I would like to start off by saying thank you for a wonderful start of this school year. I know there have been a lot of adjustments, such as the rotating schedule and the added content area class. Thank you for your continued understanding and support as this is new to all of us. I wanted to send out a letter clarifying some concerns and confusion with the added reading course.
Seventh grade is a difficult year for all students due to the curriculum moving away from simple recall and memorization to more analyzing and synthesizing of material. Students can no longer take a test and simply pass without practicing the necessary skills at home. ELA/Reading classes are a skills-based class. In order to improve, students must practice the skills within the reading and writing standards in class as well as at home. This requires a little more effort and dedication in order to maintain the desired grade of 80% or above. I have stressed to all my classes that it is vital to check my blog regularly, check synergy for grades/missing assignments, turn things in on time, and complete any assigned homework or unfinished classwork. It is important that students advocate for themselves and reach out to me about their own grade and where they stand in my class. I have been stressing the importance of taking responsibility for their own learning and advocate for themselves.
Grades and Due Dates
Due to the rotating block schedule, it has been difficult for all students, parents, and teachers with the adjustment. Now that we are at the 4 ½ week mark, I wanted to come up with a plan for getting assignments turned in with less confusion.
3rd, 4th, & 5th period - All unfinished classwork and Homework (with the exception of ReadingPlus) will be due on A DAY schedule. Tests will also be given on this assigned day.
6th & 7th period - All unfinished classwork and Homework (with the exception of ReadingPlus) will be due on B DAY schedule. Tests will also be given on this assigned day.
Students are given the first few minutes of class to write down classwork/homework in their agenda.
This should clear up any confusion about due dates and hopefully alleviate the amount of late work being turned in. If I do not have the assignments by the assigned due dates, it will be considered late, and I will deduct 5 points of each day it is late (including the days they do not come to class).
After much reflection over the weekend, I have decided to make some changes with homework. There will only be ONE homework grade a week for Readingplus. Students must complete 4 reading, 4 vocabulary, and 2 visual skills in Readingplus.com with an 80% or higher each week. The week starts over on Monday. Students have until Monday to complete the Readingplus requirements. This weekly homework assignment is the only exception to the assigned class due dates.
Students will often be given practice sheets and vocabulary words to help them with their studies for this course. I will no longer be taking these assignments as grades since there are intended for practice. Students should be able to self-assess to determine whether they should be completing the practice sheets and vocabulary. In lieu of homework, students will be frequently quizzed on materials that will be counted as grade. This includes, but is not limited to, comprehension questions about the novel, academic vocabulary, skills-based quizzes, etc. As a reminder, quizzes are counted as a formative grade which helps guide my instruction in class and cannot be retaken. In an effort to have students take more responsibility for their schooling, they must self-assess their progress in my class to determine if they need to be completing the practice homework or adding addition study time for this class.
ELA VS Reading Class
Although all students now have a reading class, it is still the responsibility of both the Reading & ELA teacher to teach all reading and writing standards. The reading class was added this year as an extension to ELA. While more writing will be done in ELA and more reading will be done in Reading, they will both still concentrate on all aspects of the curriculum. For more information about the Georgia 7th grade ELA Reading and Writing standards please visit https://www.georgiastandards.org/Georgia-Standards/Frameworks/ELA-Grade-7-Standards.pdf
Make-Up Work for Absences
Students who are absent when an assignment is made will be given the same number of days to complete the make-up work as they were absent, not counting the day of return. Make-up of graded work will be as scheduled with the teacher. Students have until five (5) days prior to the end of the grading period to turn in missing work for excused absences. Assignments made or announced prior to a student’s absence, including tests/quizzes, that are due on the day of the student’s return will be due at that time. (Quizzes and tests will be taken with class.) Homework and any other make up work will be accepted according to school policy. Students are responsible for requesting and following through on make- up work,not the teacher!!!
Stay connected with my classroom by joining Remind101! This phone app. is 100% FREE!!! Receive frequent updates on classroom activities, homework, projects, and due dates. Text @jacksongms to the number 81010 You'll receive a welcome text from Remind. If you have trouble with 81010, you can try texting @jacksongms to (678) 394-3097.
In order to remain in any Advanced Content/Advanced Math class, students must maintain a minimum of an 80 at the end of the 9weeks. If the average is below an 80 at the end of a grading period, the student will be placed on probation. This probation continues for the remainder of the school year. If the grade drops below an 80 for a second time in the school-year, the student may be removed from the class for one semester and must apply for re-entry
I hope this letter has answered any concerns or questions you may have. If you have any additional questions, please feel free to email me. I typically respond to emails within 1-2 business days.
Please click on link to complete form as your receipt of information - - > forms.office.com/Pages/ResponsePage.aspx?id=-x3OL5-ROEmquMR_D8kYLYdl2HU-8KZJvvoOnaySBvVUQTY3SkExTVQ0REIxTDdCUElSWjg3VlZLWS4u
Students were given a handout on narrative elements as well as figurative language from the short story, "To Build a Fire". Students were given majority of class time to work on the narrative elements packet and was assigned the figurative language handout for homework.
Please see below the answer key for "To Build a Fire" - Figurative Language handout
4th & 5th period will take their quiz TOMORROW.
3rd, 6th & 7th will take it on Friday.
In addition, the Unit 1 VOCAB activity homework will be due tomorrow for 3rd & 4th and 5th, 6th & 7th on Friday.
Below are some videos to study examples of different types of figurative language in stories.
Below is the PPT for Aug. 14.15
Click on this link to learn more about Naturalism Literary Movement ---- https://literarydevices.net/naturalism/
H.W : Finish reading the short story, "To Build a Fire" by Jack London & completed 1-5 on your handout
Other due dates:
Unit 1 Vocabulary Activity -
Due Thursday, August 22nd (3rd, 4th, 5th period)
Due Friday, August 23rd (6th & 7th period)
Please go to the Reading Challenge tab for more information on how to begin your reading challenge!!!!
In order to access frequently used online resources, please login to CLEVER.COM using your lunch# as your username & password. On the homepage of Clever, click on Ms. Jackson's class to see all of the online resources available to you. We will use CLEVER.COM regularly!
There are TWO assignments on Commonlit for you to complete. These articles are related to the content that you will be working on ELA in a few weeks. This is a good preview to understand myths and gather some background information that you can apply in your ELA class.
Please complete BOTH articles by Wednesday, August 14th by 11:59 PM
Students are required to complete FOUR quizzes each week for a grade. ELA & Reading will rotate inputting the grades in the grade book. Example) This week Mrs. Gilligan/ Mrs. Schumacker will take it as a grade, next week I will take it is a grade.
Students MUST ADD ME as their teacher in order for me to see their work.
Before the end of the nine weeks, students will be given student accounts for Readingplus. They will take the reading diagnostic assessment in class which will assess their reading skills. Students will have to complete the assigned work each week for a grade.
aTOUCHSTONES - Thank you for your patience and understanding as the ELA and Reading teachers are having to make adjustments to the administration of the TOUCHSTONES test.
The Touchstones Assessment is a county-wide assessment that assesses reading literary and informational standards. In past years, it was administered by the ELA teachers. With the addition of the reading class, the reading and ELA teachers are working collaboratively to administer assessments in the most effective way.
Students took a section of the test on Aug 7/8. This mini Touchstones 1 will NOT carry a weight in the grade book. I have since hidden it from view and adjusted the grading weight to zero. Students will be administered the full Touchstones on Aug. 9/12th covering standards from the previous 6th grade year of instruction to assess their abilities as we begin to make plans for instruction during the first 9 weeks. This will be a pre-assessment and will not have a grade weight in the grade book, but will be visible.
Over the course of the 9 weeks, the mini Touchstones will be given twice to see progress and will be counted as formative grades.
Lastly, the Touchstones will be administered a final time at the end of the 9 weeks as a post assessment and will be counted as a summative grade.
