Posted on January 15, 2015 - by Stephanie A. Snyder
8th grade Families,
I hope you all had a wonderful holiday break and New Year’s Eve. Now that we are back in the swing of things, I have a few important announcements:
1) Blizzard Bags
Blizzard Bags are a way to engage in learning from home should we experience inclement weather and a large number of school closings this season. As a district, we are using digital platforms as much as possible to make these accessible. Students for my class will follow the directions outlined Snyder Digital Blizzard Bag for 2014-2015. I’ve included work for up to 3 days should it be needed.
2) Grade Cards / Homework
Grade cards were mailed home at the end of last week; if you have not seen the grade card, need another copy, or would like to discuss your young adult’s progress in any class, please get in touch with me. If you do not have an Infinite Campus Parent Portal log in to access grades online, please contact the middle school office. If you would like to sign up for Remind 101, a service which sends homework text alerts, please contact me. I post homework and reminders under the 8th grade tab; then, click on homework to view weekly happenings.
3) Unit of Study in Language Arts
Students are currently working on expository writing; they are learning to compose thesis statements, build an outline around that thesis to support it, and are studying the 6+1 Traits of Writing of Ideas, Organization, and Sentence Fluency very closely as they work to refine their style as academic writers. Students are analyzing likenesses and differences between the film version of a novel and the written version of the novel despite that they both deliver the same theme. Students worked before holiday break to generate themes, vote as a class by period for the theme they felt was the best, and are now engaged in a Writer’s Workshop. Next, we will study persuasion, rhetoric, and figurative language.
You are always welcome in my classroom; please do not hesitate to contact me directly or stop by at any point to discuss student progress.
Posted on October 21, 2014 - by Stephanie A. Snyder
8th grade Families,
Quarter 1 ended Friday, October 17th. During Quarter 1, students in grade 8 language arts have worked with short stories to consider the elements of a text which work together to deliver a theme. Students are presently applying these concepts as they put the final touches on their own narrative writing. In grade 8, students learn to refine their writing through the 6+1 Traits approach; their narratives answer the guiding question for our unit of study, “What happens when things don’t go as planned?” Students have engaged with this question since the start of the school year and now are writing in response to it about a time in their life.
We have started an incentive program in grade 8 language arts and math courses to encourage students to turn homework and assignments in on time and to monitor their learning weekly. Students have cards and charts to view. As we begin Quarter 2, I would like to remind you of the many ways that you can continue your involvement at Trimble Middle School by staying up to date on your young adult’s progress in each of his or her courses.
Infinite Campus is an online data system we use within our entire school district. Students’ grades for my class are up to date each Friday by 5 P.M. If you do not have access, please contact the office or me directly to arrange to get access. This is an invaluable tool! Student grades can be accessed as frequently as you would like by logging into Infinite Campus online via a computer or smart phone. As well, I am always available from 2:15-3P.M. should you prefer to stop by and learn how to navigate the program or talk more in depth at any point about student progress. Please check in at the office first and the administrative assistants can direct you to Room 228.
Another useful tool is the blog where I have posted this update. StephanieAsnyder.com is a resource I make available to all students I teach. We use it in class for blogging, accessing resources and links, and I post homework here. Blog posts always appear on the front page. By selecting the tab called 8th Grade, you can access student homework and resources including all Word Wisdom Vocabulary homework (typically assigned with a quiz weekly).
As a team of 8th grade teachers, students have access to Remind 101, a daily homework reminder sent via text message. Students’ numbers remain completely confidential as the text is sent through a website that families register for independently from the school. Standard text messages fees do apply; however, many students have found this quite helpful to receive directly or to receive from a guardian. If you are interested, contact Miss Luthy, or me directly.
Our middle school Parent Advisory Council (PAC) is up and running. We look forward to input from the families we have the pleasure to serve here at Trimble. If you are interested in getting involved, contact the office.
Upcoming Dates of Importance:
October 23- Grade Cards Mailed Home
November 25th- Conferences 2:45 P.M.-9:15PM (final conference ends)
December 19th- End of Quarter 2
You are always welcome in my classroom; I look forward to talking with you November 25th during conferences. Please do not hesitate to contact me directly or stop by at any point to discuss student progress.
Posted on September 24, 2014 - by Stephanie A. Snyder
Middle school students in grades 6-8 who work with Mrs. Snyder and Mr. Morgenstern for extra practice with reading throughout the day, have started selecting favorite books from when they were younger to practice and read aloud to younger students in the elementary school.
On Wednesday and Friday of each week, they have the opportunity to read aloud to Miss Poling’s 1st grade class. Until closer to Thanksgiving Break, middle school students will be reading to the first grade students modeling fluency, prosody, interacting with a story or informational text, and how reading can be for fun. Miss Poling’s students will then take turns later on the year reading stories to buddies from the middle school reading intervention classes.
