so much pride in his life.
Dede learns that friendship is more profitable than being popular. He learned this lesson from neglecting his friends but realizing that when he was popular no one was really his “Friends.” I learned that perseverance is the key to succeeding in life. Dede won the race only because perseverance was assisting him. Dede never gave up even though he was in pain. While Dede was standing up on the first place podium, he thought to himself, ”Dreams do come true.”

posted on: January 31, 2007

The Kid From Courage

The Kid from Courage by Ron Berman is an excellent book that keeps you reading. Bryan Berry, the main character, is a likeable person that has a love for tennis, from the small town of Courage, Kansas. He plays but says that he is not yet a tennis player. He enters the annual tennis tournament. Then he works with Henry Johnson, and old tennis pro, they become very close, and even closer when Henry is under the weather. As Bryan struggles with his tennis game, and achieving his dream of becoming a pro, he learns that with the help of old Henry Johnson, and some support of his divorced dad, that his dream can come true.
Every year Courage Kansas hosts an annual tennis tournament, and ever since Bryan met the age limit, he has competed. Charging through the first couple of matches, he was placed into the third round. There was where he met Ted Grover. it was a grueling match among the fifteen year old and the forty year old. Bryan took the first set in a tiebreaker. At 5-4 in the second set and Bryan down with the game score of 30 all, Bryan hit a clean down the line winner, that touched the line but the call from Grover was out. Bryan was furious, and with a couple more horrible calls and a few games later, all going Ted's way, Ted Grover stole victory out form under Bryan's nose.
After the match, Bryan spotted Henry Johnson, and old tennis coach, strolling toward him. To his disbelief, a couple minutes later Bryan and Mr. Johnson were into a deep conversation about the match. Following that day, Bryan was hitting with so much confidence, because Henry was watching, Bryan asked if Henry would guide him in the right direction, as his coach. They became very close, almost like family, they started over from scratch on his tennis game. Bryan told Henry about his problems including his father and him trying to become part of his life. But Bryan's not so sure if he should let him back in because he left once before. Then something very tragic happened.
Poor old Henry came down with the flu. Because Bryan could not be coached by Henry, he had to find a someone else to be his coach. With the nationals coming up, he needed someone with experience, so they called up Mike Scully. Mike and Bryan trained every day. It took Bryan a while to adjust to the feeling and not to be nervous. While Bryan was fight to stay alive in the tournament, Henry was also fighting for his life. Earlier that morning, he had fallen in the bathroom.
Henry was put into the hospital. Bryan came to visit him as much as possible, they talked about the tournament coming up in Kalamazoo. Henry tells him that his problem with his dad is like his second serve, you get another chance and you are only as good as our second serve. One night Bryan went to see Henry and his condition had taken a turn in the wrong direction. He was lying on his death bed and both of them knew it. As Bryan left that night, he knew it would be the last time they saw each other. He reached for the doorknob, ready to leave, and turned back, running to Henry's side, sobbing. They hugged and told each other that they loved one another. That was the last time they saw each other.
Bryan did not want to continue on his path to becoming a pro, but his dad and mom encouraged him to because that would have been what Henry wanted. So he went on with encouragement of his family, step mom and dad included. He lost to the top seed in the finals, but not without a fight. It's a long way from Courage to Kalamazoo, but Bryan Berry made it there known as the Kid from Courage.
Henry teaches Bryan to believe in himself. If you want something bad enough, with a little hard work, you will eventually get there. Bryan now has a totally new outlook on life. In the end, Bryan learns to give people a second chance, because you are only as good as your second serve. I gained a lot from this book, but all in all, I think the most important thing I learned that was if you have a dream, chase it, until you get where you want to be.

