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Gothic Horror Literature, a sub-genre of Fiction, is what we are studying now. The novel we have just started is called Daemon Hall. It is a series of short stories where the protagonist and antagonist are haunted. Ian Tremblin, a macabre mystery writer, is holding a contest for 5 finalist in a haunted castle in Maplewood, NY.  We can't wait to see what happens. Now, I can evaluate a novel based on its genre characteristics.
Posted by kvanstrom  On Oct 20, 2014 at 2:43 PM 8 Comments
Grammar, grammar, grammar!  We reviewed all the types of pronouns and practiced pronoun-antecedent agreement. Hopefully we can remember these lessons when we write our essays.
Posted by kvanstrom  On Oct 16, 2014 at 5:21 PM 7 Comments
We talked about mood and tone while we read the story "Sherlock Holmes and the Speckled Band." Arthur Conan Doyle used so many descriptions that helped us visualize the setting of the story. We also learned about the importance of deduction in solving a mystery. It was a long story and we had to use evidence from the text to determine who the murderer was. I was able to analyze the mood of the story by using supporting details such as "complete silence, outside sounds of the night bird and the cheetah, and the steady tolling of the parish clock." 
Posted by kvanstrom  On Oct 16, 2014 at 5:18 PM 38 Comments
During this week, we made a Descriptive Essay about an important person in our lives. We learned about mysteries when we visited the Learning Center. And since we had completed our fiction books, we created haiku decks for book reports. I can use words, phrases, and clauses so my papers make sense (8.1c).
Posted by kvanstrom  On Sep 26, 2014 at 2:14 PM 16 Comments
This week we learned about foreshadowing and flashbacks.  We also learned how to identify the difference between an internal conflict and an external conflict. This week we also got our own Chromebooks! I can compare and contrast 2 different texts and how the different structure of each text determines its style and meaning. (RL 8.5) Written by Jessica Valdez Arcos
Posted by kvanstrom  On Sep 19, 2014 at 3:19 PM 22 Comments
This week we read a few stories and made predictions. We learned we have to modify our predictions while we are reading. We also spent a lot of time talking about the theme or central idea of a text. Hopefully we can all have integrity like Don Anselmo. We also practiced analyzing functional texts, which is a skill we will always need. We tried to find a way to get to a Bears game on December 4th using the Metra Train Schedule. This reminds us that we need to read to find out information.  I can analyze the text to make connections between people, ideas and events. (R.8.3)
Posted by kvanstrom  On Sep 19, 2014 at 2:05 PM 6 Comments
We learned about each other when the students all presented a Haikudeck presentation about themselves. It was nice to see them use media effectively. It was nice to see they could make a presentation with excellent visuals and use appropriate eye contact, volume and clear punctuation. (SL 8.4)  We also learned about how an author develops different character points of view in a story while reading "Raymond's Run."    It has been a great start to the year.
Posted by kvanstrom  On Sep 17, 2014 at 7:41 AM 5 Comments
Science: 7th Grade Policies and Expectations Welcome: - This syllabus outlines the expectations for science for this year.  Everyday: You will need to bring to class: a pencil, a pen/pencil, your notebook, calculator and your assignment note-book  HOMEWORK: Always check the left corner of the board for the day’s assignment. Homework is due at the beginning of class. Work turned in during or after class will be considered late. Late homework will be accepted the following day but 10% of total credit will be deducted each day. (For example, if you earn an 80% on an assignment but it is a day late, your grade will be a 70%.) A pre-lab will be assigned for some experiments prior to the lab and must be completed by the date required in order to participate in the lab. If this pre-lab is not completed, you will be unable to participate in the lab during class and you must make up the lab; your lab will also be considered late.  PRESENTATION OF YOUR WORK: ? All science work must be completed in pencil or blue/black pen only.  ? All paper must be neat and not have any torn or frayed edges.  ? All assignments must have a proper heading of your name, date, and class period. No name, no credit. Any papers found with no name will be placed in the “no-name” pile near the windows. This pile is recycled every other week.  Don’t forget your name!  IF YOU ARE ABSENT: If you are absent or miss class for any reason, it is your responsibility to see me and make up any missing notes, assignments, or labs. If these assignments and labs are not made-up, you will receive a zero.  SAFETY: ? It is vital that you follow all directions while using materials and performing experiments. Dangerous behavior puts EVERYONE at risk and will not be tolerated. If you are told to sit out during a lab due to dangerous behavior you will receive a zero for that lab. You will be given an alternative in-class assignment in place of the laboratory assignment.  ? Safety goggles must be worn for labs involving hazardous materials. No exceptions will be made.  ? Long hair must be “tied back”.  ? All students are required to push in their chair when they get up from their seat. Keep all aisles clear of books and feet in case of an emergency.  CURRICULUM: The 7th grade science curriculum focuses on life science and physics. The following topics will be discussed during the year: o Lab safety o The Nature of Science (scientific method, variables, etc.) o Measurement o Cells o Cell Chemistry and processes o Physics: motion and force o Classification o Life origins o Microbiology: bacteria, viruses, protists, fungi o Comparative anatomy: simple animals to vertebrates GRADES: o Tests and quizzes: 40% of total grade o Labs: 35% of total grade o Homework, classwork and small projects: 25% of total grade  PERSONAL RESPONSIBILITIES FOR ALL 7th GRADE STUDENTS: ? Check your grades on Power School, for all your classes, at least once a week. Ask your homeroom teacher if you need your Power School password. ? Speak to your teachers if you have any concerns of any kind. You have a right to feel safe and welcome in your school. Teachers are here to help you. You are not alone.   Ask for help if you feel confused about your school work. The sooner you ask for help, the sooner you will understand and the better you will feel.  To Parents and Guardians: Please feel free to contact me if you have questions or concerns, or just want to check in from time to time about your student. Please check Power School periodically for grade updates and encourage your child tospeak with me if there are any concerns.  Thank you.  Mr. Russ Pedersen
Posted by rpedersen  On Sep 16, 2014 at 11:39 AM 6 Comments
We have started our Magazine Fundraiser.  Postcard books are due on Friday, September 12th.  The first turn in day is Tuesday, September 16th.  The second turn in day is Friday, September 19th.  The final turn in day is Tuesday, September 23rd.   Let's have a great Fundraiser!  The group that sells the most magazines (based on membership %) will win a Pizza Party.  The more members of our bands that participate will make our chances greater for winning the Pizza Party.   If your child sells 10 or more magazine subscriptions, he/she will earn the Limo Lunch.  This is a fun trip! 
Posted by tsmith  On Sep 11, 2014 at 12:42 PM 3 Comments
We are comparing and contrasting fiction and nonfiction using "The 11:59" and "The Baker Heater League". Who knew Pullman porters could be so entertaining! Do you know the difference between abstract and collective nouns? Hopefully all students are practicing using the cites on this website. 
Posted by kvanstrom  On Sep 03, 2014 at 9:17 AM 3 Comments
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