Mrs. Owens - Intensive Reading

December 14-22, 2009

It's time for our FINAL EXAM!!  Our final exam will be a project that students will work on in class.  the theme is "Christmas Around the World", which incorporates Geography and Literature as well as reading comprehension.  Parents, please remind your students that they need to use their time wisely in class to complete this MAJOR assignment.  Project directions are listed in the projects tab of this website.  I am looking forward to some WONDERFUL projects, and the students building background knowledge and vocabulary to help them succeed.  I have really enjoyed the first semester, and wish everyone a Merry Christmas!  See ya next year....2010 is going to be GREAT!!!  


Before reading, PAS!! 

P- Preview the text

A - Activate background knowledge 

S- Set the purpose for reading (pleasure, knowledge, tested on information, etc.)

Step 1 - Read the title

Step 2 - Look at and read the pictures, charts, graphs, captions, bold words, words in italics, and any other supplemental information given in the text.

Step 3 - STOP and THINK - think about what you already know about the title and supplemental information.  Make personal connections with the text. (Interact with the words)

Step 4 - Go to the questions. (No peeking at the possible answers, though) Read each question, and underline key or clue words in the question.

Step 5 - Re-read the questions to make sure that you know what the question is asking.


Step 6 - Read the passage.  Mark paragraphs where you see an answer to a question.

Step 7 - Identify key words, themes, author's purpose, etc. in the passage.

Step 8 - Re-read sentences or paragraphs that you don't understand.  Break long sentences into smaller chunks of you don't understand them.

Decemebr 7-11, 2009

We are learning the DURING Reading strategies and using them to help comprehend passages in class.  This week is also FAIR testing, which will help to see where students are making progress as well as what areas still need work.  We are almost done with the first semester....tim ehas flown by this year!!  Next week we will be working on our Semester Exam project in class, so students really need to be here.  Keep up the great work and keep reading!! Smile

November 30 - Dec. 4

WOW! Can you believe December is here already?!  We will be wrapping up the semester in the next few weeks and will begin working on our final projects in class.  This week we introduced the "READING TO SUCCEED" steps 1-5 and discussed the importance of activting background knowledge (thinking about what you already know) and making personal connections with the text to improve comprehension.  We worked through the steps together as a class, and will continue this next week as well.  FAIR testing part 2 will also begin next week, so PLEASE be sure to be at school on December 10 & 11.  Sym- and Syn- vocabulary words are posted in the vocabulary tab.  We will review these, along with the re- vocabulary, next week and take a test.

Each students has shown great progress so far this semster, and I am so proud of each one!  Keep up the great work, and don't forget to read daily to improve speed and endurance. Smile 

** NEW RESOURCE**  I have signed up at and put our vocabulary words an the site to practice both spelling and comprehension.  In addition, Mrs. Roberts (English) spelling words are on the site as well.  Directions for log in:

1.  Go to , and choose the student tab (red).

2.  Choose the Find a List Tab (Blue).

3.  Go to "Find a List", choose the username button, and type in freshmanreading.

4.  Choose a list, and click on "games".

5.  Play the spelling games.

You can also test yourself on the correct spellings by choosing "Test", or review the spellings by choosing "Teach Me".



November 9-13, 2009 - HOLIDAY WEDNESDAY NOVEMBER 11- NO SCHOOL This week we will review the prefix pre vocabulary words and learn the prefix post.  We will also continue reading one minute timed fluency passages.  Next week we will have a vocabulary test on pre- and post- vocabulary.  Students are continuing to work on FCAT explorer in the computer lab, and are encouraged to practice on FCAT explorer at home as well.   Students should also continue to read for a minimum of 20 minutes per day outside of class...yes, including Saturday and Sunday.  Reading is a skill that must be practiced DAILY for maximum improvement.  I am really seeing some great improvement in critical thinking skills, and the students are showing an increase in their reading endurance.  Parents, we are starting on timed fluency passages, so have your students read aloud to you.  Another great activity to do at home is to alternate reading aloud with and to your students, and discuss what you have read. 

