February 24

ISTEP Vocabulary

What is the question really asking me for? We looked at the following 10 words or phrases and how they might appear in questions on the ISTEP next week.

Clarity/Clarify – To explain something in an easy to understand and true form. To tell what something is.
Combine – To blend them or make two or more things into one.
Compare / Contrast – To examine how things are the same or different. Compare is looking at the similarities,while contrast is looking at the differences.
Describe– To tell someone what something looks, smells, tastes, feels or sounds like. Giving detail using senses.
Explain– To put in a way that can be understood.
Express– Show the way one feels or give your true opinion.
Revise– To change into a better form. Making changes to improve something, not necessarily to correct something.
Sequence– To put things into steps or correct order.
Summarize – To make a long story short – review of something that shortens it without leaving out the important facts or details.
Supporting Details / Use of Evidence – To use facts and examples from the text to prove our points or opinions.

We then used our expanded understanding of these terms to look at the homework assignment, Save It for the Finish (gold). We talked about why some answers were stronger and more complete than others. Mrs. Scales suggested that during the ISTEP we read the passage, read the questions and then reread the passage with the questions in mind.

Class time was also give to finish our Literary Circle Chunk 1 Forum posts.

Wednesday’s homework packet (salmon) is another ISTEP writing prompt. Mrs. Scales explained that we should be taking at least an hour to carefully complete the homework packet. The packet is due at the beginning of class tomorrow.

There will be tutoring today after school, until 4:30.

February 23

May I Recommend

Today we covered the homework packet (lavender) assigned yesterday. It was a sample ISTEP writing prompt asking us to recommend a book, movie, or television show. Homework points were awarded and then we worked in small groups to grade each others writing prompts based on the example packet (yellow) and rubric we received yesterday in class. There were a lot of really good essay’s and it helped hearing what everyone else had written. The biggest problem seemed to be that even the really well detailed responses pretty much focused on just giving a plot summary of the chosen book, movie, or television show. Let’s look at exactly what the prompt asked us for:

Review a favorite book, movie, or television show.
Include the title, names of major characters or actors who played them and a brief summary of the plot.
Describe the special qualities in this book, movie, or television show that make it especially entertaining or interesting.

We also look to see if each essay had a strong introduction, body and conclusion.

Along with the homework packet review, we looked at how to write our Literary Circle Forum responses.

Make sure you read your assignment sheet and do the forums before the final due dates listed for each chunk. Remember follow the instructions on your assignment sheet. These forums are a writing assignment and will be graded according to your rubrics.

Don’t forget:

No color text or pictures in your forum posts.

Use italics when listing the name of the book in your post.

Use the author’s full name the first time you use it, and last name only each time after that.

We had some class time today and will have some more time tomorrow to finish our written responses.

Our homework packet for today (gold) was passed out and is due when we come to class tomorrow.

February 22

WOW – Wonderful Outstanding Writing

WOW was definitely the word for some of the final Technology writing assignments finished up today in class. Several students had a hard time picking which of their drafts from last week, they wanted to send into the contest, because they had more than one outstanding start. But everyone did have to pick one of their pieces of technology writing and do the final editing today in class.

After writing time, everyone was given and had to read a yellow ISTEP+ Grade 7 Item Sampler packet. It contained an actual writing prompt that had been on a previous ISTEP for the 7th grade level and examples of 7th grader responses. Each example was scored with comments to help everyone understand what were good and what were bad examples.

Mrs. Scales explained that we would be given a homework packet each day this week and that each packet would be an actual past example from ISTEP. This way we can get lots of practice and feel more comfortable before next week when we really have to take the ISTEP tests. Today’s homework packet (lavender) is the same writing prompt that our examples in the yellow packet was. It asks us to write an essay about a book, movie, or television show we have recently read or seen that we would recommend to a friend. We are not allowed to use any of the books or movies used in the example packet. This will also be great practice for writing our literary circle responses that are due on Wednesday.

February 19

Analyzing Writing Prompts

Analyzing Writing Prompts includes:

Identifying the Key Terms
Determining Purpose and Goal
Knowing the Task and Reader

Today’s prompt was:

When Mrs. Scales was your age there was no such thing as the internet, cell phones were not yet invented, and computers were huge machines that used special language. Technology has come a long way. Imagine where technology will take us by 2025. Write a two-page essay or narrative that explores your ideas about technology and the future.

We identified the key terms to be:
technology
Imagine
essay
narrative
explore

We reviewed what we had learned last semester about essays and narratives.

Essay’s are about one topic and have an introduction/body/conclusion.

Narrative is another name for a story and must have a beginning/middle/end.

We looked at the need for transitions such as: important, more important, the most significant; first, second, third; therefore, consequently, as a result.

Finally, Mrs. Scales reminded us to use specific details with examples in our writing.

We had 45 minutes of writing time for today’s prompt.

