Wednesday, October 9, 2019


I am now posting on Canvas.  Go to your Canvas account,  Select English 7.  Scroll down to the clipboard,  click on it.  It's a link to a page for each day we meet.

Sunday, August 18, 2019

Seventh Grade Day Schedule

​          8:15 – 8:30
Passing Period​     8:30 – 8:35
A2​          8:35 – 8:45
Passing Period​     8:45 – 8:50
A3​         8:50 – 9:00
Assembly​     9:00 – 9:35
Passing / Locker Time9:35 – 9:50
A4​        9:50 – 10:00
Passing Period​    10:00 – 10:05
B1​         10:05 – 10:15
Passing Period​    10:15 – 10:20
B2​        10:20 – 10:30
Passing Period​    10:30 – 10:35
B3​        10:35 – 10:45
Passing Period ​   10:45 – 10:50
B4​        10:50– 11:00

Assembly Agenda
Welcome – from our principal, Mr. Johnson
Dance Company performance
Counselors present
                                        X-Country announcement 
​          About Tardies—-Mr. Anderson 
                             ​About CAVE Time—-Mr. Anderson
                                       About the Lunchroom—-Mrs. Moore 

​About our Dress Code—-Mr. Paul 

                                   About  RHP—Mr. Paul 
                         ​Wrap Up

Monday, July 22, 2019

Welcome to English 7 2019-2020: Needed Supplies and More

While the sales on school supplies are available, it's a good idea to stock up on the things you'll need later, but that will be much more expensive then!   If you are able to, you might want to get enough paper, pencils, and pens to last for the school year. 

Note: If your family cannot afford school supplies, please speak with a teacher or administrator. 

A Pro-Tip: After spending a few days at the school this past week, I remembered that it's such a good idea to dress in layers for school (still following the school dress code).  Some classrooms will be hot and others cold.    

⇒  Parents, please sign the AUP (computer/internet use) agreement as soon as possible.  Parents must sign into Skyward under their parent account to do this.  Look for a link to "Computer and Internet Use Permission Form." 

Here are some required and suggested items.
1. Required (You will definitely need these):  

  • Composition books -- Ms. Dorsey asks her students to bring a composition book to use for readers' and writers' workshop. You might want to buy a couple when they are on sale.  You should have it at school by the beginning of the second week of school. Sooner is better!
You will keep this composition book in the classroom (in an assigned folder) and will use it almost every day you have this class.  You may decorate it to your own taste, but the decorations must be durable since you will be taking it in and out of the folder and using it so many times. I suggest adding photos, images, words, then covering your decorations with clear contact paper or clear storage tape.  

  • Plenty of lined paper (Get enough to last for the school year, since it costs so much more when it's not on sale.)
  • Plenty of pencils (Teachers usually keep some on hand for students to borrow in an emergency, but students should supply their own, and should not break or throw pencils.) If you like to use mechanical pencils, have extra lead on hand. Teachers likely won't have it. 
  •  I'd really appreciate it if you could donate  some pencils to the class! 

      red pen might be used sometimes, but do not do your homework and in-class writing with it or with other odd colors of ink.
        • Parents, please don't send sharpies or other permanent ink pens to school with your students. They can quickly become a nuisance item. If they need to use them to mark binders, notebooks, P.E. clothes, etc., please do that at home.

      • Colored Pencils (This can just be the regular pack -- a larger variety of colors is totally optional!)  We will use these to color code grammar exercises, paragraphs, and essays, and to add snaz (coolness, awesomeness, excitement, greatness) to some other assignments.  

      A couple of three ring binders. Some students do better with everything kept in one binder, and others prefer to have one binder for A-Day classes and another for B-Day classes. (A few students organize better with folders, but in my experience, most students do better with a binder and dividers.) 

      • Binder dividers -- You can buy these or make your own with index or construction paper.

      Be prepared each class day to bring to class a book to read. You could bring one from home, from the public library, from the school library (media center), or you could check out a book from our classroom library. To begin the school year, you may pick your own genre, but later on your teachers will let you know what sorts of books you should be reading. You may receive points for bringing your book and for being prepared to read quietly during reading time.

      For some reading recommendations, see

      Ms. Dorsey's Summer Reading


      Ms. Dorsey's Summer Reading for 2018.

