(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!

Jan. 30

English 7:  We took a look at the SAGE Testing online site and discussed the procedure for next week, and we looked at an example question and articles for the Argument Essay on the site. Then Mrs. Wood discussed some test-taking tips, and we reviewed everything we’ve covered concerning Argument/ Explanatory Essays. We were also each given computer numbers, so we know which computer to sit at next week, and we were instructed to go directly to the 301 Lab for the next 3 days of class. Then Mrs. Wood reminded everyone that the English Fair entries are due in ONE WEEK, and she read us one more winning entry from a previous year.

Adv. Reading: We read for Daily Reading Points, and we took AR tests. And Mrs. Wood told everyone to be thinking of a book they want to create a English-Fair Reader Recommendation Poster about next week (Tues. and Wed.). Mrs. Wood will be providing the poster board, and students will provide everything that goes on the poster board.

Feb. 2

English 7:   SAGE Writing Test!

Adv. Reading:  Reading for Daily Reading Points. All students were given the English Fair “Reader Recommendation Poster” handout and assigned to be ready tomorrow to work on their Reader Recommendation Posters for the English Fair and to bring whatever materials they needed (markers, tape, glue, pictures, scissors, etc.) to be able to do that.

Feb. 3

English 7:   SAGE Writing Test!

Adv. Reading:  Creating Reader Recommendation Posters for the English Fair.

Feb. 4

English 7:   SAGE Writing Test!

Adv. Reading: Finishing our Reader Recommendation Posters for the English Fair. (After receiving 50 points for them in Advanced Reading, they are to be turned into our English teachers by Friday for English Fair extra credit!)

Feb. 5

English 7:  We discussed the SAGE Writing test and how we thought it went. Then we discussed the Middle Ages (950-1450 A.D.) and what life was like during that period in England. Then we began the novel Crispin; the Cross of Lead by Avi, and we read up to Ch. 5. Mrs. Wood also reminded everyone that tomorrow ALL ENGLISH FAIR PROJECTS ARE DUE!

Adv. Reading:  Those that still had not shown Mrs. Wood their finished Reader Response Poster did so. We then reviewed Ch. 12-18 of Airborn, and we wrote a 4th Response in our Response Journals. (And Mrs. Wood showed us pictures of how she envisioned the “cloud cat” .) Now everyone is to finish reading the novel by next Thursday!  We also looked at the books that won the Newberry Honor Awards this year.  Mrs. Wood also reminded everyone that the Reader Recommendation Lists are due next Tuesday, when we will be using the laptops in class to type them, so some students used the rest of the period to work on those drafts, while others read.

Feb. 6

English 7:  We discussed reading in the Middle Ages and the availability of reading material at the time. We learned about illuminated manuscript, and then we made the cover for our study guide for Crispin by drawing one of our initials in “illuminated manuscript” style. Everyone was reminded to bring markers or colored pencils on Monday to color the study guide covers. All English Fair projects are due today!

Adv. Reading:  Daily Reading Points and AR testing.

Feb. 9

English 7:  We made our Crispin study guides today by stapling 4 or 5 pieces of lined paper to our illuminated manuscript covers. We continued working on our covers, and we read up to Ch. 9 in Crispin, and we wrote the first two Chapter Summaries in our study guides.

Adv. Reading: DRP and AR testing. And Mrs. Wood reminded everyone to either submit their Reader Recommendation Lists tonight on Mrs. Wood’s blog, or be ready with a prepared draft of their lists tomorrow for typing and submitting using the school’s laptops.

Feb. 10

English 7:  We finished any tracing/ drawing of our illuminated initials on our study guide covers, and we continued coloring them. We also read up to Ch. 15 in Crispin, and we wrote our Summary #3 in our study guides.

Adv. Reading: Using the school laptops (or the 5 computers in Mrs. Wood’s room), those of us that had still not submitted our Recommended Reading Lists to Mrs. Wood’s blog, did so today. Some of us also submitted our additional online comment about someone else’s List. Those not finished today must get online tonight and finish. Otherwise they will get only about 5 minutes each to finish tomorrow in class, using Mrs. Wood’s 5 computers. Those that finished everything today have earned an extra reading day tomorrow!

Feb. 11  (Late Start Day)

English 7:  Today we got the 3rd Qtr. writing assignment which is to write a Research Report on the Middle Ages (see details on the current blog post). We discussed the format for this paper, we  discussed plagiarism and giving credit to those sources that provide you with research information for your paper, we discussed using VOICE in informational writing, and we talked about the specifics of citing our sources and including a Bibliography with our report. The rough draft of our paper (typed or hand-written) is due on Feb. 23 (for 50 points!) for the Peer Review activity. Then we will be typing our final copy in the computer lab the rest of that week. This Friday we will be using the ASUS tablets in class to do some research and take notes for this report. After that, the report is to be written at home.

