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The Danger of a Single Story - How will You Write Yours?

Our lives, our cultures, are composed of many overlapping stories. Novelist Chimamanda Adichie tells the story of how she found her authentic cultural voice — and warns that if we hear only a single ...more

Persuasive/ Argumentative and Research Unit: The Art and Science of Persuasion

The following videos were viewed and explained by Ms. S in class last week.

If you select the paper option, it must be three pages typed and in MLA format: https://owl.english.purdue.edu/media/pdf/200 ...more

Black History Month Film Festival


Come celebrate Black History Month on the third floor!

The following classrooms are presenting films for the entire month of February and

English and Social Studies teachers are giving extra credit ...more

Fahrenheit 451 and Argumentative Unit



We will read and process this novel through a variety of assignments and tools for our Persuasive/Argumentative Writing Spiral from  January 20 to March 4, 2016.

Late Work Policy_Final Semester

We have finished an entire semester of 8th grade and are that much closer to being in High School, with greater expectations of academic rigor. As such, the late work policy for all 8th grade ELA ...more

Celebrations around the World: Winter Break Assignment Due January 5, 2016


Remember religion and culture from 7th grade Social Studies?

This National Education Association website provides information and links to ...more

Argument Spiral: January 5 to February 14, 2016

"The Creation of a Mass Culture" A couple of bleeps, and a phat Knowledge Throwdown!

Thug Notes & Summary of Ray Bradbury's Fahrenheit 451: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O-IcPx9uD0U

Minute Book ...more

Research Spiral: February 15 - April 15

Option I:

Create an accurate US map and add Instagram-style photos of each state that are composites* of what the state is most famous for. This can be an historical event, a person, a University, ...more

Please Check the Locker for In-Class Documents!

Please check my locker on this site for any documents you need in order to complete homework or missing assignments.

See me with questions!

Ms. S


Belinda Shillingburg Locker

PPT, Word, Excel Viewers [Go]
Acrobat Reader [Go]

Myers-Briggs Personality Test for Teens

Our English/Social Studies Final Exam II was an inventory to help students be mindful of their growth and potential as Academic Scholars (see below.)


Why a Personality Test? Part of ...more

Amazing Student Creations!

Check Here for Outstanding Examples of Inspirational Student Work :D


"Ms. S's Denman Pride!"

Credit: Original Artwork by Marjkelly V. for Our Summer Reading:


Created by Adam L. During our ...more

Family Literacy Night was Uhmazing!

Special Thanks to All Families who attended our annual Literacy Night. It was awesome to meet so many parents and siblings and watch students participate in fun games and activities!

My personal ...more

Middle School Students: A Deeper Look

Cornell Notes and Information Retention

Cornell Notes How To.png

Taking Cornell Notes and following the "10/24/7 Rule" greatly helps students to retain far more information than just learning material with "One pass."

http://www.schooltube.com/video/003e3144eed144dd ...more

Westward Expansion in U.S. History

This series of videos offer an excellent historical context for the Westward Expansion of the 1800's.

P.S. For 10 extra credit points ask me about playing pinball at the top of Donner Pass on ...more

Classroom Expectations

Our classroom expectations reflect the Mission Statement of

"Denman Pride on the Southside,"

and when practiced consistently, help all our students experience safety, responsibility and respect.

Respec ...more

Missing Tests due to Absence

Make-up tests may only be taken in the following three days after original administration. For example, if you miss a test on Friday, you have until the next Wednesday to complete it.

Tests may only ...more

The Bill of Rights Short List

Bill of Rights - A Brief Version for Study Purposes

The first ten amendments to the U.S. Constitution are summarized below.

1 Freedom of religion, speech, press, assembly, and petition.

Right to keep ...more

Who Said That?


We will read and discuss many quotes this year. They will be selected for their historical importance and as a *reflective practice as we think about who we are and want to become.

Each class will ...more

For Parents: The Teenage Brain

As a conference presenter, one of the most popular topics I have lectured on is The Teenage Brain.

Many parents find it helpful to understand that the organic changes in their teenagers are ...more

Common Core Literacy Standards & Non-Fiction Reading

This website details the Common Core Standards that when implemented efficiently in the lives of students, creates better strategic readers, writers, thinkers and speakers.

In order to prepare 7th ...more

Bud, Not Buddy Study Guide


This website may be used as a Study Guide for Bud, Not Buddy, which all 7th graders will begin on January 5, 2015.

