The Longshot

Monthly Classroom Newsletter from A215

From the Desk of Mrs. Long...

Welcome! Thank you for taking the time to check out our end of the year newsletter. It has been a very successful few months of school for 7th grade, we continued our reading challenge, created digital stories, explored some classroom technology, and connected our classroom with other students around the word using Mystery Skype! Some of the places we have "visited" are in England, Ireland, Canada, and several other US states! You can find out more about our Mystery Skype experiences below...

As the last newsletter of 2014, I wish you and your family a very happy holiday season!!

Mrs. Long

Check out the Class Website for Helpful Information!

Students and parents can get daily lesson plans, keep up with the homework calendar, follow along with projects or study materials, among much, much more!

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How YOU Can Help Spread the Word!

We are trying very hard to get Chromebooks for our classroom. What we have at UMS is wonderful, but the opportunity to have a permanent set in the room would see our opportunities grow exponentially! Students are already communicating globally with other classrooms, and we trying to make this a permanent fixture, but we can't do that with limited shared resources. In effort to provide for my students, I have created a donors choose page to try and help raise funds over the next half of the school year. If you know of any contacts, individuals or organizations that may be interested in helping our classroom, please consider passing on our classroom link! Thank You!!

What have we been up to all month?

This December, we broadened our focus to text-based and evidence-based questioning. To do this, we began our journey in the world of Mystery Skype! So what is Mystery Skype? Well, Mystery Skype is a global game that students play using technological resources and Skype. Students have to use yes/no questions to try and determine the location (city/country) of the other class! How does this help? In addition to speaking and listening skills, students have to collaborate, research, think critically, and use evidence-based reasoning on the fly! It's a wonderful opportunity for exposing students to other cultures, other students, and the global nature of a technology enhanced classroom experience!

Places we have visited so far:

  • Canada
  • Ireland
  • England
  • Illinois
  • Michigan
  • California
  • New York
  • Alabama

What's Next??

Over the past few weeks I have been working with a teacher in France to arrange a workshop where students will meet weekly over the course of a few weeks to discuss "novel ideas!" Our goal is to create international literature circles- meeting our county curriculum and helping them towards their goal off becoming bilingual. While we haven't worked out all of the details, the idea is that students will combine video chat and blogging resources to alternate communicating online and "face to face." I am so excited to bring this opportunity to some of the students!! For my other classes, my 2015 goal is to start quad blogging, an online experience where we sync up with other classes, either at UMS or around the world, and we take turns blogging and commenting. For example, one week our students would "post" and the other four classes would comment. Then we rotate as the weeks go on, creating an authentic and meaningful learning experience! You can learn more about quad blogging here!!

If You'd Like to see Our Digital Stories...

This past month we finished digital stories using wevideo. If you'd like to see some of the AMAZING work, you can visit the different blogs! Feel free to add some comments, support or encouragement for our students!!

Student Spotlight:

Follow A-Long!

Preparing For PARCC!

Our Top Common Core Indicators to Focus On!

According to our Global Scholar results, these are the top Indicators we need to "master" or "attain" this school year!

  1. The learner will identify irrelevant information in a seventh grade fictional passage.
  2. The learner will identify the literary device being used by the author in a seventh grade fictional passage.
  3. The learner will evaluate the influence of the author's point of view on a seventh grade fictional passage.
  4. CCSS.ELA-Literacy.CCRA.R.1 The learner will identify the implied cause and effect in a seventh grade fiction passage.
  5. CCSS.ELA-Literacy.CCRA.R.3 The learner will analyze characters in a short seventh grade fictional passage.
  6. The learner will interpret information from a graphic organizer at a seventh grade level.
  7. The learner will choose the correct genre for a seventh grade nonfictional passage.
  8. CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.7.1 The learner will identify story detail in a seventh grade nonfictional passage.
  9. CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.7.4/CCSS.ELA-Literacy.L.7.4a The learner will understand vocabulary presented in context in a seventh grade nonfictional passage.
  10. The learner will compare and/or contrast ideas from a graphic organizer at a seventh grade level.
  11. The learner will select the best title for a seventh grade long passage.
  12. CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.7.1 The learner will identify a supporting detail from a public document at the seventh grade level.
  13. The learner will identify irrelevant information in a seventh grade nonfictional passage.
  14. The learner will identify a supporting sentence in a seventh grade nonfiction passage.
  15. The learner will identify persuasive techniques used in a consumer material at a seventh grade level.
  16. CCSS.ELA-Literacy.CCRA.R.1 The learner will make generalizations from a public document at the seventh grade level.
  17. The learner will determine how text features in a consumer material affect the readers' perception at a seventh grade level.
  18. Vocabulary CCSS.ELA-Literacy.L.7.5 The learner will identify the meaning of a seventh grade vocabulary word presented in isolation.

How are we planning to address these challenges? All students are completing "ELT" practice tests that are specifically designed to focus on practicing these standards.

If you'd like more information on the Common Core, you can visit by clicking here!

Upcoming Due Dates!

Next RAtB Project (HAL/HONORS) Due!

Friday, Jan. 9th 2015 at 3pm

This is an online event.

The first project for Read Across the Board is due (for Honors students) Friday 11/14! I can't wait to see how creative everyone is! Here is a link to the RAtB page on the class website, in case students need another copy of their project information.

Things to remember:

  • All projects should be typed and shared using GOOGLE DRIVE
  • Projects that don't have to be typed include a 3-D diorama and/or a poster.
  • No projects should be turned in just pencil or pen, they should professional looking an high quality!
  • Students need MLA heading information on all projects.
  • Students must complete the RATB form (linked below)
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