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Welcome to my Page!
Welcome to Seventh Grade Language Arts!  There are many exciting things planned for the coming year.  You will be learning new strategies to understand what you read more effectively, new ways to approach writing tasks, and have a little fun along the way. 


 
Terms One and Two
Weekly Routines

Most weeks we will follow the agenda below for some of our routine tasks. 

Monday:  new spelling lesson

Tuesday:  portfolio lesson

Wednesday:  spelling pre-test

Thursday:  media center

Friday:  spelling test

Projects and Reports

This term you will be expected to complete a book report on a book you read on your own. Reports are due on or before October 2, 2012.  See Book Report Options for more details. 

Week of August 14 - 17

Seventh graders are off to a great start in language arts.  In literature we are reviewing the basic building blocks of a story.  For additional information about plot development see the links to Mr. Knowitall and the song set to the tune of Rolling in the Deep located on the right hand column of this page.

 

Week of August 20 - 24

Parents, check your child's progress with the Summary Quiz for this week! 

Please remember that students who do not complete their assignments and turn them in on time will be assigned to Mandatory Study Hall until they are completed.

Week of August 27-31
This week we are reviewing pronouns and adjectives.  Students continue to work on the portfolio lesson we began last week.  Using a new "prompt attack" graphic organizer, pre-writing is due on Tuesday and drafting is due on Wednesday.  Students will learn more about revising for the rest of the week, and the publication draft will be due on Tuesday, September 4, 2012.

Parents, check your child's progress with the Summary Quiz for this week!
Week of September 4 - 7

Students have reviewed 3 parts of speech and will be testing over nouns, pronouns, and adjectives on Friday.  To help each other prepare for the test, students will be working in teams to create a diner menu using different kinds of nouns, pronouns, and adjectives effectively.  Menus will be judged by other staff members and a prize will be awarded to the best in each class.

Students will continue to work on vocabulary development within their reading assignments and the words from their first 2 spelling lessons.

Our attention will also return to reading this week.  First we will read a story and examine the techniques of foreshadowing and suspense and review what we learned about plot structure.  Finally we will turn our attention to the structural elements of a newspaper article.

Attention Parents!

Some seventh graders are not turning in their homework.  Quite often these are assignments they were given time to start on in class.  I have been sending students to Mandatory Study Hall to complete their work, but many still don't turn it in. 


Students find it hard to succeed if they are not doing their assignments, Please encourage your child to write their assignments in their agenda and to complete their work on time.  Timely practice will help them learn better than if they don't practice.

Week of September 10-15
Seventh grade students will be taking the Scholastic Reading Inventory on Monday. 

Language lessons this week will center around different types of verbs.

Reading lessons will include features and structure of news articles.

Parents:  Grades for the test over nouns, pronouns, and adjectives have been posted.  You can see how your child did by using Parent Connect. (If you still need a Parent Connect password, contact Mr. Rob Evans.)
Week of September 17 - 21

Spelling words for this week are words from Spanish.  Students will be taking a quiz over verbs and writing news articles this week.

Parent-Teacher Conferences are Thursday, September 20, from 3:30 - 6:00 P.M.

A note from the Guidance Department
Students in grades 7th - 12th are eligible to participate in an essay contest sponsored by Fleet Reserve Association. The theme is "What My Vote Will Mean to Me"; 350 words or less; deadline is December 1, 2012. For more information visit www.fra.org/essay or see Mrs. Gainor.
Week of September 24 - 28
Seventh grade students will be taking the language arts Acuity test on Monday.

On Tuesday students will re-test over action verbs, linking verbs, and pronouns and antecedents.  Then we will turn our attention to helping verbs and verb phrases.  Students will also be working on vocabulary using the spelling words from lessons 3 and 4.

In literature we will continue to read Richard Peck's A Year Down Yonder, focusing on how the writer develops characters and plot.

Parents, check your child's progress with the Summary Quiz for this week!
Week of October 1-5
The spelling lesson for this week focuses on music words.

Students will be working on Prompt Attack (how to make sure they are answering the essential question when writing a response to a writing prompt.)  Currently they are working on a character analysis of the central character in the novel A Year Down Yonder.

The language lessons this week will focus on transitive and intransitive verbs.
Week of October 8-12

Students will be testing on types of verbs and verb phrases on Tuesday of this week.  Check the Useful Links for videos to help with review and practice.

