IRLA Class

Wednesday, February 26th (WW10 and formatting informational text)

Posted on February 26, 2014. Filed under: IRLA Class | Tags: |

Good morning and good afternoon, 7C!  🙂

Today we will begin with handing in our proof of study for the vocabulary test…and then taking the assessment: 

When you are finished with the assessment, please open up your informational writing piece in Google Drive and start working from where you left off.  Once everyone is finished with the assessment, we will review some formatting options together.

Today, you should focus your work on:

We will work, as needed, in small groups based on the things you want to learn/work on today.

~Ms. Morris

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“The Locker Lie” By Akash I.

Posted on February 15, 2014. Filed under: IRLA Class | Tags: |

“Where did you get that new, expensive camera from, Steve?” Walter questioned when he spotted the shiny, jet black camera in Steve’s locker.  Walter was a little surprised because he knew his friend’s family was going through some hard economic times since Steve’s father had lost his job a few months before. 

Steve blushed from head to toe.  Then he slammed his locker shut and glared at Walter.  “It’s none of your business,” he coldly stated.

“Wait, we’re friends, Steve.  I can’t imagine where you got this camera, but I think you should come clean with me.  We never lie to each other, remember?” Walter persuaded.

Steve’s expression changed from one of anger to one of relief at the idea of confiding in his best friend. He explained to Walter how he had wanted to buy his father a special birthday present because his dad was so depressed. But since he had no money to buy the present, he shoplifted the camera from Best Buy.

“You’re not a thief; you’re the most honest kid I know.  How could you have done this?  And don’t you think your parents will figure out that you stole the camera anyway?” Walter asked incredulously.

Steve had one of those how-could-I-have-possibly-been-so-stupid expressions on his face.  The reality of his dilemma was starting to sink in.  “Well, you’re not going to tell anyone about this, are you?” Steve begged.

Walter thought to himself, What if I cover for him? What if my parents find out that I’m somehow involved with a crime?  What if I end up going to jail? Walter shook his head and said, “Steve, you know you messed up big time.  I’m not going to make the situation worse by lying for you or keeping this information a secret.  I’m going to do the right thing which is report this to my parents.  I think you should tell your parents what you did, too. “

“Ok, I’ll think about everything you said, and I’ll make a decision,” Steve answered thoughtfully.

“I just hope you make the right, one Steve, because our future friendship depends on it,” Walter added.  Both boys stared at each other for a minute and then parted and went their separate ways.

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Thursday, 3/6 and Friday, 3/7

Posted on February 6, 2014. Filed under: IRLA Class | Tags: |

Hi Everyone! We’re in school today! For a full day!

Today and tomorrow, we’ll be getting caught up with some of the work we missed because of the last few snow days and early dismissals.

The first order of business is to turn in your WW9 work and to take the assessment: We’ll be doing this on the Chromebooks and personal devices, so please share.  🙂

The next order of business is to continue reading for research. I conferences with several of you already, but if I haven’t met with you yet please sign up for a conference. (The conference helps to make sure that you on are on the right track with your reading work. Also, because it is a group conference, you get lots of good feedback from your peers as well!)

Our focus over the next couple of days will build off of what we started in class on Tuesday:
EQ: What do I want to find out most about my topic?
EQ: What do I want to share most with my readers about my topic later on?

These two EQs are so closely related, and we saw on Tuesday how they live together in our minds as we read. The new EQs we are adding today that work along with them are:
EQ: Where and when do I need to reread information in my sources?
EQ: How is rereading making me a stronger researcher?

Remember that I have shared my work in-progress with you in the handouts folder. Take a look to see how my reading response is coming along and the way I am organizing my research.  You’ll notice that I’ve reset my SMART goal already and revised my research questions and search terms.  You’ll also see how I decided to organize my T-R-A-P notes and where I put my objective summaries.

~Ms. Morris

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Thursday (1/23/14)

Posted on January 23, 2014. Filed under: IRLA Class |

Hi everyone!

I hope you have been enjoying all of this snow!

Today and tomorrow, we will be in the computer lab working on the informational writing assignment about your family traditions.

The EQs to keep in mind are:

What do you want to teach people about your family tradition?

What are the best ways to organize the information? 

