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     Welcome to Miss Melanie's website.

    You are expected to bring your agenda to class every day.

    Block grading policy: The expectation is that you will turn your work in on time.  Assignments which are late will be marked off 10% up to five days. Work turned in after one week will receive feedback, but will be marked with a zero. Students know well in advance when assignments are due. Students are expected to come to class prepared to turn their work in.  Class time will not be given for printing. 

    Students are expected to check the website and StudentVUE when they have been absent, check with a friend first for help and then come to me with the list of work they need and ask me when we can meet to discuss what was missed. 




    Miss Melanie's Musings on YA Novels:

    My reflections will post just like my homework posts - they will build on top of each other.  So make sure you are scrolling down to see previous posts.

    The Lincoln librarian, Lori, who used to be our librarian created this wakelet.  It has resources for audio books etc.  Give it a try - if this link does not work, let me know and I can see how to fix it.






    Novel seventeen:

    How to Ditch Your Fairy by Justine Larbalestier (She's married to Scott Westerfield if you know his YA novels.)

    I liked this novel.  It was sweet.  It takes place in the future - but not too far in the future and the setting seems to be a mix of America and Australia.  There is a glossery at the back of the novel to help with slang the kids use. Anyway, everyone in this town has a fairy that has magical powers that help you in your every day life.  But not everyone has a fairy with a power they want to have. Charlie, the main character, hates her fairy's power.  So she and a classmate decide to switch fairies only to learn the grass is not always greener.  I liked this book because it made me think about what kind of fairy I would want if I could have one.  (Charlie's best friend has a shoppig fairy!! It's amazing.)  I felt like there were elements of the novel that never really came together at the end and things sort of got out of hand with Charlie's fairy power and people trying to use her for it - but then things never got resolved.  However, what got me thinking was what would happen if we really had a magical fairy - what would happen when people find out your fairy's power - would you be safe? Would you get used?  Could someone hurt you over the power?  Are some powers more unfair and make life easier for people? Or harder? These are some of the questions that get asked in the story. This is an easy read - perfect for summer break while lounging outside enjoying the sun. 

    Novel sixteen:

    The Music of What Happens by Bill Konigsberg

    This novel is definitely for a more mature audience.  It is a beautiful novel, and I could not put it down.  Two boys who go to high school together but do not know each other end up working together for the summer - what they end up doing for the summer is the majority of the book and it's wonderful. Both boys are gay, but do not realize the other is. Over the course of their summer together they find that they like each other but each boy is struggling with his own personal issues outside of their friendship and blossoming like for each other.  The novel does an excellent job of touching on rape and what consent means as well as how gay young men (or all young men for that matter) have to  navigate toxic masculinity in society.  I felt like the ending was a little bit too neat and tidy, otherwise I found the novel compelling and touching and powerful. 

    Novel fifteen:

    Lalani of the Distant Sea by Erin Entrada Kelly

    I'm not sure why I picked up this book in the school library.  I think it was because it was about an ordinary girl who goes on an adventure to save her mother and ultimately her village. I liked the premise.  This book will not be for everyone, it took about 60 pages to get going, but I am glad I finished it.  As I was reading I kept thinking it felt like it was a story based on Polynnesian folklore.  After finishing the book, I discovered the story is based on Filipino folklore!  I was close!  Lalani lives on an island that is struggling mightily with a drought.  There is an island far from her home that is supposed to be a place that is green and where everything grows - a place that might have the things her village needs to survive and thrive, but none of her island's sailors have ever made it there or....come home alive.  Lalani makes a bad choice and decides that in order to fix the mistake she made she will need to get to the far away island to save her sick mother and her village.  The story is about courage and bravery, and if you are someone who likes folklore and myths, this is a good story for you.


    http://www.erinentradakelly.com    This is the author's site - you can learn more about the novel here. 

    https://www.aswangproject.com      This site will tell you more about Filipino folklore. 


    Novel fourteen:


    Bruiser by Neal Shusterman

    Oh my goodness - another novel I stayed up way too late to finish!  If you have not read Unwind by Neal Shusterman - it's a must read.  I hoped this one would be as compelling and it was.  I don't want to give too much away in my comments, but this book was intense.  Brewster is a 16 year old boy who has a "superpower."  I put it in quotes because this 'power' does exist in some humans, but the author has taken liberties with the "power" in the novel.  What was really interesting is that this "power" gets named briefly and in passing late in the novel, so you might almost miss what it is.  In any event, this book is an emotional roller coaster.  It is funny and warm and scary and chilling - I loved the characters and I loved what they learned about friendship and love at the end of the novel.  There is great use of vocabulary in the novel, so I recommend keeping a dictionary close by.  I also loved the author's sentence fluency.  He just knows how to put words together to make sentences flow. This is also one of those novels that is told in multiple perspectives.  I like novels like this.  A must read!

    Novel thirteen:

    The Universal Laws of Marco by Carmne Rodrigues

    I'm not even sure where to begin with this novel!  Suffice it to say, I stayed up far too late last night so I could finish it. I loved this story!  I loved all of the characters and how they were so interconnected.  Basically, it's a story about life and all its glory and happiness and complications and heartache.  Marco is a senior in high school. He has a girlfriend but isn't quite sure how he feels about her.  His family struggles financially so he works full time at a local grocery store to help out with bills at home. He has an amazing group of friends and adults in his life whom he can truly count on. The author does a really interesting job of weaving physics and wormholes into the story - sounds, weird, I know, but it works. The other thing I liked was how the story unfolds.  Every other chapter is told in the past (when Marco was in middle school) and current time in high school.  It worked  really well as a way to help tell the story.  There are lots of conflicts in the story, but the main conflict has to do with a girl named Sally.  Sally was Marco's girlfriend in 8th grade.  He loved her, but she moved away and he never saw her again, but his feelings for her never went away (hence why he isn't sure how he feels about his current girlfriend).  But then Sally returns home for the last part of senior year......what does Marco do now?  

    I highly recommend this story! 

    Novel twelve:

    Refugee by Alan Gratz

    Oh my goodness!  This novel! I could not put it down!  What a remarkable story and how the author wove it all together in the end?!?  Excellent!  This is a must read for everyone. 

