7th Grade ELA

Literature Circles: Tuesdays and Fridays

DEAR = Drop Everything And Read

Website: arbookfind.com - useful to check the reading level of a book a student may want to read.

*****Reminder: All children must read 2 books (besides their Lit. Circles reading) for each trimester. They have 15 minutes Quiet Reading Time at the end of every day to work on this. They must also read at home.

*****Trimester 3 book tests must be taken by June 6th.

5/24 Literature Circles: Cycle 6, Session 3 - very lively, group discussions; reporting to the class; planning for Session 4 on Tuesday. One group (Crossover) finished their book and took the AR Tests. They will present a final project because they finished early - their choice.
DEAR Time.

5/23 We finished the dialogs started yesterday and then practiced them so that they can be presented in front of the class.

5/22 Reviewed "dialog" and "personification"
Children found a partner and together wrote an original conversation between 2 objects or animals or ideas. 

5/21 Literature Circles: Cycle 6 - the final Cycle for 7th grade
Session 2 - group discussions, sharing with the class, planning for Session 3 on Friday.

5/20 Corrected the vocabulary HW from last week: analogous relationships
Lit. Circles: Cycle 5 - final group presentation by the children who read "A Corner of the Universe" - a filmed alternate ending.
.
Read aloud from "James and the Giant Peach"

5/17 Substitute teacher, Mr. Carroll, because I went home sick.

5/16 Double ELA period:
Read aloud from "James and the Giant Peach"
Children read aloud their answers to Developing Imagery in Writing
Lit. Circles: Cycle 5 - group presentation by the children who read "The Teacher's Funeral" - a filmed series of interviews with various characters.
.
Personification in Poetry: "The Old Bridge" - stanzas, mood(s), rhyme (free verse), personification (examples of the bridge's sadness, happiness, other human qualities), simile, alliteration. Dramatic readings.

5/15  Double ELA period:
Printed out and turned in our ABC Stories.
Vocabulary crossword: Completing Analogous Relationships - due tomorrow.
Read aloud from "James and the Giant Peach"
Writing skills: Continued work on Developing Imagery in Writing. Read several sample sentences that went from a few colorless words to colorful, detailed sentences. Then we took the sentence "The train moved down the track" and added details in 3 stages to make it more colorful. Finish for HW.
Lit. Circles: Cycle 5 - group presentation by the children who read "And Then There Were None" - interviews with the characters "invited" to the island.
.

5/14 Double ELA period:
Lit. Circles: Cycle 6 - children met with their new groups, filled out their grading sheets for the last cycle and chose the pages they would read for Friday which is Session 1.
Continued work on their ABC Stories which are due tomorrow.
Lit. Circles: Cycle 5 - group presentation by the children who read "Flush" - a poster of a new cover.
.

5/13 Editing/proofreading practice.
Read aloud from "James and the Giant Peach"
Continued to work on our ABC stories - see 5/8 for directions.
All ABC stories must be finished by this Wednesday, May 15.
Children formed groups and chose books for the last Lit. Circles cycle of 7th grade. Because of the limited time we have left, there will not be a project at the end of Cycle 6. 

5/10 Lit. Circles: Cycle 5, Session 7- All groups are now working on their group projects which will be presented starting on May 14th.

5/9 Read aloud from "James and the Giant Peach"
Continued to work on our ABC stories - see below for directions.

5/8 Read aloud from "James and the Giant Peach"
Identified another extended metaphor that will take us through the entire story: the idea that the peach is a ship with a deck and a crew. We will listen for those analogies as we read the novel. 
ABC Story: children began a story where each sentence begins with one letter of the alphabet in order. It will have 26 sentences when it is done.

5/7 Lit. Circles: Cycle 5, Session 7- All groups are now working on their group projects which will be presented starting on May 14th.
.   .

5/6 Editing/proofreading practice
Read aloud from "James and the Giant Peach" - stopping to look for an extended metaphor within the pages read.
Grammar: Sentence Expanding - taking a simple sentence (John slipped) and adding details (when, where, how, why) to create a more complex sentence.
Vocabulary/spelling: Easter Egg Puzzle

5/3 Lit. Circles: Cycle 5, Session 6 - last group finished their book and took the AR Tests.
All groups are now working on their group projects which will be presented starting on May 14th.

5/2 Read aloud from "James and the Giant Peach" 
Read aloud the couplets we wrote yesterday.
Poetry: "The Balloon" started a while back: reread.
Reviewed mood, rhyme pattern, events in the poem.
Looked for personification, simile and metaphors in the poem.
Wrote one original simile and one original metaphor describing a balloon.

5/1 Read aloud from "James and the Giant Peach" 
Reviewed couplets: 2 line rhymes with the same number of syllables.
Children created 5 original couplets using the rhymes provided.

4/30 Lit. Circles: Cycle 5, Session 5 - group discussions; planning for Session 6 on Friday, May 3rd. All groups have now finished their books. The groups that finished today took the AR Tests on their books. Other groups worked on their group projects which will be presented starting on May 14th.

