Monday, December 15, 2008

Homework Due December 16, 2008

-Read for 4 steps.
-Write WWWs 10x.
-Finish slam poem and write it on loose-leaf so that it can be collected and checked.


-Practice reading your poem and performing it.
-Ms.Beyer would be coming to class on Friday.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

HW due on Wednesday, 11/3

Read for 4 steps
Write sentences using WWWs
Injustice: unfair act
Ambiguous: unclear
Mischievous: trouble-making, malicious
Articulate: well-spoken
Sully: to taint, to spoil


Finish the two worksheets on percent change from class today

Write your two poems
One is on point of view; the other was the finish your in-class assignment.

Monday, December 1, 2008

HW due on Tuesday, 12/1

Read for 4 steps
Write your WWWs 10X:
injustice (adj.)
ambiguous (adj.)
mischievous (adj.)
articulate (adj.)
sully (verb)
Find definitions
Write two paragraphs based on the painting, The Sources of Country Music, 1975, by Thomas Hart Benton. You will write the first paragraph based on the point of view one person in the painting and the other paragraph from the point of view from another person in the painting. SEE ABOVE.

Finish your classwork
Do you HW work sheet

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Homework due on Friday

Study for your WWW quiz. Make sure you know the definitions of the words and what characterization is as well as character conflicts. I want examples of the different types of conflicts.
Read for 4 steps
Read notes on the blog about point of view (this will be posted on Monday)
Read "White Scarves" again and the background information I gave you in class. Then, tell me from what point of view is the poem. Why did the author choose the specific speaker of the poem? What effect does it have?


Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Word Wall Words 7

Lucid (adj.): clear, easily understood
Tentative (adj): uncertain
Cognizant (adj.): aware
Defiant (adj.): challenging

Homework due on Wednesday, 11/19

Math: No homework. Good job on your testing today.

Write sentences using your WWWs
Read the blog notes on characterization and conflicts.
Read for 4 steps (1 hour)

Bring your pennies for the penny harvest

Monday, November 17, 2008

Characterization: Conflicts in stories

The plots of most stories centers around conflict. A conflict is a struggle between opposing forces. There are two main kinds of conflict in stories: external and internal.

External Conflict.
A struggle between a character and an outside force is an external conflict. Characters may face several types of outside forces. The outside force may be another character. It may be the character and the community. The outside force may also be forces of nature. For example, a story might be the main character struggling against the arctic cold.

Man against man.
Man against nature.
Internal Conflict.
A struggle that takes place in a character's mind is called internal conflict. For example, a character may have to decide between right and wrong or between two solutions to a problem. Sometimes, a character must deal with his or her own mixed feelings or emotions.

Man against himself.
The Importance of Conflict.
Conflict is necessary to every story. In short stories, there is usually one major conflict. In longer stories, there could be several conflicts.

Conflict adds excitement and suspense to a story. The conflict usually becomes clear to the beginning of a story. As the plot unfolds, the reader starts to wonder what will happen next and how the characters will handle the situation. Many readers enjoy trying to predict the final outcome.

The excitement usually builds to a high point, or climax. The climax is the turning point of the story. Something has happened to resolve the conflict.

Reading for Conflict.

As you read a story:

identify the main characters
decide what conflict they face
look for steps they take to settle that conflict
see if the steps cause other conflict
watch for clues and try to predict what the characters will do
enjoy the buildup of suspense
put yourself in the story
decide if you would have solved the conflict in the same way

Homework due on Tuesday,

Finish your class work (2 worksheets)

Read for 4 steps
Write your WWWs 10 times and find the definitions of the words
Do your analyst on a video clip you find on
Study your WWWs

Tomorrow is report card day. Times your parents could come are: 1-3 and 5 - 7.
You will have your Math ITA test tomorrow. Sleep well!
Bring pennies for the penny harvest.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Homework due on Monday

Read for 12 steps
Visit to and make sure you are good media analyst!
Write a fundraising letter including:
-What’s special about us?
-Why Vermont? Why Middlebury College?
-What are we going to do after the trip?