posted on: January 31, 2007


Response to Literature #1
Have you ever read a book about someone who is afraid of everything and then decides to go out for the soccer team and is the goalie? Well if you are interested in those kinds of books this is the right book for you. Keeper is the book I am reading and the authors is Holly Goldberg Sloan. Sasha is the main character in this book, she is the girl who is afraid of everything and somehow her best friend Courtney changes that. First, they were in there first real fight which led to a promise. Then on their way home from school Courtney would secretly get Sasha into training. When she went to school one day the promise led to soccer tryouts. After the tryouts they were at the first game she played she was amazing and got to be goalie and went for it totally and then as soon as she new it, it was all over and she had a sad surprise when she got home. An African American girl named Sasha was afraid of everything learns that people may say you can overcome every fear but Sasha learned that you can overcome some but not all.
Hear it goes, a disadvantage, in the beginning The First Real Fight, Sasha called it the Ice Age and before they new it Courtney came and started to talk to Sasha. She said how she would forgive her if she would try out for an athletic team with her once, Sasha agreed. I bet you are wondering how it all started, right? Courtney was trying to make Sasha try out for the swimming team and Sasha would not. That’s how Courtney got the idea for her to promise to tryout for at least one team. This event has changed Sasha’s life now because she has to try out for a team and she doesn’t have a choice anymore because she promised. Members got into the fight/promise which led to a new part to the book, now the reader won’t think this book will be about two opposite girls now they could somehow change and it would be a fun book.
There has to be many different ways that Courtney could get Sasha to actually learn how to play without her knowing it. Oh wait there is she could trick her. It was her best friend that thought of pretending to get scared and make Sasha run home with her. Also Courtney would kick the ball and it would somehow go to Sasha and she would have to be able to kick the ball and that’s how she learned how to kick the ball. Nets, she taught her the rules by pretending it was hockey and it would tell her about offsides and those rules. At the end of the training Courtney asked Sasha if she would try out for soccer and she said yes. Lastly this event has definitely changing the character because in the beginning she could not do anything and wouldn’t and now she can and will. What do you think will happen next, do you think she will try out for the team or is she just saying that?
At the tryouts, will they be a drag, or will she do good. Will Courtney bail on her and not want her to make it, Will she be good? While Courtney was at the store before practice she bought Sasha some cleats for the try outs. In the beginning, Sasha shows up at the tryouts all the girls thinks she weird until the watch her play and she’s not considered a loser on the field. Otto thinks she will make the team and would be a good goalie. Many people, including me thought at this point that she would have made the team but I’m not giving away any secrets because you need to read the book.
Most people would not expect her to actually play on the field in the most important game ever. Real goalie’s knee broke then the back up goalie got sick so that left Sasha and they won because she blocked a ball. Then the next game, the last one of the season is was the most competitive game, she had to be the goalie again and the game was up to her and she was so scared but just jumped right into the ball. Then when she went home something tragic happens. Now Sasha loves the game and would die without it. This book was so much fun to read it had a lot of things that I am interested in and I thought it was a good book. Is that how you thought it would end?
The book Keeper is an awesome book and is written like it could actually happen.
As you can tell this book was about a girl that was afraid of everything and all the sudden her life changes into something better. The life lesson learned from the character was that you need to live freely and not to be afraid just having fun. The lesson learned the book gave me was to never have to many fears it may become bad just have fun with yourself. I have never enjoyed a book like this before I like reading, but this book I loved to read.

Response to Literature #2
In the book Keeper, by Holly Sloan, Sasha Beckdell Lewis is featured as the main character. 8th grade Sasha is a girl trying to figure out who she is in life without a real family. Sasha is afraid of many things such as clowns, cats, knives, forks, car wash places, sprinkler heads, men in beards, blood, and much more. Throughout the book Sasha is always trying to avoid the things she is afraid of. She learns to overcome her fears by the love and encouragement of several people in her life.
Although Sasha does not have a traditional family, she has many people that care for her. The father of Sasha left her mother before she was born. Her mother was tragically killed in a car accident so now Sasha lives with her grandmother, Nammy. Eighty-five year old Nammy spends most of her days sitting around the house watching the weather channel. Courtney Bilsesser is Sashas best friend and has been since kindergarten. Even though Courtney knows about Sasha’s fears, she just jokes and laughs about them. Another important person in Sashas life is her soccer coach, Otto. All of these characters play a big role in helping Sasha face her fears.
During the story Courtney who is a great athlete, tries to get Sasha to try out for many different sports. Do to Sasha’s fears, she is afraid to play a sport because she might get hurt or the germs she might catch from other people. First, Sasha tries out for the basketball team and doesn’t make it. Next, she tries out for the soccer team and actually makes it! Without Courtney making a deal with the coach, Sasha would have never been apart of the team. Surprised by making the team, this causes Sasha to feel both nervous and a little excited about being a part of a team.
Otto, the soccer coach, has to make a difficult decision in choosing what position Sasha will play that will not effect the whole team. He decided to make Sasha the back-up to the back-up goalie. After hearing what her position would be, Sasha became more excited because she might not ever have to play in a real game. Soccer season started out great with their team winning every game. Sadly, the main goalie Madeline, broke her leg during a game so now Shawana, the first back-up goalie had to take Madeline’s place. During a game against the teams biggest rival, Shawana had an asthma attack causing Sasha to become the goalie. Nammy started coming to the soccer games which made Sasha feel good inside because her grandmother was there supporting her. At the end of every game Otto huddled the girls in a circle and told each girl what they contributed to the game. Surprisingly, Otto told Sasha that he was proud of how courageous she was to become the goalie after the other girls had to step down from their position. Nobody had ever called her courageous and it gave her a number of feelings she had never felt before.
Since Otto told Sasha that she was courageous, it made her become more outgoing in a variety of ways. Playing goalie at the next game, Sasha overcame her fear of the ball hitting her by blocking a shot. When she made the save the crowd went wild and she realized she didn’t need to be afraid to be part of the team. Looking up in the stands Sasha realized that Nammy wasn’t there. Finally when the game was over Sasha went home and found Nammy had a heart attack and died. Once Nammy had died Sasha had to find a place to live. Many people offered to let Sasha live with them but Sasha choose to go to boarding school. Overcoming many types of fears allowed Sasha to be successful in soccer throughout high school and college.
Facing, your fears in life is one of the hardest things to do. With the help of others Sasha was able to face her fears. Had it not been for Courtney Sasha might not have had the opportunity to find enough courage to overcome her fears. Hopefully Sasha will have enough courage to face any fears she might have later in life. I believe that having various people who love and support you can give you the courage to face your fears and reach your goals.

