Welcome to 7th grade ELA!

Week of Oct. 23, 2017
  • Practicing with interpreting & applying theme in stories by examining characters. We'll also be starting on the literary analysis essays associated with TBWD at the end of the week!

Unit 3:
Essential Questions:
  • How does the setting of the story affect characters?
  • How and why do characters change?
  • How does the structure of a story impact the audience's understanding of plot and characters?
  • How do authors use facts and research to create an authentic historical fiction story?

Standards Assessed:
  • Reading Literature: RL 7.1, RL 7.2, RL 7.3, RL 7.6, RL 7.9
  • Writing: W 7.2 -- expository writing & related sub-standards
  • Language: Lang 7.1, Lang 7.2, Lang 7.4, Lang 7.6


Important Links
Helpful Writing Videos
  • Thesis statements & topic sentences -- help with introducing the main ideas of an essay and each supporting body paragraph
  • Lead-ins -- help with including context and background information for supporting details in writing
  • Concluding sentences -- help with bringing closure to your ideas in a body paragraph
  • Citations -- help with the format for crediting the author in the text of your writing


Class Blog

Monday, October 23
We first examined Lesson 2 Wordly Wise words to preview words and our background knowledge. Then, students worked in pairs to discuss the theme homework & we debriefed on the first two. Our goal today was to practice selecting the most important information and details to include in a summary of an entire text. Students took guided notes (below) and then we applied the "Somebody - Wanted - But - So - Then - Finally" tool with "Paperman" below. For homework, they are to create a Somebody - Wanted - But - So - Then - Finally summary for "Partly Cloudy."
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Friday, October 20
No class due to Holy Fire Retreat. Packet to practice theme due Monday!

Thursday, October 19
Students started class by taking a Socrative about theme. We went over these results to review characteristics of theme & examples. Then, they took a formative assessment on this reading skill. Lastly, we worked on reading short scenarios, analyzing characters, identifying relevant topics, and then interpreting big picture messages (or themes) from these pieces (model below)
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Wednesday, October 18
During class, we reviewed the guided notes on theme. Then, we applied the strategy of interpreting theme by examining characters in "For the Birds" (model below). Our steps:
  1. Create a flow map to show understanding of the story's events & plot
  2. Examine character(s) & interpret their traits & ask: How are these characters treated/how do they change in the story?
  3. Identify topics that relate to characters
  4. Ask: What is the author's message about this topic? to generate a statement of theme.
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Tuesday, October 17
  1. Greek/Latin root assessment
  2. Guided notes on theme -- fill in as you watch!
  3. HW: Finish TWBD (153-165) + summaries

Monday, October 16
During class, students worked in small groups or pairs on making and supporting inferences with relevant details. We worked on developing that inner dialogue to be "picky" about the details we're selecting by asking: Does this detail relate to the idea I'm trying to prove? For homework, they are finishing this classwork & studying for the Greek & Latin root summative.

Friday, October 13
Students used their planning homework from last night to generate literary analysis paragraphs about Brother Worbs in the Boy Who Dared. For homework, they are reading the second to last section of the story & generating summaries.

Thursday, October 12
First, we went over the context clue homework from yesterday. Then, students took guided notes (below) on the structure of a literary analysis paragraph. Then, they worked in partners in order to classify the parts of a model paragraph. For homework, they are doing planning for a formative literary analysis paragraph tomorrow.
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Wednesday, October 11
Students received Greek/Latin root assessments with "grad/gress" back & we went over this piece. The summative assessment for Greek/Latin root is next Tuesday (fill in the blank). Then, we worked on using context clues to determine the meaning of unknown words in a story by
a) skimming through the text to check our understanding
b) re-reading the paragraph/sentences before and after the word to identify specific clues.

Tuesday, October 10
First, students took a formative assessment with summary over the section they read over the weekend (101-121). We went over commonly missed questions to clarify understanding. Then, they worked in groups to finish the character classification project. Finally, we went over a formative assessment from last week and worked on making connections between facts presented in informational texts and details authors use in historical fiction stories to convey an authentic past.

Friday, October 6
During class, students took the Greek/Latin root assessment with /grad" words. Then, they worked in their groups to finish the classifying & perspective project with characters.

Thursday, October 5
Students continued working on the reading project with The Boy Who Dared. We added the step of evaluating the relevance of evidence of our evidence, and within groups, students collaborated on evaluating each other's evidence before getting teacher approval and working on their poster.

Wednesday, October 4
During class, we began working on a classifying characters project with our class novel, The Boy Who Dared. Students are working on interpreting characters' perspectives and supporting inferences with relevant details on this project.

Tuesday, Oct. 3
First, we went over the possessives: a grammar concept and reviewed some class notes (below). Then, students showed their application of close reading skills with a context clue & analyzing how authors create an authentic past formative assessment--way to work hard today 7th graders!
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Monday, Oct. 2
First, students received the new Greek/Latin root word list -- assessment on Friday. Then, we went over the context clue practice from last Wednesday. Finally, students met in small groups to read 56-62 & analyze characters' perspectives as well as support their conclusions with relevant details from the text.

Thursday, September 28
Students signed up for No Red Ink and, for homework, are completing a No Red Ink pre-assessment (due Tuesday). Then, they took their first Wordly Wise assessment of the year--well done, 7th graders!

Wednesday, September 27
Students took a Socrative over last night's reading. Then, we went over context clue strategies to help us determine the meaning of unknown words in context (below). Then, students broke into pairs to practice applying context clue strategies to determine the meaning of unknown words. For homework, complete this worksheet and study for Wordly Wise!

