Mrs. Horak's

6th and 7th grade Language Arts Class Update!

The year so far:

Welcome friends! Noticed something different? Over the summer I married my best friend, but never got around to changing my last name until recently. It is a big change especially when you are known as "Marinelli" by so many students. Regardless I needed to make the change, and wanted to inform you about it just in case you have any trouble trying to get in contact with me via email, or if you noticed a change on student's report cards. New information on how to contact me is below.


Besides the name change, this has been a great year so far! During term one both 6th and 7th grade complete literature circles, wrote narratives, and CRES essay assignments. They worked very hard, and are deserving of praise. Please encourage them to contiue to outstanding students each and every day!

Grade 6 news

During term one 6th graders read about tough first years of middle school, and even dug into our first literature circle book, Holes. Students completed word wizard quizzes, and worked on narrative writing assignments to prepare for a CRES essay at the end of the term. We worked on editing, finding plot, and point of view. Students even had the opportunity to take part in a mock trial to work on speaking and listening skills, as well as creating strong claims and evidence for arguments. With the close of term one and the start of term two we moved into a transdisciplinary lesson with Science. In science students studied weather patterns, and hazards storms. In Language Arts students are going to be creating speeches for a fictional music tour that is trying to raise awareness and funds for those who have suffered during the terrible storms. After that we are going to jump into our next unit which focuses on traditions. I am looking forward to learning more about their backgrounds, and family traditions.

7th Grade News

In 7th grade we wasted no time getting started. In the first week students read and compared two stories using figurative language, and began reading their literature circle books. They then wrote their first narrative, and a second to prepare for their end of the term CRES. We are going to have to spend a good deal of time on grammar and mechanics, but by the end of this school year students writing should be greatly improved. We also started Socratic smack downs this year with Mrs. Hajjar and they are going very well. Students are engaged and improving their communication skills as well as working on higher level questioning. To push our accelerated students farther, Ms. Shomaker is working alongside me to push our students thinking using Junior Grade Books. At the start of this second term 7th grade students selected a classic novel to read for their literature circle books. Their options were: 20,000 Leagues under the Sea, A Wrinkle in Time, Treasure Island, and The Boxes. Each book focuses on our new unit theme discussing risk and exploration.

Reminders: Updated

  • Thank you to those who have donated tissues to our classroom. Donations of tissues will always be welcome.

  • We are starting to run out of extra pencils for students who do not have one for class. Donations of pencils will be welcomed and rewarded with wings.

  • Make sure to check your child's HAC account for updates on grade. If you are having trouble logging in still please let me know so that I make get you assistance.

  • Continue to check Google Classroom. Missing assignments will be marked as "late" on Google classroom. Please use your child's login to check.

  • As students get more comfortable with their peers they can be a bit chatty which causes them to be off task. Please talk with your child about making sure they are respectful during class when others are sharing.


  • If you would like to see what we are doing in class follow my twitter page at: @GabHorak.

ELA resources