    The novel is about three different children living in three different times in history, but all three are refugees fleeing their homeland for different reasons.  Josef is a Jewish boy living in Nazi Germany.  Isabel lives in Cuba in 1994. Mahmoud lives in Syria in 2016.  It's easy to follow their stories because the chapters go in order:  Josef, Isabel, Mahmoud, Josef, Isabel, Mahmoud, Josef, Isabel, Mahmoud.  Their stories of desperation to seek safety, freedom and peace, pierced my heart. I bawled my eyes out at the end of this novel, too!   The author's notes at the end of the novel explaining the historical context and the true bits of information he used in the story were as fascinating as the novel itself.  There is no way you can read this novel and not feel extreme gratefulness for the life you live.  

    Novel eleven:

    Sorta Like A Rock Star by Mattew Quick

    This novel.  I have no words.  I read it in one sitting.  I have not been moved like this by a YA novel in a long time.  I laughed. And I cried.  A lot.  I was actually sitting on the deck bawling my eyes out and hoping my parents would not come out and see me crying!

    Amber Appleton and her mom are homeless, but Amber is filled with such light and love and hope depsite her awful situation. She has good friends at school and in her community who love her and support her.  But then tragedy strikes and Amber loses all hope in what the world means.  But the people who love her the most continue to love her and come through for her in a way she could have never imagined. 

    This is a must read.  It is a beautiful story of love and hope and community and what it means to be a friend.  You won't go wrong reading this novel!


    Novel ten:

    Still A Work in Progress by Jo Knowles

    Noah, Sam and Ryan are in seventh grade and best friends.  They are desperately trying to find girlfriends and just trying to make it through middle school.  Noah is struggling, though.  His sister is sick and he doesn't understand her disease and why it takes up so much of the family's energy and time.  She lands in the hospital and things become even more difficult for Noah at home and at school.  


    I really liked this novel because it was told not from the point of view of the person who is sick, which happens a lot in YA novels, but from the point of view of someone who is affected by the illness.  I would definitely recommend this novel.  It was funny and sweet and poignant.  It doesn't have a happily ever after ending, but it does leave you with hope for Noah and his family.

    Novel nine:

    The Goldfish Boy by Lisa Thompson

    I really like this story!  Definitely recommend.  Matthew is a 12-year-old boy with a severe case of OCD. It's so bad he no longer goes to school and rarely leaves the house.  He just sits in his room and watches everyone in the nieghborhood and keeps track of what they do all day. One day a toddler goes missing....did Matthew see something that might help the police find the little boy?  This was a good mystery because there were several people who could be suspects, but I like how the author did a good job describing the difficulty Matthew had of living with OCD and how it affected those who love him.  

    Novel eight:

    Gracefully Grayson by Ami Polonsky

    I have read several young adult novels that touch on this subject:  boys who know they should be girls and girls who believe they should be boys.  Some of these novels were good, and others not so good.  I enjoyed this one.  Grayson is in sixth grade and knows in his heart he was born into the wrong body and should be a girl.  The story is filled with the kids who are mean to him and those who are not- pretty obvious.  I think this story did a good job showing the fear and the struggle young people have when dealing with their identity.  The story made me cry in places which is something I actually like - reading a novel which makes me FEEL something, so I recommend reading this story.  

    Novel Seven

    A Dance of Sisters by Tracey Porter

    If you are a ballet dancer then you might like this.  The book was ok, not great. Far too much description and not enough dialogue, in my opinion.  The story is about two sisters, Delia and Pearl.  The story is told from Delia's perspective.  She is the younger sister. Their mother died when Delia was very little - the girls are now in middle and high school. Pearl is clearly dealing with anger issues and is rebelling against her father - although you don't find out why until near the end of the story, but it's preatty obvious why she is angry.  Delia is just trying to be the good daughter, but she is a ballerina who begins taking lessons from a notoriously mean teacher, so Delia struggles with the pressures of being a ballerina who wants to do well and please her instructor.  The story is really just about the struggles both girls are having as they navigate being young women.  Your life won't be changed if you read this novel.....and your life won't be empty if you choose not to read it.....how's that for a rip roaring testament to the book. Ha!

    Novel Six:

    Dorothy Must Die by Danielle Paige

    UGH!! I want the several hours back that it took to read this book!  UGH UGH UGH!  I had no idea it was a trilogy and I don't want to read the other two books!  Someone else read them for me and tell me what happens!  I loved the premise of the story: a girl named Amy, who lives in Kansas, gets transported back to Oz when a tornado hits her town. She is sent back to save the people of Oz from Dorothy who returned to Oz and became a tyrant. You don't find out who sends Amy back to Oz....nor....spoiler alert....does Dorothy die in this novel. I do like the character of Amy - she had a tough life in Kansas, and she finds a strength and confidence in herself while in Oz.  Although I like the idea for the story - the big idea is what is good and what is wicked and how do you know? - is an intriguing concept - I just can't envision reading two more novels that are 400+ pages in order to find out what happens.  But that's just me.....someone else might enjoy the trilogy! 

    Novel Five:

    The Way to Bea by Kat Yeh

    This was a sweet story about a girl named Bea whose best friend group splintered apart right before 7th grade started.  She used to have friends and fit in, but she doesn't seem to fit in anymore.  I loved Bea's character. I thought she was funny and sweet and I loved that she marched to her own drummer.  Bea makes a friend with a boy at school who has Asperger's.  I appreciated Will's character and how the author included a character with Asperger's.  I would recommend this book - I really enjoyed the premise of the story. 

    Novel Four:

    Leah on the Off Beat by Becky Albertalli

    This is the sequel to Simon vs. The Homo Sapian Agenda (which I loved.)

    So, I am not so sure about this novel. To be honest, I did not finish it - I got half way through.

    My first thought is the book is for someone more mature - there is quite a bit of swearing, and certainly thoughts about sex since the characters are in high school, but since I did not finish the novel, I can't tell you what else could be in the book. 

    Leah is the best of friend of Simon and this story is told through her eyes.  I really like Leah as a character. She is funny, honest, sarcastic (a trait I like in characters :) ).  She is bisexual but has not come out to her group of friends, so she struggles with this side of her life.  Leah also does not fit the mold of what girls "should" look like in our society so she struggles with body image issues and self-esteem.  She is also less privileged than her group of friends, so at the end of the day she doesn't feel like she quite fits in.  Yet there is so much about herself she should like, she just can't see it yet. 

