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Classroom Rules and Expectations: Rules and procedures packet 7th Grade 2019.pdf
Topics For The Dinner Table
This page will be regularly updated with what students are doing in class.
Feel free to discuss with them at home!
7th Grade English:
March 11, 2020
Students are working on their essay for Walk Two Moons. Students had a choice of prompts and were given resource materials to use as a model. Students looked at writing samples that were "proficient," "approaching," and "not there yet" to understand how they will be graded.
March 6, 2020
Students finished reading Walk Two Moons this week. On Thursday, students had a class discussion where they had to reference their novel, ask questions, and respond to other students. Today, students began working on an essay for the novel. Students received a detailed outline, exemplars to look at for reference, and a manageable timeline to guide their progress. Students will begin typing on Monday. Their final essay is due printed Wednesday, March 18th.
February 14, 2020
Students have been reading Walk Two Moons. This is a complex novel because it switches back and forth between three different periods of time. These time periods are marked by different geographic locations. Sal grew up in Bybanks, Kentucky before moving to Euclid, Ohio. After, she went on a roadtrip with her parents to Lewiston, Idaho. Students have been practicing asking questions while they read, looking at signposts, and annotating pages of text to gain meaning.
January 14, 2020
Students have been working on their poetry unit. Students read several poems and worked on identifying word choice, figurative lanuage, and sound devices. Students additionally looked at how these choices impact the reader. Students reviewed a technique and process for analyzing poetry called TPCASTT. Students ended with a class discussion on "The Tide Rises." Now, students are working on writing their own poems. Students were given several prompts, and taking what they learned during their poetry unit, are applying it to their own work.
December 16, 2019
Students are continuing to read A Christmas Carol. Students went back into several scenes from the play to identify examples showing Scrooge's change or lack of change. Students then analyzed what lesson Scrooge learned from each scene.
December 9, 2019
Students are continuing their performances of A Christmas Carol. Students are assessed on their understanding of the scene, as well as their ability to read fluently, accurately, and with expression. Today, students looked at Act 1, scene 5. Scrooge visits several moments from his past. With each memory, students had to determine how Scrooge reacted to the memory, and why the memory was included.
December 6, 2019
Students were each given a role in A Christmas Carol. Students read the scene that their role was in, summarized the scene, analyzed why it was important, and identified the overall mood of the scene. Students practiced their lines and completed a self-reflection. This week, students began performing their roles. Today, Act I, scenes iii-iv performed. After, students answered comprehension questions, and did a close-reading of several passages.
November 26, 2019
Students were assessed on the elements of drama. After, students looked over positive and negative examples of paragraphs from the Kenny Kane debates. Students reviewed why each example was positive or negative. After, students received back their own debates. After viewing the examples, and reviewing the feedback on their own debate, they rewrote/revised one of their body paragraphs.
November 21, 2019
Students took notes yesterday on the elements of drama. Students discussed stage directions, scenery, props, monologue, aside, and soliloquy. Today, students read the beginning of a play and identified pieces of scenery and props. Students then had to finish the play by writing stage directions and dialogue.
November 19, 2019
Students have been presenting their Charles Dickens and Victorian England research. As students present, the class is to compile notes on the positives and negatives of Victorian England, the differences between the lives of the rich and the poor, the New Poor Law and workhouses, etc. Students have additionally been practicing presentation skills, such as clearly presenting information, speaking loud enough for their classmates to hear, and making eye contact.
November 11, 2019
Before we begin reading A Christmas Carol, students will be researching Charles Dickens and Victorian England. It is important to know the circumstances that compelled Charles Dickens to write this story. Students will identify relevant information from nonfiction sources to answer their assigned research question. Students will have one week to research their topic, write a one-paragraph report on their topic, and create an informative PowerPoint slide for the class.
October 30, 2019
Students have been looking closely at purpose, audience, and text structure when reading nonfiction. Students have additionally been using the nonfiction signposts to annotate and look closely at what they're reading. Examples include noticing persuasive language, numbers and statistics, and quoted statements. Today students worked on identifying text structures. Students compiled a list of key words that might help them identify each structure.
October 28, 2019
Students began their nonfiction unit. Students developed a definition for nonfiction. Many students said nonfiction is factual and truthful. After discussing how many pieces of nonfiction might contain misinformation or bias, students revised their definition to, "content that claims to represent truth and accuracy regarding information, events, or people."
October 25, 2019
This week students reviewed for their unit one assessment. On Wednesday, students began their study guide and participated in a signpost review. Students were given white boards and had to correctly identify signposts, and write the corresponding anchor questions. On Thursday, students participated in a jeopardy review game. The assessment was on signposts, inferences and predictions, characterization and STEAL, and argumentative terms.
October 15, 2019
Students reviewed their signpost response that was handed back today. Students looked at what an A, B, or C response looked like and discussed the strengths and weaknesses of each response. Students then read chapter 19, identified a signpost, and began their second signpost response.
Students shared their debates in small groups. After, some students volunteered to share their debates with the class. We then reviewed their STEAL skill check, which was handed back today, before continuing Freak The Mighty.
October 11, 2019
After looking over students' debates, I compiled a list of the most common mistakes. I talked students through the most common errors, and has students go back into their draft to revise. Each student received a checklist that they should complete before turning in their debate. As a class, we went through the checklist piece by piece, as students actively looked over their draft. Students' debates should be printed for class on Monday.
