Positive Happenings

October 2016
Positive Happening
October was a very busy month in Language Arts! This month Ms. Carrillo’s classes focused on a plethora of activities. We started off the month by delving deeper into the novel Heat, by Mike Lupica. We worked on characterization by creating “character cut-outs” that are life size creations of the most significant characters from the novel. Students gave each character traits that describe the character’s personality, and they had to find evidence from the text to support these traits and their findings of these characters. Toward the end of the month we switched gears to writing Narrative essays. Students were given the freedom to continue a fairytale after the already given “happy ending,” and were able to go on a journey with the main character as he or she overcame the obstacle the students wrote. It was a treat for the students to be given creativity in their writing!  We will soon begin more discussions based on predictions in short stories as well as summarization and poetic elements.



September 2016
Positive Happenings

        September was an exciting month in Language Arts!  This month in Ms. Carrillo’s and Ms. Kane’s classes we focused on a variety of reading and writing skills.  We started the year off by reading the short story, “Seventh Grade” by Gary Soto.  Students identified the characters, setting, and plot when reading.  Additionally, students were able to analyze a story by using the R.A.C.E.R. method to answer an open-ended response.  The students are now engaged in pre-reading activities for the first novel they will read, Heat by Mike Lupica.  We are all very excited to becoming more acquainted to the text and the theme of “personal struggles” by working as a team to complete pre-reading activities and “throwing some heat”.  



May
Positive Happenings

May has come and gone so quickly in Ms. Carrillo’s class.  Now that PARCC has finally ended we have had an opportunity to start a brand new book. To introduce the book “Heat” the students were able to join in a friendly game of a baseball style bucket toss.  With this new novel the students have been learning more and more about characterization as well as learning about baseball.  The students have been working hard on their end-of-the year activities and requirements such as their last i-ready diagnostic assessment and their DRA assessments.  All of Ms. Carrillo’s students are looking forward to all the interactive lessons that are yet to come for the end of the year.  We are all looking forward to finalizing this year and refreshing for the next new year!


April
Positive Happenings

Ms. Carrillo’s classes have been busy bees in the month of April!  We got back to work as soon as our restful Spring Break had ended!  The students worked together to read and grade argument writing pieces using a student-friendly PARCC rubric.  They learned many lessons through this activity while getting ready for their PARCC assessment!  They also practiced responding to PARCC aligned questions each day as they walked into the room.  Not only did they practice responding to questions, but they also completed a PARCC scavenger hunt to remind them of the tools and functions that are available to them during their PARCC test!  The students also worked on learning more and more Tier 2 vocabulary words. They seem very prepared and ready to tackle this assessment!  They are becoming more aware of how to be successful using 21st century skills both now and in the future!

 

March
Positive Happenings

In Ms. Carrillo’s class March has come in like a lion and is going out like a lamb as the students focused a lot of attention to the final chapters of “I am Malala”.  The class has enjoyed their reading of this amazing work of nonfiction and will also be enjoying the film adaptation to compare and contrast the different views of Malala’s amazing story. The students got a “shout out” in the morning announcements for their amazing work on spreading awareness about women’s inequalities by creating posters or brochures that have been hung all around the building.  Many students really went above and beyond the requirements and have shown such strong passion for this topic.  They have also been working with Tier 2 vocabulary and have been incorporating these new terms into their everyday conversations.  In the remaining days before Spring Recess begins the students will complete a writing benchmark and will be given an opportunity to reflect upon their writing to add more published pieces to their portfolios. 



February
 
Positive Happenings
February has been a very quick month in Ms. Carrillo's Language Arts classes.  The students have been working diligently on benchmark assessments.  The students have been progressing with their i-Ready diagnostic assessments and have been able to see their levels evolve.  The students have been able to see their data and have discussed the changes they still need to make.  They are really producing great outcomes using the new i-Ready program.. The students have also been able to show off their writing skills by completing and RST expository writing benchmark that was completely PARCC- aligned.  The students are also working with the remaining chapters of "I am Malala" by reading independently, creating their own notes, and sharing with the rest of their classes in order to really take ownership of their work.  The students have really been enjoying the work they have been given and are excited to finish this amazing text.

 



January
Positive Happenings
The New Year has brought on many new projects and ideas.  The students in Ms. Carrillo's class have been working hard on an Expository writing piece, focusing on women's rights and fighting the injustice of discrimination toward women around the world.  They have done close readings of a few different articles that they are using for the basis of their writing and they are preparing for the PARCC by following the model of a Research Simulated Task.  The students have also created a New Year's resolution and have been working hard to take necessary steps in succeeding with their end goal.  They are working collaboratively to create a project of their choosing to present to the class that covers the topic of "renewal and starting over".  The students have also been reading Part 2 and will be moving into part 3 of the book I am Malala.  The students have been enjoying the story of this inspirational role model and look forward to completing new activities.



December
Positive Happenings
Surprisingly enough December has flown by so quickly!  The students in Ms. Carrillo’s class have been working extra hard on pre-reading activities in class.  They have viewed a gallery walk full of different pictures about the Muslim culture and different communities.  They have also had many in-depth discussions about the different cultures we will view in our upcoming text I am Malala.   More recently the class has been working diligently on a web quest focusing attention to who Malala is and why she is so important in her community and around the world.  This will make reading the new text a much easier transition.  We look forward to our Winter break and we cannot wait to continue on to reading this brand new book in class!


November
Positive Happenings

November may have been a short month but it has also been a very busy month in Ms. Carrillo's Language Arts classes.  Towards the end of the first marking period we were able to let our talents shine through our narrative writing and then with our creative writing!  All of the students did an amazing job with their writing pieces and the bulletin boards thank them for that!  We also finished off the month by exploring new vocabulary words using context clues, while reading the memoir They Call Me a Hero.  We are excited to get some well needed rest and relaxation with family and friends for Thanksgiving.  When we get back to school, we will get back to work!  We will move on to our next novel, and we are really looking forward to reading up on such current topics. 



October 
Positive Happenings

        Ms. Carrillo's class has been very busy this month.  The class completed all of their DRA work and then continued to work on the new I-Ready diagnostic assessment.  We are very optimistic that this differentiated program will be extremely useful all year long!  The students have also been working diligently on their creative pieces that focused on the theme of traditions and beliefs in American history.  The students are also in the beginning stages of a new narrative that is PARCC aligned and focuses on a fairy tale of their choosing.  This task looks like it will open many creative paths, with many different stories! 

September 
Positive Happenings
September was an exciting month in Language Arts!  This month in Mr. William’s and Ms. Carrillo’s class we focused on a variety of reading and writing skills.  We started the year off by reading the short story, “Seventh Grade” by Gary Soto.  Students identified the characters, setting, and plot when reading.  In groups, students are completing various centers that focus on the narrative elements and short story elements.  Additionally, students were able to analyze a story by using the R.A.C.E.R. method to answer an open-ended response.  The students have also been constructing their own creative piece.  As a class we read through various poems and watched short clips to get acquainted with events that took America by “storm” and discussed perseverance and overcoming adversity as a community and as a country.