(Missed worksheets are available in the classroom, and textbooks are available for check-out for missed textbook assignments.)

3rd Quarter


(Jan. 8)

English 7:  We reviewed “well-constructed paragraphs” again.  Then students wrote 5 “well-constructed paragraphs” in answer to 5 questions (on the overhead) about the themes, etc., in the How to Train Your Dragon movie and the poem “What Do We Do with a Variation?”  Students were able to use the notes taken throughout the week to help them in their writing. Students put their paragraphs in their folders when finished, and they will be handed in on Monday. Those not finished took theirs home to finish over the weekend.  (The 5 questions can also be found in the Assignment Archive page on the blog.)


Jan. 12

English 7:  We got new seating charts, we switched some things around in our Portfolio and Working Folders, we handed in our 5 paragraphs on How to Train Your Dragon, and new class jobs were assigned. We were reminded about our Qtr. 3 Reader Response form which is due Mar. 6 and about the great opportunity for extra credit during 3rd Qtr. with the English Fair, if we create and turn in a project for it by Feb. 6. Then we discussed POETRY, and we got a Poetry Packet and wrote the “Name Poem” in it.  (We also discussed the author Brandon Mull who will be coming to present at our school on Thursday!)

Adv. Reading: We got a seating chart, and Mrs. Wood handed out the class disclosure statement and went through it all with us. It is due by Friday, signed, for 20 points. Then we discussed favorite books, and we each introduced ourselves to the class. We were also were informed of the class Reading Requirement which is to read 3 books each quarter and fill out a Reader Response form (available on Mrs. Wood’s blog) on each. The 3 Reader Response forms for 3rd Qtr. (each worth 100 points!) are due by Mar. 6!  (We also discussed the author Brandon Mull who will be coming to present at our school on Thursday!)

Jan. 13

English 7:  We discussed “tools” that poets use:  rhyme schemes (we read the poem “Dust” by Sydney King), a deliberate shape or construction, sensory language, similes, metaphors, and alliteration.  Then we wrote the “Descriptive Poem” in the Poetry Packet. Those that did not finish yesterday’s “Name Poetry” were able to also go back and work on that.

Adv. Reading:  We went to the Library to hear Mrs. Hall talk about some great books she recommends. Then we checked out books and read. Some students turned in disclosure statements.

Jan. 14  (Late Start Day)

English 7:  We read the poem “Dust” again, and we discussed rhyme schemes in poetry. Then we read the poems “Sarah Cynthia Sylvia Stout” by Shel Silverstein and “Valentine” by Donald Hall. Then we wrote the “Rhyming Poem” in our Poetry Packets.

Adv. ReadingWe were each issued a copy of the novel Airborn. We made a Response Journal to go along with it, and we wrote our first response in it, which was to respond to the cover of the book (Does it seem like it will be a good book?, etc.) and to answer the question: What do you know about piratesThen we read about half of the first chapter of the novel together, and now everyone is to have read up to Ch. 6 by next Wednesday! And some students turned in disclosure statements.

Jan. 15

English 7: Discuss narrative poetry and read the poem “The Highway Man” by Alfred Noyes and “Oranges” by Gary Soto. Then write the “Narrative Poem” in our Poetry Packet.  Those finished with the packet may turn it in; those not finished may take it home to finish and then turn it in Friday.  (2nd period:  see the presentation by author Brandon Mull!)

Adv. Reading:  8th graders– see the presentation by author Brandon Mull;  the rest of us– just read our books the whole period.

Jan. 16

English 7:  Complete Vocabulary/ Editing/ Writing Prompt Lesson #13.  (2nd period:  Discuss narrative poetry, read two narrative poems, write the “Narrative Poem” in the Poetry Packet, and turn the packet in.)  Discuss our February Titan Time SKYPE author (Curtis Jobling) and the Qtr. 3 “Chuckarama Reading Challenge.”

Adv. Reading: All disclosure statements due today! Look at Mrs. Wood’s blog to learn about the Daily Assignment Tracker. Look at Kenneth Oppel’s (author of Airborn) website. Then learn about the Daily Reading Points (DRP) in this class (usually for Fridays and Mondays), and read for the rest of the period. We were reminded to be up to Ch. 6 in Airborn by Wednesday.

Jan. 19– Martin Luther King Day (No school!)

Jan. 20– (Sub day)

English 7: We did Lesson #12 of the “Monsters” Critical Reading Series set.

