Parent Intro Letter

6 09 2007

Below is a link to a .pdf file of the parent letter that will be sent home today (Friday, September 7th).  If you think you should have received this letter, please feel free to download, print, sign, and return (you could scan and e-mail as attachment if you prefer).

parent letter 0708


Last week of School!

4 06 2007

It is indeed the last week of school.

Students are doing different forms of wrap up in all classes.

Social Studies: Students are working on the Year in Review video that will re-cap everything they have learned this year in summary format.  The final product will be posted here and at

Math: Final test in Basic Math Skills.  See previous post for a copy of the test.  These are skills that all 7th graders should be able to display (at least with some help), so it could be a really good tool to work with over the summer with your child to keep them in the academic mindset (at least a little).

 Social Skills: Students are wrapping up the online portfolios.  See previous post for links to student portfolios.  Please feel free to leave comments on their wikis (helps for motivation!).

Schedule for last week of school:
Monday and Tuesday -normal schedule
Wednesday – awards ceremonies (normal release time)
Thursday – short classes a.m., picnic and cookout, talent show (normal release time).

Anti-Bully Quote for the Week (and for life): “Be the change you want to see in the world.”  – Gandhi

Thanks for the great school year – I’ll be keeping up on this blog over the summer, so stay with me (make sure you have me in your RSS reader) and be ready for the new look of Mr. England and my classrooms/program for 2007-08!

 – Mr. Malcore

p.s. – rock on this summer.

Mountain Man

Week of May 20th, 2007

20 05 2007

Social Studies – This week we will be looking at some of the larger Revolutionary War events such as Valley Forge, Bunker Hill, Yorktown, and Battle at Sea (and others).  Students will each be assigned a battle, given 1 1/2 days to research, and then present.  On Friday, we will have a short multiple choice quiz on the battles presented by all class members. 

Here is the copy of the information students need to look up on each battle. 
revolutionary war battle information template

Here is a copy of the end of week quiz.
Revolutionary War Events Quiz

Math – From now until the end of the school year, we are going to complete, as a class, the final test from the basic math skills book.  We will do about 8 problems per day.  If we finish early, class will play a game such as blackjack or cribbage (something involving math and problem solving). 

Here is a copy of the final test we’ll be working on.
Basic Math Final test

Social Skills – Students are working on electronic portfolios of their 21st Century Skills.  Below are links to a few pieces of student work – keep an eye on them, as they are just beginning the process and will be updating like mad for the next 2 weeks.  Final project presentation will be June 5th.










Week of May 13th, 2007

15 05 2007

Social Studies – Students are considering the interior motives of the colonists during the Revolutionary War times – what made people think that they deserve freedom from Monarchial Oppression?  Similarly, what makes people think today that they deserve rights just because they’re human.  Things like a right to safety, a right to choose one’s path in life, etc – why do we U.S. citizens feel we have the right to those things and much more? 

Math – Students took the final test for fraction operations this week.  Please go to and login with your student’s information to see grade results of this test.  Students have seen their tests and all have been given the chance to improve scores by making corrections (but work must be done within my classroom to avoid cheating).  For the rest of the week, we will be creating a template that can be used when determining the amount of square footage in a room.  Our purpose is to estimate the amount of paint it will take to cover the walls of our cafeteria, but we want the template to be universal – so that others can use it in the future to estimate needs for other rooms.  We will publish the final draft at in .pdf form – be watching!

 Social Skills – The last big push for Washington Students Dog Treats.  Students are working Tuesday and Wednesday to produce the last of the treats, and the last day of official public sales is this Friday, May 17th.  The other days this week, we will be working on the beginnings of our 21st Century Skills Portfolios.

Here is a link to the Word file students received this week for the unit: 21st Century Skills Unit

Week of May 7th, 2007

7 05 2007

Social Studies – We have been working with a online collaboration tool, Vyew (see the previous two posts).  Our goal is to have the wiki updated with our interpretation of the lyrics to “The Rebels” by Tuesday.  Following that, students will be delving more deeply into the events of the American Revolution.

Math – We have been given some authentic tasks by our administration lately.  Last Friday, Mrs. Hooper asked us to estimate the amount of fertilizer she would need to take care of her lawn.  This week, we’ve been asked to estimate the amount of paint it would take to cover the walls of the cafeteria.  On top of that, we will be creating a slick template that one could use to quickly estimate paint quantities for future jobs. 

This Friday, we will have our final test for our Fraction Operations Unit – we’ll review for that on Thursday.  Below are links to a .pdf copy and a .doc copy of something similar to the test for student practice.

Fraction Test – Word format
Fraction Test pdf file

Social Skills – Students are considering their strengths and weaknesses as employees.  Last week, we talked about them using me, their teacher, as a reference on job applications.  Students wrote a short paragraph detailing my opinions of them and their employability.

This week, we are to dig deeper into summer jobs and how they can lead to careers.  I have only 7th and 8th graders in the classroom.  In the 9th grade, students spend more time finding interest-driven jobs that they can do for a) work experience, b) networking, c) potential paid positions (after meeting some extra requirements).  I am trying to get them ready for these experiences now by talking about what to expect, and what to improve on.

What is your role in your child’s work experiences? 

Anti-Bully Quote of the Week:
“The most important thing in any relationship is not what you get but what you give…In any case, the giving of love is an education in itself.”  – Eleanor Roosevelt 1884-1962

Week of April 23rd, 2007

23 04 2007

Two hour early release this Friday, April 27th.  Students are released at 12:50.

Social Studies – students are finishing general chronologies of the events leading up to the American Revolution.  Monday, students will be introduced to a song called The Rebels.  We will be interpreting the words of the song and comparing to the current war against terror.  Please ask your child about this correlation – it would be great to hear parent opinions!  Later in the week, students will be interpreting a stanza on their own and then reporting to the class what their stanza means in more modern English.

Math – Subtracting Fractions.  We did not get to create the multimedia projects intended last week, so hopefully this week will have a few extra moments.  The first half of the week will be work with subtracting fractions with unlike denominators and then subtracting fractions with renaming (“borrowing”).
If we are able to create some neat videos, I’ll have them posted at and have a link from here to there.  That way parents can help students follow the procedure that I have outlined and help support students in learning fractions.

Social Skills – Students have been very motivated to create original videos in a commercial format to help boost the sales of the dog treats.  We will hopefully be using green screen technology to really spice up their work.  Students in the EBD program have collected $126.00 to date in the business!

Special Events this week – again, 2 hr early release Friday.

Week of April 16th, 2007

16 04 2007

Our first full week back to the grindstone.

Social Studies – students will be delving more deeply into the American Revolution and it’s causes. 

Math – Students have created most of their notecards for the steps to all of the operations with fractions.  I am hoping to get them started in making a video that we can post online that will detail and give examples of solving fraction operations (plus, minus, multiply, divide).  However, we have to get through subtraction of fractions first.  If we do get around to making a video, that’ll be posted at

Social Skills – we took in $36 over the past 2 weeks with the Washington Students Dog Treat Business.  Students came up with the idea of making a video to further promote the sale.  We have also been doing some role plays with “one-liners,” trying to break the ice and get peers to buy the treats.  Some of the great lines they came up with are: “Are you sick of recalled dog food?”  “Don’t you think puppies are cute?”  “What would you say if I told you that you could buy a bag of dog treats today that are both healthy and reasonably-priced?”  We had some fun coming up with those…  Students will be traveling to St. Mary’s Monday and Wednesday to continue production of the treats.

Special Events this week –

Officer Jansen’s birthday is Wednesday!