Classroom News

Classroom Updates

Ms. Chow - Language Arts, Gifted Enrichment - 6th Grade
6th Grade GE LA   (03/21/2019)
Hello!  As you may already know, I returned from maternity leave last Wednesday, March 6th, and had the opportunity for a "transition day" with Mr. Buzard, who caught me up on the units and projects your children have worked on in my absence.  Moving forward, we have started a nonfiction unit: so far, students have learned how to identify different nonfiction text structures.  They have also become more aware of different text features and how those features help organize, emphasize, and enhance information.  This week in writing, students presented "book talks" to the class, teaching their peers about a novel of their choice by providing a brief summary of the book and analyzing characters, conflicts, quotes, and themes.  As always, if you have any questions, please let me know.  Thank you for your kindness, patience, and ongoing support of student learning! 
P.S.  Baby Desmond turned four months old last Friday! 
6th Grade GE LA   (11/09/2018)

We have continued to work on identifying theme across different genres, including stories, novels, poems, and movies.  As a wrap up of our novel unit with The Giver, we watched the 2014 film adaptation, after which students compared and contrasted the elements of plot, themes conveyed, and overall effect on the audience.  Students also practiced annotating and analyzing poetry to identify figurative language, symbolism, and theme.  

In writing, we continue to work on vocabulary, grammar, and punctuation, as well as different strategies for elaborating on ideas in order to express ourselves through writing in a thorough and concise manner.

Students were very excited to meet Mr. Buzard yesterday, who will be guest teaching with his wife while I am on maternity leave.  Eight days until the expected due date … the countdown begins!

6th Grade GE LA   (10/25/2018)

This week, we have the honor of welcoming author, editor, and publisher Laura Geringer Bass to our classroom!  Ms. Bass will speak to students about the writing process and conduct a writing workshop with students on Friday, October 26th.  We are looking forward to this exciting opportunity!  Feel free to visit http://www.laurageringerbass.com/about/ to learn more about Ms. Bass’ publications!

Last week, students presented commercials and brochures they created, advertising different aspects of the community in which The Giver takes place.  To create their commercials, students studied the novel's setting and learned about persuasive writing techniques along with different types of propaganda.  They also analyzed text evidence from the novel to explain how specific details about setting were conveyed and inferred.  We have also been examining theme and learning how to write a clear and concise theme statement.  In writing, we have been working on narrative writing, including different techniques for composing narrative leads that will hook a reader’s attention from the start!  

6th Grade GE LA   (10/04/2018)

We have started reading Lois Lowry’s classic, award-winning novel, The Giver.  While reading, students have been examining the elements of plot with a current focus on exposition and setting, analyzing how setting can influence characters, conflict, and plot.  We will also be working on making predictions, inferences, and understanding the concept of willing suspension of disbelief.  Meanwhile in writing, students are brushing up on grammar skills and comma usage, as well as learning more vocabulary roots and affixes.

6th Grade GE LA   (09/21/2018)

Students began the year reviewing reading genres and presenting book talks about works from different subgenres of fiction and nonfiction, including adventure/survival, realistic fiction, mystery, biography, autobiography, poetry, etc.  Now we are about to dive into a fiction unit in which we will be examining elements of plot, symbolism, and more!

Meanwhile, students are learning Greek and Latin roots and affixes to help them figure out the meanings of difficult words they may come across while reading.  They also collaborated successfully in a peer editing workshop, learning how to provide constructive feedback to classmates, as well as how to use feedback to strengthen their own writing.

Ms. Davitz - Instructional Technology Facilitator
-   (02/23/2017)
After extensive studies on the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, Mrs. Berlin's eighth grade gifted enrichment students each selected a topic on which they felt passionate and created Public Service Announcements to raise awareness of these important issues.

The lesson didn't stop with the PSA's. Students felt strongly that they wanted to make a difference and proposed volunteering at Feed My Starving Children, an organization that ships food to over 70 countries.

Click here to access the student-created website that includes the PSAs and fact sheets created by Mrs. Berlin's classes. The last page of the website contains photos from the inspirational trip to Feed My Starving Children.
Mr. Dzianott - Language Arts Teacher
LA Update   (10/13/2015)
Students are currently involved in two units.  Our writing unit is an Independent Writing Workshop in which students are selecting their own genres and topics.  In conjunction with this unit, students are learning about “Sentence Tightening” which is the art of analyzing a sentence and recognizing what needs to be revised to create the most effective, clear, and graceful communication.  Our second large unit is the continuing Indie Project in which students are selecting an area of interest to study, research, and learn about.  During this unit they will report weekly on their progress, complete research related to their topic, and give a presentation at the end of the trimester.  In addition to these two units, students are encouraged to read every day as part of the Independent Reading segment of our class.  Every couple of weeks students write responses to their IR books on KidBlog.  These responses offer the opportunity for critical thinking and analysis of literature.  On a final note, please be aware that Parent Teacher conferences are on Friday, October 16, 2015.  Please contact me if you have any questions.
8th Grade LA Update   (10/10/2015)
Students are currently involved in two units.  Our writing unit is an Independent Writing Workshop in which students are selecting their own genres and topics.  In conjunction with this unit, students are learning about “Sentence Tightening” which is the art of analyzing a sentence and recognizing what needs to be revised to create the most effective, clear, and graceful communication.  Our second large unit is the continuing Indie Project in which students are selecting an area of interest to study, research, and learn about.  During this unit they will report weekly on their progress, complete research related to their topic, and give a presentation at the end of the trimester.  In addition to these two units, students are encouraged to read every day as part of the Independent Reading segment of our class.  Every couple of weeks students write responses to their IR books on KidBlog.  These responses offer the opportunity for critical thinking and analysis of literature.  On a final note, please be aware that Parent Teacher conferences are on Friday, October 16, 2015.  Please contact me if you have any questions.