Thursday, November 13, 2008


DEFINITION: Characterization is the method used by a writer to develop a character. The method includes (1) showing the character's appearance, (2) displaying the character's actions, (3) revealing the character's thoughts, (4) letting the character speak, and (5) getting the reactions of others.

When thinking about who a character is, think about the following:
physical characteristics (or lack thereof),
interaction with other characters,
interaction with his or her environment,
internal thoughts and/or philosophical outlook,
revelations about his or her past, and
dialect or way of speaking.

Authors make specific choices about their characters to send a certain message about who their character is. As you read your books, think about all elements that make your characters who they are.

Homework due on Friday, November 14

Finish the class work you did not finish in class
Do HW Sheet #47

ELA: Read for 4 steps

Mrs. Beyer will be coming to school tomorrow! Make sure you have on your uniform and arrive to school on time, which are expectations I have for you daily anyway.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Homework due on Wednesday, 11/12

Tomorrow, you have the day off to celebrate Veteran's Day.

Math: None

Read for 8 steps
Write your 2-page poem for Mr. Crum. Write about something provocative. You could write about the elections, your neighborhood, whatever that inspires you.
Write a 2-page essay, skipping lines, about what makes you anxious for high school.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Homework due Thursday, November 6

Study WWWs
Write a paragraph using your WWWs
Read for 4 steps

Do your worksheet on factoring trinomials

High School Workshop

Please look at information on a workshop on how to fill out high school applications:

Monday, November 3, 2008

Homework due on Wednesday, November 5

Finish your worksheet

Write your WWWs ten times
Write sentences using your WWWs
Find definitions of your WWWs
Read for 8 steps
Write a paragraph about your reactions to the election results

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Homework due on Friday, October 31

Finish your class work

Finish Type 4 and Type 5
Read for 4 steps
Finish WWW Packet 5
Study for your WWW quiz

The WWWs:


Scholarship Opportunities

Prep for Prep

A Better Chance

About scholarships

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Factoring a GCF from an Expression

To best understand this lesson, you should make sure you know how to find the GCF of two or more terms. To learn how, see the lesson called Finding a GCF.

3x3 + 27x2 + 9x
To factor out the GCF in an expression like the one above, first find the GCF of all of the expression's terms.

3 (1, 3)
27 (1, 3, 9, 27)
9 (1, 3, 9)

GCF = 3x
Next, write the GCF on the left of a set of parentheses:

3x( )
Next, divide each term from the original expression (3x3+27x2+9x ) by the GCF (3x), then write it in the parenthesis.

3x3 / 3x = x2
27x2 / 3x = 9x
9x / 3x = 3

The next expression we will be factoring is shown below.

36x2 - 64y4
To begin factoring the GCF out of the expression, find the GCF of the two terms.

36 (1, 2, 3, 4, 6, 9, 12, 18, 36)
64 (1, 2, 4, 8, 16, 32, 64)

GCF = 4
As you can see, the two terms to do not have any variables in common, therefore the GCF is simply 4.

Now write 4, the GCF, on the left of a set of parentheses.

4( )
Now divide each term 4, the GCF, and place the result inside the parentheses.

36x2 / 4 = 9x2
-64y4 / 4 = -16y4

4(9x2 - 16y4)
The next page links to various resources and calculators for this lesson.

Homework due on Wednesday, October 29, 2008

-Do your worksheet on factoring the GCF.

ELA: -If your were doing your type 3 in class finish that and do your type 4. If you had done your type 3 for homework already make sure to finish your type 4. Make sure to proof-read your work and pay attention to your FCAs.
-Read for 4 steps.

Announcements: -Remember that your make-up BARD test is on November 2 at 10AM.

P.S: Jehiza did this!...=]

Sunday, October 26, 2008


You all are awesome!

I know the exams this weekend were hard, but you all did them anyway.

I love that determination!

