I believe we've recovered from testing!! For the last two weeks, we've been immersed in our book club books. Some students are finished ahead of time, and are either reading the sequel to their book or another book altogether. As for writing, we're writing about our books, AND we're writing our own ideas - either a creative or narrative piece or an opinion piece that they need to support with evidence. The myriad topics are amazing! This polished piece is due May 17th - the Friday we get back from Taft. We ended the week today with book "picnics" to preview the summer reading book choices (information on students' Schoology "lunch" page, and paper copies coming home next week), and another book club meeting.
During state testing, we read and analyzed four different poems (see our notes and plans here). I loved the conversations that followed, and we stayed away from writing and "difficult" reading, as the tests in the morning made everyone (students and teachers alike) a big stir crazy. This past week, students were introduced to their new book clubs! This one is focused on "journeys," and we're actually adapting a pilot curriculum (provided by the department of student learning at Dunton) so that it fits our book choices. Please ask your children about the books they chose! Our schedules indicate we should be finished with these books by May 3rd. For those 7th graders who say they "don't like to read" still, they've shown me that they DO like the book they chose for these book clubs - success!!
Bonus: This weekend (April 13th), there is a local EdCamp. Due to this post from innovative educator George Couros, I thought you should know! Feel free to join a bunch of local teachers as we learn from each other. I've met a parent from The New Trier area at one edcamp, and she helped us become more passionate about our topic in one session when we were thinking of NOT trying what we wanted to try, due to possible resistance from parents. EdCamps are awesome opportunities for educators to meet for free and lead their own sessions. More information about EdCamps is HERE. If you'd like to know when the next local one is, let me know, and I'll email you.
“Why Social Media Is Not Smart for Middle School Kids” and counterpoint… “10 Reasons Why We Should Start Showing Middle School Kids How to Use Social Media”