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Saturday, February 12, 2011

Monday, October 25, 2010

Advanced / DECAL Project #1 Essay Topic & Rubric

You have just finished reading the most amazing novel ever. Think about why your friends should read this novel.

Now, write to convince your friend to read the novel you just finished reading.


Project #1 Rubric

Is the essay typed, double-spaced, and in 12 point font?

YES (10) NO (0)

Does the essay attempt to persuade the reader to read the writer’s selected novel?

YES (20) SOMEWHAT (10) NO (0)

Does the introduction attempt to grab the reader’s attention with either a creative hook, personal anecdote, or quote from the story?

YES (20) SOMEWHAT (10) NO (0)

Does the introduction contain a clear thesis statement that indicates three reasons why someone should read the book? YES (10) NO (0)

What level of support does body paragraph one offer?

LOW (10) MED (20) HIGH (30)


What level of support does body paragraph two offer?

LOW (10) MED (20) HIGH (30)

What level of support does body paragraph three offer?

LOW (10) MED (20) HIGH (30)

Does the conclusion tie back to the introduction and give a sense of completion to the essay?

YES (20) SOMEWHAT (10) NO (0)

Is the essay relatively free of grammatical and spelling mistakes?

YES (10) SOMEWHAT (5) NO (0)

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Homework Journal Topics

Just a reminder, it is the student's responsibility to copy down any and all journal topics during the "do-now" or "warm-up" time in class. Furthermore, you should utilize the green composition book labeled "LA Homework" if you are absent to locate your make up journal topics. However, I am reposting topics #2 - #14 below as I am such an nice and wonderful human being. :)

#2 - 8/25 & 8/26
Tell me about the writing prompt. Did it interest or bore you? Why? If you could change anything you wrote, what would it be?

#3 - 8/27 & 8/30
(A) Have you ever had the opportunity to mentor someone? If so, tell me about your experience. If not, would you like to? Why or why not?

(B) Think of all the people who have given you great advice in your life. What one person sticks out in your mind? Why? Would you consider them a mentor?

#4 - 8/31 & 9/1
After reading "Raymond's Run", how have your feelings on mentors or mentoring changed? Do you believe Squeaky will be an effective mentor for Raymond? Why or why not?

#5 - 9/2 & 9/3
In literature and life our brilliant plans often turn out different than we had expected. Although Squeaky's new found role as Raymond's running coach may appear to be successful at first, conflict and complications could ultimately occur.

What conflicts might Squeaky encounter while coaching Raymond? How would these conflicts impact her relationship with him?

#6 - 9/7 & 9/8
Write a diary entry from Gretchen's point of view about the May Day race. Make sure you include her feelings about Raymond & Squeaky.

#7 - 9/10 - 9/15
Yay BAT testing! Please write, "Mr. AlFord says we have no homework." How does this make you feel? :)

#8 - 9/20 - 9/21
"The Great Rat Hunt's" conflict develops as the author attempts to overcome his guild for feelings as if he cannot live up to his father's expectations. Tell me about a time you failed to live up to someone's expectations/ How are your feelings different or similar from the author's?

#9 - 9/22 & 9/23
Have your parents or another family member expected too much from you in a particular situation? Tell me about the situation and how you reacted.

#10 - 9/24 & 9/27
How did rewriting "The Great Rat Hunt" from the father's point of view help you understand the story better? How can you apply this towards your own life?

#11 - 9/28 & 9/29
Read "Mi Madre" on pg 139 and respond to the following questions.

1. Who or what is the speaker's mother?
2. What imagery stands out in your mind?
3. Write a 3-4 sentence reaction to the poem.

#12 - 10/4 & 10/5
Read "Fear" on page 368 and answer the questions at the bottom of the page. Additionally, answer this question and label it #4

4. How is the speaker in "Fear" different from the speaker in "Mi Madre"?

#13 - 10/6 & 10/7
Complete "Writing" from pg 632. Your response must be at least 100 words.

#14 - 10/8 & 10/9
Revision Time! You are now going to re-write "Writing" page 632 (Journal #13). This time you are going to add one of the following elements into your scene.
1. An angry grandmother with a gold club and pink hair.
2. A Talking carnivorous mouse
3. A loud TV stuck on an infomercial.

You're welcome! :)

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Welcome Back!!!


Welcome back Panthers to another exciting year here at Seminole Middle School. I'm looking forward to working with you this school year. For a quick and easy reference, I've listed all the essential supplies for all of my 8th grade language arts classes below.


Supply List

- Duo - Tang pocket folder

- pens, blue or black (no pencils!)

- highlighters

- loose-leaf notebook paper

- composition notebook


Look to this page for information about essays, projects, and other great things going on in Mr. AlFord's language arts class.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

The First Quarter is a Wrap!

25 % of the year is already over - can you believe it! We've studied a bunch of great literature such as "Raymond's Run" , "The Great Rat Hunt", Poe's "Tell Tale Heart" and "The Black Cat". We've started developing our writing skills by sharpening up our organization and idea generation by learning strategies for prewriting and developing powerful thesis statements.

As we set sail into the 2nd quarter, we will be working on engaging introductions, focused conclusions, and well developed body paragraphs. On the literature front we will be looking at some poetry by Nikki Giovanni and starting Nothing But the Truth - a novel by Avi.

But before we move on, I'd like to share with everyone our classes combined effort of showcasing how the mood and tone of a text impacts a reader's visualization of the world that an author is trying to paint. Great job to all!!!

You may need to watch this on YouTube directly as the wide format may not appear properly on all browsers. Just right click on the video and select "Watch on YouTube".

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Open House, September 3 ~ Welcome Parents!


Tommorow night is open house and I hope to see many of you!

Open house begins at 6 PM and will last until about 8 PM. Parents, please come out and meet all of your child's teachers and learn about all the great things that are going on here at Seminole Middle School.

If you can't attend, I will be updating this post with links to handouts that I will be presenting.

Thanks so much for supporting your child's education. Remember, as a TEAM, Together Everyone Achieves More.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Welcome 2009 - 2010 Students!

Welcome!

I'm glad to meet you all and look forward to having a great 2009 - 2010 school year here at Seminole Middle School.

This website will be your home for all the latest classroom agendas, projects, and information regarding everything going on in our Language Arts classroom. Agendas will be posted weekly and will contain a link to our classroom forums where you can leave comments and ask questions about a particular assignment. For now, new registration is blocked but feel free to follow the link to the forums located on the right side of the page or the link below the current week's agenda.

If you ever have any questions please feel free to email me at the address given on your First Day Handout.

Thanks and here is to a great and sucessful school year!