    So why did I not finish it? I am not completely sure, but I think it had to do with the fact that first, there were so many characters and for some reason it took me forever to get them all straight! I thought about making a flow chart!  Second, by the time I was half way in I could not find a real plot or a deeper meaning in the story - unlike Internment!  Maybe I was spoiled by the three novels I had just finished, but this story was just the regular teenage angst high school kids feel. And since I have been through high school, I wasn't sure I needed to keep reading! Ha! Yet, I get that all of that teen angst is a plot for young people. 

    I did love the voice of Leah, though. I really like her as a character, and I like her voice as an LGBQT character - she has a lot to say and it is important. 

    If you want to read it, go for it!  It is a good story in that it touches on the daily issues young people struggle with: friend groups splintering, self-acceptance, feeling left out, standing up for yourself and what you believe - all of this and more are important issues kids need to deal with, so reading about it can be cathartic and helpful.  

    I found this site with some good discussion topics - pages 2 and 3 are worth a look. I don't think you need to read the first novel, to read this one.



    Here is an interview with the author:



    Novel Three

    Breakout by Kate Messner  

    I really liked this novel.  It was a challenging way to tell the story because the author used text messages, poems, rap lyrics, letters, news articles and cartoons all woven together, but I think she did a great job.  The story is about a sleepy town with a prison nearby.  Many of the residents in the town work in the prison.  Two inmates escape and the town goes on lockdown while the police look for the escapees. The story was based on the author's experience living in her small New York town when inmates escaped from a correctional facility in 2015. 

    The story is not just about the escapees, the story goes much deeper and asks important questions such as:

    What does it mean to be a leader?
    How do we stand up for others? 
    What does racism look like?
    What does systemic oppression look like?
    How is our prison system racist? Is it racist?
    What does white privilege look like?
    What is racial profiling and how does it show up in this story?
    Where do you see prejudice in the story versus racism?
    What connections can you make to the novel we read in September: Piecing Me Together

    I would suggest you think about these questions as you read and try to answer them. 


    Other questions to ponder: 

    What role does Sean play in this story? Is it an important role? 
    What does Nora learn about herself?
    How does Nora show leadership? 
    The poems on pages 135-136 are powerful. Do you think everyone puts on a mask? Why or why not?
    How did the author tackle the issue of racism from multiple points of view?
    What does Elidee learn about herself in the time she lives in Wolf Creek?
    What role does ignorance play in the story?
    If someone is ignorant does that make them racist? 
    At the end of the story, why do you think Nora's father is unwiling to reflect on his possible racial bias?


    Potential research ideas because you are curious kids who want to learn more!: 

    Is there systemic racism in the prison system? Why? (If this is a topic you are interested in, I highly recommend reading The New Jim Crow.   I think some of you can handle the book.)


    Do some reading on the poets Elidee reads and tries to emulate in her own writing.



    Research what it might be like to live in a community and be the only person of your race in that town.



    What does white privilege look like?



    Interview with the author:



    Novel Two:

    The Love Letters of Abelard and Lily by Laura Creedle

    I loved this story! My parents got up to make dinner and I did not join them because I had to finish the novel - by then they were done with their dinner!  Oops!  (Oh well, we are socially distancing together, so we have lots of time to eat dinner together!)

    Lily is a teenager with ADD and dyslexia.  Abelard is a classmate. He has Asperger's. Lily has a crush on Abelard and through a variety of events, they begin dating.  What I loved about this story is that it is rare to see a female character with ADD as well as a character on the spectrum, like Abelard.  I loved seeing the world of ADD through Lily's eyes.  She is a charming, compassionate, likable character and whip smart, but she doesn't see herself that way.  

    The author has ADHD, so I felt there was some real honesty in this story. She wrote about that which she knows. The story felt believable.

    Some questions to ponder:

    This story helps you see the world through the eyes of someone with ADD. Why is it important that we understand/learn what it is like to walk in someone else's shoes?

    Where do you see moments of compassion in the novel? What do you think about these moments of compassion? Who is showing compassion? Why? 

    How does Lily try to understand Abelard and "walk in his shoes?"

    What did you like about Lily and why?

    How and why is this book poignant? (Look up the word!)

    How and why is this book heartbreaking? 

    I cheered for Lily while I was reading this novel.  Did you? Why or why not?

    There are some reviewers who feel the need for Lily to get brain surgery to "fix" her is irresponsible.  What do you think about this idea?

    There were a lot of references to obscure classic literature and movies. Why did this work so well to help you understand the novel? How did the author connect these obscure/old stories and movies to the present day? 

    Why do you think Lily and Abelard used the words from a 12th century true story when they were first starting their relationship via text?

    Is letter writing before phones and email different than texting? Why? How? 

    How different would the story have been had you had the point of view of Abelard as well? Would you have liked to have his POV? Why or why not?

    In your own words, why do you think Lily connects so well with Dr. Brainguy?

    What do you think about the conclusion? Satisfying or not? Why?


    Research topics- what more do you want to learn?

    Info on ADD:


    Info on Asperger's:



    Neurodivergance comes up in the novel frequently - I liked this blog post on the subject. 



    The surgery Lily is going to have: DBS






    Novel One:

    Internment by Samira Ahmed

    This is definitely a novel you might want to think about reading with an older sibling or parent.  It is filled with powerful topics to discuss: hatred, fear, stereotyping, fascism and nationalism, courage, current events at our own borders, hope, what does it mean to be an American?

    Run to the bookstore for this book. I could not put it  down.  It takes place in the very-near future in America when Muslim Americans are placed in internment camps because they are considered enemies of the state, a threat to America.


    Things to think about/discuss (although there is plenty more beyond what I have posted here):

     What does it mean to be complicit when you know something that is wrong is happening? Why are people complicit? (Look up the word complicit if you don't know what it means.)

    Put yourself in Layla's shoes (the main character).  What do you think of her bravery? Would you like to believe you could do what she did?  Did she do the right thing in the camp? Why or why not?  Her bravery could have gotten people in the camp killed. Should she have done what she did?

    What role does Layla's father's poetry play in helping to tell this story?

    What role does empathy and compassion play in this novel? Why are these important character traits to have?

