Robert P. Brabham Middle School

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Mrs. Johnston is originally from Bridge City, Texas. She moved to the Houston area fourteen years ago, and she has been a resident of Willis for six years now. She graduated from Sam Houston State University, where she obtained a Bachelor's Degree in Interdisciplinary Studies and a minor in English, Language Arts, and Reading. Mrs. Johnston has been married to her husband, Damon, for eleven years, and they have two sons named Dayton and Colt.

Mrs. Johnston has a passion for reading and writing and believes all students can be successful. She is looking forward to a fabulous school year.

Certifications:
Early Childhood-4 Generalist
4-8 Generalist
4-8 English, Language Arts, and Reading
4-8 ESL (English as a Second Language)

email: ajohnston@willisisd.org
conference time:  10:09-11:02
 

Classes

Recent Posts

Week of 3/27

Writing STAAR test is tomorrow!!  I want students to take their time and do their best!  We have worked hard this year, and I know they will be successful!!
 
This week after testing, students will read an article about sharks and complete a summary chart in Google Classroom for our Comprehension Tool-kit lesson.  On Thursday and Friday, we will be looking at a non-fiction piece on sharks from our Literature book.  We will focus on text structure, main idea, and summary. Students will also complete an outline as a way of summarizing information.
 
Have a great week!!

Week of March 6th

Hello all,
 
I can't believe we are on the countdown to Spring Break!!  This week begins our Writing Summit; Let's get it STAARted!!  We only have 11 school days until the Writing STAAR test.  For these next few days, we will have a variety of activities to focus on the low scoring skills, according to our district benchmark results. The plan for 7th ELA is to target those areas, so we can bump up scores across the board.  Our days might look a bit different, as Mrs. Gilliland and I might swap students, mix up groups, etc.  Mrs. Hickey (our awesome Reading Lab teacher) will also be assisting.
 
I encourage your child to come prepared and focused each day! We will need all students to work as hard as they can so that this Writing Summit will truly benefit them.
 
Also, we will be ending the nine weeks on Friday.  All late and missing work is due to me no later than Tuesday, 3/7 (end of day).  
 
Tutoring this week is as follows:
Monday-Friday mornings (6:50-7:10)
Tuesday and Thursday afternoons (2:35-3:15)
 
**I will be holding tutoring sessions on commas, apostrophes, and revision. Please have your student attend if they feel they need extra practice on these skills.  
 
You can also visit the TEA (Texas Education Agency) website to see and print all released STAAR tests from previous years if you want to get a feel for what your student will be tested on.

Week of February 27th

Hello,
 
This week in Reading, students will be having a quiz over the biography "Malcolm X: By Any Means Necessary" by Walter Dean Myers tomorrow in class.  We read and discussed this selection in class last week. This quiz will count as two daily grades, and it will be open book.  We will also be visiting the library tomorrow, and Mr. Z. will be walking the kids through another research lesson he has prepared.  Please remind your student to bring his/her library book to return or recheck.
 
We will focus heavily on writing skills on Wednesday and Thursday, as we will continue to work on expository writing and thesis statements.  Students have also been assigned activity packs through Quill.org.  This is an online program to help students with grammar.  Your student can log in and practice at any time.  This week, we will be using Quill for our class warm-ups.  On Friday, we will be setting goals for STAAR and reviewing the Writing Benchmark that was taken a few weeks ago.
 
I have a busy week, so my tutoring schedule has been adjusted a bit.  Tutoring this week is as follows:
 
Monday-Friday- mornings (6:50-7:10)
Tuesday afternoon- until 3:15
 
Our ELA department offers tutoring every afternoon except for Wednesdays.  If I am unavailable, a  student may attend tutoring with another ELA teacher. Students must make sure that they have the assignment they need to work on with them.
 
The department schedule is as follows:
 
Monday- Mrs. Gilliland (in the 7th grade hallway)
Tuesday- Mrs. Marks (in the 6th grade hallway)
Wednesday- no tutoring 
Thursday- Mrs. Akin/ Mrs. Johnston (Akin-6th grade hallway, Johnston-7th grade hallway)
Friday-Coach Beam/Coach Mitchell (both in the 8th grade hallway)
 
Only 15 school days left until the Writing STAAR test!
 
Have a great week!
 

Week of 2/20

I hope all students enjoy the long weekend!
 
For warm up this week, we will be looking at oxymora and puns.
 
This week in Reading, we will be analyzing various non-fiction texts.  We will be comparing an autobiography to a fictional adaptation, making inferences, looking at text structure, and discussing overall summary and main idea.  We will be reading an article from our Scholastic Scope magazine, as well as a piece on Malcolm X from our class Literature book.  The students will view a short video clip on a fictional adaptation of Malcolm X.  Students will have a short, 10 question quiz over Malcolm X on Monday, 2/27.
 