Adv. Reading:  We went to the computer lab to look up 5 authors’ websites and fill our a “Scorecard” worksheet, evaluating each site for its various attributes, reader-appeal, strengths, and weaknesses.

Jan. 21

English 7: We discussed the 3rd Quarter “Chuckarama Reading Challenge,” and the fact that we only have about 2 weeks left to enter a project in the English Fair,  along with our school’s next Skype author, Curtis Jobling of the WereWorld series. Then we talked about our upcoming SAGE Writing Test on Feb. 2, 3, and 4. We went through a powerpoint reviewing well-constructed paragraphs, complete sentences, and not using slang or “garbage lines.”  Then we reviewed Argument Paragraphs, and we each wrote one with the class (“The Locker Organizer”), and one on our own (“The Perfect Meal”). Then we discussed Explanatory Paragraphs and how they differ from argument writing, and we wrote an Explanatory Paragraph with the class on “The Differences Between Objects in Space.”

Adv. Reading: We reviewed some of what we noticed in the authors’ websites yesterday. Then we dicussed the first 6 Chapters of Airborn.  We wrote Response #2 in our Response Journals, simply responding to what we read in the those first 6 chapters, and we also wrote about what would be so great about traveling in an airship and about why we guessed we didn’t use those anymore. Then we watched a video clip of the footage of the explosion and crash of the Hindenburg airship in 1937. Then, inspired by the first 6 chapters of Airborn,  we each attempted to create and draw/color an imaginary creature that could exist out on an uncharted island somewhere, and we included details of its characteristics and habitat, etc., in our drawing. That is due by tomorrow.

Jan. 22

English 7:  We reviewed Explanatory Paragraphs, and we wrote one on our own about “How Snowflakes Are Formed.” Then we handed in the worksheet with the “Snowflakes” paragraph and the Argument Paragraph on “Bugs- The Perfect Meal.”  Then as a Mastery-Assessment assignment, we wrote another paragraph on our own on “The Deformed Frogs of Le Sueur County,” and we handed that in. Then we viewed a powerpoint of student-writing-models of the “Deformed Frogs” Argument Paragraph, and we discussed and critiqued the pieces as to whether they were effective argument-writing. Students were told to bring a book tomorrow for a Reading Day.

Adv. Reading: We finished up our Creature Pictures, and then we read our books and took A.R. tests.

Jan. 23  (Sub Day for Eng. Dept. PLCs)

English 7:  Reading Day.

Adv. Reading:  Daily Reading Points day!

Jan. 26

English 7: We discussed extending a 5-sentence Argument Paragraph into a 5-paragraph Argument Essay. We looked at a student-written example of an Argument Essay (“School Daze”), and we discussed what was strong about the piece, and we color-coded all of the different components within the essay to help us remember the various parts. Then we got a handout with some articles on “Athletes Charging Money for Their Autographs,” and we read the articles, underlining for strong evidence, in preparation for writing an Argument Essay on the topic. We started writing our essays and will finish them tomorrow.

Adv. Reading:  Daily Reading Points!

Jan. 27

English 7:  We finished writing our Argument Essays on “Athletes’ Autographs.” Then we traded our essays with partners, and we participated in a Peer Review activity in which we critiqued each other’s essays. We met with each other after critiquing to explain what we thought of each other’s essays, we were able to then make a few changes to our essays based on our peers’ suggestions, and then we handed the essays in.

Adv. Reading:  Today we got the Recommended Books List assignment (see the current blog post).  We each spent the class time drafting our personal Recommended Books List. It is due– posted as a comment on Mrs. Wood’s blog– by Feb. 10.

Jan. 28  (Late-Start Day)

English 7:  Today we discussed extending the Explanatory Paragraph into a 3-Paragraph Explanatory Essay. Then we wrote an Explanatory Essay, explaining “Why Leaves Change Color in the Fall.”

Adv. Reading: Today we reviewed Ch. 6-12 of Airborn, and we wrote a Response #3 in our Response Journals. Then we each used the chapter title “The One That Fell” to create an original poem, based on that phrase. We will finish our poems tomorrow.

Jan. 29

English 7:  We read the Lesson #4 article on “Bigfoot” in the Monsters Critical Reading Series set, and then we wrote an Argument Essay on whether or not Bigfoot really exists, using evidence from the article to support our argument. While we wrote, Mrs. Wood conferenced individually with some of us regarding our argument essays on “Athletes /Autographs” and what we could improve, still, in our argument-writing.

Adv. Reading: We finished writing our “One That Fell” poems. Then some of us read our poems aloud to the class for extra credit!