Mr. Gaynor's Classroom  *  Clague Middle School  * Ann Arbor, MI  *  7th & 8th Grade  *  Room 136  *  2014-2015

Classroom Page

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7th Grade ELA Page
Biweekly Word Lists (BWL) 
Personal Narrative Writing
7th Grade Social Studies
Geography Alive - Contents
Class Guidelines

Citizenship Rubric
Student Behavior Targets

Power School Log-In (grades)

Mr. Gaynor's staff page

8th Grade Social Studies
History Alive: U. S. - Contents
Decades Project
* Social Studies
General * Science
Clague School

Ann Arbor Public Schools

December 13, 2014:  It shall likely take the whole weekend to catch up with assignments that were turned in this week.  I shall send out a note when Power School is up to date.

I have tried to make it clear to students in all of my classes that I am more than willing to individualize assignments so that ALL students can show what they have learned.  I give students the opportunity to go above and beyond, but there is not one arbitrary target that works for all students.   Students who are feeling overwhelmed, or are not keeping up, should let me know.  It will only take a minute or two to conference and adjust assignments.   What students should NOT do is to get too far behind and feel hopeless.   It is a valuable life lesson to learn to deal with problems rather than let them simmer and grow.   

Hold on; one more week before a welcome two week break.    "The natives are restless" - students and teachers both.   We will need every moment, however, to be productive in class this week - "no rest for the weary."    But extra credit to those who research the origin and meaning of these phrases.    And thank you for talking to your child after reading their Behavior Report.

All of Clague's music groups - orchestra, band, choir, and drumming - will be performing at 9 am on Dec. 16, in a collage format; you are invited.

7th Grade ELA:  The BWL VI list is impressive; you might ask your child to share the words with you - and see how your proposed synonym matches up with the ones they found.   Students also have permission to work with a parent on this week's Cloze assignment (fill in the blank with the correct word).    The quiz will be in the form of a Criss-Cross puzzle to help with the difficulty of learning so many new words.

Most of the time this week will be spent writing, critiquing, revising, editing and creating a Final Draft of the Personal Narrative Capstone Writing Assignment, due on Friday.   I have managed to carve out time on computers for 3 days this week, which should facility the process.  We will be in the library on Friday so students will be able to check out books to read over the break.

7th Grade Social Studies:  Chapter 9 is on Spatial Inequality in Mexico City - or in other words, about the Rich and the Poor.   As we proceed through the Unit on Latin America we'll also highlight key aspects of  its history, from the early Civilizations of the Aztecs, Maya and Inca, to the Conquistadors - how the Europeans took control of the land in their search for gold, up to the Independence Movements of the early 1800's.

8th Grade Social Studies:  This week Ch. 11 - Political Developments from 1789 to 1800 - provides yet another opportunity to argue opposite sides of an issue - those of Thomas Jefferson and the Republican Party taking on Alexander Hamilton and the Federalists.   We then have a 'conference' to rally and debate, and then solve the problem of the results of the election of 1800.

Students need to find time this week to write up their Current Event assignment on the Michigan Lame Duck Legislative session. 
Going to Google News and searching this topic should uncover many articles.   While bills on several issues have been introduced, and some passed in one of the houses, few have become laws so far.   The Detroit News editorializes today, "Lawmakers have just one job to do in this final week of their lame duck legislative session: pass a bill to fix the stateís roads. Or perhaps two jobs: pass a roads bill and donít do anything stupid."   Many are not optimistic that the latter will be achieved.

Students took notes on the back of their Decades Project direction sheet as to how to write up the events for their time line - due Thursday.    The first report, 1-2 pages, is due on January 9.  They must get their topic approved.  For all three reports they are also to write notes, and use those notes to write the report.  A bibliography - 3 or more citations - is also required for each of the 3 reports they will write.
A Word A Day
Grammar Guide
Guided Reading Groups
Personal Narrative Writing

Project Baby X

  or here (pdf)

U.S.hist. Decades
Decades Project

2014 Elections Assignment
Results: Washtenaw County;
             Michigan;    National
Immigration views:
Reuters   Politico   Fox
Michigan Lame
  Duck  Legislation
 -->  Update - Dec. 5

Newsela: (3rd Hr) ODVDH   
(4th)  ZDVJI    (6th) JZPBE
Scholastic:  FMCHQ 
How to write a citation

09-10 * 10-11 * 11-12 * 12-13 * 13-14 * Top
Intro letter  *   Mid Year Review
World Bank Data:             
GDP  / GDP per capita