4/29 Returned the 3 AR Tests based on "The Witches"
Together we looked at the Literacy Skills Test on the book - the test that some children have the most difficulty with.
Began new read-aloud book: "James and the Giant Peach" that the play we saw before vacation was based on.
Spelling/vocabulary assignment (started before vacation): Easter Egg Puzzle - all missing words contain the letters EGG.

4/18 - 4/26 Easter Vacation

.

4/17 Continued watching the film version of "The Witches" while taking notes on IMPORTANT differences between the book and the movie.
After the movie, we used our notes to have a discussion about these differences. Children also discussed whether they liked the book or movie better.

4/16 Lit. Circles: Cycle 5, Session 4 - very lively, enthusiastic group discussions; reporting to the class; planning for Session 5 on Tuesday, April 30th. 
DEAR Time.
Two groups finished their books: "The Teacher's Funeral" and "And Then There Were None" - they took the AR Tests on their books. 

4/15 Trip to the Argyle Theater in Babylon to see "James and the Giant Peach"

.

4/12 Lit. Circles: Cycle 5, Session 3 - very lively, enthusiastic group discussions; reporting to the class; planning for Session 4 on Tuesday. 
DEAR Time.
These children really know how to talk about books.

4/11 Continued watching the film version of "The Witches" while taking notes on IMPORTANT differences between the book and the movie.

4/10 Corrected HW: Determining analogous relationships
Began watching the film version of "The Witches" while taking notes on IMPORTANT differences between the book and the movie.

4/9  Lit. Circles: Cycle 5, Session 2 - very lively, enthusiastic group discussions; planning for Session 3 on Friday. 
DEAR Time.

4/8 Editing/proofreading practice
Finished reading aloud "The Witches"
Computer room: We took the 3 AR tests on the book.
Vocabulary: Determining analogous relationships - finish for HW.

4/5  Lit. Circles: Cycle 5, Session 1 - very lively, enthusiastic group discussions; sharing with the class; planning for Session 2 on Tuesday.
DEAR Time.

4/4 Read aloud from "The Witches"
Poetry: "The Balloon" - stanzas, mood, theme, format, rhyme scheme.

4/3 Read aloud from "The Witches"
Li. Circles Cycle 4 group presentation by the children who read "And Then There Were None" - they made a new book cover.
.
Camel essays - we each edited our report, then had a classmate peer edit it.
***These are due today

4/2 Gave the children envelopes from the poetry contest we entered. In order to be published, parental permission is needed. NO PURCHASE NECESSARY.
Please go on-line, follow the log-in directions, check the poem and click "permission given."
Gave out the books for Lit. Circles Cycle 5, filled out the grading sheets, met in groups to chose role sheets and decide on how many pages to read.
Li. Circles Cycle 4 group presentation by the children who read "Teacher's Funeral" - they did a video of several scenes.
.

4/1 Proofreading/editing practice
Read aloud from "The Witches"
Li. Circles Cycle 4 group presentation by the children who read "Hoot" - they did a video of a lost scene.
.
We finished up the camel essays by using the remaining facts in the fourth paragraph and then adding a conclusion.

3/29 Read aloud from "The Witches"
Lit. Circles Cycle 4 group presentation by the children who read "Squirm" - they did a film of interviews with 2 characters.
.
Camel essays: We worked on adding the third topic sentence and details to the essay. 

3/28 Group 3 acted out the poem "The North Wind Doth Blow"
.
Read aloud from "The Witches"
Read several of the Camel Facts assignments from yesterday - the first topic sentence and detail sentences that go with it.
We then worked on adding the second topic sentence and details to the essay.

3/27 Group 2 acted out the poem "The North Wind Doth Blow"
.
Read aloud from "The Witches"
Corrected Camel Facts assignment - matching details to the topic sentences provided.
Writing an essay based on the camel facts: we took the first topic sentence and added the five supporting facts to create the first paragraph of the essay. Finish for HW.

3/26  Lit. Circles: Cycle 4, Session 8 -  All groups continued work on their group projects which will be presented starting on March 29th.
Group 1 acted out the poem "The North Wind Doth Blow"
.

3/25 Editing/proofreading practice
Read aloud from "The Witches"
Read aloud the Shel Silverstein poem about March 25th called "Merry."
Children practiced their dramatic readings of the poem "The North Wind Doth Blow" which will be presented by each of 3 groups starting tomorrow.
Reviewed topic sentences and detail sentences
Returned the "Camel" assignment for the children to examine their answers and fix the ones that incorrectly matched the details with the 3 topic sentences. Finish for HW.

3/22 Lit. Circles: Cycle 4, Session 7 -  All groups continued work on their group projects which will be presented starting on March 29th.

3/21 We took the STAR Reading placement test to determine comprehension progress over the past trimester. These results will be included with the report cards on Friday.
Writing/reading skills: Determining topic sentences and details - finish for HW.

