Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Mapping Out the End of the Year

Ladies and Gentlemen... we are in the home stretch!

Only about 6 more weeks left in the school year. How can that possibly be? What a fast year!

My kids are all finished with testing season... PARCC is over (aside from a few make-ups here and there for some kids) and our 7th grade ELA cumulative exam is done (and the SGO calculations complete!). So, we are now free to move into what I like to call the "Ahhh"-season. It's during this time that I really try to make sure that the ARTS in ELA is emphasized.

So... here is what I've got on tap for the next 6 weeks:


We are going to read and analyze four myths from our Holt Literature series and then do a little myth writing ourselves with some help from:

Then, we are going to read a few excepts from Holt's Unit 7: Biographies and Autobiographies. After we do some reading, I'm thinking a little research project, maybe using this:

And then, I think we are going to finish off the year with a whole-class novel. Right now, I'm debating between Tuck Everlasting and Ruby Holler. Tuck is my most favorite read-aloud of all time. And I have an entire unit with all the foldables for our ISN already done in this product:

But, I haven't taught Ruby Holler in a long time and it's SOOOOOO good! And our library has such a beautiful (i.e. hardback!) class set of it...

The thing is, though, I reread it while my kids were taking the PARCC. And I realized that I haven't read it since the birth of my boy/girl twins. And I also realized that it will be impossible for me to read the book without picturing my babies' faces as Florida and Dallas. And therefore, I also came to realize, that, despite knowing there is a perfectly happy ending, there isn't a chapter where I don't choke up reading about the misadventures of Florida and Dallas. 

Now, I'm totally fine with crying while reading to my kids... I've done it plenty of times. But, it's usually just at a part or two... NOT AT A SCENE FROM VIRTUALLY EVERY CHAPTER! So, needless to say, I'm still debating if I can pull off Ruby!

But, whether I choose Tuck or Ruby, I'm pretty sure that I'm going to use this as our final project:

I love projects that can be extended and take us right up to the very last day of school!


So, right now we are doing a bit of poetry writing. But, as soon as we are finished, we are going to move on to this:

This project can be used in reading or writing, but I'm pretty sure that I'll fit it into my writing time.

Once that is finished, I think I'm going to break out this product again:

But this time, rather than just writing snapshots, I'm going to let them write a short story. I'm not a huge fan of short story writing, mostly because it's impossibly difficult for a 7th grader to tell a complete story, but they've been BEGGING to write some fiction, so now is a good time.

And finally, I think that I'm going to close out the last week with this:

Again, this can easily be stretched out until the very last day of school, and that is most certainly a plus!


Now, I don't teach math anymore, but I did for years! In those days, I always ended the year with this:

I used the project faithfully for years and it never fails to disappoint! The kids have a blast and do quite a bit of math in the process.

Last year, I followed up the Theme Park Project with this and the kids really enjoyed it. And again, it took us right up until the last day of school!

So, there you have it! My last-six-weeks-of-school plan! How do you end your school year? Do you like to stick to business as usual, or bust out some of the more creative stuff? I'd love to hear from you!

Happy Teaching!!

1 comment:

  1. Holy moses - I am planning on our last few weeks (today was 19 days!) for my 7th graders to write their own myths because they love writing fiction, but I wasn't entirely sure how to prep them before we begin writing. That product you listed is THE ANSWER! Couldn't have been better timed.
    Thank you as always for your amazing content and blog.