AIMS #ProperPlanningPreventsPoorPerformances

AIMS - April 7th to April 11th...

AIMS – April 7th to April 11th…

Since I’ve been an adult, I’ve always followed the notion that proper planning prevents poor performances. I began class by letting students know that we won’t be scrambling around or making any last ditch efforts to prepare because we’ve prepared all year to be proficient readers and writers. As the AIMS (Arizona’s Instrument to Measure Standards) test approaches, I decided to give the students a chance to gain some confidence. Before we participated in the practice test activity, we spoke about test anxiety as well as a few other concerns about the upcoming test. I let the kids know to relax, and that they should try their best. I also let them know that I have prepared them for the many things throughout the entire year, and the AIMS Reading/Writing Test is one of them. Prior to this activity, we have done several things during the year to specifically prepare for taking the state standardized test –  AIMS Buckle Down, Galileo Benchmark Assessments, Galileo Interventions/Quizzes, Reading Comprehension Worksheets, etc-etc. I continued to give them a few encouraging words about preparation, and I opened the floor back up for questions, comments, and/or concerns…

I digress, we took the practice AIMS/Reading Test that ADE (Arizona Department of Education) provided. You can view it [here]. The material was rather dated, but the object of the activity was to give them a good idea as to what type of questions would be on the test. Once the students completed the practice test, we came back together for a comprehension check as well as test taking tips to answering the previously mentioned questions.

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Learning Signatures – Part II

ABC Worksheets

ABC Worksheets

We broached this problem once again during the 4th Quarter when I gave students a Roots Letter Writing Activity in letter format. As one of the assignment requirements, I stipulated that they must sign their name at the end of the letter. I found it puzzling that a good portion of the 7th Graders weren’t taught to write in cursive, or they had forgotten how. To their credit, they picked up on it in a matter of less than 30 minutes. Did I mention these kids are resoundingly awesome? I’ve read multiple articles on various news outlets saying there isn’t a need to emphasize cursive writing anymore. I’ve also had discussions with other educators about the matter. Personally, I see both points of view. I think we are in an information age where emphasis doesn’t necessarily need to be placed solely on penmanship. That being said, we are also in an age where everybody doesn’t have access to a computer inside the classroom or at home, so penmanship is still pretty important – print and cursive. The overall point of communicating your intelligence in as many formats as possible should always be valued whether it be on a computer, in print, in cursive, in pen, in pencil, or crayon;]

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Class update #26 [Week of 02/24/14 – 02/28/14]

Week #8: class reading of The Pearl, journal entries, vocabulary HW, vocabulary quiz, and Unit 3: The Art of Story Telling – Oral History Assignment…

Week #8: class reading of The Pearl, journal entries, vocabulary HW, vocabulary quiz, and Unit 3: The Art of Story Telling – Oral History Assignment…

Greetings! Here is an update for 7th Grade Language Arts (Literature & Writing). I have a hyperlink to my lesson plans for the week of 02/24/14 to 02/28/14. If you would like to view the lesson plans in detail, please do so here >>> Lesson Plans for Week 8 – Quarter 3[click to open word document].

In Language Arts/Literature, students will continue their in class reading of  The Pearl by John Steinbeck. During our in class reading, students are required to take notes for comprehension in the following format – Question, Quotation (MLA Format), Characters, Setting, Connect, Conflict & Summarize. Those notes will help students with their ticket out of class via journal entries that they will be completing after daily reading. Journal entry requirements include students selecting a specific piece of text, cite it in MLA Format, and elaborate on why they selected that particular piece of text to cite. As enrichment, students will also be reading The Time Machine by H.G. Wells. However, this particular reading will only take place 10 pages at a time every Friday of Quarter 3. Students will be given a vocabulary guide [here] as well as other activities to help with comprehension due to The Time Machine’s difficult vocabulary. Students will also work on Buckle Down AIMS for various reading comprehension skills. This week students will be given Week #8′s vocabulary words on Monday, and they will have two assessments in the form of homework due on 02/25/14 as well as a quiz on 2/28/14. I will also be pulling all of this year’s regularly scheduled vocabulary words from the Scripps National Spelling Bee & SAT lists for 7th Graders >>> [vocabulary guidelines & instructions]… Please make sure your student is completing their vocabulary homework every Monday because we will have a quiz assessment on those words every Friday. Continue reading

Michael Dunn/Jordan Davis – View & Respond

Michael Dunn/Jordan Davis - View & Respond...