3/20 No school - Teachers' Professional Day

3/19  Lit. Circles: Cycle 4, Session 6 - group discussion by the Squirm group, which had not finished their book; then they took their AR Tests. The other groups continued work on their group projects which will be presented starting on March 29th.

3/18 Editing/proofreading practice
Read aloud from "The Witches"
We finished up the poem "The North Wind Doth Blow" - identified the theme.
Broke the class into groups to act out.

3/15  Lit. Circles: Cycle 4, Session 5 - group discussions by the 2 groups that hadn't yet finished their books; planning for Session 5 on Friday by the Squirm group, which has not finished their book; "And Then There Were None" took their AR Tests. The 3 groups who are finished began to choose their projects and work on them.

3/14 Read aloud from "The Witches"
Poetry: "The North Wind Doth Blow" - vocabulary, author (anonymous), stanzas, unusual format, mood, rhyme pattern, near rhymes, Figures of Speech (simile), reversals, repetition. To be continued.

3/13 Read aloud from "The Witches"
Personification in poetry - Continued using the poems we studied last week to illustrate the object being personified in the poem.
Finish for HW.
MARch spelling/vocabulary worksheet

3/12 Lit. Circles: Cycle 4, Session 4 - group discussions; sharing with the class; planning for Session 5 on Friday; DEAR Time.
.   .
Two groups finished their books and took the AR tests on them. Then they began to choose a group project for this cycle.

3/11 Editing/proofreading practice
Read aloud from "The Witches"
Personification in poetry - using the poems we studied last week, the children chose one of them and illustrated the object being personified in the poem.

3/8 The 8th graders who read "Summer of My German Soldier" stopped by to show us their group project - a filmed news cast of important events in the book.
Lit. Circles Cycle 4, Session 3 - shorter group discussions due to 8th graders' visit and planning for Session 4 on Tuesday.
.   .

3/7 Read aloud from "The Witches"
Continued personification in poetry: We examined the last 3 poems (see yesterday) for examples of personification, metaphor, alliteration, and the rhyme scheme/free verse.

3/6 Read aloud from "The Witches"
Personification in poetry: Looked at 5 short poems where everyday objects are personified - a train, teakettle, toaster, hose and earth mover. Examined the format, rhyme and metaphors in some of them. To be continued.
***See green notice above. Tests must be taken by Friday, March 8

3/5 Lit. Circles: Cycle 4, Session 2 - wonderful, LOUD, excited, animated, enthusiastic discussions again today about their books; sharing with the class; planning for Session 3 on Friday.
DEAR Time

.
3/4 No class - delayed opening due to snowy weather.

3/1 Lit. Circles: Cycle 4, Session 1 - wonderful, LOUD, excited, animated, enthusiastic discussions about the new books; sharing with the class; planning for Session 2 on Tuesday; DEAR Time.

2/28 Read aloud from "The Witches"
Personification in Poetry: After a personification warm-up activity, we read several short poems where an object (hose, toaster, train, etc.) is personified. We identified the various examples of personification in each poem. Also identified rhyme scheme/free verse, other Figures of Speech (metaphor, alliteration).

2/27 Read aloud from "The Witches"
Lit. Circles Cycle 3 - group project presentation by the children who read "Love, Stargirl" - they did a puppet show acting out several parts of the book.
.   .
Then the children who read "Squirm" presented their new cover for that book.
.
We corrected the vocabulary papers from Monday: Completing Analogous Relationships

2/26 Read aloud from "The Witches"
Lit. Circles Cycle 3 - group project presentation by the children who read "Catching Fire" - a film of 2 deaths in the book.
March 8th is the last day to take AR Tests on the Trimester 2 books.

2/25 Editing/proofreading practice
Read aloud from "The Witches"
Lit. Circles Cycle 3 - group project presentation by the children who read "Stargirl." They reenacted part of the story based on the "hot seat" incident.
.   .
Cycle 4 - Gave out new books and grading sheets.
The children met in groups to choose role sheets and decide on how many pages to read for Friday.
DEAR Time / vocabulary worksheets
Finish vocabulary for HW.

2/18-22 February break - enjoy!!!

.

2/15 No regular class - Sr. Maureen showed 7th and 8th grades the film "Hidden Figures"

Lit. Circle projects postponed until Monday after vacation.

2/14 Read aloud from "The Witches"
FEBruary spelling/vocabulary worksheet.
Finish for HW.

2/13 Literature Circles: Cycle 3, Session 8 (postponed from yesterday due to schedule changes) - all groups continued to  work on their group projects. These will be presented starting February 15th.
.   .
More pictures in Photo Gallery

2/12 Schedule Changes due to Faculty meetings:
Did some Rel. and some ELA because we only met once today.
Finished up all work on the poetry contest entries we have been working on because they have to be mailed tomorrow.

