Monday, August 29, 2011

ELA 7: The Year Ahead

Welcome parents and students! It's the beginning of my second year keeping this blog. I hope you'll find it useful.
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

Picture the Dead

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.
This ghost story, set during the Civil War, has a little something for everyone. It appealed to my taste for historical fiction, but I know that those that like their books on the spooky side will like it as well. Also, there's a love story (but don't worry, it doesn't dominate the story!)
The title, Picture the Dead, refers to the practice of "spiritualist photography."
I'll have this book in my classroom collection when school starts.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Choosing a Book for Back to School

It won't be long now! As grade 7 students get ready for school, I'm hopeful that they are preparing to read independently in my class (lots).
Last year's seventh graders read just over 1000 books (about 18 books per student). I think that's pretty good, but I'm challenging this year's students to read even more.
Grade 7 students who are looking to hit the ground running with their independent reading might want to check out these sites for book recommendations:
Here are some sites I've suggested before, but are well worth sharing again: