April 30th, 2018

posted Apr 29, 2018, 8:51 AM by Karen Klemchuk   [ updated Apr 29, 2018, 8:55 AM ]


We have a busy week ahead!  On Monday we will begin a creative writing assignment related to the short story we just finished reading called "Charles." Students will apply what they have learned about characterization and point of view by changing the voice of the original story. This assignment is in our Google Classroom page for easy access at school and at home.

Link to writing assignment:

“Charles” by Shirley Jackson Point of View

We are also MAP Testing on Tuesday and Wednesday of this week. Please make sure your students are getting a good night's sleep and eating a good breakfast so that they can focus and do their best.

We are continuing our Book Clubs that were started last week. Student should be reading each night so that they are keeping up with their daily reading assignments.

March 19th, 2018

posted Mar 18, 2018, 12:52 PM by Karen Klemchuk

This week we will be writing an Argument Paper using our novel Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry as our source for evidence in supporting our claims. We will first complete a graphic organizer to ensure clear, organized writing and then move to writing, revising, and editing our final copy. All this will be done in our Google Classroom site, so students will have a chance to work on their writing for homework as well as time in class.

This week we will take our novel test (on Thursday) as we wrap up our powerful, shared reading experience. We will not soon forget the characters and conflicts of Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry.

Have a relaxing and enjoyable Spring Break and here's to warmer weather ahead!

December 18, 2017

posted Dec 17, 2017, 2:59 PM by Karen Klemchuk

We will be wrapping up our study of Charles Dickens and "A Christmas Carol" with a test over the material and a writing response on Tuesday. 

We will not have a Reading Workshop response assigned due to the short week.

Wishing you all a wonderful holiday break filled with family, friends and many warm moments!

December 4th and December 11th, 2017

posted Dec 3, 2017, 5:30 PM by Karen Klemchuk   [ updated Dec 8, 2017, 6:41 AM ]

Guidelines for Christmas Carol Website

  "A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens

Our students will be discovering background information about the life and times of Charles Dickens through their own research as we begin a unit of study relating to the classic story "A Christmas Carol."

Students will be working in small groups to research an assigned topic using research skills such as note-taking, paraphrasing, evaluating sources, and creating a bibliography. Their final product will be to create a webpage that will be a part of a Google Site representing valuable and interesting background knowledge about "A Christmas Carol."  

Each group will also present their page and information to the class. I am very excited to guide and watch our students as they learn new technology skills and gain new knowledge about London during Dickens' time.

November 20, 2017

posted Nov 19, 2017, 6:31 PM by Karen Klemchuk   [ updated Nov 19, 2017, 6:32 PM ]


I'm looking forward to seeing you at Student-Led Conferences on November 21st from noon until 7:00,
and on November 22nd from noon until 3:00 p.m., with team conferences by appointment from 3:00 until 7:00.

As we look forward to the holiday on Thursday, I am thankful for all my students, for supportive parents like you, and for our wonderful school district and community that cares so much about quality education.  Wishing you all a very Happy Thanksgiving!


November 13, 2017

posted Nov 12, 2017, 11:40 AM by Karen Klemchuk   [ updated Nov 12, 2017, 11:40 AM ]

Students are revising and editing their Personal Narratives this week, in anticipation of our due date this Friday, November 17th. They have learned that writing is a process, not a "once and done" activity by completing each step of the writing task: brainstorming, outlining, rough draft writing, revising and editing. Writing is difficult. It makes us think deeply, it makes our thoughts and emotions public, it makes us be critical of our own work and be willing to change parts of what we've created.  I am looking forward to reading the students' polished stories where they are the main character in a story about themselves.

November 6, 2017

posted Nov 5, 2017, 4:46 PM by Karen Klemchuk   [ updated Nov 5, 2017, 4:47 PM ]

  Twilight Zone's "Monsters Are Due on Maple Street"
This week we are embarking on a trip to a
"dimension as vast as space and as timeless as infinity ...the Twilight Zone."
We will be bringing a teleplay from the classic show to life through a 
Reader's Theater style shared reading. Drama and Science Fiction are two of the main genres of literature. This
script will allow us to examine many conflicts between characters, many plot twists, and an in-depth
analysis of  theme as we discover who the monsters really are on Maple Street.

