Monday, December 13, 2010

Tests signed

Homework tonight is to show parents the Verbs / Adverbs Post Test and the Word Whiz 3 Test.  Both will need to be signed and returned.  Those who did poorly on the V/A test can look forward to more independent work in that area (I can help out on Thursday PM at Afterschool Study).  Those who did poorly on the Word Whiz Test are encouraged to make corrections to aid their learning.


Green Sheet (reading record) is due tomorrow, and a reminder that books need to be completed by the day we come back from December Recess, as we will be writing essays on the books. 


EXTRA CREDIT option for marking period 3 is to memorize all 60 prepositions.  Sheets are available in my room and online (Google “60 prepositions”).


I will be out on Tuesday, doing Supervisory Union literacy work.  Students will have LOTS to do in class, and may bring home what they did not complete.  So, possible homework Tuesday is the completion of GUM work or questions on The Pearl, if not completed in class.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

homework and EXTRA CREDIT

Tonight’s homework is to study for the test tomorrow, and to complete the review worksheet given in class today. 




We are working on prepositions, conjunctions, and interjections, so….


Any student who MEMORIZES all 60 prepositions, any time this marking period, will earn 60 extra points added to their total points for the marking period. 


Lists will be available in my room, but they can also be found online. 

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Review Worksheet

Homework tonight is a worksheet reviewing language arts terms for the test on Friday. 


Students should also keep reading in their books.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Homework: Upcoming Test

In class, students began a review chart of prefixes, suffixes, and roots.  They are to finish this chart for homework as a way of studying for the vocabulary test on Friday.   

Monday, December 6, 2010

Independent Reading Project M Pd 3

Independent Reading Project for Marking Period Three -- Details and Due Dates

Overview:  Students are to read a historical fiction novel on their own and complete a Response to Literary Text following the 5 paragraph structure and expectations given in class.  Each student has a copy of this information in his or her binder and on my blog ( see posting from November 3, 2010). Students will have one half hour of class time per week for reading and/or writing workshop on their books.  Students will be expected to spend an hour of their own time at home every week on the same.  Students will be held accountable through “Green Sheet” checks and informal one-minute book shares. 

November 19:            Library time to select book (or select over weekend, but have one by Monday)

November 23:            Green sheet* and one-minute book talk due

November 30:            Green sheet* and one-minute book talk due

December 7:               Green sheet* and one-minute book talk due

December 14:             Green sheet* and one-minute book talk due

December 21:             Green sheet* and one-minute book talk due

**** Finish book over December Break, if not done before then****

January 3:                  Writing Workshop in class -- first draft Response to Text

January 5:                  First draft due and peer conferences in class

January 10:                Second draft Response to Text due (double spaced).  Peer editing in class

January 13:                Final draft of Response to Text due. Response to Text must be typed or in cursive and

                                    single spaced.  All drafts and feedback need to be attached behind final.

January 13 &14:       Formal Book Talks in class.  Book Talk should be one to two minutes long, include a

                                    visual component, and address:  title, author, main characters and description, historical

                                    aspects, basic plot, setting, theme, conflict and resolution.

*Green Sheet is a log of pages read with a brief summary.  Students will keep their green sheet in their binder or use it as a book mark, and will present it at the start of class on “due dates”.  It will be checked and immediately returned.  Parents: Please ask to see it occasionally to help your child stay on target for completion of book in the allotted time. 



Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Thanksgiving Vacation

Have a blessed and restful Thanksgiving!  Please read a little further in your historical fiction book -- perhaps 20 - 30 more pages.  No other assignments.  

Monday, November 22, 2010

Homework Tonight

Please read enough of your historical fiction book that you would be comfortable if called on to talk about what is happening so far, who the characters are, the setting, et cetera.  10 - 15 pages should be plenty.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Independent Reading Project 3rd marking period

Students were given a blue ½ page outlining due dates and expectations for our new reading project.  I will be posting the same here in a future post.  Students were given an overview of historical fiction by our librarian today, as well as several handouts to guide their reading of this genre.  We also had some time to pick out a book from either the school library or my classroom library.  If a suitable book was not found, I would ask that a book be found at home or at the public library as soon as possible. 



Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Block 3 homework

Block three needs to finish the journal entry they began in class today.  We only had about 10 minutes to work on it as we were interrupted by a crisis drill.  Thanks!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Additional Tuesday Homework -- Communication!

Hi, Folks!


In addition to the regularly scheduled Tuesday homework as posted on the blog yesterday (BIG Project due Wednesday, along with essay), I offer the following:


  • I gave each student a half sheet of paper today, printed from EdLine, with their current grade.  Please ask to see it.
  • Students are asked to have this paper signed by a parent and returned to me ASAP.  If the paper is NOT signed and returned to me, I will be making phone calls to any parent whose child currently has an average below 80%.
  • The marking period ends in one week, so there is ample time for work to be made up, so long as it is not incredibly overdue. Any assignment in the right hand column is eligible to be made up (or resubmitted with corrections for a higher grade) only if the signed report is turned in along with the make up work this week. Make up work will be assessed a small late penalty.
  • Please remember that there is still a week left of school, and grades can go up or down significantly depending on student performance on both small and large tasks, essays, projects, et cetera. 




Mrs. Wald

Monday, November 15, 2010

Monday and Tuesday Night

Homework for all blocks for the next two nights:


Finish project (ABC book, speech, et cetera) and Google Quiz – presentations begin Wednesday.


Blocks 2 and 3 ALSO have to finalize their Response to Texts on “Lather and Nothing Else” by Thursday.


Block 4 has to complete their first draft by Tuesday.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Lather and Nothing Else (2009) Full Movie

This link was shared by one of my students. It is a student-produced movie version of "Lather and Nothing Else"

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Response to Text / 5 Paragraph Essay Form

Homework Wed/Thurs and Weekend work

Students in Blocks 2 and 3 have their FIRST DRAFT Responses to Text due on Friday.  See notes for expectations.  I will also try to upload the power point to this blog later today.


ALL students need to continue to work on their Independent Reading Projects.  Notes and Glossaries were checked today; many students are behind where they should be at this stage of the game. 


By November 10, students should have finished reading their book and be halfway through their project (ABC book, power point, speech, or timeline) for me to check them.  Students need to be working on this outside of class.  I am giving SOME time, but not enough to complete all requirements. 

Monday, November 1, 2010


Three things tonight:

1.  Have a parent or guardian sign your vocabulary test

2.  Make corrections (optional, but it will increase the grade)

3.  Continue working on the notes (main ideas and supporting details) and glossary for the independent reading project.  I will be checking your progress on Wednesday, and expecting to see at least 5 main ideas with supporting details and 15 glossary words completed.  You need to be finishing up the reading of your book so you can spend a good chunk of time on creating your presentation (ABC book, timeline, et cetera)

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Week's homework

Sorry, folks!  I dropped the ball on posting homework the past few days.  If you checked and saw nothing, and assumed that meant no homework, I apologize and will extend assignment due dates for individual children if I get a phone call or email when you check tonight.  I will try to keep that from happening again.


Monday’s homework was for SOME students to do their missed sentences 5 x each.  They only needed to do this if they did not get a 100% on the second set of No Excuses words.  ALL students should be continuing to work on their Nonfiction project.


Tuesday’s homework was for ALL students to continue working on their Nonfiction project and to begin studying for their Word Whiz Vocabulary Test on Friday. 


Wednesday’s homework was to create 10 flashcards for language arts terms and 10 flashcards for word parts to facilitate studying.  There was also an extra credit option offered, that is due on Friday.


Thursday’s homework will be the extra credit and studying for the test on Friday.   

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Long Weekend Work

I did not plan to give students any specific homework for the long weekend.  We ALL need a break!  however, some students are clearly behind where they should be in their nonfiction project (see post on October 8 for details), and should do LOTS OF READING, NOTE TAKING, AND GLOSSARY WORK during the long weekend. 

Monday, October 18, 2010

Homework 10/18

Tomorrow I will be checking students’ progress on their NOTES and GLOSSARY for the nonfiction project.  See earlier posting for details.  By “progress”, I mean that I should see that students have identified at least 5 words they did not know for their glossary, identified the page number, copied the relevant sentence, and defined the word as it was used in their book. I should also see that at least one “main idea” has been identified so far, with accompanying supporting details from the reading.