Shillingburg Homework Policy

We will have homework assignments for English and History on M/T/W only. All homework is due on Thursday each week and there will be no homework assigned on Thursday or Friday.

Please be aware that ...more

Ms. Belinda Shillingburg

Winter Holiday Assignment 2016 - All Classes

Winter Holiday Assignment - All Classes

Due Jan 3, 2017

Winter Break Assignment 2016 Due Tuesday 1/3/16

(Also posted in the Google Classroom for ELA and AVID)

Remember religion and culture from 7th ...more

November 14 Vocabulary

Homework due and test on Monday 21 November 2016


1, Word

2. Definition

3. Three synonyms

4. An illustration (stick figures are fine, just be sure to show the meaning of the word or process.)

Reading Journal October - December 2016

These are student samples you should use to complete the journal entries for the first semester.

Instructions and mini-lessons completed in class.

This page will be updated throughout semester.

Day 1 ...more

News Debate: Phone Patrol_Homework October 4th-7th

  • Read the article here and answer the questions on a separate sheet of paper.
  • All questions with lines must be entirely filled in using complete sentences.
  • Submit to Ms. Shillingburg by Friday October ...more


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Welcome to English Language Arts 8 and AVID 7/8!

We will review the course syllabus in class during the first week of school, participate in icebreaker activities, dive into Reading and Writing ...more

Great Reading Lists: Middle and High School

Shout out and huzzahs to the Lopez Family for requesting an updated reading list!

Many students are ready for and excited about reading 9th grade books, so here is a comprehensive, genre-sorted list: h ...more

Vlog Book Reviews in January

Early in December, we watched several teen book reviews on the 'net.

Your final semester project is to read a book and film a video book review.

Your original vlog will be played in class and ...more

Google Survey: Teen Reads

Go to the Google Form Here: http://goo.gl/forms/W0HY5w08eT and check the boxes for your TOP THREE favorite reading genres.

This is a homework assignment worth 20 points and is due by Friday 11/27/15 ...more

Many Rivers to Cross

Students who were absent during the week of October 26 - 30 will re-take the test on Episode 1 Tuesday 11/3 at lunch in room 310.

This is a powerful series that students can watch at home with their ...more

Literary Terms Test Wednesday 11/18


Please be sure to study the terms located on Quizlet and the classroom handout:


See me with questions!

Literary Terms Study Guide:

Study these terms for Wednesday’s Test ...more

Week of 11/2 PowerPoint: Freedom and Dreams

Please access this week's PowerPoint in the locker.

African American History is Important Every Month


This fascinating look at African American history narrated by Dr. Henry Louis Gates, Jr. is both engaging and significant all year long, because African American history is American history!

Episodes focus on different historical periods and include peripheral information important to the study of the United States - where we've come from, where we are, and where we are going.


Website may be accessed here: http://www.pbs.org/wnet/african-americans-many-rivers-to-cross/video/

Welcome Back to School!

I hope you all enjoyed the summer! We are going to have a FANTABULOUS  year -  making friends and growing socially, emotionally, and academically. I'm so excited about all we will learn and do together as we explore reading, writing, speech, debate, and digital literacy!

Looking forward to forward to an UHmazing 2015-2016,

~ Ms. S ~


Asian-Pacific American Heritage Month: May 2015

About Asian-Pacific American Heritage Month

May is Asian-Pacific American Heritage Month – a celebration of Asians and Pacific Islanders in the United States. A rather broad term, Asian-Pacific ...more

Let's Care about the Earth Every Day!


Earth Day was April 22nd

Founded in 1970 as a day of education about environmental issues, ...more

March was Women's History Month

Women’s History Month had its origins as a national celebration in 1981 when Congress passed Pub. L. 97-28 which authorized and requested the President to proclaim the week beginning March 7, 1982 ...more

Diversity Makes for a Rich Tapestry

Diversity Makes for a Rich Tapestry

World History: The Renaissance

While Mr. Green - of "The Fault in our Stars" fame, has an interesting approach to the term "Renaissance," this Crash Course video does offer a thorough review of the period and precisely what we've ...more

Notes from "Ms. S"

A very special "Thank you" to all of those parents and guardians who participated in Denman's Parent/Teacher conference week in February. It was wonderful to meet each and every one of you!