We want to be sure to support skills requiring additional practices; as well as extend and refine skills students have demonstrated either proficiency or mastery of. Thank you for your understanding and continued support as we work through some kinks in this new course! Please let me know if you have any further questions.
Reading Inventory Assessment -
Students take the R.I assessment three times during a school year to assess their vocabulary acquisition which can have an impact on their reading comprehension. Students took the R.I assessment on Aug. 7/8. I am SO proud of the growth majority of students had when comparing their April 2019 R.I scores to now. Congratulations to all of those who continue to make strides in increasing their R.I score.
Assignment Due Dates:
Summer Reading Project: Today (AUG. 9TH) is the last day to turn in Summer Reading projects without any penalties. Students who do NOT have my class today were instructed to give the assignment to their ELA teacher or turn into me during the morning. I will be collecting any assignment turned in to their ELA teachers this afternoon. Please be on the look out for this grade over the weekend.
If you receive an "M" in the grade book, this means the project was not turned in on-time. Once the project is turned in and I have a chance to grade it, I will update your grade.
Any late work will be graded as soon as I can. Please do not ask when it will be graded. I will do the best I can to get it graded in a timely manner.
Back-to-School Station Work/ Binder & Composition notebook check (for a grade)-
3rd & 7th period is on Aug. 9th
4th, 5th, & 6th is on Aug. 12th
Please be mindful of your class meeting days and the due dates I set for each class period.
PLEASE utilize your agenda to write down due dates for each class.
Your due date may be different than another class period due to the rotating schedule.
Students are working on finishing their station work. Each station is worth 20 pts. with a total of 100 pts. possible. As long as the station work is completed in it's entirety, students will receive full credit.
Students in 3rd, 6th, and 7th will have until Friday to complete the station work for a grade. Students in 4th and 5th will have a notebook and station check on Monday, August 12th.
Due to the rotating schedule, due dates for assignments will vary by class period. Please be patient as we all are adjusting to this new schedule.
REMINDER: Last day to turn in Summer Reading WITHOUT penalties is Aug. 8th/9th
Today has been both exciting and exhausting! I am so amazed at the creativity, the collaboration, and dedication most student brought to class. The first few days of school are typically hard to get into when our brains are wanting to stay on summer vacation. However, some students have proven triumph over this. I can't say enough how excited I am for this school year!
Below you will find the Power Point that reviews classroom expectations and rules. Students are responsible for this information and must demonstrate expectations each day.
Students will rotate through five stations over the course of several days. Each station is curated to provide a better insight on each student's current abilities and interests. Below is a description of each station and the files that go along with it.
In this station students are learning what the Reading Inventory assesses, Lexile measure, and how to apply this information to their independent reading. Students are given their last R.I score from the previous school year as well as their targeted text complexity is. This station is designed so students can understand the purpose of the R.I assessment, how they can improve their already high Lexile score, and what books are appropriate for their level and comprehension.
Students are provided time to set-up their binder and Reader's Response journal (comp. notebook) for this class. In addition, students will completed their first R.R journal response. The prompt asks to reflect on a time that you remained hopeful in a difficult situation and write a personal narrative. This will be used as a writing diagnostic to provide information on their strengths and weaknesses in narrative writing. This information will be given to their ELA teacher to help guide their instruction as they move towards writing a full narrative. In reading, we will work on the elements of narratives and apply the understanding to a short story.
In this station, students are able to express themselves and what represents them by decorating a pennant in any way they choose. Students are encouraged to write words or draw pictures that describe their interests as well as write one goal they have for the year. The pennants will be displayed around 7B pod for all to see!
Students will complete a syllabus scavenger hunt in order to fully understand the course requirements and class expectations. Additionally, students will create their student portfolio by decorating the front cover however they wish. Portfolios are designed to showcase student work and presented to parents/guardians at the end-of-the-school-year ceremony!!!
Students use their observation, analysis, and summarizing skills to determine what they know about me based on their surroundings and interactions with one another. This is a unique activity for students to demonstrate skills while learning about their teacher. If a student is absent, the student will have to ask for a paper copy of this assignment.