Also, students have now taken the exact same “No Excuses” assessment twice, with intervening interventions, and only a few have achieved the required 100%.  Those who earned less than 100% have an additional homework assignment:  copy the lines from the assessment ten times each (correctly), to be ready for the third time around.  Remember that these are “No Excuses” words…  ie: they are words that no seventh grader should EVER use incorrectly.  There is no excuse!

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Homework Blocks 2 and 3 ONLY

Blocks two and three have a second nonfiction article to read tonight.  They must also answer the questions that go with the article.   

Friday, October 8, 2010

Independent Reading Project for Marking Period Two

Today, students were given the following information regarding our new independent reading project:


Independent Reading Project -- Non-fiction / Informational Text


While reading, stop 6 times to record MAIN IDEAS and SUPPORTING DETAILS.  You could do this at the end of a chapter or major section of your book.  A handout will be provided for you to use for this purpose.


Also, while reading, build a glossary by identifying 20 words that are new to you as you read, AND are key to understanding the topic your book is focused on.  Give the page number the word is found on, copy the sentence it is used in, and define it as it is used in the book. 


After reading, choose and complete one project from the following list:

  1. Illustrate a timeline of major events in your book.  The timeline should be at least three feet long, and include a minimum of 10 major events, illustrated and explained in words.  The timeline will be judged for informational accuracy, GUM and spelling, artistic quality, neatness, and depth of information.
  2. Create and share with the class a PowerPoint or Google Presentation of a minimum of 10 slides (not including title slide) exploring the main ideas you found as you read. The PowerPoint / Google Presentation will be judged for informational accuracy, GUM and spelling, class presentation, artistic quality, and depth of information.
  3. Design and “publish” an ABC book of terms, key ideas, and information related to your non-fiction book.  For example, and ABC of oceans might have “W is for Whale,” and “P is for Plankton.”  The book will be judged for informational accuracy, GUM and spelling, artistic quality, neatness, and depth of information.
  4. Prepare and present a three minute speech giving key information / main ideas about your topic.  This could be pre-recorded in the form of a podcast or other electronic means.  The speech / podcast will be judged for informational accuracy, vocal quality (inflection, tone, delivery), and depth of information.


And, using Google Forms, create a short “quiz” for your classmates to take after viewing / hearing your project.  This will serve as an assessment of your presentation, because if your “students” do well, your “teaching” was good!  The first question must ask students to “grade” your presentation.  The second question must ask students to explain why they gave you that grade.  The third question must give students an opportunity to comment in the form of a praise, a question, or a suggestion.  The 4th – 7th questions must be based on the content you have presented, and can be multiple choice, true/false, or some other form.  The 8th question must ask for the name of the student taking the quiz.

The quiz will need to be clearly labeled and emailed to your classmates prior to your presentation.


Key dates to keep in mind and even post on your refrigerator:


Book chosen by:  10/12


First check of progress on notes and glossary: 10/19


Second check of progress on notes and glossary: 11/3


Project 1, 2, 3, or 4 progress check (1/2 done): 11/10


Projects due / presented to class and quizzes taken: 11/17 – 11/19


Tuesday, October 5, 2010

homework this week

Homework for the rest of the week is to prep Book Talk, which is due on Thursday.  A Book Talk is a one to two minute oral presentation (notes or notecards okay) with a visual component.  The presentation is on the book students read for their independent reading project.  The Book Talk must cover the following aspects of the book:

  • Title and author
  • Setting
  • Basic Plot (beginning, middle, end)
  • Theme
  • Conflict
  • Characters


Monday, October 4, 2010

Letter #3 DUE tomorrow!

Letter #3 is due tomorrow.  Book Talks will be on Thursday.


Optional assignment was to re-write the constructed response we worked on in blocks 2 and 3 (poetry topic).


The marking period ends on Friday, so any past due work will become a zero in the grade book at 3 PM Friday.  Please respond accordingly.  There are still 3 or 4 students who have yet to turn in Letter #2!


Great work was done by all on the NECAP today.  I saw lots of kids using the prewriting strategies I taught in September, and supporting their writing with details and elaboration.  Go team!  1 down and 2 more Reading tests to go, then 3 Math tests.  We can do it!