    Why do you think the adults in the camp are afraid to stand up and make noise and fight back yet many of  the young people are not? Do you think there is some truth in this - Adults are afraid and young people are not? (Maybe research this topic with current events:  the Arab Spring, riots in Hong Kong last fall, 1989 Tiananmen Square)

    The Director (of the camp) tells Layla that "People want to be happy in their ignorance...Give them an Other to hate, and they will do what they are told." (263) How does this belief manifest in the Exclusion Laws in the novel? How does it relate to the way the internees treat one another? Why does the Director believe people will do what they are told? Do you agree with this statement? Why or why not?

    Why do YOU think there is so much hate and fear of "others" in this country? How do we change this attitude? Should we change this attitude? Why?

    What would motivate the minders in the camp to choose the side they did? 




    Additional ideas:  Research Japanese internment in America during WWII.  How does the actual internment of Japanese Americans compare to what happens in the novel? What are the similarities and differences?

    Research fascism after reading the Author's Note at the end of the novel.  Why does she believe fascism could/does exist in America today?  What current events does she use to support the plot in her story in regard to the idea that fascism could/does exist here?

    We talk about the idea that history repeats itself.  How do we see that playing out in this article?


    This is a good article on the novel which will create more discussion and research topics. 



    Not sure if this link will work, but it might be worth checking out if you need something to do once your room is completely cleaned and you have helped with all of the chores around the house!  And you have finished your Vietnam project!



    MARCH 13

    Elective classes: No work at this time to worry about. 

    7th grade block:

    HAHAS due when we return April 1 (or whenever that date might be.) We went to the library today and checked out lots of books!  Library shelves look like the toilet paper shelves at Fred Meyer!  Ha!

    HAHAS sheet passed out today in class but also posted on Google classroom.

    Vietnam research project due April 1.  We have been working two periods a day for almost two weeks on this. Remember to check online for the info Ms. McInnis shared with you.  Rubrics handed out today and posted on Google classroom. 

    You should have brought your history book home or have access to a PDF online.  Check back here for more information in case we are out of school beyond April 1.  If that is the case, I will probably post history assignments here. 


    MARCH 12

    7h grade block:  More time to work on your research in class today. Be working more tonight -30-60 minutes.  If school were to be canceled next week, the project is due when we return from spring break.  If we have school next week, the project will be due Wednesday or Thursday.  

    MARCH 11

    7th grade block:  Continue to research tonight - 30-60 minutes.  

    Bring in your field trip permission slip!

    MARCH 10

    7th grade block:  Turn your research question into a thesis statement - we went over this in class today.

    Continue to research your Vietnam project - spend 30-40 minutes taking notes. 



    MARCH 9

    7th grade block:  Be spending at least 30 minute on your Vietnam project research. 

    MARCH 6

    8th grade ethics:  Read the article I gave you today for Monday. Make notes, jot down thoughts, create questions and come prepared for a Socratic Circle on Monday. 

    7th grade block:  You will need to have your Vietnam era research question ready for Monday. 

    Work on whatever you need to for your Islam presentation. Every group will be different in regard to what you might need to work on this weekend. Presentations on Monday of next week. Two periods given to work - do what you need to do this weekend. 


    MARCH 2

    8th grade ethics: Read pages 130 to the top of 136 for tomorrow.

    7th grade block: Vietnam lit circle booklet due tomorrow. Twenty minutes given today to do the final reflections. 


    8th grade ethics:  Read pages 125 to the bottom of 130.  Highlight/take notes

    7th grade block:  Read for last lit circle on Monday.

    Give me your list of top three topics you want to research for Islam on Monday. 


    8th grade ethics:  read pages 121 to the top of 125 for tomorrow

    7th grade block:  Vietnam letter due tomorrow.  Read for last lit circle on Monday. 


    8th grade ethics: Entrance card due tomorrow

    6th grade Intro to Speech:  Begin presenting skits tomorrow. Script needs to be printed before you enter class.  

    7th grade block:  Next lit circle on Thursday.  Vietnam letter due Friday.  Cover of lit circle booklet finished for March 2. Bring history book tomorrow. 


    7th grade speech/debate:  Debates on Monday

    7th grade block:  Be ready for your next lit circle on Monday.  History test on Monday. Make sure you understand the five pillars and jihad as well as how these mean that Islam is a way of life. 



    8th grade ethics:  Finish reading the chapter. 

    7th grade ethics: Be reading pages 97-150 for your lit circle tomorrow. Bring your questions, thoughts etc. 



    8th grade ethics:  Read from the bottom of page 109 to 1/3 of the way down page 113 for tomorrow.

    7th grade block:  Be reading for your next lit circle meeting on Thursday and working on your thoughts/questions/wonderings.  

    Islamic pillar presentations will start tomorrow.  Chpater 9 questions due tomorrow.  Notes you took for your group's rap, need to be turned in tomorrow.  



    8th grade ethics:  Read from 101 to half way down 104 for tomorrow.


    7th grade block:  Chapter 9 history questions are due next Tuesday.  About 15 minutes given in class to work on section 9.10 today.  

    Guest teacher tomorrow- I expect you on your best behavior. You MUST bring your history book and Fallen Angels and lit circle booklet so you can have some silent reading time tomorrow.  



    8th grade ethics:  Be reading pages 95-the top half of 101 for tomorrow.  Entrance card due.

    7th grade block: Be reading for you next lit circle on the 18th/doing the work in your booklet. Finish questions to sections 9.8 and 9.9 in history. Almost 25 minutes given in class to work today.



    7th grade block:  Be prepared for tomorrow's lit circle.  You need to have your reading done and your lit circle booklet filled in with questions/thoughts/wonderings/vocab.   

    Make sure to finish questions for history sections 9.6 and 9.7.  Twenty minutes given in class today to work.




    8th grade ethics:  Finish reading chapter 2 - emotivism. Entrance card due tomorrow. 

    7th grade block: Continue reading for Fallen Angels lit circle on Wednesday.  Come prepared with thoughts, questions, wonderings etc. for the discussion.

    Finish your answers for history sections 9.4-9.5 for tomorrow. Time given in class today to work. 




    8th grade ethics: Read to page 30 in chapter 2.  Be thinking about how cultural relativism works in a place with lots of cultural diversity.

    7th grade speech/debate:  Speeches on Monday

    6th grade speech:  We will finish poems on Monday

    7th grade block:  HAHAS due Monday. You may begin reading Fallen Angels for your first lit circle on Wednesday.  Whatever history you did not finish in class today needs to be done for Monday.



