Friday, November 6, 2009

November is here Already!!

I'm not sure where October disappeared to, or the fact that I was going to blog weekly. I can only guess though. Just to sum things up, over the last month we have been introduced to Edgar Allen Poe's "The Raven" and "Annabel Lee". We also compared and contrasted a Simpsons version and a film version of "The Raven". I think everyone for the most part enjoyed Poe and his crazy stories. He is one of my favorite poets.

This month we are working on Greek Mythology. Thus far, we have read about Icaraus and Daedulus, Orpheus and Eurydice, and Pandora. We are watching "The Storyteller" by Jim Henson which also includes the myths of Theseus and the Minotaur, and Perseus and the Gorgon Medusa.

I'm excited to get back into the New Century Lab this next upcoming week and do a Greek Mythology Webquest. The advanced students have been finishing up their Temple Posters which look super! I'm very impressed by their talents every day.

Before the month is out, we'll be starting "A Christmas Carol" and hopefully be turning in permission slips to go see the new Disney version of the play. I can't wait! The trip is set for December 17th and we'll be adventuring out with the rest of the seventh grade to the new Carmike Theater. How cool is that!

Otherwise, we're going to keep working hard and start gearing up for the New Year! :)

Mrs. G.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Science Fiction Week

It's hard to believe we are already 3/4 of the way through the first nine weeks! This week is an introductory mini-unit on Science Fiction. The first story we are reading is called "The Last Dog". In a nutshell, it's futuristic story about a boy named Brock who lives within a dome on Earth. The reason for this is that Earth is too poisoned for humans to live on. He finds a puppy while on a foray into the outdoors beyond the dome walls. He has to make a decision when the scientists want to do tests on the dog.

I assigned vocabulary words for both of our stories this week for students to learn both how to spell and the definition. The words for "The Last Dog" are: copious, disembodied, evasive, foray, foresighted, languish, posterity, and reproof.
For "Monster's Are Due on Maple Street", students will need to learn: assent, antagonism, contorted, converging, defiant, incriminate, optimistic, and revelation.

Student activities this week are going to involve creating a News Article, CComic book cartoons and a few other things. I think students will truly enjoy the selections I have chosen for them to read this week. I'm just sorry I will not be here all week to enjoy it with them.

As always if you have any questions, comments, etc., please feel free to comment.

~Mrs. G.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Moving on into the Literature Book

Today, technically Tuesday, we will be marking the end of our journey with The Outsiders. I'm glad to say that it was a great way to start off the year with Ponyboy, but I'm even more glad to say that we are going to now start using our brand-spanking new Literature books.

This week we'll focus on a Genres and Figurative Languauge revolving around a story by Gary Soto called "Seventh Grade". From Raza style handshakes and lingo, students will feel like they know the seventh graders from the story.

Next week we will be taking off with the "Monsters are Due on Maple Street" a teleplay by Rod Serling. One of my all time favorites! You might recall that it was a Twilight Zone Episode that definitely brings some of the 1950's hysteria and paranoia into focus as neighbors turn on each other when the lights go out. Curious story.

**Just a heads up, I will be out 10/7-10/9 while the students are reading this story to help my sister prepare for her wedding on October 10th in Georgia. The substitute will be able to teach this lesson as if I will be in the classroom. It will be a winner! :)

If you need me, please don't hesitate to shoot me an email. I will do my best to check it daily. :)

~Mrs. G.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

The Outsiders

Hey Readers,
I'm so excited to have finished the movie that accompanies The Outsiders. Today I assigned case conferences to my students at random to have them explore a character persona from a different point of view. Tonight for homework they have to identify reasons from either Darry, Police Officer, Ponyboy's English Teacher, or Social Worker's point of view and determine whether or not the Curtis family should remain together.

Tomorrow I will be playing the role of Judge G and each student will be appointed to a character group with the same point of view. From there, they will collaborate their case and present it to me. I think this will be a good opportunity for students to share their feelings and delve beyond the reasons into an emotional quest for that character. I'll have to report back in with the results. Test on Tuesday. :)

Mrs. G.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Language Arts Classroom Blog

Hi Tigers! If you have found this blog, then you will be able to read about daily happenings in our classroom. This is a place for you to ask questions and reflect with me upon things going on in our realm.

Here's a quick sumup of what's new:

This week we will have finished our first novel! I'm stoked to say that I think everyone has enjoyed it very much. Even those reluctant kiddos who thought they hated reading. I had to laugh on Monday when the technology failed to let my first hour class take a F.A.I.R. assessment per state mandate, they wanted to go back to the classroom and read instead of playing educational online games. So the question many of you might have is, what book has made my students so excited to read? Well.....The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton has captured another audience.

I can't wait to share the movie with the kids next week and spend a day looking at 1960s music and the effect that it might have had on the characters. I've done the novel kind of backwards this year compared to in the past. Rather than spend lots of time going through each scene and tearing it apart to identify literary features...we pushed through the novel for the joy of reading. Now we're going to try and focus on the characters themselves, plot, lessons and how this book might make us want to continue for the pleasure of finding books that we really identify with. Isn't that what 7th grade is really about, learning who we are?

~Mrs. G.