We have just finished up around a month of Level 7 together, and the students have
already made significant progress in their learning and classroom attitudes.
In Spelling, we have been focusing on long and short vowel sounds. The students work
together to construct definitions for these words and then complete book work activities
that require them to apply these words in different contexts. For homework, students
must make sentences with their spelling words to demonstrate a higher level of
In Grammar, we began by refreshing our memory on the basics of sentence structure.
Students were tasked to identify the subject and predicates of a sentence and articulate
how they work together to communicate an idea. Just recently, we started looking into
correcting run-on sentences by either using periods or conjunctions and commas. This
may prove useful for other subjects, especially Writing, where such errors are common.
The goal is for students to be able to self-correct their mistakes, showing that they can
use what they’ve learned in their own work.
In Social Studies, we went all the way back to the beginning of American civilization,
having fruitful discussions about where these individuals came from, what they were
following, and how they survived. We compared the diets of hunter-gatherers and
farmers as well as how differing regional landscapes affected general lifestyles.
In Science, we started a unit about the systems of the body, including the respiratory,
skeletal, muscular, and digestive systems. Each lesson started with a brainstorm
regarding what students already knew, and then building on that knowledge with
information from the textbook and occasionally a practical demonstration with props.
For example, for our digestive lesson, students were able to see how the stomach
releases acid to break down food by imitating the process with bread, a Ziploc bag, and
food coloring.
In Reading, we have been focusing on the target skill of Story Structure through a story
called “Because of Winn-Dixie.” They were able to then carry over their understanding
of this skill in their Writing Project, where students were asked to write about
discovering a secret and powerful magic mirror. Unlike in previous writing projects,
students were given more freedom in deciding the sequence of their story. To aid with
this, we brainstormed ideas about how and where a magic mirror could be discovered,
following with exactly what kinds of powers the item could possess. Does it allow time
travel? Teleportation? Mimicry? Having read the students drafts, it was apparent that
they had much fun with this prompt. All the while, they were able to show how the
mirror caused certain events to occur, which was the main purpose of the project.
Teacher Arthur