7th Grade Language Arts: Everything You Need to Know

PDMS 7th Grade Motto: "CHARACTER and DRIVE"

BooksThe "Language Arts" are four, closely related communication skills. You might know them better as Reading (fluency and comprehension), Writing (grammar, conventions, ideas on "paper"), Listening (not just hearing white noise), and Speaking (clear, concise, out loud communication). Each day, my students will practice all of these skills with the goal of becoming better at them than they were when they walked into my classroom at the beginning of the school year. I strive to create writers, NOT a piece of writing; to create engaged readers, NOT word skimmers; to create speakers, NOT mumblers; to create engaged listeners, NOT just hearers. A daunting task, yes, but a worthy one, methinks!

2021 7th grade ELA Explained...

Each new week will start on Wednesday. Most assignments are due the following Tuesday by 3pm. Each week is a fresh start, therefore do not go back to finish assignments from the previous week. Accept the zero and move on. The goal is to establish a habit of finishing what is given to you each week without the added stress of unfinished work piling up, AKA "working within a given deadline." Adjustments will be made for absences.

DAILY INSTRUCTIONAL SCHEDULE:

Classroom instruction:

  1. Word Pool (WP) (20min)
  2. Daily Written Response (DWR) (20min)
  3. Routine Daily Activities & Lesson (50min)

Flex time for transitions, etc. (5min)

Distance learning (video-conference) instruction:

  1. Greeting/Check-in
  2. Discuss previous day's independent learning assignments & submit assignments on due date
  3. Lesson: either text reading & discussion OR language/writing skill OR routine assignment lesson
  4. Independent work & small group video-conferencing

WEEKLY ROUTINE ASSIGNMENT SCHEDULE

classroom:

Wednesday= DWR: submit previous week's and create doc for the current week & Vocabulary Power Plus (VPP):submit previous week's VPP written assignment & introduce current week's words

Thursday=No Red Ink (NRI) lesson & start weekly assignment OR quiz. Assignment must be completed by the following Wednesday

Friday=SMILE Day class meeting

Monday=JSM (Junior Scholastic Magazine) comprehension activity

Tuesday=VPP quiz

distance learning:

Wednesday=

*LIVE MEET:

-DWR: Share out responses and choose which one to be graded

-Vocabulary Power Plus (VPP):introduce current week's words

-additional writing or literature lesson if time

+Independent work in Google Classroom

Thursday=

Independent work in Google Classroom

Friday=

LIVE MEET:

-SMILE Day class meeting

-NRI lesson or quiz

-additional writing or literature lesson if time

+Independent work:

Monday=

Independent work in Google Classroom

Tuesday=

Independent work in Google Classroom

ROUTINE WEEKLY ACTIVITIES/ASSIGNMENTS:

  1. Word Pool (in classroom only):Word Pool is the first ↝15 minutes of the class period. During this time, you must "jump into the Word Pool" by doing one or more of the following:

    *quietly reading a book or your Toolkit

    *quietly working on VPP, either in the app or the written assignment

    *quietly working on your LEXIA/PowerUp minutes

    *quietly working on your weekly NRI assignment

    *quietly proofreading and/or making-up DWR

    *quietly working on a "big-kid" coloring page

    *quietly making-up a missed ELA assignment

    *quietly doing a Quizizz featured quiz by yourself

    *quietly perusing a website of your choice by yourself. NO YouTube! Read, not watch!

    *quietly working on an extra credit stuffed word

    *practicing a scheduled extra credit PBP in the hallway

    *quietly taking a brainbreak...putting your head down and resting at your desk

    Word Pool time stops when the music ends. We will have a five to ten-minute grand conversation about what you may have found while in the Word Pool. Be ready to share interesting findings and listen to your classmates as they share!

  2. Daily Written Response (DWR): This assignment is where you will practice the writing skills you will learn/review in class this year as well as show your comprehension of lessons taught. You will create ONE document for the week and add to it daily. The directions and scoring of this assignment are as follows:

  3. DWR Formatting Expectations (2 pts):

    • Complete, correct heading in the upper left corner (hit enter twice)
    • Title centered under the heading (hit enter twice) Title= DWR week number; EX: DWR2 or DWR24
    • Answers are in black font only-You may choose to use any easily readable font.
    • Leave a blank space between answers (hit enter twice).
    • ALL questions answered! (lose all formatting points if missing two or more answers)
    • all colored squiggly lines cleared before submitting
    • file named correctly: assignment_class_yr; EX: DWR2_ELA3_2021

    DWR Writing Expectations (8 pts):

    • Restate the question in your answer. DO NOT start your response with "It" "They" or "Because" as those words do not restate the question.
    • Response is correct. You can refer to your notes and/or the text while answering the question. We will discuss the correct answer in class. NO EXCUSE for submitting an incorrect answer.
    • Your response is two+ quality sentences long. Elaboration is required for a top content score. Elaboration means going beyond the answer to show a full understanding of the material.
    • Document has been proofread. Revise to make responses better. Edit to make responses grammatically correct.

