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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 story about another person or country, we risk a critical misunderstanding.

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:


Please review them and your notes in preparation for our test on The Art and Science of Persuasion.


See me with questions :D


What You Need to Know About Persuasive Writing:


How to Identify Ethos, Logos and Pathos:

Ethos, Pathos, Logos.jpg




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 points to students who attend and view an entire movies.


Check out the movie listings on the third floor outside the following classrooms:







See Ms. S with questions :D


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 students has been revised as follows:


Late work will be accepted up to one week after the assignment was originally due. 


Late work will not qualify for exceeding standards.


Some assignments, such as daily work that needs to be finished at home may be due the next day with no exceptions. 


If you have an emergency, and need an extension on an assignment, please speak to me as soon as possible.


Homework assigned on Monday and due on Friday, will not be accepted after original due date is missed, as five full days were allowed.


Please see me with questions.



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 religious and cultural winter celebrations from across the globe. Please create a one-page Instagram 'report' on the elements present in your choice of celebration. This does not have to be something you are familiar with, but your report must show that you were interested in the topic.


Your choices are: Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, Diwali, Ashura, Pancha Ganapati;New Year, Rosh Hashanah, Ras As Sana, Chinese New Year, or Pongal.


You may draw or adhere photos obtained from the Internet that illustrate elements of the celebration, and there must be one or more 'boxes' with text giving information on what you learned. Minimum word count: 200.


Please be as colorful and original as you can! Remember to cite your source if you are quoting a specific book or website.


See me with questions!

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:


Minute Book Report:


When we return from the break, we dive into Fahrenheit 451, a futuristic Science Fiction novel that reflects life in 2016 scarily well...


Classroom copies will be provided and we will use this novel to begin Literature Circles and expand out use of digital literacy and Project-based learning.


Have a FLY break!


Ollie-Saward1.jpeg~Ms. S



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, etc.


Consider how you can effectively include historical information that reflects your research for this spiral AND may be used as a project for...wait for it...History Night! and Social Studies credit!!


Everyone who's down for a two-fer yell HAAAAY!


An example of a personal (not academic;) photo project is below. Instead of the travel photos, you will include the above options in the shape of each state.


Please see me with questions.


Point value: 100; Due date: February 8, 2016.


USA Map Assignment.PNG


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

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 becoming an Academic Scholar* is that we are “mindful” of how we think, make decisions, process information, and handle situations. Additionally, it helps our learning and growing process to examine and sometimes adjust our habits, behaviors, and preferences. How can we improve how we think, act, speak, and interact with others? In other words, what makes you…you, and how can we all be better thinkers and doers?

Personality Type Descriptions Here:

Common Careers for each Personality Type:

Understanding the Dynamics of your Personality Type:

For Teen Friends, Take the Test Here:

"Good type development can be achieved at any age
by anyone who cares to understand
his or her own gifts and the appropriate use of those gifts."
~ Isabel Briggs Myers


English/Social Studies Final Exam II


Name____________________________________________________ Date: _______________ Per__________

Why a Personality Test? Part of becoming an Academic Scholar* is that we are “mindful” of how we think, make decisions, process information, and handle situations. Additionally, it helps our learning and growing process to examine and sometimes adjust our habits, behaviors, and preferences. How can we improve how we think, act, speak, and interact with others? In other words, what makes you…you, and how can we all be better thinkers and doers?

Instructions: Answer ALL questions below and add up your score for each section (then total at the end.) The points are set out below the agree/disagree values.

10 EC points to the first student who accurately guesses Ms. S’s personality type :D

We will read about the different types online in class.

Note: This test is not the MBTI test itself, which is formal test charged by consultants, psychologists and motivational speakers. Remember that there is no good or bad personality type. The MBTI is simply a way to provide you an idea of your personality, characteristics and how such characteristics may influence your career, relationship and life outcomes.


Strongly disagree




Strongly agree







Part A


I like being around people






I am more interested in people than in their ideas






I have many friends






I am popular in school






When I am feeling down, I seek out company to cheer myself up.






Your total score for Part A











Part B


I am a logical person






I am very practical






I am a realist






I like dealing with facts






I don’t trust hunches or anything that cannot be proven






Your total score for Part B











Part C


I like to base my decisions on what is reasonable






I think that justice is more important than mercy






I like to speak the truth even if the truth hurts






I don’t like people who have their heads in the clouds






I don’t like people who change their minds often






I like to be disciplined and in control






Your total score for Part C











Part D


I am very organized






I like to keep to a schedule






I like to plan ahead






I get upset if activities or plans change at the last minute






I am always punctual






Your total score for Part D























5 – 14










15 – 25










 Your result












Questions Source:



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 Poetry Unit:

The Midnight Garden

I am the silent cat, stalking in the tall grass

I am the scampering mouse, hiding in a burrow

I am the foraging raccoon, in the berry bush

In the Midnight Garden


I am the patient spider, resting on a web

I am the diligent ant, toiling away at my hill

I am the fluttering moth, drawn to lantern-light

In the Midnight Garden


I am the swift trout, darting through the reeds

I am the croaking frog, sitting on a log

I am the darting eel, lurking in the mud

In the Midnight Garden


I am the watchful owl, all-seeing from my perch

I am the graceful swan, sitting on my eggs

I am the sleeping sparrow, resting in the hollow

In the Midnight Garden


I am the sturdy oak tree, standing in the grove

 I am the resilient weed, sneaking between the cracks

I am the creeping vine, climbing the gazebo

In the Midnight Garden


I am the shining moon, rising in the sky

I am the nourishing soil, nurturing the roots of all

I am the flowing water, gushing over rocks

I am the cool breeze, flying through the sky

I am the Midnight Garden 

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 favorite was Mr. West's Bingo game with Smartees - brilliant idea!

