Our first week back, we dabbled in a few short activities about "voice" in writing, annotating while reading, and reading prose and visual literacy closely for more meaning. Students took the MAP survey test on Wednesday. This 19-20 question assessment is usually used as a screener for the advanced ELA class next year.
Last week, we began our science fiction unit! For the next couple of weeks, we'll be annotating, reading to find details, noticing author's voice, finding themes and author's message, and writing some bits of our own. You can check out some of our stories and activities on this page of the Weebly. My personal goal for this unit is to have students ask the questions, and answer them through re-reading and discussions. My goal is to NOT answer any of their questions, but to help them answer their own questions themselves, or realize they are critical questions and cannot be answered through the text alone. This unit is included in a chapter I wrote in the book Best Lesson Series: Literature, which just came out in the fall of 2015.
Do you ever want to see 7th graders at work?? COME VISIT! Come join us on Mondays to work with students one-on-one. You can ask them about their Genius Hour projects, and get their gears cranking. Some will know just what they're doing, and others could use the time to ask YOU questions to help them figure out what to do next. We have one valuable visitor ready to come 8th period (a grandma of an eighth grader), and could use more 5th (10:25-11:05), 8th (12:35-1:17), and 10th (2:05-2:45) periods (no matter what class your child is in). It doesn't have to be a weekly commitment - come when you can. Please consider this opportunity, share it with aunts, uncles and grandparents, and email me (firstname.lastname@example.org) when someone is coming so I can let the office staff know.
One more thing - THANK YOU again for gift certificates for Barnes & Noble (and Amazon)! I went shopping this weekend (educator weekend - 25% off!!), and was able to purchase 11 books!! See the stash here - they were ones your children requested. How exciting to check them out to kids and have a running list of who would like them next!!