Michael Dunn/Jordan Davis – View & Respond…

Language Arts/Writing classes will work on (7.SL.1) & (7.SL.5) common core speaking/listening standards with a view & respond about the Michael Dunn/Jordan Davis case. The view & respond will be an article via CNN, “Michael Dunn convicted of attempted murder; hung jury on murder in ‘loud music’ trial.”  While reading this news story, students will be actively reading by writing down the 5W’s (who, what, where, when, and why. That handout can be viewed [here]. The class will then move to the viewing portion by watching this video via ABC News [here]. Students will be prompted to actively watch by using the 5W’s (who, what, where, when, and why). The classroom will then open up for discussion. Students will use their 5W’s observations to help guide this discussion.

This is a very serious topic. That being said, I believe the students will handle this accordingly as my students have done in the past.   One of my main objectives with this type of view and respond is to engage, effectively, in a range of collaborative discussions (one-on-one, in groups, and teacher-led) on topics, texts, and issues, building on others’ ideas and expressing their own point(s) of views clearly. I hope to reach that outcome through the multimedia source presented as well as the news story that will be handout with guided prompts for the students. Continue reading

Class update #25 [Week of 02/17/14 – 02/19/14]

Week #5: class reading of The Pearl, journal entries, vocabulary HW with quiz, and Unit 3: The Art of Story Telling – Investigative Reporting...

Week #7: class reading of The Pearl, journal entries, vocabulary HW, and Unit 3: The Art of Story Telling – Investigative Reporting Assignment…

Greetings! Here is an update for 7th Grade Language Arts (Literature & Writing). I have a hyperlink to my lesson plans for the week of 02/17/14 to 02/19/14. If you would like to view the lesson plans in detail, please do so here >>> Lesson Plans for Week 7 – Quarter 3[click to open word document].

In Language Arts/Literature, students will begin their in class reading of  The Pearl by John Steinbeck. During our in class reading, students are required to take notes for comprehension in the following format – Question, Quotation (MLA Format), Characters, Setting, Connect, Conflict & Summarize. Those notes will help students with their ticket out of class via journal entries that they will be completing after daily reading. Journal entry requirements include students selecting a specific piece of text, cite it in MLA Format, and elaborate on why they selected that particular piece of text to cite. As enrichment, students will also be reading The Time Machine by H.G. Wells. However, this particular reading will only take place 10 pages at a time every Friday of Quarter 3. Students will be given a vocabulary guide [here] as well as other activities to help with comprehension due to The Time Machine’s difficult vocabulary. Students will also work on Buckle Down AIMS for various reading comprehension skills. This week students will be given Week #7′s vocabulary words on Monday, and they will have one assessment in the form of homework due on 02/18/14. I will also be pulling all of this year’s regularly scheduled vocabulary words from the Scripps National Spelling Bee & SAT lists for 7th Graders >>> [vocabulary guidelines & instructions]… Please make sure your student is completing their vocabulary homework every Monday because we will have a quiz assessment on those words every Friday. Continue reading

Class update #20 [Week of 5/06/13 – 5/10/13]

Week #3: Vocabulary HW, Vocabulary Quiz, In-class reading of The Old Man and The Sea,  Direct Instruction on 9/11 Terrorist Attacks (Back To The Future - Unit 4)

Week #7: Vocabulary HW, Vocabulary Quiz, In-class reading of The Old Man and The Sea, Direct Instruction on Informative/Persuasive Essay Writing, and 5 Paragraph Essay Assignment (Back To The Future – Unit 4)

Here is an update for 7th Grade Language Arts (Literature & Writing). I have a hyperlink to my lesson plans for the week of 05/06/2013 to 05/10/2013. If you would like to view the lesson plans, please do so here >>>Lesson Plans for Week 7 – Quarter 4 [click to open].