Parents, please call me or Guidance to schedule parent teacher conferences if there is a concern about your child's progress or grades.  Guidance can be reached at 755-8080.  Thank you for continuing to encourage your students to excel and aim high!! Smile

November 3 - 4, 2009 - We will now be going to the computer lab on Tuesdays and Wednesdays to work on FCAT Explorer!   Students can also work on FCAT Explorer at home.  They now have their user names and passwords, and the link to FCAT Explorer can be found in the Web Links tab on this site.
November 2-6

Can you believe November is here already???  Report cards will be sent home with students on Tuesday November 3.  This week we will be breaking into cooperative learning groups and start rotating to different learning labs.  COMING SOON....A Journey to the Center of the Earth by Jules Verne.  We will begin reading this book as a group to coincide with the Science Unit on Tectonics and the Earth's plates.  We will have many fun activities to go along with this book as well.  

This week we will be learning the prefix "pre-", the idiom "food for thought", and begin working on one minute timed fluency readings.  Please check on the vocabulary tab for the words and meanings,  and the idioms tab for the idiom and meaning.  These should be in the vocabulary section of your notebooks!! 

This is the second week of the new grading period, so let's all work together to bring up our grades.  REMEMBER TO FILL OUT READING LOGS DAILY!!! 

Have a great week!! Smile 

October 26-30 ***HOMECOMING WEEK***

Monday and Tuesday we will make final revisions to  book projects.  Wednesday and Thursday we will read about the history of Halloween from .  Friday is early dismissal and pep rally!!

October 19-23

We are completing our Photo Story 3 book advertisements.  October 22 last day of 1st grading period!!

October 12-16

We have learned how to use the Photo Story 3 program.  You all should now be creating your planning sheets and designing your BINGO projects.  Photo Story project is due by next week!!  Reading logs will also be collected on October 15 & 16 for a grade.  ALL SECTIONS MUST BE COMPLETE TO RECEIVE ALL POINTS!  Dates covered are September 17 through October 15.

Next week ends the first nine weeks of school!!  Next Friday is a teacher work day, so you will have a three day break.  Keep up the great work!! Smile 

October 5- 9, 2009

We will be completing the final draft of your analysis paper in class this week.  We will also be completing an introduction to using the laptops.  Students should be near to completing their 2nd book for BINGO.  Reading logs will be COLLECTED and GRADED on October 15/16.  Students must have entries for each day from September 17 through October 14.  Missing days will deduct points from this grade!!

 Don't forget the nine weeks grading period ends October 22!!  Surprised

Week ending October 2

FAIR testing will begin on October 1 for Purple day classes. We will be editing your first paragraph for your analysis papers in class.  Next week we will complete these papers and turn in for a grade. 


Several students have started to bring in high level vocabulary words that were found in their independent reading for our STUDENT WORD WALL.   Remember, these words will earn you time on the computers to make your vocabulary card, and will earn you extra credit.  4th Block is in the lead with bringing in words, so I challenge all the other classes to catch up!!

Week of September 21-25

This week we will complete 2 bar graphs in class.  Students will review reading data charts by graphing their individual FCAT DSS Scores and their individual Subtest Scores (comparisons, main idea, reference and research, and words / phrases).  After graphing, students will ANALYZE their own personal data and compose a 4 paragraph analysis paper.  The paper will be set up as:

Paragraph 1 - Analysis of overall (DSS) scores

Paragraph 2 - Analysis of areas of strength.  Include why you think you did well in your strong areas.

Paragraph 3 - Analysis of areas of weakness.  Include why you think you did not do well in these areas.

Paragraph 4 - Using your analysis of your data, develop a personal plan of action that you will follow to help you become more successful in reading.

Next week we will have the laptops in class! YAY!!  We will complete an orientation to using the laptops and have a brief overview of the programs available to use.  We will also begin planning out our first BINGO project using storyboard planning sheets.  If you are behind in your reading (BINGO Book), it is imperative that you complete your first book by SUNDAY!!

Progress Reports will be sent out on September 24 & 25, and need to be signed by your parent/guardian and returned at the next class meeting.

You all have done a great job with your reading and classwork.  I am looking forward to you all being able to use the laptops to create an advertisement for your books.  KEEP UP THE GREAT WORK!! Smile 


Week of September 14-18, 2009 

This week we will be focusing on reading personal data, graphing, analysis of data, and decision making using data.  Everyone will be graphing their own personal data, and using this data to decide what steps are needed to improve reading.  This is a time for you to look at your own strengths and weaknesses and make a personal plan to succeed. 

