Ms. Biller's Classroom News

February 15, 2019   02/12/2019
Our Freak the Mighty unit is drawing to a quick close!  Students are finishing up their final quiz of the unit this week (block 5 will finish on Wednesday next week), and then launch into the unit's final project: Character in a Bag.  Details about this project were shared in classes this week, and students will get two class periods next week devoted entirely to working on it.  Specific dates for everything (and all relevant documents and info) are posted in Schoology, and students have been strongly encouraged to access those dates in order to stay aware of expectations.  I'm so appreciative of the support students have had from their families through this unit as it is different from "business as usual" - especially as we use precious class time to watch the movie version of the book. We will analyze the similarities and differences between the two versions, and explore the choices the filmmakers made in changing parts of the book to make their movie.

As always, stay safe and warm as we enjoy the winter season, and please reach out to me with any questions or concerns you may have!
February 1, 2019   02/01/2019

Hi, Journey Families!  Hopefully, everyone stayed warm & cozy over the three recent days off!

We are nearing the end of Freak the Mighty and are working on honing our skills with writing summaries and making inferences.  We'll be working on finishing the book and its related activities and quizzes in the next two weeks, and then we can dive into our final project!  I have also scheduled us to watch the movie version, called The Mighty, and compare/contrast the book with the movie.  We'll talk about why filmmakers would have made the changes they made as part of plot development for the screen.  Please encourage your student(s) to check Schoology for updates about assignments and quizzes as we move forward, so that they stay informed as I make updates to our unit due to the recent days off.

Enjoy they winter weather, everyone!

January 18, 2019   01/16/2019
Hi, Journey families!  Students have been doing a fantastic job with our shared novel, Freak the Mighty.  We're almost halfway through the book, and have focused a lot of attention on characterization, summarizing, and inferencing.  An area we will be focusing on next is attention to detail, and using detailed text evidence to support our claims, predictions and inferences.  There have been many memorable scenes in the book so far as the two main characters develop their friendship - ask your child to share their favorite moments with you!  Moving forward, students are working on a new set of vocabulary words (feel free to help quiz your child!), and expectations for reading at home are gradually increasing as we move through the book.  We hope to finish in early February, ending the unit with an engaging project (and if possible, taking time to watch the movie, too - more info on that will be forthcoming!).  Have a great weekend, everyone!
December 21, 2018   12/19/2018
Happy Holidays, Journey!  As we wind down for the upcoming winter break, students are getting situated into our shared novel, Freak the Mighty.  So far, everyone has mastered the vocabulary for our first 5 chapters (hooray!!), and everyone is really enjoying the book!  Students work in teams every day to practice effective discussion skills while they work on summarizing and characterization activities.  Students have become stronger analytical thinkers, and have great insights into the story's characters already!  Many have also become stronger leaders in their teams, and more self-directed as individuals.  We hope to finish the book in the middle of February with an exciting project!

I wish you all a safe and fun winter break, and a joyful new year!

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