Monday, October 15, 2018

October 15 - October 19


This week students will continue to work through the content that corresponds with the excerpt from An Invisible Thread.  Students will practice with coordinate and cumulative adjectives, analyze narrative point of view, and use roots and affixes to determine the meaning of words.

*"Roots and Affixes Individual Session" is due on Wednesday.  As always, students may complete this activity as many times as they wish in order to earn a higher score

*The Slip or Trip written report is due on Wednesday

On Wednesday, students will participate in "Quotation Stations."  Students will learn about different methods for properly integrating quotations and practice this skill at each station.  As a culminating activity, students will answer questions 1, 2, 4, 5 from the analysis section of their textbooks and use at least 2 methods of blending quotes.  

*The An Invisible Thread test is on Friday.  Students received a study guide last week.  An additional copy of the study guide/additional practice can be found in my post from last week and/or in the weekly update email from last week.

Have a great week!
Mrs. Fowler

Monday, October 8, 2018

October 8 - October 12


*Please note that there is no school for students on Monday.   

Unfortunately, I am going to be out twice this week.  Students will have a substitute on both Tuesday and Wednesday.  This presents the students with an opportunity to engage in independent study.  Students will be instructed to choose a story from pages 59-109 in their textbooks.  Some possible choices are: "Mom & Me & Mom," "Learning to Love My Daughter," "Mother-Daughter Drawings," "Mother to Son," and "To James."  Once students select a story, they should read and annotate it.  After, students should complete the exercises that follow.  The exercises require students to work on vocabulary, comprehension, analysis, craft and structure, and conventions.  When I get back, I will be collecting the exercises.

Students will have a guest presenter for a portion of the block on Wednesday.  Karen Domalakes from the Frackville Rotary is giving each 7th grade student a thesaurus.  She has also prepared a short presentation on how to use this resource.

Student Instructions for Tuesday and Wednesday

On Thursday, we will begin citing evidence and evaluating arguments.  Students will participate in an activity called Slip or Trip.  Students will be given a cartoon "crime scene" and play the part of detective.  Students will gather evidence and write a "police report" that argues whether the man was tripped or he slipped.  Students will have to use credible evidence and evaluate the arguments.

Slip or Trip Police Report Requirements
Slip or Trip "Crime Scene"

*"Citing Textual Evidence Individual Session" is due by the end of the day on Friday.

Students will also read An Invisible Thread, which they will compare to "A Simple Act."  Both stories are about Laura and Maurice, but the point of view is different in each.  In addition to comparing texts, students will learn about cumulative and coordinate adjectives, go even deeper into point of view, study vocabulary, including the affix -ity, and work on comprehension skills.

An Invisible Thread Study Guide
An Invisible Thread Craft and Structure Additional Practice
An Invisible Thread Conventions Additional Practice
An Invisible Thread Word Study Additional Practice

Below you will find some photos from last week.  Students participated in a post-it activity to review for the selection test, and they prepared/presented charts with weighted words.

Have a great week!
Mrs. Fowler

Monday, October 1, 2018

October 1 - October 5


This week students will finish "A Simple Act."  We are wrapping things up with author's point of view and adverbs.  Students are building on what they learned about point of view during the last story.  They are looking at the use of weighted words and whether or not a passage is objective or subjective.  

The "A Simple Act" selection test is on Thursday.  Please have your student study a little bit each night leading up to the test.  Looking over the closure quizzes is very helpful.  Copies of my study guide and additional practice can be found on an earlier homework blog post.

Theme(Study Island) is due by the end of the day tomorrow.  Students may complete this topic as many times as they like until they earn their desired grade.

*Friday is an Act 80 half day

Have a great week!
Mrs. Fowler

Monday, September 24, 2018

September 24 - September 28


This week we are wrapping up "Two Kinds" and beginning "A Simple Act."  The "Two Kinds" selection test is on Tuesday.  Please make sure your student studies; this is a difficult test!

Students will know their scores as soon as they submit their tests on  You can access your student's test upon completion in order to view their score, areas of strength, and areas of need.  To access the test:
  • Go to
  • Click Sign In
  • Username = ns followed by their lunch number (ex. ns1234)
  • password = abc123
  • Click on Classes
  • Click on Assignments
  • Click on Completed
  • Click on "Two Kinds" Selection Test

Students will read "A Simple Act" on Wednesday.  We will focus on multiple-meaning words, adverbs, weighted words, and citing textual evidence.  It is never too early to begin preparing for the test.  Below you will find a copy of the study guide and some additional practice.

"A Simple Act" Study Guide
"A Simple Act" Author's Point of View Additional Practice
"A Simple Act" Word Study Additional Practice
"A Simple Act" Adverbs Additional Practice
"A Simple Act" Additional Practice Answer Key

The Study Island topics this week are "Multiple Meaning Words" and "Theme."  "Multiple Meaning Words" is due by the end of the day on Thursday, and "Theme" is due by the end of the day on Monday.