February 18

Technology in 2025

Welcome back after our snow days. We did our root word quiz and finished taking the AR test for anyone who had missed it. We are now done with Treasure Island for this year. We will not be showing the movie or doing the final performances.

Today we began working on our ISTEP prep writing. This means we are practicing for the writing portion of the ISTEP tests. Today we talked about how writing prompts give us information about what we are to write about and tell us who we are writing to. Our first practice prompt was:

You wake up in 2025. What technology has changed. You are writing a letter to your dog back in 2010.

Everyone was given 30 minutes or longer of writing time and the prompts were turned in at the end of class.

You MUST bring your Literary Circle books to class everyday for the next two weeks.

February 12

Finishing Up Treasure Island

End of Treasure Island unit – You must finish reading Treasure Island. For those of you who have stayed on track that only means that you have the last 3 chapters to read and they go very quickly. If you have not stayed on track you need to finish whatever part of the book you have not read. We will do our review, check study guides for the final time and take the AR quiz on Monday, February 15.
You also need to study the list of root words below. You will have a root word test over these ten words on Tuesday, February 16.

1. MOT, MO—move
2. VERS, VERT—turn
3. DIS, DI, DE, DIF—apart, away, down
4. PLI, PLIC—fold, braid
5. PER—through, thorough
6. POS, PON, POSIT—put, place, lay
7. SPEC, SPECT—look, see, appear
8. VIS, VID—see
9. FER—carry, bear, bring
10. AMI, AMIC – love

Literary Circle books and assignment sheets are available for pick up in the front of the room. Take the book you have been assigned, an assignment sheet, and sign your name and the book number you have to the list on the board.

Movie time for Sunday is 12:40, be there between 12:15 and 12:30 to pick up your ticket from me if you are one of the 22 students who read the book and took the AR quiz scoring a 9 or a 10 by last Monday, February 8th. Names are listed on blog.

February 8

And the winners are…

For the second year in a row the Selma Middle School Spelling Bee champion is Savannah Carrow! Way to go Savannah. The second place winner was also a 7th grader, Ryan Ritchie. Good job 7th graders!

There are also 22 winners for the movie tickets to see The Lightning Thief this Sunday. Sydney Batt, Aaron Buchanan, Katelyn Buchanan, Dougy Burgess, Tessa Chasen, Michaela Cooper, Sierra Davis, Haleigh Fernandez, Ariael Hall, Payton Howell, Brayden Johnson, Jesse Jones, Bret Lawson, Katey Leach, Makenzie McCormick, Donovan Owsley, Drew Smith, Cody Stewart, Sam Trego, Abigail Vester, Kelsey Winters, and Dan Wright all score 90% or higher on the AR test and have earned a free movie ticket. Everyone in the class is invited to join us for the movie, the rest just have to pay for their own ticket. See you all there Sunday.

We only had class for 1st and 4th period today, so everyone is on their own to read chapters 30 and 31 before our next class. We will be finishing the book, Treasure Island this week and taking the AR quiz, so everyone should see their AR point totals growing.

February 5

A Snowy End to the Week

Study Guides were checked for points through chapter 29.

Our root word today was: ROOT WORD CARD #57 PER—through, thorough

The ROOT-WORD is the Prefix PER which means THROUGH. It is a very useful one. Small as it is, it speaks a mouthful, and every time. Whether it is a matter of paying toll PER capita, or taking down words PER minute, working for a PERcentage, or making coffee in your PERcolator, this little one is working for you. It is a great favorite in Latin phrases.

1. Per annum :PER annum (per an’ um) adv. In each year; for each year

2. Per capita :PER capita (per kap’ it a) adv. For each head; by each unit of population

3. Perforated :PER forated (per’ for rate ed) adj. Bored through; as, perforated paper

4. Perennial :PER ennial (pe ren’ ee al) adj. Through the years; year after year

5. Peradeventure :PER adventure (per ad ven’ chur) n. A matter of chance; uncertainty

6. Peregrinate :PER egrinate (per’ e grin ate) c. To walk through; to travel; especially, on foot

7. Perambulate :PER ambulate (pe ram’ byu late) v. Walk through; traverse; promenade

8. Perceive :PER ceive (per seve’) v. To understand; to take cognizance of

9. Perception :PER caption (per sep’ shun) n. Act of knowing truths; insight; awareness

10. Perceptive :PER captive (per sep’ tiv) adj. Having keen perception

11. Percolate :PER collate (per’ ko late) v. To drip through; to filter

12. Percent :PER cent (per sent’) n. The parts in the hundred

13. Percentage :PER centage (per sent’ ij) n. Rate of interest; so many per hundred

14. Percurrent :PER current (per kur’ ent) adj. Running through; as the midrib of a leaf

15. Percussion :PER cussion (per kush’ un) n. The striking of sound; as, the drum and the piano are percussion instruments

16. Percussive :PER cussive (per kus’ iv) adj. Operated by percussion; as, the percussive force

Note to parents added to next week’s lesson plans:

I can’t believe we are already into February. This year is just moving by so quickly.

