Tuesday, January 12, 2016

New Year, New Beginning

New Year's Reading Resolutions  Welcome back! I hope each of you had a wonderful and relaxing winter break and that you feel refreshed, renewed, and ready for the new year. Many of us use the the new year as an opportunity for a new beginning; as a chance to start over and begin anew. We often make resolutions or commitments to work on or improve certain things about ourselves. 

In addition to any personal resolutions you may have made, I would like all of us to recommit ourselves to becoming better and more enthusiastic readers in 2016. Below is a list of 100 New Year's Reading Resolutions (A copy has also been placed in your Language Arts Google Classroom). My hope is that you will try to complete as many as possible and in the process further strengthen your enthusiasm for books, literacy, and reading. Each week I'm going to ask you to try a least one new reading resolution and make note of it on your  Digital Reading Log. As for reading and the Digital Reading Log, you are still required to read for at least 30 minutes a day each day during the school week. However, now you are only required to make one reading log entry during the week, as opposed to the previous two.     

Introduction to 'I Am From' Poems  Towards the end of last quarter we finished our poetry unit in which we read and analyzed the poems of others. Now it's time to write our own. Since this will be the first attempt for some of us at writing poetry, I thought it would be a good idea for us all to use a similar format that is scaffolded and accessible. Today we will begin writing "I Am From" poems.

A poem by George Ella Lyon called "Where I’m From" is the inspiration for this activity. In her poem Lyon uses descriptive language and sensory details to tell the story of the everyday things, people, and places that together tell the story of where she comes from. You can read her poem here and watch the video version below. 


The poem lends itself to imitation and many have tried, including students. Check out some of the student examples below. 

By Evelyn from Lakeview Middle School

Writing Your Own "I Am From" Poem  Now it's your turn to write a poem that illustrates where you are from. The "I Am From" Poem template can be found in your Language Arts Google Classroom. If you're having trouble getting started and would like an opportunity to brainstorm ideas before drafting your poem, try using the "I Am From" Pre-Write document, which can also be found in your Language Arts Google Classroom

As you move forward in the writing process and begin to improve and revise your poem, consider adding more sensory details. A handy list of sensory details can be found here

Homework  (1.) Read your A.R. book at home for at least 30 minutes and, if you choose, make a reading log entry using the Digital Reading Log. (Remember you must have made at least one entry by the end of the day Friday.)  (2.) Continue working on the "I Am From" Poem, which is due Friday, January 15.

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