    8th grade ethics:  Read pages 19 to half way down page 23 for tomorrow.  Think about this:  one of the questions you came up with was whether ethics was based on opinion or fact.

    6th grade speech: We will begin presenting the poems tomorrow.

    7th grade speech/debate: One more day of writing/practice -speeches will be Monday.

    7th grade block: Essays due tomorrow- typed and double spaced.  Bring history book as well. Read for your HAHAS due Monday.  You will be getting your lit circle book tomorrow - so you want to get close to finishing your HAHAS book. 



    7th grade block:  Essay due Friday, typed and double spaced. Spend some time tonight continuing to edit.  No time in class to work tomorrow. Must be ready to turn in when you enter class on Friday.

    HAHAS due Monday.


    8th grade ethics:  Finish reading chapter 1. Entrance card due tomorrow. 

    7th grade block:  Continue to work on punctuating your dialogue based on what we did today.  Go through and check spelling, and check how you started your sentences - make sure you are not repeating words.

    Continue to read for your HAHAS due 2/10.

    Chapter 8 history test tomorrow.  More than 30 minutes given in class today to study.  Make sure you understand how these words relate to Muhammed's life. 

    Angel Gabriel
    Meccan leaders
    Muhammed's army




    8th grade ethics:  Entrance card due tomorrow. Finish reading pages 13 to the bottom of 15. Take notes/highlight and come prepared to discuss. 

    7th grade block: Tonight you need to highlight your narrative essay like we did with the short story last week.  Be looing for narrative elements that are missing.  How will you add them in tonight?

    Be reading for your HAHAS.

    Give your parents the paperwork I passed out today.

    I still need parent volunteers for lit circles. 


    JANUARY 31

    8th grade ethics:  Read pages 8 to the top half of 13 for Monday.  Make sure to highlight/create margin notes/ write down questions.  Entrance card due as well.

    7th grade speech/debate:  Presentations Monday.

    7th grade block:  Homonym quiz Monday.  Homonym questions due Monday.

    Finish chapter 8 history questions and timeline.  Due Monday.  Twenty-five minutes to work in class today.

    Continue to work on narrative essay and what we did today:  add at least two similes, add at least one example of personification, add at least two examples of internal monologue.  Double space essay. Continue to work on dialogue and including setting and character description through blocking.


    Essay will be due Friday. Typed. 

    HAHAS due February 10.

    Check with mom and dad about volunteering for lit circles.  Email to parents went out a couple of days ago with all of the information. 


    JANUARY 30

    7th grade speech/debate:  One more day to work since you lost today because of the assembly.  We present Monday.

    6th grade speech:  Everyone needs to be prepared to present tomorrow. You must come with your speech already printed. 

    7th grade block:  Continue to work on your essay based on what we did in class today - continuing to make sure you are showing rather than telling. Use your narrative elements to tell your story. Also, work on dialogue - how do you type dialogue in a story?  We went over this (we will work on punctuation later.)

    Homonyms - finish the last section.  Quiz on Monday.  Sentences due on Monday. 

    Section 8.7 in history needs to be done:  Madinah and caliph vocabulary and question 6. Make sure to answer: Was one caliph better than any other? Explain your thinking.  Half hour to work in class. 

    JANUARY 29

    7th grade speech/debate: Work on your speech as necessary.  We will present starting on Friday.

    6th grade speech:  Work on your presentation as necessary. We will present starting on Friday.

    7th grade block:  Thirty-five minutes given today to work on the narrative essay - we foucsed on our opening.  Most students were able to continue writing and get quite a bit written.  Spend another 10-15 minutes tonight continuing to write. 

    HAHAS due February 10.  

    Twenty minutes given to work on history section 8.6 - question 5 and the third element of the timeline needs to be done for tomorrow. 


    JANUARY 28

    7th grade block:  New HAHAS assigned today. We went to the library today to check out books - due February 10.

    Type the rough rough rough rough draft of your narrative essay you wrote in class today (almost 25 minutes of quiet writing today) in to a Google doc.  No need to worry about spelling, grammar, etc.  Just type what you wrote today! 

    JANUARY 24

    7th grade block:  Write your homonym sentences to the next five lines for Tuesday.  

    Outsiders questions for chapters 10-12 due Tuesday. 

    Be brainstorming a topic for your narrative. This is a moment in your life and MUST be a moment YOU remember. We will being a rough rough rough draft on Tuesday. 

    If you were absent today, you need to read section 8.5 in history, answer the question and add this moment to your timeline.  This does not need to be completed for Tuesday, but the class got almost 25 minutes to work on it today.  So you need to spend 25 minutes working on it this weekend. 


    JANUARY 23

    7th grade block:  Outsiders chapters 10-12 questions due on Tuesday.  Twenty-five minutes given to work today.  No time will be given to work on these questions tomorrow. You will want to work on them tonight, though.  Your answers may not end with the quote. 

    Write the sentences for the next five lines of the homonyms we went over today.  

    Bring your history book to class tomorrow.  

    JANUARY 22

    7th grade block:  Finish questions 2.5 and 3 to section 8.4 in history.  30 minutes given in class to work.  Questions need to be done for tomorrow.  Begin working on the first part of the project I assigned today if you want.  Just know, you will get another part of the project tomorrow and both parts will need to be done for Friday.  

    Write your sentences to the next five homonym lines for tomorrow. 

    JANUARY 21

    8th grade ethics:  Read the three pages on euthenasia in chapter 12 for discussion tomorrow.

    6th grade speech:  We will begin presenting tomorrow.  Eveyone needs to be ready to go.

    7th grade speech/debate:  One more day to work on presentations.  We present on Thursday.

    7th grade block:  Chapter 9 Outsiders questions are due tomorrow. You can use them during the Socratic circle tomorrow then you will turn them in.

    Write your sentences for the first secttion of homonyms we went over today.  You want to do these today because you will get more tomorrow. Stay on top of this!

    More than an hour given to work on Outsiders/homonyms today.

    History:  Finish question 2 - remember, we took out the question "How did he become a prophet?" and made that question number 2.5.   Fifteen minutes given to work on question 2. Needs to be done for tomorrow.  How are you organizing this question?  We went over this in class!




    JANUARY 17

    8th grade ethics: Read pages 239-243 in chapter 12 - ethics and genetics. Be prepared to discuss on Tuesday.