Many of you have asked when the school library will be open.  At this time, the library will be open to students beginning next Tuesday, September 22, 2009. If you have obligations, you will not be able to check out material from the library, so make sure that you have your outstanding books turned in!!


Each class has now been advised of ways to earn extra credit.  As you are reading, make note of any new, high level vocabulary words that you find.  Bring the word, the title of the text that you read the word in, the author, page number, and the sentence the word was used in to Mrs. Owens.  You will then be able to make a vocabulary page to hang on our Student Word Wall.  This not only increases YOUR vocabulary, but helps other students as well.

As you are reading, if you come across one of our class vocabulary words, bring in the text to show Mrs. Owens.  This will earn extra credit as well.

Let's all have a great week!! Smile


Week of September 7 - 11, 2009

This week we have discussed the challenges presented to students by President Obama.  Students have identified personal educational goals for this year and formulated steps to achieve these goals.  Everyone is continuing to read their books they chose for the BINGO project, with many students having completed one book and starting on book two.  Don't forget that your first book is due by next Thursday, September 17!!

Upcoming news...... we should be getting the laptops in the next two weeks, so we will take time to do training as a class on different programs.  You will then have a chance to complete one advertisement for the BINGO project, so start thinking about what format you want to use.

You all have been FABULOUS this week, and I am looking forward to another great week!! Smile 

LABOR DAY HOLIDAY - MONDAY SEPTEMBER 7 - see you on Tuesday September 8!!

CHS OPEN HOUSE - Drop in and meet your student's teachers on Thursday, September 3, 2009 from 5:45-7:30. 


POWER WORDS Vocabulary - 

1.  Trace - to list in steps

2. Analyze - break down into parts

3. Infer - Read between the lines

4.  Evaluate - to judge, tell the good and the bad

5.  Formulate - to create

6.  Describe - to tell all about

 7.  Support - to back up with the facts and details

8. Explain - to tell all the steps, to tall how or why

9. Summarize - to tell the main idea, the short version

10.  Compare - to tell the ways things are alike

11.  Contrast - to tell the ways things are different

12.  Predict - make an educated guess, to tell what will happen

13.  Synthesize - to combine or produce

14.  Elaborate - to give more details, expand

Quiz on Thursday 9-3-09 or Friday 9-4-09!!


Welcome to THE JUNGLE!!     

This website has been developed to provide you with information that will help you to be SUCCESSFUL in Intensive Reading this year. 


I hope that youall have been able to learn your way around this week, and are feeling more comfortable in your new school.  Let's all have a great year!  Just a review of the REALLY IMPORTANT RULES at Columbia High School:

1.  DRESS CODE - Guys, make sure that you have on a belt and your shirts are tucked in...all the way around, not just in the front.  Ladies, skirts and dresses must be no shorter than mid-thigh, shirts can be sleeveless, but NO TANK TOPS or spaghetti straps.  All the other particulars can be found in your student Code of Conduct.  If in doubt, ASK a teacher or administrator, or better yet, just wear something else that you know is appropriate.

2.  TARDIES - Please, please, please get to class on time!!  I prefer you to be in class where you can learn with the group.  Three strikes, you're out.  On the 4th and subsequent tardies, I have to write a referral.  Frown Oh yeah, if you are absent, please, please, PLEASE bring a note so it can be excused.

3.  NO FOOD/DRINKS IN THE CLASSROOM.  Let's keep it clean CHS.  If you get a drink or have a snack between classes, please make sure your trash makes it into a trash can.

4.  CELL PHONES:  Once you hit the gate in the AM, cell phones must be turned off and put away.  They may not be VISIBLE at all...whether you are using them or not.  Again, I would rather have you in class to learn with the rest of the group and not in ISS.  Cell phones can come out at 3:10 when school is over.

5.  OTHER ELECTRONIC DEVICES - This refers to i-pods, mp3 players, personal video game consoles, etc.  You know what this refers to.  Same rules as with cell phones - just put them up until school is out.

*** One last bit of "housekeeping" Friday, you should have chosen your first book to start reading for BINGO.  You will start recording your daily reading on reading logs MONDAY (8-31-09). You must record daily reading of at least 30 minutes to make an "A" on your projects.   See me to check out a book from our classroom library ASAP!! ***

Ya'll come back now, ya hear?  - Make sure you check our class website weekly to see What's Up!! (and what's due, and what you missed when you were absent, and look for Cool Links that will be coming soon!)