Much love,
Ms. Simmons

Friday, October 24, 2008

Bard High School

Tel: 212-995-8479
Fax: 212-777-4702


Bronx High School of Science
75 West 205th Street, Bronx, NY 10468
tel: (718) 817-7700

Subways: 4, B or D to Bedford Park Boulevard
Buses: BX1, BX2, BX22, BX26C, BX28, BX32, BX39, BQE Liberty Lines Express
from Manhattan and Gagnon Bus Service from Queens

Step three: Rank Your choices.

On the back of the Admission Ticket you will need to rank, in priority order, your choices for the Specialized High Schools to which you want to apply. You will need to submit your ranking of the Specialized High Schools on the day of the test,
and the ticket must be signed by your parent. You and your parents will need to determine the Specialized High Schools for which you wish to be considered and the ranking order in which you will list them on your application.

Consider the focus of the academic program, the size of the school, travel arrangements, as well as travel time. You may choose to apply for only one school, or you can choose to apply to as
many as eight schools. To increase your chances of being offered a seat in one of the Specialized High Schools, you are encouraged to choose as many schools as interest you; however, you should only list schools that you wish to attend should you be offered a seat.

SHSAT Testing Procedures

Remember to bring your admission ticket with you to your assigned test site on the day of the test. It is important to arrive at the test site at the time indicated on your SHSAT admission ticket. Please be advised that your picture will be taken at the test site prior to the start of the test.

On the back of the SHSAT Admission Ticket you must rank, in priority order, the Specialized High Schools to which you want to apply. This sheet must be signed by your parent. You will also be required to indicate this ranking on
the answer sheet.

Before you begin the test, you will be asked to read and sign a statement indicating that you are well enough to take the test and are taking it at the appropriate grade level. If you do not feel well, advise the test proctor immediately; do not begin the test, and do not sign the statement.

Students please note: If you believe there is interference during any part of this test, you must bring the matter to the attention of the proctor immediately. This may include a misprinted test booklet, undue noise, or improper student behavior. The proctor will attempt to remedy the situation and take a written statement from you at the end of the test.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Homework due Friday, October 24, 2008

Finish your worksheet from class today
Prepare for Mrs. Beyer's visit!

Study for your quiz.
Finish Type 1 and Type 3 portions of your essay.

The words are:

Remember your blue cards.
Today is the last day to register for the TACHS examination.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Homework due on October 23

Posted By : Krista Pedraza

Math : Finish your classwork sheet on dividing monomials
Do your classwork sheet on multiplying monomials

ELA : Read for 2 steps
Study for your WWW quiz on Friday
Do your paragraph on your WWW packet

ANNOUNCEMENTS : Fill out your Blue card ( it is due for a homework grade )
Mrs. Beyer is visitng us on Friday!!!!!

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Homework due on Friday, October 17


Study for your quiz on solving 1-step and 2-step inequalities.
Finish your classwork from today

Complete Type 5 of your paragraph. I must receive Type 1, Type 3, Type 4, and Type 5 stapled together.

Study notes on how to write a paragraph and how to insert supporting details into a paragraph. You will have to write a paragraph in class tomorrow!

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Homework due Wednesday, October 15

Math: Study how to translate verbal expressions into algebraic expressions and vice versa. Also, study how to translate verbal expressions into inequalities.

Read for 2 steps.
Make sure you have completed a Type 1, Type 3, and Type 4 writing assignment. Make sure you put your FCAs on your Type 4.

Writing: How to insert supporting details from a given text into a paragraph

Many times you will be asked to answer a question and then to provide details from the text to support your claim.

Here are some steps that will ensure that you have a strong paragraph with sufficient supporting details.

1) Ask yourself what the questions is asking.
2) After you know what the question is asking, form a topic sentence by restating the question. Sometimes, you might not always restate the question word for word because you might be asked about whether you agree with a statement or not. In that case, put your claim in your topic sentence.
3) Now, look for details in the text and find supporting details.
4) Underline at least three supporting details.
5) Insert the first detail, and then EXPLAIN how that detail supports the topic sentence. You especially have to elaborate when you use you a quote as a supporting detail. You cannot out in a quote without introducing it and then explaining it.
6) Add the rest of your details, elaborating on each detail.
7) After you have inserted and explained all your details, come up with a concluding sentence that restates your topic sentence.