      2. These items are suggested, but not required: 
      • Your Colored pencils may also be needed for history class, and come in handy at times in other classes.
      • Spiral notebooks -- Watch for those that go on sale for seventeen or twenty-five cents each.
      • three-ring hole-punch that fits in your binder is very helpful if you receive handouts that haven't been punched.
      • A small manual pencil sharpener is nice to have.
      •  A small pack of Kleenex -- We usually have facial tissues/Kleenex available in our classrooms, but they are not soft on a tender nose.
      • Hand sanitizer
      •  If you find a good deal, you might want to have on hand some poster board. Sometimes teachers will assign students to create posters, and it's helpful not to have to run out to the store at 10 pm when the student remembers he or she has a poster due the next day. [Yes,  I've been there, done that with my own children!]
      • Sticky notes and highlighters

      I will be sending in orders for books from Scholastic throughout the year.  
      Our first order will go in by August 30.   I can submit orders as soon as I have $25 or more in orders.   
      You can find our class at

      Don't forget Back-to-School Night on August 16 from 3:30 to 5:30 pm.

      7th Grade Day (Optional 1/2 Day)
      When?Monday, August 19 -- 8:15 am to 11:00 am(?)

           To donate to our classroom -- pick up a form or go HERE 
      and specify Ms. Dorsey's classroom under "Purpose of Donation."

      We always need more books for students to read!
      I'd like to purchase a couple of standing desks for students. 

      Click here for Classroom Rules.

      Also we're trying to maintain a 

      Sunday, June 2, 2019

      Ms. Dorsey's Summer Reading

      "Teachers are solar powered. They recharge during the summer." – Unknown

      These are the books I'm reading this summer. 

      1.  Insignificant Events in the Life of a Cactus  by Dusti Bowling   -- Genre:  Realistic Fiction/Life Problems
      What would it be like to be born without arms?
      What would it be like to be without arms and move to a new town and school in junior high? 

      2.  How to Steal a Dog  by Barbara O'Conner   --  Genre:  Realistic Fiction/Life Problems
      This story combines homelessness,  a very cute dog (who is not homeless) a spunky girl,  and figuring out how to steal a dog.  

      3. The Hate U Give (Realistic Contemporary Fiction)  by Angie Thomas --  Warning:  a lot of language and some violence and sex.  It includes both positive and negative family relationships and role models.  If you're interested in reading this, I'd advise talking with a parent about it, and waiting until you're in high school.

      Sixteen-year-old Starr Carter moves between two worlds: the poor neighborhood where she lives and the fancy suburban prep school she attends. The uneasy balance between these worlds is shattered when Starr witnesses the fatal shooting of her childhood best friend Khalil at the hands of a police officer. Khalil was unarmed.
      Soon afterward, his death is a national headline. Some are calling him a thug, maybe even a drug dealer and a gangbanger. Protesters are taking to the streets in Khalil’s name. Some cops and the local drug lord try to intimidate Starr and her family. What everyone wants to know is: what really went down that night? And the only person alive who can answer that is Starr.
      But what Starr does—or does not—say could upend her community. It could also endanger her life.

      4. Loki's Wolves by K.L. Armstrong and Melissa Marr.  Because I teach the mythology class, I've been looking for more novels that are based on mythology. The main characters are descendants of the Norse Gods who must stop Ragnarok (while other descendants try to bring it on).  I hope to read the other two books in the series -- Odin's Ravens and Thor's Serpents.

      5. The Silver Penny by Randall Wright
      Twelve-year-old Jacob (whose nickname is Deb) lives on a farm in the early 1800s in Pennsylvania and has a bad case of wanderlust. No hex can keep him from yearning for far-off places, and neither can a broken leg. But it can keep him from moving around at all. Deb is so miserable that he even misses doing chores. Nothing cheers him up -- not his cousin Tam and especially not that strange boy Bray who's been hanging about.

      The only glimmer of brightness in Deb's life comes from Grandpa's lucky silver penny, which keeps mysteriously showing up. Soon its strange powers lead him on a journey that might be just the cure he needs.  -- summary adapted from Amazon. 
      This is a strange book -- a mix of historical fiction and magical realism -- but I enjoyed reading it.  Mr. Wright is a local author.

      6. Red Queen -- (Dystopian Fiction) - by  Victoria Aveyard - There are suggestions that this is a world that developed after some great destruction of what could have been our world.   People have evolved into two types -- those with red blood who have become the servant/slave class, and those with silver blood who have special powers and rule absolutely and with cruelty.  Mare has red blood, but she and the silver royals discover that she too has a special, dangerous power.   The royals attempt to use her for their own purposes, and she soon learns that "anyone can betray anyone."   This is a four book series.  I very much enjoyed the first book.

