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Parent/ Student Communication

March 10, 2019

Happy Sunny Sunday!!!

I hope everyone has enjoyed this lovely day.  The students have two more county benchmarks this week:
Monday - Math
Tuesday - Reading Comprehension
Testing will begin at 7:15.

It is difficult to believe, but this is the final week of Quarter 3.  This school year is going by so quickly.  In the blink of an eye your wonderful children will be high school students.  

Last week we began reading the play The Diary of Anne Frank.  We will continue reading the play this week while discussing character development, inferences, moments that propel the plot, tone, and theme.

Students will have a classroom assessment this Thursday.  I will give students a study guide on Monday as well as post study guide on Google Classroom.  The test will cover the following:
         1) Analyze a nonfiction text.  Questions will cover: central idea, point 
              of view, paragraph structure, decoding unknown words, and 
              understanding the role of specific paragraphs or sentences 
              within a text.
        2)  Editing:  poor word choice, redundancy, passive voice, dangling 
              modifier.
        3)  Root Word:  Syn/Sym

A link to NoRedInk will be posted on Google Classroom Monday.  This will be due Wednesday morning by 7:15 am.

 A link to a ReadWorks passage will be posted on Google Classroom Monday.  This will be due Thursday morning by 7:15 am.  

Please continue to encourage your child to read at least 7 pages per day in his/her independent reading book.  

Thanks,
Leigh Williams
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Dear Parents, 

I hope everyone had a nice weekend.  Students will begin their Q-3 county benchmarks this week and wrap them up next week.  Below is the benchmark schedule:
Tuesday, March 5th - Writing Benchmark
Thursday, March 7th - Science Benchmark
Friday, March 8th - Math Benchmark
Monday, March 11th - Social Studies Benchmark
Tuesday, March 12th - Reading Benchmark

Testing will begin at 7:15 am each day.

This week students will be studying text structure, drawing conclusions, symbolism, flashback, and learn how to read a play.  They have a NoRedInk assignment posted on Google Classroom which will be due no later than 7:15 am on Wednesday, March 6th.

I feel very lucky to have such an avid group of readers.  Please continue encouraging them to read every night.  They are required to read 7 pages per night.  

If you have any questions, please let me know.  williams_leigh@hcde.org

Leigh Williams
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February 10, 2019

Dear Parents,

We wrapped up our Happiness unit last week and introduced our Courage unit.  Most of the unit will cover nonfiction texts relating to World War II and the Holocaust as well as reading of the play The Diary of Anne Frank.

This week students will focus on finding the central idea of nonfiction texts.  They will learn the difference between stated and implied central idea and how to find the best evidence to support the central idea.  

I will be posting a ReadWorks passage for students on Google Classroom later in the week.  This will be due on Friday.  Also, please remember your child should be reading every night.  He/she should read a minimum of seven pages every night (49 pages per week).  

Please contact me if you have any questions or concerns.  williams_leigh@hcde.org

Thanks,
Leigh Williams
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January 30, 2019

Dear Parents, 

I apologize that I am just now sending this.

Monday students started working on their common theme essay.  They will finish this in class tomorrow.

We also studied the root words chron and temp this week.  Students turned in that homework assignment today.  The chron/temp PowerPoint can be found on this webpage.

Students have an assessment this Friday.  A study guide, PowerPoint, and quizlet are located on Google Classroom. 

Additionally, each evening your child needs to read a minimum of seven pages per night (49 pages a week).  

Thanks for all of your support.
Leigh Williams
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January 22, 2019

Dear Parents, 

Well, it appears that a few of our green team children are out with the flu.  I will do my best to keep our classroom sanitized.  Please encourage your children to wash their hands frequently throughout the day.  I will make sure all assignments are posted to Google Classroom; this will ensure that students have access to all missed work should they be absent. 

Today students determined the theme for the short story "The Chase".  We also reviewed semicolon usage.  Students have a grammar assignment due by 7:00am on Thursday.  This is posted on Google Classroom.

Tomorrow, students will uncover a common theme between the poem "Oranges" and the short story "The Chase". Thursday and Friday, they will write a literary analysis regarding this common theme. 

Additionally, each evening your child needs to read a minimum of seven pages per night (49 pages a week).  He/she will have a writing assignment on his/her current independent reading book on Friday. 

Thanks for all of your support.
Leigh Williams

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January 14, 2019

Dear Parents, 

I hope everyone had a great weekend.  

The text students are analyzing this week is the short story "The Chase" by Annie Dillard.  Students will be decoding unknown words, analyzing significant moments, characterization, theme, and central idea.  

Tomorrow (Tuesday) students have an assessment.  This assessment will cover two poems that students have not read yet to assess their knowledge on skills taught.   It will also have question covering the poem "Oranges", root words bi/du and astro/stell, and comma usage.  The study guide and practice quizzes are located on Google Classroom.