2/11 Editing/proofreading practice
Read aloud from "The Witches"
Continued work on our Poetry Wonderland Contest entries - loose leaf copy is due tomorrow.
Children chose groups and books for Lit. Circles Cycle 4 which starts after vacation.

2/8 Literature Circles: Cycle 3, Session 7 - all groups continued to choose, plan and work on their group projects. These will be presented starting February 15th.

2/7 
Read aloud from "The Witches"
Children continued to recite the poem "Winter Morning" by Ogden Nash from memory.
Continued work on our Poetry Wonderland Contest entries - finished the illustration and then began the first draft of the actual poem.

2/6 Read aloud from "The Witches"
Children recited the poem "Winter Morning" by Ogden Nash from memory.
Continued work on our Poetry Wonderland Contest entries - made a list of ideas for the poem and an illustration of the idea chosen.

2/5 Literature Circles: Cycle 3, Session 6 - group discussions by the 2 groups that finished their books for today. After taking the AR tests, all groups began to/continued to choose, plan and work on their group projects. These will be presented starting February 15th.

2/4 Poetry Wonderland Contest: We discussed "Wonderland" as it relates to the story of "Alice in Wonderland."
We watched a video introducing the contest. Then following a PowerPoint presentation, we began the steps of creating our own imaginative poems.
You can see what this is all about at www.youngwritersusa.com/contests/poetry
HW: First 2 sections in booklet must be done by Wed: poem ideas and words related to your poem idea. 

2/1 Literature Circles: Cycle 3, Session 5 - group discussions on our books, sharing with class, planning for session 5 on Tuesday.
Two groups have finished their books, and after taking the AR tests, they began to choose, plan and work on their group projects.

1/31 Read aloud from "The Witches"
Poetry: Finished analyzing "Winter Morning" - repetition and theme.
HW: Memorize poem by Monday.
Figures of Speech: Developing Imagery by Using Personification

1/30 Read aloud from "The Witches"
Poetry by Ogden Nash - we reviewed what we learned about Ogden Nash last year. Reread his couplets which we studied last year.
"Winter Morning" - unusual format, mood, rhyme pattern (AA BB CC etc.), couplets, Figures of Speech (alliteration and metaphor.)
To be continued tomorrow.

1/29 Literature Circles: Cycle 3, Session 4 - group discussions on our books were lively and interesting.
 .   .

Reporting to the class about the discussions.
Planning for Session 5 on Friday - chose new role sheets and decided on which pages to read.
DEAR Time.
The children reading "Squirm" finished their books and took the AR test on the book. Then they started to discuss the project they will do for the book.

1/28 Read aloud from "The Witches"
Victor Ficentise, a graduate from last year, visited and answered the children's questions about HS, specifically SJB.
DEAR Time
Checked the children's 2nd trimester independent reading books. See green reminder above.

1/24 and 1/25 I will be absent due to a death in my family. I will leave class work, but sometimes it does not get done if the covering teacher has different plans. So I will not list it here.

1/23 Read aloud from "The Witches"
Corrected vocabulary HW.
Began to illustrate the After Christmas poem we studied in Religion this morning.

1/22 Editing/proofreading practice
Literature Circles: Cycle 3, Session 2 - group discussions.
Reporting to the class about the discussions.
Planning for Session 3 on Friday - chose new role sheets and decided on which pages to read.
DEAR Time.

1/21 No school 
.

1/18 Collected personification essays which were due today. Many missing!
Literature Circles: Cycle 3, Session 1 - group discussions on our new books were lively and interesting. Most of the children seemed to enjoy their new books.
Reporting to the class about the discussions.
Planning for Session 2 on Tuesday - chose new role sheets and decided on which pages to read.
DEAR Time.

1/17 Read aloud from "The Witches"
Continued working on our personification essays on Google Docs. These must be finished by tomorrow - HW
Those done worked on CLOZE Reading assignment.

1/16 Read aloud from "The Witches"
Lit. Circles group project presentation by the children who read "The Secret of Platform 13" - they did a news broadcast based on events in the story.

1/15 Read aloud from "The Witches"
Lit. Circles group project presentation by the children who read "Catching Fire" - they did a news broadcast based on events in the story.
.
Prepared for Lit. Circles Cycle 4 which will start on Friday: gave out the new books and grading sheets, filled out grading sheets, met in groups to decide on how much to read and to choose role sheets.
DEAR Time.

1/14 Editing/proofreading practice
Read aloud from "The Witches"
Lit. Circles group project presentation by the children who read "A Long Way from Chicago" - they did a skit, made a gravestone for a character who died  and gave a summary of the dead character's life.
.    .
Continued work on personification essays.

1/11 Read aloud from "The Witches"
Lit. Circles group project presentation by the children who read Stargirl - they created a board game.
.
Children formed themselves into groups and chose books for Cycle 3 which starts on January 18th. 
We continued work on spelling/vocabulary assignment: GIFT
Those who finished worked on the personification essays that we started yesterday.