:D Ms. S






Middle School Students: A Deeper Look


This article from Best Schools by Thomas Armstrong helps parents and educators better understand specific factors relevant to the "Social, Emotional, and Metacognitive* Growth" of middle school students.

To skip the brief background, scroll down to: "Developmental Needs of Early Adolescence."

*Metacognition refers to higher order thinking which involves active control over the cognitive processes engaged in learning. Activities such as planning how to approach a given learning task, monitoring comprehension, and evaluating progress toward the completion of a task are metacognitive in nature.

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."!

Cornell Notes Blank Template: See Shillingburg Locker :D

Here are samples for English and Math:


sample math.png


Samples Courtesy of Ottawa Middle School:

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 3/22/2012.

Westward Expansion brought to you by The History Channel:


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.

Respect Others

Respect Yourself and

Respect the Learning Process

Students who go above and beyond earning the natural reward of

feeling great by doing the right thing at the right time,

may earn the following:

Lunch Bunch

Homework Passes

Movie Day with Another Class

"Read-Out Day" (Class Outside)

Listening to Music while Working (Without Disturbing Others)

Art Time

Corndog Day and...

Extra Credit for Awesomeness!

See Me with Questions :D


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 be taken  in Room 200 at lunch.

Please see me with questions,

Ms. S

Image result for test clipart

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 and bear arms in order to maintain a well regulated militia.

3 No quartering of soldiers.
4 Freedom from unreasonable searches and seizures.
5 Right to due process of law, freedom from self-incrimination, double jeopardy.
6 Rights of accused persons, e.g., right to a speedy and public trial.

Right of trial by jury in civil cases.

8 Freedom from excessive bail, cruel and unusual punishments.
9 Other rights of the people.
10 Powers reserved to the states.


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 choose a "Reader" for the week and this student will be responsible for choosing the quote from our classroom desk calendars and leading a 5-10 minute discussion.

This exciting look into the minds of great writers, leaders, and world changers will help us become even stronger critical thinkers.

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 responsible for many confusing and upsetting behaviors.

This video is from the PBS Frontline series titled "Inside the Teenage Brain."

I hope you find it helpful!

~ Mrs. Shillingburg


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 grade students for 8th grade English and History, and 8th graders for High School courses, we will continue to practice reading informational texts for the last quarter of this school year.

With a consistent decline in US literacy over the last ten years, this is a wonderful opportunity to help our students learn how to assess and process informational texts and increase their vocabulary - not to mention that the more they read, the better writers they become!

As always, please see me with questions :D

See Sample Readings Here:

English Language Arts Standards » Reading: Informational Text » Grade 7

See More at:

Standards in this strand:

Key Ideas and Details:

Cite several pieces of textual evidence to support analysis of what the text says explicitly as well as inferences drawn from the text.
Determine two or more central ideas in a text and analyze their development over the course of the text; provide an objective summary of the text.
Analyze the interactions between individuals, events, and ideas in a text (e.g., how ideas influence individuals or events, or how individuals influence ideas or events).

Craft and Structure:

Determine the meaning of words and phrases as they are used in a text, including figurative, connotative, and technical meanings; analyze the impact of a specific word choice on meaning and tone.
Analyze the structure an author uses to organize a text, including how the major sections contribute to the whole and to the development of the ideas.
Determine an author's point of view or purpose in a text and analyze how the author distinguishes his or her position from that of others.

Integration of Knowledge and Ideas:

Compare and contrast a text to an audio, video, or multimedia version of the text, analyzing each medium's portrayal of the subject (e.g., how the delivery of a speech affects the impact of the words).
Trace and evaluate the argument and specific claims in a text, assessing whether the reasoning is sound and the evidence is relevant and sufficient to support the claims.
Analyze how two or more authors writing about the same topic shape their presentations of key information by emphasizing different evidence or advancing different interpretations of facts.

Range of Reading and Level of Text Complexity:

By the end of the year, read and comprehend literary nonfiction in the grades 6-8 text complexity band proficiently, with scaffolding as needed at the high end of the range.

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 Thursday may need to be reserved for studying for a Friday test.

Throughout the semester, projects and longer writing assignments may have a due date that falls on a Friday, but this is not technically "Homework."

Please see me with questions!

 "Between the two of us, we'll find our way home." - Tony Malone


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 grade Social Studies?

This National Education Association website provides information and
links to religious and cultural winter celebrations from across the
globe. Please create a one-page Instagram 'report' on the elements
present in your choice of celebration. This does not have to be
something you are familiar with, but your report must show that you were
interested in the topic.

Your choices are:
Pancha Ganapati;
New Year,
Rosh Hashanah,
Ras As Sana,
Chinese New Year,
or Pongal.
If you personally celebrate any of these as a family, I would love to hear about your cultural traditions!

You may draw or adhere photos obtained from the Internet that
illustrate elements of the celebration, and there must be one or more
'boxes' with text giving information on what you learned. Minimum word
count: 200.