As ...more

"What are You Doing to Help Others?" -- The Legacy that Lives


On Monday January 19th we honored the great Civil Rights leader

Martin Luther King Jr.

Learn More About this Great American Hero Here:


Martin Luther King Jr.'s "Essential Question was: "What are you doing to help others?" William Kamkwamba Answered

Common Core Home-Based Resource


This valuable tool from the SFUSD may help to inspire ideas for supporting students at home as we implement Common Core practices in the classroom.

I look forward to working with students for the rest of the year on critical reading, writing, listening and speaking skills. Please don't hesitate to contact me with questions or for brainstorming on how best to serve your child's potential.

All best,

Mrs. Shillingburgccss-ela-wordle.png

The full document with all grade levels is available in my Locker.

Supporting Students in Middle School English Language Arts:

•    Provide time and space for your student to read independently. This time should be free from distractions such as television.

•    Ask your student what he or she learned from reading. Have him or her read the most interesting or useful sections aloud, and discuss how that knowledge can be used in real life.

•    Assist your student in using references such as the Internet or a dictionary to look up unfamiliar words.

•    Keep track of the time that your student spends reading every day. Note what kind of reading materials he or she likes (books, magazines, newspaper articles, the Internet, etc.). Then look for additional materials that would encourage your student to read more and/or subscribe to magazines or look for books or other materials about those topics that would motivate your student to read.

•    It is also helpful when your student sees other people reading at home. You could share what you have read.

•    Make time for conversation at home. Discuss current events, shared interests, and future aspirations for education and career.

•    Visit museums, zoos, theaters, historical sites, aquariums, and other educational places to help increase your student’s exposure to new knowledge and vocabulary.

•    Be sure your student has a library card. Students should select books they are interested in to develop a passion for reading. Many libraries have book clubs and family activities that make reading fun for the entire family.

•    Use technology to help build your student’s interest in reading. There are several websites where students can read books or articles online. The computer  will help with words the student cannot read independently. Libraries also have computers students can use to access those sites. Feel free to ask a librarian or teacher for suggestions.


What's Your Greatest Dream?


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ELA 8 Vocabulary

Please check this page weekly and see me with questions or for help bitmoji.jpg

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Harry Potter and the Sorceror's Stone_Recall and Analysis

Recall and Analysis Quiz

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone

  • Show how much you know about the main character:
  1. What is the name of Harry’s Boarding School?
  2. Does he come from a happy family?
  3. Where did he ...more

"Be Yourself...Everyone Else is Taken." ~ Oscar Wilde


Narrative Essay Prompts

Prompts and Examples Discussed in Detail this Week~ Please See Me with Questions!


Final Narrative Essay Prompts

Pick Only One Prompt; Minimum 500 Word Response; Final Draft due 10/2/15

Autoethnography ...more

Attention All Class Alert: Video Homework Due 8/28/15

Please watch the 7 minute video below and bring in 3 facts on a separate sheet of paper. Thanks!

Reviewing our Schoolwide Summer Reading : Counting by 7's!


We will be discussing this book in class over the next week.

Props to all of the students who read it and completed the summer homework!


History Night was a Huge Success as we Welcomed New and Returning Denman Families!

History Night was a Huge Success! (The It's Its Helped:D)

Check Back Soon for Photos of our UHmazing History Projects!

Assignment Details:

  • Completed projects are due on the morning of May 7th and should ...more

Persuasive Speeches: April 2015

Your-Retirement-Career-as-a-Comedian-A.jpg Update:

The Persuasive Speeches shared in class on Friday April 10th and Monday April 13th were awesome! It was great to hear the topics students were passionate about and everyone did an amazing job ...more

"Bud, Not Buddy:" Jazz in 1930's America

ti_depression_bkgd.gifCheck out this amazing resource on the history of Jazz!

This special PBS program and the subsequent book and DVD, illustrate the progression of Jazz during the precise time in which our 3rd quarter novel is set.

There are also audio files on this page that will allow you to hear actual recordings from this period in our nation's history.


English Periods 2 and 4: Complex Sentence Assignment

Please utilize the links below to review complex sentence structures. The grammar assignment due for periods 2 and 4 is attached and was distributed in class on 3/18 :D (ALSO BELOW)

We will utilize ...more

8th Grade History: The Bill of Rights

This fun video is both relative and informative to our study of the Bill of Rights.

Given the context, it may help you memorize the "Short List" of Amendments I - X (1 - 10:)