posted on: January 31, 2007

Future Stars of America

“All the Right Reasons”, from the book, Future Stars of America, written by Ron Berman, is my favorite story of the collection because the true story helped me realize how much I love my sports. The main character, Raymond Sarmiento, lives in Los Angeles, California, where he first learned tennis. Someone out of the ordinary comes into Raymond’s life and gave him encouragement. Through his experience, Raymond has traveled sometimes far for competition. Soon Raymond becomes a star of America, for he has worked hard and deserves the title. Raymond Sarmiento is a young tennis player who learned that your dreams can lead you to something you love and enjoy, from the professional tennis player, Andre Agassi.
Throughout his life, Raymond has loved tennis. As a toddler, his parents took him to the neighborhood tennis courts frequently. Watching the ball hit the pavement and the sound of the racket as it hit the yellow ball, was something Raymond enjoyed. His parents eventually bought him his own small racket which he played with all the time, forgetting all his other possessions. When Raymond was six, he had become quite a tennis player, still needing experience. Many tournaments were won by Raymond, against kids who were three to five years older than him. Soon Raymond only played one sport, tennis, all his time taken up by tennis.
One experience in particular, made Raymond love tennis even more. It was at a tennis court, when Andre Agassi had completed a professional tennis match. At the time, Raymond was ten, and was in a local youth tennis organization, in which the professional generously helped with. Agassi had been entertaining the large crowd during his match. Then, when
Raymond’s turn came up to play with him, Agassi made his famous 150 mile per hour serve to the far right corner. Immediately, surprise lit Agassi’s face as a ball bounced back to his feet. Talented Raymond had returned his serve! Showing so much astonishment on his face, the crowd laughed with Andre. After the “fun match”, Agassi gave an encouraging comment to the excited Raymond. “You are better than I was at your age”. Today, twelve year old Raymond lives by this statement, pushing him on to reach his goal of becoming a professional tennis player.
In Raymond’s tennis accomplishments, he has traveled all over the place for matches and tournaments alike, mostly playing against older kids. A common example, Raymond came in second as a ten year old in a twelve and under tennis match. Everywhere he goes for matches, his family goes with him. They even traveled to Africa once, where a huge recognition was headed towards Raymond because he placed third out of twenty-three countries represented. Talent takes Raymond all around the world.

Tennis is his priority because he loves it. He is known by his friends and family to never give up and to work hard. Work barely describes Raymond’s three to four hours of practice each day. Even Raymond’s coach, Blake Ross, says that he is one of the best tennis players his age that he has ever seen. Many sacrifices were made by Raymond, like home schooling and missing social time, so he could play more tennis.
I believe Raymond will become a well-known professional tennis star when he grows up. Raymond most certainly deserves it for sacrificing what average kids do. The beginning of his lifetime journey, has taught him that his dreams can lead him to something he loves and enjoys. This story made me think hard about softball. Would I ever sacrifice the same things that Raymond did? Perhaps so, if a professional softball player told me that I was better than they were at my age. This is why Raymond is a star of America.

posted on: January 31, 2007

Response To Literature Guideline and Checklist

Guidelines and Checklist for Response to Literature

posted on: November 18, 2006

Verbs to Use Instead of "Said"

posted on: November 09, 2006

Summer Reading Log

Reading Log

The reading log is the daily documentation students complete. The one sentence summary must include the answers to who, what, when, where, and why.