1/10 Read aloud from "The Witches"

Personification: Children chose an object from the list provided and wrote a first person account of that object's life. To be continued.

1/9 Reviewed the AR Literacy Skills Test for "The Best Christmas Pageant Ever" because the children tend to do less well on that test as opposed to the Reading and Vocabulary tests.
Started new read aloud book "The Witches" by Roald Dahl.
.
Corrected analogy assignment from 1/2.
Continued work on spelling/vocab assignment: GIFT

1/8 Lit. Circles: Cycle 2, Session 8  - since all groups have finished their books, they are continuing to work on their group projects, which will be presented starting Jan. 11th.

1/7 Editing/proofreading practice
STAR Reading Test to determine our latest grade level and reading range (ZPD) for choosing books.
When finished, we worked on Epiphany papers from Religion class.

1/4 Lit. Circles: Cycle 2, Session 7 - since all groups have finished their books, they are continuing to work on their group projects, which will be presented starting Jan. 11th.
.   .

1/3 We began watching the film "The Best Christmas Pageant Ever" by Barbara Robinson, which we read aloud before Christmas.

1/2 Computer room: We took the AR tests on the book we listened to, "The Best Christmas Pageant Ever"
Vocab: Determining Analogous Relationships
Finish for HW.

12/22-1/1 Vacation - Merry Christmas

.

12/21 - No class - 12:00 dismissal

12/20 Finished our read-aloud book: "The Best Christmas Pageant Ever"
Vocab/spelling assignment: GIFT
Worked on various unfinished Advent projects.

12/19 Continued with our read-aloud book: "The Best Christmas Pageant Ever"
Continued work on the Advent projects/assignments we were working on during Religion class.
Those finished worked on spelling/vocab. assignment GIFT.

12/18 Large number of children were at band, so after our last first person personification essay presentations, we returned to work on assignments for our Advent folder.

12/17 Proofreading/editing practice
Readjusted Lit. Circles schedule so that the last few sessions will be after vacation, allowing us more time to concentrate on Advent and Christmas this week.
Continued with our read-aloud book: "The Best Christmas Pageant Ever"

12/14 Continued with our read-aloud book: "The Best Christmas Pageant Ever"
Michael and Benito did their "Words Like Magic" presentation.
3 children read their first person personification essays.
Read the class "The Night of Los Posadas" by Tomie DePaola about the special Christmas celebration in Santa Fe, New Mexico, that we first learned about in the Advent video this morning.
.

12/13 continued with our Advent work.

12/12 Lit. Circles: Cycle 2, Session 6 - since all groups finished their books, they are now at work on their group projects, which will be presented starting Jan. 11th.

12/11 Music practice for the school mass next Tuesday.
No regular class.

12/10 Proofreading/editing practice
Continued with our read-aloud book: "The Best Christmas Pageant Ever"
2 children read their first person personification essays.
Worked on spelling/vocab. assignment: Christmas GIFT

12/7 Literature Circles: Cycle 2, Session 5 - group discussions
All groups have now finished their books and they took the AR Tests on them. They then started/continued work on their group projects which are due January 4.

12/6 Continued with our read-aloud book: "The Best Christmas Pageant Ever"
Watched Advent video for Week 1 - about the American poet Henry Wadsworth Longfellow and how he came to write the poem "I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day" that was later set to music and is now a well known Christmas carol.

12/5 Continued with our read-aloud book: "The Best Christmas Pageant Ever"
Naomi and Leyla did their "Words Like Magic" presentation.
.
3 children read their first person personification essays.
Corrected work from Monday:  Combining short simple sentences into complex ones.
Corrected "Thanksgiving Homophones" - by looking up all the words not looked up (guessed at) on the original assignment. Finish for HW.
Vocabulary/spelling assignment: "Christmas Gifts"

12/4 Literature Circles: Cycle 2, Session 4 - group discussions, sharing with the class, planning for Session 5 on Friday.
DEAR Time.
Two groups ("Stargirl" and "Secret of Platform 13" finished their books and took the AR Tests on them. They will start work on their group project next time.)

12/3 Editing/proofreading practice
Myles and Leyla did their "Words Like Magic" presentation.
.
3 children read their first person personification essays.
Continued with our read-aloud book: "The Best Christmas Pageant Ever"
Grammar: Combining short simple sentences into complex ones.
Finish paper for Wednesday.

11/30 Literature Circles: Cycle 2, Session 3 - group discussions, sharing with the class, planning for Session 4 on Tuesday.
DEAR Time.
.   .
See more pictures in Photo Gallery.

11/29 Read aloud from "Charlie and the Great Glass Elevator"
Ava and Emily did their "Words Like Magic" presentation.
.
Started new read-aloud book: "The Best Christmas Pageant Ever"
.
Introduced Personification: definition, examples, where the literacy technique is used. 
Assignment: Write a first person paragraph pretending you are a sneaker, ice-cream cone or soccer ball. Due on Monday.

