Final Steeples

Welcome to Middle School Language Arts

Donnel Thompson, former NFL player for the Colts and Steelers, visited our classroom today! The 7th grade scholars are writing persuasive essays about whether or not football should be banned in America. Mr. Thompson acted as our primary source and BOY did he inform us more than ANY of our other research provided. After scholars finish their essays, they will then prepare for our in-class trial by writing and practicing speeches to give in front of the class based on their role (defender, attacker...etc.) and whether or not they are for or against the banning of football. "God first, family second, football third" was one of Mr. Thompson's alternative lessons he taught the class. He lives out this message as Mr. Thompson boasts a degree from Madison, a successful careers, a deep faith, and a wonderful family. Our scholars prepared fantastic questions and showed great respect for our speaker. Thanks Mr. Thompson for taking the time to come in AND, by the way, this NFL player happens to be the father of two CEE scholars, so you might catch him in the parking lot or at a school event!

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Writing From Another's Point-of-View

November 13, 2017
By Mrs. Ibarra

Dear Families,

We had quite a productive week of writing last week! I read the children's book entitled "Last Stop on Market Street" to the scholars. Middle schoolers truly enjoy picture books such as these- still! Afterwards, we discussed how CJ, the main character, compares and contrasts to Charlie, our main character in "Flowers for Algernon." Scholars took notes on these similarities and differences throughout the reading and were then given the rigorous task of writing about it in a mini-compare and contrast essay during writing centers. Their final version is due this coming Thursday along with their rubrics. 

Moreover, the scholars were assigned to write their very own progress report from either Miss Kinnian, Dr. Nemur, or Dr. Strauss's point-of-view. We brainstormed evidence that could support both the characters' style and points-of-view in the text, "Flowers for Algernon." It was a great chance as well to dive into different types of pronouns- first person versus second versus third person personal pronouns! You can see the scholars working independently on these progress reports during class. Notice how they are all referring to the evidence in their story in order to support their ideas and build the style and points-of-view of their characters. 

Writing stamina and drawing evidence from texts are two very important skills for high school and beyond. I am so proud of the way scholars are building all of these skills and more! Have a wonderful week!

 

Fondly, 

Mrs. Ibarra

Do Now Beach Ball and Frankenstein

November 05, 2017
By Mrs. Ibarra

Dear Catholic East Community!

It has been a busy BUSY couple of weeks and as the Holidays are now upon is, we all know it is going to become even well, BUSIER!

 

Thank you everyone for taking time out of your schedules to conference with Mr. Hall and myself. It is always such a pleasure to spend time with my scholars' families. Speaking with you all is a clear reminder that I am BEYOND BLESSED to be apart of such an amazing community! Thank you for your wonderful support. You are clearly AWESOME because our middle schoolers are THE BEST!

 

In the video you can see a snipet of a DO NOW we perform here and there. The scholars enjoy the beach ball's prompts such as "The tone in my choice book is... and it is created by word choice such as..." As you can see, they are genuinely interested in hearing and sharing about their choice books! This also keeps them motivated to read more and communicate new ideas.

 

The scholars have continued to work on their reading stamina of both fiction and non-fiction peices in centers. They are excited about the fact that they get to choose which Newsela article they read. In word work, we are creating a living dictionary of words that "Every High School Freshman Should Know!" The scholars are picking one word from the list and depicting its meaning. Mr. Hall and I will be hanging them around the room.

 

Finally, "Flowers for Algernon" continues to rock the scholars' socks! They just cannot wait to hear what happens next! We also explored Chapter 4 from Franksenstein and are continuing to disect the challenging language. Scholars are starting to see how this text compares to a number of elements from "Flowers." 

 

Have a wonderful week!

Blessings,

Mrs. Ibarra

 

 

Greek and Latin Roots, Character Claims, and Text Structure

October 22, 2017
By Mrs. Ibarra

Dear Middle School Community,

I hope you enjoyed your weeked. It was great to see some of you at the Soles Walk- what a gorgeous morning it was!

 

Scholars tackled Greek and Latin Roots this week and we focused on brainstorming various roots during our do nows and writing about them in learning centers. I enjoyed hearing so many scholars share out their ideas with koosh ball talks (as seen in the 8th grade do now video). 

 

Flowers for Algernon is becoming more and more interesting as main character Charlie has undergone his brain surgery and begins to realize more and more about the world around him. I wish you could see how excited the scholars are as they read this novella. It seems to be quite a favorite so far! Scholars have been identifying claims made by other characters about Charlie, analyzing the text's structure and its impact on the reader's understanding, as well as annotating Charlie before and after the surgery. 

 

Words Their Way continues to be meeting scholars at their level. Scholars are learning about word patterns and vowel-consonant rules. I can tell that it is deepening their ability to think about the origin of words and how they form a language. Their next Words Their Way test is this coming Tuesday.

 

Please continue to talk to your scholar about their daily reading, and don't forget, reading logs are due tomorrow, Monday!

 

Blessings,

Mrs. Ibarra

Digging Deep into the Controversy

October 08, 2017
By Mrs. Ibarra

Dear Middle School Parents and Guardians,

Throughout the week, scholars "dug deep" in analyzing whether or not the "Rorschach Test" is a useful projective test. The article with which they engaged was quite challenging, so we spent ample time digging into the language of the text and examing the arguments presented. This was clearly harder for the sixth than the seventh and eighth grades, so Mr. Hall and I lead the varying groups at different paces and offered varied supports. For example, a quick model was enough to get the eighth grader off working in pairs before they reconnected as a whole group and we discussed their findings, while the sixth grade needed a lot of support from Mr. Hall and I. We spent more time leading them piece by piece before we transitioned into independent time for analysis. Still, they pushed through! Attached above is a video of Mr. Hall engaging in a discussion with some sixth grade scholars. 

 

Parents, please make sure to look at your scholar's assignments notebooks and folders each night. I am noticing that some scholars need extra support in organizing their materials. Sometimes this gets in the way of being prepared for classes. Checking to make sure that ELA materials are in ELA folders...etc. is truly a critical part of their success in school! Thank you for your support in this endeavor. 

 

Blessings, 

Recent Posts

11/13/17 - By Mrs. Ibarra
11/5/17 - By Mrs. Ibarra
10/22/17 - By Mrs. Ibarra
10/8/17 - By Mrs. Ibarra

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