We are currently involved in a Study Island contest.  All of my class sections are competing against each other to win Dunkin Donuts.  Period 7/8 is currently in the lead!

Students working on Point of View anchor charts last week.  Below are some photos of students working and some of the final products.

I often mention Study Island group sessions.  A group session is when the entire class accesses Study Island and logs onto the same session.  I project passages/questions onto the board.  We can see who is logged on, who answered, the number of correct answers, and the number of incorrect answers.  I am able to use this to provide flexible instruction.  I use that information to identify needs and reteach as needed. 

Please note that the names of the students with correct/incorrect answers is only known to the teacher who accesses this information at a later date.  

Have a great week!
Mrs. Fowler

Tuesday, September 18, 2018

September 17 - September 21


Students finished reading/annotating "Two Kinds." We will work through vocabulary, craft and structure, and conventions for the rest of the week, utilizing the textbook, worksheets, and Study Island.
Craft and Structure: Character and Point of View
Conventions: Nouns and Pronouns
Concept Vocabulary and Word Study
Point of View Anchor Chart Assignment

We are going to do two Study Island topics this week: Literary Point of View and Pronouns.  These topics correspond with the skills that will be on the selection test.  Literary Point of View is due by the end of the day on Thursday, and Pronouns is due on Monday.

The "Two Kinds" selection test is on Tuesday, September 25th.

Students had a "snowball fight" last week.  Students had to respond to the questions: What is a child prodigy?  What pressures could come with trying to have a special talent?  After students answered the questions, they crumpled up their papers and threw them.  Once everyone had a different paper, I asked for volunteers to read some of the responses.  The snowball fight was a fun way to increase engagement and get students participating!

Students also played quizlet last week.  Quizlet is a fun, interactive game that requires students to work together to answer questions.  The group to get all of the questions correct first wins.  We were playing using the unit 1 academic vocabulary.

Monday, September 10, 2018

September 10 - September 14

This week students will read/annotate the launch text "Grounded."  To accomplish the annotation piece, students will move through stations to focus them as they move through the text.  After reading and completing the stations, students will write an objective summary of the text.
Annotation Stations

As students began to move through stations today, I realized that they need a mini lesson on central ideas.  After the mini lesson, students will participate in a group session and complete individual practice on Study Island.  The individual practice is worth 10 points and is due by the end of the day on Friday.  Students may complete this topic as many times as they choose in order to better their score.

Students will begin reading "Two Kinds" on Wednesday.  It will take approximately two days to read the text.  We will focus on comprehension, character and point of view, vocabulary, and nouns and pronouns.  It is never too early to begin preparing for a selection test.  Use the links below to access the study guide and additional practice.  Students will receive a hard copy of the study guide in class this week.

"Two Kinds" Study Guide
"Two Kinds" Word Study Additional Practice
"Two Kinds" Character and Point of View Additional Practice
"Two Kinds" Nouns and Pronouns Additional Practice
"Two Kinds" Additional Practice Answer Key

Photos of students reading with a pencil in hand:

Students made a vocabulary square for each vocab word.  The squares will come in handy when they start preparing for the test later in the unit.  

The survey results are in!  40% of parents strongly agree that senior citizens can learn from younger people while 60% agree.  No one disagreed or strongly disagreed.  Students began casting their votes today.  We are still tabulating the results.  

Have a great week!
Mrs. Fowler

Friday, August 31, 2018

September 4 - September 7

 Annotating Made Easy!

Students often struggle with close reading.  The purpose of the annotation lesson is to teach students how to closely read  and comprehend a text.  Students will not only understand the text more, but they will also be able to understand and be able to analyze all of the intricacies.  

I like to do this lesson at the beginning of the year to prevent students from highlighting entire pages in their textbooks!  If I don't, the book is usually a sea of yellow!

Over the next few days, I’m going to be guiding students through the process of annotating various types of text.  Students will receive an annotation guide with annotation marks, the steps to annotate, and a step-by-step example of annotation.  I have also made each student an annotation bookmark to reference during class.

A key part of the annotation process is reading with a pencil in hand in order to make notes for your future self.  If you simply highlight, you will not remember why you highlighted the text when you go back in the future.  I ask that you encourage your student to use this reading strategy in other subject areas as well.  I can guarantee you will see an increase in comprehension and achievement.  For a step-by-step guide, view the non-fiction PowerPoint link above.  If a student cannot write in his/her textbook, you can instruct him/her to fold a piece of paper in half and place it in the book or use post-it notes. 

Upon completion of the annotation lesson, we will move into unit 1 in our textbook.  We will begin with the launch text, “Grounded."  Please note that we do not take selection tests on launch texts.  Students will perform a close read on "Grounded" and complete "Annotation Stations" during class. Students will preview the text, identify central ideas, determine powerful words and phrases, and make connections to the text.

Annotation Stations