Want to know more about high school?

On October 15, there will be a High School Admissions Information Session.

For a complete schedule, please visit:

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Borough High School Fairs

Borough high school fairs will be held Saturday, October 18 and Sunday, October 19. The fairs will be open to the public from 11:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. on both days. All high schools should have a representative at their borough’s fair on both days. The locations of the fairs are as follows:

Brooklyn: Edward R. Murrow High School (1600 Avenue L)
Bronx: Theodore Roosevelt Educational Campus (500 East Fordham Road)
Manhattan: Louis D. Brandeis High School (145 W. 84th Street)
Queens: Francis Lewis High School (58-20 Utopia Parkway)
Staten Island: New Dorp High School (465 New Dorp Lane)

Translated materials and interpretation services will be available at all the fairs.

For more information, please e-mail or call the Office of Student Enrollment at (212) 374-2363.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Message to 823

My darling students:

You all were as amazing as I imagined you would be today during our conversation with Deputy Mayor Walcott. You asked such insightful questions, and I was so proud watching you all do your thing!

I want to give a shout-out to Stella and Shuba for taking risks in their questions, asking about the war, the environment, politics, and so on. Julian also asked great questions about the Deputy Mayor's familial life, which is also important. Jenniffer's questions were also insightful, and I am constantly amazed by how brave and outgoing she is.

Tomorrow, we will begin working with our artist-in-residence, Mr. Crum. I also expect for you to be as dynamic as you always are.

Ms. Simmons

Math: Review

Based on today's quizzes, it looks like we have to review again. Tomorrow, instead of teaching a new lesson, we'll be going over our assessment from today.

I was going to put the lesson online, but before we move on, we have to master the objectives we have not mastered yet.

Monday, October 6, 2008



Deputy Mayor Walcott will be visiting our class during 2nd period. I expect you to show him how amazing you are.

Ms. Simmons

Homework due Tuesday


Read for 2 steps
Write a 1-page response to the questions on your work sheet from class.
Find the definitions for WWW #3 and write the words 10X. (I am collecting and grading your packets on Friday)


Re-take your unit 1 exam at home.
Study objectives: 7.a. 4, 7. a. 3, 8. a. 1, and 8.a. 2.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

HS Fairs

Borough High School Fairs

Borough high school fairs will be held Saturday, October 18 and Sunday, October 19. The fairs will be open to the public from 11:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. on both days. All high schools should have a representative at their borough’s fair on both days. The locations of the fairs are as follows:

Brooklyn: Edward R. Murrow High School (1600 Avenue L)
Bronx: Theodore Roosevelt Educational Campus (500 East Fordham Road)
Manhattan: Louis D. Brandeis High School (145 84th Street)
Queens: Francis Lewis High School (58-20 Utopia Parkway)
Staten Island: New Dorp High School (465 New Dorp Lane)


If you did not bring your permission slip for tomorrow's trip to Columbia University, please BRING it tomorrow.

Wear your uniforms!

This is an educational trip. You will have to write an essay about your trip.

All my best,
Ms. Simmons

Monday, September 29, 2008

Student of the Month

I am so excited that Shaki is our class' first student of the month. She has impressed me with her diligence and hard work. She has improved so much from last year, and I admire how serious she approaches her work.

Shaki will receive a Middlebury College t-shirt in navy blue for being student of the month.

I am so proud of you!

Ms. Simmons

Columbia University Trip

On Friday, we will be visiting Columbia University. I am so excited not only because it is our first of many fun trips, but also because I am picturing you all as future college students! You all are AMAZING!

Ms. Simmons

Math: Distributing a negative sign

Click here to learn about distributing a negative sign. Leave a comment!

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Homework over the weekend


Read for 6 steps
Read the NY Times article about the Bronx
Write your reaction to the NY Times article (1 page, skip lines)
Write a summary of the article (2 paragraphs, skip lines)


Thursday, September 25, 2008

Math: Dividing Polynomials by Monomials

Clock here to learn how to divide polynomials by monomials.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Missing you!

