mrs. yates class

A peek inside our classroom everyday!

Archive for the month “November, 2012”

Absent again!

Sorry guys! I’m sorry that I have to miss once again.  After this, I shouldn’t be gone again for another meeting until January! I’m downtown again and will have access to my email throughout the day.  Please let me know if you have any questions!

Game plan for today:

  • Read for 20 minutes silently.  The substitue will monitor the time for you.  Please stay in your seats today so it is easier. YOU SHOULD HAVE YOUR OWN BOOKS TODAY. IF YOU DON’T-BORROW ONE OF MINE BUT BE SURE IT IS RETURNED NEATLY TO THE CORRECT LOCATION!
  • I’d like for you to do AT LEAST 2 Acuity practices today. (Study) Remember, we are taking the 2nd round of Acuity on Friday, so this is the last chance to practice before the next round.  Keep in mind the goals you set last time.  We will review them tomorrow when I get back.
  • You should receive a figures of speech paper today.  PLEASE take time to review them and read over this.  If you are unsure about what one really is–GOOGLE IT! (“hyperbole examples”)  Then, try to complete the handout with the examples.  Fill in the blanks.  TRY by YOURSELF first–then at the end of the period you may compare answers with a partner.  You MUST have your answer sheet filled out BEFORE comparing answers with a partner!
  • On the Yes, Ma’m packet from yesterday, complete the last page.  (Apply the skills and support for writing)

This should keep you busy today.  If you somehow finish early–you may free read or work on something else the remainder of the period.

Calling all readers

Today we embarked on a mission to become better readers.

We started with 20 minutes of silent reading.  Students were asked to bring their current free reading book to class and then the room went quiet and we all, yes–me included–read for 20 minutes.  We must instill a love of reading with our students and the best way to do that is to let them READ.

After our reading time ended, we discussed why students aren’t reading and why they don’t seem to enjoy reading like they once did.  Some students had some very interesting comments to add to the discussion. I then modeled for them what a good reader does when they read.  They interact with the text.  I showed them how I mark up a text and what I was thinking as I read a passage. To Text or To Talk

Students were then given a passage with a similar concept and asked to do what I did.  Interact with the text and mark up their reading with their thinking. The Trouble With TextingWhen they finished marking their texts, we practiced making connections using that text.  Text to self, text to text, and text to world–all citing evidence from the text to justify our answers. making connections graphic organizer No longer will we read just to read.  We will interact with the text!  Ask questions! Mark interesting sentences and ideas!

I also taught students how to create an “app” of this blog on their iDevice.  No excuse not to read the blog if it just a click away! 🙂 (Here is a similar tutorial)

Free Reading Book!

Don’t forget that you MUST have a free reading book with you in class on Monday! Please bring it with you!

Blog Backup

Once again we are going to have to improvise with our tools.  My Mac is downtown being updated-so I can’t connect to the Promethean Board to give you the agenda etc.  So–luckily we can call the blog in for the back up!

Here is today’s agenda:

Please tell me this cartoon makes you laugh! I was cracking up!

This is a great download for the Yes, Ma’am strategy we are going to use today in class.  I’d upload it to your Google Docs, drop it in dropbox, or keep it somewhere safe! This could be life changing–or at least grade changing for many of you!

Today’s Agenda:

Turn in for Algernon Packet


Today, focus on finishing the story and completing the packets.  Don’t worry about Acuity or anything else UNLESS you get finished.  If you finish the story and the packets–then continue on the work as planned!


See you MONDAY!!!

Friday (in my absence)

Start the class by taking an Acuity Practice “Study” test.

When you finish, work on your packets while you wait for other students to finish.

When the class is ready, you will finish listening to the conclusion of Flowers for Algernon.

I would like for you to complete the writing exercise on page 64 at the bottom.  This will help you understand author’s point of view better.

You have the remainder of the period to complete your 2 packets.

Packets and writing due on Monday at beginning of class.

Remember, you can always email me with questions, concerns, or to rat out your neighbor when they don’t follow directions! 😉

Thursday (in my absence)

Begin today by reading Flowers for Algernon take 3. (approx 20 minutes of story)

When finished with the selection, Mrs. Kuester will have 2 papers for you.  One on connotation and denotation of words and one on jargon.

Here is the website you will need to complete the Jargon worksheet.

Here is a practice quiz if you’d like a little more help with connotation and denotation of words.

Work on them BY YOURSELF! If you need more explanation on either one–what should you do? LOOK IT UP!

