Category: Language Arts

LA Update

I hope everyone had a wonderful and restful track out! The October track out is so wonderful…

We hit the ground running today by introducing our first topic for quarter 2. Quarter 2 will be all about the adversities that people have faced across different time periods and places. We will start by studying the adversities faced by people in The Middle Ages. Man, there were a lot!

Homework for the week should be in the students’ agendas and can also be found on the Gnomes’ Team Calendar.

Have a wonderful afternoon!

Chambliss Barrow

6-4 Language Arts

Salem Middle School

LA Update

I cannot believe we are down to one week!

My Own Hero’s Journey papers are coming in, and we cannot wait to read the creative stories our students have written. Cores 1 & 2 should have turned their papers in by Friday night, and Cores 3&4 will finish up the editing process at the beginning of the week. Everyone on team should have papers in by Tuesday evening. Our plan is to grade them and return them ASAP so that all students have a chance to reflect and revise before we leave for track out. We appreciate all the hard work the students have put into their work!

We will spend part of this week tying up loose ends and doing some creative work. You can see our calendar for schedule. We have an author (and parent of a current student!), Heather McCollum, coming to talk to students on Wednesday. We are incredibly excited to hear her author story- and it’s perfect timing as the students have just wrapped up fiction writing!

Have a wonderful weekend!

Chambliss Barrow and Nicole Messier

LA Work for Thursday and Friday

No school in the middle of a writing project! Fun!

**Please complete the work below if able. Obviously, if weather is bad, power is out, you are evacuating, etc., I will completely understand. But, the more we can stay on schedule, the better. So, be safe, and if you can accomplish come classwork, great!

Okay- Cores 1&2: Please make sure you are working on the rough draft for your own hero’s journey. Ideally, the rough draft will be complete in Google Classroom. Feel free to share with a buddy and begin getting feedback. We will talk more about dialogue when we return and begin the revising process.

Cores 3&4: Please complete the yellow hero’s journey cards on page 26 of your ILL that we started in class today. If you finish those and feel confident in your story, please fill in that information on this graphic organizer. If you need a little more specifics, this organizer may be more helpful. You will need to print this or make your own copy to be able to type on the organizer. We will review this Monday if there are questions. Basically, you are re-telling the story that is on your cards in a more organized fashion on the one page to prepare for drafting.

First and foremost, stay safe!

Mrs. Barrow and Mrs. Messier

LA Update

Great week! We are so impressed with the Myth to Movies projects. Students worked together so well, and it was great to see their final products. I’m proud of you guys!

Next week, we will start our final large writing assignment for quarter 1. This assignment is a fun narrative, My Own Hero’s Journey. It gives way for student creativity and helps them prove what they know about narrative writing, but also the hero’s journey.

There will be a hyperdoc with all docs (graphic organizer to rubric) posted next week. The Gnomes Calendar will have homework for the week which will guide them through the writing process. Final papers will not be due until mid-week the following week.

We hope everyone has a great weekend!

Mrs. Barrow and Mrs. Messier

LA Update

I hope everyone had a great week! We are moving quickly through The Lightning Thief and will read a few more chapters next week. We began the work of understanding more about Greek mythology and Greek gods this week. They play a role in the background of The Lightning Thief, so it’s interesting to learn how the two are woven together. We will continue that work next week reading the myths of Cronus and Prometheus.

Towards the end of the week we will introduce a group project, Myths to Movies. In small groups, students will study a myth and make a short "movie" to educate classmates on that myth. Planning for this will begin Wednesday and move into the following week. Should be fun!

Please check the Gnomes Calendar for next week’s homework, and have a great weekend!

Chambliss Barrow

6-4 Language Arts

Salem Middle School

Flipgrid Assignment

Students who were not ready or able to record their Flipgrids today during class may choose to record it tonight at home or can use Spartan Time or Team Time to record this week.

Below are instructions that can also be found on page 16 of the ILL. If Flipgrid asks for a code, use the last few digits of the Flipgrid link (8a8t5p).

Have a great night!

Chambliss Barrow & Nicole Messier

Percy Jackson is a hero.—-Now Prove it!

Videos must be posted by tonight at 9 p.m.

In a flipgrid video, answer the reflection question below. State your First and Last Name and Class Period before saying your response.

