Mrs. Sovereign's Class Newsletter

This Week at a Glance

It has been a long week of benchmark testing (both math and writing). Our kids responded well. Benchmark testing is not only a way to measure the progress we are making toward grade level required skills, but it also helps us practice how we test. This is much like a fire drill. It is just as important for the kids (and teachers) to know where to go, what is expected, what do I do when I get there, who cannot sit next to who, strategies for stamina and so on. As a new 7th Grade teacher, I needed this practice. I feel that the 7th graders needed it too. They are in a new school and there are different ways of doing things. I know that we all feel the kids don't need to be tested again and again, but I promise that this one had value and we will use what we learned! We will have results home very soon.

Things to consider on testing days:

  • wear comfortable clothing with a light jacket
  • good rest the night before
  • something to eat that will fuel you until lunch
  • water bottle and a snack (clean-not sticky or will leave a residue on your fingers)
  • arrive on time
  • minimize stress that morning
  • Smile. You've got this.

Mid Year Reminders

As a parent and a teacher, I practice a gradual release of responsibilities to our kids as they are ready. We have set and practiced routines/procedures in class all year. One example of a routine is Monday is when homework is given out and it is due on Friday. An example of a procedure is how to know what you've missed when you are absent. We are at the mid-year point and these routines and procedures have not changed all year.

We have also had a chance to establish a relationship so we feel more comfortable making mistakes and learning from them.

So I feel that it is time to hold the kids more accountable for themselves. I should have all along been assessing late points. I haven't. At this point, I feel that I am not helping them (teaching them) if I don't have expectations for them that other teachers will. I do not intend to let any of my students fall, but there are lessons to be learned in a stumble. I encourage the kids to look at HAC to know their grades and missing assignments in every class. Also please help me urge them to use their Flight time and before/after school tutorial times to improve on any skill that they may need extra help with. I will do everything I can to be here for what they need. Thank you for sharing your kids with me.

What Are We Doing?

I hope you are hearing about a book we are reading in class called Freak the Mighty by Rodman Philbrick. It is a realistic tale of two, outcast 7th graders who become unlikely friends. This dynamic duo are taking us on a ride filled with laughter, suspense and drama. In lieu of Book Clubs, we are reading this in class and discussing the similarities between our two new friends and King Arthur's Court. My hope is that the kids will want to read the sequel, Max the Mighty, next. So I have a few copies of that ready to go.

We are also beginning a unit on persuasion. It will include evaluating media messages including advertising (print and digital), political campaigns and speeches. The students will be able to analyze the messages that are bombarding them for logos, ethos and pathos.

Our Kids Make Me Look Good

It was my honor in January to be nominated and win Keller ISD's Innovative Teachers Inspiring Students award. While I was so excited to be recognized, I soon became horrified to find out that a film crew would be coming in the classroom and for an interview. I only mention this and attach the link to the video because your kids are stars. They were true champs that day. They make me and Keller ISD look good!