Please be as colorful and original as you can! Remember to cite your source if you are quoting a specific book or website.
Instagram Template and Reading Log are available in the Google Classroom.

Also, please keep up with reading your novel/non-fiction book. In order to be prepared for 9th grade, ALL 8TH GRADERS should be reading a minimum of 30 minutes per day, everyday. Please keep a log of what you read over the break.


See me with questions and have an UHMAZING BREAK!

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 Characterization - Exploring the main character

Day 2 Setting - Where the story takes place 

Day 3 Relationships (Homework for students who did not receive the handout from Tuesday's Substitute teacher,)

Day 4 Compare and Contrast thoughts versus actions two separate characters

Day 5 Quotes about the main character (by supporting characters or the Narrator.)

Day 1.1 Actions/Words/So What? An event occurs/the main character responds (quotation;) Reader's analysis of the response

Day 2.1 Big Idea_Thinking Deeper and Wider_Asking an Essential Question Pgs 1 & 2: What is the "Big idea" from one or two chapters? Analyze the Big Idea, then write an essential question and list 3-5 bullet points on the social effects


  • Please follow the format in these examples and see me with questions.
  • These journal entries are for use with the book you are reading from start to finish. If you just started a new book, and feel you have gone far enough into it to mindfully focus on these five aspects. that's awesome! 
  • If you are not that far into your new book, use the most recent one you finished.
  • All entries should include page numbers or chapters for reference.


RJ 5.PNGThree Column Notes on Actions Words and Analysis.JPG
Big Idea_Thinking Deeper and Wider_Asking an Essential Question.JPG
Big Idea_Thinking Deeper and Wider_Asking an Essential Question 2.JPG

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 7, 2016.
  • No late submissions will be accepted as this is the end of the grading period.


News Debate: Phone Patrol


Should the police be allowed to dig through people’s cell phones?


Police officers in California have a new way to fight crime. If they arrest someone who is carrying a cell phone, officers can dig through the phone’s content, including text messages, voice mails, e-mails, calendars, and photos.


In a 5-2 ruling, the California Supreme Court stated in December 2011 that police officers are allowed to “open and examine what they find” on an arrested person, without a warrant. A warrant is permission from a judge based on reasonable suspicion.


The decision came about as a result of a 2007 case, People v. Diaz. Sheriffs in California’s Ventura County arrested Gregory Diaz, saying they saw him participate in a drug deal. The sheriffs took Diaz’s cell phone from his pocket and scrolled through the text messages. They found one linking Diaz to the sale. Diaz was convicted. Later, however, he appealed the charges. He said that phone snooping violated the Fourth Amendment, which protects against unreasonable searches and seizures.


The California Supreme Court’s verdict upheld Diaz’s conviction. The court stated that, based on past rulings from the U.S. Supreme Court, police can indeed look through anything “immediately associated with a person.”


The two judges who voted against the verdict argued that cell phone searches are an invasion of privacy. They noted that smart phones can contain a wide variety of information about a person.


Here are the arguments from people on both ends of the call.


Protection Over Privacy


The police need help keeping the streets safe, say supporters of cell phone searches. Officers in Shafter, Calif., note that the policy has already been helpful. “We were able to establish who [the arrested people] were in contact with. It helped us to find who may also be involved in that crime,” Detective Chris Grider told Bakersfield’s 23ABC.


Some people also believe that the policy will deter people from committing crimes. “The police now have better means to find out if you’re guilty,” California resident Chris Eddy told San Diego 6 News.


Furthermore, supporters of the ruling say it does not violate the Fourth Amendment. If you’ve already been arrested with reasonable evidence, they say, then it is fair for the police to search through anything on you.


Abuse of Power


Stop snooping through smart phones, argue opponents of the new ruling. “People could have ... pictures in there, like of their girlfriends, that they don’t want somebody else to see, and it would be an invasion of privacy not only for them, but the other person also,” California resident Valinten Perez told 23ABC.


San Diego resident Jim Tharayil added that he thinks the policy could be abused. He told San Diego 6 News that he can imagine police officers “using something else to pull you over and then using this to look through your cell phone.”


Justice Kathryn M. Werdegar, one of the judges who opposed the decision, says that police officers should have to obtain a warrant. It is unfair of police officers to “rummage at leisure through the wealth of personal and business information that can be carried on a mobile phone ... merely because the device was taken from an arrestee’s person,” she says.



Update: The Supreme Court ruled in June 2014 that cell phones can no longer be searched without a warrant. This ruling came after this text was first published.




Questions: News Debate: Phone Patrol


_____________ Date: _______________________





1. Which amendment protects against unreasonable searches and seizures?


  • the First Amendment
  • the Second Amendment


  • the Third Amendment


  • the Fourth Amendment



2. The passage shows two sides of this debate: Should the police be allowed to dig through people’s cell phones? According to the passage, all of these people are against the police being allowed to dig through people’s cell phones EXCEPT


  • Detective Chris Grider


  • Justice Kathryn M. Werdegar


  • Valinten Perez


  • Gregory Diaz



3. What can you most likely conclude about Gregory Diaz after reading the passage?


  • He was probably sentenced to jail.
  • He wasn’t actually guilty of a crime.


  • He was related to one of the judges.


  • He used to work as a police officer.



