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

IRP Reminder

The IRPs are due on Friday, Feb. 23, next week.  Please be sure to have it completed on time.  NO LATE WORK WILL BE ACCEPTED.
Even if you are absent on the day that the project is due, your written essay needs to be submitted on that day.  You turn it in through Google Docs, so there is no excuse not be able to turn it in even if you are not in school.
If you are absent on the day when the project is due, I will need a note from a parent stating why you were absent on a very important day for English class. (I do not want children developing the habit of being absent to avoid projects.)
Absent students will have to make arrangements with Ms. Castillo to make-up the presentation.  That is your responsibility, not mine.
BE SURE TO FOLLOW DIRECTIONS.  Look at the requirements carefully.  
If you want me to check your draft, you must give it to me by Tuesday next week.
Good luck!  I am here after school every day except Tuesday; come in and get assistance, if you need it,

Argumentative Essay G.O.

Homework due on Monday, February 12.
Since this is a Word document, you might want to download it and just delete the writing on column 3, so that you can type your sentences there.
You may print your homework, or you may access it using the Chromebooks on Monday when we use your homework for the class activity.
It would be a good idea to download this graphic organizer and save it in your Google Drive since you will be using this several times this semester.

Argumentative Essay Format

Follow the format below every time you write an argumentative essay.
(paragraph 1) Main Idea (claim/thesis/opinion/point-of-view)
(paragraph 2) E1
(paragraph 2) A1
(paragraph 3) E2
(paragraph 3) A2
(paragraph 4) E3
(paragraph 4) A3
(paragraph 5) CA
(paragraph 5) R
(paragraph 6) Link back to the thesis or claim (conclusion)

***See your notes for a more detailed explanation***

NOTICE: IRP #1 for Period 2

Period 2 students may use any of the sample slides for all other periods as a guide to create your own presentations.  You may also choose to incorporate a video or a very short film into your presentation, and if you do, please think of 2 minutes max for your video (this time).  In response to some student requests, you MAY work in pairs for this project.  This means that you and your partner read the same novel and are doing the project together as well as presenting together.  You MUST INFORM Ms. Castillo if you would like to work in pairs.  Ms. Castillo will give permission for the pairs to work together.

Sample MEAEAEAL Essay

Please look at this essay as an example of what a "4" could look like.  The essay is very simple, but it does what the format requires.  Notice how the thesis sets up the whole essay.  Also, notice how each evidence has an explanation that shows how it is connected to the thesis.  Finally, notice how the last sentence of the conclusion connects to the present or shows how the thesis is relevant to today's world.  It could be anything that will make a lasting impression on your reader or makes your reader stop and pause.

Top Readers, Fall 2017

Please click on the paper clip to see who the top readers are for each class.  Although many students did not meet their AR goals in the Fall semester, some students exceeded their goals and some raised their reading levels 1-5 levels up --- yes, some went up by FIVE levels!!!  We have a number of students who are now reading at high school and college levels.  Way to go, kiddos!!!
I encourage you all to work hard on AR this semester and accomplish great strides in reading.
Please congratulate all the students on this list.


This is a reminder, in case you lost your notes:
Paragraph 1 (Intro) --- Background info or hook and thesis statement
Paragraph 2 (1st Body) - Topic sentence (evidence #1 from the 1st text) plus Supporting details which are an analysis and explanation of the evidence and how it connects to your thesis
Paragraph 3 (2nd Body) - Topic sentence (evidence #2 from the 2nd text) plus supporting details which are an analysis and explanation of the evidence and how it connects to your thesis
Paragraph 4 (3rd Body) - Topic sentence (evidence #3 from the 3rd text) plus supporting details which are an analysis and explanation of the evidence and how it connects to your thesis
Paragraph 5 (Conclusion) - restate your thesis, summarize how the body paragraphs supported the thesis and a final thought to leave the reader thinking or agreeing with you
Note:  Look at the sample graphic organizer previously posted to help you organize your thoughts.

Reminder About District Assessments

The required district assessment (Performance Task) on essay writing will be administered starting January 12 (period 6) and January 16 (all other periods).  Students must complete the assessment in class.  The last day for the assessment will be January 19.  Most students will need 3 class periods to complete it; students with IEPs that state the need for extended time will be provided the accommodation.  If a student is absent on any of the testing days, the student should make arrangements with me to stay after school to make up the minutes/hours missed.

Winter Break Essay Assignment

Please refer to this page as you finalize your Winter Essay Assignments.  Be sure to address the prompt completely and use the Criteria Chart to guide your writing.  Then, use the rubric to check what score you will be getting for the work that you are turning in.