The students also have a homework assignment to complete tonight.  This will also help them prepare for the test.  There is a link on Google Classroom for students to read the poem "Hope is a Thing with Feathers" and answer questions.

Additionally, each evening your child needs to read a minimum of seven pages per night (49 pages a week).  He/she will have a writing assignment on his/her current independent reading book next week. 

Thanks for all of your support.
Leigh Williams
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January 8, 2019

Dear Parents,

It was great to see all of the children yesterday and today.  I hope everyone had a good winter break.  

We have hit the ground running this week.  Students are studying the root word bi/du.  They have a homework assignment to complete using words that contain the root bi/du.  This assignment is due on Wednesday.

Additionally, each evening your child needs to read a minimum of seven pages per night (49 pages a week).  He/she will have a writing assignment on his/her current independent reading book in two weeks. 

The text students are analyzing this week is the poem "Oranges" by Gary Soto.  They will be analyzing how the author develops the characters in this poem as well as central idea, theme, and figurative language.  

Report cards will go home on Friday.

Thanks for all of your support.  

Leigh Williams
williams_leigh@hcde.org

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December 18, 2018

This year is absolutely flying by.  I have truly enjoyed these first two quarters teaching your children.

This week we are focusing on analyzing poetry.  Many children struggle with poetry analysis because of the metaphorical nature of poetry.  Here are the poems they have been analyzing:
Annabel Lee by Edgar Allan Poe;
The Black Land by Joseph Warren Beach;
The Poison Tree by William Blake; and
The World is Not a Pleasant Place to Be by Nikki Giovanni.

Students need to continue to read their independent reading books over the break.  Even just a couple of weeks without reading can have a negative effect on a child's reading level.  

I hope everyone enjoys the holiday season.

Leigh Williams

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December 10, 2018

Dear Parents,

This was already a very busy week, and the two hour delays are not helping the situation.  However, these things happen.

Students have benchmark testing this week.  Today they took their Science benchmark and tomorrow will be Social Studies.  They will have Reading and Math benchmark tests this week, as well.  One will be on Wednesday and the other on Friday.  The schedule has changed quite a bit due to the weather delays.  I will keep the children updated through Google Classroom.

Due to all of the testing and shortened classes, students will not have any homework in Language Arts with the exception of reading their independent reading book.  

Thanks.  

Leigh Williams
williams_leigh@hcde.org

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December 4, 2018

Dear Parents,

It is difficult to believe that the second quarter is already coming to an end.  The next couple of weeks will be very busy.  Students have a reading passage to analyze.  The link to this passage is posted on Google Classroom and is due on Thursday.  They will also have an assessment on Friday.  I will post this study guide on Google Classroom tomorrow.  

Next week students will take benchmarks for Language Arts, Social Studies, Science, and Math.  

As always, it is important that your child reads at least 7 pages per night in his/her independent reading book.  

Thanks.  

Leigh Williams
williams_leigh@hcde.org

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November 26, 2018

Dear Parents,

We will be focusing on comma usage this week.  Our class will study comma usage with coordinating, correlating, and subordinating conjunctions.  They will also study comma usage with prepositional phrases and other various comma rules. 

Students will be assigned two No Red Ink assignments.  One will be over conjunctions, and the other over prepositional phrases and appositive phrases.  The conjunction assignment will post to Google Classroom on Tuesday; this assignment will be due Thursday.  The prepositional phrase and appositive phrase assignment will post on Friday; this assignment will be due next Tuesday.   

Leigh Williams
williams_leigh@hcde.org

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November 18, 2018

Dear Parents,

Almost all of my students have their Chromebooks.   Because of this, I will be using Google Announcements to send reminders directly to students about homework and tests.

Also, since students have their Chromebooks, I will be assigning homework through Noredink and Readworks.  Noredink will help students with grammar usage, and Readworks will give students practice analyzing reading passages and answering questions.  We will still be studying Latin roots, but this will only happen once or twice a month.  

We only have two days this week, but it will be a busy two days.   I have delayed teaching students how to write a book critique until we finished reading "The Raven".  So Monday and Tuesday, students will be learning how to write a critique.  Then they will write a critique over their independent reading book.  If for some reason your child will not be at school one or both of these days, I have exemplary examples of a critique and the rubric on Google Classroom so they can complete the assignment over the break.  

I hope everyone has a wonderful Thanksgiving. 

Leigh Williams
williams_leigh@hcde.org

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November 6, 2018

Dear Parents,

I apologize for the delay in the parent letter this week.  