*Students have a test Wednesday (2/22) over the legends we read last week in class.  Level classes will be testing over "Sir Gawain and the Green Knight."  Pre-AP classes will test over both "Sir Gawain and the Green Knight" and "Young Arthur."  Students will also be required to know the vocabulary for traditional stories.  I will attach a copy of the terms to my website.
 
For Writing, we will be working on the 11-Minute Essay strategy by Gretchen Bernabei.  I will be giving students various prompts, and they must come up with a thesis and examples for expository writing.  We will also be discussing transitional sentences.
 
Reminders-Writing STAAR test is in 5 weeks.  Tutorials are offered Monday-Friday mornings, and Tuesday and Thursdays from 2:40-3:15,
 
Have a great week!

Week of January 30th

*Please remember that students are allowed to retest for any failing test grade, and they are allowed to rewrite essays for any failing essay grade.  Please see my schedule for tutoring times.  Students must attend tutorials in order to retest.
*I am missing several expository essays from students.  If you see an "M" on Parent Portal, or Gradebook, that means that I am missing your student's assignment.
 
This week in Reading, we will be looking at explicit and implicit messages in media, making inferences, monitoring our comprehension as we read, and context clues.  We will be reading about teens and smoking in our Comprehension Tool-kit lesson and then moving to a piece on Jackie Robinson.  We will also watch a short video biography on his life.
 
For Writing, we will be working on adjectives and adjectival phrases.  The Writing STAAR test is 8 weeks from tomorrow.  We are definitely on a countdown, so if your student is struggling with writing skills or making low grades on an expository essay, he/she needs to attend tutoring. You student will be expected to answer revision and editing multiple choice questions, as well as write a one page expository essay, complete with a thesis and examples.
 
Have a great week!

Week of 1/23

This week in Writing, we will be focusing on subject and verb agreement and writing a friendly letter.  For the letter, student  should pretend they are living in the time of the Black Death (Bubonic Plague). We read about the Black Death last week in class. The letter should be written to a friend, register a complaint, describe what is happening with the disease, and give a possible solution to the problem.  All letters will be due by Thursday, 1/26.
 
In Reading, we will be discussing procedural text. We will look at maps, pictures, and other text features to determine purpose and glean information. We will do some reading from our Literature book over this topic as well.
 
Tutorials will be held on Thursday after school from 2:40-3:15 for anyone that needs to attend.
 
Have a great week!

Week of 1/16

I hope everyone had a great long weekend!
 
This week in Reading, we will be continuing informational text as we read and learn about The Black Death/Bubonic Plague.  I have a fun activity prepared to help introduce the class to the topic.  We will read two different selections and discuss the cause and effect organizational patterns in each text.
 
In Writing, we will be finishing up our expository essay from last week.  Here is the prompt for the essay:  "Write an essay explaining why it is important to not give up on something you believe in."  This essay should be printed on STAAR paper, and will be due for a test grade on Friday 1/20.  I will be out that day at a workshop, so please make sure that your student turns in the essay on or before that day.  We will also have a writing skills test on Friday over revising and editing. This is something we have been working on in class.  The test will be similar to what your student will see on the Writing STAAR test. 
 
Tomorrow (Tuesday) is library day.  We will be visiting the library the first half of class.  Mr. Z (our librarian) will be conducting his first lesson with the students on research.  Mr. Z's goal is to begin to prep the students for their ELA research project that will be due at the end of the year.  Every two weeks, Mr. Z will introduce a new lesson and answer any of the students' questions about research.
 
Have a great week!

Week of 11/28

Welcome back!
 
This week in Reading, we will be reading two short stories from our Literature book, "Three Century Woman" and "Charles."  We will discuss plot and motivations of characters, as well as make connections across the two texts by looking at the similarities and differences.  
 
For Writing, we will continue our warm ups focusing on commas in introductory phrases and complex sentences.  We will have a quiz over commas on Friday 12/2.  At the end of the week, your student will choose one of our short stories (either "Three Century Woman" or "Charles") and write a one page paper describing the main character of the story, as well as the character's conflict and motivations.  The paper should also include a critique.  This paper will be due on Tuesday, 12/6.
 
Have a great week!

Week of 10/17

Good afternoon,
 
This week was eventful!  We had our Reading and Writing Common Assessments, and students did a great job!  Today, we started our Greek myth study.  We will be reading "Prometheus" and "Orpheus and Eurydice" in class.  We will discuss conventions and themes in these myths.  
 
For writing, we are still working on prepositions.  Students are encouraged to practice their preposition jingle.  Students may come to me and sing it in order to earn candy, extra credit, and a Brabham Buck!  The jingle is from the "Shurley Method," and can be found on You Tube.
 
Have a great week and weekend!