11/28 Read aloud from "Charlie and the Great Glass Elevator"
Thalia and Alexandra did their "Words Like Magic" presentation.
.
Corrected vocabulary HW from Monday: analogous relationships
Reviewed couplets: 2 line rhymes with the same number of syllables in each line.
Assignment: writing couplets with the rhymes provided.
Finish for HW.

11/27 Literature Circles: Cycle 2, Session 2 - group discussions, sharing with the class, planning for Session 3 on Friday.
DEAR Time.
.   .
See more photos in the Photo Gallery.
Nico and Nick did their "Words Like Magic" presentation.
. 

11/26 Last Lit. Circles group project for Cycle 1 presented by the children who read "The Hunger Games" - they did a live-action skit.
.   .
Read aloud from "Charlie and the Great Glass Elevator"
Vocabulary: Completing Analogous Relationships crossword puzzle. Finish for HW.

11/22 -11/23
.

11/21 "Thanksgiving Homophones" - open dictionary "quiz" on locating the correct homophone.
DEAR Time and AR tests - all children must pass 2 tests on books (beside their Lit. Circle books) by next Friday. See top of page (green writing.)

11/20 Literature Circles: Cycle 2, Session 1 - group discussions, sharing with the class, planning for Session 2 next Tuesday.
DEAR Time.
Practiced our poem THANKS.

11/19 Editing/proofreading practice
Next "Words Like Magic" presentation by Alex and Rameel.
.
Children continued to recite aloud the poem they had to memorize: "Thanksgiving Day"
Read aloud from "Charlie and the Great Glass Elevator"
Returned and reviewed "Magic E" spelling/vocab. assignment.

11/16 Next "Words Like Magic" presentation by Danielle and Andrea.
.
Children continued to recite aloud the poem they had to memorize: "Thanksgiving Day"
Set up Lit. Circles Cycle 2: gave out new books, gave out new grading sheets, groups met and decided on pages to read for Session 1, and they chose their role sheets for Session 1 - Tuesday.

11/15 Lit. Circles: Third group project presentation by the children who read "Chomp" - they also did a puppet show.
.
Read aloud from "Charlie and the Gr
eat Glass Elevator"
Next "Words Like Magic" presentation by Andrew and Adrian.
.
Children began to recite aloud the poem they had to memorize: "Thanksgiving Day"

11/14 Lit. Circles: Second group project presentation by the children who read "Hoot" - they did a puppet show.
.
Finished analyzing poem "THANKS"
HW: Memorize poem by Friday
First "Words Like Magic" presentation by Kris and Kenny.
.

11/13 Editing/proofreading practice
Lit. Circles: First group project presentation by the children who read "The Secret Life of Bees" - they acted out a scene from the book.
.
We corrected the vocabulary words looked up last week for the poem "THANKS."
We started analyzing the poem. To be continued.
Toothpaste ads due tomorrow.

11/12 No school - Veterans' Day

11/9 Literature Circles: Cycle 1, Session 8 - all groups are now hard at work on their group projects. They will present starting 11/13.

11/8 Read aloud from "Charlie and the Great Glass Elevator"
Reviewed the directions to the "Words Like Magic" project given out yesterday.
Gave out the rubric that will be used to grade the projects and went over that.
Poetry: Acrostic poem - "THANKS"
Children underlined 8 vocabulary words from the poem and looked for a definition for each that works in the poem. 
Finish for HW.

11/7 Read aloud from "Charlie and the Great Glass Elevator"
Corrected HW: Determining Analogous Relationships
Metaphor project: "Words Like Magic" - due next Wednesday, Nov. 14th. 
See Useful Links section of this page for full directions.

11/6 Literature Circles: Cycle 1, Session 7 - all groups are now hard at work on their group projects. They will present starting 11/13.
.   .
See more photos in Photo Gallery.

11/5 Proofreading/editing practice
Read aloud from "Charlie and the Great Glass Elevator"
Scrambled Sentences - unscramble each group of words to form a sentence that makes good sense. Add spelling and punctuation.
Vocabulary: Determining Analogous Relationships - finish for HW.

11/2  Literature Circles: Cycle 1, Session 6 - last discussion session for Cycle 1. 10 minute group discussions, and sharing with the class by one member from each group.  
Each group then took the AR tests on their books.
They received a list of possible group projects and a rubric for how the group projects will be graded.
The children reading "Chomp" worked on their group project.

11/1 No school - All Saints' Day

10/31 Read aloud from 
"Charlie and the Great Glass Elevator"
Corrected analogy homework.
Vocabulary: "Magic E" 
DEAR Time

10/30 Literature Circles: Cycle 1, Session 5 - 14 minute group discussions (which will increase to 15 minutes in a few weeks), sharing with the class by one member from each group, planning for Session 5 on Friday (deciding on which pages to read and choosing new role sheets.)
The children reading "Chomp" finished their books last session and spent the time trying to decide on a group project.