I was so happy that students were able to take their computers home with them last week.  Last Thursday, students were assigned a possessive noun assignment which was to be completed online.  This assignment was due today.  The NoRedInk site will be used as a way to reinforce grammar rules.  When NoRedInk is assigned, the students will have from Thursday until Tuesday to complete it.  Most assignments will take 20 to 30 minutes.  However, these assignments do require mastery, so there are times the assignments might take longer. 

The root word we are studying this week is astro/stell which means star.  Click on root word hyperlink to the left to view these words.  Students' astro/stell homework is due Wednesday.  

Please remember your child should be reading every night.  He/she should read a minimum of 50 pages per week.  I  was hoping we would complete our book critique this week, but we are analyzing "The Raven" by Edgar Allan Poe, and I would prefer to keep moving forward with this poem.  We will complete the independent reading book critique next week. 

Please contact me if you have any questions or concerns.  williams_leigh@hcde.org

Thanks,
Leigh Williams

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October 28, 2018

Dear Parents,

I hope everyone has enjoyed their weekend.

Please remember your child should be reading every night.  He/she should read a minimum of 50 pages per week.  This week students will be writing a book critique in class, and it will not be possible if they have not met or surpassed the goal that was set two weeks ago.  

My original plan was to have an assessment last Friday; this assessment will actually be given this Tuesday.  Students received a study guide on Friday.  This study guide is also posted on Google Classroom.  

Also, on Friday, your child will have an assignment to complete on noredink.com.  The link will be posted on Google Classroom and will be due next Tuesday, November 6th.  The noredink assignments should take around 30 minutes; however, students have to prove mastery to move forward in the assignment.  Because of this, it could take longer to complete for some students.  It is important for students to read all instructions and watch tutorial video, if available. 

Please contact me if you have any questions or concerns.  williams_leigh@hcde.org

Thanks,
Leigh Williams

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October 21, 2018

Dear Parents,

This is such an exciting time to be a part of the Hamilton County school system.  The 1:1 roll out is underway.  It is our hope that we will have all digital citizenship lessons completed and students will be able to take their computers home in the next couple of weeks.  Most students have turned in their paperwork, but there are still a few students that still have not.  Please make sure you get this in, as soon as possible.

Last week, I had conferences with students regarding independent reading expectations.  The week of November 5th, students will be writing a book critique in class.  This will not be possible if your child is not reading his/her book each evening.  Please remember the expectation is 7 pages per night.  This is around 50 pages per week.   I have many students that read far more than required, but some students don't spend anytime outside of school reading.  

We will have a test on Friday.  This test will cover elements of suspense, inferencing, general comprehension questions, and decoding unknown words.  It will also cover the root words uni/mono and flam/pyro.

Please contact me if you have any questions or concerns.  williams_leigh@hcde.org

Thanks,
Leigh Williams

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Sunday, September 30, 2018

Dear Parents,

It was great to have the sunshine visit us this weekend.

This will be the last week of Quarter 1.  It will also be a very busy week.  Students will be taking benchmark tests for all subjects; they will also finish and submit their argumentative essay.  The argumentative essay will be completed in class, but if a student is absent or does not finish a particular part of the essay any given day, it will become homework.  

Benchmark schedule:
Monday - Writing
Tuesday - Reading Comprehension
Wednesday - Science
Thursday - Social Studies
Friday - Math

Students will write a reflection on their independent reading book.  This will be due on Wednesday.  The assignment is posted on Google Classroom.  It has been 3 weeks since the last writing submission.  Therefore, students should have read an additional 147 pages in their independent reading book.  Many children are far past this point and have started on a new novel.  

Please ensure that your child is reading at least seven pages per night.  

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me.  
williams_leigh@hcde.org

Leigh Williams

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Monday, September 24, 2018

Dear Parents, 

We will be starting our argumentative essays this week.  Students will explore various topics in which they can write about, find support to develop their position on the topic they choose, and craft a thesis statement.  This essay will be completed in class; however, if a student is absent or does not complete classwork that particular day, he/she will need to complete for homework.  

Also, we studied the root words uni and mono today.  Students have an assignment to complete which is due on Wednesday.  

Please ensure you child is reading every night.  The students' next writing assignment with regards to their independent reading will be October 3rd.  By the time October 3rd rolls around, students should have read at least 150 pages since their last writing submission which was September 12th.  

Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions.  

williams_leigh@hcde.org

Leigh Williams

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Sunday, September 16, 2018

Dear Parents,

I hope your family had an enjoyable weekend.

The students will have a test this week.  This assessment will be given in two parts but will be a single grade in PowerSchool.  The first part will be on Tuesday and will include the following:
1) making inferences;
2) finding theme; and
3) root words mater/pater

The second part of this assessment will be on Wednesday.  Students will analyze two passages with conflicting view points and answer questions.  These questions will assess their knowledge on parts of an argument, persuasive techniques, and making inferences.  