4. Read these sentences from the passage: “Diaz was convicted. Later, however, he appealed the charges.”


In this sentence, the word convicted means


  • reported angry
  • acted alone


  • looked after


  • found guilty



5. The author’s purpose for writing this passage was all of the following EXCEPT


  • to present evidence for both sides of the argument


  • to let the reader come to his or her own conclusions


  • to provide facts about the 2007 case People v. Diaz


  • to offer convincing proof that one side is clearly right



6. Why did sheriffs arrest Gregory Diaz?













7. Why is the People v. Diaz case important? How do you know? Give specific examples from the text to support your answer.













8. The question below is an incomplete sentence. Choose the word that best completes the sentence.



Gregory Diaz appealed the charges, _______ the California Supreme Court upheld his conviction.











9. Answer the following questions based on the sentence below.



In December 2011, the California Supreme Court stated, based on past rulings from the U.S. Supreme Court, that police officers are allowed to “open and examine what they find” on an arrested person.





Who? _________________________________________________________________






(did) What? stated that police officers are allowed to “open and examine what they find” on an arrested person






When? ________________________________________________________________






Why? _________________________________________________________________








10. Vocabulary Word: seizures: acts of forcibly taking an owner’s property.



Use the vocabulary word in a sentence: ______________________________________












© 2012 ReadWorks®, Inc. All rights reserved.



Fall gif.gif

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 Workshop, and explore Wicor Strategies from AVID.


Please see our Google Classroom for all future information, homework, and resources.


Use the code and link below to sign up for Google Classroom as follows:


ELA Per 1 = dssgle


ELA Per 3 = uwj7lg


ELA Per 4 = 1l8oqbn


AVID 8 = q4oik9j


AVID 7 = zmqnxhu

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:

Students who read a book from either the MS or HS lists and complete a project by the end of the grading period will receive 100 substitute points (taking the place of a variety of in-class and homework assignments.)

The only requirement for this ELA option is that the reading book and culminating task are pre-approved by Ms. Shillingburg and parents/guardians.

The grade 6 - 8 List is Here:

See me with questions!

~Ms. S

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 uploaded to out classroom YouTube channel.


Time minimum 5 minutes; maximum 7. Due no later than 1/15/16. Books have already been pre-selected and approved during the last week of November.


The videotaping may be done at home or in the classroom during lunch periods or after school.


See the Locker for Book Review outline form with rubric, and me with questions


See samples here:





Google Survey: Teen Reads

Go to the Google Form Here: 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 :D


Have an Awesome Thanksgiving Break ~ I am grateful FOR YOU ~ Ms. S



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 families.

All video episodes are below :D

To prepare for the test, please watch here or at


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 11.18 J



Allusion – a reference to a well-known person, place, event, literary work, or work of art.

Character – One of the individuals in a story.

Conflict – The main problem of a story. (Man v man; man v self; man v society.)

Dialogue – Words spoken by characters in a story.

Figurative language – Language that means something different from what the words actually say.

Flashback – When the sequence of a story gets interrupted, allowing readers to travel back in time and relive a key event in a character’s life.

Foreshadowing – When the text provides hints about what will happen later in the story.

Hyperbole – a deliberate exaggeration or overstatement

Irony – a contrast between what is stated and what is meant, or between what is expected to happen and what actually happens.

Metaphor – a figure of speech in which one thing is spoken of as though it were something else

Mood – The way a reader feels when reading a story or poem.

Onomatopoeia – the use of words that imitate sounds (Boom! Bam!)

Personification – a figure of speech in which a nonhuman subject is given human characteristics

Plot – The events of a story and how they unfold.

Point of View – The perspective from which a story is told.

Resolution – The solution or outcome of the conflict.

Setting – The place and time in which a story takes place.

Simile – a figure of speech that makes a direct comparison between two subjects using like or as

Symbolism – Something that stands for something else.

Theme – The main idea or message of a story.

Tone – The way the narrator feels about the events, settings, and characters in the story.


Create a Crossword Puzzle on the back of your handout for 50 extra credit points: Distributed 11/12/15


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:

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 encompasses all of the Asian continent and the Pacific islands of Melanesia (New Guinea, New Caledonia, Vanuatu, Fiji and the Solomon Islands), Micronesia (Marianas, Guam, Wake Island, Palau, Marshall Islands, Kiribati, Nauru and the Federated States of Micronesia) and Polynesia (New Zealand, Hawaiian Islands, Rotuma, Midway Islands, Samoa, American Samoa, Tonga, Tuvalu, Cook Islands, French Polynesia and Easter Island).

Like most commemorative months, Asian-Pacific Heritage Month originated in a congressional bill. In June 1977, Reps. Frank Horton of New York and Norman Y. Mineta of California introduced a House resolution that called upon the president to proclaim the first ten days of May as Asian-Pacific Heritage Week. The following month, senators Daniel Inouye and Spark Matsunaga introduced a similar bill in the Senate. Both were passed. On October 5, 1978, President Jimmy Carter signed a Joint Resolution designating the annual celebration. Twelve years later, President George H.W. Bush signed an extension making the week-long celebration into a month-long celebration. In 1992, the official designation of May as Asian-Pacific American Heritage Month was signed into law.

The month of May was chosen to commemorate the immigration of the first Japanese to the United States on May 7, 1843, and to mark the anniversary of the completion of the transcontinental railroad on May 10, 1869. The majority of the workers who laid the tracks were Chinese immigrants.

