Mrs. DeFors's Desk

Information and Conversation for 8th graders

Congratulations to the 2012-2013 Mascots! October 31, 2012

Filed under: Uncategorized — jdefors @ 7:42 pm

Max B.

Kurt B.

Audie B.

Jacob B.

Tommy H.

Tommy M.

John Luca M.

Joe M.

Nick N.

Cameron P.

Sabastian T.

Trent T.

Please log into your Google Docs account, open up the document I shared with you entitles “Mascot Schedule”, follow the directions, and sign up for three basketball games that work with your schedule.  Think about when you have after school activities…you don’t want to sign up for a day that doesn’t work for you!


2012 Junior Varsity Cheerleaders! October 30, 2012

Filed under: Uncategorized — jdefors @ 9:51 pm

Congratulations to the 2012 Junior Varsity Cheerleading squad:













We will have a short meeting tomorrow morning (Wednesday) at 7:35 in my classroom.  If you cannot make the meeting due to other commitments, just stop by my classroom sometime tomorrow 🙂

Our first practice will be this Friday from 3-5 pm in the Lakeview lobby.  Please wear athletic shoes, shorts/yoga pants, and a t-shirt.


Text-Marking and The Outsiders October 26, 2012

Filed under: Uncategorized — jdefors @ 11:53 am

For the past two weeks, students have been diving right into one of the most beloved 8th grade novel studies, The Outsiders.  They are required to annotate – or text mark- their books using sticky-notes.  The majority of the reading will be assigned as homework so we can spend time in class truly analyzing the text.  I thought I’d take a moment and explain the value of text-marking.

Students can improve the depth of their reading and extend their understanding over long periods of time when they text mark.  These notations are not necessarily difficult, and they are completely personal and exceptionally useful.

The advantage of having an annotated text instead of a set of note papers and a text is that all the information is together and inseparable.  This means students will have less papers to keep organized.

What students get from annotating is a deeper initial reading and a lasting  understanding of the text.  I am thrilled to hear students engage with  the author  through their annotations.  For example, they are asking questions, maybe stopping to argue or evaluate a specific event in the story, and clarifying  important issues—much like having a teacher with you in the room as you read.

It has been very exciting to listen to 8th graders discuss their annotations!


What You Need to Turn in With Your Narrative October 23, 2012

Filed under: Uncategorized — jdefors @ 7:03 pm



1. Final Draft

2. Draft #3

3. Draft #2

4. Draft #1

5. Self-Assessment (yellowish rubric)

6. CLAP graphic organizer (purple paper)

7. Shoe Questions (blue paper “Walking in Someone Else’s Shoes”)




Said is Dead! October 12, 2012

Filed under: Uncategorized — jdefors @ 3:53 pm

This week, the 8th graders have focused on using direct quotations and incorporating them into their “Shoe” Narratives.  One of the many topics we covered was words to use instead of “said”.  As a culminating activity, I am both saddened and proud to announce (please read with sarcasm) that we held a funeral to honor “said” and lay him to rest once and for all.

Students were given a list of many other possible words to use instead of said.