October 10, 2019
Students reviewed what belongs in a topic sentence. Each topic sentence should restate the claim and include the reason focused on in that paragraph. We then reviewed how to introduce our quotes. We introduce quotes using dialogue tags. Dialogue tags tell us who is speaking, and what is happening when the quote occurs. After, we reviewed how to properly punctuate quotes in an essay. These notes and materials are on our Google Classroom page.
October 8, 2019
Students used their completed outlines to begin writing their debates. We discussed what belongs in a topic sentence, as well as how to properly introduce and cite quotes. Students were given a resource with transitions, as well as words to include in their analysis that will help make their writing sound more sophisticated. We additionally reviewed some of the words and phrases that students should no longer include in their formal writing: "In my opinion," "I think that," "On page ___," "You might think," "Now I'm going to tell you," etc.
October 7, 2019
Today, students read a sample debate and labelled the claim, reasons, evidence, and counter-claim. After, students looked over the evidence they annotated on Thursday and Friday. Students wrote a claim arguing that Kenny Kane was either an innocent man, or guilty of murder. Students selected two examples of S.T.E.A.L. as their reasons, and began looking for two pieces of evidence from the novel to support each reason. Students worked on completing their outline that is due tomorrow.
October 4, 2019
Yesterday, students began identifying examples of S.T.E.A.L. for Kenny Kane. S.T.E.A.L. stands for a character's speech, thoughts, effects on others, actions, and looks. As we identify these elements of characterization, students stop to make inferences about a character's personality. There is evidence in chapters 16 and 17 that suggest Kenny Kane is innocent of a crime, as well as evidence that suggests that he is guilty of a crime. On Monday, students will review their evidence, and pick which side they would like to argue for a debate. Today, students completed a S.T.E.A.L. chart for a character, and then continued annotating chapter 17.
September 30, 2019
Today students read chapter 11 in Freak The Mighty. This chapter was about a "damsel" who causes distress. Students made a prediction about what would happen in the chapter. As students read, they identified examples of characterization (S.T.E.A.L.) for the character called Loretta Lee. Once students identified these examples, they made inferences about her personality, coming up with personality traits to describe her.
September 24, 2019
Students looked closely at the behavior of the characters Max and Grim in Freak The Mighty. In chapter 8, there are several contrasts and contradictions for these two characters. Students had to identify these c+c moments, and explain why they were significant.
September 20, 2019
Students reviewed the two types of characterization: direct and indirect. With direct characterization, the author tells the reader the traits of a character (Ex. Riley is shy). With indirect characterization, the author shows the reader the traits of a character through their speech, thoughts, effects on others, actions, and looks. This is referred to as S.T.E.A.L. After reviewing examples, students chose a character from the novel and identified which element of S.T.E.A.L. each provided quote related to. Then, students used the specific quotes provided to make inferences about the character.
September 19, 2019
As students read Freak The Mighty, they have been identifying signposts, and responding informally to anchor questions. Today, students were responsible for identifying signposts on their own. After, they were asked to write a response to the anchor question. In their response students are expected to answer the anchor question using inferences and predictions, as well as considering story elements such as plot, characterization, conflict, foreshadowing, etc.
September 15, 2019
To introduce our first novel, students completed an activity called "Konstruct-A-Kid." Students were given 100 credits, and had to allot them to various characteristics (long life, health, happiness, athleticism, book smarts, street smarts, etc.). Students discussed which traits they viewed as the most important, and the least important. After, students read a non-fiction article on gene editing. As silly as Konstruct-A-Kid was, it is possible that one day altering various traits of a child will be possible. Students took note of the pros and cons of gene editing and determined whether or not they believe this should be practiced. Students had a lot to say!
September 13, 2019
Students reviewed why signposts are a useful tool when reading. Students then read a short passage, answered multiple-choice questions, and wrote a one-paragraph response. This will not count for a grade, but rather will be used to inform me of their current skills, and what areas we should target over the school year. After, students continued to review signposts.
Septemeber 12, 2019
Students started class by looking at a sample email with common mistakes students make. Students corrected the errors, and we reviewed them as a class. After, students were asked to read over, revise, and finalize their email. Students then worked on finishing their sheflie, or practicing grammar on No Red Ink.
September 11, 2019
Students continued working on their shelfies and introduction emails. Students focused on revising their emails for capitalization errors. Students reviewed verbs, adjectives, nouns, and proper nouns. Additionally, students practiced their capitalization by completing mini lessons on No Red Ink. No Red Ink is a resource that allows students to practice their grammar and writing skills in an engaging way.
September 6, 2019
Today,students were given the task of reading through a list of 10 people with various occupations, and deciding which 5 should remain on an island, and which 5 should get in the rescue helicopter. Students had to work with their group members, practicing their listening, communicating, and logical reasoning skills. Students had to explain why they made the choices they did. Many groups came up with different answers, yet all of their explanations were sound. In English, there may be multiple ways to interpret a text. What really matters, is that you are able to support and explain your interpretation.
September 5, 2019
Students were introduced to the rules and procedures of our classroom. After, students introduced themselves to their classmates by asking them a series of questions.