Read more here:

About the Site This Web portal is a collaborative project of the Library of Congress and the National Archives and Records Administration, National Endowment for the Humanities, National Gallery of Art, National Park Service, Smithsonian Institution and United States Holocaust Memorial Museum.

Watch Videos, Listen to Audio Presentations and View Relevant Images Here:

“Beyond work and love, I would add two other ingredients that give meaning to life. First, to fulfill whatever talents we are born with. However blessed we are by fate with different abilities and strengths, we should try to develop them to the fullest, rather than allow them to atrophy and decay. We all know individuals who did not fulfill the promise they showed in childhood. Many of them became haunted by the image of what they might have become. Instead of blaming fate, I think we should accept ourselves as we are and try to fulfill whatever dreams are within our capability.

Second, we should try to leave the world a better place than when we entered it. As individuals, we can make a difference, whether it is to probe the secrets of Nature, to clean up the environment and work for peace and social justice, or to nurture the inquisitive, vibrant spirit of the young by being a mentor and a guide.”

- Michio Kaku, Professor of Theoretical Physics at the City College of New York.


Let's Care about the Earth Every Day!


Earth Day was April 22nd

Founded in 1970 as a day of education about environmental issues, Earth Day is now a globally celebrated holiday that is sometimes extended into Earth Week, a full seven days of events focused on green awareness. The brainchild of Senator Gaylord Nelson and inspired by the antiwar protests of the late 1960s, Earth Day was originally aimed at creating a mass environmental movement. It began as a “national teach-in on the environment” and was held on April 22 to maximize the number of students that could be reached on university campuses. By raising public awareness of air and water pollution, Nelson hoped to bring environmental causes into the national spotlight.

  • Watch Short Videos Here:
  • Earth Day Speeches (<3 Minutes:)

Ideas for EARTH DAY… and EVERY Day!

The following activities can be done with an individual class, or as a booth or workshop at a school- wide Earth Day Fair. With each activity, you can combine a brief lesson on a relevant topic (waste, recycling, energy use and climate change, paper use and forest protection, etc.) with a hands-on activity. Celebrate the tangible results of your collective efforts by communicating through your school newsletter and tracking the number of: cards made, bottles recycled, signatures collected on a petition, shoes or printer cartridges recycled.

Bottle rocket…Make rockets out of recycled plastic bottles and shoot them with water and a bicycle pump.

Recycled Paper… Make handmade paper from paper recycled in the classroom. Or, make recycled paper greeting cards ahead of time to sell at your Earth Day Fair to raise money for a school garden or tree. Contact your local recycling agency and inquire if they have staff who can teach a paper-making workshop. See: For a paper-making video, see:

Solar ovens…They’re simple to make out of cardboard and tinfoil. For instructions on building a solar oven and making baked apples and other desserts in them, see: and

Musical Instruments…Make instruments out of recycled materials: shakers, box guitars, drums, and more. For ideas, go to:

Poetry/Stories…Students write environmental poetry and hang on a line or mural, or share at an assembly, see: Students write inspiring personal stories,

Recycled art…Make jewelry, books, sculpture with used materials. For more ideas, check out:

Toy solar cars… Build and race model solar-powered cars in a solar car derby. A variety of kits are available on-line. For comprehensive instructions and resources, go to: i_solarelectricitybuild-1.shtml.  To see video on a solar car derby click:

Non-toxic cleaners…Make and test eco-friendly cleaners against conventional cleaners. See:

Worm compost bin…Compost school lunch waste for use in a school garden -

Earth pledge/mural…Organize a school-wide mural project for individual pledges such as, "I will turn off the lights when I leave the room." A Pledge board or mural could be the start of an “Environmental Mission Statement” for the school. More pledge ideas at

Junk Mail Tree… Kids collect junk mail from home, make a tree out of junk mail, and provide information to the school community about how to reduce junk mail, opt out of catalogs, etc.

Human Sun Clock…Create a human-scale sundial in your schoolyard to connect with the sun and the seasons.

Trash on Your Back… Kids save and wear all the trash they generate in 5 days, then sort, analyze and take action to reduce. Makes waste visible - eye-opening!

Earth Day Fair Assembly, Booths, and Demonstrations

Have each grade host an activity or booth. Booth displays and posters are opportunities to showcase things students have learned in class. Read on for ideas:

Organic vs. conventional food taste test…Compare the flavors of strawberries or another fruit and provide information about organic food and farming.

Community Petition… Create and distribute a petition to eliminate the use of plastic grocery bags in your city, or start compost, or anything else:

Walk- or Bike-to-School Day… This is a favorite of kids and adults. Go to: for tips on how to organize and keep it safe.

Waste-free lunch…Provide information about school lunch waste, and demonstrate how to pack a waste-free lunch – Lunch monitors & awards for proper sorting. Green cars of the future…Invite Betty Biodiesel or a local group to make a presentation at your school. Learn more at

Issue Booths…Invite a local environmental organization to have a booth at your fair: Animal

Rights, Roots and Shoots, your local recycling agency, to name just a few.

Solar Panel Demonstration…Hook up solar panels to water pumps or fans and demonstrate the power of the sun. Build a solar fountain at your school:

For solar kits and other resources, see: and

"Game Show"…Set up a booth to test your environmental knowledge, and win prizes. Classes can host the game show and do research to develop the questions and answers. See the Trash Can

Quiz at

Plants and Animals…Have a booth about local plants and animals, with posters made by kids. Kids can create guides to local plants, birds, and animals.

