Monday, April 29, 2013


Weekly Preview 4/29-5/3, 2013

I can't believe it's finally May.  6 weeks left of school.  5 more Mondays!

Here's what is happening in room 101 this week:

6th GOAL:  Students are having their last literature circle discussion and working on their final projects this week.  We'll start presenting next Wednesday.

7th GOAL:  Students are frantically working on their animated movies.  2 weeks until premiere!

8th GOAL:  Students are frantically working on their documentary films (and battling our flawed technology... cross your fingers that the technology gods smile down on them this week!).  2 weeks until premiere!

8th Critical Concepts:  Students will be working on an individualized digital citizenship unit this week in the computer lab. 

Monday, April 22, 2013

7th Grade GOAL Blog Assignment 4/23/13

1.  Update your reading log on Goodreads.  Review and rate books as necessary and document your progress in the book you're currently reading.

2.  Write a journal letter on your blog about the book you're currently reading.

3.  Choose one of the following questions to answer on your blog after your journal letter:

*  Discuss your progress, excitement, frustrations, questions, etc. about the stop-motion animated movies.

*  Discuss your personal goals for the rest of the school year.  How are you going to make the last 6 weeks really count?

*  Discuss a recent news event.  Give your thoughts, opinions, comments, and/or questions.

DUE: 4/26/13

Weekly Preview: 4/22-4/25, 2013

As we reach the end of April, we're really heading into the final stretch of the school year.  Hang on to your hats, everyone!  Here's what's happening in room 101 this week:

6th GOAL:  Students are finishing literature circle discussions this week with the last discussion on Friday.  Next week, they'll be working on the projects they'll present to the class to show what they've learned.

7th GOAL:  Students have begun the painstaking, fun process of filming their stop-motion animated movies.  It's a labor of love!

8th GOAL:  All the interviews have been filmed, all the facts have been researched.  Now it's time for the process of documentary filmmaking to really begin as students edit film clips, write and record scripts, and insert still photographs into their iMovies.

8th Critical Concepts:  Students are beginning the week talking about tolerance.  We're tying this into the Holocaust unit they just finished in English 8, and we'll branch off from there.

Have a super week!

Thursday, April 18, 2013

The Giver Resources

Today, the Fairfield Middle School Rabid Readers Book Club will be discussing the book The Giver by Lois Lowry.  Here are some resources we'll use during today's book party:

Interview with Lois Lowry

Utopia Webquest

Discussion Questions

Euthanasia Debate Activity
What is Euthanasia? (resources)

Sequels (?) to The Giver

Online Book Log with

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Weekly Preview 4/15-4/19, 2013

It's hard to believe we're at the 3-week reporting period for the last quarter already... this year is flying by!  Here is what's happening in room 101 this week:

6th GOAL:  Students are working hard in literature circles.  They meet every day to discuss the reading and read again for the next day.  All books fall under the theme "Moral Dilemma."

7th GOAL:  Students are preparing sets and characters for their animated movies.  We start filming next week!

8th GOAL:  Students are conducting interviews, researching their topics, and finding pictures for their documentary films.  Next week we'll be writing and recording our scripts.

8th Critical Concepts:  Students are finishing up their financial literacy unit by talking about job applications and taxes withheld from paychecks.  On Friday we'll have a posttest for the whole unit.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Weekly Preview: 4/8-4/12, 2013

April Showers bring May flowers... we need to keep that in mind this week!  Here's what you can expect in room 101 this week:

6th GOAL:  Students will continue with literature circle discussions this week.  Their books all center around the theme "Moral Dilemma."

7th GOAL:  Students will be brainstorming ideas for their animated movies.  Filming will start next week.

8th GOAL:  Students will be finalizing topics for their documentary films.  They will be setting up the interviews they'll be filming, and they'll be starting research on their topics.

8th Critical Concepts:  Students will have a guest speaker this week.  Kyle Selberg from Cambridge Investment Research will be coming to discuss investments vs. spending.  For the rest of the week, students will be playing the Game of Life and documenting all their expenses and income.  After the game, we'll be talking about how different decisions affected the outcome of the game and how that compares to real life.

Make it a great week, everyone!

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Weekly Preview: 4/1-4/5, 2013

Welcome back from Spring Break!  Here's what is happening in Miss Nelson's room this week:

6th GOAL:  As a follow-up to our Great Ocean Rescue collaborative activity, we'll be exploring more oceanography resources.

7th GOAL:  This week, students will start blogging on their very own blogs.  We will also look at new examples of stop-motion animation in preparation for our upcoming animated movies.

8th GOAL:  We'll start the week reflecting on the whole Images of Greatness project.  From there, we'll see some examples of documentary films and start brainstorming for our own documentary film projects.

8th Critical Concepts:  As part of our financial literacy unit, we're starting the week talking about change and how to count back change.  We'll end the week playing The Game of Life and documenting all our income and expenditures as we play.