Olympic Middle School

OMS Mission: Ensure academic growth and social responsibility. Serving students in grades 6 and 7 in Shelton School District. Graduation Matters Shelton
Web Plans
January 3-6, 2012
Reading Focus: Using context clues for understanding vocabulary and creating a summary
Writing Focus: .The students will learn what an adjective is and how to use it in a sentence.
 
Writing
This shortened four-day week we are exploring the wily adjective.   We began with a PowerPoint lesson on adjectives and then having each student writes a piece about their vacation.  They then underlined the adjectives they used.  The next day we gave the students a lengthy list of adjectives and asked them to pick five of them.  They added a noun to each of them and used three of them correctly in sentences. With the list in hand we had them go back to the vacation writing and beef up the adjective count.  We found adjectives in a section of our book, Esperanza Rising.   Finally, they were to find the adjectives and adjective phrases in a piece called “Blackberry Motorist” by Richard Brautigan.  After checking their adjective findings, they wrote a second chapter to the story using adjectives and adjective phrases of their own.
All the things we used to teach this unit are available for downloading in the Documents section.
Esperanza Rising
We will read the chapter, “Los Esparragos,” potatoes, pages 199-213.  Using this text we will continue to work on using context clues to determine vocabulary and supporting an opinion about an event in the book with details from the story.
Reading Logs
We passed out reading logs on Tuesday.  They are due Monday, January 9th.  There is one less day than normal for the students to finish, so they will have to keep on top of it.  We will have
SSR and write summaries here in class on Tuesday and Thursday.  Please check to be sure the lexile is right for them.  If your child lost their reading log you can either get one from the document section on this site, or write it on notebook paper.
If the book comes from the OMS library, the lexile is usually on it.  You can check books you get from other sources by going to The Lexile Framework for Reading at http://www.lexile.com/fab/.  Paste this into your favorites for easy access.
If you have a question about lexile or the lexile level of your student, email or call your student’s teacher.
 
 
 
 
 
 
Web Plans
December 12-16, 2011
Reading Focus: Using context clues for understanding vocabulary, supporting answers using details from the book, and creating a summary
Writing Focus: How to write a quality Introduction.
 
Writing
This week the students will be writing their own introductions.  Monday we will write them, using the introduction scoring rubric.  They will choose from the list of introduction writing strategies one or perhaps a combination of strategies to use to write their introductions.  Look in the documents folder to find the PowerPoint we used plus the strategies definitions and the introduction rubric.  Tuesday we will assess a couple of the students’ introductions as a group and re-visit how to use the rubric to assess their own writing as they work.  Then they will take the introduction assessment (also included in the documents section).  These will be returned on Friday.
Esperanza Rising
We will finish reading the chapter, “Las Papas,” potatoes, pages 158-178.  Using this text we will continue to work on using context clues to determine vocabulary and supporting an opinion about an event in the book with details from the story.
Poetry
We will be working on a mini poetry unit between now and Winter Break.  We will be reading some different types of poems and writing some of our own.  Our goal is to have a finished product to bring home by the break. 
Lexile and SRI
We just took the SRI again, so be sure to ask your student how he/she did.  Most of the students’ scores went up which was great to see.  Our goal is to see each student go up 25 points or more each time we take the test.  We take the test at the beginning of each quarter.  We will next take it in late January.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                
The books in the library all have lexile numbers on them.  If the book they find is at their lexile to one hundred points above it, it is a book that will challenge the reader but not frustrate him/her.  They will improve their reading simply by enjoying a good book!
If the book comes from the OMS library, the lexile is usually on it.  You can check books you get from other sources by going to The Lexile Framework for Reading at http://www.lexile.com/fab/.  Paste this into your favorites for easy access.
SSR / Reading Logs
We are doing better at getting our reading logs in on Monday, but there are still a few students that need some help from home getting them in.  Please check with your student to see whether they have theirs completed during the weekends.  It is always due on Monday when they enter class.
SSR is silent sustained reading.  We will have SSR both Tuesday and Thursday this week.  The students will read in their novels for fifteen minutes and then spend five minutes writing a two to three sentence summary in their reading logs.  That will leave the students with three summaries and 70 minutes to read on their own this week.  Reading logs are given out each Monday at the beginning of class, and are due at the beginning of class the following week.  If your child lost theirs you can either get one from the document section on this site, or write it on notebook paper.
 
