Mrs. DeFors's Desk

Information and Conversation for 8th graders

Maternity Leave March 20, 2013

Filed under: Uncategorized — jdefors @ 12:34 pm

Dear Parents,

I hope that you are anticipating a wonderful spring vacation as much as I am.  As most of you know, I am about to take the rest of the school year off for maternity leave. My intention is to work through March 22, at which point Mrs. Carole Adams will take over for me.  


In my absence, Mrs. Adams will be working with  your children.  Mrs. Adams retired as an educator several years ago from CCSD66.  She has 30 years of experience working in the district.  In fact, she ended her career right here at Lakeview as an 8th grade language arts and reading teacher!  As a result, I do not think of Mrs. Adams as a “substitute teacher”.  Your children are in capable hands, and I could not ask for a more perfect person to take over the classroom!  I am 100% confident that you will agree and that she’ll do a wonderful job!


Should you need to contact Mrs. Adams, you may email her at 


Thank you so much for your support.  I hope to be able to attend the graduation commencement ceremony and see you there.



Joy DeFors


Anne Frank Web Quest March 14, 2013

Filed under: Uncategorized — jdefors @ 2:13 pm

Click this link to get to the Anne Frank Web Quest


Final Monster Projects March 8, 2013

Filed under: Uncategorized — jdefors @ 9:49 pm

This week, we finished our whole class novel study of the book Monster, by Walter Dean Myers.  The 8th graders have been tasked with selecting a final project from a list of  End of Unit Project list possibilities , which were presented today during class.  Please click on the link to see a pdf file of the project possibilities.

Additionally, students were given End of Unit project rubrics, which match the project they selected.  Students will be given two periods of in-class time to work on their project.  However, they may need to complete their project at home.

Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions regarding this project.


Argumentative Speeches! March 6, 2013

Filed under: Uncategorized — jdefors @ 9:47 pm

After five weeks of preparation, the 8th graders are gearing up to present their argumentative speeches starting next Monday, March 11th! I am very excited to see all of the work students have completed come together in their speeches!


The purpose of this unit is to introduce students to the art of argumentative writing and speaking.  This was accomplished by first introducing them to basic terms such as claim, counterpoint, rebuttal, support, and refute.  Knowing these terms allowed students to establish relationships between claims, reasons, and evidence.  It also helped students analyze an author’s use of argument in text to which they were exposed throughout their research time.


One aspect of this unit that makes me proud is that it was completely inquiry based.  In other words, students self-selected contemporary and controversial topics.  Students felt completed to take a stand on one side of the issue, which became their argument.  Students used their own research questions to drive the time they spent in the IMC, and they refined their claims as their research progressed.  


In the end, it is not the “what” of the speech that matters.  Students will not be judged on their side of the argument.  What is most important is the “how” of the speech such as, “How are students supporting their side of the argument?”  “How did they determine what was a credible source or not?” and “How are they delivering their information?”


Good luck to all the 8th graders as they prepare their speeches for next week!