Back to school

Back to school

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

2017-2018 School Year


“Do not train children to learning by force and harshness, but direct them to it by what amuses their minds, so that you may be better able to discover with accuracy the peculiar bent of the genius of each.”
Plato


Engaged vs Entertained

During my introductions of the class expectations and course description, I told my students that I wanted them to be "engaged" in their work for English class. We discussed the difference between "entertained" and "engaged".  When a person is entertained, they are passively watching a presentation. When a person is engaged, they are actively participating. Even if a person doesn't like a specific topic, they can still participate in learning about it. 

During their introductory speech, I asked each student to think of one thing that they were good at. It could be a sport like baseball or football, a talent like drawing or reading, or a personality characteristic like kindness or empathy. The students were very thoughtful about their answers. 

I am looking forward to getting to know each 7th grader and discovering the uniqueness that each one of them possess. Let's be engaged in our learning!

Monday, January 9, 2017

2016-2017 School Year

The greater danger for most of us lies not in setting our aim too high and falling short; but in setting our aim too low, and achieving our mark.
Michelangelo

Surviving seventh grade English can be quite challenging so I prepared a list to help seventh graders navigate their way. 
  • Be prepared with paper, sharpened pencils, books; stow that phone away!
  • Be on time in assigned seat; give me notice if you are leaving during class.
  • Raise your hand if you have questions. Be patient; I will get to you asap.
  • Respect the desks, computers, books you are using.
  • Ask for missing assignments if you are absent (band lesson, school activity, sickness).
  • Do your homework on time! Study your spelling! Finish your worksheet! Lateness is costly.
  • Read AR books each quarter. This reading is worth 10% of total grade! “B” can go to “C”.
  • Do your own work. Check handbook for cheating policy. I may give you a zero.
  • Ask permission to use bathroom, go to office/nurse, get drink of water.
  • Use your best handwriting and spelling skills. Be a good communicator.
  • Check your grade regularly. I will update my grade book on Fridays.
  • Be curious. Be thoughtful. Be open-minded. Be courteous. 
To the parents:  I send out a weekly email to parents including a spelling list and other assignment sheets as need. So, parents, please check your email. If you wish to get a hold of me, please send me an email (sjohnson@pp.k12.mn.us). I will answer you as promptly as possible.I do not update this blog on a regular basis as I have found that parents check their email more often.


I am looking forward to teaching these seventh graders more about literature, grammar, spelling, and writing this school year. 

Monday, October 26, 2015

2015-2016 School Year

What a boisterous group of 7th graders I have this year! I send out a weekly email to parents including a spelling list and other assignment sheets as need. So, parents, please check your email. If you wish to get a hold of me, please send me an email (sjohnson@pp.k12.mn.us). I will answer you as promptly as possible.
I do not update this blog on a regular basis as I have found that parents check their email more often.
I am looking forward to getting to know each 7th grader better and helping them to succeed as a 7th grade student.


Monday, April 7, 2014

We are done with third quarter. The year is flying by now. In a couple of weeks we will finish reading Where The Lilies Bloom and move on to our poetry unit. April is Poetry month! It is difficult to post assignments here so please contact me via email if you are wondering what you missed. Happy Spring!

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

One quarter is finished, and we are halfway through the second quarter already. The 7th graders have been studying Greek mythology. The students always enjoy learning about how naughty the Olympic Gods are; of course, we discuss that these are fictional characters. Now they are presenting their Powerpoints about a character they have selected. Our next literature unit will be reading the novel "The Black Cauldron". The goal is to finish this book before the end of the quarter so some students might want to read it over Christmas break. AR book points are also due at the end of the quarter so 7th graders are encouraged to get those points done early!
I will try to post current spelling lists, but the process is more cumbersome than in the past so it may not happen. (New technology is NOT always easier!)The students get a list every Monday for their Friday test. But if you would like a list, I can send it to you via email. Just send me a reminder.
Have a Merry Christmas!

Friday, September 20, 2013

Week of Sept 23-27 -
We have finished 3 weeks of school already! The 7th graders have been working on capitalization rules and literature terms for analyzing a short story. They also wrote a letter to their parents about the first week of high school and have taken two spelling tests. I have updated the gradebook so grades should be current. Please login to JMC and check them there.`
Spelling pretests are given on Monday with final tests given on Friday. Parents, please practice with your student at home. The spelling list is available on Monday afternoon online, and the students also get a printed copy of their list.
This week: Spelling List #3, review of capitalization rules, reading a second short story, and a writing exercise about creating a character.
If your child gets behind, I will try to send you an email or call you. Please email me as well; this is the best way to contact me.

Thursday, September 5, 2013

First Week of School!! Sept. 3-6 - Tuesday: Review of syllabus and class expectations; students have a copy in folders. Parents can review online. Wednesday: Class introductions speech; introduction to media center; check out AR books! Thursday: Spelling leveling test; what level are you? Friday: finish class introductions; lesson one of capitalization