Mrs. Amy Finley

7th Grade Lions Language Arts


December 2012

Happy Holidays!

snowflakeI hope that everyone has a wonderful winter break and a very happy holiday! The students had a great time yesterday playing scattergories in Language Arts class, drawing scaled items in Math class, and making ornaments in Social Studies class. We ended the day with a great holiday party to kick off winter break!

I am also happy to report that I have finished my Rank 1 certification and now also have my Gifted & Talented Endorsement! I have been implementing many of these strategies throughout the school year and I think that it will help make me a much more well-rounded teacher knowing how to differentiate my own material across the spectrum. My gifted & talented students also need to be challenged and need work just as rigorous as their peers. I can already tell that this will greatly impact my teaching and the students. šŸ™‚

I hope that everyone has a wonderful holiday break! I can’t wait to see those smiling faces on January 2nd!

~Mrs. Finley


Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Today was our day in the library for book check-out. Students who compacted and are in 2nd, 5th & 7th hour also continued their presentations to the class on their research. All classes have finished presenting except for 7th hour.

Tomorrow I plan on playing the game scattergories with the students. This is a fun word game. I modified it slightly so that we can play on teams of 3. 7th hour compacting students will finish up their presentations during 4th hour.

No homework!

~Mrs. Finley

Test Corrections

Today I went over the test with all of the students (except compacting students who did not take the test). Homework tonight is for the students to get a parent signature on the test and fix their short answer and open response question if they did not get a 2 or a 4. Many of the students just have minor little adjustments to make on the test. This is due back tomorrow and will be entered as a second test grade.

Library tomorrow so don’t forget library books for check-in/renewal!

~Mrs. Finley

Monday, December 17, 2012

Sorry for the late update! It completely slipped my mind that today was Monday and I needed to update the blog.

Due to so many student absences on Friday I decided to let them finish up their test on Monday and so tomorrow we will go over the test. This will give them a chance to also participate in the corrections. Students will bring home the test for homework tomorrow night and fix their short answer/erq as well as get a parent/guardian signature on the test. I don’t really believe in “fixing” multiple choice. I go over them with the kids and we discuss the correct answer and why it is correct, so there is really no point in them changing those answers. I will let them fix their short answer and erq for a second test grade. This usually helps out their grade and is beneficial because they also learn from their mistakes.

Teachers must post grades the first week back in January and those are the grades for the report card. Right now all grades are accurate. The only grades that I will be putting in is the student test correction grade (as another test grade) as well as the grade for the compacting students projects. I hope that helps give you a better idea of how your student is doing in class and what his/her report card grade will be come January. If you have any questions feel free to send me an e-mail:

Today compacting students presented their research findings to the class and students that needed to finish the test due to absences/illness were sent out of the room to test in a quiet environment.

No homework tonight!

~Mrs. Finley

Check Test

Today we finished taking our check test. I still have a few handful to grade but I have been updating grades and have all but maybe 15 graded. I plan on going over the test on Monday with the students and letting them bring it home to make corrections and get a parent/guardian signature.

A big thank you to the students for surprising me today! I have no idea how they figured out that it was my birthday but they truly made my day! I love having your student in my classroom and I have learned a lot from them this school year too. I am truly blessed beyond words! Thank you for your sweet hugs and kind words. šŸ™‚

I hope everyone has a wonderful weekend! Compacting students will also be presenting their presentations this coming week.

~Mrs. Finley

End of Unit Test

Today we started the end of unit test. A few students were able to finish, however most will finish tomorrow in class. Due to next week only being a four day week I had to stick to our schedule of testing today and tomorrow. The students should be well prepared since we have been studying this unit on theme, foreshadowing, flashback, characterization, etc. since October. They did receive a study guide on Monday and Wednesday was spent mostly reviewing.

Compacting students have been busy finishing up their projects. I anticipate them to be finished tomorrow (as that was the original deadline) unless they have a valid explanation as to why they cannot finish tomorrow (for example, an injury or illness that is preventing them from finishing on time). They will be presenting to the class next week their results.

Homework: Study your study guide to help you with finishing your check test tomorrow.

~Mrs. Finley


I apologize for not keeping up with the blog this week. I caught a bad flu like bug and had a horrible migraine and sore throat all week so I was not at school.

The students took a midterm exam with the substitute yesterday. This consisted of two short answer essays and one extended response question. They have also been reading some short reading passages and finding the theme, etc. which should all be a review and help them prepare for the test.

It is also time for our end-of-unit assessment. Students should have received a study guide from the substitute on Monday and should have used it to help them study for the midterm as well as the end-of-unit test that begins tomorrow. I have talked a lot about the test, especially last week, so it should not come as a surprise to the students.

I am planning on being back at school tomorrow since I am feeling better now. We will begin to take the test. Students that are compacting do not have to take this test as they already took it and passed it in order to compact. šŸ™‚

~Mrs. Finley

Sailing to Freedom

We had a wonderful author visit today with local Kentucky author Martha Bennett Stiles. All of the classes got to visit with Mrs. Stiles and discuss the writing process, what inspires her, how she creates her characters, etc. Mrs. Stiles shared her new book Sailing to Freedom with the students. It is a story about a young boy, Ray, who must work on a ship with his Uncle Thad instead of staying with his mean Uncle Slye. Ray and his capuchin monkey, Allie, have a lot of great adventuresĀ on their voyage. There is also a secondary story about Cook and something that Cook is hiding in the kitchen pantry of the ship. Can Ray keepĀ a secret?

Mrs. Stiles shared a wonderful story about the capuchin monkey that her father had shared with her as a young girl and helped to inspire her book Sailing to Freedom.

Many of the students wereSailing to Freedom interested in purchasing her book Sailing to Freedom which is available on Amazon for $13.25 or on the Kindle for $9.99. I also know that Joseph Beth, Morris Bookshop, and Barnes & NobleĀ have several copies available for purchase as well.

What a wonderful treat for the students to get to meet and ask questions to such an accomplished author. I cannot thank Mrs. Stiles enough for making our day by coming and sharing her wonderful stories.

Tomorrow we will begin to prepare for our test next week. We will be reading “The Tell-Tale Heart” by Edgar Allan Poe and looking at the theme of the story.

~Mrs. Finley

Author Visit!

***Reminder: Library tomorrow. Please bring your books for check-in or renewal!***

Today we worked on an ORQ over the theme of “The Black Cat.” Students did a great job with this assignment! A few students did not finish during class so they took it home to finish as homework.

Students in 2nd hour who did not finish the foreshadowing and theme multiple choice questions also have homework.

martha stilesTomorrow we will be going to the library and looking at some of the work by author Martha Bennett Stiles. I am pleased to announce that Mrs.Ā Stiles will be joining us in the classroom on Thursday, December 6 to speak with the students about her writing!!! Mrs. Stiles was born in the Phillippines and grew up in Virginia. She attended college at William & Mary and finished at the University of Michigan. She has lived in Lexington since 1977 on a horse farm. While living in Kentucky she has taught creative writing at the University of Kentucky as well as the University of Louisville. She has published many historical fiction stories for children.

If you would like to purchase a book for Mrs. Stiles to sign the following bookstores have her books in stock:

Joseph Beth Booksellers (859) 273-2911

***Sailing to FreedomĀ  $16.99

***Lonesome RoadĀ Ā Ā Ā  $25.00

Barnes & Noble (859) 543-8518

***One Among the Indians $13.95

~Mrs. Finley