Earth Day Assembly…Kids can perform a skit, read pledges, read environmental poetry, or invite an outside speaker to address a specific issue. 5-min film festival:

Beautify your school…Plant a butterfly garden in containers; plant seedlings to give away; make clay balls with wildflower seeds to give away. FreeCycle/Swap Meet…Students and families bring gently used items to school to swap: kids sports equipment, toys, books, games, and clothes. Arrange to have leftovers donated to a local organization.

Recycle/Re-Use Drive…Hold a used sneaker/cell phone/printer cartridge drive. You can have families bring used sneakers to be turned into playground surfaces. Learn how at Recycle cell phones and cartridges for cash: Recycle printer cartridges through

Recycling race – Kids (wearing gloves!) compete to sort waste into correct bins.

Guidance and instructions for many of these activities are available at on our Resources page. Also see for even more great Earth Day ideas and links.

Did You Know?

A highlight of the United Nations' Earth Day celebration in New York City is the ringing of the Peace Bell, a gift from Japan, at the exact moment of the vernal equinox.

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 as “Women’s History Week." 

Throughout the next five years, Congress continued to pass joint resolutions designating a week in March as "Women’s History Week."  In 1987 after being petitioned by the National Women’s History Project, Congress passed Pub. L. 100-9 which designated the month of March 1987 as “Women’s History Month." 

Between 1988 and 1994, Congress passed additional resolutions requesting and authorizing the President to proclaim March of each year as Women’s History Month.  

Since 1995, Presidents Clinton, Bush and Obama have issued a series of annual proclamations designating the month of March as “Women’s History Month.” 

From the Law Library of Congress' guide to the legislative history of Women's History Month.



Watch and Listen Here:

The Library of Congress:

National Women's History Museum:











Research Further Here:


Women's History Month Quotes that Inspire:


"I'm inspired by failure. The process of defeat—picking yourself back up again is the hardest thing in the world."

Lolo Jones, (1982-)
Gold medal winning Olympian


"I was not tired physically… No, the only tired I was, was tired of giving in."

Rosa Parks, (1913-2005)
civil rights activist


"Champions keep playing until they get it right."

Billie Jean King, (1943-)
tennis player and founder of the Women's Tennis Association and the Women's Sports Foundation


"I may be the first woman member of Congress but I won’t be the last."

Jeannette Rankin, (1880-1973)
first woman in Congress




"Never grow a wishbone, daughter, where your backbone ought to be."

Clementine Paddleford, (1898-1967)
food writer for The New York Telegram, Herald Tribune, and other publications


"Do not put such unlimited power into the hands of the husbands. Remember all men would be tyrants if they could. If particular care and attention is not paid to the ladies we are determined to foment a rebellion, and will not hold ourselves bound by any laws in which we have no voice, or representation."

Abigail Adams, (1744-1818)
First Lady and advocate of women’s rights


"Walk the street with us into history. Get off the sidewalk."

Dolores Huerta, (1930-)
labor leader and civil rights activist


amelia-earhart-quotes-2.jpg"Our ‘Pathway’ is straight to the ballot box, with no variableness nor shadow of turning."

Elizabeth Cady Stanton, (1815-1902)
leading figure of the suffrage movement


"You can't just sit there and wait for people to give you that golden dream, you've got to get out there and make it happen yourself."

Diana Ross, (1944-)
singer, actress, and record producer


"Above all, be the heroine of your life, not the victim."

Nora Ephron, (1941-2012)
writer, director, and journalist


"Where the women go, the culture goes."

Phylicia Rashad, (1948-)
actress, singer, and stage director


"The test for whether or not you can hold a job should not be the arrangement of your chromosomes."

Bella Abzug, (1920-1998)
lawyer, US Representative, and activist


c75288c9e9447a9bf5974b08ebf868e0.jpg"Failure is impossible."

Susan B. Anthony, (1820-1906)
suffrage leader and social reformer


"Without courage we cannot practice any other virtue with consistency."

Maya Angelou, (1928-2014)
poet and author


"The only way for a woman, as for a man, to find herself, to know herself as a person, is by creative work of her own. There is no other way."

Betty Friedan, (1921-2006)
writer and activist


"We ask only for justice and equal rights—the right to vote, the right to our own earnings, equality before the law."

Lucy Stone, (1818-1893)
orator, abolitionist, and suffragist


"There is no life that does not contribute to history."

Dorothy West, (1907-1998)



Women's Suffrage Timeline: (1840-1920)

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 studied in our current unit.

Art, architecture and thinking became brand new under the overarching idea of Humanism. Additionally, he chronicles many of the people and important developments that our textbook addressed about this extraordinary historical period.

Please see me with questions!

Ms. S




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 always, feel free to contact me any time to discuss your child's progress in English and/or Social Studies.

~Mrs. S

Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do.

So throw off the bowlines.

Sail away from the safe harbor.

Catch the trade winds in your sails.

Explore. Dream. Discover.

~ Mark Twain

Instructor Biography: Ms. Shillingburg resides in the San Francisco Bay area and graduated with a Master's degree in British Literature from the University of Nevada Las Vegas, where she taught for three years. As a Secondary teacher with a local hybrid Charter School, she attended and presented at several Online Learning Conferences and founded a High School Student Union. Her professional experience includes teaching in the Elementary, Middle, High School and post-secondary environments, School Improvement Committee leadership, and professional development for online teachers. She is currently pursuing an additional Master's degree and loves to travel, be creative, and hang out with her family.

