Welcome to the 7th Grade Team!

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    August 29, 2018


    Dear Students & Parents/Guardians,


    Welcome to 7th grade!  Now that the school year is underway, we want to take the opportunity to provide you some information about 7th Grade English Language Arts.  Amesbury Middle School incorporates the Common Core standards into the curriculum. (http://www.corestandards.org/ela-literacy/w/7).  Detailed below is a description of the components of the English Language Arts curriculum in which the standards will be incorporated.


    Fall

    • Introduction to Theme/Growth Mindset
    • Fiction Writing
    • Short Stories/Poetry

    Winter

    • A Long Walk to Water by Linda Sue Park/Analytical Writing
    • Argumentative Writing
    • Research Skills & Evaluating Credible Sources

    Spring

    • The Book Thief  by Markus Zusak
    • Narrative Writing
    • Poetry
    • Culmination of theme/Growth Mindset


    The integration of Common Core reading,writing, listening and speaking, and presentation skills are incorporated through the use of narrative and nonfiction texts, a variety of independent work, and collaborative group activities and discussions.  Students will have opportunities to work independently, as partners and in small groups, and through whole class activities where they share their thoughts and make their thinking visible.


    Our theme for the school year will focus on the role of Growth Mindset and the power of individuals to learn and be motivated by mistakes and believing that we are continuously learning and living up to our potential.  We will explore this theme through a variety of fiction and nonfiction texts and well as through narrative and poetry.




    We are asking that students purchase a copy of The Book Thief by Markus Zusak for this spring.   Students will need to have their own copy so that they can use post-its to flag passages as well as make notes in the margin.


    Writing in the 7th grade focuses on developing skills in the four genres of writing; narrative, analytical/expository, descriptive, and persuasive writing.  Students will develop skills in these areas through projects, essays, research and note taking, poetry, and narrative writing. Grammar, mechanics, and vocabulary are integrated throughout the year in lessons and assignments.  


    Our Focus Correction Areas (FCA’s) will help guide students during writing assignments.  We will also have a list of “No Excuses” FCA’s. These are editing skills every 7th grader is expected to have mastered in previous years.  These “No Excuses” FCA’s will increase in scope as grade level skills are mastered.


    As a school system, we use the John Collins Writing Program.  Here is the link to the program that will help you understand the different types of writing and how it connects to the Common Core standards. (http://www.collinsed.com/)


    Portfolios:

    Throughout the year students will be building a portfolio of pieces of their work.  The goal and purpose of the portfolio will be for students to independently select and reflect on the work that they do and identify areas of growth.


    Grading

    Grades are earned and calculated the following way:


    Classwork/Homework/Participation - 10%


    Homework Policy

    On time: 100 pts

    1 day late: 75 pts

    2 days late: 50 pts


    Classwork/Project Policy

    If an assignment is submitted late (up to five school days) they will lose one full grade.

    After a week the highest grade they can receive is a 50%.



    Content - 90%

    (Category) (Weight)

    Classwork         1

    Quizzes/Small Projects/Discussions   2

    Tests/Projects/ Essays                   3


    There are no extra credit assignments.  Students should concentrate on completing assignments as they are given.  Ample time is provided to complete classwork and projects and nothing is graded until students have had practice on the subject area.


    Absences

    When a student is absent, they have two days to make up any assignment.  They need to make sure that they check with me (as well as their other academic teachers) to see what they missed.


    If an assignment is given that your child cannot complete due to an emergency, illness, or a family event that ran late, please email me, and I will extend the assignment due date.  (Participating in a sporting event is not a valid excuse.)



    Google Classroom

    All 7th grade students will receive a Google Classroom username and password to access the Google Classroom page.  Google Classroom is used for lessons, class assignments, homework, and projects. Students will be able to access class notes, reference material, copies of assignments, and graphic organizers as well as post their work onto the classroom page.  Students who do not have access to Google Classroom at home may hand in a handwritten or typed copy.


    Aspen

    Seventh graders were given an Aspen password so that they can check their work and grades to see if anything is missing.  Missing assignments are designated as MSING in Aspen and calculate as a zero until the assignment is turned in. If a student hands in a partially completed assignment, the assignment will be designated INC.  It is their responsibility to turn it in on their own - OR responsibility of students to be checking Aspen and seeing teachers as needed during CE times or after school.


    Parents, please check Aspen a few times a week with your child.  You can set grade thresholds to so that you are notified of any grade entered.  This removes the surprise out of any assignments or scores that your child has earned.


    Seventh grade also sends a daily email to parents informing them of homework assignments and school events. If you would like to receive the daily email, please contact the following teacher according to team:


    Andrew Goodwin (goodwina@amesburyma.gov) - Green Team

    Kristen Bilodeau (bilodeauk@amesburyma.gov) - White Team


    We can be best contacted via email.  Please review this letter with your child, then sign and return the signature page to school.



    Sincerely,

    Kristen Bilodeau & Andrew Goodwin





























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