Students recently completed our first unit and have compiled their work in a “portfolio.” After my review I will be sending home for parents to admire the work completed. Students also learned the big ideas behind political cartoons culminating in their cartoon of choice and an expository paragraph explaining their meaning and intent. The focus on learning the history of the unit was summarizing information and placing it in a well-composed expository paragraph. This style of writing is important and used often in many ways. Great work by all.
We are now beginning our next unit on World War I. Students viewed and analyzed images, facts, and language in a short video clip to kick off the unit. This is one of the new strategies I learned at Columbia – video immersion. The main project for World War I is a 5-paragraph essay. This will be directly supported in Language Arts class by Mrs. Holdredge and students’ first opportunity to put in place how to write this style essay after having been taught in her class.
The holidays are nearly here, I will stress in class the importance of staying on task and completing work with the anticipation of heading off on break. Please support this importance at home so we all have a great final week before vacation time.
Have a great break, looking forward to this week as well as our return to class after the new year. Happy and safe New Year.
When I was in graduate school, an English professor told my class that “The best writers are re-writers.” And we all groaned in dismay. As they finalize their character analysis essays (due Monday the 12th), the 7th graders are probably feeling the same way I did those many years ago, but they are too polite to complain…much, anyway. : )
A common tendency, especially in adolescents, is to fire off a draft and call it done. The real struggle of writing, though, is what comes next: the reviewing and re-writing, and reviewing and re-writing again, and repeating as needed. It’s not for the faint of heart. It may mean adding more, changing directions, and the worst, deleting something they spent a long time writing. It requires persistence, grit, and thick skin. If you want to help at home, ask them to read a paragraph aloud to you, or ask if you can read it aloud to them–it’s a simple, non-confrontational way for parents to get involved and students to hear problem areas that need fixing.
One of my favorite aspects of teaching at Seven Peaks is that I see the kids for two years. I witness their growth from this very first essay in 7th grade all the way through their final paper as seasoned 8th graders, ready to leave our nest and be successful high school students.
Welcome back! I hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving break. Seventh graders have begun a quick review unit on cell structure and function. While this unit is short, it provides a meaningful foundation for our next two units: Comparative Reproduction and Genetics. This unit also provides multiple opportunities for students to use scientific technology, like microscopes. Last week, students learned how to use compound light microscopes to look at prepared slides, and practiced focusing on the various objective lenses. Students also made a wet mount slide of their cheek cells and of onion cells to examine under a microscope. I loved seeing the students looking like little miniature scientists with their microscopes and becoming excited about the things they saw on their slides!
We are continuing our study of the coordinate plane and will be getting into graphing linear equations this week. The material we are covering these two weeks before break can be very challenging for some students. The calculations required to complete the work is fairly easy, however each problem involves multiple steps in order to complete and students can sometimes become overwhelmed with the process. This is the beginning of what math will become. As we continue to practice and discuss the concepts, the students’ anxiety tends to dissipate and they evolve from fearful, hesitant math students to very confident mathematicians. They begin to look at math problems as challenges instead of insurmountable obstacles. By the time they enter 8th grade, they have the confidence to face almost any problem I place in front of them. What a joy it is to have these students for two years because I am lucky enough to see the growth in each one of them and how far they have come since the beginning of their 7th grade year.