Monday, September 11, 2017

7th Grade Reading Challenge and Book Orders

7th Grade Reading Challenge:
Today I introduced the 7th-grade reading challenge to students.  The expectations for reading this year are:
  • To set a reading challenge goal for themselves, this will be done in class tomorrow.
  • To read at least 20 minutes outside of class every single day
  • To read at least 25 chapter books or more
  • If they do not want to do a quantity goal, they can challenge themselves in another way, such as
    • Reading longer books than you normally do, if so, what is your typical range of pages?
    • Reading harder vocabulary books.
    • Trying new formats of books, if so which?
    • Trying new genres, if so which?
  • They do not need to log their minutes but we will keep track of books in class.
To see more information about this challenge, please go here

Book orders:

I asked the 7th graders if they still did book orders and they answered with a resounding  "Yes!"  So our first book order will go home today with interested students.  They are due back to me by Wednesday, the 13th of September.  Note that there is a teen catalog of choices too and that some of the books in it are more mature.

If you at all are considering ordering books for your child, please make it from this one, because if we receive $300 worth of orders our classroom gets 10,000 bonus points, which I then use to get us more books!

You can place your order by sending in a check made out to Scholastic Book Cub or by ordering online.
To shop Online:
One-Time Class Activation Code: GXJ8R

Recommended Books:
  • Solo by Kwame Alexander
  • Refugee by Alan Gratz
  • Restart by Gordon Korman 
  • Amina's Voice by Hena Khan
  • I Survived True Stories: Tornado Terror
  • Everything, Everything by Nicola Yoon (Teen)
  • Alex and Eliza by Melissa de la Cruz (Teen)
  • When Dimple Met Rishi by Sandhya Menon (Teen)
  • Piecing Me Together by Renee Watson (Teen)
  • Pink is for Blobfish by Jess Keating (Picture book)
  • Whoosh! Lonnie Johnson's Supersoaking Stream of Inventions by Chris Barton (Picture book)

And so many more!

I hope to see you tonight at Go to School night from 6 PM to 7 PM.
Pernille Ripp

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Welcome to 7-O English!

Hello and welcome to 7-O English!
7th grade is an incredible year of maturing, gaining responsibility, figuring out the world, and learning.  I am so excited to be a part of this journey.  My name is Pernille Ripp and I am one of the 7-O English teachers, the other being Reidun Bures.  I grew up in Denmark, but have lived here for the past 19 years.  I am the mother of 4 children all under the age of 8, which means we have a lot of laughter and craziness in our home, which I share with my husband Brandon.  I am the author of four books on education and I also get to speak to other educators around the world about engaging students, but most importantly, I love being a teacher especially of 7th graders!

Reading and writing are my passion, which you will see when you enter our room.  Right now our classroom library is bursting at the seams with books, all waiting for the right reader to pick them up as part of the 25 book challenge.  This year, your student will have tow separate English classes:  English:  Informational Studies and English:  Literature Studies. They may have me or Mrs. Bures for one or both.  Our hope for these two classes is that we will read a lot, we will write a lot, and we will connect with the world.   We will be integrating technology when it makes sense, and focus on our own learning journey.  I am a huge believer in student's voice, so students will be setting goals, assessing themselves, and taking, even more, control over their own learning journey.  Our theme for the year will be “Exploring our Identity” and this theme will help us guide us through all of our work.  My mission as your child’s teacher is to help them either stay in love with reading or writing or help them fall back in love with it.  

I need your help as we prepare for the upcoming year.  Please take a moment to take the short survey for parents/guardians posted here.  This will help the team and I get to know you better.  

Some great tools for you to use this year to stay connected with our classroom are:

Our team website - For all things Sharks related, go here.  Homework is posted, fun events, as well as updates.  Sign up on the side to get updates delivered right to your inbox, no need to even check the website if you don’t want to. Click here to see the website and the 7-O welcome.

Our Facebook site - This is where we post pictures and videos from our day to days.  It is a way to get a sneak peek into the learning that is happening.  To see it, go here.

The days of summer are disappearing quickly, but know that we are eagerly anticipating our year together.  I cannot wait for the learning that lies ahead and all of the adventures we will have together.  Welcome to 7-O English, I cannot wait to meet you!  

Locker Drop off is August 31st and September 1st.  Parent Open House night is September 111th.

