End of Year F.A.Q. & Answers

Question #1: What extra credit is there for the fourth quarter?

Answer #1: As always, each unused hall pass is worth 5 extra credit points. (That’s a 20-point opportunity) for staying in class and using transitions for non-emergency restroom and water breaks. Other than that … there is NONE for this class. As specified on my syllabus: “Extra Credit and Recycling are privileges and are NOT guarenteed. Earn your desired grade through regular assignments.” Alternate assignments fall into this category too. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯


Question #2: Ummm… then what can I do to improve my grade?

Answer #2: The regularly assigned work. Please see the May Calendar for ELA as it has what we’re working on in class. Please note: the quarter will end and so will the regular assigned work. Few days + no extra credit + limited alternate assignments which are priveleges = do your best on every assignment you’re given!


Question #3: I was absent. What did I miss?

Answer #3: The regularly assigned work. Please see the May Calendar for ELA as it has what we’re working on in class. Any physical hard copies of work you missed can be found in the absent bin–which as a rising 8th grader–you are responsible for checking. The only digital assignment we completed was on Thursday, May 16th and it was Checkpoint #3 (assessment grade) on Ch. 9 of The Outsiders. The challenge pin you will need for this make-up work is: 05068. No resources were used on the assessment. Since it was due the same day it was assigned, your due date is the date you return.


Question #4: I was in (make-up) testing and missed your class. What do I do? 

Answer #4: Treat this circumstance as an absence. See previous answer.


Question #5: I have the calendar and I know you have gone over this again and again in class, but I’m confused. Can you break down what assignments are left?

Answer #5: Yes. ELA is broken down into the five CATEGORIES below. All assignments that there are in the fourth quarter are already in Focus.

  1. CLASSWORK – Assorted Standards as Measured by The Outsiders Activities*
    1. Ch. 5-6 Poetry Analysis
    2. Ch. 7-8 The Outsiders Interview
  2. ASSESSMENTS – The Outsiders Comprehension Checks on Assorted Standards
    • Check Point #1 – Mind Map on Ch. 1-5 (score out of 5 points)
    • Check Point #2 – Using Context Clues to Infer Definitions of Ch. 7-8 Vocab. (8 additional points can be added on top of Check Point #1)
    • Check point #3 – Ch. 9 Summary of Key Ideas and Details Kahoot (10 additional points can be added on top of previous Check Points)
  3. PROJECTS AND PRESENTATIONS – The Outsiders Socratic Seminar
  4. STUDENT ENGAGEMENT – finalized for the quarter
  5. HOMEWORK – all, but hall pass extra credit has been finalized

* For these assignments in Focus, students are completing work for ALL the activities and being given the BENEFIT OF THE HIGHEST SCORE EARNED being the grade reflected in Focus.

.Question #6: But I did that, when are you going to update grades?

Answer #6: At my earliest possible convenience. While I once was in your shoes and remember all to well the frustration at





teachers to just do the “one thing” I needed… I assure you, I am not leaving school at the sound of the bell, teleporting home to a fully-cleaned house where problems cease to exist, and snacking on leftover cupcakes from school, while I binge-watch Game of Thrones. 

Rather, I am juggling the known and unknown roles of teaching in the same 24 hour period, doing my best to achieve work-life balance. If I am slower in responding to you, it is due to the increase in volume of end-of-the-year responsibilities, commitments, and communication.

Please know I am working throughout the day and then some. All missing work will be input as soon as possible (sooner, the less I have stop doing what I was doing to answer when I am going to do the thing I was just interrupted from doing….) Trust me, I will have everything finalized prior to the district’s cut-off. I have informed students that I have a self-imposed deadline of May 24th. I will be unavailable after May 24th, so I am working diligently to ensure everything is finalized by this date or sooner. This is in an effort to simplify all our lives. Students have worked hard and they deserve to enjoy all the festivities the last week of school. Parents, you too have stressed enough and deserve the peace of knowing where your student stands before report cards are published.

So you see, we’re all team Duval and your child’s success. Help me, help you.


As needed, should more F.A.Q. arise, they will be addressed here. Thank you for your continued support. It’s appreciated more than words can express!

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Public Service Announcement

To avoid spamming your email, I recommend unfollowing this blog as it will soon be revamped.

My 8th grade leadership students (Research 3 on your schedule) will use the Focus site, so you do not need to follow this blog.

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The Outsiders Unit

See the source image


  • On Wednesday, April 17th students checked out a copy of the novel from the school’s media center.
  • On Thursday, April 18th students were allowed to go check out a book if there were unable to do so earlier. Also, students received the calendar for what students will be working on for the rest of the school year, so they can stay caught up.
  • If a student is ever without their book, or would like to use the available PDF/audio chapters, they are available in the ‘Resources’ section below.
  • Students are responsible for updating their calendars during Housekeeping if anything should change.
  • Students may work ahead and are responsible for keeping up with the reading, which will mainly occur in class. Any weekly homework is noted at the start of the week where Sunday would traditionally  appear on the calendar.


  • For classwork, see the above calendars.
  • For homework, see the above calendars.