Favorite Quotes:

“If you can't fly then run, if you can't run then walk, if you can't walk then crawl, but whatever you do you have to keep moving forward.”

~ Martin Luther King Jr.

"Never, never, never quit."

~ Winston Churchill

"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?
Current Assignments

ELA 8 Vocabulary

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


Vocabulary Instructions.JPG
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10.31 Vocabulary Slide Pic.PNG


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 sleep in the Dursley’s home?
  4. Who delivered his mail at the Dursley’s?
  5. What lie was he told about his parents?
  6. What really happened to his parents?
  7. What ‘thing’ did Harry do at the Zoo?
  • At School/Elsewhere:
  1. Who comes to collect Harry to take him to school?
  2. What is the name of the street on which he and this character go to buy a wand?
  3. What is the name of the platform through which Harry must enter the school?
  4. What is a ‘Muggle?’
  • Analysis:
  1. What are your first impressions of Hogwarts School? What about it makes it seem special and different? Three sentences required.
  2. Consider the professors at Hogwarts, including Dumbledore, McGonagall, and Quirrel -what does each character stand for? What does Harry learn from each one? This is a two-part question, so please address both in your answer.
  3. Author J.K. Rowling states: “It does not do to dwell on dreams and forget to live.” What does this quote mean to you? What does it mean to Harry? Make sure that your answer communicates what you are thinking.
  4. Give 3 examples (each) of good and evil in the film.
  • The books and film series received a lot of criticism from people who thought that ‘glamorizing witchcraft’ was bad for children. Choose one positive trait from each of the characters below. Describe it using at least three details or events from the movie to support your claim.



Due Monday October 31, 2016


Please see me with questions






"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 prompt:

By definition, an 'Autoethnography is a form of self-reflection and writing that explores’ the author's individual experience, connecting his/her own personal story with "wider cultural, political, and social meanings and understandings."

Tell the story of how your personal beliefs, identity, customs, traditions or ethnicity connect you to the culture around you.

  • How does this connection help you find meaning or purpose for your own life and
  • Better understand others with whom you don't normally interact?

Biography prompt:

Select one historical figure from your Social Studies text. Read the chapter where the person is explained most extensively. Write your own narrative biography of this individual. Why are/were they significant? Tell their life story in sequential order. Conduct research on the person citing your sources on the final draft. Explain their contribution to their culture, society or historical time period. Making Connections: Are they or their achievements still significant today, if so – how?

Autobiography prompt:

Eleanor Roosevelt once said, "You must do the thing you think you cannot do." Write a narrative story about a time when you did something you thought you could not do.

Be sure to include specific details so that a reader may easily follow your story.


Remember the four elements of good writing that must be included in your essay, and work as a guide when you write. Another helpful tip is to include the seven elements of culture wherever applicable.

Narrative writing includes:

  • A series of events in order,
  • A conflict that leads to action,
  • A climax or turning point in the action, and
  • A satisfying ending for the reader

The Seven Elements of Culture are:

  • Social organization
  • Customs & traditions
  • Religion
  • Language
  • Arts & literature
  • Forms of government &
  • Economic systems

For NV High School Writing Proficiency Student Samples (1-5) - See Locker :-)

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!



Yay Reading!

Ms. Shillingburg

“Every person has lots of ingredients to make them into what is

always a one-of-a-kind creation.”

Holly Goldberg SloanGO-TEAM-GO--cheerleader-cheerleading-cheerleading-competition-smiley-emoticon-000478-large.gif


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 be delivered to
  • Room 200
  • Project may be anything visual from 7th or 8th grade textbooks including eras that we have not yet studied
  • Students must also be prepared to explain their creation to the families that attend
    • Families will circulate through different classrooms during the night
  • Each project must be accompanied by a 5" x 8" card describing the project,
    • Why the student selected the topic specifically, and
    • How it changed or enlightened their understanding about a particular period/person/event/place in U.S. or World History
  • Digital projects are encouraged as well
    • Digital Ideas Include
      • Which American woman should replace Andrew Jackson on the $20 bill? See
      • A timeline of the Civil Rights Movement
      • Roman Architecture
      • British colonies worldwide.
      • Videotape yourself delivering a speech by a famous American or world leader from any period in history
      • Iterations of U.S. Flags since1776
      • Create a digital treasure hunt using vocabulary terms from a specific chapter
      • PowerPoint, Blog, Wikispace or Prezi are some tools that may be used
        • See me for assistance with these :D
      • Up to six (6) computers iPads or Chromebooks will be available in Room 200 for the evening
  • Point Value: 300
  • Please see Ms S with questions :D


  • Sample Projects:

HST 1.jpg
HST 2.jpg

HST 6.jpg
HST 11.jpg

Persuasive Speeches: April 2015


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 with research and delivery. Students also utilized a rubric and gave positive feedback during this learning process about the  art of persuasion :D

~ Ms. S


Topic choices, the presentation rubric (guide,) and links to sample speeches are below.

Speech must be four (4) minutes in length. During the last two weeks of March we watched sample speeches, discussed a simple rubric on the whiteboard, and reviewed what good and bad elements made each speech either engaging or unappealing.