Thursday, September 30, 2010

homework tonight

Most classes have had a break from homework for the past few nights.  Block 4 has a sample NECAP to complete for homework.  It was begun in class, and over an hour was spent on the first part, making sure students understood the types of questions and the types of responses needed. The second part needs to be done independently, as an extension of the classwork. 

Monday, September 27, 2010

Word Whiz Test One

Tonight's homework is to show your parents your Word Whiz Test, have it signed, and return it to me tomorrow.  This is part of an ongoing effort to keep your parents informed about your progress in my class.  If you did poorly on the test (75 or lower), please also CORRECT the test, attaching additional pages as necessary, so that you can continue the process of learning these words.  These words will be on every vocabulary test this year, as it is a cumulative program.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

homework due Friday

Homework due on Friday is a 4 page packet of test prep, which includes an excerpt about Tarzan.  Students were given the packet after they finished their test on Wednesday, so many of them completed it while waiting for their peers to finish testing.  It is officially due Friday.

Monday, September 20, 2010

homework tonight

Test coming up on Wednesday in vocabulary.  A worksheet is going home tonight to complete as a review.  This worksheet is due tomorrow. 


Also, Letter #2 is due on the 22nd.  You should be 2/3 finished with your book before writing this letter.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Weekend Update

I will be seated in the soaking chair at Applefest tomorrow!  Come say "Hi" and even give it a try!  We appreciate your support for this school fundraiser.

This weekend there is no new homework, though some students are finishing up work started in class today or are catching up on missing assignments.

Just a reminder that Letter #2 is due on or before the 22nd, letter # 3 is due on or before October 5, and the students will be doing book talks in front of the class on October 7. 

We'll be starting our 21st century skill-building on Monday with the assigning of student emails and the sending of our first message in language arts class.  If you've never taught a technology skill to a room full of adolescents, you probably wouldn't realize that it feels as monumental as taking those first steps on the moon!  Wish me (and your child!) super-human patience!  :)

Progress reports should be coming home on Thursday, so keep an eye out.  Feel free to call your child's advisor or Mrs. Demasi if one does not come home with your child. 

Enjoy the sunny day tomorrow after this week of cold and rain.  I know I will. 

Thursday, September 16, 2010

test coming up and homework

Two things to mention today.


1.  Next week, probably on Tuesday, we will have our first BIG test on our Word Whiz.  Word Whiz involves the learning of “fun and useful words,” word parts (prefix, suffix, root), and language arts words (like setting, characterization, et cetera).  Students will be reviewing in class, but are also encouraged to STUDY at home.  To get this started, I gave students a review sheet today that they can use to prepare themselves for the test.  I’m not requiring this be done, but strongly suggesting it.  The review sheet would be a one pager that they could carry with them and grab a quick study minute in various parts of their day, if they chose to. 


2.  Homework tonight is to complete the constructed response on The Velveteen Rabbit that we began in class. 

Wednesday, September 15, 2010


Tonight, please write an original sentence for each Fun and Useful word we have learned so far.  Be sure that your sentence is long enough and detailed enough to show that YOU know what the word means.  Block 4 students, write 5 sentences. 


I apologize for not posting last night’s homework in a timely fashion.  As a result, I will allow students one extra night to complete the assignment.  Last night’s homework was to complete a two-sided worksheet.  The heading was “Reading Comprehension -- Recognizing Fact and Details.”



Sunday, September 12, 2010

News and Events

After school study officially begins this Monday. We offer this service free of charge to all of our students Mondays - Thursdays all year.  Please encourage your son or daughter to take advantage of this opportunity!  

Applefest is this Saturday (September 18th).  Please come and support this whole-school fundraiser.  Middle School teachers will be taking turns in a soaking booth!  Middle School students are asked to bring in a 6 or 12 pack of soda to contribute to the fund raising for Applefest.  If possible, please send the soda in to TA by Wednesday.

Yankee Candle fundraiser for 7th and 8th grade trips began last week, and runs for the rest of the month.  This is the primary fundraiser for the 7th and 8th grade, and offsets the cost of the big year-end trips for our students.  Many students last year did enough fund raising to go to New York City for free! 

