Tuesday, December 20, 2011
Other books that Mrs. Kennedy mentioned were The Ghosts of War, An Elephant in the Garden, and Boys Without Names.
Thanks for the great suggestions, Mrs. Kennedy!
Friday, December 16, 2011
1). As of 12/14, grade 7 students have read 509 books! For extra credit, (20 points will be added to your lowest grade on School Tool) post a comment to this blog in which you tell the title and author of the best book you've read so far this year. Also, tell in three to five sentences why you like it so much.
2). Vote in the Trailee Awards and post a comment in which you tell in three to five sentences which trailer you voted for and why (also worth 20 points).
Monday, December 12, 2011
We've gotten a lot of mileage out of this particular text, and have used it as the basis for working on comprehension and collaboration (Common Core State Standard SL.7.1), key ideas and details (Common Core State Standard RL.7.1) and integration of knowledge and ideas (Common Core State Standard RL.7.7)
Additionally, the students have read non-fiction "Achieve" articles which examine themes related to A Christmas Carol ("Can Money Buy Happiness?" and "Rich Man, Poor Country"). Incorporating more informational or non-fiction texts is one of the "instructional shifts" of the Common Core State Standards.
Wednesday, November 30, 2011
Monday, November 28, 2011
Monday, November 21, 2011
Sunday, November 20, 2011
Monday, November 14, 2011
Saturday, November 5, 2011
Thursday, October 27, 2011
Tuesday, October 18, 2011
Tuesday, October 11, 2011
Thursday, October 6, 2011
Monday, October 3, 2011
Tuesday, September 27, 2011
Thursday, September 22, 2011
Also, I shared book trailers. I read Hero by Mike Lupica last year after a student recommended it. I've not read Shelter by Harlan Coben, but it's on my TBR (to be read) list.
Monday, September 19, 2011
Sunday, September 18, 2011
Tuesday, September 13, 2011
Dark Water by Laura Mcneal
Addie on the Inside by James Howe
Ruby Red by Kerstin GierThe Keys to the Kingdom: Mister Monday by Garth Nix
The New Policeman by Kate Thompson
Reality Check by Peter Abrahams
Monday, September 12, 2011
Friday, September 9, 2011
Two books currently on my TBR list are Trapped by Michael Northrop and Darth Paper Strikes Back by Tom Angleberger.
Here's a book trailer for Trapped. Here's a trailer for Darth Paper.
Thursday, September 8, 2011
We discussed how book trailers can be one source of ideas for students who are looking for what to read next. This site has many book trailers to see. Scholastic also has a page dedicated to book trailers.
I did the first of what will be many book talks today. The subject was Kingdom Keepers: Disney After Dark by Ridley Pearson.
You may want to check out a book trailer for the Kingdom Keepers series here.
Wednesday, September 7, 2011
Monday, August 29, 2011
This year, the curriculum in our class will be informed by the Common Core State State Standards. What that means is that we'll be focusing on (among other things) close reading of texts, writing about texts, research projects, and narrative writing.
Also, independent reading will be a major focus for us. Last year, the seventh grade students with whom I worked read over a thousand books! Often times, the homework for ELA class will require the student to read her independent book. I will make every effort to keep assigned homework consistent with the SLCS School Board policy.
Again this year, students will be using the online reading program Achieve 3000.
I'll be posting more information about specific content that we'll be studying soon. Be sure to check back often, as I try to keep the blog updated.
Tuesday, August 16, 2011
Yes, I know that's a disconcerting title for a blog post. It's also the title of a book that I just finished by Adele Griffin and Lisa Brown.
Monday, August 15, 2011
Wednesday, July 6, 2011
Tuesday, June 14, 2011
Wednesday, June 8, 2011
The exam will consist of short answer questions about Mark Twain, the Edgar Allan Poe poems "The Raven" and "Annabel Lee," and the Robert Frost poems "Once by the Pacific" and "Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening." In addition, there will be reading passages and multiple choice questions, as well as an extended response based on independent reading that the students completed this past year.
Here is some material to assist students in their exam preparation:
"Mark Twain Author Study Unit"
- Mark Twain was born Samuel Clemens (his real name)in 1835.
- Twain wrote, among many other things, The Adventures of Tom Sawyer (1876) and The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn (1884).
- Among Mark Twain's well known characters are: Tom Sawyer, Huckleberry Finn, and Injun Joe. You can find a summary of the characters from The Adventures of Tom Sawyer here.
- Mark Twain grew up in Hanibal, MO, along the Mississippi River.
- Mark Twain first became well known as a writer when his story "The Notorious Jumping Frog of Calaveras County" was published in a newspaper. You can find a summary of the story here.
- Mark Twain had a mansion built for his family in Hartford, CT. It is now a museum and some say it is haunted!
- Mark Twain's daughter, Susy, wrote a biography of her father when she was a teenager.
- Mark Twain vacationed in the summer of 1901 at a camp on Lower Saranac Lake.
