Our "Word of the Day" focus - known henceforth as WOD - is up and running! Basically 8th graders encounter words in their every day dealings that alternately intrigue or perturb them...and then they investigate said word as their own individual "WOD." Students are responsible for finding a complete definition of the word, noting its part of speech and etymology (if it's interesting enough to note); they also need to record the source of their word, with a direct quote if possible, and then use the word in an original sentence...all recorded in a WOD journal. The expectation is that each student will ferret out a word for each day that we're in school...thus the term: word of the day!! At the beginning of Reading Workshop (and again with Kate in her language arts classes), each student then brings her WOD to her table, where, after a group sharing of the day's finds, one word is selected by the members of each table group for an all-class consideration. In the past weeks we've discussed such words as apex, lucrative, suave, ersatz and relentless (to name only a few!)... from sources as varied as our parents,news coverage, our teachers, popular songs, and independent reading ventures. In this manner, students are exposed to seven to eight new words per session. We carry on lively discussions about the all-class terms, and from them Kate will compile regular lists of twenty words that our students master for monthly WOD quizzes. Over the years, alums invariably return to tell me how efficacious our Word-of-the-Day endeavor has proven...not only does it help them with the array of standardized tests that loom on the horizon, but it also awakens them to the myriad benefits of an enriched vocabulary. (A few of them even have continued with the WOD practice - having become true word nerds!) As I tell our girls, words are power!
Here's the official WOD format, presented to the 8th grade last week:
WORD OF THE DAY FORMAT
1. Write word (with date you found it in left margin.)
2. Copy down the COMPLETE definition (with pronunciation if necessary, part of speech and etymology if available and/or interesting.)
3. Copy down the sentence where you ran across the word. (Be sure to cite your source; if you heard someone say the word, quote them.)
4. Underline the part of the definition that fits your example’s
5. Use the word in an original sentence.
(9/28/11) redundant: (adj.) 1. not needed or no longer needed 2. fitted as a backup component or system 3. with the same meaning as a word used elsewhere in a passage and without rhetorical purpose 4. U.K. dismissed from employment because the job or the worker has been deemed no longer necessary (From Latin: redundare = to overflow)
From Sally’s comments on my Bee Tree essay: “This idea is redundant.”
(To cite a book: From Flyy Girl by Omar Tyree, pg. 125
To cite a song: From Hot in Herre by Nelly)
My example: I will be careful not to be redundant in my essays so I can impress Kate and Sally with my superior writing skills.
Tuesday, September 20, 2011
The first full week of school involved a lot of transitioning back into school mode, getting to know the teachers and how to be an 8th grade student, and doing some team building and group bonding while enjoying the last days of summer. Below are some pics from the classrooms in the first couple of days and from a fun and challenging team exercise out at the park.
Saturday, May 7, 2011
Your Summer Reading List Recommendation
Due date: Friday, May 20, 2011
In order to compile an SGS Summer Reading Suggestions (List) that is relevent for
Middle School girls, I’ve decided to solicit suggestions from YOU…the soon-to-be SGS
graduates! Sooo…here’s what I need you to do:
1. Think about all the titles you’ve read this year and choose one that seems to stand out
as a GREAT read.
2. Submit it as your personal recommendation, using the following format:
a. State your name, followed by the word “recommends…”
b. Bold and italicize the title of the book you’re recommending
c. Do not bold or italicize the author’s name…but do put “by” in front of it!
SHORT ANNOTATION (plot description and/or rating)
a. indent your short annotation paragraph
b. check it carefully for spelling and punctuation errors
c. tell enough of the story to hook the reader but not spoil the story
AN EXAMPLE: (font = Geneva, size 12)
Sally McLaughlin recommends…Toning the Sweep by Angela Johnson
Grandmama Ola is dying of cancer, so her granddaughter Emily and her daughter Diane
go down to the desert to help Ola pack up her life, her friendships, and her memories.
This story is a lyrical examination of three women’s lives, memories and thoughts on life
Your assessment for this assignment will be based on the following considerations:
1. whether you submit your recommendation on time
2. whether you write a thoughtful and engaging annotation for your title
3. whether you correctly follow the format outlined above.
1. When you’ve completed this assignment, email Sally a Word Document copy of your
recommendation to firstname.lastname@example.org
…and YES…you may suggest more than one book!! If you do, please add “also” to your
phrase, as in Sally McLaughlin also recommends…
Posted by Greta at 10:49 AM
Thursday, March 17, 2011
On March 26th, 2:00 PM at Theater Off Jackson, the 8th grade class is going to be performing ten plays, each of them ten minutes long, and all written and produced by us! Earlier this winter we were given the assignment to write a ten-paged play. We turned them in, and ten of those were chosen to be produced and performed at Theater Off Jackson for Seattle Girls' School "Ten In Ten" Festival. From hilarious disaster dates, to modern-day fairytales, these ten plays are all amazingly written and are currently being produced. We have been memorizing lines, reading scripts, gathering props and costumes, designing programs, and practicing makeup techniques. Our whole class has been working extremely hard to make the playwright festival as best as it can be! Below are the ten plays being performed on Saturday, March 26th.
Rejection. Equals. Death. (R.E.D.)- Directed by Lillian Hubbell, written by Mahogani Watson
The Highs and Lows of Teenage Life- Directed by Bailey Sheehan, written by Olivia Oplinger
Girls and Dolls- Directed by Lia Mclanahan, written by Gracie Rauen
Fake Love- Directed by Payton Curtis, written by Anna Konsmo
The Story- Directed by Evy Larsen, written by Greta Rainbow
The Safety Corner- Directed by Jade Chowning, written by Caroline Tremaine-Nelson
The Park Bench- Directed by Mahogani Watson, written by Lillian Hubbell
True As A Dream- Directed by Ruby Wood, written by Emily Soriano
The Date- Directed by Maggie Debrovner, written by Sophia Webb
On Nagging Little Voices- Directed by Emily Soriano, written by Jade Chowning
Ask your daughter what she is doing in the play festival! Lights? Acting? Directing? We hope to see you Saturday, March 26th at Theater Off Jackson, 2:00 PM. Ten plays, all ten minutes long, all produced and performed by students.
Posted by Greta at 9:06 AM
Thursday, January 13, 2011
In Social Justice Cultural Understanding class (SJCU), we just finished working on our 8th grade presentations about institutional racism. We each chose sub-topics, and then annotated articles about the past and present of our issue. We then presented to the class what we learned after reading the articles.
The sub topics were:
Different treatment of historically black colleges
Institutional racism becoming internalized
Educational achievement gap
Racial health disparities
Overrepresentation of blacks in the criminal justice system
Discrimination against minority farmers
Ethnic studies ban
Back on asian violence
White caricatures of racial stereotypes
Black or Biracial?
Many of us felt like we benefited from the assignment. Emily Soriano, a classmate had this to say,
"Everybody came prepared and they were all really good."
"I think everyone worked really hard, and was interested in their topics," said Greta Rainbow.
What we learned about institutional racism was intense, such as nooses being hung as a death threat to racial profiling, and our knowledge will continue to grow about cultural awareness.