We just finished administering the Benchmark Assessment to all of our students who are not "Z readers" at the middle school level. Once testing was complete, our students were grouped homogeneously according to their highest instructional benchmark level, and guided reading has officially begun. These were the norms that my students agreed upon for guided reading. We established norms for students in the guided reading group for the day and also for the rest of the class while the teacher is working with the small group of guided reading students.
My 8th grade students and I have been discussing the impact of using simple, compound, and complex sentences in our writing by noticing what authors do while reading, trying it out in writing, and understanding the different types of sentences during our word study block through using mentor sentences. We actually have an area in our classroom where we keep all of the anchors about the "grammar stuff" for quick reference. Another hot topic for us has been comma usage. The anchor charts with the comma principles and color-coded coordinating sentences are below.
With that, I'm off to breathe in some fresh autumn air and work up a good sweat. Our staff is in the middle of our "Biggest Loser" competition, and I've been trying to exercise at least five days a week!