      7.  The Night Diary (Historical Fiction) -- by Veera Hiranandani  -- Nisha and her twin brother are twelve years old and live with their Hindu physician father, their grandmother, and their Muslim cook and gardener  Kazi in the part of India that in 1947 became Pakistan.  Their mother (who died when they were born) was Muslim, so there had been some disapproval when their father and mother had married, but in general Hindus, Muslims, and Sihks all got along fine in their community until Great Britain gave India its freedom and the leaders decided there should be one country for Muslims and another for Hindus.  For her twelfth birthday, Kazi has given Nisha a diary, and Nisha decides she will use it to write every night to her dead mother.  The diary becomes the record of her family's flight from what was their home and is now dangerous and often deadly for Hindus.  If you liked reading Refugee, you will probably also find this book very interesting.

      Enrique's Journey (adapted for young people) (Nonfiction)  by Sonia Nazario
      This nonfiction book tells the story of a sixteen-year-old boy who attempts (several times) to travel from his home country of Honduras to the United States to find his mother.   She had left him and his sister in the care of family members when he was five.  Her husband had left the family and she was desperate to support her children -- providing them with food, clothing,  and perhaps even education.

      Aru Shah and the End of Time by Roshani Chokshi
      Seventh grader Aru should never have lit the ancient lamp. When she put the lighter to the wick, the world froze and she released the awful Sleeper. Aru is suddenly launched into the world of the gods and surrounded by mythical characters come to life. Aru discovers she is a Pandava, born with the soul of one of the five brothers featured in the Mahabharata. She also has a soul sister, Mini, to assist her in this quest—highly unusual for a Pandava. Aru and Mini must enter the Kingdom of Death to find out the secret that will destroy the Sleeper. Rick Riordan writes the introduction to this book that has a similar tone and pacing to his popular "Percy Jackson" series, but Chokshi brings her own sensibility and style. Using Hindu mythology as the foundation, Chokshi has created an exciting adventure around a coming-of-age tale. A glossary provides readers with a basic introduction to the various traditional stories that Chokshi drew from. Just as "Percy Jackson" led tweens to a deeper exploration and appreciation of classic Greek mythology, Chokshi's tale will likely inspire a similar demand for traditional Indian mythology. VERDICT An enthralling start to a series that Riordan fans and anyone in the mood for a high-octane adventure will love.—Clare A. Dombrowski, Amesbury Public Library, MA -- from Amazon reviews.

      Illegal by Eoin Colfer (graphic novel)
      A powerfully moving graphic novel by New York Times bestselling author Eoin Colfer and the team behind the Artemis Fowl graphic novels that explores the current plight of undocumented immigrants.
      Ebo is alone. His brother, Kwame, has disappeared, and Ebo knows it can only be to attempt the hazardous journey to Europe, and a better life―the same journey their sister set out on months ago.
      But Ebo refuses to be left behind in Ghana. He sets out after Kwame and joins him on the quest to reach Europe. Ebo's epic journey takes him across the Sahara Desert to the dangerous streets of Tripoli, and finally out to the merciless sea. But with every step he holds on to his hope for a new life, and a reunion with his family.  -- from Amazon 
      Sabriel by Garth Nix  --   I love Garth Nix!  I've read this whole series before -- a long time ago -- and now I'm listening to it on Libby (free text and audiobooks through the public library) as read by Tim Curry.    Sabriel lives in a world of charter magic and free magic, and of two kingdoms.  Since she was four years old, she has lived at a boarding school in a kingdom where there are phones and electric lights and modern weapons.  Across the wall is the Old Kingdom -- more medieval and a place of monsters and of dead who not stay dead.   Her father has come to visit her from the Old Kingdom, twice a year officially and more often unofficially (and seemingly unembodied).  Her father is a necromancer, but as he says,  Yes, . . . I am a necromancer, but not of the common kind. where others of the art raise the dead, I lay them back to rest. And those that will not rest, I bind-or try to. I am Abhorsen . . ."  Sabriel has been learning charter magic at school, and, unlike the other girls, necromancy, too.  The inciting incident is when her father Abhorsen goes missing in the land of the dead.  It's up to Sabriel to rescue him.  If she can, she will also save the rest of the world from the terror that will come if the magic protections he has created die with him.
      Garth Nix is also the author of The Keys to the Kingdom and The Seventh Tower series.

      For parents:
      The Lost Girls of Paris  (Historical Fiction)  by Pam Jenoff  -- I enjoyed reading it, but it fell short of what it could have been.  This is one of those books where it feels like the author tried to wrap up the ending too quickly.
      “Fraught with danger, filled with mystery, and meticulously researched, The Lost Girls of Paris is a fascinating tale of the hidden women who helped to win the war.” —Lisa Wingate, New York Times bestselling author of Before We Were Yours -- comment found on Amazon.

      Becoming  (Autobiography) by Michelle Obama
      This is Michelle Obama's autobiography.  Regardless of the reader's political views, it is both interesting and inspirational.

