7th Grade ELA
Literature Circles: Mondays and Thursdays

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.


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.
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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. 4th.

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.
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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.
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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.
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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.
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Started new read-aloud book: "The Best Christmas Pageant Ever"
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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.
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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.
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See more photos in the Photo Gallery.
Nico and Nick did their "Words Like Magic" presentation.
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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.
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Read aloud from "Charlie and the Great Glass Elevator"
Vocabulary: Completing Analogous Relationships crossword puzzle. Finish for HW.

11/22 -11/23

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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.
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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.
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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.
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Read aloud from "Charlie and the Gr
eat Glass Elevator"
Next "Words Like Magic" presentation by Andrew and Adrian.
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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.
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Finished analyzing poem "THANKS"
HW: Memorize poem by Friday
First "Words Like Magic" presentation by Kris and Kenny.
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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.
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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.
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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:
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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.)
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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.
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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"
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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.

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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