Here’s to a year of fantastic read alouds!
Posted on September 23, 2014 - by Stephanie A. Snyder
8th Grade Families,
Midterm grade cards are to be arriving by mail this week (if you have not already received it). The grade for language arts on the grade card reflects your (or your student’s progress) as of 9/16/14. We have had several performance task, written, and in-class assignments as well as homework since 9/16/14.
If you would like an updated average for language arts class, please request it with a note, an email, or a phone call to the school. If you would like to schedule a meeting to discuss progress in my class, please do not hesitate to get in touch.
I’m happy to help, and you are always welcome in my classroom!
Posted on August 17, 2014 - by Stephanie A. Snyder
Welcome 8th grade Families, August 13, 2014
As the 8th grade language arts teacher at Trimble Middle School, I have the pleasure of working with each of your young adults. I look forward to meeting you throughout our school year together. The course I teach includes all things language arts: reading of great literature and informational text, publishing of awesome student writing, and wonderful collaboration between students, their peers, and myself as one literary community— all parts of my course about which I am very excited!
I want you to know that my first priority as one of your child’s teachers is the growth that he or she makes this year as a reader, writer, speaker, and listener. Communication is at the heart of these; lets work together to ensure that this growth is a certainty.
There are several things I’ve done to try to make communication easier for you, me, and my students. First, in the following pages, I provide information about my classroom and expectations for students. It answers many questions you may have. Also, I use Infinite Campus to record grades and keep it up to date weekly; you can log in and view student progress. The best time to check it is over a weekend because I try my very best to have all of a week’s grades updated online by Friday. Last, I have a classroom website we use during class time. I often update families about what is happening in class by posting a blog newsletter which you can read on the front page when you visit http://stephanieasnyder.com. Students can also find and often print out digital versions of things we use in class should they accidentally leave something in their lockers and need it. By clicking on the button that says, “8th Grade,” families can view the posted homework for the day and details of what is coming up.
Please read over this packet:8th Syllabus 14-15 with your child and initial the bottom of each page. Each page should have both a student initial and a parent/guardian initial at the bottom and be returned tomorrow in class. I believe that when everyone understands class expectations things go smoothly, so reading and initialing this counts as the first homework grade of the year.
Please contact me by phone, email, or in person with any questions or concerns. You are always welcome in my classroom! Thank you for making time this evening to do this with your child.
Here is the packet students received in class: 8th Syllabus 14-15
Posted on May 12, 2014 - by Stephanie A. Snyder
When is it wrong to compromise? If you have seen ads tuned in for the new A&E series, Turn based upon the first spy ring during the American Revolution, this question is most fitting. I could not have planned the release of the series on A&E, but the timing certainly worked out well given that this question guided the unit of study students most recently completed in 8th grade language arts.
Students examined poetry and first-hand primary documents chronicling Revere’s Midnight Ride alongside My Brother Sam is Dead, a novel serving as an allusion, to the Revolutionary War era. Over the course of the unit, students became characters to compose editorial, persuasive letters with quills, to write poetry, and to create an alternate ending to the novel followed by a creative representation of the novel’s theme and elements through a two part project. They’ve had so much fun and have really grown as a group through this unit by considering perspectives different from their own.
Students were free to select the point at which they began re-writing the novel in the last two chapters and were responsible for resolving all earlier conflict using a class-agreed-upon chart that was generated for the plot events. Students spent a week working through the five step writing process: Pr-Writing, Writing, Revising, Editing, and Publishing, then delved into the creative choice portion of the project. Some students created symbolic theme targets while others created graphic novel interpretations. Additionally, others made choice to create Twitter and Facebook social media profiles for characters based upon the book. The common thread running throughout each project was the novel as written up to chapter twelve followed by the alternate endings students generated. The projects had to represent a theme rooted in the book as written and in the alternate ending.
At the end of last week, students shared projects which wrapped up today. It was great to see students engaging in discussion around the projects and asking clarifying questions of one another as they shared their alternate endings, projects, and worked to present in a formal academic setting.
As the end of the year quickly approaches, students will select their own young adult novels for reading and will be blogging about the books, all the while working to refine the 6+1 Traits of Writing for: grammar conventions, sentence fluency, ideas and voice in their own writing.
Check back soon to enjoy student guests posts on the main page of our class website.
Posted on March 19, 2014 - by Stephanie A. Snyder
“How do you make a dream come true?”
This question guided the unit of study we finished up a few weeks ago. Here some anonymous student samples of their answers to this question. The iSearch papers students wrote are all about the student writing and his or her experience as a researcher answering a specific research question tied to dreaming.
Steps to view Student Writing:
1) Click on the following links.
