Posted in Class Assignment

Chunking, A Reading Strategy

Chunking is a great reading strategy that takes text and breaks it down into manageable chunks.  By breaking the text into smaller chunks, readers can identify key ideas, summarize easier, and ultimately organize the information.
Let’s get down to chunking.
Step 1 read the text.  Find ways to break up the text.  Perhaps by sections, by pages, or by concepts.  A chunk can be any length, if a reader is new to this strategy then my suggestion would be to start with half a page to a page in length.


Step 2 rewrite the chunks in your own words. By the end of the reading, a reader should have a summarized version of the text.  It might be interesting to try to limit the summary to 20 words or to try and draw a picture of the summary instead of writing one.  Whatever a reader decides to do be sure to include important vocabulary.

Step three review the summarized version of the text.  A reader should read the summarized version and ask themselves questions to be sure all important information was included.  A reader can also compare summarized versions with other readers.  This is especially helpful for tests.

For more reading strategy ideas click here!

Posted in Awesome Articles, Careers, Class Assignment, Class Life

Write Here, Write Now!

Learning to be a good writer is one of the skills taught in AVID.  But why exactly do we practice writing skills?  The answer is writing will be used more than any other subject we learn in school no matter what profession we decide to have.

According to a study from CollegeBoard, businesses are spending as much as $3.1 billion on remedial writing training–annually. That’s because students completed school and did not learn how to write.


We need to practice writing and we need to practice it often not just to get good grades in school but also for our future jobs.  Lucky for Sussman Middle School,  our motto is “Write Here, Write Now”.


Posted in Class Assignment

Do You Have Good Character?

Showing character is a full-time job.  At school, at home, where ever you are, whatever you do. If you are looking for ways to show off your good character read the questions below.  How many yeses do you have?


  • Do you stand up for your beliefs?
  • Do you follow your conscience?
  • Do you build and guard your reputation?
  • Do you tell the truth?
  • Do you keep your promises?
  • Do you return what you borrow?
  • Do you stand up for and protect your family, friends, school, and country?
  • Do you keep a secret?


  • Do you treat others the way you want to be treated?
  • Do you value and honor all people?
  • Do you take good care of property you are allowed to use?
  • Do you listen to others and try to understand their points of view?
  • Do you solve problems without anger and without violence?
  • Do you use good manners?


  • Do you accept responsibility for your actions?
  • Do you think before you act?
  • Do you do your best EVERY DAY?
  • Are you prepared?
  • Do you work hard?
  • Do you take charge of your own life?
  • Are you a positive person?


  • Are you fair?
  • Do you treat people equally?
  • Are you open-minded?


  • Are you kind, loving, and considerate?
  • Are you thankful and express gratitude for what people do for you?
  • Do you forgive others for their shortcomings?
  • Do you help people in need?


  • Do you care about and pursue the common good?
  • Do you volunteer to help your school be better, cleaner, and safer?
  • Do you protect the environment?
  • Do you play by the rules?
  • Do you obey your parents, teachers, and coaches?
Posted in Class Assignment, Help Yourself

What to Ask Your Teacher at the Beginning of the School Year

Is There A Syllabus?

All the rules of the classroom, what is on a test, how to get makeup work, and other valuable information can be found on the syllabus.  Yet some students and most parents never read it.  And if the parents and student do read the syllabus they almost immediately forget the information.  The syllabus is like a student handbook for that particular class.

How Do You Grade?

No one should care about your grade except you.  It shouldn’t be the teacher’s responsibility to tell you what you need to raise your grade or how many points you need for a certain grade.  Be sure to ask the teacher at the beginning of the semester about grades.  Questions like does the teacher roundup, or what happens if there is a missing assignment are important to know ahead of time so that a student is not doing a ton of makeup work. that is of no value.

Do You Accept Extra Credit?

Many teachers allow extra-credit.  Make sure to ask how much it is worth.  Be sure you know if extra credit is constantly offered or only offered certain times of the year.

What Do I Do When I am Absent?

Most teachers have a system in place for absent students.  Make sure you know that system.  Teachers are busy and have many students, it cannot be up to them to remember when you were absent and which papers you are missing.


If I Have a Problem When is the Best Time to Talk to You?


Some teachers actually leave their class at lunch and snack.  So when is the best time to talk to a teacher?  Sometimes it is during class, sometimes it is after school.  Every teacher is different.  If you need help with an assignment or need to talk about your grade do not assume that your teacher is waiting for you in their classroom.  Ask ahead of time so that if you need to talk you know where that teacher will be.


It is important to take notes the first few days of school and jot down important information about the policies of a classroom.  I found a great handout that will help you identify what is important.  Click Getting to Know Your Class to make a copy.

Posted in Class Assignment

Keep In Touch

Want to know what is going on in class?  Want to stay on top of homework?  Then students and parents need to join Remind.  Remind is a free app that allows me, Mrs. Espeseth, to text homework and other important messages to you through your phone or email.  It is free and safe.  Just send a text to the number 81010. Then in the text box type the word @cesp3