Padlet: Gr8: Challenge of Upstanders

Posted onApril 17, 2014 
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Padlet: Gr7: Morals/Actions/Tom Sawyer/Mark Twain

Posted onApril 17, 2014 
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Mark Twain Exhibit:

NY Times: Dialect Quiz:

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Extra Credit Opportunity

Posted onApril 10, 2014 
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I let the time get away from me and forgot to let you know of the extra credit opportunity.

Any student who attends the play tonight or tomorrow and provides me with a one-pager explaining the theme and comparing the play with the fairy tale will receive extra credit to the minor grade total.

Mrs. Caskey

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Let Your Teenager Sleep — the Brain Needs It

Posted onApril 5, 2014 
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Via Huffington Post/Parents
Bobbi DePorter 

“It’s easy to think of sleep as a rude interruption. Who wouldn’t love to reclaim those seemingly lost hours in the name of productivity? Your house would be immaculate. Your email inbox would be empty. And you could finally finish reading that novel you’re only halfway through.

But if you’re a regular reader of this site, you know that sleep might very well be the most important part of our day. Studies show that adequate sleep supports ourphysical and mental health as well as our ability to learn and recall information.

What is true for adults is doubly true for teenagers, who are undergoing a period of concentrated learning and rapid biological change.

The More Teens Learn, the More Sleep They Need

In an experiment at Harvard Medical School and Trent University, for example, students were taught a complex new game and then told to “sleep on it.” Students who had a good night sleep performed significantly better the next day, while students who slept six hours or less failed to improve or performed worse than before.

Another study at Brigham and Women’s Hospital demonstrates that chronic sleep deprivation interferes with our ability to focus as well as task performance. The effects become even more pronounced after dark, the hours that teenagers are typically completing homework.

Why is sleep so important for learning? A new hypothesis published in Scientific American suggests that sleep helps the brain sort all of the trivia from the day from what is important to remember. As learning increases, so does the brain’s need for sleep. In fact, without enough sleep, the areas where the most intense learning has occurred will shut down, even as the rest of the brain is alert.

Boost Your Teen’s Learning Retention with Better Sleep Hygiene

Adequate sleep is a non-negotiable for effective learning. Yet many teenagers skimp on it. Part of this is biological — melatonin, the sleep hormone, is released later at night in adolescents — but there are a number of factors you can influence as a parent.

Here are a few thoughts:

  • Go dark. Even a small amount of light can disrupt your teen’s internal clock, so it’s best to remove night lights and glowing electronic devices from the room. At the very least, turn the light away from you. Some teens may also find it helpful to sleep with an eye mask.
  • Keep your cool. The body’s temperature drops to its lowest point during sleep. You can mimic this shift by keeping your teen’s bedroom between 60 and 68 degrees and by avoiding rigorous exercise late in the evening.
  • Schedule it. Going to bed and getting up around the same time every day — including weekends — does wonders for the body’s internal clock, as does a bedtime routine. Encourage your teen to end each day with deep breathing or listening to soft music to release tension and calm the mind.
  • Wind down, not up. Try turning off the TV and computer an hour before bed. The bright light and engaging content increases heart rate and perspiration, even as it decreases melatonin production. The same is true for texting in bed. Your teen will fall asleep much faster without these stimulants.

It’s easy for teen’s to forgo sleep because they have so many things competing for their time and attention, including homework, social functions and after-school activities. However, teens will ultimately function better in all of these areas — and especially in school — when they make time for adequate rest.

So go ahead, let your teenager sleep. The brain really does need it.”

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Character Day 2014

Posted onMarch 20, 2014 
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A web video about character has been released by Moxie Films, and is screening today in over 1,500 schools around the globe. Follow the conversation on Twitter or Facebook by searching for #CharacterDay.

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March Forth – National Grammar Day

Posted onMarch 4, 2014 
Filed under Grammar, Usage, Mechanics, Pursuits | Leave a Comment

Ten Grammar Myths Exposed

Read the explanations before you  comment to express your outrage.

  1. A run-on sentence is a really long sentence.
  2. You shouldn’t start a sentence with the word “however.”
  3. “Irregardless” is not a word.
  4. There is only one way to write the possessive form of a word that ends in “s.”
  5. Passive voice is always wrong.
  6. “I.e.” and “e.g.” mean the same thing.
  7. You use “a” before words that start with consonants and “an” before words that start with vowels.
  8. It’s incorrect to answer the question “How are you?” with the statement “I’m good.”
  9. You shouldn’t split infinitives.
  10. You shouldn’t end a sentence with a preposition.

Brief explanations with links to more detailed discussions


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16 Personality Types

Posted onFebruary 26, 2014 
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The 16 MBTI Types

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Writing Revisited: Blending Quotations

Posted onFebruary 25, 2014 
Filed under Grade 7, Grade 8 | Leave a Comment

If you were absent on Tuesday, February 25th, then you need to watch the following video and take notes. Place these notes in the writing section of your binder. This is an extension of the notes on “Integrating Quotations” that were given on Monday.

Once you’ve completed this task, you will need to revisit your IW prompt about the theme of “To an Athlete Dying Young”.  Practice the different ways of blending quotations by rewriting the answer to the IW prompt. You will have a separately written answer for each of the methods.

Blending Quotations:

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Literature Circle Novel Jigsaw & Presentation

Posted onFebruary 11, 2014 
Filed under Grade 7 | Comments Off

You may use your notes, previous work examples, and SpringBoard activities as references for completing these assignments.

The Outsiders Literature Circle Novel Jigsaw
Team 1:
Create a new cover for your novel
Write a Book Review

Team 2:
Create an Anti-bullying Ad/Campaign
Write an expository piece that explains the purpose, goal, and requirements for joining the club
Tangerine Literature Circle Novel Jigsaw
Team 1:
Create a new cover for your novel
Write a Book Review
Team 2:
Create an ad for a Tangerine Book Club
Write an expository piece that explains the purpose, goal, and requirements for joining the book club

When each team has almost completed its assignments, then jigsaw the pieces into an engaging presentation. You will decide what, if anything, needs to be tweaked, so that your jigsaw pieces fit seamlessly. You will need to decide who will do and say what during the presentation. Every member must participate in the presentation. The presentation should not last more than 10-12 minutes and should definitely not be less than 6 minutes. 


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Posted onFebruary 10, 2014 
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Your fellow classmate has created a social media site and would like for you to check it out:

Chandershekhar Shori

Tell Shori how much we’ve been missing his presence in class.

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