Adv. Reading: Students read and/or used the 5 computers in the room to finish typing and submitting their Recommended Reading Lists/comments online. Airborn must be finished by tomorrow. Bring the book to hand in along with the Airborn Response Journal.

Feb. 12

English 7:  We read up to Ch. 20 in Crispin, and we wrote a Summary #4 in our study guides. We were reminded to bring paper and pen to take notes with tomorrow when we will have the ASUS tablets in here for researching the Middle Ages.

Adv. Reading:  We looked at an overhead poster of other titles by Kenneth Oppel. We discussed the final chapters of Airborn and wrote a final response-journal entry, as well as a Final Essay (chosen from 4 topics listed on the overhead) detailing one of the thematic topics covered in Airborn. We handed in our Airborn response-journals, along with our copies of the novel. We were reminded to fill out a Reader Response (and take the AR test?) on Airborn.

Feb. 13

English 7:  Today we used the ASUS tablets to do research for our Middle Ages Research Reports. We took notes on the information we found about the three Middle Ages topics that we’d each chosen to write about, and Mrs. Wood demonstrated citing a book source (Crispin) and an online source (Middle Ages. net). Students were reminded to bring a pencil for the English Fair next Tuesday and that they only have 3 more weeks until their Qtr. 3 Reader Response form is due.

Adv. Reading:  Today we read for Daily Reading Points. We also each checked out a new novel to read for our class; we were given two choices– Tisha or The House of the Scorpion, and they are to be read by March 26.

Feb. 16–  Presidents Day! (No school!)

Feb. 17

English 7:  English Fair!

Adv. Reading:  Daily Reading Points!

Feb. 18   (Early-Out Day for Parent/Teacher Conferences)

English 7:  English Fair!

Adv. Reading: Today we discussed the reading strategy of “making inferences.” We looked at some overheads of a cartoon, a paragraph, and a poem, and we made some inferences about them, based on what we saw and read. We discussed how much of the art in a piece of writing must be supplied by us, within our own heads, and the author entirely expects us to be doing that. Then we read a story called “Four O’ Clock” by Price Day, and we stopped periodically and discussed what we knew about what was going on in the story and what we were inferring. Then we drew 2 columns on a piece of paper (one for What We Know and one for What We Infer), and then we started reading another story called “There Will Come Soft Rains” by Ray Bradbury, filling in those two columns as we read.

Feb. 19

English 7:  We read Ch. 20-24 in Crispin, and we wrote a Summary #5 in our study guides.

Adv. Reading:  We finished reading “There Will Come Soft Rains” and filling in our two columns of What We Know and What We Infer as we read. Then we discussed what we had inferred about the story and the author’s intended meanings. With the remaining class time, we read our own books.

Feb. 20

English 7:  Reading up to Ch. 30 in Crispin and writing Summary #6.  In some of our classes, juggling demonstrations were presented by some students, to go along with what we are reading about in CrispinRemember: Your rough draft of your Middle Ages report is due on Monday for 50 points, and your Reader Response Form is due in 2 weeks!  Also, all Qtr. 3 make-up work is due by March 6!

Adv. Reading:  DRP!   Remember: Your 3 Reader Response Forms are due in 2 weeks!

Feb. 23

English 7:  Peer Review of Middle Ages Report rough draft! We also looked at the format for this paper again, and we discussed how to insert the “illuminated initial” on the first page of our report. Students now have tonight to make any revisions/ improvements to their rough drafts, based on the suggestions from their peers. Bring rough drafts back tomorrow for typing.  Remember that your Reader Response Form and all Qtr. 3 make-up work is due by March 6!

Adv. Reading:  DRP!  Remember that your 3 Reader Response Forms are due by March 6! (Those with Reader Response Forms also due in English may photocopy any completed forms to use for both English and this class.)

Feb. 24

English 7:  Typing the final copy of the Middle Ages report in the computer lab!

Adv. Reading: Reading the story “Lamb to the Slaughter” by Roald Dahl and discussing inferences we are making as we read the story.

Feb. 25

English 7:  Typing the final copy of the Middle Ages report in the computer lab!  (Extra credit “letter” assignment available for those finishing early.)

Adv. Reading:  Reading the story “Little Brother,” discussing inferences we are making as we read. Then writing (about 1/2 a page) the ending we are predicting for the story. Then reading the actual ending of the story and discussing the inferences we made as we read and how our predicted endings compared to the story’s actual ending.

Feb. 26

English 7:  Finish typing and hand in the final copy of the Middle Ages report. (Extra credit available for those finishing early.)

Adv. Reading:  DRP!

Feb. 27

English 7:  Read up to Ch. 34 in Crispin and write Summary #7 in study guide.  Remember:  Your Reader Response Form and all Qtr. 3 make-up work is due on Mar. 6!

Adv. Reading:  DRP!  Remember:  Your 3 Reader Response Forms are all due on Mar. 6!

Mar. 2

English 7:  Reading up to Ch. 38 in Crispin and writing Summary #8 in our study guides.

Adv. Reading:  DRP!