September 9, 2019

We are completing the Iowa testing until September 12th this week. Your student has a book report project due this Friday.

We are focusing on RACE strategy and will be practicing the strategy in class.

Gifted Resource folks have turned in their first scripts. I am currently in the process of grading those. Because of the testing and the limited availability of technology we might have to extend the deadline for podcast 1.


August 19-23, 2019

Please check ParentVue since I have updated grades.


AC will be working with making a connection to the text. We are currently reading Under The Royal Palms.


Resource has chosen their groups and are working on their topics. We should be in production mode by next week. I have created a tiny url to house all the podcasting information.



The week of August 12th

AC reading is using Before, During and After strategies for reading this week. We will begin reading UNER THE ROYAL PALMS by the end of the week.


Resource has been taking and utilizing the Myers-Briggs personality test as a basis for building their podcast teams. We should be ready to begin the podcast writing and production phase next week.

The first week of school Aug. 5 -Aug.9

I will be administering the reading inventory to all students this week. I will also be working with each student to develop a goal and a plan to reach their goal.

We will have media center orientation and check out books this week.

Listed below are the book report projects and their due dates.


Book Report Projects and Due Dates Ms. Dycus

Please see the corresponding Grading checklist for further information.

  1. August 23 – Descriptive writing. Have each student read aloud the best example of descriptive prose found in the book he or she is currently reading. The student should write a paragraph explaining why the excerpt is a particularly good example of descriptive prose. The paragraph might include some of the adjectives the author used to set the scene.
  2. September 13 -Thumbs Up, Thumbs Down. Each student writes a review of the book he or she just finished reading — in the style of a movie review. The student concludes by awarding a thumbs up or thumbs down on the book. This activity could be even more fun if two students read the same book. They could plan a lively interaction, a la and Ebert and Roeper, about the book, which could be videotaped for all to see!
  3. October 4 – Character Trait Diagram. Each student creates a Venn diagram to illustrate similarities and differences in the traits of two of the main characters in a book just completed. (A student might elect to create a Venn diagram showing similarities and differences between the book’s main character and the student!)
  4. October 31 – Surfing the Net. Where did the story take place? When did it take place? Each student surfs the Net to find five Internet sites that others might check out before they read the book so they will know more about the book’s setting or time period.
  5. November 15 – Write a Letter to the Author. After reading a book, each student shares reactions to the book in a letter written to its author. If a student writes to an author who is still alive, you might actually mail the letter.
  6. December 6 – Sell It. Each student pretends to be a publicist for the book that’s just been read. The student writes and then delivers a 60-second speech that will persuade other students that they should read the book. Writing and speaking persuasively will be especially difficult if the student didn’t like the book. If that’s the case, the student can share that fact after completing the speech.
  7. January 7 – Create a Card Catalog. After reading a book, a student completes an index card with information about the book. The front of the card includes details such as title, author, and date published along with a two- to three-sentence synopsis of the book. On the back of the card, the student writes a paragraph critiquing the book. Students might even rate the book using a teacher-created five-star rating system. Example: A five-star book is “highly recommended; a book you can’t put down.” Completed cards are kept in a card file near the classroom bookshelf or in the school library.
  8. January 24 – Interview a Character. Each student composes six to eight questions to ask a main character in a book just completed. The student also writes the character’s response to each question. The questions and answers should provide information that shows the student read the book without giving away the most significant details.
  9. February 7 – Ten Facts. Each student creates a “Ten Facts About [book title]” sheet that lists ten facts he or she learned from reading the book. The facts, written in complete sentences, must include details the student didn’t know before reading the book.
  10. February 27 – Script It! Each student writes a movie script for a favorite scene in a book just read. At the top of the script, the student can assign real-life TV or movie stars to play each role. The student might also work with classmates to perform the favorite scene.
  11. March 13 – What Did You Learn? Each student writes a summary of what he or she learned from a book just completed. The summary might include factual information, something learned about people in general, or something the student learned about himself or herself.
  12. March 31 – In the News. Each student creates the front page of a newspaper that tells about events and characters in a book just read. The newspaper page might include weather reports, an editorial or editorial cartoon, ads, etc. The title of the newspaper should be something appropriate to the book.
  13. April 30 – Create a Comic Book. Each student can turn a book, or part of it, into a comic book, complete with comic-style illustrations and dialogue bubbles.
  14. May 14 -Character Trait Chart. Each student creates a chart with three columns. Each column is headed with the name of one of the book’s characters. As the student reads the book, he or she can keep a record of the traits each character possesses and include an incident that supports each trait.






Welcome to Ms. Dycus’ 7th grade reading and reading resource class.



I am excited to have your student with me this year and I look forward to working with parents and students to create a positive learning environment. Please watch my blog for updates on project due dates and requirements.

I will have dates for scheduled testing, projects and other events posted within in the next few days.





Students will learn, practice, and use skills and strategies that will enhance their reading abilities in all classes and in the real world. These skills and strategies will be applied to a wide variety of texts including novels, short stories, poems, informational texts, and more in order to help students read a wide variety of genres. Students will also use a variety of types of technology to enhance their understanding of the topics covered in thematic units. Using the Reading Workshop model, students will read in class daily while applying skills and strategies modeled during mini-lessons. Students will be provided opportunities to read and analyze texts at both their level and the appropriate grade level. Throughout the year, we will use “real-life” applications of writing and encourage students to become inquirers, knowledgeable, thinkers, communicators, principled, risk takers, balanced, caring, and reflective in their learning. Our study of these topics in language arts will be:


  • Holistic: Students will recognize and apply knowledge of writing in everyday life in preparation for becoming lifelong learners
  • Intercultural: Students will understand and appreciate various languages and cultures extending and broadening their viewpoints and international mindedness.
  • Communication: Students will utilize all methods or forms of communication in Language Arts, which address the Common Core Standards, Standard English usage and elements of speaking, viewing, and listening skills.


