Mrs. MaryAnn Wheeler » 7th Grade Reading

7th Grade Reading

Reader's Theater
Each student in 7th grade will be participating in a Reader's Theater Presentation for their class.  A Reader's Theater has a script like a play, but they do not need to memorize lines. Reading and rereading of lines results in better fluency. The students will have three classes to practice with their group.  They will be responsible for making name tags and supplying 1 prop.  They may wear simple costumes if they choose to.  I am providing them with a to do list for each day, however, the group will work independently with support as needed.  The group will perform for the class on Thursdays. About 5 students will participate per week. Students will be working on meeting 7th grade Reading Standard that includes reading dramas and the Speaking and Listening Standard to adapt speech to a variety of contexts and tasks. Their Reader's Response Grade for the week will be based upon their responsibilities as a member of a group and their performance. We had our first performance last Thursday.  The students did a fantastic job, and their class was an attentive audience.  We look forward to each new presentation!
Written Conversations is what's new for reader's response. During reading time each student has a partner for a written conversation.  Each partner writes a "post" about the text they are reading. They may write about what is happening in the story, they can say how they feel about what is happening in the story, they may make connections or observations, they may write questions or ask for clarification, and they may make predictions. Some students are even writing their posts as the main character. Students then switch papers and "comment" on the reader's "post".  Their comments vary depending upon the post, but should be insightful or pose a question.  The conversation continues as they switch back and read each other's comments and respond to comments and questions.  The next conversation begins with a new post from the reader.  During this time students are engaged in reading, writing, and communicating about text in a meaningful way. I am hoping to try other variations of written conversation including whole group write arounds. 
Olympic Projects are completed! Students a great job researching athletes on their ipads and presenting the information in several text structures.  Question and Answer was used to interview an athlete and present basic information.  Chronological Order was used to present dates of previous accomplishments.  A descriptive paragraph was written to describe the athlete's sport and skills.  Cause and effect was used to tell the results of their athlete's competition in the 2014 Olympics.   This was all presented with required text features like a heading, subheading, pictures,captions,a glossary, and Olympic symbol pictures. Everyone completed this project that was worth 10% of their grade. Their posters were displayed in the hall for a few weeks, and they received a lot of positive feedback.  Great Job 7th Grade.

Happy New Year!  
We are starting off the new year with non-fiction reading.  Students helped to create a classroom resource of non-fiction books that included at least 2 books that they selected.  I have also added many other books with a variety of interests and levels. We will continue to add to this classroom resource and include different genres and forms of media.  The new Common Core State Standards have an expectation that students will be reading more informational texts.  The research shows this is needed for students to be more prepared for reading in high school, college, and the work force. 
This month we will focus on text structures, purpose, text features, vocabulary, and discussion. Students will be able to keep reading from their independent fiction novels, however, they will have specific non-fiction reading responses to complete each week. 

It is mid-November and time for our trimester book project.  Students spent last week taking notes on the 15 must haves for their project.  Some of the must haves are conflict, theme, tone, mood, character traits, genre, figurative language, and imagery. The project will address all of the areas of written response from this past trimester. I will check over their notes for thorough and accurate answers.  This week the students will complete a project of their choice that includes everything from their notes.  There any many choices including posters, cubes, brochures, newsletters, slideshows, tri-folds, letters, magazine articles, interviews, and recorded performance. Everything they need is available at school. They will present these to each other in small groups Wednesday and Thursday.  These projects will be 10% of their grade, therefore, the quality of the project should reflect that. Ask thme to share their work with you!

The seventh grade has spent the past month reading a variety of independent books. Students have had a daily reader's response to focus their reading. Some of the areas that we have focused on have been characterization, literary devices, imagery, theme, and conflict.  Most of the responses have asked students to use higher order thinking skills like analysis, critical thinking, application, and creative thinking. Reader's responses have involved writing, completing graphic organizers, sharing/conferencing with a partner, drawing, and citing evidence from their texts.  
We celebrated reading on September 30th with a chance to read outside on a beautiful sunny afternoon.  This celebration was on account of having 100% of assignments completed by the class.  This is an expectation that I will continue to have for all students. Keep up the great work 7th grade! 
Please remember that seventh graders should be reading at home at least 20 minutes a night.  
Thank you for your help in encouraging your child to read for enjoyment that will lead to a lifelong love of reading.