Percy Jackson is a character in The Lightning Thief who follows “The Hero’s Journey”. Use evidence from one of your favorite parts of the book and explain how Percy is demonstrating a stage from “The Hero’s Journey”


  1. Go to the link (you can use your phone, computer, ipad, any device with a camera).

    flipgridcard-student.jpg 8a8t5p
    This grid is password protected.
  2. Read the video directions on the Flipgrid website

  3. Click on the "+" sign and Record your video

  4. Feel free to retake your video many times if needed

  5. Enter info when finished

LA Update

Happy Friday!

Students should be moving their way through The Lightning Thief! We reviewed chapter 6 today, and there was a short reading check (quiz) on chapters 5 & 6. Chapter 7 is assigned to be read over the weekend.

In addition, (and we hate giving weekend homework) but we asked students to finished writing their script for the Flipgrid assignment on Monday. This was started in class, but we ran out of time and many did not finish. The assignment should be one paragraph, explaining how Percy Jackson is following "The Hero’s Journey" stages. There should be quotations from both The Lightning Thief and "The Hero’s Journey," and an explanation of how these two align. They started the planning on page 15 of the ILL.

There will be a seminar next week! These are a fun way for students to share their ideas and finding as a whole class, so we are really excited. We will spend class time preparing material to discuss, and this will be posted in Classroom for anyone who wants to complete it digitally. We will also continue to move through The Lightning Thief, reading nearly a chapter a night. Please remember there is a free audio version of the book on our Classroom if students are having a hard time keeping up with the pace. Perhaps listening while they read will be helpful.

Thank you for all of your support, and please reach out with any concerns.

Our best,

Chambliss Barrow and Nicole Messier

LA Update

First of all, thank you to all of those who made it to Open House last night. For those who may have missed it or needed further information from our slide show, here is a link to the the slides we used last night. Please let us know if you have any questions.

We were super impressed with the hero’s journey work that the students completed this week! They demonstrated their knowledge of the hero’s journey by walking one of the own hero’s through each stage, and their thoughtfulness and creativity blew me away. Nicely done!

We began The Lightning Thief this week and will continue reading next week as we take a closer look at Percy, in particular. It will be very important that students stay up to date with the reading schedule posted for homework. Students will be reading a chapter a night and asked to use sticky notes to annotate as they read. There will be an open note reading quiz the middle of next week.

Please let us know if you have any questions, and have a wonderful weekend!

Chambliss Barrow and Nicole Messier

Language Arts


LA Update

Happy Monday!

We are gearing up big-time this week! We began learning about The Hero’s Journey last week and will finish that up over the next couple days. Learning about The Hero’s Journey and seeing how these stages apply to many well-known heroes will set us up nicely to begin our first novel, The Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan. While many students may have read The Lightning Thief or seen the movie, we will take a deeper look at the characters, learn background mythology and study it through a new lense, the lense of The Hero’s Journey.

We will do our best to begin reading each chapter together in class, but it will be very important that students keep up with their reading outside of class as well. You can see the reading schedule on our Gnomes team calendar ( Students will also receive a bookmark with the outlined schedule.

Students will be checking out a school copy of The Lightning Thief on Tuesday of this week. Any misplaced or damaged books will need to be replaced. The book is currently $5.08 on

As previously mentioned, you can see this week’s schedule and homework on our team website ( under team calendar. Please let me know if you have any questions or concerns.

Also, I look forward to seeing many of you Thursday night at Open House! Have a great week!

blank.jpg The Fighting Gnomes
Salem Middle School Track 6-4

Chambliss Barrow

6-4 Language Arts

Salem Middle School

LA Update

Hello! We have so enjoyed getting to know all of the new Gnomes and am excited about a new school year!

I like to give a quick language arts update on this site each week to let students and parents know what they can anticipate in the week ahead.

This week, we will spend the first couple of days getting to know Language Arts procedures. From there, we will learn what it means to be an active listener by doing our Swag Bag activity. On Wednesday of this week, students will have a chance to practice their presentation skills and their active listening skills through Swag Bag presentations. By the end of the week, we will dive in to Unit 1 material with an introduction to The Hero’s Journey.

Students copy language arts homework for the entire week in their agenda each Monday, but we also post it on this website under the Team Calendar tab.

We are looking forward to a wonderful year and hope this week becomes a week of smooth transition for all! 🙂

Our best,

Chambliss Barrow and Nicole Messier

Language Arts, 6-4