 
 
 
 
 
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Web Plans
October 31 - November 4, 2011
Reading Focus: Text features, main idea, summary
Writing Focus: Sustained writing, editing, prewriting
 
Writing
We will be doing two ten minute writes this week focusing on proofreading; but before we begin writing, we will do a lesson on what it means to proofread.  We will work on reading critically for purpose.  We will read a paragraph that needs to be reworked and practice by finding what is wrong with it and re-writing that portion of the paragraph.
 Next, we will write our essay, writing continuously for ten minutes.  Then, we will go back and proofread.  The students will need to fix at least one sentence, changing the order or rewording the sentence to improve it.  They will underline this improved sentence before trading papers with another student for proofreading. 
Now, they will proofread another student’s essay offering thoughts about what makes it a strong essay and suggestions on how it could be improved.  They focus their comments on the proofreading changes the writer has made.
On Friday, we will work on pre-writing.  We will be teaching the students the alphabetic taxonomy method of generating and organizing their thoughts.
 
Esperanza Rising
We will be reading two chapters in Esperanza Rising this week.  We will read “Los Melones” pages 81-99, and “Los Cebollas” pages 100 to 120.  The students will be answering a comprehension question as their ticket out the door at the conclusion of each chapter.
 
Lexile
Ask your student what their lexile is.  This is a number they should know.  They need to know it in order to find the right book.  If the book they find is at their lexile to one hundred points above it, it is a book that will challenge the reader but not frustrate him/her.  They will improve their reading simply by enjoying a good book!
If the book comes from the OMS library, the lexile is usually on it.  You can check books you get from other sources by going to The Lexile Framework for Reading at http://www.lexile.com/fab/.  Paste this into your favorites for easy access.
If you have a question about lexile or the lexile level of your student, email or call your student’s teacher.
 
Text Features
The students will be continuing to work on their understanding of text features.  Following are the state mandated goals we are focused on this week:
2.2.2 Apply understanding of printed and electronic text features to locate information and comprehend text. W
·         Locate information using grade-level appropriate text features.
·         Select, from multiple choices, the purpose of a specific text feature and/or information learned from a text feature.
·         Explain how specific text features help you understand a selection (e.g., how a chapter heading helps you think about the chapter, how boldface or italics signals a new term that can be found in the glossary).
The students that earned a 1.5 to 2.0 have one set of tasks, students that earned 2.5 to 3.0 will have another set of tasks, and the students that earned 3.5 to 4.0 will be working on an independent project.
 
SSR / Reading Logs
SSR is silent sustained reading.  We will have SSR both Tuesday and Thursday this week.  The students will read in their novels for fifteen minutes and then spend five minutes writing a two to three sentence summary in their reading logs.  That will leave the students with three summaries and 70 minutes to read on their own this week.
 
Library
Our scheduled library time in class is next week, either November 8th and 9th.  Ms. Shrum’s and Mr. Case’s classes will be going to the library on Tuesday the 8th.  The students in Ms. Jones / Aisenberg’s classes will be going on Wednesday the 9th.  The library is also open before school and at lunch.  The students can drop in on their own to check in/out and renew books at either of these times too.
 
 Students may wish to do a lexile search for books before going to the library.  This is an easy way to find the books they want.  They can do this from home by finding the Olympic Middle School web site, going to the library,  clicking on Destiny and running a lexile search.  They can find out what books are in their lexile range, whether or not they are checked in, and read a summary about them – all from either home or school.
 
 
 
Short Week
This week, with the exception of Monday will be on a half day schedule.  The students will be released at 11:40 Tuesday through Friday.  Tuesday through Thursday will be conferences.  Monday is on a regular schedule.  During the half days, classes will each be about a half hour long.
 
Assessments Returned
We will be giving back and going over the results of the two assessments from last week.  The first was our second text feature assessment; the second was the second comprehension assessment, this one taken from the “Los Higos” (figs) chapter in our Esperanza Rising book.  The students will graph their results in the back of their spirals.
 
Conference Prep
We will spend a bit of time on Monday prepping for conferences.  Each student will have a sheet of paper with all their assessment scores on it (easyCBM, SRI and MSP) ready for their conference.  The in class assessments they have taken will go in the back of their spirals.   Be sure they show these to you during conferences.
 