Only talk if you have a question and you are asking a neighbor for clarification. You may have headphones on as you work.

When the above 2 sheets are completed, turn them in and then continue on the 2 packets for our story.

Remember, you can always email me with questions, concerns, or to rat out your neighbor when they don’t follow directions! 😉

Checking out books.

Some of you have asked about checking out a book to take home. That is fine. You must come back after lunch and then sign your name on the check out paper. You must return the book BEFORE school so all classes will have enough books.

Wednesday (in my absence)

  • Try this typing test. Charlie will take one today and let’s see how you compare!
  • Mrs. Kuester will have a Punctuation Practice sheet that comes directly from the Flowers for Algernon text.  Please do your best.  She will go over the answers with you after a small amount of work time.
  • When you are waiting for others to finish, take a moment to download this PDF file on Figurative Language. figurativelanguage  READ IT  and then add it to your RL folder.  [Block 3-upload it to Google Drive–or if you don’t know how–add it to a folder on your desktop for this class for now.]
  • Here is another website to bookmark and explore for extra help with Figurative Language in case you need a review.
  • You will then pick up where we left off yesterday with Flowers for Algernon. You will listen for approx 20 minutes.
  • When finished, you have the rest of the time to work on your two packets.  The packet I handed to you in class with graphic organizers and the one from yesterday’s blog post on specific story elements.

If time permits-and it seems you don’t have enough to do, you may take some Acuity practice tests.  We will be taking Acuity 2.0 after Thanksgiving.

Bring your free reading book tomorrow and the rest of the week!! Library Day on Monday!

Remember, you can always email me with questions, concerns, or to rat out your neighbor when they don’t follow directions! 😉

Unit 3-Voices of Courage

Today we begin the 3rd Unit for the year, Voices of Courage. We are starting with a story called Flowers for Algernon. (Full text is here-flowers for algernon full text)

  • Go to  Join room number 743219.  Take the quiz.
  • Let’s take a few tests so we can fully understand what our main character is going through.
  • As we read, since I won’t be there to coach you through much of the reading, I have created a study guide with questions that I would ask and we will discuss when I return.  You can download this and then open it in Open Office or Google Docs.  Type your answers in the blanks provided. Flowers for Algernon
  • You will also have a packet of Graphic Organizers that will need to be filled out each day as well.

Classroom Library Workers Needed




I’m finally at a point where we can start to build our classroom library! I’m in need of a few volunteers who would be willing to work before and during part of your lunch to help me get it set up and organized.  I have a computer program that will help–but need to extra hands to get all the data put into the computer.

Please see Mrs. Yates if you are interested on Monday. (Or email me!)

Theme Park Turn In Directions

Here is the form for you to turn in your project.  PLEASE read the directions CAREFULLY.  It is explained Step by Step in each question.  If you need a tutorial on how to get a link from Google Docs–please continue reading the tutorial below.

Theme Park Turn In
(IF you have tried multiple times and tried to problem solve your issues and you still can’t get it to work–then just email me your document! Don’t panic!)

**I also want to see your packet on Monday.  Please be sure you have your completed packet with you on Monday.)

If I need to print off your brochure for you–I MUST have it BEFORE 7:30 am on MONDAY so I can print them out before school.
(Websites do NOT need to be printed.)

Here is the rubric I will use to grade your presentation and brochure/website.  Theme Park Rubric

Tutorial for getting link in Google:

    When Doc is uploaded. . .

Update for the week

My sweet children made it to today’s agenda board!

Very basic overview of topics of discussion for Monday’s present

Today we took some time to review some skills.  Students used the practice from the previous post to identify where the missing commas belonged.  Then, we went over 5 different paragraphs and discussed the best topic sentences for each from a list of choices.

Next, we had a lengthy discussion about the Theme Park presentations that will begin on Monday.  Tomorrow we will draw for speaker order, so we will be ready to fly through the transitions on Monday.  The biggest piece to remember is that the presentations should FOCUS on the persuasion and propaganda aspect — while describing the theme park that was created.  Also, students need to be sure to have a clear beginning, middle, and end to their presentation.  We want to see that students practiced their presentations before that moment where they are presenting and have notes to help guide their speech.  Students should also be sure to utilize their visual aid to enhance their speech–not just put it up and then forget about it!

We will take some time tomorrow to reflect on the project as a whole and tie up any loose ends.


Failure to turn it in will result in Friday school.

Comma Paper

comma count

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