Our spelling test this week will be a review of words from Lessons 1-5.  Since we have studied each of these word lists twice already, (as spelling words and later as vocabulary words,) there will be no pre-test on Wednesday. The test on Friday will be 20 multiple choice items.

Students continue to read A Year Down Yonder and practice the writing process with prompts based on their reading. 

Reasonable Expectations

By the time a student reaches 7th grade, he or she should be able to meet some reasonable expectations.  These include coming to class regularly and on time; having needed books and materials in class each day; completing homework neatly and on time; putting one's name and other pertinent information on assignments; listening when the teacher is talking; using class time wisely.

Seventh grade students are old enough to know when their behavior is respectful of others, especially the adults who want to help them become the best they can be.  They are old enough to take responsibility for their choices.  If you give 100% you will learn far more than if you merely show up, fool around, and fill in random answers on a paper.  Make the most of the opportunity to get an education.  Give your best to become your best!

Week of October 15 - 19

This week's spelling words are words with the prefixes en- and ex-.

Students will be learning more about adverbs this week and reviewing what they need to know about verbs and verb phrases.

We will finish reading A Year Down Yonder this week. 

The first grading period ends on Tuesday, October 16.  Grade cards will be distributed on Monday, October 22.

Parents, please encourage your child to do his or her best in school, to leave distractions (like toys, personal books/magazines, and electronic devices) in their lockers unless their teacher says they need them for class.  It is much easier to pay attention and be involved in lessons when one's attention is not distracted.

Week of October 22-25
This week in spelling we will study words with the prefixes dis- or de-.  Words will be introduced on Monday, pre-test will be Tuesday, and the test will be Thursday because of the shortened week.

In language we will finish up with adverbs and review verbs and adjectives.  After Fall Break we will be learning about prepositional phrases and how to use them as modifiers,

Our new novel is Experanza Rising by Pam Munoz Ryan.  We are learning about how the author engages her reader by using foreshadowing, irony and symbolism in her narrative.  We will also investigate how Ms. Ryan uses exceptional vocabulary to enrich her descriptions in order to help her readers imagine characters, settings, and events.
November 5-16
 
This week's spelling lesson is words with the prefix ad-.

Students are learning about figures of speech as they read Esperanza Rising.  They are focusing on symbols and metaphors the author uses to convey life lessons in the lives of the characters.
 

Students will not take a traditional test over the novel.  Instead, they will be working on a "This is Not a Test" Evaluation between November 13 and 16.  This evaluation is worth a total of 88 points and will be completed in class and/or study hall so that students may use books and dictionaries and ask the teacher questions, if necessary.

Language lessons focus on how to use prepositional phrases to add details in writing.  We will also be reviewing the final parts of speech, conjunctions and interjections.  Check out the useful links!

They are also reviewing best practices in writing constructed responses to test items as well as working on writing short essays related to their reading.

Seventh graders will be taking another round of Acuity tests in the next few weeks.  Language Arts Acuity is scheduled for November 27.
Week of November 26 - 30
This week students will begin to study phrases and clauses as an introduction to the four sentence structures: simple sentences, compound sentences, complex sentences, and compound-complex sentences.

Our new reading selection will be Gary Paulsen's Woodsong.  
Week of December 3 - 7

This week students will be studying the relationship between spelling and pronunciation, specifically, omitted vowel sounds and omitted consonant sounds in words.

In language we'll be learning more about independent clauses and subordinate clauses.

Last week students read the first section of Gary Paulsen's Woodsong.  They will be finishing a poster of one of the lessons Paulsen learned in those first chapters.  Posters will include an original drawing of a scene and an orignal paragraph that explains the lesson he learned. 

This week students will begin reading the next section of Woodsong, which is all about what Paulsen calls "fire lessons".

Students are currently preparing for the second School-wide Writing Prompt to be given next week.  Ms. Srull provided a review last week of the SMART goal setting technique and discussed with the students the academic goals they set in the fall.  They will also be updating their data notebooks with their most recent Acuity scores.

Week of December 10-14

Students will be taking a quiz over chapters 1 - 8 of Woodsong this week.  Students may want to review those chapters during study hall on Monday or Tuesday.

There will be no new spelling list this week.  We will have an objective test over words from Lessons 7 - 12 on Friday.  (There is no pre-test on Wednesday.)

In language, we will continue to learn about sentence structures that are determined by the types and number of clauses they contain.

The second school-wide writing prompt will be this week for all middle school students.  Seventh graders will be writing during their language arts class on Wednesday.  Those who are absent will make this up during their regular study hall.