    7th grade speech/debate:  Work on your final presentation as needed - we will begin presenting on Wednesday.

    6th grade speech:  Work on your final speech as needed- we will be presenting starting on Wednesday.

    7th grade block: HAHAS due Tuesday. You will get another period on Tuesday to work on your Outsiders questions chapter 9.  Almost an hour was given to work on it today. You won't have that much time on Tuesday to work, so plan accordingly - will you need to work on some of the questions this weekend? Socractic circle on Wednesday around these questions.  The more thought and care you put into your answers, the more interesting the Socratic circle becomes.  

    Based on our conversation today, and looking at an example, you can re-write your answer to question one, chapter 8 history from yesterday.  Be thinking about how we looked at the use of quotes today. 



    JANUARY 16

    8th grade Ethics:  Entrance card due tomorrow. 

    6th grade speech:  Have your topic chosen by tomorrow.

    7th grade block:  Outsiders chapters 7 and 8 due tomorrow. Plenty of time given in class to work. 

    Read for your HAHAS due January 21.

    Answer question one for chapter 8 in history and define: Islam, Muslim and polytheist as they relate to Islam.  We went over this in class several times.  Needs to be done for tomorrow.  Time to start in class. Question one:  how are you going to organize this answer?  Go paragraph by paragraph looking for the info that will help support your answer. 

    JANUARY 15

    7th grade block:  You need to have chapter 7 Outsiders questions done for tomorrow.  25 minutes given to work in class today. 

    JANUARY 13

    7th grade block:  Be reading for your HAHAS - due next Tuesday the 21st.  Chapter 7 history questions due tomorrow. Plenty of time given in class today to answer your two questions - almost 45 minutes.


    JANUARY 10

    7th grade speech/debate:  Monday is the last day to finish up your podcasts.  We will present on Tuesday.

    6th grade speech:  Speeches will start on Monday.  Everyone needs to be ready to go.

    7th grade block:  Be reading for your HAHAS - due January 21.

    If your debate team needs to work on your Outsiders debate this weekend, then make sure it happens.  Monday you can finish preparing, debates are Tuesday.

    Finish history questions this weekend if you did not use classtime wisely.  15 minutes given to work on section 7.3. 

    Section 7.4 - you need to add the following question:  "Why do you think the date palm called "the mother and aunt of the Arabs"?

    Section 7.3-7.4 need to be done for Monday. 



    7th grade block:  45 minutes given today to work on Outsiders chapter 6 questions - due tomorrow. 


    7th grade block:  Chapter 5 Outsiders questions due tomorrow.  Forty minutes given in class to work on them today.  

    Twenty-five minutes to finish working on geography from yesterday.  Due tomorrow. Complete sentences.


    6th grade speech:  Continue to work on writing your speech if you wish.

    7th grade block:  Quite a bit of homework tonight.  Plan accordingly.  Chapter 4 Outsiders questions due tomorrow.   

    Twenty minutes given to work on geogrpahy assignment. 

    New HAHAS assigned today - due January 21. 


    6th grade speech: Come with your quote for your next speech.

    7th grade block:  HAHAS due tomorrow.  Chapter 3 The Outsiders questions due tomorrow - be prepared to discuss them tomorrow. A full class period to work on them today. 



    7th grade block:  HAHAS due January 7.  You may not answer the question: What did you notice? 

    Answer the questions to The Outsiders chapter 2 - due January 6. 


    7th grade block: 

    Finish the questions for chapter one The Outsiders - have ready to share tomorrow. Plenty of class time given today to get through question 4. Class discussion around questions 1-3 already. 


    Essay due tomorrow.  Typed and double spaced. 


    Continue to work on the comma editing we did today. 

    We looked at commas when using "and".  

    Jimmy Valentine was clever, cunning, and selfish.


    We looked at the use of "and" when connecting two complete sentences or one complete sentence and one incomplete sentence.

    Jimmy loves Annabelle and an honest life.

    Jimmy loves Annabelle, and he loves an honest life.


    We looked at the use a comma with indepednent and dependent clauses.

    Moments after stepping off the carriage in Elmore, Jimmy catches sight of a charming woman.

    Jimmy catches sight of a charming woman the moment he steps off the carriage in Elmore. 





    7th grade block:  Continue editing essay based on what we did today - we worked on complete sentences, eliminate runons, how to edit a quotation, spelling, capitalization, reviewed the content for each paragraph.  Essay due Friday.  More editing to be done tomorrow. 


    7th grade block: Tonight you are checking all spelling in your essay and all capitalization.  There can not be any errors in these areas. Make sure you read your work backwards to check spelling. 


    7th grade block:  Continue working on paragraph 4 of the essay.  All information that needed to be included in this paragraph was given to students in the order it was to be written as well as the best quotes to use.   There has been PLENTY of class time to work on this since assigned last Thursday.  Wise use of class time is enough time to write the whole essay in class.  Essay will be due Thursday. 


    7th grade block:  Continue working on paragraphs 1,2 and 3 of the Jimmy Valentine essay.  Come in on Monday with a draft of these three paragraphs. 

    This weekend I want you to think about good and bad traits in people. Think about the good qualities Jimmy had: smart, clever, cunning and think about how he used these traits.  Did he use them for good or bad? Why are traits used for different purposes?  How can a trait like smart be used for something bad? What does Jimmy's character teach us about human nature? What lesson can be learned by the change in the character of Jimmy? How does the change in the character reflect real life? 


    7th grade speech/debate: Be brainstorming the idea for your podcast.

    7th grade block:  We started working on the first three paragraphs of our essay in class today.  If you did not use class time wisely, I suggest you work on these paragraphs tonight.  We wrote each paragraph line by line in class today.  Students given the information they needed to include in each paragraph, in the order it needed to be written, and what quotes needed to be used. Examples were shown. 

    Final essay will be due next Wednesday or Thursday.


    7th grade block:  Final Piecing Me Together reflection questions due tomorrow.

    Chapter 15 Lesson 4 due tomorrow - all questions.  Forty-five minutes of class time given today to work.

    If you gave your presentation today, you need to give me your reflection tomorrow. 


    7th grade block:  Same homework as below. 


    7th grade block:  Chapter 15 lesson 4 questions are due on Friday.  You will be given time in class to work on this, but it will not be enough time to finish in class.  This will need to be homework. 

    Piecing Me Together research reflection questions due Friday.  