Reading Logs
The reading logs will be collected from the previous week and passed out for this week on Monday.  There will be no SSR time provided in school this week because of the short schedule.  All reading and summaries will be homework, with the reading log due on Monday, October 31st at the beginning of class.
 
Writing
We will be writing three times this week using the ten minute writing format.  Monday we will write about moving and include one correctly written question.  Wednesday we will be writing about cuts, bruises, or broken bones and our focus will be to include one correctly written exclamatory sentence.
 
Esperanza Rising
We will be continuing to read our book, Esperanza Rising.  We will be reading from the chapter “Las Guayabas” (guavas), pages 58-80.
 
 
October 18-21, 2011
This Week in Sixth Grade Literacy
 
Reading Focus: We will be assessing text features and comprehension.
 
Writing Focus:  This week we will be continuing to work on how to write a summary and how to write continuously for a set period of time.
 
Assessments
 
We will be giving two assessments this week.  On Wednesday will be a text features assessment.  Thursday or Friday will be a comprehension assessment.  These are the second assessments in each of these areas.
Text Features -  If the students scored 3 or under on that assessment, we have continued to work on how to find things in text books using the table of contents and the index.  If they scored a 3.5 or better, they are working on application of their knowledge.  These students are creating a brochure on an historical event from the 1930s, which is when the book Esperanza Rising takes place.  These students will not be taking the assessment; their brochure score will take the place of that assessment score.
Comprehension –This assessment is based on the “Los Higos” chapter in our book, Esperanza Rising.  All questions will be from that chapter.
Lexile and Reading Logs
Summary – Literature book page 230
This is our weekly homework in Literacy.  They will always go out on Monday and be due on the following Monday as the students enter the classroom.  The reading logs require the students to read at least one hundred minutes in a novel that is at their lexile level.  The lexile is determined by the SRI (Scholastic Reading Inventory) we took recently. The books in our library here at OMS have been lexiled.  The newer books have the level written below the call number or author’s name on the spine of the book.  The rest have it in the first couple of pages in the book, written in ink at the top of the page.  You can check books you get from other sources by going to The Lexile Framework for Reading at http://www.lexile.com/fab/.  If you have a question about lexile or the lexile level of your student, email your teacher and we will provide you with the information you seek.
The reading log also requires the students to write a brief (two to three sentence) summary of what they have read.  They must fill in all five summaries, so they cannot simply read for one hundred minutes on Saturday and be done.  If your student loses theirs, or you wish to check out the letter (or print a new reading log to replace a lost one) you can find it in the Literacy documents section here on this site.
Some of the students are having a difficult time getting the reading logs turned on Monday.  If it is not in, we are giving them an opportunity work on it during the first fifteen minutes of each lunch time.  This is the only time we have during the day to help them.  They still get 20 minutes to eat their lunch, but it does make it a bit rushed.  The solution to getting full lunches is having homework done on time.  Any help you could give us will be greatly appreciated.
10 Minute Write
We did our first 10 minute write this week.  Here the students are asked to write on a subject for ten minutes straight.  We start off with pretty easy subjects just to get them writing, but we will go to more difficult subjects as the students become more comfortable with it. Our first subject was figs.  I selected this topic to tie it into our novel, Esperanza Rising. Students were instructed to write what they know or don’t know about figs.  I have found the more I integrate things, the better they recall them.  We will also use this platform to teach some of our grammar.  Once again, we began easy; they started with including an identified complete sentence.  This too, will become more difficult as they get more comfortable with the writing.  We will be doing these on a regular basis from now on. 
 