Keep your eyes out for an invitation to our Open House on September 29th.  We are asking that this be an event ONLY for middle schoolers and their parents.  If you must bring a smaller child, we will try to provide child care in a separate location, so that you can focus on your middle schooler and his / her teachers.

CROP Walk is also coming up -- on September 26th.  Many FHGS students, parents, and staff have supported this endeavor in the past.  If your child wishes to walk and raise money to feed the hungry in our community and around the world, he or she can get an envelope and instructions in TA.  If your child is not available to walk, but you'd like to donate, please contact your child's advisor. 

By my count, we are 12 days in to the school year, and "all is right with the world!"  We have a super group of middle school students at Fair Haven Grade School.  You parents are doing a GREAT job! Remember that we teachers are reachable by phone and email, and we appreciate hearing from you.  Let's have a great year!

Friday, September 10, 2010

Outside reading

Remaining dates for the Independent Reading Project:


Read 2/3 of book and complete Letter # 2, due on or before 9/22

Finish book and complete Letter # 3, due on or before 10/5

Book Talks presented to class on 10/7

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

This week's homework

Due on Friday, September 10th:

Students must write a letter to Mrs. Wald.  The letter must be 200 words, and follow correct business letter format as reviewed in class and illustrated on page 7 of the assignment book provided by the school.  The letter may be either typed or neatly hand written.  The content of the letter is a summary and response  to the first third of the book being read outside of class (an adventure book).  The letter will be assessed on a variety of factors, including grammar, spelling, format, organization, details, et cetera. 

The students had an extensive explanation of this in class today.  A two-sided handout was given to all, and placed in their binders.  The handout includes the rubric that will be used to assess the letters and a sample letter written last year by a student of mine.  Time was given in class today to begin the letter, and time will be given at least one more day this week, allowing for a check in to make sure students are on the right track; however, the majority of the work will need to be done at home. 

As the marking period continues, students will continue this "outside reading project."  They will need to read to the two-thirds mark, write a second letter, read to the end of the book, write a third (final) letter, and prepare and present a short "book talk" in front of the class.  All of this will need to be completed before the end of the marking period.  Due dates are not yet set for these pieces, but students may keep working, and may turn in their letters early if ready to do so.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

DUE on September 7

Please be 1/3 of the way through your outside reading book, in preparation for beginning our project on Tuesday, September 7.  Thanks!


Wednesday, September 1, 2010

This week

Continue reading in your outside reading book.  Please stop when you are approximately 1/3 of the way through.  We'll be working on our letter projects for the book next week, and you need to be about 1/3 done by then.

Monday, August 30, 2010

Homework due Tuesday, Aug 31

Please read a minimum of 10 pages in your adventure book.



Sunday, August 29, 2010

First Unit Reading

Outside reading for the first unit / marking period is adventure fiction.  Students need to choose an adventure fiction book (from home, from my shelf, from the library) and begin reading it.  They should have read at least 10 pages by Tuesday's class.  This book will need to be brought to class every day, and brought home every night, so that students always have it on hand to read.  Assignments related to the book will be posted online and at school.  The first assignment, due in about two weeks, will be to write a letter to me about the book, reflecting where the student is at that moment.  By then, he or she should be about one third of the way through the book.  

Thursday, August 26, 2010

New School Year

Welcome to the new year!

Yesterday's homework was to write a letter to me, using proper business letter format (see page 7 of assignment book), introducing yourself to me.

Tonight's homework is to read my class information sheet with your parent or guardian, and ask him or her to fill out the section at the bottom.  Remember that you need to have the whole packet for class, but if your parents want a copy, I will gladly provide it.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

End of year

Thanks to everyone for a GREAT year!  I will see you in August!  Enjoy your summer, and read a few books, okay?