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Boot Camp Media Resources

Was Abby Too Young to Sail? (Running Time: 03:41)

https://my.hrw.com/content/hmof/language_arts/hmhcollections2017/na/gr7/ese_9780544570740_/index.html (Page 28 of the online textbook if it does not navigate there automatically)

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Week of 4/1 – 4/5

Heart and Brain tackle self doubt and goals.Announcements:

  • In an effort to prepare students for 8th grade, I am transferring more responsibility to them. It is their responsibility to write down important work and reminders in their planners (primary source for information we review during our dedicated Housekeeping time) and the blog will be updated sparingly as it’s a supplemental resource.
  • In the fourth quarter I have adapted the weekly A3K homework requirement. To see the changes, please click here to see the post that will provide more information.
  • Students completed the FSA Writing Assessment on Tuesday, April 2nd.
  • The FSA Reading Assessment will be broken up into two sessions which will occur on Tuesday, May 7 and Wednesday, May 8. Both sessions will occur in their testing locations as they are 85 minutes each.
  • Students need to bring their own headphones/earbuds both days for the Reading ELA test. Wireless/blue tooth headphones are not compatible with the testing program and it is not advised to bring expensive headphones that may be lost/stolen.
  • Looking ahead to next week, we will be starting FSA Reading Boot Camp. Students are encouraged to wear military colors, camouflage, or with parent/guardian’s permission military (any branch) paraphernalia. There is NO extra credit for doing so, this is just to get into the theme.


  • Monday: Students reported to the media center and had a friendly competition against Ms. Tave’s class during the FSA Writing Review Jeopardy Game.
  • Tuesday: Students took their FSA Writing Test and then had 18-20 minute classes. In ELA, we brainstormed 4th Quarter Class Dojo Incentives for donated points.
  • Leadership Wednesday: The class reviewed A.N.T.s (automatic negative thoughts) and the teacher reviewed how to complete the notes on it. All classes started, but reached varying stopping points. Students held onto the notes and may complete in class through this and next week.
  • Thursday: Students took the Mock Reading FSA Session 1.
  • Friday: Students took the Mock Reading FSA Session 2 and generated questions they have about the FSA Reading Assessment that we will begin to cover in next week’s review.


  • Complete the FSA Challenge Article: “The Feeling is Mutual” (Article – Activity) by this Saturday at 11:59 P.M.
  • If not finished in class, complete the Intermediate Quill Diagnostic by Friday, April 12th by the end of class.

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Protected: Choice Essay Peer Review

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Change to Weekly A3K Homework for Quarter 4

Q4 A3K

Last Updated: Friday, April 5th at 10:31 A.M.


  • There has been a change to the weekly homework requirement. In an effort to prepare for F.S.A. students will be asked to complete ONE assigned F.S.A. Challenge Article each week instead of two articles of their choice.
  • Students are still expected to earn 75% or higher on their first try and will only get credit for work submitted to the LA2 section. There is no option to complete alternate assignments, but as you can see above the grading system is more lenient.


  • Complete the ONE assigned F.S.A. Challenge Article between Sunday at midnight (start of week) and Saturday (end of week – seventh day) by 11:59 P.M.
  • To find out the assigned F.S.A. Challenge Articles’ title prior to Monday, check Focus. The articles are revealed Sunday at midnight each week.
  • Remember to complete the article through activity tab in each FSA Challenge Article. Students are losing points for not completing part 1 and 2 of the activity!


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Quarter 3 Grades

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  • Grades have been input into Focus for quarter 3.
  • Double-check to be sure everything looks accurate. If something looks inaccurate, email me:
    • A screenshot of the assignment
    • The digital file (I cannot open .pages [Mac documents] on the school-issued PC, but you can save it as a PDF!)
    • a polite email to jog my memory of a conversation we had, or an idea where to look for the assignment. Some papers haven’t been claimed from the No Name Paper Wall, but you can check Dojo to see if they’re yours…
  • If you email me the evening of 3/21, it will ensure I can correct any mistakes the morning of teacher planning day!

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Read Sources & Plan

Effective Plans


  • The FSA Writing Assessment will occur on Tuesday, April 2nd. For more information on the assessment, please see the Florida Standards Assessments official website.
  • Monday, Mar. 18th: Students identified whether they needed more help with argumentative or explanatory/informative. If absent, students were given additional time to identify the area with which they want more help.


  • Students will read the prompt and sources for the area they identified as their weakness. Either the argumentative or the informative.
  • Then, students will plan (should take no more than 5-10 minutes) what they would write for their essay using the strategies we discussed in class (see above picture.)


  • If not finished in class, students must read and plan for their argumentative or informative essay by the start of class on Monday, Mar. 25. We will begin writing on Monday, so those who fail to have their plan will sacrifice writing time to write a plan.

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3/1 – 3/21: Ongoing Grammar & Spelling Project


  • 3/1 – Project was introduced. Students begin working of step 1 (see links below for overall project packet.)
  • (If students will be out on Friday, 3/8) It is the student’s responsibility to email the teacher the images they have found for the project by the start of their class time on 3/8 or earlier (and if necessary, explain their  choices in the body of the email) this way the teacher can check progress and give feedback.



  • 3/1 – 3/7: Find at least 5 pictures of spelling and grammar mistakes. See above links for project specifics.
  • 3/8 – 3/18: None for students who have an approved first check. For those who received feedback, they need to use the feedback to fix mistakes, so they’re prepared for Monday’s class.
  • 3/18 – 3/20: Work on project to prepare for final in-class work day. Strongly encouraged to transfer files from phone to computer at home to be prepared for 3/21’s class!


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