Georgia Standards of Excellence:

The course content for Reading is designed to increase students’ reading comprehension and support understanding of the Georgia Standards of Excellence for Reading and Language Arts as well as cross-curricular reading skills. Visit this link for a breakdown of the standards:




Reading supports the Language A aims by providing students with opportunities to:


  • Become active learners, efficient test takers, effective time managers, excellent organizers, competent researchers, and skillful communicators
  • Read and interpret a variety of texts
  • Analyze and talk and/or write about texts that have been viewed
  • Ask and answer pertinent questions
  • Write in a variety of forms
  • Improve vocabulary
  • Conduct simple and advanced research and present research findings orally and in writing
  • Use the media center and information technology effectively
  • Reflect critically on their own work and that of their peers




During this course, we will use the key concepts to build connections between students’ knowledge and experience related to the real world. Students will utilize prior and present knowledge from their environment, school, and other social outlets in order to effectively communicate using written and verbal language. Reading students will learn and utilize skills that will enable them to become life-long learners by applying knowledge and skills necessary for high school and college.



Global contexts direct learning toward independent and shared inquiry into our common humanity and shared guardianship of the planet. Using the world as the broadest context for learning, MYP sciences can develop meaningful explorations of identities and relationships; orientation in space and time; personal and cultural expression, scientific and technical innovation; globalization and sustainability; and, fairness and development.



In the MYP, instructors work together to develop a variety of opportunities for learning focusing on the approaches to learning, especially critical thinking and reflection. Individual and collaborative active learning are at the heart of the classroom instruction. Real world connections and opportunities to investigate and inquire about society will help students become world citizens who understand contemporary issues with a depth and wisdom drawn from experience and future trends.



The use of Synergy Internet Viewer (SIV) by parents and students is encouraged to view grades, each assignment, and class attendance at any time via the online grade book. An access code may be obtained by contacting administration. A balance of formative and summative assessments will be used to assess student learning. Rubrics and checklists will provide students with assignment expectations.


Class average will be determined using the following weighted averages for reading skills to be covered during the year. There will be a minimum of four tests per unit (9 weeks per unit), there will be a performative based assessment that counts as the summative AS WELL AS a multiple-choice assessment. These 2 assessments will count as 30% of your grade!

  • Formative Assessment 70%
  • Summative Assessment 30%

(Independent Reading, Classwork, Tests, Projects, and Homework will be graded and categorized by skill)


Submitting work past due is discouraged. If a student turns in an assignment that is past due for any reason other than being absent, a penalty will apply. Students with excused absences are given the amount of days absent from class to submit an assignment. Regardless of the reason, it is the child’s responsibility to get the work missed during an excused absence and to make arrangements with the instructor to reschedule missed tests or quizzes. If a child is absent for an extended amount of days, parents should contact the school to request work for pick-up by the parent to take to the child.



Student must follow the CMS Positive Behavior Intervention Plan as outlined in the Campbell Middle School Student Agenda given to all students on their first day of school. The agenda must be with students at all times and will serve as their hall pass. If the agenda is lost, students must pay a $10.00 replacement fee for a new agenda book. In addition, students are expected to abide by ALL classroom procedures and expectations, as well as dress in the CMS Standard Dress Attire. Conduct grades will be determined using the number of classroom infractions earned by a student during the grading period. Additionally, the teacher’s assessment of the student’s overall behavior in his/her class will be considered in assigning conduct grades.







Week of April 29th

Periods 4 – 7 are reading documents about Mansa Musa and interpreting those documents to create a five paragraph essay. This is in readiness for 8th grade and high school DBQ requirements. Beginning the week of May 6th we will return to the book Outsiders and complete small writing responses in conjunction with that.



One of our NPR podcast entries won an honorable mention. This is amazing since there were 6,000 entries and only 2 overall winners. I am very proud to be apart of this achievement.

Because we have little access to technology and the podcast equipment for the rest of the year. I have allowed students to choose another project to complete. Some are doing book talks and other are creating their own research based project.



The week of March 11th

Reading AC has finished the class novel  of ROLL OF THUNDER HEAR MY CRY and will complete the summative task of creating a body biography. March 18th is the due date for this project. The link below details the project requirements.

GRASPS Task Design Prompts Narrative- body biography-2ndrzdx

All students will be taking the reading inventory this week.

Gifted Resource – Students are in various phases of writing, producing and editing podcasts and scripts. The class is a little behind schedule but we are making it work. Most students should be writing Podcast script 5.


The last week of February

Reading classes had a book report due on February 25th. Our next book report project is due on March 7th. We will be taking a bell ringer quiz this Friday.


PODCAST Project is making steady progress. Even though we are not moving as quickly as I had hoped, the amount of creative, organizational and technical skills required has grown tremendously as we are setting the bar a little higher with each podcast we finish.



The week of February 4th!

The next book report project is due February 5th.

We are still working on characterization with an emphasis on mood and tone. Please talk to your students about the text, ROLL OF THUNDER, HEAR MY CRY.

Check out the tinyurl posted below for the status of the podcasts. This week we will be working on our team status and team members will be writing job descriptions. I’m very proud of the teamwork between individuals and teams. There is lots of creativity and problem solving taking place.