Monthly Archives: March 2014

Literary Devices

I had a request for a review of some literary devices before the STAAR, so here’s a good Wikipedia page. In my opinion, some of the major ones you might want to review are:

  • flashback
  • foreshadowing
  • in media res
  • first-person, second-person, third-person narration
  • hyperbole
  • imagery
  • sensory detail
  • tone
  • irony
  • symbolism
  • theme

Would you share this on whatever social media platforms you use, for the classes with whom I didn’t get to discuss this? (According to fourth period, Edmodo is where you guys all hang out on the Internet.)


March 28, 2014

It was our last day before the STAAR test! I think you all are very ready to do well.

In class today, we discussed some last-minute reminders about how to go about taking the test. Here was the sheet we looked at:

Reminders for Taking the ELA 1 STAAR Exam

(Remember, go directly to your testing room on Monday morning.)

We spent the rest of class conferencing about your cooperation essays and working on redemption assignments (two essays – they can replace any daily or homework grade for this cycle, and they are due to me by 7:30 on Monday morning – turn them into the box or slip them under the door). If you lost your paper copy, here are electronic copies:

5th Cycle – Redemption Assignment 2.doc

5th Cycle – Redemption Assignment 1

To receive credit for these, you must have a full page of pre-writing and a full page for your essay.

Good luck, students! Let me know how you think you do!

March 25, 2014

Today, students who were not yet finished with their tests from yesterday completed them.

After that, we practiced STAAR-style reading using a short story from Ray Bradbury and an essay from Albert Einstein. Here are those materials, along with the answer document:

Reading Packet

The Golden Kite, The Silver Wind

The Golden Kite

Students will turn those in tomorrow.

Homework for tonight was a grammar practice packet – I don’t have an electronic copy of that, so if you were absent, please come get a paper copy from me.

March 13, 2014

Today was a revision day!

In class, we revised our “This I Believe” essays. Here was the revision guide that we used:


For homework, students were to revise their mock STAAR risk essay. Here are the notes that I shared on how to do that:

Risk Essay Notes

I also have hard copies of two essays that received perfect scores – please come pick one up if you missed class today and would like one.

Other announcements:

1. No grammar quiz tomorrow – that will be sometime during the week after spring break.

2. There will be a test over The Glass Castle the Monday that you return (the 25th). Since it will be mostly STAAR-style close reading questions over particular passages, there isn’t really much to study. Make sure that you have read the book in its entirety. There will also be two vocabulary questions and six grammar/writing questions.

One more day!!!

March 12, 2014

Today students wrote their rough drafts of the “This I Believe” essay. Please have this ready to go tomorrow so that you can work on revision.

Homework was a subject-verb agreement review – I don’t have an electronic copy, so if you were absent, please come pick one up.

Also – all classes will be meeting tomorrow in the library. Please bring any books that you need to return or renew!

March 11, 2014

Over the next three days, we will be working on an essay project called “This I Believe.” Here is the website for the national program, and here is the link to the audio recording that we listened to in class today.

During today’s class, we read a sample essay and did prewriting for students’ own essays:



Homework for tonight was to read from 220 to 250 in TGC, find five interesting quotations, and annotate them (in sentence form, not Twitter) for subtext.


March 10, 2014

Happy Daylight Savings Time! I know we’re all super-excited about the time change. We get to wake up and go to bed an hour earlier? It’s a bonanza of good fortune.

So, in class today, we…

1. Distributed SAR #5 from TGC, and talked about a literal response and one that analyzes subtext. Here is the handout of notes we discussed: SAR Notes – Literal Response and Subtext

2. Practiced finding subtext through tweets. You can still tweet me @lizmchapman, if you would like – it makes my heart happy when I get a new tweet.

3. Practiced analyzing drama in a STAAR setting – here is that reading and question set, which is due tomorrow: Anne of Green Gables STAAR Practice Answer Document and  Anne of Green Gables STAAR

4. Took our vocabulary quiz. If you missed it, come make it up Friday during lunch.

5. Homework for tonight is finishing the Anne of Green Gables SAR and reading through page 220 in TGC (no reading guide).