Wednesday, May 26, 2010


Reminder that letter # 2 is due on Thursday, June3.
Third and final recitation is due on Tuesday, June 1.... this allows students to practice over the long weekend!  This poem is longer and more complex than the first two were.  PLEASE encourage your son/daughter to spend LOTS of time memorizing. 
Many students did not finish their illustrations for the Maya Angelou poem, "Life Doesn't Frighten Me At All" that was assigned in class yesterday and to be finished for homework.  I will take these late with a pass tomorrow.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Three Items

Three items of note:
1.  Letter # 1 for the Independent Reading Project is due this Thursday.
2. Students were given a yellow sheet with 8 poems on it today.  They must choose ONE to memorize and recite in front of the class.  Recitations will be Friday. 
3. Our class will be attending the Book Fair during part of class on Friday.  Please support this fundraiser for our school.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Extra credit

For an extra credit project in our new poetry unit, I’d like to offer the following:


Students use the text of a paragraph from Holes to create a “found” poem.  This can be done most easily by going to the ReadWriteThink website, downloading the flash player required, creating the poem by following directions, and either copying by hand or printing the poem.  A brief demonstration of this was given in class.


Here is the link:


Have fun!


Abigail P. Wald

Fair Haven Grade School

7th Grade Language Arts

802-265-3883, ext 249


Thursday, April 29, 2010

I forgot...

On today’s earlier post, I forgot to add:


  1. Students need to get their Word Whiz 6 test signed (and corrected if they wish)
  2. Extra credit optional essay on the THEME of their Asian novel is due by next Friday, and would give them a great head start on last marking period.



Upcoming Dates and Homework 4/29

Homework for tonight:  complete non-fiction reading exercise… If your paper has TWO constructed responses, choose ONE. 


Marking period ends this Friday – April 30, 2010! 


Next marking period is POETRY!  YAY!!! 


Out of class reading for next marking period is FREE CHOICE.  The project is detailed in the handout from the first day of school.  It is:  two separate emails of 400 words each.  The first should be done when half way through the book, or by May 13th at the latest.  The second letter should be done when the book is finished, or by June 3 at the latest.



Wednesday, April 28, 2010

homework 4/27

Tonight, please work on completing your first full draft of your Asian essay.  They willl be needed for writing workshop.


Tuesday, April 20, 2010

homework and upcoming dates

Tonight's homework is to write the 2nd paragraph of a 5 paragraph report on the topics being researched in class.  We've already researched and created "fact sheets," and the next logical step is to write!  Yay!  We'll do a paragraph at a time, culminating in a full first draft being completed this week. 
Two long term assignments are coming due next week.  First, students are working in class on their Asian novel projects in groups, and getting ready to present next Tuesday.  Second, students should be finishing up their mystery novels and beginning their independent reading projects, also due next Tuesday.  The Asian novel work should be done in class, while the mystery work should be considered homework. 
Our unit on Asian novels will be wrapping up next week, and we'll be moving into my favorite unit of the year -- Poetry!  We'll read, perform, memorize, analyze, create, and ENJOY poetry together.  We'll also continue working on our research and formal writing skills by choosing an author to investigate and write about.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Homework, The General Flow of Things, and Independent Reading for Marking Period 5

Greetings, parents!
I wanted to let you know what to expect over the next few weeks as far as homework goes.  We are working on reviewing capitalization rules in class, but at this point I have no plans for homework related to this.   If an assignment (of the worksheet, practice variety) is given, I will post on this blog.
The students are working in small reading groups during class.  They will be expected to spend 10 minutes writing in their journals about the book each nigt as homework.  They have been given specific questions to answer, and should write about a page each time.  
They are also working on an independent reading project as well, and should be dedicating an hour (or more) per week to reading their mystery / crime novels.  They need to be recording this reading (and any out of class reading) on their "Green Sheets" and getting them signed every Sunday night to be graded Monday in class.
Details for the mystery project: 

Independent Reading Project 5 – Mystery / Crime / Detective novel


Choose a MYSTERY, CRIME, or DETECTIVE novel.  This is a work of fiction in which the main character(s), sometimes a detective by trade, is involved in trying to solve a riddle, crime, or mystery.  The character(s) is on a search – sometimes for the “truth”, but more often than not, for the perpetrator of a crime.  The main action of the novel is focused on turning up clues, following leads, investigating possibilities, and interviewing suspects. As the novel unfolds, the reader is invited to consider the solutions and even possibly solve the mystery before the “detective”.  The novel does not end until the mystery, riddle, or crime is solved. 