10/29 Proofreading/editing practice
Read aloud from "Charlie and the Great Glass Elevator"
Collected thesaurus trees which were due today.
Vocabulary: "Project Cirrus" - classifying words that have to do with a forest.
Determining Analogous Relationships crossword puzzle
Finish both for HW if not done.

10/26 No school - Diocesan Teachers' Conference Day for staff

10/25 Read aloud from "Charlie and the Great Glass Elevator"
Finished the poem started yesterday: reviewed what we learned about Walt Whitman, looked at a picture of him, reviewed free verse. Analyzed poem for unusual format, figures of speech (personification, alliteration, metaphor), repetition. Read aloud in various groupings.

10/24 Read aloud from "Charlie and the Great Glass Elevator"
Corrected analogy homework.
Metaphor in Poetry: "The Great Grey Clouds" - discussed extended metaphor, free verse and Walt Whitman, the LI poet who was known for first writing free-verse (non rhyming) poetry.

10/23 Literature Circles: Cycle 1, Session 4 - 14 minute group discussions (which will increase to 15 minutes in a few weeks), sharing with the class by one member from each group, planning for Session 4 on Tuesday (deciding on which pages to read and choosing new role sheets.)
Reporting to the class:
.   .
See more pictures in Photo Gallery.
The group reading "Chomp" finished their books and then took the 3 AR tests on the book.
Then they got the list of possible group projects and began to decide which project they will present to the class.

10/22 Proofreading/editing practice
Finish thesaurus trees - HW if not completed in class.
Read aloud from "Charlie and the Great Glass Elevator"
Vocabulary: analogies - finish for HW up to the assigned question.

10/19 Literature Circles: Cycle 1, Session 3 - 13 minute group discussions (which will increase to 15 minutes in a few weeks), sharing with the class by one member from each group, planning for Session 4 on Tuesday (deciding on which pages to read and choosing new role sheets.)
.   .
See more photos in 7th Grade Photo Gallery.

10/18 Read aloud from "Charlie and the Great Glass Elevator"
Worked on our "Thesaurus Forest"

10/17  Postponed from yesterday due to trip:
Literature Circles: Cycle 1, Session 2 - 10 minute group discussions (which will increase to 15 minutes in a few weeks), sharing with the class by one member from each group, planning for Session 3 on Friday (deciding on which pages to read and choosing new role sheets.)


10/16 No class - Science trip to Adventureland

10/15 Editing/proofreading practice
Read aloud from "Charlie and the Great Glass Elevator"
Using our synonyms from the thesaurus work we did two weeks ago, we each created a synonym tree with the main word on the trunk and the synonyms on the branches.

10/12 Literature Circles: Cycle 1, Session 1 - 10 minute group discussions (which will increase to 15 minutes in a few weeks), sharing with the class by one member from each group, planning for Session 2 on Tuesday (deciding on which pages to read and choosing new role sheets.)
The discussions were lively and interesting. They did very well for the first time.
Fire Drill took up part of the class.

10/11 Lit. Circles practice set of role sheets: we stapled the 6 papers in chronological order.
Returned CAR vocabulary assignments.

10/10 Reviewed analogies, how to read them, how to solve them, finding the relationship between the 2 pairs of words.
Corrected analogy HW.
Met in Lit. Circle groups, chose the role sheets to be completed for the reading due Friday and reviewed how to fill them out.
DEAR Time - we read our Lit. Circles books.

10/9 Editing/proofreading practice
Formed our Lit. Circle groups for Cycle 1 and chose the books we will be reading.
Gave out the Grading Sheets and books.
Children met in groups to decide how many pages they will read for Friday.

10/8 No School

10/5 We completed our last practice role sheet, Discussion Director, based on any one of the short stories we read this year.
Next week we will begin the actual process of forming our Lit. Circle groups for Cycle 1, choosing books and setting up our folders.
Vocabulary: Classifying Ideas crossword puzzle - finish for HW.

10/4 Read aloud from "Charlie and the Great Glass Elevator"
Reviewed couplets - two line rhymes with about the same number of syllables.
Worked on assignment "Smart Two Liners" - writing couplets based on the first line provided and creating lists of rhyming words.
HW: Analogy assignment - due Monday.

10/3 No class due to COGAT testing schedule. 

10/2 Read aloud from "Charlie and the Great Glass Elevator"
Reviewed the short story we read on Friday, "May I Have Your Autograph?"
Each child told one part of the story in order.
Reviewed the difference between skinny and FAT questions. See 9/28.
I asked the children questions about the short story and they had to identify them as skinny or FAT before answering them.
Returned the role sheets "Letter to a Character" and discussed how they were.