      Educated: A Memoir (Autobiography)  by Tara Westover  -- Tara grew up in Southern Idaho with survivalist parents.  She was not sent to either elementary or secondary school but eventually taught herself enough to be accepted to a university at age seventeen, then goes on to Cambridge and Harvard.

      Abandoned books: (both of these are books for adults)
      Lincoln in the Bardo -- too strange and too crass for my taste
      I, Eliza Hamilton --  Good, but I had other books I'd rather read at the time. 

      Other books you might be interested in:
      Here is a group of books recommended for those who have enjoyed the Harry Potter books:

      I highly recommend The Alchemist series.  Scroll down here for more on that.
      I've also enjoyed Miss Peregrine's Peculiar Children.
      I also especially recommend the Ranger's Apprentice Series, The Redwall Series, and The Lost Years of Merlin.
      I'm interested in The Worst Witch series because the shows available on Netflix are so fun.

      Concerning the His Dark Materials Series, I recommend the first book, but not the rest for everyone -- depending on your religious feelings. Pullman is a skilled author, but for me his efforts to promote atheism are too blatant.


      I haven't read all of these books, but other teachers are recommending them.   You could check CommonSenseMedia for more information on at least some of them.

      Suggestions for Summer Reading --
      From Book 1: Nicholas Flamel appeared in J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter—but did you know he really lived? And his secrets aren't safe! Discover the truth in book one of the New York Timesbestselling series the Secrets of the Immortal Nicholas Flamel. 
      The truth: Nicholas Flamel's tomb is empty. 
      The legend: Nicholas Flamel lives.

         Nicholas Flamel is the greatest Alchemyst to ever live. The records show that he died in 1418, but what if he's actually been making the elixir of life for centuries?
          The secrets to eternal life are hidden within the book he protects—the Book of Abraham the Mage. It's the most powerful book that has ever existed, and in the wrong hands, it will destroy the world. And that's exactly what Dr. John Dee plans to do when he steals it. 
          There is one hope. If the prophecy is true, Sophie and Josh Newman have the power to save everyone. Now they just have to learn to use it.  

      “The Secrets of the Immortal Nicholas Flamel has everything you loved about Harry Potter, including magic, mystery, and a constant battle of good versus evil.”—Bustle
      If you haven't read
       the Harry Potter series,
       or Percy Jackson,
      or Magnus Chase,
      or the Legend Series,
      or Hunger Games,
      or Divergent,
      or Uglies,
      Maze Runner,
      Matched (a community a lot like that of The Giver, but with very interesting differences),
      the other books related to The Giver:  Gathering Blue, Messenger, Son,
      or Arc of a Scythe,
      I Am Number Four,
      Among the Hidden,
      Diary of  a Wimpy Kid,
      Everlost Trilogy,
      Sammy Keyes series,  (girl detective extraordinaire -- and very funny), 
      this could be the time.

      Individual Books (some have other related books):
      Or how about
      Little Women,
      or any of Alan Gratz's books (he wrote Refugee),
      The Crossover by Kwame Alexander,
      The Secret Life of Bees, 
      Fever 1793, 
      Out of My Mind, 
      Al Capone Does My Shirts, 
      The Fourth Stall, 
      The Hobbit (and The Lord of the Rings series), 
      Savvy (three books), 
      Walk Two Moons, 
      Stand Tall, 
      Maniac Magee, 
      When You Reach Me.

      I want to read: 
      "Making Bombs for Hitler" by Marsha Forchuk Skrypuch. At first, Lida believes that she and her family are safe from the Nazis since they aren't Jewish. However, the Ukrainian girl can't escape the horrors of World War II. Lida is rounded up with other youth, separated from her younger sister, Larissa, and sent to a brutal labor camp where she and other children will be forced to make German bombs until they drop. There, Lida comes up with a daring plan: sabotage the bombs. Her friends are eager to join her secret resistance, but if their deception is discovered, they'll surely be executed. Nevertheless, the chance to do their own, small part to end the war is too important to waste.

      Based on the real-life experience of countless Ukrainian and other Central and Eastern European children who were among the estimated 3 to 5 million Ostarbeiters (or "Eastern workers") used as slave labor in Nazi work camps, this historical fiction novel is not too graphic for younger readers, but still captures both the horrors of the camps and the courage of people like Lida who found ways to fight. Lida is an inspiring but realistic character, and young readers will feel for her as she struggles with fear and loss -- and as she bonds with her fellow work camp prisoners. This captivating, suspenseful novel about a little known part of WWII history is highly recommended for ages 10 and up.   -- Recommended by A Mighty Girl.