Castillo, Ms. Melina » Home


My name is Melina Castillo.  I'm very excited about teaching 7th grade English/Language Arts for the Film and Media Magnet on my 23rd year in the education industry.  My wide experience in the field makes me appreciate the T.S. King MS community even more.  TSK has parents who are involved in their children's lives.  The teachers here are dedicated to give their best to the students and their families.  I am in a very special place!
Below are some documents that my students and their parents may want to check every now and then as a reminder of my expectations.  These are designed to help every student do well in my classes.
This page is also designed to provide parents and students information about major assignments/projects and upcoming events.  Additionally, forms that students will use many times will be available for download here.
Please be sure to check this page regularly.
Facts About Me
Education Background
1. Bachelor's Degree:  Loyola Marymount University
2. Teaching Credential:  Mount Saint Mary's College
3.  CLAD Credential (allows me to teach students who are English Language Learners):  Stanford University
4.  Master's Degree:  Pepperdine University
Professional Experience
1. 14 years teaching (so far)
2. 3 years as an Assistant Principal in middle and high school
3. 2 years as a Principal for a 6-12 SPAN school
4. Curriculum Developer
5. Teacher Coach and Mentor Teacher (Master Teacher)
6. Teacher Professional Development Developer and Trainer
7.  Administrator Trainer
Fun Facts
1. I love animals, dogs in particular :-)
2. I enjoy eating milk chocolate (Swiss and U.K. made are the best!)... yum!
3. Reading is fun!  Really!
4. I can watch CNN for hours!
5. Good coffee and good tea --- it's not a good morning without a cup.
6. Travel --- the best way to learn about and appreciate others!  I travel every chance I get.
7. I'm proud of being a multi-racial person.
8. The sound of ocean waves is relaxing.
9. Learning is fun! Truly!
10. I'm a proud nerd :-))

Recent Posts

6th to 7th Grade Intro

Students and Parents,
This presentation was given to TSK 6th grade students on June 4, 2018 as an orientation to 7th grade English.  Please take the time to review the information and be sure to ask if you do not understand something.
Although the summer months are made for vacation and relaxation, students are highly encouraged to work on their reading skills about 2 hours per day 3-4x/week in order to be prepared for the rigorous year ahead.
Please scroll and look at assignments and announcements in the 2017-2018 school year to give you an idea of what you can look forward to beginning August 2018.
Have a restful, safe, and enjoyable summer.

Summer Reading Club 2018

Please click on the picture of the paper clip to see information about the Summer Reading Club. Improve your reading, compete with other students across the nation, and earn yourself a pizza party or ice cream sundae making party AND Uniform Free Day.  Top scorers will also get a book of their choice.  It's a fun way to increase your reading levels.  Come on and join!

Achieve 3000 Information

All of you have taken the Level Test for Achieve 3000 and know your Lexile levels by this time.  We have talked about what these lexiles mean.  If you would like to improve your lexiles, go to:
Then, work on at least 2 lessons a week.  Your goal is to:
1. complete the lessons
2. get 75% or more on each activity on your 1st try
After 5 of these, your lexile will start moving upward a little bit at a time.  Remember that your brain is being trained how to think a certain way, so be patient and keep it up.  Have a growth mindset, and you will grow!

Essay Practice

SBAC is next week, so we are using class time this week to practice.  Please be sure to come to class alert, prepared, and test-ready. 


Students interested in practicing for SBAC should go to the CAASPP Website shown in class and/or use Achieve 3000.  Achieve 3000's readings are similar to the kinds of texts that you will encounter on SBAC and focuses their questions similar to SBAC questions.  
Periods 4 and 6 are required to work on this.
Periods 1,2, and 3 have access to these as options.
SBAC begins on May 14 and will last for 2 weeks.  Get your brains ready!

SBAC is coming!

This is a reminder that you ought to start practicing for SBAC by going to the practice test on Focus on the multiple choice section since we will be practicing the essay section in class.
I want you all to do well, but my wanting this for you is not enough; you have to do the work yourself!  I'm here to support you!

Earth Day 2018

Earth Day 2018 is on April 22.
There are many activities happening all over Los Angeles that day and the days leading up to it.
Why should you care?  You should care because in Ms. Castillo's class, we learn about being a good Global Citizen.  Saving the planet, Earth, our only home, should be important to each and everyone of you!
In fact, I am surprised that not more of you are trying to save the planet.  Many of your PBLs are about saving people and animals, but where will people and animals live if the Earth dies because of pollution?
It's not too late.  Be a superhero to your PBL cause, but consider being a superhero for Mother Earth as well.
Just food for thought...

