What a week! After weathering the Frankenstorm, Sandy, GMS students gathered at Princeton Alliance Church on Monday. Power wasn’t back at Grover yet, but we were ready to return to learning. Despite the unusual circumstances, we had a productive day. For the IRLA portion of the day, students brainstormed ways they could help those deeply affected by the storm and developed an action plan for how they personally want to help. It was great to see how thoughtful the students were while developing their plans.
On Tuesday and Wednesday, we put the finishing touches on our Personal Essays. While editing, we focused on sentence construction. We reviewed how complete sentences need a subject and a predicate. We watched Schoolhouse Rock to review this concept:
We discussed how fragments are missing either a subject or a predicate and how run-on sentences are complete sentences improperly connected. We worked on identifying and correcting fragments and run-ons in our essays. We talked about how some writers may occasionally decide to use a fragment or a run-on for a desired effect, but how this takes practice and is intentional. Students reviewed the rubric for the assignment and used an editing checklist to edit for sentence construction, spelling, punctuation, and mechanics.
On Thursday, we finally returned to Freak the Mighty. We used our inference post-its from reading to discuss characterization and how Max and Kevin are continuing to develop throughout the story. We also began to discuss examples of internal and external conflicts in the story. As we finish the book for Monday, students will continue to notice how Rodman Philbrick develops Max and Kevin using indirect characterization and also begin to think about how the conflicts in the story help to develop the overall theme.
On Friday, students turned in the final drafts of their Personal Essays. We celebrated the completion of this unit by participating in a gallery walk with students on 7M. The students were able to share their essays across teams and leave comments for one another using post-it notes. Once we finish Freak the Mighty and our character study reading unit next week, we will move to our next writing unit—literary essay.