7th & 8th Grade Writing

Mrs. Mekelburg

Things to know!

CURRICULUM: This year students will be learning the 7th grade loop in Core Knowledge.

CALENDAR: While students should have plenty of time to do their work in class, if they don't use their time wisely they will have homework. They may also need to prepare for upcoming tests. These can be found on the 7/8 assignment calendar.

CONTACT: The best way to contact me is via e-mail. I encourage students to contact me with any questions or concerns about their assignments, grades or other classroom content. Thank you for helping your child with making these contacts to aid them in becoming self advocates. Please use this email as I don't always check my Excel/Google email. laura.mekelburg@jeffco.k12.co.us E-mails will be answered within 24 business hours. Should you need to call, feel free to leave a message at 303-467-2295 ext. 355.

Homework Tonight!

Your homework tonight is to write in a way that adds to your reading. Start by continuing to read your book, like you always do. As you read, ask yourself, "Do I really feel connected to this book? Can I push myself to try with my full attention to understand it through and through? If you do not feel a strong connection to your book, this is your chance to find another one.

Once you've settled on a book, think really hard about how you can not only read but also write. Only here is the thing: don't let the writing take away from the reading. You want it to ADD to the reading you do. For writing, choose a strategy that works best for you. You might write on Post-it notes, putting them into your writing notebook and then write around them. OR you might just jot quick notes, circle the biggest or hottest ideas, and write about them. What is important is that you do some writing that helps you think more deeply about your book. Work for forty-five minutes, which means read for at least 25 minutes. In that amount of time, you should probably read at least 20 pages and made some observations. You can free write, create a chart/graph, whatever helps you grasp the essence of what you are reading.

NoRedInk Help

Question: My student has a poor grade or is missing the assignment for NoRedInk. How do I help them complete as I am confused just like my student!

Answer: Check out this help link to see if it will answer any questions. https://noredink.zendesk.com/hc/en-us/categories/115000826183-Students

If you are still confused, please stop in as it will only take about five to seven minutes for us to check it out together. If your student scores a 50% or lower on the quiz, I will eliminate that score so they can try again. If you prefer for me to keep your student at their failing grade in NoRedInk, please let me know and I won't let them try again.

Newsela and Writing

When your student is assigned an article of the week, they will be required to answer the prompt. This can be found in the upper right corner in the same place where they click to take the test.

If they do not answer the prompt, their response will be returned and they should redo for a better grade. They will have received 2 points for attempting to answer but should rewrite for a better grade.

If they don't do the writing at all, it will be marked missing and they should complete it as soon as possible.

Questions? Struggles? Let's set up a time to meet so students know what to do before they are behind by several weeks.

This work will help their writing tremendously on any state test.

Vocabulary This Week!

Students need to find a definition, the part of speech and the root for their ten vocabulary words. The test will be Thursday for A day students and Friday for B day students. The test will be through Google Classroom.

Here is a great resource to find definitions and root words.


New: Gift of Magi Vocabulary List

Day of Notables Update & Request for Help:

I have several photos and videos of our talk show notables. I will work to add them to this website so you can see the work the students accomplished. Right now they are on my computer in an ICloud folder and I am struggling to get them where I can share them. If you know how to help, please reach out as I would love to get them onto this webpage! Thank you for your patience.

Informational Writing Start Now!

We will be writing about things we read. Many of these will come from Jr. Scholastic, Newsela and our DBQ for the Social Studies class. I will update as we move into something new. Check Google Classroom for writings assigned to dates as these will be in their writing notebook and will be graded. Check above homework too.

Laura Mekelburg

This is my second year here at Excel. I was raised on a dairy farm in Limon, met my husband in Greeley and have lived in the Denver area for 25+ years. My family consists of three grown children and four grand daughters. I received my English/Secondary Education degrees from Metro and previously taught at Westminster High School. Things I enjoy doing in my free time include sitting on my backyard swing, taking hikes, and watching old recordings of Castle.