Period 6: Superhero Project

Please open the document for your step-by-step directions/instructions.
Class time will be used for this project on Tuesdays and Fridays.  All other work needed MUST BE DONE OUTSIDE OF CLASS by the ENTIRE group.  There will be a graded project progress at least once a week.
Remember to do all your work on the Team's Google Drive which should be named: PBL_Leader's Last Name_ period6.

Last Minute Extra Credit Opportunity: 20 points max

On Saturday, April 7, from 11 a.m. - 3 p.m.The Huntington Library and Gardens in San Marino (near Pasadena) will have special performances in honor of William Shakespeare's birthday month.  There will be performances from members of the L.A. Opera and the Guild of St. George.  They will also have some family-friendly craft activities.  
Be sure to check The Huntington's Home page before going, so that you are ready.
If you go, have a camera, pen and paper, and your phone with you.  Be sure you have enough battery on the phone and camera.
This is a good way to get introduced to one of the world's greatest writers in a fun way.  You will ALL have to read Shakespeare in high school, so you can get rid of the fear by experiencing this.
This is a one-day event, and I know that this is coming late, but I though I would offer this to you because I want you to start having an appreciation for great classic literature.  Get a jump on it before you have to read it.
For the work to be submitted, it will be a photo journal which is best done on Google slides.
Slide 1 - Title of the journal, you full name, period, the date, photo of you in the front entrance of The Huntington
Slide 2 - Who is William Shakespeare? Insert a picture of William Shakespeare.
Slide 3 - Name 3 of Shakespeare's plays. Insert a photo of one of the book covers of the mentioned plays.
Slides 4, 5, 6, 7 - Each slide should have a picture of a performer or a short 20-30 video clip of a performance.  Write 3-5 sentences about the performance:  What was it about?  What did you like about it?  What did you learn in the performance?  What did you not understand?
Slide 8 - How do you feel about the experience?  What do you think of William Shakespeare after the experience?  Was this a worthwhile event to go to?  Was it an engaging experience?

PBL Team Contract

Attached is sample contract that each group may use.  Just add one more rule that is specific to your group.
This agreement must be on the 1st page of your Google Doc which should also include all the names of the members and your topic/topics.  
I will look them over this coming week while we are on break.
This is the 1st 5 points of your project.
Be sure to read my comments and suggestions.

PBL Instructions_1

This is a document outlining your PBL Superhero Project.  Be sure to follow every direction given.  Keep up with the project.  Do not get behind.  
Presentations will begin on April 30 for periods 1, 2, 3, and 4.
Do not hesitate to ask for assistance.  Come by at lunch or after school and get the help that you need immediately, or send me an email or Schoology message.

Spring Break Reminder

Hi, kiddos!  As much as I would like you to enjoy your vacation days, I must provide you with a few reminders for things coming up that you might want to work on while you are off.
1. IRP #2 is due April 6.
2. Extra Credit for the book-movie compare and contrast essay is due April 3.
3.  Your PBL will take up a lot of your time.  You might want to start on the research now.
4.  If you will be staying in town, consider going to the new King Tut exhibit.  Extra Credit is due in May.
Have fun!  Stay safe!  Be healthy!  (Rule of three)

EXTRA CREDIT: King Tut Exhibit at The California Science Center

Please see the attached document for an example of a photo journal.
For this extra credit, you will have to go to the exhibit.  Carefully follow and make sure that you have all the elements that the sample slide is asking for.  If you do not, you will not get the full 10 points that this assignment could give you.
This extra credit assignment must be turned in no later than May 14.
Suggestion:  You might want to go with a couple of your friends from class to make the museum trip more fun.
Extra credit assignments are NOT required.

Persuasive Mini-Project for Honors Class

You will create a booklet OR create a Google slides presentation that shows how well you have mastered Persuasive Techniques as discussed in class.
You must have an ad (magazine, newspaper, or other print media, and video) highlighting each of the AFORREST Techniques.  Your ad might show more than one technique, but you will highlight one in your analysis.  This means that you will have 8 print ads for your booklet or 8 slides for the Google slides, one for each technique.
Additionally, you will create an original ad for a product of your choice (as long as it is appropriate for school and your age).  In that ad, you must include a minimum of 2 "classic" --- ethos, pathos, logos --- techniques.  Then, you must write/state your rationale for why you created the ad in that way.
This is an in class/in school assignment because you are working in collaborative groups.  Work should be done in class or lunch.  No one should need to meet outside of school for this assignment.
If you are creating a booklet, you will need to bring:
1. ads
2. scissors
3. glue
4. coloring materials
5. construction paper (if you want the papers in color because I only have white paper)
If you will create a Google slide presentation, you might want to save your ads on Google drive prior to coming to class.  This will save you a lot of time.
The project is due at the end of the period on Tuesday next week, March 20.