2) Read, enjoy, and ponder how talented and what amazing dreamers these students are!
Posted on February 27, 2014 - by Stephanie A. Snyder
This year, students have worked with the 6+1 Traits of Writing model in 8th grade language arts. This approach helps students to manage the various traits that we know are important for a piece of quality writing: Ideas, Organization, Conventions (Grammar), Sentence Fluency, Word Choice, Voice, and Presentation.
In our present unit of study, students have considered the guiding question, “How do you make a dream come true?” by forming questions to guide research about their own dreams. This week has been the final week for this unit of study, and students have been engaging in the phases of the writing process which lead to students publishing quality I- search, research papers. The I is present in the title of this authentic assessment because as they write, students tell the story of their search, present their findings/results, and reflect upon the process as a whole, all the while focusing on their own dreams which have been ever-present throughout this process as they’ve done research to answer their own questions starting with, “How can I achieve my dream? . . .”
Students have taken the initiative to ask teachers and adults in their lives for help to set up personal and electronic interviews with credible individuals. In doing so, students have thought about their dreams, reading responses from professionals outside within and outside our community including: professional athletes, district employees, physicians, interior designers, food industry workers, law enforcement officers, firefighters, lawyers, Athens County officials, members of the U.S. Military, lawyers, architects, ministers, business owners, professors from Ohio University, rap and musical artists, Ohio University college athletes, and many more!
This week, students have finished pre-writing by assembling note cards and source cards which work to support their findings and synthesize ideas from the credible informational texts they’ve read. Students have learned two new ways to paraphrase, two ways to quote, and are ensuring that they follow MLA format to avoid plagiarism, a form of academic dishonesty!
As well, students started the writing phase of the process, working through differentiated instruction to compose various parts of the organization of the I-search research paper focusing on the 6+1 Traits of Ideas and Organization.
Looking to the end of this week, students will work to revise, edit, and last publish their work digitally through our class blog by considering the 6+1 Traits of Sentence Fluency, Conventions, and Presentation.
Please check back next week to learn about the dreams of these fantastic 8th grade students and even more importantly to read their answers to the question, “How do you make a dream come true?”
Posted on February 11, 2014 - by Stephanie A. Snyder
Trimble Middle School Families,
Wow! Winter certainly has taken Athens County by storm.
For 8th grade language arts updates, I strongly recommend that you and your children visit stephanieasnyder.com, my classroom website which will load on a mobile device. Visiting once a week will help you to stay informed. If you do not have internet access, I am happy to provide print versions and strongly encourage you to touch base with students and take a look at their agendas they fill out in each class if you have concerns.
Through the classroom website, I do my best to update families monthly through my blog newsletter. Also, homework assignments are updated weekly on Monday evenings; to get to these, click on the 8th grade tab at the top of the home page, then select the homework tab on the right-hand side once the 8th grade page loads. We need to continue to work together to encourage students to stay on top of class assignments because by doing so, our Spring conferences will be more productive.
In 8th grade language arts class, students have been working on a unit of study guided by the following question, “How do you make a dream come true?” While our schedule has been very sporadic due to winter weather conditions, students have considered this guiding question from the perspective of various poets who wrote about dreams to draw inspiration and consider dreams they have in their own lives.
In the coming week, students will complete the most rigorous project I assign in 8th grade language arts– a research paper. What is neat about the approach I use is that it is extremely relevant to students’ lives because they have so much freedom in choosing a topic! Students have come up with one dream that they would like to research and have a research question related to that real-world dream. Regardless of the various topics in the class that will be explored by each student, “How do you make a dream come true” guides them as they write the paper. Students will find internet and print resources and conduct personal interviews, learning about how to locate trustworthy, credible sources.
I offer lunch-time tutoring to students by request or my own recommendation. I am also always willing to make plans to stay after school to help students and offer additional learning time. If you have questions about this, please get in touch. You are always welcome in my classroom; do not hesitate to contact me via email, phone, or stop by the school. Please also remember from the start of the year that I attach re-do slips to assignments, offering student a chance to re-do work; I would rather students get it on a second or third time than not at all. Language arts is a subject which is so important because it applies to other content areas, and we must communicate verbally and in writing throughout our lives.
Here’s to hoping that the weather cooperates as I continue to help your children become the best readers, writers, thinkers, speakers, and listeners that they can be!
Posted on December 13, 2013 - by Stephanie A. Snyder
8th Grade Students and Families,
This year, the Trimble Local School District has requested that the blizzard bag work for calamity days be completed digitally, via the internet as much as possible.
Should students need access to the internet, Mrs. Snyder is available outside of instruction time and has computers in her room where students can complete work. Students should simply speak with Mrs. Snyder to make arrangements or to acquire a paper version of the work to take home.