Howe's Happenings Week 4 2015-2016

German, ELA 9, and Reading Acceleration at LOHS

What did we do last week?

Last week, ELA 9 students finished their personal narratives, turned their narratives in to Turnitin.com, and selected books for our next unit, Independent Reading. I've enjoyed reading the narratives this weekend. Students wrote about their favorite memories, and it was apparent that family and family traditions are very important to our class! Students will have a chance to reflect on their finished products tomorrow.

This week, we'll be diving into our independent books, exploring our memories of reading, and looking at author's craft. Look for a contract to come home. We will be reading daily in class, and each class ends with a status of the class. Enjoy asking your child what he/she and others are reading.

Last week in Reading Acceleration, students continued to explore text structure by identifying structures in paragraphs and mapping the text, Pizza for Everyone. This week, we will be reading an article on schools serving breakfast from newsela.com and working with two texts on the branches of democracy.

Last week in German 1, we finished our first unit on Greetings and Introductions. We began to learn about the states of Germany and German-speaking countries in Europe. This week, we will continue to learn about German in the world and start our second unit on family.

Independent Reading Matters

ELA 9 students will be reading independently for a portion of class each day for the next unit. Independent reading means students choose, with parental approval, their own level-appropriate book. Mrs. Middleton, our Media Specialist, visited last week and shared a series of book talks. The number one rule for independent reading is students read something they like every day. The rest of class each day will consist of a teacher think aloud or mini lesson and book group discussions. Since each student is reading a different book, the discussions will center on author's craft. The end product of this unit is a Literary Analysis paper.

If you would like more information about why independent reading is so important at every level, check out this article from Educational Leadership.

Language Learning Resources

You might have some questions about language learning or how to help your child in German class.

You don't need to know the language your child is studying to encourage him/her in German class. One of the best things you can do is simply encourage your child to succeed and share with you what he/she can do.

If you are looking for resources, here are some of my favorites:

Duolingo--Several past students and some current have found Duolingo to be a great site for learning vocabulary and practicing pronunciation. Students can use this site and/or app for free--my favorite price!

Girls4Teaching--Girls4Teaching features videos with basic language lessons for a variety of languages by native speakers.

Learn German--Courses for learners of all levels and a section called Deutsch lernen mit Video.

Step into German--This is a site for German learners that features movies, music and soccer.

Deutsch Aktuell--While most of our course materials are housed in Moodle, students are welcome to check out a Deutsch Aktuell text from the IRC at school and/or practice on their interactive site.

North Oakland Concert Band Will Perform Concert Featuring German Music

Thank you to one of you for letting me know that the North Oakland Concert Band will be playing a concert featuring traditional German music on November 1, 2015 in the LOHS Performing Arts Center.

You can learn more at: http://nocb.org/concerts