In Language Arts/Literature, students will continue reading The Old Man and The Sea by Ernest Hemingway. During in class reading, students are encouraged to take notes for comprehension in the following format – Question, Quotation (MLA Format), Characters, Setting, Connect, & Summarize. Those notes will help students with their ticket out of class via journal entries that they will be completing after daily reading. Students will also work on Week #7′s vocabulary words. This week students will be given Week #7′s vocabulary words on Monday, and they will have two assessments in the form of homework due on 5/07/2013 as well as a Vocabulary Quiz on 5/10/2013. I will be pulling all of this year’s regularly scheduled vocabulary words from the Scripps National Spelling Bee & SAT lists for 7th Graders >>> [vocabulary guidelines & instructions]… Please make sure your student is completing their vocabulary homework every Monday because we will have a quiz assessment on those words every Friday. Continue reading

Class Update #15 [Week of 3/18/13 – 3/22/13]

    Week #1: View & Respond - Roots, Vocabulary HW, All The President's Men Viewing, & Research Paper Assignment...

Week #1: View & Respond – Roots, Vocabulary HW, All The President’s Men Viewing, & Research Paper Assignment…

Here is an update for 7th Grade Language Arts (Literature & Writing). I have a hyperlink to my lesson plans for the week of 03/18/2013 to 03/22/2013. If you would like to view the lesson plans, please do so here >>>Lesson Plans for Week 1 – Quarter 4  [click to open].

In Language Arts/Literature, students will continue viewing an adaptation of Roots: The Saga of an American Family, a novel written by Alex Haley , first published in 1976. It tells the story of Kunta Kinte, an 18th-century African, captured as an adolescent and sold into slavery in the United States, and follows his life and the lives of his alleged descendants in the United States.  During the view & responds, students will be actively watching via an episode guide that can be viewed [here]. The class will work on (7.SL.1) & (7.SL.5) common core speaking/listening standards with these view & responds. Students will participate in AIMS preparation via AIMS Buckle Down – Lesson: TBD. Students will also have extra help with comprehension of standards via Galileo Assessment Technology practice worksheets with an emphasis on S3C3: Author’s Purpose & Persuasive Strategies. Students will  be assigned Week #1′s vocabulary words. This week students will be given Week #1′s vocabulary words on Monday, and they will have one assessment in the form of homework due on 03/19/2013.  I will be pulling all of this year’s regularly scheduled vocabulary words from the Scripps National Spelling Bee & SAT lists for 7th Graders >>> [vocabulary guidelines & instructions]… Please make sure your student is completing their vocabulary homework every Monday because we will have a quiz assessment on those words every Friday. Continue reading

Class Update #13 [Week of 3/04/13 – 3/08/13]

Week #10: Literature & Language Textbook reading, Vocabulary HW, Galileo Literature and Writing Assessments, and Research Paper activities/notes...

Week #10: Literature & Language Textbook reading, Vocabulary HW, Galileo Literature and Writing Assessments, and Research Paper activities/notes…

Here is an update for 7th Grade Language Arts (Literature & Writing). I have a hyperlink to my lesson plans for the week of 03/04/2013 to 03/08/2013. If you would like to view the lesson plans, please do so here >>>Lesson Plans for Week 10 – Quarter 3  [click to open].

In Language Arts/Literature, students will continue Unit Six – Themes in World Folklore in their Literature & Language textbook. Students will be reading and responding to the following stories: Kelfala’s Secret Something, Prometheus, Where the Girl Saved Her Brother, Echo and Narcissus, The Emperor’s New Clothes, & How Odin Lost His Eye. Students will participate in AIMS preparation via AIMS Buckle Down – Lesson 12: Graphic Features Pgs. 146-154. Students will also be taking the Galileo Assessment for Literature on Tuesday & Wednesday of this week. Students will be assigned Week #10′s vocabulary words. This week students will be given Week #10′s vocabulary words on Monday, and they will have one assessment in the form of homework due on 03/05/2013.  I will be pulling all of this year’s regularly scheduled vocabulary words from the Scripps National Spelling Bee & SAT lists for 7th Graders >>> [vocabulary guidelines & instructions]… Please make sure your student is completing their vocabulary homework every Monday because we will have a quiz assessment on those words every Friday. Continue reading

