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HELP ME, PLEASE:  Would you hire a mechanic who didn't have a wrench?  How about a doctor without a stethoscope?You wouldn't want pay for the services of the mechanic or the doctor because they don't have the right tools to accomplish the job, right?This is the challenge the seventh grade teachers face on a daily basis.  Students are showing up to their jobs without the tools to get the job done.  Please check with your student to be sure they have a supply of pens and pencils on a daily basis as well as completed homework assignments.  Please help me, help them.


ACTIVATOR:In less than 20 days we will be finished without daily "Caught 'Ya" grammar lessons.  As this unit comes to a close, hopefully students will be able to distinguish between a compound and run-on sentence as well as homphones and spelling mistakes.  Also, who knows, maybe we and Hairy Beast will get the happy ending we so deserve. 

READING:  “One’s life is short, but the life of the spirit is long.”

Students have begun reading our second novel of the year, The Year of Impossible Goodbyes by Sook Nyul Choi. 

The Novel at a Glance:Year of Impossible Goodbyes is a historical novel about a family’s courage, love, and determination to find freedom, based on the author’s childhood experiences in Korea near the end of the Second World War.

For more information visit:

Students should complete vocabulary and comprehension questions on a nightly basis.  Occasionally students may be required to finish a chapter of reading.

QUIZ SCHEDULE:  AFTER chapters 1-2, 3-4, 5, and 6-8.

As a culminating project to this novel, students will be required to 'create and sell' a product, real or made-up, using PROPAGANDA techniques.  Due dates and directions are expected before the end of the month.  STAY tuned.



For the majority of the second term, students will be "touring" Europe and Russia.  We will focus on LOCATION and mapping so that students have a handle on WHERE places are.  If you have any first hand experiences in these places and pictures, feel free to share with your student. 

Students have maps they should review as well as county/capital flashcards.  We will study by regions:  Western Europe (generally countries east of Poland) and Eastern Europe (including Russia).

Students are reading and learning note taking skills as we explore our orange EUROPE AND RUSSIA Geography books.  We will be using graphic organizers and note cards to keep us organized as we continue our journey around the globe.

Keep posted on tests and projects by peering into those AGENDA BOOKS. 

For second term students will be allowed to use EITHER their notebooks OR  worksheets they complete to aid in their test taking.  Short, 10 question multiple-choice/matching quizzes happen at the end of each section. We take a test at the completetion of each chapter.  It takes approximately two weeks to complete the average Geography chapter.  We review the day before each test.

We have had many active discussions and look forward to your input.  Please feel free to talk about these topics at the dinner table to enhance our learning.  If you could bring in real-world connections from the news (current events), that would be very helpful. 

Section titles/topics include:


1.  Land and Water

2.  Climate and Vegetation

3.  Natural Resources


1.  Cultures of Western Europe

2.  Cultures of Eastern Europe

3.  The Cultures of Russia

There will be a brief focus on the following contries:  Great Britain, France, Sweden, Italy, Germany, Poland, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Ukraine, and Russia.

The following website is a good, interactive way to study: