Welcome to Ms. Samuels's 8th grade Language Arts class. Here you will find information for students and parents. Please continue to revisit this site for updates on various things occuring in class.

Friday, August 31, 2012

Three day weekend!

Great day today as some of us finished reading Maya Angelou's excerpt in our textbooks. Many of the classes today read about Horribly Hard Middle School and began generating the essential message. On Tuesday we will begin correcting sentences for Bellwork using Jane Kiester's Giggles in the Middle. Have a great weekend everyone!

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Today we read an excerpt from Maya Angelou's I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings and identified meanings of words in context. Who would have known that "staples" had such meaning? :)

The winners for the BAV (Building Academic Vocabulary) Challenge are listed below with the top fastest times and class period.

Period 6, Group 5- 00:59 seconds!!!!!
Period 4, Group 2- 01:13
Period 6, Group 1- 01:13
Period 6, Group 3- 01:13
Period 7, Group 4- 01:14

AWESOME WORK everyone! See you at the next challenge.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Mini Bio on Maya Angelou

Today we watched this YouTube video Maya Angelou Mini Bio that talks about our author for I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings and identified some multiple meaning words.

Advanced does not have homework tonight, HOWEVER, some students in both classes still have their literary vocabulary words to finish. This information in on the posting dated for Aug. 27.

Great work everyone.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Discovery Education

Today we met in the computer lab to complete our first District Reading Assessment and things went smoothly. As we roll into the school year this will be a great indicator for our baseline and what needs fine tuning.

Homework is due tomorrow (please see yesterday's post for that information).

The last day to turn in Memoirs for a grade is tomorrow as well.

Monday, August 27, 2012

A Rainy yet Busy day.

Although we were bombarded this morning with rain from Tropical Storm Isaac, we persevered and everything went smoothly. Today we began working on academic and literary vocabulary for our next story, "I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings," by Maya Angelou.

Homework is due on Wednesday as we will be in Computer Lab 3 tomorrow completing our first District Assessment for Reading on Discovery Education.

Homework is: To use the Frayer diagram below on the following literary words. These words can be found in your Literature textbook at the bottom of the corresponding pages. Remember pictures must be in color.

Pg. 31-

  • Fiscal
  • Taut
  • Infuse
  • Intolerant
  • Couched
Pg. 34-

  • Aristocrat
Pg. 37-

  • Aura

Friday, August 24, 2012

Today we write!

What a wonderful way to end the week with us creating our draft memoir's of a time when we were young.

Homework for this weekend is to re-write out draft into a final copy. This can be typed or hand written. Below I have included the student checklist to help you stay on track as well as the grading rubric that I will use to score your memoir.

Remember, extra credit will be awarded if you attach you draft. If you would  like me to proof read your memoir before class just email it to me. Have a great weekend and awesome work this week!


_______ Have I planned my writing using a brainstorming technique (list, web, outline, chart, etc.) before I began to write?
 _______ Have I incorporated any writer’s techniques into my piece (alliteration, rule of 3, repetition, etc.)?
_______ Have I used authentic, accurate details that are beyond the obvious to show I know my topic? 
_______ Have I read my piece to three people to find my mistakes, see if it sounds like me, and to hear how the words I chose sound aloud? 
_______ Have I used sensory details to allow the reader to see, hear, feel, smell and taste my experiences with me? 
_______Have I paid attention to details such as spelling and grammar so the reader can read my piece without any problems?

When I Was Young... Rubric 

Scored for IDEAS (see rubric/scale) (5) ____
Meets Requirements
(1) ____ Uses at least one rule of 3
(1) ____ Includes at least 1 alliterative phrase 
(1) ____ Uses at least 3 sensory details
(1) ____ Uses repetition
(1) ____ Ending contains essential message 
(5) ____ SUBTOTAL
TOTAL GRADE ________

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Ideas all around

Today we started with a test on Author's Perspective to show our knowledge. Then we switched gears from reading to writing by brainstorming ideas for our very own memoirs!

Homework for tonight is to complete Activity #4. This was our brainstorming page used after we selected a place of when we were young. Each box should be filled in with at lease 2-3 sensory details.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Schoolhouse Rocks!

Today we identified the eight parts of speech in When I was Young in the Mountains. We also watched a few Schoolhouse Rock videos on the eight parts of speech, to give us a better idea of how to identify them in the passage.

Our homework for tonight is in our grammar textbooks. You are to read page 493 and complete exercise 12 on page 494. Advanced classes will also complete exercise 13, just the odd numbers.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Today we identified the authors purpose and perspective that Cynthia Rylant's When I was Young in the Mountains. We did a phenomenal job of identifying authors purpose and perspective, and we demonstrated that by using an exit ticket today.

Monday, August 20, 2012

When I Was Young in the Mountains

Today we read Cynthia Rylant's memoir "When I Was Young in the Mountains" and identified sensory details and figurative language by highlighting them in the passage.

Friday, August 17, 2012

First week down, many more to go :)

Today we continued to prepare for our short story, "When I was Young in the Mountains" by focusing on words we will encounter while reading on Monday. We used a modified FRAYER Model for the words: Johnny House, Bobwhite, and Congregation.
I even shared my experience with Johnny Houses while I spent time with my family in Jamaica as a little girl.

A heavy load of TWO textbooks were distributed in class, one for literature and another for grammar. We know to keep our books home until the end of the school year and they will come in handy when practicing for an exam or completing makeup work.

Homework for this weekend is to complete any sentences and pictures associated with any of the vocabulary words completed. Many of us completed this in class. Be sure that your pictures are in color.

Below you will find the modified FRAYER Model used in class today.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Vocabulary Time!

Today we defined academic vocabulary words for our first story "When I was Young in the Mountains"

Advanced completed all of their vocabulary words and standard completed their goal of five out of five words today!

Homework for tonight is to draw a picture to help us remember each of our vocabulary words. Our pictures must be colored in to receive full credit.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Pretest day!!!!

We tested our knowledge on previous Language Arts material. It went very well! Class results will be posted tomorrow.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Today we made awesome foldables to keep our rules and procedures organized. We also signed our student-teacher agreements and organized our dividers. Below are the follow tabs we will use this year:

Lit Activities
FCAT Focus

Monday, August 13, 2012

Great first day!!!!

What a great first day today and an opportunity to meet all my new students for the year. We reviewed the classroom rules and procedures using Prezi and are a bit more familiar with each other. Below you will find the supply list for class this year, try to have all your major supplies in by Thursday as we are going to hit the ground running.  Stay tuned for daily postings!

8th Grade Language Arts Supplies

·       Three- ring binder- 1inch
·       Dividers (pack of 8)
·       Notebook paper (wide rule)
·       Pencils
·       Black/Blue pens
·       Crayons/Color pencils
·       Markers
·       Highlighters
·       Scissors
·       Glue sticks
·       Post-it notes
Index cards