Class Update #2 [Week of 12/10/12 – 12/14/12]

Week #10:  Vocabulary , Viewing Of Mice and Men Movie, Eyes on the Prize, and Literature & Language Textbook…

Week #10: Vocabulary , Viewing Of Mice and Men Movie, Eyes on the Prize, and Literature & Language Textbook…

Here is an update for 7th Grade Language Arts (Literature & Writing). I have a hyperlink to my lesson plans for the week of 12/10/2012 to 12/14/2012. If you would like to view the lesson plans, please do so here >>> Lesson Plans for Week 10 Quarter 2 [click to open].

In Language Arts/Literature,  we will be completing the viewing Of Mice and Men on December 10th. During the rest of the week, we will begin Unit Five – Declaration of Independence in Literature of Language textbook. Students will read, from The Autobiography of Malcolm X, Without Commercials, and A Man Who Had No Eyes. Students will also work on Week #10′s vocabulary words. This week students will be given Week #10′s vocabulary words on Monday, and they will have one assessments in the form of homework due on 12/11/2012.  I will be pulling all of this year’s regularly scheduled vocabulary words from the National Spelling Bee & SAT lists for 7th Graders >>> [vocabulary guidelines & instructions]… Please make sure your student is completing their vocabulary homework every Monday because we will have a quiz assessment on those words every Friday.

In Language Arts/Writing, we have completed Unit Two – Express Yourself. Students have learned how to properly format as well as write poetry, collaging, letter writing, and essay writing. The main goal was learning how to express themselves via poetry, fine arts, letter writing, and essay writing. During week #9, Continue reading

Class Update #1 [Week of 12/03/12 – 12/07/12]

Week #9 [Q2]: Reading Of Mice and Men, Week #9 Vocabulary, Of Mice and Men Final Test, Viewing Of Mice and Men Movie, Essay Writing Assignment…

Week #9 [Q2]: Reading Of Mice and Men, Week #9 Vocabulary, Of Mice and Men Final Test, Viewing Of Mice and Men Movie, Essay Writing Assignment…

Here is an update for 7th Grade Language Arts (Literature & Writing). I have a hyperlink to my lesson plans for the week of 12/03/2012 to 12/07/2012. If you would like to view the lesson plans, please do so here >>> Lesson Plans for Week 9 Quarter 2 [click to open].

In Language Arts/Literature, students will complete reading Of Mice and Men on Monday (12/3). The students will also be asked to take notes in the following format: Question, Predict, Connect, Summarize & Reflect view [here] for more details. As we come to a close, we will be viewing Of Mice and Men on December 6th & 7th. Your child will bring this permission slip home for you to view on Monday (12/3). Please return the permission slip if you do not want your child to view the 1992 version Of Mice and Men [PG-13]. Students will also work on Week #9′s vocabulary words. This week students will be given Week #9′s vocabulary words on Monday, and they will have two assessments in the form of homework due on 12/04/2012 as well as a Final Test on Of Mice & Men on 12/07/2012.  I will be pulling all of this year’s regularly scheduled vocabulary words from the National Spelling Bee & SAT lists for 7th Graders >>> [vocabulary guidelines & instructions]… Please make sure your student is completing their vocabulary homework every Monday because we will have a quiz assessment on those words every Friday.

In Language Arts/Writing, we will continue Unit Two – Express Yourself. Students will learn how to properly format as well as write poetry, collaging, letter writing, and essay writing. The main goal is learning how to express themselves via poetry, fine arts, letter writing, and essay writing. During week #8, students learned the purpose and procedure(s) for an informative as well as an expository essay. During week #9, there will be an essay assignment. That essay assignment will entail students being tasked with writing an informative, expository, or a persuasive essay stemming from prompts on the novel Of Mice and Men. If you would like to view the assignment in more detail, please click [here].  Please Continue reading