1. Here is a summary of Edgar Allan Poe's "The Raven."
2. Here is a summary of Edgar Allan Poe's "Annabel Lee"
3. Please be familar with the following poems by Robert Frost:
Friday, June 3, 2011
12. Chasing Lincoln's Killer by James Swanson
11. Reality Check by Peter Abrahams
10. Eggs by Jerry Spinelli
9. Bone: Out From Boneville by Jeff Smith
8. Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Last Straw by Jeff Kinney
7. The Titans Curse by Rick Riordan
6. The Lightening Thief by Rick Riordan
5. The Strange Case of Origami Yoda by Tom Angleberger
4. The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
3. Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins
2. Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins
1. Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Ugly Truth by Suzanne Collins
Tuesday, May 31, 2011
First up: memory and recitation. The New York Times promoted the benefits of memorizing poems in a 2009 essay.
The students will choose from a list of poems that are 25 lines or fewer, and memorize one to recite in class.
You may wish to review this site which has tips for how to memorize a poem.
Thursday, May 26, 2011
The Mark Twain camp in Saranac Lake shouldn't be left out when it comes to spookiness. Therefore, after doing some research, the students will work on the following assignment:
Write a short piece of creative fiction in which you tell a story about the haunted Mark Twain Camp on Lower Saranac Lake. In your story (2 pages, handwritten neatly or typed) be sure to include the following:
- a clear beginning, middle and end
- details from your research
You may want to, for example, tell the story of a family who rents the camp, and discovers it to be haunted. Or, perhaps you'll tell the story of a paranormal investigation team that comes to investigate the camp.
Tuesday, May 24, 2011
Thursday, May 19, 2011
Thursday, May 5, 2011
Most people know Mark Twain by his novel The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, but less well known is his connection to Saranac Lake. Peter Crowley wrote about it last year in the Adirondack Daily Enterprise.
Over the next several weeks, we'll read Twain's work, view examples of his stories that have been portrayed in films, and hopefully arrange for a guest speaker to visit and discuss the time that Twain spent vacationing on Lower Saranac Lake.
I have been reading and enjoying Autobiography of Mark Twain, which was published last November and spent several months near the top of the New York Times Best Seller List.
Wednesday, April 27, 2011
It's beginning to look a lot like test time; students will take the NYS English Language Arts assessment on May 3 and 4.
You can find some test-taking tips here.
Here are the test specifications for this year's grade 7 exam (by the Reading/Writing Workshop Project at Coluumbia University Teacher's College).
The test schedule for May 3 and 4 is as follows:
Tuesday, May 3: testing will be during periods 2,3. Students should report to the following classrooms based on the period that they have ELA: per.4-309, per.6-317, per.7-328.
Wednesday, May 4: the MS will operate on the following schedule: periods 1,8,9,4,5,6,7,2,3. Testing will occur during periods 1,8,9. Students will report to the same rooms as they were assigned on Tuesday.
Wednesday, April 20, 2011
Sunday, April 17, 2011
Monday, March 28, 2011
Tuesday, March 15, 2011
Brandon and Donna, from Pendragon, have been working with our students, and their enthusiasm for the theatre is contagious.
The students will present their Adirondack themed plays during the last week of March at the middle school.
Tuesday, March 8, 2011
Mrs. Kennedy suggests:
Turtle in Paradise by Jennifer Holm
The Vanishing of Katharina Linden by Helen Grant
Heart of a Samurai by Margi Preus
Mrs. Sweet suggests:
The Absolutely True Story of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie
The Girls by Lois Lansens
The Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan
Mrs. Meimis suggests:
Zeitoun by Dave Eggers
Ms. Ordonez suggests:
Away by Amy Bloom
Ms. Varano suggests:
Backwater by Joan Bauer
Ms. Warden also sent me this great review that she wrote of The Snow Leopard by Peter Mathiassen.
Wednesday, March 2, 2011
Wednesday, February 23, 2011
Each section of ELA 7 will have their own blog. Period 4 here: http://kidblog.org/ELA4/, period 6 here: http://kidblog.org/ELA6/ and period 7 here: http://kidblog.org/ELA73/.
On Friday, John Stack, who blogs for the Adirondack Daily Enterprise will be a guest speaker in class. He'll talk about how he became a blogger, where he gets his ideas, etc.
John is also a past competitor in the Lake Placid Ironman and blogged about that experience here.
Tuesday, February 8, 2011
I was pleased that many students argued that they see examples of chivalry at the middle school every day, including politeness and sacrificing for others.
Here's a link from the BBC that translates the chivalric code into modern terms for students.
Monday, January 31, 2011
I am a Genius of Unspeakable Evil and I Want to be Your Class President by Josh Lieb
Picture the Dead by Adele Griffin and Lisa Brown
The Savage by David Almond
Ruined by Paula Morris
Orphan! by John R. Weber
The Adventures of Tom Sawyer and the Undead by Mark Twain and Don Borchet
The Boneshaker by Kate Milford
The Pricker Boy by Reade Scott Whinneem
The Stone Child by Dan Poblocki
The Body Finder by Kimberly Derting
I plan to read my way through this list and then get the books into circulation through the middle school library. Please see me if any of these titles interest you.
Saturday, January 29, 2011
One of the books that I read this month is Tim Wynne-Jones' The Uninvited. I liked it, and talked about it in class. It's available in the SLMS library on the eighth grade shelf.
Thursday, January 13, 2011
Lucy Calkins, author of Units of Study for Teaching Writing, has this advice:
Think about an issue that is important to you and create a character who struggles with that issue.
As an example, we read "The Fan Club" by Rona Maynard. You may want to check it out, and see how the main character, Laura, deals with the issue of discrimination.