Thursday, January 11: Monitor Your Reading Progress (STAR Test)

Outsiders Website: 

Goals: Monitor your reading progress with the STAR test.


  • Absent yesterday? Make sure you turn in close reading responses to Google Classroom and your movie permission to the completed work box. You should also be almost done reading the nonfiction on Newsela and completing the No Red Ink practice activities.
  • Studying the Outsiders: Please turn in your 15 close reading responses to Google Classroom. Make sure you respond to my private comment with “Thank you” or another comment / question.
  • Movie: We will only watch the movie if people are done reading the bookOtherwise, I will reschedule it to a later date.

1) Starter

Click HERE to open the starter in Google Classroom.

THURSDAY (ASKING QUESTIONS): Now that the class has finished reading the novel The Outsiders, what unanswered questions do you have?

2) STAR Test

Go to and click the Students tab. Select STAR Test Student Login. Wait for me to give you directions about logging in and taking the test.

3) Workshop

Read the following checklist for today’s workshop priorities. Whatever you do not finish is homework.


4) Exit Routine & Homework

Before you leave, complete the routine outlined below:


Friday, December 1: Outsiders Ch. 3 & Close Reading

Image Credit: @DrGarcia via Flickr

Goals: Read Chapter 3. Choose a cognitive strategy to respond. Add a transition word.


  • Outsiders Audiobook: I have posted the entire audiobook in Google Classroom. Feel free to listen on your own. Make sure you also read along with your book.
  • Instruction Guide to Happiness: Congratulations to those who have published their explanatory writing piece (Instruction Guide to Happiness). If you have not revised, proofread, and published yet, please do so today for partial credit.
  • Absent Yesterday? Read the blog from yesterday. Be sure to complete the starter, read Ch. 2 and write a close reading response.
  • Outsiders Research: If you did not complete the Outsiders research in the library, please finish it for homework. If you finish by Friday, you can still earn full credit.

1) Update #BookLove Reading Log

Record your reading for the week. Remember, this includes  The Outsiders AND what you read over Thanksgiving Break.

2) Read Outsiders Ch. 3

3) Close Reading Response

Click HERE to read about how to respond to what you read in The Outsiders.

For your own copy of the assignment, go to Google Classroom (click HERE).

Use the Cognitive Strategies Booklet to write an extended response (2 – 3 complete sentences).

4) Workshop Time

  • Finish your Instruction Guide to Happiness
  • Finish your Outsiders Research
  • Finish reading Ch. 1 or start reading and annotating your first nonfiction article in Newsela. Click HERE for directions on getting started.


HOMEWORK: Read Ch. 3, 1 – 2 Close Reading Responses



Classroom Walkabout & Random Autobiography

Did you invite your parents to NEO? If not, add that to your agenda for tonight. Click HERE and scroll to page two for directions. 

1) Classroom Walkabout

Take two minutes to walk around the classroom. Use a piece of scratch paper to jot down observations. Notice posters, signs, and clipboards. Consider questions for Ms. McMillan.

After a class discussion, you will take a 5-point quiz on classroom routines and procedures. Keep your eyes and ears open and you will do fine. If you need a retake, make an appointment with Ms. McMillan. The goal is for everyone to earn 100% on the classroom quiz.

2) Read and Write a Random Autobiography

Click HERE for the mentor text. Together, we will read this poem at least three times. The first time we will stop to ask questions. The second time we will analyze the author’s craft by choosing golden lines. The third time we will analyze the author’s craft again as we write what we notice about her style.

Click HERE to open the Slides with the complete lesson from class.

3) Rules of Writer’s Workshop

Before starting your own random autobiography poem, read the Rules for Writer’s Workshop. We spend a lot of class time writing together, so it is important to understand the expectations.

4) Write Your Own

On a piece of lined paper, draft your own random autobiography poem. This is a draft, so allow your mind to wander. Write whatever comes to mind. You can revise it later.

HW: Finish the draft of your random autobiography. This may be handwritten on lined paper. If you prefer to type, make sure you print before class.