Mr. Mullen's Language Arts 8th Grade

Welcome to the 2018-19 school year! I've met this year's 8th graders and I'm looking forward to getting to know each of them. After procedures and rules etc. which will take a few days, we start out with a poster of who you are! What do you like to do? How many members in your family, and what do they look like? My World Poster Activity. Parents: please allow your son or daughter to use photos for this activity (they will return with them in the spring!) as it makes for a better look at who they are! We will work on this on Friday only, and it will be our second graded assignment! The syllabus signed and returned was the first. The grade will be kind as long as students make a good faith effort, as art is a subjective thing. :) Parents, if you need to contact me, the best way to do so is via e-mail: I check my mail regularly, and will get back to you! 

Week of 9-10: We are working on some tech glitches as we begin startup for the new Amplify online curriculum. Monday we took a look at a classic short story this morning, "The Landlady," by Roald Dahl. The students enjoy discovering the truth as to what happens to the young protagonist. Hint: the landlady is a taxidermist.Tues: we hope to begin our Amplify program, but our backup will be the Newsela site for non-fiction reading. Weds. we finished the assessment activity on NEWSELA to establish a baseline for lexile (difficulty of text) for each of the students. Thurs. we did a practice SBAC thing from the OSPI with the goal of understanding the question, and looking for evidence from the text. These are key elements for students to get as we prepare for the future. Fri. was a big day. We attempted the log on for the new digital ELA system. Almost all were able to log on. We're getting closer to working out bugs with the help of our new tech addition Joel. 
Week of 17: Mon. and Tue. We will continue getting familiar with the new digital Amplify ELA program. Weds. We will continue on Amplify with some reading and writing stuff. The students will add details to an excerpt and share those that they come up with. We are getting better with negotiating the digital format. The problems we had logging on, and the glitches we had with e-mail addresses (it was discovered they had to be entered in the system) and passwords seem to have been solved (thanks Joel and Mrs. Golden) and we are getting better at this every day. Thurs. We revise the writing that was included in Wednesday's work, as well as critique and add suggestions. Fri. We return to the NEWSELA reading and work at bumping up our lexile. 

Week of 9-24: Mon. We continue with Sub Unit 2 lesson 3. The students are revising their writing from last week. Tues. and Weds. the students will study emotions and how to communicate them in literature. Students will write and perform a skit based on emotion. Looking forward to this! :) Thurs. We will begin lesson 4 activities on Amplify. We are becoming more comfortable with the digital platform. Fri. We return to the NEWSELA program for non-fiction reading. 

Week of Oct. 1: We are learning that reading the whole story helps with reading comprehension. We looked for evidence after discussing what the question is really asking. Mon. we will perform skits the students wrote in groups based upon one of the members' narrative writing earlier on Amplify. Tues. we focus on a moment and write using details. Weds. we write from a prompt based upon an awful or great moment in school. Thurs. we revise our earlier writing. Fri. we will return to NEWSELA to work on comprehension of non-fiction and bumping up lexiles. 

Week of Oct. 8: Mon. : Aims Web testing. We have an assembly on bullying today as well. Tues. we will finish the Ames Web assessment, as well as take a look at the short story "Bargain." We will begin the novel that goes with the first qtr. Weds. and Thurs. we continue getting to know Amplify and the curriculum. One note: the students are more prolific writers when using the keyboard and computer! All of the ELA teachers agree that using paper and pencil was way less productive. Stay tuned. Fri. we will try our hand at one of the interim SBAC tests to establish a baseline for later testing. 

Week of Oct. 15: Mon. We continue with the Interim baseline test for non-fiction reading on the OSPI site. Most did not finish Fri. As students finish up, they will log into NEWSELA. Tues. through Thurs. we return to Amplify. We are getting better at negotiating the website. The students love the vocabulary stuff. It's full of kid friendly stuff. I've played with it myself more than once. :) Fri. We'll take a look at the online novel. 

Week of Oct. 22: Mon. through Weds. we will continue with Amplify, the new Language Arts digital format. The teacher has been getting better at negotiating the technology. :) I've been practicing with the grading and comments sections. The students get plenty of writing and reading practice with the new system. Thurs. we will use a think aloud strategy to break down one of the interim SBAC practice tests for breaking down what the question asks, and returning to the technique for comprehension of looking back in the text for evidence.