The first “detective” story, “Murders in the Rue Morgue” was written by Edgar Allen Poe in 1841.  The first writer of mystery / crime / detective novels was Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, who wrote the Sherlock Holmes books.  Popular detective novels for young adult readers include the Nancy Drew series, the Hardy Boys series, The Westing Game, and From the Mixed Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler. There is also a well-written series of mysteries in the National Parks.


Read the novel, and complete one of the projects below by APRIL 27TH. All projects need to be clearly labeled with your name and the title of your book.  The project will be worth 100 points, with 10 points off per day late (you may buy one day with a late pass).




1).  After reading a book, each student selects a book report container.  This container can be a plastic bag, a manila envelope, a can, a shoebox or any other object that can hold items

2)  The students decorate the container to convey major details, elements, or themes found in the book.

3).  Students will then work on the contents of their container.  They will need to include the following:

  • Questions-Write ten questions based on the book.  Write five “right there” questions and five questions that require some more thought
  • Vocabulary-Create a ten word glossary of unfamiliar words from the book.
  • Things-Include five things (objects) that have a connection to the story, and a written explanation of each connection.



1).  The student composes eight questions to ask a main character in the book.  The students write the questions and the character’s response to each question.  The questions and responses should indicate the student’s knowledge of the story without giving away the most significant details.

2).  On the day the assignment is due, the student will either dress up as the main character or use props to depict what the character has an interest in, and will pose as he character for an “interview”.


1).  Each student creates a front cover of a newspaper that tells about events and characters in a book just read.  The newspaper must include:

  • Title-That is appropriate for the book, but not simply a copy of the title
  • Major Story-This is where the student writes a summary.
  • Comic Strip-Illustrating an event from the story.
  • Editorial-Students write an opinion about the book.



1).  The students will write at least six 100-word-minimum diary or journal entries that might have been written by the main character in the book just read.  The entries should share details about the story that will prove the students read the book.  (Note:  the easiest way to do this is to write the entries as you are reading!)

2).  The students will then make a cover for their character’s diary, and include all entries.


Monday, March 8, 2010


Tonight's homework:
1.  Vocabulary review worksheet for test on Wednesday
2.  3D object for fantasy book
Abby Wald
Grade 7 English Language Arts
Fair Haven Grade School
802-265-3883, extension 249

Monday, March 1, 2010

Upcoming due dates

FYI:  Independent Reading Projects are wrapping up.  Books should be completely read by now.  Letter # 2 is due on Wednesday the 3rd, either electronically or on paper.  The 3D object is due on Tuesday, March 9 (a week from tomorrow).  Folklore projects are in and look GREAT! 


Mr. Berryhill will be leaving us soon.  In fact, Friday will be his last day.  He has been an excellent student teacher, and we wish him well in his next placement!



Thursday, February 4, 2010

Time Management Help

Today in class, Mr. Berryhill explained a large, colorful timeline that is now posted on the wall in the classroom. This timeline shows what day we are on, using a large yellow star, and what days things are due for our two long term projects. The students DO have TWO long term projects that they are working on this marking period, so we have taken the following steps to help ensure their success:

  1. A large visual in class that makes it evident how much time remains and when due dates are
  2. A handout with due dates and details for every student
  3. Reminders of upcoming dates, both verbal and written on the board in the homework space
  4. Checking in with study hall teachers to make sure they are aware of due dates so they can support students
  5. Support time allotted in class (though MUCH of the work will need to be done at home)
  6. Generally, a lack of other homework, so that homework time can be focused on project work
  7. Posting of due dates on this blog for parent communication (see below)
  8. Posting of due dates on the team homework board in the hallway

We are confident that with the above steps, all students can be successful on these projects. Please call with any concerns and questions you may have.

Feb 10: BOTH 1st draft of folklore AND 1st letter for fantasy project due (should be half way through book by this point)


Feb 22: 2nd draft folklore due. Time will be given in class to work towards final.

Feb 24: Final draft folklore due

March 3: 2nd letter due for fantasy project (should be finished with book by now)

March 9: 3 Dimensional object due for fantasy project

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Tonight and Upcoming Important Dates

Tonight's homework is to complete the reading of the Norse creation myth and complete the section of the chart pertaining to it.