Monday will be the last day that students can take The Lightning Thief AR test to earn a free movie ticket on Sunday. All students are invited to join the group for the movie on Sunday February 14th at the movie theater in Muncie. I will be purchasing the movie ticket for those students who earned a 9 or a 10 on the AR test, but everyone is invited to attend. I won’t know the exact movie time until early next week and I cannot provide any transportation.

The tutoring session went well this week so I will be starting to stay after school one night a week for free tutoring. The regular sessions will begin the week after next and be on Wednesday evenings. Beginning Wednesday, February 17, 2010 I will stay until 4:30 each Wednesday for tutoring.

Root Words – we study root words as a part of the 7th grade Language Arts core curriculum aligned with state standards. It is important that your son or daughter study their root words just like they studied and learned their addition or multiplication tables. We have 6 to 10 new words and then a test throughout the entire year. Please encourage them to study these words every week.

Thanks,
Jodie Scales
7th Grade Language Arts Teacher

February 4

Pieces of Eight – That Darn Bigmouth Parrot

After Jim’s heroics he walks right into the enemy’s hands! We read the exciting chapter 27 today in class. Mrs. Scales really does a good sounding parrot voice (okay, maybe she doesn’t, but she sure has fun trying). We have almost finished the book and every chapter is full of excitement and adventure now.

In our WR’s notebook we have to write a character sketch of Long John Silver. Can Jim trust him? What is the man really like? Silver is going to be very important as the book comes to an end and our paragraph or longer character sketch has to help us determine what kind of man Long John Silver really is.

Study Guides will be checked tomorrow through chapter 27 for points.

Our root word today was:

The ROOT-WORD PLI or PLIC, which means Fold, Braid or Bend from the Latin: plicare, plecare, to fold, bend, curve, turn, twine, twist, interweave, weave.

Mrs. Scales had a root word activity set up for us to do on moodle. In doing that activity the example word duplicate Exactly like the original; existing in two identical or corresponding parts; double (adjective) was used. Other example words might be duplicity or replica.

February 3

Writing Workshop Day – Israel Hands’ Resume

Mrs. Scales announced that Savannah, Jordan B., Haleigh, Ryan R. and Jesse would be the 7th grade spellers for this year’s spelling bee to be held next Monday, February 8th during 6th period in Mrs. Milliner’s room.

Scholastic book orders were passed out and are due next Friday, February 12th.

There is a chat set up on moodle for anyone who has turned in their assignments. There is also a choice listing six book available for the next literary circles. Everyone needs to go to moodle and make a selection by early next week for the book they want to read next.

We worked on what information should go into each section of the resume we are to write on Israel Hands:
Objective – What kind of job is he looking for?
Education – training or schools
Experience – specific jobs he has had in the past
Qualifications – What makes him able to do the job he is looking for?
References – Who can verify his capabilities?

Resumes and Storyboard assignments are due at the start of class tomorrow.

Our root words for today were:
ROOT WORD CARD #55 DIS, DI, DE, DIF—apart, away, down

These ROOT-WORDs are the Prefix DIS, DI, DE, and DIF which means APART, AWAY, DOWN It is different from other ROOT-WORDS which have similar meanings. DIS carries with it a sense of failure; you had something and lost it. A soldier who played the violin and lost a couple of fingers was DISabled. A man who cheated and lost his credit became DIScredited. See? If you learn the ROOT-WORDS you will not be DEpendent upon a dictionary. You will be inDEpendentl.

1. Disarm : DIS arm (dis arm’) v. To take away a weapon; leave defenseless
2. Dichotomy: DI chotomy (die kot’ o me) n. A separation into two parts
3. Divorce: DI vorce (di vors’) n. Separation, one from the other

4. Divulsion: DI vulsion (die vul’ shun) n. A tearing apart
5. Debark : DE bark (do bark’) v. To get off a ship; as, the soldiers must debark at night

6. Debus : DE bus (de bus’) v. To get off a bus

7. Deplane : DE plane (dee plane’) v. To get off an airplane

8. Debunk : DE bunk (dee bunk’) v. To expose as false; talk truth

9. Disagree : DIS agree (dis a gree’) v. Not to have the same opinion

10. Disaster : DIS aster (diz as’ ter) n. A mishap; absence of your lucky star

11. Disabled : DIS abled (dis ay’ b’ld) adj. To be deprived of use, as by an injury

12. Disadvantages : DIS advantage (dis ay’ b’ld) adj. A loss; a detriment; a handicap

13. Disbar : DIS bar (dis bar’) v. To keep away; as, to disbar a layer