Matt Streit - Lang. Arts, grades 6 & 7

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The week of April 16th - 20th
I hope everyone had a nice snowy weekend and a nice day off on Monday!  My 7th grade classes have vocabulary/spelling homework this week.  None of my classes have grammar homework this week.

My 6th grade classes finish reading Walk Two Moons this week.  6th graders now have their WTM Essay Prewriting assignment due this Wednesday.  The first draft of their WTM Essay is due April 24th.  6th graders now have their third and final WTM study guide due this Friday.  6th graders also have a WTM Vocabulary quiz this Friday; they can study their vocabulary words from the first three study guides in preparation for this quiz.

My 7th grade classes now have their Freak The Mighty-King Arthur final project due this Wednesday.  7th graders start their Choice Novel unit this Thursday.  7th graders get their first Choice Novel study guide this Thursday; that study guide is due April 27th.

The Service Learning group meets this Tuesday from 4:15-5:40.  The Poetry & Short Stories group meets this Thursday from 4:15-5:40.  Be sure to check out our classroom Facebook page too.  Have a great week everyone!

6th Grade Language Arts this week
Monday:  No school.  Snow day.
Tuesday:  Kindness project.  Work on WTM Essay Prewriting.
Wednesday:  WTM Essay Prewriting due.  DEAR.  Chapters 40-43 of Walk Two Moons.  Work on WTM Essay first draft.
Thursday:  Journal writing.  Chapter 44 of Walk Two Moons.  Work on WTM Essay first draft.
Friday:  WTM study guide #3 due.  WTM Vocabulary quiz.  Word of the Day.  DEAR.  TED Talk.
** WTM Essay first draft due Tuesday, April 24th.
** WTM Essay FINAL draft due Friday, April 27th.

7th Grade Language Arts this week
Monday:  No school.  Snow day.
Tuesday:  Kindness project.  Hand out vocabulary/spelling homework.
Wednesday:  FTM-KA final project due.  DEAR.  Check out Choice Novels.
Thursday Vocabulary/spelling homework due.  Journal writing.  Hand out Choice Novel study guide #1.
Friday:  Vocabulary/spelling quiz.  Word of the Day.  DEAR.  TED Talk.
** Choice Novel study guide #1 due Friday, April 27th.

Journal Writing
My 6th and 7th grade students are expected to write about 2 pages (back-to-back) in their journal every week.  We will have time for journal writing on Tuesdays and Thursdays in Language Arts, but students will likely have to do most of their journal writing at home.  Students can write about any subject they choose, and in any genre (poetry and illustrations are encouraged; just write some extra pages to make up the difference).  Near the end of each quarter, students will have their journals graded by the amount they wrote.  Students who write 15 pages (back-to-back) each quarter will receive the full 50 writing points for this project (students should average about 300 words per page, about 4500 words total).  By the way, your journal is private - I will not read it unless given permission first.  Don't lose sight of the overall goal for journal writing: to improve your writing skills and to feel more comfortable writing.  Your Quarter #4 Journal is due Monday, June 4th.

DEAR: Drop Everything And Read!
My 6th and 7th grade students are expected to read 20 minutes every day from a book of their choosing.  Parents will verify this independent reading by signing a reading log.  Find a book that you enjoy reading, and bring it to Language Arts class every day (and bring it home every day).  My 6th and 7th grade classes will have blocks of DEAR time every Wednesday and some Fridays in Language Arts.  Your Quarter #4 Reading Log is due Thursday, May 31st.

My Daily Class Schedule
Advisory (9:40-10:01): Advisory (7th grade)
1st Hour (10:04-10:55): 7th grade Language Arts
2nd Hour (10:58-11:49): Preparation time
3rd Hour (11:52-12:43): 6th grade Language Arts
4th Hour (12:46-1:37): 7th grade Language Arts
Lunch (1:47-2:22)
5th Hour (2:25-3:16): 7th grade Language Arts
6th Hour (3:19-4:10): 6th grade Language Arts

About Me
This is my 7th year teaching Language Arts at Lake Harriet Upper, and my 14th year teaching overall.  I coach the Knowledge Bowl, Quiz Bowl, and Debate teams at our school; these teams are for grades 6-8.  I lead two after-school groups: Service Learning (Tuesdays from 4:15-5:40) and Poetry & Short Stories (Thursdays from 4:15-5:40); these groups are for grades 6-8.  I am the Professional Development chair at our school, and I serve on the Instructional Leadership and Positive School-Wide Engagement teams.  I have teaching licenses in 5-12 Language Arts, 5-12 Social Studies, and 5-8 Math.  I have a Master of Education degree from the University of Idaho and a Bachelor's degree from the University of MN.  I love teaching and I look forward to going to work every day.

Awesome Poem of the Week

"Onto a Vast Plain"
by Rainer Maria Rilke

You are not surprised at the force of the storm-
you have seen it growing.
The trees flee.  Their flight
sets the boulevards streaming. And you know:
he whom they flee is the one
you move toward. All your senses
sing him, as you stand at the window.

The weeks stood still in summer.
The trees' blood rose. Now you feel
it wants to sink back
into the source of everything. You thought
you could trust that power
when you plucked the fruit:
now it becomes a riddle again
and you again a stranger.

Summer was like your house: you know
where each thing stood.
Now you must go out into your heart
as onto a vast plain. Now
the immense loneliness begins.

The days go numb, the wind
sucks the world from your senses like withered leaves.

Through the empty branches the sky remains.
It is what you have.
Be earth now, and evensong.
Be the ground lying under that sky.
Be modest now, like a thing
ripened until it is real,
so that he who began it all
can feel you when he reaches for you.