Thursday, August 28, 2014

Speaking with Confidence

I had so much fun with you all in class today. You each did an incredible job interviewing your partner and making eye contact during the entire conversation even though it felt incredibly awkward, weird, and uncomfortable. We talked about how maintaining eye contact lets the speaker know you are engaged and interested, and using eye contact when YOU are the speaker lets the listener know that you have confidence in what you're saying.

Watching you come to the front of the room in pairs to present your partner and share some information about them was fabulous. You jumped into our game for today, "In the Manner of the Word," and many of you acted out adverbs for the crazy scenes we gave you.

We discussed how your acting scenes SHOW us rather than TELL us what your hidden adverb was, and this is what good writing is all about! We focused on the idea that all good writing shows rather than tells.

Our word of the day was elude, which means to avoid or escape.

Our quote of the day was, "Dwell in possibility" from poet Emily Dickinson.

Our homework for Tuesday is to bring in all of your work for The Outsiders, which you read over the summer.

Have an awesome four-day weekend, and see you all on Tuesday.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Perspicaciously Powerful and Passionate!

It was a great joy to meet all of you today in our first day of class. You each were able to show boldness when you came up to the front of the classroom, took a deep breath, and shared your name in clear, confident voices with the rest of the class.

Our word of the day today was PERSPICACIOUS, which means clear-sighted or able to understand clearly.

You each found the definition in our amazing-smelling dictionaries (ink! paper!) and then you were each able to use the word in a sentence of your own creation.

Our quote of the day was, "Be kind, for everyone you meet is engaged in a battle," by the philosopher Philo. You shared some great ideas about the quote and what it means. And we talked about icebergs.

Icebergs! So little of an iceberg sticks above the surface, and so much lies beneath, where it is more difficult to see. We discussed how people are often like icebergs, and novels, short stories, and poems are too! We will work this year on seeing what lies deeper, below the surface in one another and in our texts.

The homework for tonight was to find our class blog. You're here!

I can't wait to see you all tomorrow.

Monday, August 25, 2014

Beginning with Boldness

Welcome 7th graders! This year, we are going to dive head, heart, and heels into some of my favorite literature--the kind that helps us to see the world and ourselves differently. We will create, revise, dream, imagine, grow, persuade, revise, read, write, speak, move, laugh, lean in, conjecture, hypothesize, revise, consider, reconsider, (yes, revise again!), and become.

We will read novels like the stunning The Absolute Value of Mike by Kathryn Erskine, Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry by Mildred D. Taylor, Habibi by Naomi Shihab Nye, and many more! We will explore powerful memoirs like The Diary of Anne Frank and Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, and we will read powerful short stories and poetry by authors like Langston Hughes, Gwendolyn Brooks, Todd Strasser, and others. 

Our guiding framework for the way we work with one another and engage with the texts we read and the projects we create is the following mantra: BE KIND. BE BOLD. BE HONEST. Every day that you walk into Rm. 340, I want you to be ready to see yourself, your peers, and the world around you in new ways. So, every day in our classroom we will read, write, move, and speak! I want you to leave our classroom each day knowing that your presence matters--to me and to your peers. 

Let's begin with boldness, kindness, and honesty. Let's create a year together that grows, challenges, and energizes us.