The 3rd six weeks begins Monday, November 9. Here is what will be happening in The Awesomeness.
Expository, Expository, Expository
We will be studying expository writing this six weeks, which is the type of essay students will be expected to write for the upcoming STAAR test. We have already started studying this complicated writing style. Expect to hear a lot about it this six weeks. Historically, 7th grade authors struggle with expository writing, but we have plenty of time to develop the skills necessary to write an excellent paper.
James’s Jambalaya Gets a Reboot
Grammar, vocabulary, syntax, punctuation, and spelling all come together in James’s Jambalaya. We have spent that first two grading periods developing our language arts skills with this system and this six weeks adds a twist. In order to go deeper, we will spend two weeks on each Jambalaya. The first week will introduce the words and elaboration techniques, while the second week will provide independent practice. This may lead to more homework than previous six weeks grading periods.
Pre AP Classes Take on Knowsys Vocabulary
Knowsys is an SAT and ACT vocabulary preparation program that several AP teachers in the district have adopted; both at the Junior High and High School levels. It is NOT an easy system. Students will be challenged by words to which they have never been exposed, but will see on college entrance exams.
Students already have the list of words and definitions they will need for the rest of the year. It is their responsibility to keep the lists and definitions in their binders. Students who learn these words with an adult or with other students benefit the most and are more successful than those students who go at it alone.
We will have a Knowsys vocabulary quiz every Wednesday. The “Group 1” quiz will be this Wednesday, November 11. Students need to know the words and their definitions well enough that they can use the words in a sentence. The format of the test is NOT simple matching. Students will need to know how to USE the words, not just regurgitate their definitions.
Historically, students grades fall with the first two or three quizzes. If they develop the habit of daily review of the words from the current list as well as previous lists (the quizzes spiral, requiring students to study previous lists), performance will improve.
From what I have observed so far, your students will rise to the challenges ahead. They are more than capable of learning the content and performing admirably. After school tutorials are Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday from 3:25-4:00. Encourage your student to use those times to see me for extra instruction or guided practice on assignments.
As always, feel free to contact me if you have any questions.