Grades 6-8: Independent Book Project Extended

The students have been working hard to complete the various sections of the Independent Reading Project. At this point, everyone should have submitted their Part A: vocabulary terms and two journal entries.

The due date for Part B: creative component/presentation has been extended. The creative component presentations will now begin on Wednesday, November 20th. 

Please review the rubric/creative component guidelines:

Grades 6-8: The Reading Challenge is Back!

The OJCS Reading Challenge is back, but this year it’s bigger and better!  

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The prizes this year will include:

  • An end-of-year book-based film screening in each classroom that meets their goals.  The library will provide each class with popcorn and candy treats.
  • Small prizes will be given out to each student who gets a Bingo on the genre bingo sheet (see document below)
  • The middle school class that reads the largest number of books will also earn a trip to an escape room!   

Will this year’s Grade 8 class repeat as middle school champions!?

How will we record the number of books read in each class?

For grades 6 – 8:

  • Upon completing a book, students will be required to complete an Accelerated Reader Quiz (AR Quiz) in order for their book selection to be recorded in the class total
  • To complete the quiz…follow these steps:
    • Click on Accelerated Reader (orange box)
    • Search for your book and complete the reading practice quiz

The number of pages will also impact how many books a particular novel counts for in the class total. After the AR Book quiz is complete, students will inform Mr. Washerstein and he will add the novel to the class list. 

0-300 pages will count as one book

301-600 pages will count as two books

601-900 pages will count as three books

901-1,100 pages will count as four books

We will set our class goals at the end of this week!

Grades 6-8: Independent Reading Project Check-In

I hope everyone has been enjoying reading their novels thus far! Please bring your books with you to school everyday this week. There will be time given to students throughout the week to D.E.A.R. (drop everything and read). This will provide students with an opportunity to get ahead of their nightly reading. Additionally, I will be meeting with students to check-in, offer suggestions, and provide feedback as students begin completing various parts of the project.

Please remember to complete the vocabulary portion of the project as you read! Journal entries may also be written as you are reading, depending on the response you have selected.

Here is a friendly reminder of the various due dates for the project:

  • Book completed- November 8th (Friday)
    • Check-in #2
  • Part A: Vocabulary List/Journal Entries- November 12th (Tuesday)
    • Check-in #3
  • Part B: Creative Component/Presentation-November 18th (Monday)
    • Presentations begin on November 18th, 2019
    • Please note: students will lose 10% of their mark per day late

Grade 8: Begin with the End in Mind (English Survey)

Introduction: This activity is designed to create a space that fosters each student having the opportunity to own their own learning. As we have discussed at OJCS, student voice is a vital component of our school’s essence. 

Directions: You may work with a partner or work individually on this assignment. 

Your task is to come up with a list of the topics, skills, and strategies that you would like to learn/improve upon prior to high school. Please take this activity seriously, this is your chance to take responsibility for and have an impact upon your everyday learning in English class.  

Click the document below to make a copy and record your answers:

Grades 6-8: Independent Reading Project Resources

I hope everyone is reading up a storm! Students should be reading each night in order to complete their Independent Reading Project by the assigned deadline. We have created a reading log/planning sheet to help students stay organized throughout the duration of the project.

Click the link below to view the reading log/planning sheet:

OJCS Reading Log and Planning Sheet


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Grades 6-8: Independent Reading Project

The Independent Reading Project is a chance for you to explore a novel of your choosing! You have been asked to read a minimum of 30 minutes each evening. This project is geared towards fostering a student community that appreciates reading on a regular basis. We will also be focusing on vocabulary acquisition, summarization skills, and presentation skills. 

Although there will be several work periods/check-ins throughout the duration of this project, the majority of this project will need to be completed at home. 

Independent Reading Project Due Dates:

  1. Independent Reading Project Assigned- October 23rd (Wednesday)
  2. Book approval (email/meet with Mr. Washerstein)- October 25th (Friday)
    1. Check-in #1
  3. Book completed- November 8th (Friday)
    1. Check-in #2
  4. Part A: Vocabulary List/Journal Entries- November 12th (Tuesday)
    1. Check-in #3
  5. Part B: Creative Component/Presentation-November 18th (Monday)
    1. Presentations begin on November 18th, 2019 
    2. Please note: students will lose 10% of their mark per day late


Reading Tips

  • Read with a set of sticky notes/Google Doc open to record new vocabulary terms immediately
  • Plan your weekly reading schedule at the beginning of the week
  • For those who benefit from using an audiobook, feel free to use that as a resource! Students should still be following along with the text as well.

What Should You Read?

Ideally, students should be choosing books that fall within their ZPD (zone of proximal development). I will be re-sharing your ZPD range prior to novel selection. You can use the Accelerated Reader Book Finder ( to check the level of a book. Our OJCS Library Catalogue also lists the book levels for many of the books found in our library ( 

Student interest also plays a significant role in book selection. I want each student to choose a book that will pique their interest, offer a challenge, and encourage further reading. 

Please read and review the assignment sheet below with your parents. Discuss the various choices/options that this project offers. Finally, please carefully read the rubrics to ensure comprehension. Happy reading!


Check out these digital resources! These websites can help you design your creative component for the project.

Grade 8: Vocabulary Unit 1

Important due dates to note: 

Vocabulary homework- 10/25 (Friday)

Vocabulary test- 10/28 (Monday)

Students have been assigned a list of 15 words to learn over the course of the next week and half. Students are expected to complete their vocabulary homework practice assignments by Friday 10/25. These exercises are designed to allow students to practice using/recognizing these new words in a variety of activities.

We will have our first vocabulary quiz on Monday 10/28. These quizzes will compromise of definitions, matching, fill in the blank, and multiple choice questions. Students should be reviewing their vocabulary terms throughout the week to enhance comprehension.