Please log in to your Google account and then…

1) Type your Morning Pages in the journal in your ePorfolio today.  Write about anything you like, but try to use the expository structure of  cause/effect.  Some key words you can use to connect ideas are: because, since, as a result of, due to, consequently, so, etc.

2) After Morning Pages, we will go into the handouts folder to read the instructions and take a look at the rubric for this assignment.

3) At the end of class today, please fill out this exit ticket with any information you think I need to know about your progress with the assignment.  We will continue working on it tomorrow in class.

~Ms. Morris 🙂

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“Having A Ball” By Akash I.

Posted on January 20, 2014. Filed under: IRLA Class | Tags: |

The usual sight of cars speeding along the busy channel and the typical cacophony of honking vehicles didn’t get my normal attention.  No, I was set on catching up to my runaway tennis ball.  I made my way through the billows of charcoal smoke coming from the autos, buses, and taxis as I plowed across the intersection, trying not to choke to death.   After I was safely across the street, I continued my mad pursuit of the ball, which I could swear had a mind of its own.   In a flash, the ball was eluding me again by bouncing down the escalator to the Metro.   I bounded down the stairs trying to keep the ball in my sights.  When I reached the platform, I looked to the right, to the left, but to no avail.  My ball was nowhere.  Okay, let’s try to accept the fact that the ball is a goner, I thought to myself.  

I beheld an unknown sight- ragged tent-like shelters were lined up in the corner of the platform.  A foul odor assaulted my nose as I tried to determine what I was looking upon.   Gaggles of people, young and old, were gathered around their individual hovels.  They appeared to be scrawny and dirty, wearing nothing but torn rags.

A flash of neon green caught my eye, forcing me to investigate.   I trotted closer to the brief exhibit of color, and stumbled over – to my amazement- the ball!  My heart jumped for joy.  Aren’t the simple things in life sublime? I picked up my prize and ambled along the people mover that inclined up and out of the Metro.

Once out in the smoggy afternoon, I turned right and walked past a line of sparkling silver and glass buildings.  Lovely sounds of musical instruments and singsong voices tickled my ears.  I looked up and saw brightly lit boards that carried an array of colorful pictures on them.  The sidewalk was so crowded with people that I could barely squeeze through the hectic throng.  As quickly as the spectacular scene had unfolded before my eyes, it vanished, giving way to the tired old polluted atmosphere. Oh, everything good must come to an end, I admitted to myself as I recognized the avenue my loft was on. I hurried across the now silent street and onto the rough grey sidewalk. My eyes shifted from place to place, trying to zoom in on my final destination. There it is, I thought to myself as I scampered up the crude steps into the gloomy anterior of the apartment complex.

A dark figure waited in the dimly lit hallway, staring at me with a look of anticipation. The light was bright enough for me to make out the familiar scar which loomed over his left eyebrow. The man leisurely strode towards me, signaling me to approach him. He reached out and took the tennis ball from my grasp, and then scrutinized it as if it were evidence from a crime scene. The man looked up at me and smiled warmly as he ruffled my golden hair.

“You won’t believe how worried I was about you boy. When you darted after that ball, I was concerned that you would get lost!” he exclaimed. “But I can’t blame you, I don’t think there’s such thing as a dog who can resist a game of fetch.”

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“Friends” by Justin K.

Posted on January 19, 2014. Filed under: IRLA Class | Tags: |


The people you care about

The people who care about you

The people who are there for you

The people who want to hang out with you

The people in your life,

Who watch you


Their awesome…


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“I’m Thankful For…” by Rafeea T.

Posted on January 7, 2014. Filed under: IRLA Class | Tags: |

I’m thankful for love, family and friends.

I’m thankful for time, not stopping at dead ends.

I’m thankful for the variety of colored fur- luminescent violet in particular.

For dark chocolate belgian cookie wafers.

For saltwater taffy.

I’m thankful for the knick-knacks around my home.

That feeling that I’m not alone.

I’m thankful I was born after the invention of an air conditioner, and hair conditioner.

I’m thankful for bittersweet chocolate chips, rolling pins and laundry bins.

I’m thankful that now my grandparents won’t sing in public for the rest of their lives, and that I have never accidentally cut myself with knives, and that I love eating chives.

I’m thankful for memories.


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“The Meeting” by Jagdeep G.