posted on: May 16, 2006

Helpful Info and Websites For Persuasive Essay Writing

0. Clear Focus. Persuasive writing is clearly focused when the writer takes a clear stand. You can easily see what the topic is and can sum up the writer’s position in one sentence.
0. Strong Support. A position has strong support when the writer backs it up with specific reasons, evidence, or examples.
0. Great Beginnings. A great beginning captures your attention. It sets up the writer’s position on a topic and gives you an idea of what is coming next.
0. Logical Order. Writing has a logical order when the writer presents his or her thoughts in a way that is easy to follow and makes the argument strong.
0. Memorable Endings. Memorable endings come at just the right place, make the argument feel complete, and stick in your mind.
0. Precise Words. Precise words are exactly right and make it easy for you to understand what the writer means. Nouns are specific, and verbs are lively.
0. Vivid Images. Writing has vivid images when the words paint a picture in your mind. They make it easy for you to imagine what is being described. They help make the writer’s argument convincing.
0. Individual Voice. Writing has an individual voice when you feel that the writer is speaking directly to you or to a specific audience. You sense that the writer cares about the topic and is saying what he or she really thinks.
0. Easy Flow. Writing has an easy flow when the sentences work together in a way that matches the topic. The writing is easy to read aloud and sounds good to your ear.
Good Ideas. Writing based on good ideas grabs your attention. The writer presents a topic worth caring about. Or the writer makes you think about a familiar topic in a new way.

posted on: March 16, 2006

Research Presentation on Steroids


posted on: March 03, 2006

Example of Research Presentation on Global Warming

Global Warming

posted on: March 03, 2006

Example of Research Presentation on Emeril Lagasse

Emeril Lagasse

posted on: March 03, 2006

Dreams Series letter

Dear Scott Blumenthal and all the “Dream Series” authors,

I am ---- ---- a 7th grader at Mabry Middle School. The first book I read was during our book chat. I am writing you this letter to personally thank you for the books you have written. So far I have read Road to the Majors, The Long Way Around, and The Highest Stand. I am currently reading your book called Hoop City. All of your books not only inspire me, but they truly do relate to things I am facing in reality today, and what I will be facing in the future. The single greatest thing about all of your books is so clear: they are all about having troubles, facing reality, and fighting each and every day, weather for the spot on a pick-up basketball game, or a chance for a fresh start on a new life. You keep me motivated, as I can relate to the characters in your books. I hope that you keep writing these thrilling and motivating stories to young and inspiring readers like us. Because of you, I am planning a career in writing.

Thank you,
------ ------

posted on: February 08, 2006

Today In L.A. With Mrs.Abrams

Today in Language Arts we, the class, are going to start off with a warm up.
the warm up is: What are the purposes of giving an oral presentation?
the answers are:
1. To inform.
2. To give information to someone.
3. To talk about your topic to others and so they can tell you what errors you have made.
4. And to learn how to make a presentation and how to make a good speech for the future.
Now we are going to open up our Write Scource books to page 424.
The class will start to do our presentation, so we will be re-writing our introductary paragraph and that will be used to introduce our topic.

Now Mrs.Abrams is giving us a "Criteria for Oral Presentation" sheet that we are going to complete. The class will only complete the back #4. You/we will re-write your/our introductary paragraph. This is what we will be doing for the class period. In the presentation, you can use pronouns, but it would be good to stay away from using the same words in each sentence.
Now we need to go to the write source book and make a list on the visual aids on the same sheet as the storyboard.
Now we are going to have DEAR for 30 min. and fill in our reading log. While we read we have to focus on one of the characters.

posted on: February 07, 2006

Today in Class (Febuary 7, 2006)

Warm Up: Today in class, Mrs. Abrams used her smart board to look up questions about student oral presentations. The students then answered the questions orally. The first question said, "What are the purposes of giving an oral presentation"? Students answered and Mrs. Abrams was thrilled with the answers of her smart and intelligent students. The answer was, PRESENTATION SKILLS BECOME BETTER, AND YOU INFORM THE AUDIENCE OF A CERTAIN SUBJECT.

A. Write Source book pages 325-330
B. Research paper
C. Story board

Activity 1: Students opened their write source book to page 425-430. Students took a look at the introductory paragraph on page 424. The introductory paragraph should attract the audience, not the reader. So, you must look at these pages and rewrite the introductory paragraph to attract the audience.
In order to attract the audience you should:
A. Start with a question
B. Compare the effects with the causes

Activity 2: Students were to take out a hard copy of their research paper.
They also got a paper that said, "Criteria for Oral Presentation". They were to spend a few minutes on rewriting their introductory paragraph.

