Mrs. Roberts, Math/Science &

November 2014
November Newsletter-7th Grade
Greenfield Middle School
Read it! Get it! Sum it!
Mrs. Roberts, Math/Science &
Mrs. Zimmerman, ELA/Social Studies
In Math, students have been
busy writing equations from
graphs and data boxes, using
the constant of proportionality. We are learning about
maps and scale drawings
and how they apply to everyday life. Fractions, decimals
and percents will be our next
line of business. I must
mention the good scores on
their first 20-word math vocabulary test! Bravo, students!! In Science students
are busy taking notes and
researching factors in their
biomes. They have been
especially excited about how
the populations have
changed and will change
over time.
In Ms. Zimmerman’s ELA
classes we have finished The
Giver and are examining
characters. We have read a
play version and are comparing it to the novel. In addition we are examining figurative language like similes
and metaphors, as well as
talking about internal and
external conflicts. On Halloween we will think about
what makes a story scary
and maybe try one of our
Social Studies finds us comparing Athens and Sparta
and thinking about Greek
contributions to literature.
We recently read from the
Odyssey and compared one of
Aesop’s fables in print and
video. We will soon be read-
ing Greek myths and famous
Greeks in history. Our goal
is to consider how the
Greeks have shaped our
world from politics to architecture!
In both classes we are working on summarizing. A data
wall in the hall shows the
first scores and will reflect
data regarding students’
growing skills in this area.
Summarizing involves sifting through main ideas and
details and getting at the
core of a reading.
Important Dates:
 Nov. 7-Half Day: Parent/
Teacher conferences
 Nov. 11-No School: Veteran’s
 Nov. 26-Half Day
 Nov. 27-28-No School:
 Dec. 17-Taste of World Cultures night at GMS
Please feel free to contact us
via email; Deb Roberts –
[email protected] and
Rebecca Zimmerman –
[email protected] We’d
love to hear from you!
Ms. Caloon, ELA
Happy November!! Things
are really starting to take off
in our class. Students have
written a compare/contrast
essay, and are just finishing
up their Characterization
Essays where students had a
focus on how to thoroughly
edit and revise each other’s
papers. Our next writing
project will be writing a personal narrative. We will
review the eight parts of
speech, and dig deeper into
sentence and paragraph
structure. We are still focusing on fiction unit, and starting our second novel. Students will have a choice between “Savvy” by Ingrid
Law, “Jellicoe Road” by Me-
lina Marchetta, and “Elijah
of Buxton” by Christopher
Paul Curtis. Hope you have
a wonderful Thanksgiving,
and please feel free to contact me via email at
[email protected] or by
phone at 772-1360 ext. 1210.
Mrs. Zimmerman’s Wonder
door decorations.
Mrs. Slowinski, Grade 7 Read 180
7th graders are finishing their workshop on Turning Points where the comprehension focus is on comparing and
contrasting details from the text. First,
we read a personal essay written by
Jonathan Fong who moved to the U.S.
from Taiwan and found school and
friendships to be more difficult in his
new country. Next we followed the life
of a teen who became paralyzed after
being infected with polio. Ekiwah’s discovery of poetry set him free from the
paralysis. Finally, we read about two
girls who were separated when their
mom was imprisoned. This was a significant turning point and they persisted
in keeping their lives on the right
track. Students are now using the writing process to write personal narratives
about turning points in their lives and
including many sensory details to capture the interest of their audience. In
November, we will begin to read Literary and Informational Texts about the
Streets of Harlem including works by
Walter Dean Myers.
Students should remember to read 20
minutes every night and write 3 sentences. Read 180 students may use the
e-book and e-read website at for homework. You can contact me at
[email protected] Remember: Practice makes perfect! Read! Read! Read!
the month where they will use the remaining amount to throw a party.
Ms. Robbin’s and Ms. Caloon’s Data
Board for summary writing
Ms. Robbins, Math
Rational numbers are the excitement
happening in math class in November.
We will be reviewing the four operations (addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division) with positive and
negative numbers. This unit is the perfect time to help students gain a better
understanding of money. Integrated
into classroom activities are problems
where students practice balancing a
checkbook. Their “checking accounts”
will fluctuate throughout the month,
and there will a project at the end of
A few notes about math class:
· Students are expected to work on
math homework for 20 minutes Monday
· Agendas are provided by the school
in September, but if a student misplaces their agenda, they are required to
supply their own. We use these agendas
on a daily basis, so they are vital for
Mrs. Maddern, 7th Grade Special Education
My students continue to work hard. In
math they are starting a unit on ratios,
proportions and unit rates. There are
still some who are having difficulty
with long division, and although we
have moved on from that for the time
being, we will return to division every
now and then to keep the skills alive.
We have finished reading Holes, which
the students enjoyed a lot. Our new
Page 2
· The official day for after school help
is Tuesday, but students may stay after
Wednesdays or Thursdays as long as
there is enough notice that they want/
need to get extra help. Please feel free
to contact me at [email protected]!
All year we will be practicing
summary writing. Ask your
kids to summarize their day!
book is Hoot, about a boy who tries to
save an endangered species of owls. We
will do writing projects, vocabulary development and even some art projects
with this book. In writing class we will
be doing a lot more with summary writing of non-fiction material. Please feel
free to contact me at
[email protected]
November Newsletter-7th Grade
Greenfield Middle School
195 Federal Street
Greenfield MA, 01301
Phone: 413-772-1360
Mrs. Roberts-x1202
Mrs. Zimmerman-x1201
Mrs. Slowinski-x1214
Mrs. Maddern-x1204
Ms. Caloon-x1210
Ms. Robbins-x1211
Mr. Tucker-x1212
This year at GMS, our instructional focus
is on writing summaries based on nonfiction texts. We are telling our students to “Read it! Get it ! Sum it!”
You can participate by encouraging your
child to read non-fiction whenever possible, whether in a book, a magazine, or
even the sports pages! Ask them to sum
up what they’ve read.
Mr. Tucker, Social Studies
November is going to be a very exciting
month for our social studies classes.
Students are wrapping up their unit on
Ancient Greece by debating the legacy
Alexander the Great and taking a test
on what they have learned. From there,
we are journeying to Ancient Rome.
For the rest of November, we will be
learning about Roman history and politics, from the founding of the city to the
fall of the republic. Particular attention
will be given to the similarities between
the Roman republic and the Constitution of the United States.
At the same time we will be working
diligently on our summary writing
skills. Each week the students will be
writing summaries about a variety of
non-fiction texts, paying close attention
to how translate notes into coherent
writing. Have a great month, and feel
free to contact me at
[email protected]
Ms. Caloon’s Wonder door decorations