Horribly Hard Middle School

“Horribly Hard Middle School”
Read the beginning of the story, “Horribly Hard Middle School,” from Giggles in the
Middle, by Jane Bell Kiester. You will be reading more of this story weekly as part of
our editing practice.
Caught Ya! Grammar
Twice a week, you will read a short passage from the story, “The Bizarre
Mystery of Horribly Hard Middle School.” Copy the day’s passage into
the right column of your Cornell note form, editing as you go. Correct
as many errors as you can find.
To earn extra credit, find and correct the day’s “Caught Ya!” error. Your
teacher will be moving around the room giving you a hint as to
whether you found it or not. You can also earn extra credit by
defining the bold print vocabulary in your own words, or looking
for special features to locate and mark in the passage before time
is called.
Caught Ya! Grammar
How to Check Your Answers
Once time is called, you will see the passage written correctly. As your
teacher goes over the errors, use a different color pen to put a check
mark () over any error that you found on your own. If you found and
corrected the day’s Caught Ya! error, put an extra check mark on it.
For every error that you missed, use the appropriate editing mark
to correct it. If you use an editing mark, you can still receive
credit for the correction if you record the rule in the left column
of your notes.
Caught Ya! Grammar
How to Grade Your Answers
You will calculate two scores for this exercise.
First Score: Count the number of checks and put that number over the total
errors. For example, if there were 20 errors, and you found 10, you would
write 10/20. Then divide the bottom number (denominator) into the top
number (numerator) to find your percent. Remember that your answer will be
in decimal form. To turn this into a percentage, move the decimal two
places to the right. In this example, 10/20 = 0.50. Move the decimal
to get 50%.
This score tells you how much you know. The rules you recorded
in the left column tell you what you need to learn.
Caught Ya! Grammar
How to Grade Your Answers
You will calculate two scores for this exercise.
Second Score: Count the number of checks + editing marks that you recorded
as the answers were given. Put that number over the total number of errors.
Then, divide the numerator (total possible) by the denominator (total points
you earned). Remember to move the decimal.
If you add all those you got on your own and add the corrected editing marks
for the errors that you missed, and you recorded all the rules for
those errors, you should make a 100%. The good news is that
for the first semester, this is the grade that goes in the grade book!
Caught Ya! Grammar
How to Earn Extra Credit!
Once you have calculated both scores, you can add in your extra credit to the second score. Let’s say that
your final grade for the second score is 100%. (Remember, you can only make the 100% if you use the
editing marks and record all the rules for the errors that you didn’t catch on your own.)
To add extra credit, you can do any of the following:
Correctly define the bold print words in the passage for one additional point per word (e.g., if you
defined two words and your second score is 100%, your final grade for this exercise would be
Correct the Caught Ya! error before the time limit. If your “got it,” you will receive one
extra credit point.
Mark any additional elements of the text as indicated on the exercise. These may
include literary devices, figurative language, word structures (prefixes, suffixes,
and roots), or other elements. You will receive one additional point for each of these
you complete correctly before the time limit.
Caught Ya! Grammar
Today’s Practice
Just to make sure we all understand how this
process works, we are going to use the first
paragraph of our story as a practice.
Copy the passage and make as many
corrections as you can find. Try it now. You
have 10 minutes.
the bizarre mystery of horribly hard middle school
isabelle ingenuous always animated twirled in nervousness and
a excess of energy, pauline puerile whined in a babyish manner
about the tardiness of olivia otiose about having to return to
horribly hard middle school for another year and the homework
the teachers loved to pile on her
Seven Extra Credit Points Available: Correct the “Caught Ya!” error, define
the five bold words, and circle a suffix that changes adjectives to nouns.
“The Bizarre Mystery of Horribly Hard Middle School”
Center the title of a short story
on the page
Quotation marks around titles
of short works (short story,
poem, song , article)
Capitalize major words in a title
nervousness and an excess of energy. Pauline Puerile whined in
Indent paragraph
• New topic
• New speaker
a babyish manner about the tardiness of Olivia Otiose, about
Capitalize the first word in
sentence x2
Capitalize proper nouns x10 (4
are in title)
Comma(s) to separate
participial phrase
Isabelle Ingenuous, always animated, twirled in
having to return to Horribly Hard Middle School for another
year, and about the homework the teachers loved to pile on
Adjective Error: Use the article,
“an” before a word beginning
with a vowel
Run-On sentences x 2
• Separate into 2 sentences
• Separate with comma and
• Separate with semi-colon
End punctuation x2
Commas to separate series x2
Parallel construction (about…)
Extra Credit:
• Add an extra check to the Caught Ya! error if you got it right on your own.
• Vocabulary
ingenuous (adj.) free from reserve, restraint, or dissimulation; candid; sincere
animated (adj.) full of life, action, or spirit; lively; vigorous
puerile (adj.) childishly foolish; immature or trivial
tardiness (n.) the state of being late; the quality of being behind time
otiose (adj.) being at leisure; idle; indolent; lazy
• Suffix: -ness is a suffix that changes adjectives (i.e., nervous, tardy) to nouns (nervousness,
tardiness); -ness means “the state or quality of”
7.1 Errors:

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