Activity 3: Mrs. Abrams told students to pull out their storyboard. On the back, near the bottom, students were to write what they wanted to bring for their oral presentation. *Remember, if you are doing teenage drinking, don't actually bring a bottle of beer/wine, and just bring pictures of your theme/story*. Then students made a chart of what they are going to bring to make their oral presentation one of the best. You need to decide what you are going to bring, because you ONLY have 3 minutes. DON'T GO OVER BOARD ON YOUR PRESENTATION.

Activity 4: Today is Tuesday, which means that is DEAR. Focus on the main character in your book. Make sure you could be able to mention/talk about your character. Would your character be welcome in your own house? Why or Why Not.

Night Write: Have your chart for the visuals and your storyboard finished tonight. Just write them down, don't actually bring them.

Reading: As always, reads for 30 minutes, and fill an entry in your reading log.

Happy reading and writing, and have a good day!

posted on: February 07, 2006

Class Notes for Febuary 1, 2006

For the first activity today Mrs. Abram's informed the students to look at the overhead. On her new smart board, a few select students went up to the front of the classroom and tried, as best as they could, to revise the student example research paper. After that, Mrs. Abram's even made comments about the paper. You can do this too. All you have to do is go to the MGLC section of this blog, and look at some examples of student research papers. The class looked at all of the paragraphs and read them out loud, as this does help to see if the paper flows correctly.
The next activity that students did was to make sure that their research paper checklist was written correctly. After that, students finished the research paper checklist.
The final activity of the day was for the students to get together with their peer editors. The editors need to go down the writing checklist and make sure that they are true topic sentences and a true thesis statement.
The homework for tonight is that someone, mom or dad, finishes editing the writing checklist.
As always, you must read for 30 minutes and fill an entry in your reading log.

posted on: February 01, 2006

Class Notes for January 31, 2006

Warm-Up: Today's warm up was an overhead about the early egyptions. This overhead helped most students to have an implied idea and to make generalizations. VERY INTERESTING PASSAGE!

A. "Research Paper Checklist"
B. Note cards
C. Bibliography cards
D. Chapter Book
E. Pencil
F. Reading Log

Activity 1: Mrs. Abrams went over the STUDENT RESEARCH PAPERS on her new smart board. She went over the all the paragraphs in the research paper.
A. Headings for the middle paragraphs
B. Questions are answerd in the last paragraph
C. No preposition in the thesis statement
D. Make sure words are used appropriatly
E. First sentence of the concluding paragraph must restate the thesis statement
F. Thesis statement must be written in the beggining paragraph too
G. Use all key words, atleast 4 differnt middle paragraphs

Activity 2: Students were then given a "research paper checklist." This checklist should help most students to make sure their paper contained enough informative and interesting information. Don't lose this checklist, as it will be taken for a grade.

Activity 3: Students were to read for 30 minutes in class. They were to make sure they paid attention to the theme of their book, and write it down on a piece of notebook paper.

A. Finish the following sections of your checklist for homework: Ideas, Organization, Voice, Word Choice, and finnaly, Sentence Fluency.
B. As always read for 30 minutes in a chapter book of your choice, and fill an entry in your reading log.

posted on: January 31, 2006

Keys to Revising your Research Paper

1. Read your entire draft to get an overall sense of your report
2. Review your thesis statement to be sure that it clearly states your main point about the topic.
3. Make sure your beginning draws readers in. Then check that your ending brings your report to an interesting close.
4. Make sure you sound knowledgeable and intersted in the topic.
5. Check for correct, specific words and complete sentences.
6. Use the editing and proofreading marks you have learned.

posted on: January 30, 2006

Class Notes for January 30, 2006

Warm-Up: Students read a passage about "The Alps of Europe." From that passage they were to practice answering elements of a story, and practice sequential order.

A. Write Source book page 405 (for revision)
B. Research Paper
C. Student thesaurus and student dictionary

Activity 1: Students looked at some student examples of the rough draft. Mrs. Abrams went through the paper asking the students if there was any problems, and how they could fix them. If you would like a student example of the rough draft, look in the MGLC (Mabry Global Learning Colabrative) section of this blog.

Activity 2: Students were to look at page 405 in their Write Source book to make sure that their paper followed the "research guidelines." Students worked on their paper, checking each line carefully for 35 minutes. They revised their paper in complete silence or close to that! Then, using the dictionary and thesaurus, students made sure their sentences were written apropratly.

