Welcome to 7th grade Language Arts and Social Studies!

Updated 2.15.17

Hello students and families, 

It is hard to believe that it is already February. As most of you know Semester 2 started on January 30th. Due to the two snow days, we have had a slow start to the new semester, but things are picking up.

In Language Arts the students are starting a new Unit. This Unit focuses on Informational reading and writing skills. Students will be reading non fiction pieces of text and learning how to de-code and analyze them as both readers and writers. Students will have a chance to conduct research on a topic of their choosing and create a multi-media project with a small group of their peers. They will then have a chance to select a new research topic and conduct research through a more argumentative lens. The unit will end with students writing an argumentative letter to a key stakeholder. This is always a really fun unit because (as most parents and guardians know) middle schooler's love to argue.

In Social Studies the Semester marks an entirely new class. Last semester the students were introduced to cultures and peoples from all over the world in a World Geography course. Now, students are enrolled in Washington State History. This is a course that I helped to create a few years ago, and is something that all students have to take before they graduate high school. It used to be offered at the High School level, but the Renton School District moved it down to Middle School three years ago. This course focuses mostly on the Native People of our state and the movements, cultures, and events that have shaped our state today. We just finished our regions unit and when we return from Mid-Winter break will be focusing on Tribes, Treaties, and Statehood. The quarter will end with our Classroom Based Assessment (students know it as the CBA). Students will be conducting research on the Dawes Act and writing a formal essay outlining the effects that the Dawes Act had on Native people as well as whether or not they believe the Act was justified. This is one of our bigger projects of the Semester. Please reach out to me at anytime if you are needing some additional support for your student.

Upcoming news:

As some of you have already been informed, I am taking maternity leave in mid March through the rest of the school year. This is my first child and I am very excited to become a mother. With that said, I have done everything in my power to provide a smooth transition for my long term substitute to take over. She will be teaching your student from the time I leave in March until the end of the academic school year. I will post her contact information soon. She is very excited to be meeting all of you and is eager to get into the classroom. I encourage you to reach out and introduce yourself at anytime.

It has been my pleasure to serve your student, this has truly been an amazing year both personally and professionally. Thank you to all of the families who have supported both me and my students this year, your constant attention and time is greatly appreciated. I wish all of you a happy spring and look forward to returning in the fall.


Go Vikings!

Melissa Stephenson 

Classroom phone number: 425-204-2841