To my lovely class,

All whole day without you, and I missed you the whole time I was gone!

I went to this awesome meeting about the spoken word program we are going to have in class, and it is going to be AWESOME. Get excited--we are going to be performing poetry!

I even had to write and perform a poem at the meeting. I am excited about the moment you all will perform your poetry in front of the class!!!

Love you,
Ms. Simmons

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Dividing Monomials

Click here to learn about dividing monomials.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Math: Multiplying Monomials

Click here to learn about multiplying monomials.

Reading: Main Idea

The main idea of a paragraph is what all the sentences are about. It is important to find main ideas when reading. Main ideas help readers remember important information.

The main idea of a paragraph tells the topic of the paragraph. The topic tells what all or most of the sentences are about.

The other sentences in the paragraph are called details. Details describe or explain the main idea.

1. As soon as you can define the topic, ask yourself: What general point does the author want to make about this topic� Once you can answer that question, you have more than likely found the main idea.

2. Most main ideas are stated or suggested early on in a reading; pay special attention to the first third of any passage, article, or chapter. That's where you are likely to get the best statement or clearest expression of the main idea. Pay attention to the title, first sentence, and thesis as well.

3. Pay attention to any idea that is repeated in different ways. If an author returns to the same thought in several different sentences or paragraphs, that idea is the main or central thought under discussion.

4. Once you feel sure you have found the main idea, test it. Ask yourself if the examples, reasons, statistics, studies, and facts included in the reading lend themselves as evidence or explanation in support of the main idea you have in mind. If they do, your comprehension is right on target. If they don't, you might want to revise your first notion about the author's main idea.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Math: Solving and graphing inequalities

You solve an inequality as if it were an equation!

For example, 2y + 5 < 13
- 5 -5
Subtract 5 from both sides, and you are left with:
2y < 8
Divide both sides by 2, and you are left with:
y < 4

Now since you still don’t have a definite answer, y could equal lots things, right? You show that by putting the answer on a number line.

What you add today is circle the number on the number line, and decide to fill it in or leave it open. Filled in means it can equal that number, open means it can’t, and you find that out from the inequality sign.

For example, y < 4 looks like <---------------------->

The left side is darker because of “less than” and the dot above the 4 is open because your value cannot equal 4.

If you had less than or equal to, you would have had to close the circle because y could be 4.

Reading: Questioning

We should get in the hang of asking questions when we read. We ask questions all the time. For example, almost everyday one of you asks me for permission to use the bathroom, and almost everyday, you ask your parent or guardian for something. Basically, you are already great at asking questions!

When we read, it helps us to be active readers when we ask meaningful questions about what we read. We should question character motivation, character actions, and character decision-making. Not only should we focus our question on the characters or on events in the characters' lives, but we should also begin thinking about the author.

Yes, the author made specific decisions about his characters, and we should think as much about the author's decision-making as we do about a character's decision-making. For example, we need to begin asking questions about author's purpose and author's craft. It would be helpful trying to understand why an author decides to use a specific point of view or why he uses specific language or words. Knowing this information might help us understand the book even better.

Reading: Visualizing

Active readers visualize what they read. Of course, it is easier to visualize books that have colorful and descriptive language than it is to measure a mathematics text book.

When we visualize what we read, we create images in our head based on what we are reading and based on our prior knowledge. Visualizing is like making a movie in our head of what we read.

Visualizing helps us to be engaged in what we are reading so that we better connect to what we read and so that we remember what we read.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Math: Translating Inequalities


Inequality: A mathematical sentence that compares the values of two expressions using an inequality symbol.-Solution of an inequality: Any value or values of a variable in the inequality that makses an inequality true.

Solution of an inequality: Any value or values of a variable in the inequality that makes an inequality true.

For example, if I had x > 3, I know that any number that is bigger than 3 will make my inequality true. 3.1, 4, 100, and 200 are all possible solutions of an inequality because if I plug them in for x, my inequality will be true.