Tuesday, September 26
During class, students took a reading quiz over last night's reading section --they were allowed to use their summaries from last night! Then, students took a pre-assessment on using context clues to determine the meaning of unknown words. For homework, read pages 45-53 & summarize on your Google form.

Monday, Sept. 25
During class, students continued to show their understanding of the historical context of this story: Germany during Hitler and the Nazi's control of the government. Students worked in pairs to create word clouds to show their understanding of how antisemitic laws affected the lives of Jewish people during Nazi control of Germany. Then, we went back into the text to examine how the author, Susan Campbell Bartoletti, creates an authentic past by using characters' dialogue and actions to show realistic behaviors of this time.

Friday, Sept. 22
During class, students self-checked their Wordly Wise homework. Then, we analyzed propaganda posters and a children's story related to antisemitism: discrimination towards Jewish people based on religion. For homework, students are examining Anti-semitic laws and actions and analyzing how these pieces would impact the lives of Jewish people at this point in history.

Thursday, Sept. 21
First, we reviewed a quiz on interpreting perspective and using specific details to support our inferences. Then, we broke into small groups to continue practicing intepreting characters' perspectives and identifying relevant textual evidence to support these ideas.

Wednesday, Sept. 20
First, we reviewed the difference between dialogue and narration. Then, we went over strategies to track speakers in a text (below) to support our comprehension during whole group and individual reading. Last, we practiced summarizing a present section before students broke into groups to read & summarize.
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Tuesday, Sept. 19
During class, we took a few notes on perspective (below). Then, we practiced analyzing a text to infer characters' perspective. Our process:
  1. Identify character
  2. Identify character's STEAL details: says - thoughts - effect on others - actions - looks
  3. Examine & interpret these details to ask: How does the character feel about based on these details.
We practiced by reviewing Freedom on the Menu to interpret, support, and Great Aunt Gertie's perspective. Then, students worked on applying this with analyzing characters' perspectives in The Boy Who Dared.

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Monday, September 18
During class, we introduced the first lesson's Wordly Wise words and reviewed completing exercises A-C. We then shared predictions about The Boy Who Dared based on the front and back covers. Then, we read pages 3-5 in order to determine the structure of the story and began tracking our understanding by recording summaries of past and present sections.
  • regular text = past
  • italics text = present
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Friday, September 15
During class, we wrapped up our discussion about the purpose of flashback in Slumdog Millionaire. Then, we passed out Wordly Wise materials in preparation for the first lesson we will start next week. After that, students worked on making predictions about plot, characters, conflict, and setting based on the details including text, pictures, and colors of the cover of The Boy Who Dared. For homework, they should finish making 6 new predictions & related details.

Thursday, September 14
First, we went over expectations for timelines and students' homework is to redo timelines to meet requirements. Then, we took notes on flashback & their purposes in a text (below). Lastly, we watched a clip from Slumdog Millionaire that includes some flashbacks to analyze their purpose in the story.
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Wednesday, September 13
First, we went over the viewing guide for the video. Then, we worked on analyzing how each event helped Hitler in his quest and rise to power in Germany. For homework, students are creating a timeline with the information from the video to use as a visual resource while we read our first class novel, The Boy Who Dared.

Tuesday, September 12
During class, we finished up with our character traits activity from yesterday. Then, we began doing some research for our first novel, The Boy Who Dared. We defined some key terms and then began watching a 9 minute video to answer the question: How did Hitler rise to power? (For homework, complete the during viewing questions--no After Watching work!)

Monday, September 11
During class, we reviewed the notes on characterization and then students used this information to SHOW rather than tell character traits by generating details like characters' dialogue, actions, how others respond to characters, thoughts, and description to evoke this trait. For homework, playposit video!

Friday, September 8
7th graders took the "mot, mob, mov" Greek & Latin root test. Then, we corrected last night's homework with determining the type of conflict. Link above is for homework!

Thursday, Sept. 7
Students took a Socrative as a check in on their understanding of the four types of conflict. Then, partners self-checked their class/homework from yesterday and continued practice with determining conflict types. Last, we went over the homework for and format for tomorrow's Greek & Latin root test.

Wednesday, September 6
During class, we went over the options C & D for the Greek & Latin root assignment due tomorrow. Then, students self-checked their notes with the work below and worked in partners to apply their understanding of the different types of conflict.
Step 1: Check notes (below)
Step 2: Determining Conflict -- in Reading section of ELA ntbk (link below notes!)

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Step 2: Link to Determining Conflict Practice

Tuesday, September 5
During class, we took notes on inferences (below). Then, we practiced making inferences and supporting these ideas with specific, relevant details from the text. For homework, cut & glue yellow notes in Reading section + complete the guided notes by watching video on the 7th HW page.
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Friday, September 1
Students worked in groups to review notes about Multiple Intelligences. Then, they "acted out." charades style each intelligence. Lastly, we introduced the week's Greek & Latin root vocabulary lesson and previewed the two options for the first assignment.

Thursday, August 31
Grammar practice for bell work. Then, students took a survey to determine their strengths according to Gardner's Multiple Intelligences. For homework, they are taking guided notes with a video to learn more about each type of intelligence.

Wednesday, August 30
Baseline expository essay during class. Students worked really hard during the 35 minute on-demand essay!

Tuesday, August 29
Grammar-related bell work. Mrs. Pattee shared her goals for ELA and we practiced breaking down prompts and brainstorming ideas for an on-demand writing piece tomorrow--just a communication tool, not taken for a grade!