October 10-13, 2011
This Week in Sixth Grade Literacy
Reading Focus: We will continue learning to find the main Idea in a passage and how to use the text features in a text book.
Writing Focus:  We will spend some time writing quality summaries using the main ideas we get from the passages we read.
Library
Ms. Shrum’ and Mr. Case’s classes will be going to the library on Tuesday this week.  Ms. Aisenberg’s class will be there on Wednesday.  The students will be learning about our new library system, Destiny.  Be sure to ask them about it.  You can access Destiny from home as well as school.  We will be using it to run a Lexile search to find books to read in class.  Perhaps they could show you how it works.
Assessments
We will be giving back the two assessments from last week.  One was about text features, the other a comprehension assessment based on the first two chapters in our book, Esperanza Rising.  We now know overall that they do all right in the area of comprehension, but text features is a class-wide problem.  Ask your child for the assessments to see how they fared.  We asked them to put them in their binders. 
 Reading Logs
 This is our weekly homework in Literacy.  Our response from the students to the due date on the first reading logs was a bit dismal.  We each had an average of six to ten students in each class turn in their completed assignments on time yesterday.  We really need your help on this.  We will do two entries per week here in school on Tuesdays and Thursdays.  The other three are to be done at home.  There is also a spot for parent signature on the form; it is one of our ways of keeping you in the loop about our class.  Please read over the summaries when you sign; it makes a huge difference in the quality of the work when they know adults are reading them.  They should show in two to three sentences the main ideas in the section of the book they read for the entry.  We are continuing to work on main idea and summary writing in class this week.
The reading log requires the students to read their novel and write a brief (two to three sentences) summary of what they have read.  They must fill in all five summaries, so they cannot simply read for one hundred minutes on Saturday and be done.  There is a letter on the back of the log that explains all the requirements.  If your student loses theirs, or you wish to check out the letter (or print a new reading log to replace a lost one) you can find it in the Literacy documents section.
Lexile
Ask your student what their lexile is.  This is a number they should know.  They need to know it in order to find the right book.  If the book they find is at their lexile to one hundred points above it, it is a book that will challenge the reader but not frustrate him/her.  They will improve their reading simply by enjoying a good book!
If the book comes from the OMS library, the lexile is usually on it.  You can check books you get from other sources by going to The Lexile Framework for Reading at http://www.lexile.com/fab/.  If you have a question about lexile or the lexile level of your student, email your teacher and we will provide you with the information you seek.
Text Features
This week we will be focusing our work on text features, specifically on the index and the table of contents using the Social Studies text.  The assessment and our subsequent conversations with the students have shown us that this is a fairly new thing for them.  They are important features to understand if any real research is to be done.  The students will use the skills gained here when they do their Classroom Based Assessment in Social Studies at the conclusion of their Social Studies semester.
Main Idea and Summary
We are working with main idea and summary again this week.  The students will be reading paragraphs, discussing with their groups and then writing what they think the main idea is in a two to three sentence summary.  We will also be writing summaries when we finish a chapter in the Esperanza Rising book we are reading together as a class.  We will continue to work on this skill throughout the month.  This is the same skill they will use to write their summaries in their reading logs.
No School on Friday
Don’t forget!  Friday is a state-wide teacher in-service day. 
 
September 26-30, 2011
Reading focuses of the week: Text features, Author’s Purpose and Vocabulary
 
Esperanza Rising – We are going to begin reading and working with this novel this week.  We will be reading and using it as the core for our activities until around Thanksgiving break.  Below are the activities Esperanza has inspired for us.
 
Text Features - This week we will be beginning with a map of the state of Washington.  We will be discussing the features in the key; city and highway sizes, symbols for fishing, state parks, etc., how to use the index and grid system to find places on the map as well as how to find driving distances from one city to another on the Minimum Driving Distances chart.
 
We will also get a black line map of Western North America that we can use to plot the places in the books we are reading.  We will set the map, creating a couple of text features, a spot for a key and a compass rose.  The first places we will put on the map are Aguascalientes, Mexico (where the book Esperanza Rising begins) and Shelton, where, of course, we are located. 
 
Vocabulary – there is some great vocabulary from the book we will be starting out with.  You will find it listed at the end of this section.  We will be finding antonyms and synonyms for each of the words if they are available.
 
crochet   inspiration   grandeur   recollections   prominent   circumstances   immigrated  
We will talk about communal and jamaicas
 
Author’s Purpose – The author’s purpose is the answer to the question, “Why did the author write this book, story, or include this section in the book?” Sometimes a bit of history about the author is necessary to do this.  Therefore,  we will start the book not on Chapter One, but on the Author’s Note in the back of the book.  Here, Pam Munoz Ryan, the book’s author, writes about her grandmother, Esperanza Ortega, who the novel is loosely based on.  When we finish reading this note, we will ask the students why they thing she wrote this book.  It will be a bit of a prediction, as well as an inference about the author’s motives.  It will give us something to come back to as we read.
 
 
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