We are also continuing to work on our rough drafts for our students' Personal Narratives, our current writing activity. Students are developing their writing skills as they write about one event in their life, telling their story from beginning to middle to end.

October 9, 2017

posted Oct 8, 2017, 9:53 AM by Karen Klemchuk   [ updated Oct 8, 2017, 11:16 AM ]

  Informational Text
Springfield, Il

Although we have a short week, it will be a busy one!  We will be focusing on reading informational text: determining the central idea, finding information in titles, captions, headings, charts and graphs, and understanding vocabulary in context.

We will also be practicing descriptive writing by imagining an out-of-the-way diner called Moe's Café. What does the diner look like? What music is playing on the jukebox? What food is on the menu and how does it smell, look and taste? What does Moe the cook/owner and the waitress Blanche look like, and how do they act? There is lots of room for creativity!

Both of the above activities can be found on our Google Classroom page.

Our 7th Grade Springfield Trip is Friday, and I know it will be a wonderful experience for our students. Please make sure your students are at school bright and early on Friday morning, and are dressed for the weather. It's always a good idea for them to bring along a sweatshirt or sweater, as the mornings tend to be cool.

March 21, 2017

posted Mar 19, 2017, 5:51 PM by Karen Klemchuk   [ updated Dec 7, 2017, 9:38 AM by Sally Kuhn ]

We have finished our epic class novel Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry and have been struck by how much storytelling was a part of this riveting, grand narrative. Our novel test will be on Tuesday and will be open-book.

Mildred D. Taylor, the award-winning author based her novel (actually a series) on stories her father told her when she was growing up. She also included storytelling in the plot, as main characters used that technique to impart important characterization or background information.

We will now try our hand at storytelling ourselves. I grew up in a family where stories were shared not only at holidays and family get-togethers, but nearly on a daily basis. I told a family favorite to the students to model how storytelling is done. They laughed, got a glimpse into my life when I was six, and now they know me a little better. We ALL have a story or two (or more) in us - they are a part of our family history and should be shared.

Students were to interview a family member to hear a story about someone in the family or maybe even about themselves: a special, day, a funny thing that happened, maybe even a shocking, surprising or touching moment. After completing the interview, students were to then organize their thoughts on a graphic organizer to then practice their storytelling technique. This should include: eye contact with the audience, vocal expression and background about where their story came from. They may use notecards and the story should be between 1-2 minutes - 3 or 4 if the student is a "ham" like me!

November 7th and November 14th, 2016

posted Nov 5, 2016, 12:46 PM by Karen Klemchuk   [ updated Nov 11, 2016, 12:22 PM ]

This week and next, we will be reading and studying the treasured classic story "Rikki-Tikki-Tavi" by Rudyard Kipling, of a little mongoose who battles adult cobras to save the human family who has adopted him.  This story has been adapted many different times, but we are reading the original classic so that we can savor and analyze the beautiful language as we become immersed in the adventurous, exciting tale. We are also focusing on conflict, suspense, cause and effect and vocabulary. Students will be remembering this elegant short story, excerpted from The Jungle Book long after we have finished.

Students are also going to begin a project called "What Is My Niche? Where Am I Most "Me"?"  Students will be creating individual video slideshows that represent where or what their niche is, where they feel most comfortable and where they feel they most fit in. We will be enlisting Ms. Kuhn's help and will be using a site called Animoto that will allow us to add music, captions, background and transitions to enhance our video slideshow. 

Students should start locating photos on their phone, from Facebook or Instagram to send to Ms. Kuhn and me through "Dropbox." Directions will be given by the end of the week.

What is My Niche?

As always, students should be reading their independent book between 30 and 40 minutes each night to increase their vocabulary, fluency and comprehension skills.

** Please check the calendar for any upcoming assignments or due dates.**

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