Waikoloa Elementary & Middle School

Noetzel, Liz » Spelling Tests Every Thursday!

Spelling Tests Every Thursday!



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Author Letter Deadline Postponed!

Tooooo much going on....we did not have enough time to finish our Author Letters so we are going to finish that project after Christmas Break. We are working hard on it but it would stress ALL of us out to try to finish it by tomorrow or even Friday. As such, we will pick this up again after our much needed vacation. Enjoy your holidays!
Mrs. Noetzel

Author Letter Due 12/20

Happy Holidays!
Below is the description for the letter to the author of the book we just finished that we're working on this week. Students may need to work on this at home this week in order to finish it on time. This is the last grade for the semester. Wishing you all a very Happy Holiday and a fabulous 2019!


Your will be writing a 4-5 paragraph letter to Mr. Philbrick, the author of Freak the Mighty. This project will take a few days. It is due by the end of class on Thursday, 12/20. There will be a spelling test on Thursday before you will have work time, and possibly AYOA. Before beginning, read through the TOP TEN QUESTIONS on Rodmanphilbrick.com (click on the book cover, then the Top Ten Questions are on the left) so that you DO NOT (notice the all caps for emphasis?) ask the author any questions that he has already answered. That would annoy him (and us), and cause you to lose points.

Your letter to Mr. Philbrick should be a creative effort. We will not tell you what to write. We will give you some ‘ideas’ for topics, but you are not limited to these. Think of them as thought starters, but feel free to create your own! You do not need to check with us first, just write.

- What your favorite part was and why

- What part you could really visualize in your mind while we were reading

- Which character you could most relate to and why

- Which character was the funniest and why

- The part that made you feel the strongest emotion, what it was; provide text evidence

- What you learned about yourself from reading this book

- How this book changed your views about friendship or anything else important

- What you think the themes from the book are

- What theme from the book affected you the most, and why you think it did

- Which of Freak’s dictionary words are your favorite and why

- What ‘lessons’ you learned from the book

- How the book helped you become a better person

- Ask him anything he has not already answered in his Top ten Questions!

Recommended steps:

1) Go to rodmanphilbrick.com and read through the author’s Top Ten Questions once you click on the book cover. Do not ask him anything he has already answered.

2) Plan your letter before you begin writing. Make a list of 3-5 topics you will write about in your journal. Those topics will become your paragraphs.

3) Do not combine topics in paragraphs- each topic should get its own paragraph. That means that you must elaborate on your topics- pick interesting ideas to write about, and ‘say more.’

4) Start your letter with:

Dear Mr. Philbrick, and end it with:

Sincerely (or Aloha, or Mahalo, or Happy Holidays, or With Appreciation, or Sincerely Yours,)

    (then skip a line so you can hand write your name between Sincerely and your typed name)

Your Typed Name

* We are providing you with a lesson on proper formatting, as well as an example...the expectation is that you use both of these to create a properly formatted friendly letter.  

* How will you be graded? (good news: you can use first person!)... See the rubric. Any questions? We will not be proofreading rough drafts. Use ProWritingAid or your friends.



Personal Letter Rubric

7th Grade English Language Arts




Letter Format:

Follows proper letter format guidelines precisely with heading, greeting, body, closing.



Letter contains 3-5 paragraphs about 3-5 topics, each supported with specific and engaging details.



Letter has smooth transitions between all paragraphs



No errors.


Sentence Structure:

Letter contains good sentence variety. All sentences have clear and correct structure.


Word Choice:

Words add color, interest and engage the reader. No slang is evident.


Detailed info about Spelling Tests Every Thursday

Each week your person will be having a spelling test on Thursday. While the words may seem very simple (because they are), we highly recommend that students study them throughout the week in order to earn high marks, as the tests are 'summative' assessments and thus, count for 60% of their grade. They will get new words each week, and the number of words they receive will vary. This week, we are focusing on commonly misspelled contractions. We recommend that students study about five words per night in order to be prepared for the test. The words will be taped into the back of their English Language Arts journal (or sometimes they will write them down). There is a section they have created in the back behind 'arrows' (a folded page) labeled 'Q2 Vocab,' etc. 
Students struggle not only with spelling common contractions correctly, but also placing the apostrophe in the correct place. Hopefully this upcoming test will help them sort out and fix these important writing pieces.
Thanks for any support you can provide on your end, even if it is just to remind your child to study for the test!
Happy Day!
Mrs. Noetzel and Mrs. Custer/Student Teacher

Please check with your child that they have pens/pencils

Happy Thanksgiving!
For reasons I can never figure out....around this time of year, a common claim I hear is, "I don't have anything to write with." I know that you all send your children to school with a backpack full of writing tools at the beginning of the year, so I can only imagine that aliens have swooped down and taken them. If you don't mind checking with your person and providing he or she with several pencils and pens as soon as possible, that would be much appreciated. I've told each period that their job right now in life is to go to school, and they need these tools to properly get their jobs done. Thanks so much, and enjoy the little break from school!

Argumentative Essay: Final Draft Due Date: Dec. 6

Students have their rough drafts and a checklist of what they need to work on, as well as a bunch of comments on their papers. They will have two days in class to work on their revisions, and after that, they will need to complete the balance of their work at home before the Dec. 6th due date. An hour and a half should be enough time to make revisions, but if more time is needed, I ask that they do this at home. Please check in with your child towards the end of next week (around Nov. 28th or so) and see how they are doing with their final draft. If you ask them to read it to you, offer them any advice on how to improve it, and listen for any 'glitchy parts' while they are reading, I'm sure they will be very appreciative! They have worked long and hard on this paper.
We are continuing to read the book, 'Freak the Mighty' while learning more reading strategies, and we're working on a fun postcard writing activity that we can share at Middle School Parent Night on Dec. 5th. We hope to see you there!

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!

Five Paragraph Argumentation Essay....

Part 3 :)!
Hi everybody....
So it would appear that we need to take a few steps back and revisit 'How To Write a Five Paragraph Essay," which is fine, but which is going to delay our rough draft due date and change the structure of the original assignment just a bit. I am not announcing the new due date yet, as we need to see how this new draft materializes and I don't want to stress out the students. I have provided the students with 18 additional topics to choose from, and I have eliminated the paragraph with the counter argument and the need for research to provide evidence to support the claim. Students MAY keep the original essay topic they began with, as some are well under way. However, all papers will now require three reasons to back up their claim instead of two (we are substituting the third body paragraph with the third reason, rather than a counterclaim); and as with the previous paper, everything must be in third person (no "I" or "you, we, etc."). This is still a challenging paper, just not 'quite' as challenging. Of course, if your child has already moved ahead and has completed the paper with the evidence and the counter claim paragraph, YAY, no need to change anything, good to go!
I encourage students to: keep working on this at home and keep reading at home! Thanks so much for your support :)
Mrs Noetzel

Grading Change

Aloha, Parents and Guardians!
Just a minor adjustment to the grading policy- 
In order to align with the report card that you receive and the State's grading program, and to keep matters more simple, I'm going to assign students letter grades on their assignments from now on (A, B, C, D, F) rather than percentages. 
Mahalo and have a great day!
Mrs. Noetzel