Week of January 21 - 25

Students will be studying Latin roots in spelling this week.

We are reviewing capitalization rules in language and reading Bette Greene's novel Summer of My German Soldier as the basis of our literature and writing lessons.

Students should be reading their biographies and starting to work on their research reports.  This week I'll be teaching students how to cite their sources and how to do in-text citations in the body of the report.

Week of February 4 - 8

Seventh graders have been reviewing for the spring ISTEP test and doing practice items in language arts class.

This week we will be reviewing spelling words from lessons 14 - 18.  There will be a 20 point objective test on Friday.

Students continue to review capitalization rules and learn rules of punctuation.

We are still reading and discussing Summer of My German Soldier in literature.

Week of February 11-15

This week students will be studying spelling words with Latin roots.

Research reports are due on Monday.  Next classes will turn their attention to writing about literature, specifically writing responses to essay test questions about Summer of My German Soldier

This week students will also be giving brief (5-7 minute) oral presentations about the people they researched for their reports.  Students will tell the class who they read about, why they were interested in learning about that person, and something new they learned from their research.  Students will be expected to include main ideas and significant details, state ideas in their own words, and demonstrate a complete understanding of theor sources, not just superficial details.

Friday students will go to the computer lab to take their third round of Acuity tests.  If there is time, they will be able to work on Acuity Instructional Resources that have been assigned to meet individual students' needs.

Week of February 18 - 22

This week students will be putting together what they have learned in the language arts (reading, writing, vocabulary/spelling, and grammar) to create a bigger picture.

Our spelling words for this week are words with unstressed endings. 

We continue to practice applying the rules for capitalization in our language lessons.

In reading/literature students are learning to analyze characters and to recognize how plot and characterization are tied together.

Putting It All Together is an opportunity for students to demonstrate their knowledge in an authentic, creative way.  Each student will choose words from their last two spelling lessons to include in an original piece of narrative writing.

Using the character web technique they practiced in class, and the five steps of the writing process (pre-writing, drafting, revision, editing, publishing,) students will produce a brief (3-paragraph) story that includes 2 characters they create.
 

Week of March 4 - 8
Because of the number of students who have been battling upper respiratory infections this winter, our supply of tissues has been severely depleted.  (My classroom alone has been going through 2-3 boxes a week!)  If anyone is willing to donate tissues for use in the classrooms, it would be very much appreciated.


Seventh graders will be taking the ISTEP+ tests Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday mornings this week. 

This week's spelling words are words from French.  These words may require a bit more study, as the spelling rules for French are quite different than for most English words.

Our literature lessons continue to focus on the short stories in our literature book.  We continue to look at character motivation, conflicts, and this week we will also look at the importance of the narrator of a story.
Week of March 11-15

Because of the number of students who have been battling upper respiratory infections this winter, our supply of tissues has been severely depleted.  (My classroom alone has been going through 2-3 boxes a week!)  If anyone is willing to donate tissues for use in the classrooms, it would be very much appreciated.

Third quarter ends on Tuesday, March 12.  Grade cards will be distributed on Friday, March 15.

This week students will continue to focus on spelling words borrowed from French.

In literature, we will be analyzing the main idea and comparing and contrasting stories.

During our final term of the year, students will be writing and presenting book reviews. 
Week of March 18-22

This week students will be studying related spelling words. 

We will continue to learn about commas, reviewing the rules we have already learned and looking at a few new ones.  We will continue to look at essential and non-essential participial phrases and subordinate clauses. 

Book reviews are due on April 16, 2013.  Students have been given an instruction sheet with specific requirements and an outline for how to write a good introduction, body, and conclusion.  Parents might want to ask your child what book he/she has chosen to read and have the child explain the requirements of the book review assignment to you.

Week of April 15-19

This week students will be studying spelling words with Greek word parts.

We continue to read and discuss The Giver, and examine how the writer uses various literary elements to tell the story and reveal themes that readers may apply to their own lives.

We continue to review comma rules in language lessons.

This week students will be taking the third and final Scholastic Reading Inventory for the year to measure their individual lexile levels.

Don't forget Parent-Teacher Conferences from 3:30-6 P.M. on Thursday.


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Created: Aug 17, 2011
Updated: Aug 12, 2013
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Mission Statement

The mission of the West Central School Corporation is to provide leadership through working cooperatively with the students, staff, parents, and community to ensure the best education possible, where all students have the opportunity to reach their maximum potential in a safe and positive environment.