Happy New Year

Posted by [email protected] on January 3, 2014 at 11:25 AM

Happy New Year!

I hope this brand new shiny year finds all my students happy and rested from a great two week Christmas vacation.  After being "under the weather" the first week of break, I'm finally ready to begin again!  I can't believe we are half-way through this school year.  As I tell my students, time flies when you're having fun:)

For two weeks before Christmas break, 8th graders began collecting vocabulary words from their AR books.  Beginning next week, they will be required to collect three words a week.  Two words must come from the AR book the student is currently reading.  The third word may come from another source, such as a word heard in a conversation, on a television show, etc. 

What words?  The student needs to find words in their reading that require definite context clues or a dictionary to recall meaning.  Words can be divided into money value as follows:

  5-cent words:  little kids words:  big, dog, house

10-cent words:  violet, teen-ager, unicorn

25-cent words:  idealistic, banter, exhuberance

50-cent words:  graupel, hypermetropia, crepescular

The 25-cent words are the ones to look for!  The 50-cent words are great to know, BUT they are words that only specialists or trivia experts know without having to look them up. 

The student will collect words on a special bookmark.  They will then do a meaningful writing task involving several steps to show that he/she can use the word correctly.  This will be a homework/classwork activity that will be due each Friday. 

What's ahead for this new six weeks?

7th graders will begin reading SHAKESPEARE!  We will begin reading a student-friendly version of The Bard's famous tragedy, King Lear.  Students will be responsible for vocabulary, character analysis, comprehension, and oral reading of the play.  They will soon learn that Shakespeare is not boring.  On the contrary, most soap operas would do well to borrow from the master.  I have divided the play into three sections, and the students will be tested on vocabulary, characters, and the plot following each section. 

8th graders will work on nonfiction articles in their literature book as well as articles from SCOPE magazine.   The STAAR test will be here before we know it for 8th graders. 

8th graders will work on various types of writing.  We will work on writing response to literature, essays, and personal narratives.  Improvement of handwriting skills will continue to be a priority along with spelling, capitalization (texting is great, BUT. . .), and punctuation. 

My 8th grade Careers class continues to be used as a pull-out program for students needing extra help in math. Students also have a chance to finish work for Mrs. Carter during this time.  Due to this pull-out system, I  have decided to have the students who are left with me use this time to develop a skill needed for almost any career in today's time:  computer skills.  They are developing their keyboarding skills, or as it was called "back in the day", typing skills.  Rather than hunt and peck, the students are actually learning the homerow keys and how to use both hands.  In today's "clumsy, thumbsy" texting world, this is no small accomplishment!   


Monday, Jan. 27  is the LAST day to turn in Coke Fundraiser Order forms.

Wednesday, Feb. 12 is the LAST day to test on AR for the 4th six weeks.

For my students:

You were born with potential.

You were born with goodness and trust.

You were born with ideals and dreams.

You were born with greatness.

You were born with wings.

You are not meant for crawling, so don’t.

You have wings.

Learn to use them and fly.

~ Rumi

Here's to a great New Year,

Mrs. Kays




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