Please see me with questions :D

~ Ms. S

Topics to choose from:

Current Affairs:

Pros and Cons of Adoption
or Should Hunting be Made Illegal?
Student Life:
Television is a Bad Influence
Should Cell Phones be Allowed in School?
All students should wear school uniforms in grades K - 12
Social Issues:
Women's Rights
Animal Welfare
Cyber Bullying (Social Media or otherwise)
Political and Global Issues:
Arab-Israeli Conflict
Climate Change Policy
Global Water Resources
Videos for Reference:
Excellent Teaching Video on Persuasive Speeches:
(You do not have to register to view this.)
Presentation Rubric:
Students will be graded with this rubric and will peer review one another.

Directions: Your speech  will be graded  based on this rubric. ALSO – Please USE this rubric as a GUIDE when working  on your speech  and check it again before  you present it.







The introduction is inviting, states the goal or thesis, and provides

an overview of the issue. Information is presented in a logical order  and maintains  the interest

of the audience. The conclusion  strongly states a personal opinion.

The introduction includes the goal or thesis and provides an overview of the issue. Information is

presented in a logical order  but does not always maintain

the interest of the audience.  A conclusion states a personal opinion.

The introduction includes the main goal or thesis. Most information is presented in a logical

order.  A conclusion  is included,  but it does not clearly state a personal opinion.

There is no clear introduction, structure,  or conclusion.

Goal or


There is one goal or thesis that  strongly and clearly states a personal opinion and identifies the issue.

There is one goal or thesis that  states a personal opinion and identifies the issue.

A personal opinion is not clearly stated. There is little reference to the issue.

The personal opinion is not easily understood. There is little or no reference to the issue.

Reasons and


Three or more  excellent reasons are stated  with good  support. It is evident  that  a lot of

thought and research was put into this assignment.

Three or more reasons are stated,

but the arguments  are somewhat weak in places.

Two reasons are made but with weak arguments.

Arguments are weak or missing. Less than two  reasons are made.

Attention to


Argument  demonstrates a clear understanding

of the potential

audience  and anticipates counterarguments.

Argument demonstrates a clear understanding of the potential audience.

Argument demonstrates some understanding of the potential audience.

Argument  does not seem to target  any particular  audience.

Word  Choice

Word  choice is creative and enhances  the argument.

Word  choice enhances the argument.

There is evidence  of attention to word choice.

Word  choice is limited.

Visuals/ Delivery

Visuals are appealing, highly relevant, and add support to the argument. Delivery is fluent, with an engaging flow of speech.

Visuals are appealing and add support to the argument. Delivery is fluent.

Visuals are related  to the topic.  Delivery lacks some fluency.

Visuals are not directly related  to the topic. Delivery is not fluent.

Grammar, Mechanics, & Spelling

There are no errors in grammar, mechanics, and/or spelling.

There are few errors in grammar, mechanics, and/or spelling, but they do not interfere with understanding.

There are several errors in grammar, mechanics, and/or spelling.

There are numerous errors in grammar, mechanics, and/or spelling.





"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 this strategy for the rest of the year, so we can practice academic language often enough to make it our "First", not 'Second nature.'

:D and



A Conjunction is…

a word that joins together sentences, clauses, phrases, or words


A Coordinating Conjunction is…

a conjunction (such as and, or, or but ) that joins together words, phrases, or clauses of equal importance (Merriam –Webster)

  • And
  • But  
  • Or 
  • Nor
  • For 
  • Yet  
  • So 

A Subordinating Conjunction is…

a conjunction that introduces subordinate clauses, such as if, because, although, and until,  after (Merriam –Webster)

  • although
  • as
  • as if
  • as long as
  • as much as
  • as soon as
  • as though
  • because
  • before
  • even
  • even if
  • even though
  • if
  • if only
  • if when
  • if then 
  • inasmuch
  • in order that
  • just as
  • lest
  • now
  • now since
  • now that
  • now when
  • once
  • provided
  • provided that
  • rather than
  • since
  • so that
  • supposing
  • than
  • that
  • though
  • til
  • unless
  • until
  • when
  • whenever
  • where
  • whereas
  • where if
  • wherever
  • whether
  • which
  • while
  • who
  • whoever
  • why

Your assignment is to write seven (7) complex sentences using a coordinating conjunction and

Ten (10) sentences using a subordinating conjunction

DUE: Friday 3/27/15 WITH the Grammar Worksheets attached.


Please see Ms. S with questions :D

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:)

You will be tested on this information on Friday 1/9 in class.

See me with questions!

Our Holiday Door: "InstaUs"
Our Holiday Door:

Daily CNN Student News

We will be watching Student News from CNN each day in 7th and 8th grade Social Studies and students will keep a graded Current Events Journal for the remainder of the year.

Journals will be provided.

Sample videos are available here:

See me with questions!

~Ms. S

Peace Love Happiness :D
It's All About the Love
Play, Live, Dream, LEARN Like a Champion!
Play, Live, Dream, LEARN Like a Champion!
I Got a Bath & It's Not Pretty
I Got a Bath

"Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter."

No matter the decade, person or's always worth reminding ourselves and each other that:



From the October Read-a-Thon 2015:


Congratulations to all Advisory classes who read books for the entire month of October!

We are very excited about how our students increased their vocabulary, became better readers, writers and test takers, and enjoyed great stories!

White paper: American Library Association on Independent Reading and Improved Student Performance: