Tuesday, December 14, 2010

How To Write A Quality Comment

Here is the video clip that I showed in class. It includes tips on writing quality blog comments, so be sure to check it out! It was made by a class in California who were also learning about writing meaningful comments on blog posts.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Welcome to Grammar! Writing Sample...


We will be starting a new unit that focuses on grammar in order to help us become better communicators.

As a starting activity for this unit, all students will write a blog post that examines the MYP Learner Profiles.

Choose ONE of the following questions and write at least TWO PARAGRAPHS for your response:

1.) Being an inquirer means that you are curious about life and try to learn about it. It means that when you see or hear about something that is interesting to you, you do things to help you know more about it: do internet research, ask someone, read a book or magazine article about it, watch a video, etc.

Describe the last time that you were curious about something. What did you do about it?

2.) Being a caring person means that you show respect and compassion to others. It also means that you try to make a positive difference for other people, animals, or places.

Describe a time when you were a caring person. What was the situation, and what did you do to try and make the situation better?

3.) Being a risk-taker means that you try new things and explore new situations. Risk-takers are brave and don’t worry about embarrassing themselves or doing things the wrong way, they just want to have new experiences.

Describe a time when you were a risk-taker. What new thing did you try? How did it turn out in the end?

This should be written as a blog post, and should have the same title and labels as this post.

Good luck and have fun!

Elf Yourself Flash Mob!

We are working on two different skills in class today: 1.) embedding video clips from YouTube, and 2.) writing good comments on other peoples' blog posts. To practice this, we are all choosing a YouTube clip that we like, and that is also appropriate for school! We are going to learn to embed this video in a blog post.

Here is the YouTube clip that I chose, featuring an Elf Yourself flash mob in NYC:

When you have chosen and embedded your video clip, you should write a brief paragraph (5-6 sentences) that explains why you chose the clip, what you like about it, and why you think other people who read your blog will like it. Write this paragraph right underneath your video clip.

For example,  I chose this video for several reasons. First, I love flash mobs! I think that it takes an incredible amount of organization for the people who create the flash mob, and it takes an incredible amount of time and energy for the people who take part in it. Learning the dance moves as such a large group cannot be easy, and the commitment that is shown by the dancers is amazing. I really admire everyone who takes part in these flash mobs. Second, I love the holiday spirit that is shown by having the dancers dress up as elves, and watching this mob dance made me smile. I hope that it makes everyone who watches it on my blog smile, as well.

We will then look at each others' blog posts and use the information that we learned about writing good comments in order to write a comment on TWO other students' posts. These comments should talk about the video clip, and the paragraph that they wrote.

Have fun!

Friday, December 3, 2010

Criterion E Reading Comprehension Quiz- Main Idea and Supporting Details

This article was taken from Time For Kids online magazine.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Reading Comprehension- Learning Chinese

 ***Important!! Remember that we are having a reading comprehension quiz on Saturday. If you will not be in class on Saturday, you MUST email me by Friday night to let me know so that I can send you the quiz to take at home.***

OK, everyone, let's crank up our brains for some heavy-duty reading comprehension practice! The other day in class, we discussed how to find the main idea and supporting details of a written text. We talked about the fact that the main idea of a text is the topic (or more simply: what is the text about?). The, we went on to discuss and (hopefully) understand that supporting details are extra pieces of information that help explain the main idea.

Your Task:

1.) Read the article, "Learning Chinese", that is included at the end of this blog post.

2.) You will receive some strips of paper with sentences on them. With a partner,  look at your sentence strips and try to identify which strip has the main idea in the article, and which strips have three supporting details to help explain it. There may be more than three supporting details, but you only need to find three. Try to put the strips of paper in order, with the main  idea first, and the supporting details coming after it. At the end of the activity, you should only have FOUR strips of paper in front of you.

Here is the article:

Learning Chinese

Jingjing Wu greets her American students as they enter the room. "Ni hao [nin how]," she says. In Mandarin Chinese, ni hao means "hello." For the next hour, Chinese is all that the children will hear. They are learning the language through songs, games and talking. "They pick it up really fast," Wu says. "Kids remember so much."

The students go to Lomond Elementary School, in Shaker Heights, Ohio. Each week, all students in grades 1 through 5 in this school district have a one-hour Chinese class. "We're trying to generate great interest in the language," school official James J. Paces told TFK.

Other U.S. schools are too. Ten years ago, about 300 schools had Chinese programs. Today, about 1,600 schools teach Chinese. "China is becoming a real powerhouse nation," says Nancy C. Rhodes, a language expert. "It makes sense that we have young people who not only know the language, but understand the culture."

One-fifth of the world's people live in China. Its products, including clothes, toys and electronics, are sold around the world. More people speak Chinese than any other language.

Starting Young

Yinghua (yeeng-hwa) Academy is a K–8 Chinese immersion school in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Instead of studying only the language itself, students learn all of their subjects in Chinese. They don't start to use English in class until they are in the second grade.

"When you're younger, it's easier to learn a different language," says fifth grader Zoƫ Lindberg. She has been studying Chinese since kindergarten. Experts say that it's best to start language instruction early.

Opening Doors 

"If you know how to speak Mandarin Chinese, you open a huge door for yourself," says Yinghua's academic director, Luyi Lien.

In Shaker Heights, Paces agrees. "It's really important that all children receive this instruction," he says. "We'd like to do even more."