Matt Streit - Language Arts, 6th and 7th grade

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The week of April 22nd - 26th
I hope you all enjoyed the beautiful weather this weekend.  My 7th grade classes have grammar homework and vocabulary/spelling homework this week.  My 6th grade classes have grammar homework this week.

My 6th grade classes finish their Walk Two Moons unit this week.  6th graders have their WTM Essay first draft due this Tuesday.  6th graders also have their WTM Essay FINAL draft and final draft rubric due this Friday.  My 7th grade classes start their Choice Novel unit this week.  7th graders get their first Choice Novel study guide this Monday; that first study guide is due April 30th.

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.  I have been posting exemplary examples of student work on our classroom Facebook page.  Have a great week everyone!

6th Grade Language Arts this week
Monday:  Work on WTM Essay first drafts.  Hand out grammar homework.
Tuesday:  WTM Essay first draft due.  Hand out WTM Essay final draft rubric.  Discuss how to create your own writing rubric.
Wednesday:  Grammar homework due.  DEAR.  Work on final draft rubrics.  Revise your WTM essay.
Thursday:  Journal writing.  Work on final draft rubrics.  Edit your WTM essay.
Friday:  WTM Essay FINAL draft (and rubric) due.  Word of the Day.  DEAR.  End-of-unit reflection.  TED Talk.
** 6th Grade Choice Novel unit starts Monday, April 29th.

7th Grade Language Arts this week
Monday:  Hand out grammar homework and vocabulary/spelling homework.  Check out Choice Novels.  Hand out CN study guide #1.
Tuesday:  Journal writing.  Character details in your choice novels.
Wednesday:  Grammar homework due.  DEAR.  SIgnificant moments in your choice novel.
Thursday:  Vocabulary/spelling homework due.  Journal writing.  Extension activities for your choice novel. 
Friday:  Vocabulary/spelling quiz.  Word of the Day.  DEAR.  TED Talk.
** Choice Novel study guide #1 due Tuesday, April 30th.

Journal Writing
My 6th and 7th grade students are expected to write about 2 pages (back-to-back) in their journal every week.  I think the best way to be successful developing a writing routine is to write 10 minutes a day for 5-6 days a 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).  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.  The Quarter #4 Journal is due Monday, June 3rd.

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 (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.  The Quarter #4 Reading Log is due Thursday, May 30th.

My Daily Class Schedule
Advisory (9:40-10:01): Advisory (7th grade)
1st Hour (10:04-10:55): 6th grade Language Arts
2nd Hour (10:58-11:49): 7th grade Language Arts
3rd Hour (11:52-12:43): 7th grade Language Arts
Lunch (12:43-1:28)
4th Hour (12:46-1:37): 6th grade Language Arts
5th Hour (2:25-3:16): Preparation time
6th Hour (3:19-4:10): 7th grade Language Arts

About Me
This is my 8th year teaching Language Arts at Lake Harriet Upper and my 15th year teaching overall.  I coach the Knowledge Bowl and Quiz Bowl teams at our school; these teams are for grades 6-8.  I lead two after-school groups: Service Learning (Tuesdays) and Poetry & Short Stories (Thursdays); these groups are for grades 6-8.  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 Minnesota.  I love teaching and look forward to going to work every day.

Poem of the Week

"The Guest House"
by Jalaluddin Rumi

This being human is a guest house.
Every morning a new arrival.

A joy, a depression, a meanness.
some momentary awareness comes
as an unexpected visitor.

Welcome and entertain them all!
Even if they are a crowd of sorrows,
who violently sweep your house
empty of its furniture.
still, treat each guest honorably.
He may be clearing you out
for some new delight.

The dark thought, the shame, the malice,
meet them at the door laughing,
and invite them in.

Be grateful for whoever comes,
because each has been sent
as a guide from beyond.