10/1 Short class - we went to Sister Susan's mother's funeral for part of the time.
Proofreading/editing practice
Read aloud from "Charlie and the Great Glass Elevator"
Returned THESAURUS assignment from last week and we went back into the thesauruses to find a new word that we don't know and six synonyms to go with it.
Vocabulary: analogies

9/28 
Read aloud from "Charlie and the Great Glass Elevator"
Corrected vocab. homework: Classifying Ideas
Lit. Circles: explained the difference between skinny (one or two word answers) and FAT questions (open ended and lead to a good discussion) questions.
Read the short story "May I Have Your Autograph?"
Next week we will use the story to practice the difference between skinny and FAT questions.
 
9/27 Read aloud from "Charlie and the Great Glass Elevator"
Poetry: We finished up the poem "People" by Charlotte Zolotow: reviewed what we covered yesterday; repetition; theme; read it dramatically.
Vocabulary: Classifying Ideas crossword - finish for HW.

9/26 Gave out and reviewed two sets of practice role sheets: Summarizer and Passage Master.
Collected practice role sheet: Letter to a Character
Read aloud from "Charlie and the Great Glass Elevator"
Poetry: "People" by Charlotte Zolotow - compare to the poem "Some People" we just finished: stanzas, rhyme scheme, theme.
Unusual format; poetic license.
To be continued.

9/25 Read aloud from "Charlie and the Great Glass Elevator"
Shared a model role sheet from the story "Secrets of Splat Night"
Read last short story in our small anthologies: "Don't Open the Monster Blood" by RL Stine.
Completed the "Letter to a Character" role sheet.

9/24 Proofreading/editing practice
Read aloud from "Charlie and the Great Glass Elevator"
Discussed the uses of a thesaurus and how it helps you to become a better writer.
Looked at several cartoons where children confused a thesaurus with a dinosaur type.
.
Assignment: choose 5 words and look in the thesaurus to find at least 6 synonyms for that word.
Finish for HW.

9/21 We celebrated Alexandra's birthday.
Read quietly the short story "You Had Me at Secret" and highlighted 3 important passages.
"Passage Master" role sheet - finish for HW.

9/20 Read aloud from "Charlie and the Great Glass Elevator"
Finished poem started last week: "Some People" by Rachel Field - reviewed stanzas, rhyme pattern, Figures of Speech.
Examined the mood and theme of the poem. 
Read aloud using various techniques to express the 2 moods: weariness and "shine"
Continued work on CAR vocabulary/spelling assignment.

9/19 Read aloud from "Charlie and the Great Glass Elevator"
Continued work on vocabulary started Monday: "Fun with CAR Words" 
STAR Reading test results are being sent home today. Please sign and return the accompanying tear-off.


9/18 Started new "read-aloud" book: "Charlie and the Great Glass Elevator"
.
Returned and reviewed the 2 practice role sheets have done: Cartoonist and Prognosticator.
Set up Lit. Circle folders using last year's book report folders. Filed the 2 completed role sheets in the folders.
Read the 3rd short story: "Secrets of Splat Night" and completed our next practice role sheet: Summarizer.
Finish for HW.

9/17 Editing/proofreading practice
Computer Room: we took the STAR Reading placement test. Results will be sent home this week. Please sign and return the accompanying tear-off.
Vocabulary: find the word that contains the letters CAR that goes with each definition.

9/14 Poetry: "Some People" by Charlotte Zolotow - rhyme scheme, Figures of Speech (simile & metaphor), mood, theme, repetition, dramatic reading.

9/13 Collected the Cartoonist role sheets from yesterday.
We read the short story "Dweeby Is in the Eye of the Beholder" about two families getting ready for the first day of school: an Indian family and a "typical" American family. We then completed the Prognosticator role sheet.
Finish for HW.
Please return the bottom section of the handout from Open House last night. If you were not here, I gave your child a copy today. Please keep it and refer to it all year. Thank you.

9/12 Signed up reading books for Trimester 1 - see above information.
Literature Circles - worked on the "Cartoonist" role sheets. Finish for HW if not done.

9/11 Returned the AR tests on the summer reading.
Corrected reading skills HW from yesterday.
We began preparation for Literature Circles: Read short story "The Time We Ran Away" and then began working on our first PRACTICE role sheet, Cartoonist.

9/10 Writing skills: combining pairs of sentences into complex sentences using the words WHO, WHICH and THAT.
Reading skills: Inferring from Context (Identity of the Speaker) - Finish for HW.

.

9/7 No class due to 12:00 dismissal.

9/6 Started signing up reading books for Trimester 1. See above note in green.
Everyone must sign up a book by Wednesday of next week.
Writing skills: Combining short, choppy, repetitive sentences into well constructed ones.

9/5 Computer room - we took the AR tests on our summer books. The grades will be sent home soon. 

Vocabulary: "Don't Be in the Doghouse" - match up words that contain "dog" like dogbane with the correct definition in honor of National Dog Week, the first week of Sept.
Finish for HW.

9/4 Collected the Summer Reading papers. Please bring them in tomorrow if they were not returned today.
AR tests on the summer reading will be taken this week.
Literature Circles - the 7th grade reading program, was discussed in great detail.
Vocabulary: "Back to School" crossword puzzle