    DWR Grading Rubric:

    I will grade one answer chosen by a roll of a die on the day you submit: 1=first question, 2=second question, 3=third question, 4=fourth question, 5=fifth question, 6=student choice! (Choose the one YOU think you did the best on!). Occasionally I will choose which one to score or I might score the entire assignment...just to keep you honest and responsible! Mark the "chosen one" with a symbol of your choice before submitting.

    RUBRIC: 10pts

    4-Exceed Standard

    3-Meet Standard

    2-Approach Standard

    1-Far below Standard

    Content

    focus & correctness of response

    *Answer is correct and fully focused on the question

    *Citations prove the claim

    *Citations are properly formatted

    *Shows confident comprehension of the text or prompt through acceptable, concise elaboration upon the answer

    * answer is correct and mostly focused on the question, *citations are there but disjointed from the claim

    *attempt at formatting citations correctly

    *shows basic comprehension of the text or prompt NO ELABORATION

    *answer is partially correct and/or unfocused on the question

    *no citations to prove claim

    *shows minor problems with comprehension of the text or prompt

    *answer is incorrect

    and/or shows major problems with comprehension of the text or prompt

    Conventions

    grammar & spelling

    PROOFREAD!

    Autocorrect is NOT your friend!

    *NO/minimal errors in standard language conventions throughout the document

    *effective & purposeful use of advanced vocabulary and sentence structures & types

    *answer is 3+ quality sentences long

    *a few errors in standard language conventions throughout the document that do not cause confusion.

    *good use of grade level vocabulary & sentence structures and types

    *answer is 2+ quality sentences long

    *many errors in standard language conventions throughout the document which cause some confusion

    *some use of/attempts grade level vocabulary & sentence structures

    *answer is ONLY ONE sentence long!

    *"No excuse" words errors

    *excessive errors in standard language conventions throughout the document which cause significant confusion.

    *use of basic/simple vocabulary and sentence structures throughout

    Formatting

    placement on paper

    MEETS-2pts

    No formatting errors on document; see above expectations

    APPROACHING-1pt

    Formatting errors on document

  4. No Red Ink (noredink.com): NRI is a digital grammar program students will use to practice the grammar skills lessons taught in class. Students must engage with the program in order to master a topic and thus earn a passing score on each assignment. According to NRI, "To master a topic, you must demonstrate full understanding of that topic. Mastery is not about answering a set number of questions or spending a certain number of minutes on NoRedInk. Instead, mastery-based practice builds a tailored set of questions to meet your needs." Each NRI assignment will consist of 3-5 grammar/writing topics. The program keeps track of mastery of each skill in the assignment and assigns a score of 0-100% based on mastery and completion of the entire assignment. There will be a quiz after every three assignments. Students can study for a quiz, and just keep skills sharp, by clicking on a completed skill in the assignment and selecting "quiz me" from the drop down menu.

  5. Set up your NRI account:
    Please go to noredink.com and create a 2021 account as follows:

    1. click on "Sign up as a student"

    2. enter your class code (don't forget the spaces between words and numbers!):
      Sparley's Homeroom class code: plastic cookie 5
      Hobbs' Homeroom class code: great deer 7

    3. DO NOT sign up with Google or Clever!!!

    4. Enter your first name and last name.

      Your USERNAME is your lunch number+your initials. If the program tells you that username is already taken, add your middle initial if you have one, or a random letter if you do not have a middle name.

      Your PASSWORD is your Powerschool/Clever password.

    5. DO NOT enter an email!

    6. Click on the dot to indicate gender

    7. Scroll through the "interests" and select things you like. There are several more categories under the TV shows & Movies category so keep scorlling down! Watch the green bar at the top. Keep adding interests until the green bar is full and the "continue" button turns blue.

    8. Click on the blue "continue" button.

  6. Lexia/PowerUp (accessed through CLEVER):

    *Lexia/PowerUp is a digital literacy program designed to bridge gaps in knowledge and advance a student's literacy through repeated practice with targeted skills. Students take a placement test in three domains before beginning the program: word study (phonics), grammar, and comprehension. Students score FOUNDATIONAL (grade K-2) or INTERMEDIATE (grades 3-5) or ADVANCED (grades 6-8+) in each domain. The program assigns a set number of minutes to work in each domain each week. Minute amounts range from 145 (foundational in all 3 domains) to 85 (advanced in all 3 domains). The better a student scores, the fewer minutes they have to do each week. Lexia minutes reset each Monday, so all weekly minutes are to be completed by Sunday, 4pm.

  7. Vocabulary Power Plus-VPP (vocabularypowerplus.com): Students will be working in Level 7 of VPP this year. Each 15 word lesson has five games students can use to study the week's words: learn, flashcards, matching speed game, spelling, test. In addition to the online practice, students will complete a written assignment to further practice/learn the week's words. Students will take a digital quiz every Tuesday.

  8. Junior Scholastic Magazine-JSM ( junior.scholastic.com): Students will read, discuss and analyze, and take a 15 question quiz on one article each week. Students will access the magazine online at the above web address Password is sparley105. Digital access offers different reading levels, a read aloud option, and highlighting/note taking tools. Links to related articles and matching video extensions are also given. Students are required to read the article independently at least twice before the weekly quiz on Mondays. The class will discuss/analyze the article before taking the quiz.

INDEPENDENT PRACTICE (aka...HOMEWORK):

Spend 30-45 minutes each day doing the following activities for ELA:

  1. Spend time in your digital programs: VPP, Lexia, NRI. You have a set assignment each week that needs to be completed by the following Wednesday. This includes the written component of VPP.
  2. REMOTE LEARNING ONLY: Answer the day's DWR. We will share/discuss the answer in class the following day. Make sure you have followed the DWR directions! Once we return to in person learning, this assignment will be completed in class.
  3. Complete assignments missed due to absence. You are responsible for making up what you missed when gone from ELA. For absences of three or more consecutive days, all assignments will be excused.
  4. Read for 15+ minutes. Occasionally I will ask you to share something about what you have read, so be prepared. Of course I would love it if you chose to read a book of any length, but you can read anything...really😊! A website on a topic that interests you, the back of the cereal box, the directions for putting together something, all the billboards you see while in the car going somewhere, the ENTIRE menu at a restaurant word for word, anywhere you see text, read it! Assignments from your other classes count; for example, if your independent practice in math has lots of word problems and takes you more than 15 minutes...SCORE! You just did your ELA independent practice as well...CHA-CHING!

ACADEMIC GRADING:

Your FINAL grade in this class depends on the percentage of total points you earn for the trimester:

100%=A+

99-90%=A

89-80%=B

79-70%=C

69-55%=D

54-0%=F

Every assignment in ELA is worth 10 points. That makes the math easy!

10=A+

9=A

8=B

7=C

6=D

5 or lower=F

0=not submitted on due date

Certain assignments have specific rubrics, but all rubrics used in ELA follow this general format:

4 points

3 points

2 points

1 point

CONTENT:

show me what you learned

Wow! You've really got it as shown through elaboration & applied learning!

Okay! You can recall and give back!

Well...

you are working on it but are a bit confused

You have no clue

CONVENTIONS: put it in writing correctly

Wow! Your writing is impeccable as shown by regular, confident, and correct use of advanced vocabulary and grammar

Okay! You have a few mistakes, but are starting to apply what you are learning in class

Well...

you are stuck as shown through multiple errors which cause confusion for your reader and/or consistent repetition of simple vocab & grammar

Incomprehensible

FORMAT:

follow the directions for what to include on the page


X


X

NO mistakes in following directions

Some mistakes in following directions

Content score + conventions score + format score= YOUR grade!

For example 3+3+2=8/10=B. Shoot for scoring 8,9, or 10 on every assignment.

EFFORT GRADING:Some points are better than NO points, so submit everything even if you did not finish.

VPP written work, Lexia/PowerUp minutes, NRI assignments, DWR, and any other activities deemed "classwork/practice" will get an effort score as follows:

DWR:

10 points=fully and correctly completed+scored 9 or 10

9 points=fully and correctly completed+scored 8

7 points=more than ½ completed+scored 6 or 7

5 points=½ or less completed regardless of score

0 points=did not submit on weekly due date

NRI:

Effort grade will be the average practice assignment score for the trimester. For example: 76% = 7/10 points=C

VPP and other assignments deemed practice:

10 points=fully and correctly completed

7 points=fully completed w/errors

5 points=partially completed

0=did not submit on weekly due date

Lexia/PowerUp:

10 points=finished 91-100% of weekly minutes

7=completed 70-90% of weekly minutes

5=completed 50-69% of weekly minutes

0=completed less than 50% of of weekly minutes

EXTRA CREDIT:

I offer TWO assignment choices for up to FIVE points extra credit each trimester:

  1. A Picture Book Presentation (PBP)=Prepare an expressive reading of a picture book. Follow these directions:

  2. IN-PERSON LEARNING:

    • See Mrs. Sparley during WP time to schedule a PBP.
    • Choose a picture book to share. Choose one of your favorites or ask Mrs. Sparley or Mrs. Reyes to assist you in choosing a good read aloud book. Choose a book that is not too long, has awesome illustrations and is a story you can bring alive while reading! Some books are super choices and others...not so much! ASK FOR HEL
    • Practice, practice, practice! Ask for suggestions about your presentation. Apply suggestions that are given. Remember to show the pictures.
    • Present to a primary class during their library time! On presentation day, give your evaluation sheet to the teacher before you begin! Introduce yourself and your chosen book to the class. Clearly state the title, author's and illustrator's names, and why you chose that particular book to share. Read your book!