There are four inequality symbols:

< = less than
> = greater than
≥ = greater than or equal to
≤ = less than or equal to

When we are translating inequalities, we think back to what we know already about translating verbal expressions into algebraic expressions.

We have to pay attention to key words. Here are some to remind you:

Increase = +(plus)
Decrease = - (minus)
Is = = (equals)
Sum +
Difference -
Product x
Quotient (divide)
More than +
Less than -
Twice (multiply by two)

When we are solving inequalties, there are key words that help us know what to do and what sign to use when we see them:

< = less than
> = greater than, more than
≥ = greater than or equal to, more than or equal to, no less than, at least
≤ = less than or equal to, no more than, at most

Let's try it:

Two times a number is less than eight.

We know that two times a number = 2x

Then, we are told that 2x is less than eight.

We plug in the less than sign, <, and then we have 2x <

Now, we have to put in the eight and then we are left with: 2x < 8.

Reading/Writing: Author's Purpose

All writers have a purpose. While writers are motivated to write for different reasons, they often have a specific purpose for their writing.

The three purposes are:
- to entertain
- to persuade
- to inform

Today, in class, we read two pieces. We read a news article from NY Times about cheerleading injuries, and we read another short story from Sandra Cisneros.

The NY Times article was written to INFORM readers about the risks of cheerleading, especially for girls. The short story was written in a different way; it had more colorful language and evoked specific sentiments. The author wrote the piece to ENTERTAIN her readers, and she engaged our senses by painting a picture with her writing.

When writers write to persuade readers, they often present information to their readers to try to convince their readers to believe what they want their readers to believe. In that light, they try to present that information in an entertaining way. For example, advertisements are often considered writing pieces that try to persuade readers to buy a specific product.

For example, if you were running for a position like president, how will you try to campaign?
You would probably present information to your readers/voters about how wonderful you are, and you will use that information to show how amazing of a leader you’ll be. In other words, you are using the information to persuade others to vote for you.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Word Wall Words #1

Irate (adj)
Amiable (adj)
Peculiar (adj)
Preserve (verb)
Pursue (verb)

Reading: Making Connections to Text

It is important to make connections to the text that we read because it helps us be more engaged in our reading. Better readers are active readers, and it is important for us to get used to being active readers that connect to the the text we read.

When we relate to the text, the text seems more interesting because there is something about a situation or a character that reminds us of something in our own lives.

It ia also easier to remember what you read when you make connections to the text because you could think of your life and the character’s life and would be able to recall details easily.

Basically, reasons why connecting to text helps readers:

--It helps readers understand how characters feel and the motivation behind their actions.
--It helps readers have a clearer picture in their head as they read thus making the reader more engaged.
--It keeps the reader from becoming bored while reading.
--It sets a purpose for reading and keeps the reader focused.
--Readers can see how other readers connected to the reading.
--It forces readers to become actively involved.
--It helps readers remember what they have read and ask questions about the text.

There are three ways that we connect to text:

Text-to-self connections are highly personal connections that a reader makes between a piece of reading material and the reader’s own experiences or life. An example of a text-to-self connection might be, "This story reminds me of a vacation we took to my grandfather’s farm."

Text-to-world connections are the larger connections that a reader brings to a reading situation. We all have ideas about how the world works that goes far beyond our own personal experiences. We learn about things through television, movies, magazines, and newspapers.

Sometimes when reading, readers are reminded of other things that they have read, other books by the same author, stories from a similar genre, or perhaps on the same topic. These types of connections are text-to-text connections. Readers gain insight during reading by thinking about how the information they are reading connects to other familiar text. “This character has the same problem that I read about in a story last year,” would be an example of a text-to-text connection.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Week in preview

ELA at a glance:

Next week, we are going to review comma rules. We are also going to learn about some reading strategies that help us be the active and engaged readers that we should be. We will discuss making connections to the text, visualizing what we read, asking questions about what we read, and figuring out the author's purpose.

Math at a glance:

For math, we will spend the week learning about solving and graphing inequalities, reviewing vocabulary, and reviewing the objectives that we did not master from last week. On Friday, you will have your Unit 1 test. Begin going over your notes now so that you do well on your test.

Homework for Monday, September 15

All you have to do is read for 6 steps.

Come to school on Monday prepared to learn and to challenge yourselves.

We had another strong week, and for that I am proud.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

High School: Boarding School list

Some of you requested that I put a list of boarding schools on the blog. Per your request, look here to learn more about boarding schools.

Unfortunately, boarding schools are extremely expensive and very hard to get into. If you have all A's in 6th grade and 7th grade, strong state test scores, and a good relationship with your teachers who have to write you recommendations, you have a pretty good shot, but still, meeting these requirements do not guarantee you a seat in a boarding school. Along with meeting all of these requirements, you also need to write a stand-out essay.

If you do not meet the requirements now, I would suggest you do very well in 8th and 9th grade and reapply for your 10th grade year. However, it does not hurt to try now if you really want to give it a shot.

If you want to learn even more about boarding schools, you should check out the boarding school fair at the Gauchos Gym at 478 Gerard Avenue in the Bronx, NY. It will take place on Friday, September 19, at 4PM. Tell your parents to take you there.

Love you,
Ms. Simmons

Reading: Genre List

Non-fiction: Books that are nonfiction, or true, are about real things, people, events, and places.

Realistic Fiction: Books that are made up by the author, or are not true,
are fiction. Realistic fiction is fiction that sounds like it could really happen but the events in the story are not based on facts but are made up by the author.

Short Stories: It is usually fictional narrative prose and tends to be more concise and to the point than longer works of fiction.

Fairy Tales: a fairy tale or fairy story is a fictional story that usually features folkloric characters (such as fairies, goblins, elves, trolls, witches, giants, and talking animals) and enchantments, often involving a far-fetched sequence of events.

Folk Tales: A traditional narrative, usually anonymous, handed down orally.

Biography: A piece of writing that is based on the life of someone else

Fantasy: is a genre that uses magic and other supernatural forms as a primary element of plot, theme, and/or setting.

Historical Fiction: books that are made up by the author that portray a particular historical period of time.

Myths: a sacred story concerning the origins of the world or how the world and the creatures in it came to be in their present form.

Legends: A legend is a story that is probably about someone that did exist but has been twisted to seem more interesting and fascinating.

Science Fiction: is fiction based on science.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

High school: Boarding schools

If you are interested in boarding schools, you need to begin researching boarding school with your parents now. You also must begin your applications soon.

Boarding schools are very expensive. If you want to attend one, you must have good test scores, a high average in 6th, 7th, and 8th grade. You must also be able to secure strong recommendations from your teachers.

If you qualify for boarding school, you should apply to the A Better Chance program. Read more about the program here and apply directly online here.

Contact me if you have any questions. Also, if you want a recommendation, you have to give it to be at least three weeks in advance so that I could have ample time to complete them thoroughly.

All my best,
Ms. Simmons


1) If you want a uniform, please bring your money and envelope by Friday, September 12.

2) Start thinking seriously about what high school you want to attend.

3) If you want to go to a specialized high school, please make sure Mr. Summerville knows.

4) You all are amazing!

Math: Adding and subtracting monomials

We can only combine terms that are exactly alike!!!!

(In other words, the variables, if any, must be exactly the same. If one term's variable has an exponent and the other does not, they are not like terms.)

Examples of like terms are:
5x and -7x AND 3y² and -y²

These are not like terms:
6x and -4y2ab and 3cd8x and -9x²

When adding or subtracting monomials, keep in mind your rule for adding and subtracting integers.

Writing: Writing Paragraphs

What is the topic sentence?
The topic sentence is the first sentence in a paragraph.

What does it do?
It introduces the main idea of the paragraph.

How do I write one?
Summarize the main idea of your paragraph. Indicate to the reader what your paragraph will be about.

What are supporting sentences?
They come after the topic sentence, making up the body of a paragraph.

What do they do?
They give details to develop and support the main idea of the paragraph.

How do I write them?
You should give supporting facts, details, and examples.


What is the closing sentence?
The closing sentence is the last sentence in a paragraph.

What does it do?
It restates the main idea of your paragraph.

How do I write one?
Restate the main idea of the paragraph using different words.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Writing: Parts of Speech

There are 8 parts of speech. Look below to learn more about them:

1) noun - A noun is a type of word that represents a person, thing, or place, like mother, apple, or valley.

2) verb - A verb is a type of word that describes action or a state of being, like wiggle, walk, run, jump, be, do, have, or think.
3) pronoun - A pronoun is a substitute for a noun. Some pronouns are: I, me, she, hers, he, him, it, you, they, them, etc.

4) adjective - An adjective is a word that describes something (a noun). Some adjectives are: big, cold, blue, and silly.

5) adverb - An adverb is a word that tells "how," "when," "where," or "how much". Some adverbs are: easily, warmly, quickly, mainly, freely, often, and unfortunately.

6) preposition - A preposition is a word that shows the spatial (space), temporal (time), or logical relationship of its object to the rest of the sentence. The words above, near, at, by, after, with and from are prepositions.

7) conjunction - A conjunction is a word that joins other words, phrases, clauses or sentences. Some conjunctions are: and, as, because, but, or, since, so, until, and while.

8) interjection - An interjection is a word that expresses emotion. An interjection often starts a sentence but it can be contained within the sentence or can stand alone. Some interjections are oh, wow, ugh, hurray, eh, and ah.

Writing: RAFT

When you write for class, you should get used to using RAFT to answer your questions.

R - Restate the questions

A- Answer the question

F- For example

T - Tie it up

It helps organize your thoughts!

Multiplying and Dividing Integers

When you multiply or divide integers, remember that when you have two different signs, the answer you get will be NEGATIVE.

- 7 x 3 = -21

However, when you have the same signs, whether the signs are negative or positive, you answer will always be POSITIVE.

5 x 7 = 35
-3 x -2 = 6

Rule for adding and subtracting Integers

Adding Integers

1) When adding integers of the same sign, keep the sign and add.


2 + 5 = 7
(-7) + (-2) = -9
(-80) + (-34) = -114

2) When adding integers of the opposite signs, we take their absolute values, subtract the smaller from the larger, and give the result the sign of the integer with the larger absolute value.


8 + (-3) = ?
The absolute values of 8 and -3 are 8 and 3. Subtracting the smaller from the larger gives 8 - 3 = 5, and since the larger absolute value was 8, we give the result the same sign as 8, so 8 + (-3) = 5.

Subtracting Integers

Subtracting an integer is the same as adding its opposite. You KEEP, CHANGE, CHANGE!


In the following examples, we convert the subtracted integer to its opposite, and add the two integers.
7 - 4 = 7 + (-4) = 3
12 - (-5) = 12 + (5) = 17
-8 - 7 = -8 + (-7) = -15
-22 - (-40) = -22 + (40) = 18

Welcome to the blog!

Dearest my lovelies of class 823,

For some of you, this is going to be your third year with me as your teacher. For others, it might be your second or first year. In the end, we are all in this together this year, your final year at Urban Science Academy.

The title of this blog is "College Bound" because I have faith that you all will be accomplished college graduates. You are destined to achieve all that you wish to achieve but you must work hard and believe in yourselves. I have faith in you, but I cannot get you to college. I can only lead you to the right path, but it is up to YOU to get yourselves to where you want to be in life.

As we continue to work, to learn, and to spend time together, I know that we will grow into a strong community of change-agents, leaders, and learners. I am so impressed with your strong start this year. I know that I am hard on you, but it's my tough love and high expectations for you. I will push you this year like you have never been pushed before, and at times, you will feel frustrated and angry with me, but as I always say, "hate me now, thank me later." I push you because I know you will prevail in the end.

Continue to work hard and to be the amazing individuals that you are. I am fortunate to teach you all and look forward to the rest of the year.

Ms. Simmons