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

Classroom Page

Please feel free to e-mail me (gaynor@aaps.k12.mi.us) if you have any questions, comments,  suggestions, or words of praise.

7th Grade ELA Page
Biweekly Word Lists (BWL) 
7th Grade Social Studies
Geography Alive - Contents
Clague School
CURRICULUM LINKS:
Power School Log-In (grades)
Citizenship Rubric
8th Grade Social Studies
History Alive: U. S. - Contents
Math * Social Studies
General * Science
Class Guidelines
Mr. Gaynor's staff page


September 12, 2014:  Two weeks in and we're still looking good, through reality perhaps hasn't hit yet.    With serious homework due on Monday, for the 7th graders, truth will tell out.

Many thanks to parents who were able to make it to Curriculum Night.  For those who did not, your child has a "Parent Contact form" for you to fill out and return.    When I used the parent e-mail feature in PowerSchool to send out a link to this update it appeared to reach less than half of the parents who were here.   Therefore I will be creating my own parent e-mail list, using the forms you fill out.  I do want to make sure that communication is available both ways.

There is at least one grade posted in Power School for each class.   Please make sure you can access your child's grades.   If you click on the grade for a class, a list of assignments and scores for each one will come up.    Students are keeping their own list of assignments and scores on their Assignment Record Sheet as well, and for each class,  the links above, or below, go to pages with  assignments listed as well.

Clague's one big fundraiser gets launched this week.   Students will receive information and a large envelope with directions. The "postcard book" is due back on Friday.  Friday is also the first Clague Fun Night of the year - open to all students.   Stay tuned for information for an all school student activity our half day on September 24, one that will encourage fitness, good nutrition and healthy habits, and will serve as a fundraiser for Mott Children's Hospital.

Please check out the Clague PTSO page; If are not signed up to receive the weekly Clague e-notes, do so for up to date school information.   

CLASS NOTES:   (See the Weekly Planner for more information.)

7th Grade ELAHomework due Monday - be prepared to tell a story that lasts 30-60 seconds about yourself and/or a family member.  This MUST be practiced out loud, and timed, at home.

Students should have a fiction book of their choice to read in class every day.  I will be introducing Reading Journals on Tuesday.    I will also be giving directions for how students are to put together and present a book talk.

We're continuing work on the first Biweekly Word List (BWL I), with work due on Wednesday, and the quiz on Friday.  As it turns out this is the first real introduction for most students to the Parts of Speech, as well as Dictionary Skills.    Well, our school system hasn't been known for rigorous teaching of grammar; nor of handwriting, which will be a focus when students copy future BWLs.

7th Grade Social Studies:  On Monday students are to turn in the Home/Map packet - a 5 part assignment they had 10 days to work on.    I expect directions to be followed and work to be neat.   It appears that about a third of the students have been working on this; the rest may have a miserable weekend ahead, trying to do this all at the last moment, when it's too late to ask questions.  

I underestimated the time it would take in class to complete the Unit 1 Mapping Lab, so the due date has  been postponed until next Thursday.   On Monday and Tuesday we'll be in the computer lab doing research on tourism in Canada.  I will be assigning the province or territory in class.

7th & 8th grade Social Studies:  Wednesday, September 17 is Constitution Day.  Lawyers have volunteered to come into social studies classes in all AAPS social studies classes to do a lesson on the constitution.  In 6th grade the lesson involved how juries were chosen.   Both 7th and 8th grade lessons concern aspects of the Bill of Rights.   Beyond this lesson, students will be learning about all 10 amendments guaranteeing rights to the people.   We will also be looking at Thursday's Scotland's vote for independence - relevant to our 7th grade World Culture and Geography curriculum and the 8th grade chapter this week on the U.S. Declaration of Independence.   Also note that students in both 7th and 8th grades have been issued a textbook, one they are to keep at home. 

8th Grade Social Studies:  Please see the paragraph directly above, about Constitution Day and textbooks.  

The first homework assignment - involving  the website
Newsela.com is due Thursday.   Students now have accounts to the website, and should be clear on assignment directions.

In preparing for the chapter on colonists' unrest with British rule, I carried out a simulation, a metaphor if you will, in class today.   With the students thinking the scenario was real, they became were quite upset.    Apparently I was convincing, as I received an ovation afterwards.    (I didn't carry it far enough for a full revolt.)   You might ask your child about this.   The idea of course is they will be able to more readily identify with the protests and ultimate revolt of the colonists against British rule.

A Word A Day Canada - Tourism
Newsela: (3)  (4)  (6) JZPBE * Scotland's Vote
How to write a citation.
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