    DISTANCE LEARNING:

    • Choose a book you have at home or can easily get a copy of. Choose a book that is not too long, has awesome illustrations and is a story you can bring alive while reading! Some books are super choices and others...not so much!
    • Practice, practice, practice! Ask for suggestions about your presentation. Apply suggestions that are given. Remember to show the pictures!
    • Use your iPad to record a video of yourself reading the book.
    • Email your completed video to Mrs. Sparley at katrina.sparley@santeesd.net

    *Your PBP will be scored 3, 4, or 5 based on these skills:

    skill

    DO: score 4 or 5

    DON'T: score 3

    1) voice projection & picture showing

    *Speak loud enough to be heard at the back of the room

    *Show the pictures clearly and slowly for all to see.

    *Speak quietly

    *Show pictures too quickly or not clearly.

    2) voice & face expression

    PIZZAZZ!!!

    *Vary the accent, tone, speed and volume of your voice to match the characters and emotion of the story.

    *Use your face to illustrate the character's feelings and actions.

    *Speak in a monotone unless the story demands it.

    *Forget to use your face and body to illustrate a character's feelings and actions

    3) clarity & flow

    *Speak clearly, enunciate properly, not too fast, not too slow...make it "just right!"

    *Mumble or swallow words. *Speak too fast (speedy) or too slow (choppy)


  3. Stuffed Words Book (SW)=You will create pictorial representations of five vocabulary words from class, either VPP, or from text, or from me telling you, "Stuff this one!" Follow these directions:

How to "stuff" a word: Ask to see the examples!

Using ALL the space one 81/2 x 11 white copier paper, make each page FUN & FABULOUS to the best of your ability! Mark a one ruler width margin along the LEFT side if going horizontal or along the top if going vertical. Fully colored or B&W, your choice, just make your stuffed word page visually appealing and neatly completed following these criteria:

  1. Make the word the biggest, boldest thing on the page! Creatively and artistically position the word anywhere and anyway on the piece of paper.

  2. Use "define word" in the Google search bar or Dictionary.com to look up your word. Artistically write the definition and part of speech somewhere on the paper.

    **If the word has multiple definitions, choose the two you best understand. If the word can be used as more than one part of speech, write the definition for each part of speech.

  3. Split the word into its syllables, either in the BIG word or smaller elsewhere on the page, by drawing a dot or asterisk between the syllables.

  4. List SYNONYMS and/or ANTONYMS if the word has any. Some words do not have these! If the word does not have either, then state, "No synonyms" or "No antonyms" on the paper.

  5. List FAMILY words and their parts of speech. "Family words" are formed by adding prefixes and suffixes to your base word to change the part of speech or meaning of your chosen word. I also call this "morphing the word".

  6. Write ONE original sentence showing that you can use the word correctly. If your word has more than one definition &/or part of speech, choose one to illustrate!

  7. Illustrate the sentence you wrote.

    *A small ISH drawing or traced clip art is acceptable! You could find a picture first, then write your original sentence as a caption!

When you finish your five words, staple them together in the upper left corner and give them to me for scoring. You can earn up to FIVE EC points based on the quality of your work. Don't waste your time or my time by not fully following directions.

EC cannot be used to raise a B to an A in academics, therefore, if EC raises a B to an A, those points will not be entered into Powerschool. EC points DO NOT roll over into the next trimester. EC points will be entered at the end of the trimesterfor final grade.

Distance Learning online resources:

* NRI (No Red Ink)

Please go to noredink.com and create a 2021 account as follows:

  1. click on "Sign up as a student"

  2. enter your class code (don't forget the spaces between words and numbers!):

    Sparley's Homeroom class code: plastic cookie 5

    Hobbs' Homeroom class code: great deer 7

  3. DO NOT sign up with Google or Clever!!!

    Enter your first name and last name.

    Your USERNAME is your lunch number+your initials. If the program tells you that username is already taken, add your middle initial if you have one, or a random letter if you do not have a middle name.

    Your PASSWORD is your Powerschool password.

  4. DO NOT enter an email! This is optional

  5. Click on the dot to indicate gender

  6. Scroll through the "interests" and select things you like. There are several more categories under the TV shows & Movies category so keep scorlling down! Watch the green bar at the top. Keep adding interests until the green bar is full and the "continue" button turns blue.

  7. Click on the blue "continue" button.