A. Work, for 15 minutes, on your revision. No more, or less than 15 minutes
B. As always, read for 30 minutes and complete an entry in your reading log.
**Happy reading and writing!**

posted on: January 30, 2006

Class Notes for January 26

Today in class we started with a warm-up. The warm-up was, What is a thesis statement? After the warm-up we got out our notecards, bibliography cards, and our power outline. Mrs. Abrams will give you a grade on these. After we got these out, Mrs. Abrams had some students share what they had written. We then talked about the concluding paragraph. In this paragraph you will remind the reader about the overall point of the report, tell one last interesting fact about the topic, and answer the "so what" question. A good ending relates back to the beginning in the same way. Although the ending may repeat the idea stated in the thesis statement, it should also restate the main idea in a different way. That is what should be in the ending or concluding paragraph. After she finished explainging how it should look and sound we took the rest of the class time to begin writing it.

For homework tonight you need to finish your ending paragraph if you have not finished it already. You also need to read for thirty minutes and create an entry on your reading log.

My ending paragraph might sound something like this.

As you read you saw that there are many cause and effects of how eating disorders are started and what can happen from them. Some eating disorders can be deadly. So if you can try to stay away from stress and pressure so that you won't suffer from eating disorders like some people do. Also if you happen to see any of these symptoms or signs in family members or friends please tell someone so they can get help.

posted on: January 26, 2006

Today in L.A./ Homework Assignments.

Warm-Up. Todays warm-up is "what is a thesis statement?"
The answer to the warm-up was, a thesis statement is a concluding sentence at the end the introductory paragraph in your paper that makes the reader want to do something about it.
Now, we are going to take out one of our best bibliography cards that we think that we did. Mrs.Abrams is going to take up our note cards that we did( all 50 of them ) and our "Power Outline". Mrs.Abrams will take up our "Anticipation Guide" another day.
Some people in class are now sharing their middle paragraphs. Mine is under my topic, " Beginning Paragraphs," I actually made a mistake there, it was supposed to be, " Middle Paragraphs."
Today, we will be writing our final paragraph and summarize what you have written so far and turn it into a conclusion. In your concluding paragraph, you will have to summarize each of your key words. This will make it a one sentence summary for the first topic, causes. You will do the same thing with the other key topics/words. In concluding paragraph, if you started your research paper, you will have to answer it in your concluding paragraph. The best way to end the last paragraph is to quote the author of any source and use it in the end of your paper. So basically, end with a "quote."
My last quote will be, "smoking is a health hazard." You were not supposed to have an opinion in you paper. In your last paragraph, you can put in an opinion, but only if it's a fact.

Now we are going to work for the rest of the class on our last paragraph.
Homework tonight will be to read for 30 minutes, fill out your reading log, and finish your anticipation guide if you have to, and finish your final paragraph.

posted on: January 26, 2006

Class Notes for January 26

Warm-Up: What is a thesis statement?

Activity 1: Students were to get their packet out that included: Note cards, power outlines, anticipation guides, framework (working outline), and your resource page. Students then shared their introductory paragraph and middle paragraphs with Mrs. Abrams.

Activity 2: Students read their introductory paragraph to the class, and Mrs. Abrams helped the students to use their main idea sentences and their clincher sentence.

Activity 3: For the rest of the class students were to work on their final paragraph.

A. Write Source book page 402 (for concluding paragraph)
B. Research packet

A. Finish your first rough draft
B. As always, read for 30 minutes, and fill an entry in your reading log.

Graded Papers: Mrs. Abrams went around the class today, during writing time, and checked our packets to make sure that we had finished what we were supposed to.

posted on: January 26, 2006

Concluding Paragraph

A.Summarizes the ideas presented in the body of the paper.
B.Uses key words in supporting detail sentences.
C.Uses a concluding sentence.
D.Makes sure that the same points in the introductory and concluding papagraphs aren't exact copies of one another.
E.Writes a sentence that summarizes the information presented in the body of the paper for each key word.
F.If the purpose stated in the introduction is a question, the conclusion contains the answer to that question.
G.May include an opinion based on the facts, but it must not contain any new information.
H.Try to end with a quotation that pulls the story togethor.
You can also look furhter along in this blog to find more information on the conluding paragraph.

posted on: January 26, 2006

Warm-Up : What is a thesis statement?

