Monday, September 18, 2017

Handling homework

As we get into the swing of school work and assignments keep adding on, it's easy for some kids to get lost in the shuffle. Before students end up feeling lost, here are a few things to keep in mind: 

  • Teachers post homework and school work someplace in their classrooms. Students can always refer to these boards to see if they are keeping up or if they are getting behind.
  • I post an email every day that outlines the week's work, notices and any homework needed, as well as links to important information from the team for parents and students to view
  • Teachers work pretty hard to support work getting done and will check in with kids who have missing assignments. ELT options are always offered to students to support getting work done. Late work is accepted up until the end of the quarter. 
  • Also, this is the year to begin advocating for learning. Each student should increase their skills with:
    • asking questions for clarification on assignments
    • checking campus to see grades and/or to verify if there are any missing assignments
    • if needed, to make plans with teachers for handling missing work

Keep teachers posted if you have concerns about assignments. We are here to be a support as students are learning! 

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

MAP testing

MAP Testing in 7R

MAP testing in the team may be handled differently than in previous years. In our team, one teacher assumes responsibility for testing each time it's done. This time around, Mrs. Festge has agreed to test students. What that means is that for those days, Sept 18, 19, 20, 21, Literacy classes will complete MAP testing rather than their typical work. Other core and encore classes will run as normally scheduled those days--only Literacy will be different. Testing is normally done right in the classroom. As is always the case, students work at their own pace. Those students who need small group or alternate space will receive those supports within this same time period they normally have literacy during those 4 days. 

Some students need time beyond the 4 days to complete testing. Either Mrs. Festge, Mrs. Wise or some other building staff will ensure that students are given time to complete testing. If you have any questions about testing, please don't hesitate to contact someone on the team!

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

Welcome to 2017-18 and to 7R

We are all so excited to start another school year with everyone!

For those of you that were unable to attend Back to School Night, here is a synopsis of what is good to know in each of your core classes. 

WHAT YOU NEED: binder/notebook, your toolkit, your textbook, a pencil and a calculator. 

  1. minute math and a minute to check answers from last night's work
  2. lesson for the day
  3. homework: daily 3-5 practice problems assigned. These problems will be collected on Fridays. 
The daily practice problems let you know whether you get a concept or whether you need more help, so make every attempt to do them. If you don't understand something ask for help that day or the next. Math is one topic that can quickly feel overwhelming if you don't keep on top of understanding the work. Mrs. Hungness has a website where you can access the week's plans and CPM homework help. 

WHAT YOU NEED: Binder, filler paper, writing utensil-binder stays in the classroom

  1. question of the day and discussion
  2. lab work-create your own experiment, graph data and write up-most labs take 2-3 days each
  3. students are graded on lab write ups and quizzes for each unit of study
  4. homework: finding materials for labs a few times per quarter

Because of the nature of "create your own experiment," some materials may need to come from home.  Be aware that Mr Harris encourages students to USE MATERIALS THEY ALREADY HAVE vs buying new material. He generally sends home an email when materials are needed. 

Social Studies-
WHAT YOU NEED: Binder, filler paper, writing utensil

  1. introduction/review of material from previous day
  2. new topic of discussion and project work
  3. homework-none unless you are behind on a project

Literacy Year-
WHAT YOU NEED: a book to read, a writing utensil, GOOGLE CLASSROOM is used 

  1. reflection of where we are so far
  2. Monday and Thursday-reading and vocab days
  3. Tuesday, Wednesday Friday-writing project days
  4. homework: read and vocab packet due Thursdays

Tech Ed-
WHAT YOU NEED: writing utensil

  1. reflection of where we are so far
  2. STEM work-several projects for the quarter
  3. homework: none unless you are behind 

So every day expect reading and math homework. Aside from that, homework is dependent on whether students are staying caught up with assigned tasks in class. Check my daily email that outlines the week's work and what, if any, assignments are due. I generally also include any notes or highlight anything that's important...field trips, special days, testing times, or other topics that come up. 

Monday, March 6, 2017

E companion

Today's post is more specifics about the e-companion website we are working on in Literacy Year. Students started the unit by selecting a favorite book. For the past few weeks, they have been creating separate pages of their book's website. There is a home page which gives some basic information, but the meat of the work is included on 5 separate pages, the templates of which are located in google classroom. These are the pages:

My Inspiration
Students started with talking about why they selected the book, what characteristics they liked about it, and to elaborate on these ideas. Check google classroom for this document. 
Theme Connections
This page spends time talking about themes in the book, how they connection to other stories and how they connect to real life. Check google classroom for this document. 
Artistic Expression
This is a page where students get to express their creativity! Find a song, write a poem or fanfiction, add your own artwork, find related artwork, create memes....the sky's the limit here!  This document is not located in google classroom, it can be found in docs. 
Writer's Craft
This page has students talking about and connecting with the writer's choices with such things as genre/format, archetypes, themes, figurative language. Students needed to think about how the author's choices impact them as readers.  Check google classroom for this document. 
Non-Fiction Inquiry
What topics come up in your story and what do these topics make you think about? Do some research here and find out something new about it! Check google classroom for this document. 

Some deadlines: 
3/10-finish up any remaining sections of written work in above areas
3/17-all document info inputted into website, publishable form
3/20-sharing/presenting begins

For students who are feeling like they need more time than what's provided in class, please work during ELT and at home as needed. If you need help, please ask. 

Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Reading in the Wild

In one of my current favorite books, "Reading in the Wild", Donalyn Miller discusses how she cultivates lifelong reading habits in her students. Wild reading, the ability to manage your own reading life, goes well beyond setting aside 10 minutes to read each night. Wild readers dedicate time to read, self-select material,
share books with others, make reading plans and show preferences for what they read.

Each of these areas is important:
Dedicated Time
Dedicated time to read doesn't just include set aside time(school or home). Many wild readers read on the edge(those times when you are waiting or you have a few minutes like between practices or an appt) or sometimes even binge read. Some wild readers even have dry spells where reading doesn't happen for a few days. Some wild readers listen to books.

For some, it may be helpful to think more deeply about their own reading habits so they can make some changes. Spend a week and take note of the following: 

  • how much time is spent read 
  • preferred places reading happens
  • is it fake reading or real reading 
  • any obstacles to finding time  
  • books readily available
Sometimes simply bringing awareness to habits help determine next steps to take if new habits are needed.


Monday, February 27, 2017

Literacy Semester and Literacy Year

Students are experiencing the joys and challenges of having two literacy classes that cover 7th grade curriculum. Some notes to think about:

Independent reading
Currently, the independent reading log is being monitored by Mrs. Festge. 4th quarter's reading will be monitored by Ms. Kobinsky. Each class does not have a separate requirement for reading--just that reading should be happening to meet a student's individual goal. 

The reality is that while a unit of study may have a reading focus or a writing focus, all units of study have a written component to finalize knowledge and thinking.  Right now students are wrapping up their argument letters and are continuing to add detail to their website work. Solid research on topics, digging deeper into text and articles, and using contextualized evidence along with citations where appropriate are key factors in the success of many writing pieces here

Monday, October 3, 2016

Forest Hill Cemetery Trip
NOTE: Dress properly for the weather as we are outside for the duration of the trip.  

 Boarding Busses: 8:25am  *check the lists to make sure you know your bus group and your cemetery group so you know who to look for when we arrive and depart

At Cemetery: Students need to move from their bus groups to their cemetery groups by finding the leader/s. Each group will rotate through activities-grave rubbings, collecting dates and finding ages, and then circulating for the vignettes(short plays about characters of the time). Respect is always important in a cemetery. Also its important to stick with your group/leader.   
Cemetery departure time: 11:15ish

Once we're back at school, students will eat lunch, then go on to their regular 5th hour class. 
At 12:52(ELT), students should report to their first hour class. We will do a shortened core class rotation until 2:30. From 2:35-3:35. we will watch a movie about Arlington Cemetery. 

In the event of rain, the trip will be cancelled and a regular schedule will resume.