    If you gave your presentation today, you need to reflect on that and give me your reflection tomorrow. 


    7th grade speech/debate:  Everyone is going tomorrow - be prepared to present your debate.

    6th grade speech:  Three wishes speeches begin tomorrow.  Everyone must be prepared to go.

    7th grade block:  Every group needs to be ready to present tomorrow, although all groups will not present tomorrow. 

    You need to come in tomorrow with at least all of question one completed for chapter 15, lesson 4 - this was started on Friday and you had almost a full period to work on it on Friday.  If you would like to complete question 2 as well tonight, you may.  

    Reflection on Piecing Me Together research project handed out today - due on Friday.  You will need to work on this on your own time.  You need to answer all of the questions and type up the answers in a google doc which you will print and turn in to me. 



    6th grade speech:  Speeches will be presented starting Tuesday.  Practice this weekend. 

    7th grade block:  Work on your presentations as necessary.  Time given Monday to work.  Presentations begin Tuesday.  


    7th grade speech and debate:  Spend some time tonight researching yourdebate arguments on sites the district might have blocked. 

    6th grade speech:  New speech assigned - we will begin presenting next week. Work on it tonight as necessary. 

    7th grade block:  HAHAS due tomorrow.  Tonight you are working on your research project based on what your group decided needed to be done. 



    7th grade speech/debate:  Spend 20-30 minutes tonight doing research for your deabte on sites the school district blocked.

    7th grade block:  HAHAS due Thursday - be thinking about the kind of effort you are putting into these reflections. Most of you can do better. 

    I would suggest taking 15-20 minute this week and make changes to the HAHAS I handed back today while the book is still fresh in your mind. 

    What work are you doing on your research project with your group? Work on that tonight. Presentations begin next week. 


    7th grade speech/debate:  Come in on Tuesday with 2 or 3 serious debate topics so we can vote

    7th grade block:  HAHAS due next Thursday.  

    What will you do over the long weekend on your presentation?  Research should be close to complete.

    You need to make sure that notes you took are IN YOUR OWN WORDS!  Can someone begin an introduction? 

    What will the final product be?  


    8th grade ethics:  Entranc card due tomorrow. Read to the top of page 200 tonight for tomorrow's class discussion.

    7th grade block:  HAHAS due November 14.  Spend 20-25 minutes tonight working on your research project.  You should have discussed as a team what you would be doing tonight. 


    8th grade ethics:  Exit card due tomorrow.  Read to page 195 half way down for tomorrow.

    7th grade block:  Spend about 20 minutes working on your research project. Your team decided what everyone would do tonight.

    Read for you HAHAS - due November 14.

    OCTOBER 29

    6th grade speech:  We will continue presenting tomorrow.

    7th grade block:  HAHAS due Thursday. 



    OCTOBER 28

    6th grade speech:  Candy speeches begin tomorrow.

    7th grade block:  HAHAS due Thursday.  History test tomorrow - if you know your review notes from Friday, you should be fine. 

    Chapter 15 lesson 2 questions due tomorrow. 


    OCTOBER 25

    6th grade speech:  Work on your speech this weekend and necessary.  We will present Tuesday - Thursday.

    7th grade block:  HAHAS due October 31.  


    Rome test on Tuesday.  Review sheet given out today with time to begin reviewing.



    OCTOBER 24

    6th grade speech:  If you want to work on your candy speech, you can.  We will start presenting on Monday.

    7th grade block:  Your questions about Paul's journey are due tomorrow. A period given in class today to work on it.  The questions must be printed before you come to class. 

    Be reading for your HAHAS - due October 31. 

    OCTOBER 23

    6th grade speech:  Come tomorrow with your speech topic

    7th grade block:  Revision of HAHAS due tomorrow.  You must put the revised copy on top and the original on the bottom then staple them.  You will have a sub tomorrow, so I expect you to be on your best behavior. 

    OCTOBER 18

    Guest teacher on Monday.  I expect you to be on your best behavior.

    7th grade block:  New HAHAS assigned today - due October 31. 

    Bring your new HAHA book on Monday.


    OCTOBER 17

    7th grade block:  HAHAS due tomorrow.  I will grade them this weekend and get them to the sub on Monday, and she will return them to you.  You will then have three days to re-write/improve one of the three HAHAS from first quarter.  You will turn the original HAHAS you chose to improve and the improved HAHAS in to the sub on Thursday the 24th and I will get them when I return to school on Friday.

    Good work today with the Socratic Circle!


    OCTOBER 16

    7th grade block:  A full period given today to work on the HAHAS which is due Friday, or to work on the Socratic Circle article which is due tomorrow. What needs to be ready to go tomorrow is:  your article is highlighted with notes, thoughts, questions.  You have answered the questions in google classroom for your article - these questions need to be printed/handwritten and turned in tomorrow with your article after the Socratic Circle.


    OCTOBER 15

    8th grade ethics:  Read to the top of page 136 for tomorrow. Entrance card due.

    7th grade block:  Keep reading for your HAHAS - due Friday.   Continue to work on your article for the Socratic Circle which will begin Thursday.  You want to make sure you have done enough work on your article: notes, highlighting, questions - so that you can come prepared to be a part of the conversation. 

    OCTOBER 14

    7th grade block:  Read for your HAHAS - due Friday.

    Work 20-25 minute on your article assigned today.  Read the article, highlight, look up words, jot down thoughts, write questions.  This needs to be ready to go for Thursday. 

    OCTOBER 10

    8th grade ethics:  Read half way down page 127 in our new chapter for Monday.  Entrance card due Monday.

    7th grade speech/debate:  Advertisement presentations due Monday

    6th grade speech:  Passion speeches begin Monday - everyone has to be ready to go.

    7th grade block:  Read for your HAHAHS - due October 18



    6th grade speech:  New speech assigned today.  Time to work on it in class this week. We will begin to present on October 14.

    7th grade block:  You need to finish reading the article on Google classroom and come in with a sheet to turn in with your questions/thoughts on the article.  Things to think about and answer:

    *Look up words you don't know *Where do you see the history of redlining in PDX? *How is gentrification happening in the article? * What surprised you?  What is appalling? *What happens when a city loses diversity? *Where do you see the wealth gap in the article/PDX? * What questions might you have about the racial history in PDX and Oregon based on the article? *What racial discrimination still exists in PDX/Oregon?



    Next HAHAS due October 18.  You will then have until October 24 to choose one of the three HAHAS, rewrite it, and turn in the new version (with the old version)


    7th grade block:  Read pages 167 - 188 in Piecing Me Together and do a mini HAHA: a paragraph on what you are feeling as you read these pages and a paragraph on what you are thinking.  Due Monday.


    8th grade ethics:  Finish the chapter on Virtue ethics.  Entrance card due tomorrow. 

    Based on the entrance cards you turned in today, there are still questions on what it means to do a selfless good deed and whether it makes you good or not based on why you did the selfless act. 

    Be thinking about the following and we can discuss more in class tomorrow:   If I like to do good things am I really being selfish because doing good things makes me happy? Is it possible to do a good deed without being selfish? What would this look like? Are good deeds inherently selfish? 


    7th grade block:  HAHAS due Friday.  

    Read Piecing Me Together: 

    Chapter 35:  Why is this chapter here?

    Chapter 36: Jade's mom is judging other black women (uppity black women). Look up "uppity black women" then try to figure out what Jade's mom is feeling and why.  

    Chapter 37: just read

    Chapter 38:  What did Jade's mom give up by having a baby at 16?


    8th grade ethics:  Read pages 109 to the bottom of 115.  Take notes, highlight etc.

    Entrance card due tomorrow

    7th grade block:  HAHAS due October 4. Be reading. 


    7th grade block: Read pages 104-123 in Piecing Me Together.  You need to come in on Monday with a discussion question for each chapter you will be reading.  In addition, you need to try to answer the questions that Jade wonders at the bottom of page 113.  

    Read for you HAHAS - due October 4.


    8th grade ethics:  Read pages 101-109

    7th grade speech/debate:  Finish presentations

    6th grade speech:  Finish skits

    7th grade block:  Read for HAHAS, finish questions to NYT opinion piece as it relates to PMT -due tomorrow - more than a full period given to work on this in class today. 


    You will have a sub tomorrow, so I expect you to be on your best behavior.

    7th grade block:  Make sure to bring your novel for some silent reading time tomorrow!

    You need to finish the questions I gave you in class today for the NYTimes article - these need to be ready to be discussed on Thursday. 



    8th grade ethics:  Read pages 95-101 in our new chapter.

    7th grade block:  Be reading for your next HAHAS due October 4.



    7th grade speech: Reverse bucket list speeches to begin Monday. 

    7th grade block:  New HAHAS book checked out today.  HAHAS #2 due October 4.



    7th grade speech/debate:  Next speech will be Monday.  Time in class this week to work.

    6th grade speech:  Come tomorrow with the topic you want to write about for your next speech: What you are passionate about.

    7th grade block:  HAHAS due tomorrow immediately when you come in.  Bring Piecing Me Together. 


    7th grade speech/debate:  Come in tomorrow with the topic for your next speech

    7th grade block:  Bring Piecing Me Together tomorrow.  HAHAS due Thursday. 


    7th grade speech/debate:  We will finish presentations tomorrow.

    6th grade speech:  We will finish poems tomorrow

    7th grade block:  HAHAS due Thursday. 


    8th grade ethics:  We will continue presentations on Monday

    7th grade speech/debate:  Speeches Monday - you must be prepared to go on Monday

    6th grade speech:  Poems will be presented on Monday - everyone must be ready to go

    7th grade block:  Come on Monday with your geography of Rome questions ready to turn in (these are the two questions you answered in class on Friday).  Come with the Roman Republic questions you began answering in class on Monday - they are not due, we still need to finish them.



    8th grade ethics:  Presentations tomorrow

    7th grade speech/debate:  Speeches Monday - we will have another work day tomorrow

    6th grade speech:  Poems will be presented on Monday. Practice day tomorrow

    7th grade block:  Geography packet needs to be done for tomorrow - bring to class.  Bring HAHAS book tomorrow - SSR time given tomorrow!  There will be a sub - I expect you to be on your best behavior. 


    7th grade speech/debate:  Work on your speech as necessary to be prepared to present on Monday.

    6th grade speech:  Meet in the library tomorrow right after lunch to work on the poetry assignment.

    7th grade block:  Bring Piecing Me Together tomorrow. Continue to read for your HAHAS.  You will be getting some silent reading time on Friday to either read your HAHAS book, work on your HAHAS (due 9/19) or begin another novel. 


    7th grade speech/debate: Be thinking about your pet peeves.  New speech assigned tomorrow. 

    6th grade speech:  Work on your voice inflection for the sentence you chose today in class. We will share tomorrow. 

    7th grade block:  Continue to read for you HAHAS


    8th grade Ethics:  Entrance card due tomorrow.  Finish reading chapter 2 and be thinking about the flaw of the ethical theory of emotivism.

    7th grade block: Continue reading for your HAHAS due September 19. Bring Piecing Me Together to class tomorrow. 



    8th grade Ethics:  Entrance card due Monday - this is not an option.  Continue to read chapter 2: Page 23 - to the bottom of page 28. Be thinking about the flaw in Cultural Relativism. 

    7th grade block:  HAHAS due September 19 - be reading 


    8th grade Ethics:  Entrance card due tomorrow - this is not an option - you must turn these cards in each morning.  Start reading chapter 2 pages 19 to the top half of 23.  Be thinking about:  Why is subjectivism a flawed ethical perspective?

    7th grade speech/debate:  We will begin presenting tomorrow.

    6th grade speech:  We will begin presenting tomorrow.

    7th grade block:  Begin reading your book - HAHAS due September 19.



    8th grade ETHICS:  Finish your entrance card from today to give to me tomorrow. Finish reading chapter 1 and tkaing notes, highlighting, creating questions etc. be ready to discuss tomorrow.

    7th grade speech/debate:  Continue to work your speech as necessary. We will present on Friday with time given tomorrow to continue to write and practice.


    8th grade ETHICS:  Finish your entrance card to be given to me tomorrow.  Read pages 9-13 in chapter 1 - take notes, highlight, create questions etc.  Be ready to discuss tomorrow. 

    7th grade speech/debate:  Work on get-to-know you speech as necessary.  We will present Friday with time given this week to work on the speech. 

    6th grade speech:  If you want to work on your interview speech at home, you can. Time given in class to work on it, though.  We will begin presenting on Friday. 

    7th grade block: