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