Thursday, July 9, 2015

June Recap

Ahhhh!!! I just returned from a family vacation up in the mountains of New Hampshire. It was great and really helped me relax into summer... BUT JUST FOR A MINUTE!! Because our summer learning program started on Monday and so it was back to school for me!!

We actually have a pretty interesting summer learning program in our district this year. We have teamed up with a local university and combined our summer school with their teacher education program. I have quite a bit to say on this, but I'll be saving those for later posts throughout the summer ;)

I will also be sharing a bit about my big move to a new school for the 2015-16 school year! I'm certainly feeling all the feels about this move! Excited for the "newness," but sad to leave the building and family that has been my home for the last ten years.

So, before I start up my summer-learning-posts and new-job-posts and back-to-school-posts, I wanted to properly recap the month of June because I had some pretty cool stuff going on in my classroom!!



For the last few years, my ELA-partner-in-crime, along with our fabulous TLF (this stands for teaching and learning facilitator), have had our 6th graders conduct a trial simulation. Since argument writing is part of the CCSS for 6th grade and we spend so much time writing in that genre, a trial is a perfect way to end the year. We literally bring an argument paper to life!! It is a lot, lot, lot, lot of work, but so worth it in the end!!

We begin the unit usually around mid-May. We build quite a bit of background knowledge on the role of the justice system in America and its process. As we do this, the students eventually come to see that a trial is basically a real, live argument paper (two of them actually!). Each side presents an opening statement (which tells the thesis), then they present evidence to support their thesis, and finally they present a closing statement (which restates the thesis and summarizes how the evidence supported their thesis).

This is the book that we use for the simulation. It really lays out the entire process for you.

  Here are some pictures from trial day (we hold our trial in the library):

The Witnesses (they make their own masks, Reader's Theater-style!)

Here is one of the lawyers delivering her opening statements:

Here is a picture of the prosecution (don't you love the suit with the sneakers?!?!)

Overall, it's one of the BEST days of the school year. And even though it is a ton of work, the students love the experience and usually rate it as the most memorable part of the year!



Last month, I wrote about one of my favorite ways to end the school year in math. You can read all about that here.

Well, after we finished the Theme Park project, we did this one, as well!

My students LOVED this project, too!! It was the perfect follow-up to the Theme Park project and the students could have spent days-weeks even!-working on it, making it exactly what you need for the often unpredictable end of the year.


My move from 6th grade to 7th grade for the 2015-16 school year, required me to pack up ten years worth of accumulated "stuff." It was great because I think I purged as much as I packed!!  While packing, I did notice that my beloved classroom library was going to need a new "look" for 7th graders. So, I used my Literary Genre Posters to make new labels for my book bins. (I think that I will be getting new bins next year, so this isn't the final, FINAL look!!) In this product, I've included jpegs of each of the posters, allowing you to resize the images, so you can make something other than posters... like labels for book bins!!

I LOVE how these turned out!! I'll be sure to post a picture of my finished library after I set my room up at the end of August :)

Well, I hope you all had a great end to your school year!! Hopefully this post finds you relaxing on a beach somewhere without a care in the world!!

Happy Summer!!

1 comment:

  1. Hi Maureen! The post that talks about a project we incorporate into our argument unit can be found here:

    Thanks so much for reading :)