A thesis statement is a sentence in the introductory paragraph that guides the reader and is a message to the reader. The thesis statement is located at the end of the paragraph.

posted on: January 26, 2006

Notes on the Introductory Paragraph for the Research Project

1. Grabs the reader’s attention.
1a. Contains: interesting facts, questions, or statements.
2. Tells the subject of your research paper.
3. Gives a hint about the topics that will be covered.
4. Uses key words in the supporting details sentences.
5. Has 3 or more supporting details.
6. Has a concluding sentence, which states the purpose of the research; which will inform the reader about the points to be covered.

posted on: January 24, 2006

Class Notes for January 24 in LA4

Today in class we started with a warm-up. The warm-up was, Why research? The answer to this warm-up is, you research to find information, to speak to other people intelligently, and to learn about the different reading rates such as scanning and scimming. Once we were done with warm-up we then moved on to reviewing the power outline. After we finished reviewing the outline, we moved on to making a thesis statement for our paper. In creating a thesis statement you need to have an interesting topic, the special part to emphasize, and then you need to come up with a thesis statement. Once you were done with creating one some of the kids then shared what they had written down.

My first attempt at the thesis statewment is:
Eating Disorders+ eating disorders are caused by stress and pressure from family and friends= By not taking on a lot of things that may cause pressure and not doing a lot of things that may cause stress, most eating disorders can be avoided.

If you do not understand how to write a thesis statement, you may refer to page 394 of your Write Source Book. Once you are done with your thesis statement, you moved on to thinking about what ou would write for the first sentence of your paper. The first sentence should either be an interesing fact, an interesting question, or an interesting quotation. If you are having trouble thinking of one of these you may refer to page 398 in your Write Source Book. Make sure that if you still don't understand it then ask one of your parents to explain it to you. Then if you still don't explain it you may ask Mrs. Abrams.

Once we finished thinking and writing down our first paragraph. Here is an example of how I wrote my firsh paragraph:
I started with the description of certain eating disorders, so this is how it may look: By not taking on a lot of tasks that may cause pressure and not doing a lot of things that may cause stress, most eating disorders can be avoided. There are two main eating disorders. They are Bulimia and Anorexia. Bulimia is a psychological eating disorder. Anorexia is an eating disorder where people starve themselves. Anorexia is when a lot of people refuse to eat. Bulimia is an emotional illness. It is also when individuals expieience frequent and uncontrollable periods of over eating. These eating disorders usually occur in girls between the ages of 12 and 18. Eating disorders are incresing in young children.
That is how your's should look. All I did was the description of eating disorders and when they occur.

We then moved on to reading our DEAR book(chapter book). We read silently for thirty minutes. Then we completed an entry in our reading log. Make sure that you have one written down!

Make sure that you have your fifty notecards done by tomorrow and you have at least 4 bibliography cards. On each notecard you need to have at the most two bullets on each one. You also need to make sure that you have your power outline either typed or written by tomorrow. You also need to make sure that you have your working outline done except for the last question. Also make sure that you have your anticipation giude done. Also make sure that you read for thirty minutes and complete an entry on your reading log.

posted on: January 24, 2006

class notes for 1/24/06 in LA3

Today we started with our daily warm-up. This warm-up covers why we do research. Most of the responses were, To learn more information about the topic they chose. After we had finished the warm-up Mrs.Morton explained to us how to do a thesis statement. In the thesis statement you should include the following; an interesting subject , the special part to emphasize, then your thesis statement will be complete. Here is mine:"Even though many teens are at risk of becoming overweight, is there a way to prevent it?"

Next we had started our introductory paragraph which has to include the following information; the thesis statement,some of your key words, and some supporting details.Here is mine: Did you know that more than 9 million teens are considered obese and 15% of all teens are at risk of becoming obese. What can you do to lose the weight. You can exercise and eat less junk food. Teenagers mainly become obese between the ages of 6-19. Teen Obesity is mainly caused by unhealthy food choices and from your parents genes. An effect on teen obesity is you could get diabetes,cancer,asthma,ect... "Even though many teens are at risk of becoming overweight, is there a way to prevent it?"