Although this entire assessment should only take about 50 minutes, Mrs. Jordan and I wanted to ensure that all students had plenty of time to complete the test.

Students were given a study guide on Friday.  This study guide will be a homework grade as well as be used for a few points extra credit on the test.  This is being done to ensure students take some time to review for the test.  This assignment is due Wednesday.  Although, I will accept this assignment after Wednesday for a late homework grade, I will not accept late for extra credit on test.  

This study guide can be found on Google Classroom.

Thank you so much for your support.

Leigh Williams
8th Grade Language Arts Silver
williams_leigh@hcde.org

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Sunday, September 9, 2018

Dear Parents,

I hope everyone has had an enjoyable weekend.  

On Friday, I discussed the writing assignment with students that will assess their knowledge of the independent reading they have been doing.  This assignment is located on Google Classroom.  Also, if you click on the link on my calendar, you will be able to see instructions for this assignment, as well.  Students can submit this assignment through Google Classroom anytime before 7:15 am, Wednesday, September 12th.  I also let the students know that I would be happy for them to stay after school on Monday for them to utilize a school computer for this assignment.  Students will need to be picked up by 3:00 Monday, if they choose to stay.

Please remember your child should be reading every night. I require students to read a minimum of seven pages per night.  This is less than 50 pages a week.  Many students read far more than this, but I have many students that have not been reading the required amount. Independent reading every day will ensure your child stays on grade level and is prepared for high school

Here is our plan for the week:
Monday – Parts of an argumentative text
Tuesday – Distinguish the different types of persuasive techniques
Wednesday and Thursday – Analyze a text to identify the parts of an argument
Friday - Independently apply knowledge learned throughout the week

As always, please feel free to email me if you have any questions.
williams_leigh@hcde.org

Leigh Williams
8th Grade Language Arts Green

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Tuesday, September 4, 2018

Dear Parents,

It was great to see all of the students today.  Please take a moment to review the calendar.  It is my understanding that all students have their Google Classroom login information now.  I will get to test this theory tomorrow as the students will be typing a theme analysis paragraph for me in class and submitting through Google Classroom.  

This week in Language Arts students will:
  • Learn to uncover various themes found throughout literature
  • Write theme statements which can be supported by textual evidence
  • Craft a well developed paragraph in which students determine the theme of the short story "The Treasure of Lemon Brown" and support the theme with evidence and explanations
  • Discover the elements of a persuasive text

Please ensure that your child is reading every night. 

Enjoy your week.

Leigh Williams
williams_leigh@hcde.org

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Sunday, August 26, 2018

Dear Parents,

I hope everyone is having a great weekend.  Please take a moment to look at the calendar on my class website for a list of assignments and an upcoming test.  Note, the calendar is much easier to view on a computer versus a mobile device. 

It is our hope that all students will have the capability to access Google Classroom by the end of this week.  Based on this, the students' first independent reading assignment will be submitted through Google Classroom on September 5th.  By this time, students should have read a minimum of 100 pages in their independent reading book.  

Here is an outline for Language Arts this upcoming week:
  • Accountable talk (seminar) analyzing the dystopian society in The Giver
  • Test on Tuesday.  See information on calendar
  • Library/Accountable talk.  Students will read an article entitled "The R-Word", analyze text, and have Accountable Talk in the library
  • Making logical inferences when reading
Have an awesome week.

Leigh Williams
williams_leigh@hcde.org 

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Monday, August 20, 2018

Dear Parents,

The year is off to a great start.  It has been a pleasure getting to know the students.  I would encourage you to look at the calendar on my class website for a list of assignments and an upcoming test.  Students will have a written assignment that will accompany their independent reading and will occur every other week.  This writing assignment will be submitted through Google Classroom.  Speaking of Google Classroom, the County is resetting passwords, so most students do not currently have access to their Google Classroom site.  

Just to let you know, I use three main ways to communicate with parents and students:  this webpage, Google Classroom, and Remind.  If you have not signed up for Remind, I would suggest you do so.  Simply text @c7fcgca to the number 81010.  Please note that this is a one way communication, and the number that appears on your phone is not my cell phone number.  I am also only allowed 140 characters when typing a Remind, so you will sometimes see many abbreviations.  :-) 

Here is an outline for Language Arts this upcoming week:
  • Study words that contain the Latin root mal (bad) 
  • Utilize the PEEL method to successfully craft paragraphs
  • Utilize the STEAL method to understand how authors develop characters
  • Accountable talk (seminar) analyzing the dystopian society in The Giver
  • Making logical inferences when reading
Have an awesome week this week.

Leigh Williams
williams_leigh@hcde.org 
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