Posted on December 19, 2013. Filed under: IRLA Class | Tags: |

I think that helping people is for the good of humanity. If not me then who? If you don’t help someone or do something nice for someone who will? If nobody did anything good the whole world would be devastated their would be war every where over the littlest of things. It would be very hard to maintain the earth’s glory. Many places would be annihilated. There is a if not me then who moment in my life that I will never forget.

We had just arrived. I jumped out of the car and took in all the sunlight and fresh air I could. I had been in the car for about two hours. We entered the building it had all started then…

We had went inside to pay for the repairs and get the keys for the car. Someone had smashed into our car so we had gotten the door fixed. It had taken a while because my dad had to fill out all this paperwork confirming that he had paid for it and sign other stuff. As we were about to leave a lady had been walking in generously she had kept the door open for me and my parents, I was the last one to walk out and I had forgotten to say thank you so the lady had said “YOU’RE WELCOME” in an angry tone.

I had found it strange that she had waned acknowledgement for doing something good. It’s not about acknowledgement it’s about helping one another in time of need or to be polite. When people do community service they don’t want recognition they want to help. Wanting acknowledgement for doing something good is like asking for money. I don’t understand why she had wanted acknowledgement it wouldn’t help her prosper in life or anything.

There is another if not me then who moment in my life. It had happened last year our team was doing a day of service. I was on 6b. We were making blankets for the elderly It was really fun and it had helped other people out I got to help make another one with extra material. This had made me feel good I did not want money acknowledgement or anything.

This inspired me to help people. Why do people volunteer for things? Not for acknowledgement or money. Helping people is very good because we are helping people who aren’t as fortunate as we are. People who might not have much money, or maybe people who have lost their parents. Helping people to me is nice and a very good thing to do. I’m thankful for all I have and I would like to give to the less fortunate.

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Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Posted on December 18, 2013. Filed under: IRLA Class | Tags: |

Part I

Please hand in all of your vocabulary proof of study.

Then, complete the WW7 assessment:

Following the assessment, please pick up you WW8 packet.  (This will be due on JANUARY 15TH)

Part II

When you are finished with the vocabulary work, please click on this link to a document in your handouts folder: .  Use these transitional words and phrases to help you present the support for your arguments.

Work with a partner to practice supporting your arguments for The Giving Tree (strong or weak).  Remember, we won’t know which side we are arguing for tomorrow, so we have to prepare both!

Part III

At the end of the period, we will finish up our poetry presentations.

~Ms. Morris 🙂 



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Found Poetry – December 10, 2013

Posted on December 10, 2013. Filed under: IRLA Class | Tags: |

Hi Class!

I’m so sorry that I don’t get to be with you today.

What we have planned for today, found poetry, is one of my favorite types of poetry! I can’t wait to read your poems when I get back to school tomorrow.

Found poetry is a type of poetry that you write by carefully selecting words from another text (usually prose of some kind).  Seeing a few examples might help you understand better:

Use with poetry unit:  "Block Out Poetry with art" using old newspapers or books...very cool

Gorgeous blackout poetry!  Let students express their creativity!

(All examples featured in this post are from: )

Here’s what you’ll do today in class:

1) Visit this link to read more examples of found poetry:

2) After you read the examples, obtain a section of text from the substitute teacher.  Read the text several times to see if any ideas begin to emerge…what sort of poem can you FIND in this text?

3) Circle (in pencil) any words, phrases, or clauses that stand out to you; circle the words you would like to include in your poem.

4) Then, you will write your own poetry using the texts provided (a page from Ender’s Game and from The City of Ember ) by eliminating all of the other words from the text except for the ones you have selected.

5) Be funny.  Be serious.  Be moody.  Be happy.  Be you!  You can be as creative or as artistic as your poem requires you to be…just remember:

Poetry through subtraction. Great activity to use newspapers/magazines for recycling.

6) Make sure that your found poems gets taped into your WN.

7) Rewrite your poem as a “traditional poem” like this one from the found poem above:

anyone can

scribble out


the clever part 

is knowing which words 

to leave 

8) Finally, write a brief reflection explaining the process of writing found poetry.

  • Did you find it helpful to use this method?
  • What was your inspiration?
  • Would you like to write a poem using this method again?
  • How has studying phrases and clauses helped you with this activity?

See you tomorrow!  🙂

~Ms. Morris

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