The homework for tonight is:
1. To read for 30 minutes and fil out an entery in your reading logs.
2. To finish your beggining paragraph, finish your note cards, and anything else that is not complted.

posted on: January 24, 2006

Class Notes for January 23

Today in class we started with a warm-up. Our warm-up was, What is the difference between paraphrasing and plagarism? We answered the question, then moved on to getting out our notecards. While getting out our notecards, Mrs. Abrams then explained to us that we needed to put our bibliography cards in alphabetical order by last name. After putting them into alphabetical order, we moved on to putting our notecards into groups by keywords. You should have at least four keywords. When you finished with that, you then moved on to putting all of your notecards in logical order. Putting them into logical order should help you write your paper because it puts them in order of how it should explain it. Once you had them put in logical order, you needed to start on your outline. The title of your outline should be the topic that you are researching. The type of outline that we are doing is called a power outline. You start with the number one and that is one of your keywords. Then you indent a little bit and you put a number two and that is all of the details of that one topic. You do that with all of your keywords.

posted on: January 23, 2006


Check out this fabulous response to literature.


posted on: December 08, 2005

Scribes At Work

Dec. 6, 2005 LA3

Warm Up:
Appetizers – pg. 28
Today we talked about deaf dogs and what their activities and their skills. M.C. was the presenter today. The skills we learned to day were that were summarizing and generalzation.

We read our chapter books for 30 minutes, complete an entry on your reading log, and answer the following:
We are also sharing what we read today and what are book is on and how we can relate to the book. And what were are impressions on the book that we are reading.
What impressions are you forming in your mind of people and places in the story? Well different people have different perspective on the book that they are reading. But my character is going through a hard time where he is having to make all on his own.
What pictures do you have in your mind’s eye? Him and his friends are all on their own and he is feeling all alone.
Are you able to see in your mind the characters and the places where the events take place? Yes because it is vary detailed

Dec. 6, 2005 LA4

Warm Up:
Appetizers – pg. 28
For the warm-up we learned about generalizations in a passage about deaf dog. Between the warm-up and activity one we talked about the books we read last night for 5 minuets, in our table groups. (In the five minuets I observed many people off task) After we talked about our books Mrs.Abrams asked us to tally up the number of books we have read so far and give her the number. You need a reading log to give her the number for proof.
Activity 1:
Read your chapter book for 30 minutes, complete an entry on your reading log, and answer the following:
What impressions are you forming in your mind of people and places in the story? Most of the early presidents didn’t do a good job taking care of the white house and didn’t do a very good job as president.
What pictures do you have in your mind’s eye? A lavish mansion that has running water and a stove, and secret service men guard the president and his house all the time.

Dec. 6, 2005 LA5

Warm Up:
Appetizers – pg. 28
To start the day off we did a warm up on deaf dogs and the main skills we learned was generalization and summing up what the paragraph was about.
Book chat;
In class today we are doing a book chat on the books we read last night for 30 min. This will help you will knowing what book you think you will like that someone at your table shared with you.
Activity 1:
Read your chapter book for 30 minutes, complete an entry on your reading log, and answer the following:
What impressions are you forming in your mind of people and places in the story?
The people I am forming in the book the grim Grotto is Sunny a little infant who has four big teeth and has and loves to cook. Klaus is a kid about 13 and always has a common place book. Violet is the oldest and has a ribbon in her hair most of the time.

Dec. 6, 2005 LA 6

Warm Up:
Appetizers – pg. 28 We answered questions on the skills of generalization and summarizing.
Activity 1: We discussed the book we read last night and described what happened.
Activity 2:The class tallied up our total number of books for a grade.
Activity 3: Read your chapter book for 30 minutes, complete an entry on your reading log.

posted on: December 07, 2005

Personal Narrative

student sample of narrative writing

posted on: October 30, 2005

Dream Series Books

Please mark you calendars for November 14. We will be hosting the author, Scott Blumenthal,of two of the Dream Series books at Mabry. Parents will be asked to come to their students class for a book chat. More information will be coming.

These books have been so popular that I can't keep them on the shelf in my room or on the shelf in the media center. It breaks my heart when a student wants to read a book and it is unavailable. The Dream Series is available at However, since they were so popular last year, as well as, so far this year, the school store has decided to stock copies of each of the titles for a cost of $10 a book. Specific information about each book can be found on the link below.
Happy Reading

Dream Series

posted on: September 06, 2005

Guidelines for Narrative Writing Piece

Guidelines for Narrative Writing will explain to students each specific requirement of this assignment. Assessment pieces are included, as well.

posted on: August 30, 2005

Write Source

Write Source is the "best thing since sliced bread," when it comes to guiding students through each step of the writing process for each type of writing assignment. After using the book for the first day the books were available, 13 students (last year) asked if they could buy the text. 60 of my students bought the book to help them perfect their writing. The purchase of this book is optional.

posted on: August 30, 2005

Types of Sentences

These sites will help students identify 4 types of sentences. Students will also be able to practice capitalization and punctuation skills.

posted on: August 15, 2005

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