February 10th, there are two long-term assignments due. Both assignments have been known about by students for quite some time, and class time has been given. These two assignments are 1) To be halfway through fantasy/sci fi novel and write a 350 word letter or email to Mrs. Wald about it. 2)First draft of folklore writing assignment (fable, legend, or folktale).

Friday, January 29, 2010


Please get your test signed by a parent. Optional: Make corrections to improve your grade (and your learning!).

Don’t forget the following assignments coming due:

o Outline for fable, myth, or legend (depending on your class)

o Half way done your fantasy novel and write a letter / email to Mrs. Wald

o Green sheet (reading accountability form)

Have a great weekend!

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Please Allow Me to Introduce Myself...

Greetings from Mrs. Wald's room! I'm sure the word is out that there are currently two teachers in the Seventh Grade Language Arts classroom, so I thought I'd take a moment to introduce myself to those I haven't had the opportunity to meet in person. My name is Hunter Berryhill (no relation to Dr. Berryhill!) and I'll be student-teaching in Mrs. Wald's room for the next seven weeks. I'm a graduate student at the College of St. Joseph, where I'm studying to earn my teaching certification as a Secondary-Level English teacher. I grew up in Shrewsbury, Vermont, and graduated from Mill River Union High School in 1997. I went on to study at Vassar College in Poughkeepsie, New York, where I earned a Bachelor of the Arts Degree in English in 2001. Before enrolling at the College of St. Joseph I worked as a carpenter for the past five years in Montana, Washington, Alaska, and Vermont.
Becoming an English teacher has been a lifelong dream of mine and I'm very excited to be at Fair Haven Grade School. Starting next week I'll be teaching a folktale unit that will focus on identifying the different characteristics of traditional narratives (fables, myths, legends, and tall tales) and explore the reasons why sharing stories is such an integral part of human culture. During this unit we'll read a wide selection of narratives from a variety of cultures and eras in order to provide our students with a better understanding of symbolism, narrative structure, and the differences between oral and written traditions.
I'm thankful for being placed in such a tight-knit community school with a faculty that has welcomed me among their ranks. I hope to meet the parents and guardians of each and every student during my time at Fair Haven Grade School, but if that opportunity doesn't present itself, please feel free to e-mail me with any questions you may have. My e-mail address is:
Thank you for your time and hopefully I'll see you at school!
Hunter Berryhill

Friday, January 15, 2010

marking period ends

The marking period ended today.  Don't forget the field trip on Tuesday.  Have a great weekend!

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Link to sample works cited page

The page below was created by a 7th grade student. Sorry it got a bit crooked when I scanned it. The only error in formatting is that the first line of each entry should begin at the margin, and the following lines should be tabbed in. Otherwise, it is quite a good example.


Projects are due tomorrow, along with quizzes. Works cited pages are due by Thursday. See link above for a sample generated by a student. Directions were handed out in class as well.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Apostrophes A and B

A worksheet was handed out in class today on apostrophes.  Side A covers the three main rules for using an apostrophe to show possession.  Side B covers possession without apostrophes, such as the pronouns "whose" and "their".  Both sides are due on THURSDAY, not Wednesday as originally assigned.  The students had big assignments in two or three other classes, so I moved our due date to Thursday. 

Please keep in mind the Friday deadline for our long-term project (needs to be half way done) and our persuasive essay. 

Wednesday's class will focus on the first half of the movie, "The Pearl."

Monday, January 4, 2010

New Year!

Hello to 2010! 
Students worked in class today on improving their persuasive essays.  As there was much work to be done by most students, I agreed to not grade these essays until FRIDAY JANUARY 8th, allowing them more time to revise and edit outside of class.  There will not be more work time set aside in class, but students have access in study hall, language arts lab, afterschool study, and (for those with internet connection) home.  I will begin grading the essays Friday evening. 
Homework so far this week is to continue working on independent reading projects.  There will be some time set aside in class to work on these, but much of the work will need to be done at home.  I will check them on Friday and expect them to be HALF DONE by then.  They need to be completed and ready to be presented on the 13th.
There will also be a few worksheet-type assignments for homework this week, and I will give about 10 minutes to get started on them in class, as usual.