Mrs. Amy Finley

7th Grade Lions Language Arts


December 2013

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Happy official last day of school for 2013!

The kids were great today! They spent the morning taking their math and science finals in their testing groups. Afterwards they rotated through all of their classes for roughly 30 minutes. 

I encouraged the students to get a jump start on their January book talk reading which needs to be a biography, autobiography or a memoir. I will share some of the school library’s books with the kids when we get back, however many may want to go ahead and get into a book.

This is a genre that many of the students have said they liked the least, however I am hoping that they will find it informational and enjoy it after they select someone whose life they are really interested in reading about. 

I hope everyone has a wonderful winter break! See you in 2014!

~Mrs. Finley


Monday, December 16, 2013

Happy Monday!

The kids did a great job today on day 1 of their finals. We were busy testing all morning taking the Language Arts and social studies finals in testing groups. We then had 30 minute classes.

Tomorrow the students are taking the math and science finals. The schedule should be the same as it was today, however we will have a mini celebration during 7th hour before winter break.


Read at least 20 minutes. This is a great time to go ahead and read something again for fun OR you can go ahead and work on your January biography/autobiography/memoir and get a jump start! 🙂

~Mrs. Finley

Friday, December 13, 2013

Happy Friday the 13th!

Today we finished book talks in class. At this point, if a student did not do their book talk in class it was because they were absent  and did not go on Wednesday or Thursday or because they said they were unprepared to go today–therefore, they will be taking a late grade. I am hopeful that they will be prepared to present on Monday.


Study your midterm review paper I passed out today. Your midterm is on Monday!

Read at least 20 minutes every night over the weekend. 🙂


~Mrs. Finley

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Today in class we continued our book talks. I still have a few students left to finish so tomorrow everyone should be done! 🙂


Read at least 20 minutes.

Practice your book talk presentation if you have not presented yet.

~Mrs. Finley

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Today in class we began our nonfiction book talks. Overall, the kids did a great job using the 3 weeks to prepare for the book talk. I know that they will be glad to have a little more time to prepare for the January book talk. 🙂

January’s genre is autobiography, biography or memoir. Students are free to get a jump start over winter break. I know several students are already asking because they are planning on visiting the public library to find a book they are interested in reading.

Tomorrow we will continue our books talks in class.


Read at least 20 minutes. If the student does not have a book to read they may even use their 20 minutes reading a magazine that is on grade level (not too easy; not too hard) or even the newspaper.

It is just important that students continue to practice reading and grow their vocabularies. It would also be great to support their vocabulary by asking them about any words they are unsure of as they read. Many students assume they know the definition and try to supplement their own without looking it up or asking someone. I am trying to encourage them to jot down the words they do not know so that they can remember to ask someone for clarification.

Practice for your book talk presentation tomorrow if you did not present today.


~Mrs. Finley

Tuesday, December 20, 2013

Sorry for not updating yesterday! It completely slipped my mind!

Today in class we reviewed a summarizing strategy that we discussed yesterday. We worked on using the organizer “Somebody,” “Wanted,” “But,” “So” using two movie clips. The students did a great job and seem to be grasping the subject really quickly. The remainder of class I held writing conferences and the students had time to read on their book or work on their book talk.


Read at least 20 minutes.

Practice your book talk for your presentation tomorrow!

~Mrs. Finley

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Today in class we wrote an on-demand essay. The students practiced being timed for 45 minutes and having to answer a prompt within that time. I have started grading them and overall I am pleased with how well they are doing.

In the midst of passing out the writing essay I forgot to collect the homework from my morning other classes so I let the afternoon classes know that they were lucky and had one more day to finish up their on-demand practice if they did not have it ready today. I will collect these tomorrow.



Read at least 20 minutes to prepare for the nonfiction book talk on Wednesday, December 11.

Finish the on-demand writing practice essay we started in class yesterday. This is due tomorrow!


~Mrs. Finley

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Today in class  we started a practice on-demand writing piece. My goal was to give the students a few strategies on how to tackle the on-demand writing in 45 minutes. Having to brainstorm a topic and write a 5 paragraph essay in such a short amount of time is really difficult for the kids and so it is something we need to continue to practice.

Tomorrow they will take an on-demand test in class for 45 minutes. I anticipate that they will do well, because this is not something that is new to them and we also reviewed it again today. The first topic that the seventh language arts teachers chose should also really help the students on their essay tomorrow because I feel it is something that they will be passionate about and have lots of ideas to write about. 🙂


Read at least 20 minutes to prepare for the nonfiction book talk on Wednesday, December 11.

Finish the on-demand writing piece as homework if you did not finish in class. This is due tomorrow.


~Mrs. Finley

Scholastic Order

Don’t forget you can still order books from the Scholastic store online! They have some of the best prices on books and will ship them directly to your student at school (note: if this is a gift for a student please just send me an e-mail and I can make sure I do not give them the book in class).

Here is our classroom link:

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