Pernille Ripp

7-O English
Team website

Hola y Bienvenidos  a Ingles de 7-O!

7mo año es un año increíble de madurez, adquiriendo más responsabilidad, descubriendo al mundo y el aprendizaje. Estoy muy animada de ser parte de este viaje. Mi nombre es Pernille Ripp y soy una de las maestras de Ingles en 7-O , la otra es Reidun Bures. Crecí en Denmark pero he vivido aquí por 19 años. Soy la madre de 4 niños y todos menores de 8 años, lo cual significa que tenemos mucho de que reirnos y es una locura en nuestra casa, lo cual comparto con mi esposo Brandon. Soy autora de 4 libros en educacion y tambien hablo para otros educadores alrededor del mundo acerca de entusiasmar a los estudiantes es la cosa más importante. Me encanta ser maestra especialmente de 7mo grado.

La lectura y la escritura son mi pasión lo cual usted verá cuando entre a mi salon de clases. Ahorita nuestra biblioteca del salón está llena de libros todos esperando por lectores para que tomen parte del desafío de leer 25 de ellos. Este año, su estudiante va a tener dos clases separadas de Ingles: Ingles: Estudios informativos e Ingles: Estudio de literatura. Puede que tenga a mi o ala sra. Bures para uno o ambas. Nuestra esperanza es que estas clases podamos leer mucho, escribir y nos conectaremos con el mundo. Vamos a empezar a integrar tecnología cuando tenga sentido y enfocarnos en nuestro viaje de aprendizaje. Soy creyente de la voz de los estudiantes, entonces ellos establecerán objetivos, evaluarse y tomar más control sobre su viaje de aprendizaje. Nuestro tema para este año será “ Explorando nuestra Identidad” y este tema nos ayudará a guiarnos durante todo nuestro trabajo. Mi misión es que como maestra de su hijo los ayudare a que se mantengan enamorados de la lectura o de la escritura o ayudarlos a que se vuelvan enamorar.

Necesito su ayuda para prepararnos para el año que viene. Por favor tómese un momento para llenar una pequeña encuesta para padres/guardianes anexa aquí (parents/guardians posted here). Esto ayudará al equipo y para conocerlos mejor.

Algunas herramientas para que use este año para mantenerse conectada en nuestro salon de clases son:

Nuestra página de internet-para todas las cosas relacionadas con los Sharks, vaya aquí. La tarea es desplegada , eventos divertidos así como también actualizaciones. Registrese para que sean mandadas directamente a su buzón , no necesita checar la página si usted no quiere. Haga clic aquí para ver la página de internet y la bienvenida a 7-O.

Nuestro lugar en Facebook-Esto es donde ponemos fotografías y videos de nuestros días. Es una manera de dejarle saber de nuestro aprendizaje qué está pasando en la clase. Para ver vaya aquí.

Los días de verano están desapareciendo rápidamente, pero sepan que estamos anticipando con mucha emoción a nuestro año juntos. No puedo esperar por el aprendizaje que está enfrente de nosotros y de todas las aventuras que vamos a tener juntos. Bienvenidos a la clase de Ingles 7-O, no puede esperar para conocerlos.

Para venir a dejar sus útiles y saber donde esta localizado su armario son las siguientes fechas: 31 de agosto y 1ro de septiembre. La noche de puertas abiertas (open house) es el 11 de septiembre.


Pernille Ripp

Monday, November 21, 2016

A Note on Our Spelling Work

The students received their very first spelling work today.  Spelling in English is a two-fold process.  We have a district mandated exploration of root words and definitions, this is what they were handed today, with more explanation to follow in a moment.  The other process is the work they do within their own writing; recognizing words that they do not spell well consistently and working on them.  There are never any quizzes attached to the work but instead (hopefully) a building awareness of what they still need to work on.

The district mandated program is based on the work they have done in previous years and there are two paths for them to choose from.  One is the regular path that consists of an exploration of 5 root words and 5 definitions, the other is the enriched which centers around 25 root words.   Students may choose either one every time.  They do not lock in with a path once they have chosen it the first time.

Today we discussed what analogies are as both paths include analogy work.  Students are expected to work on this word work on their own or with a partner.  Technology should be used to assist them in their venture and the purpose of the work is not memorization but understanding.

Spelling work will always be due two weeks after it has been assigned, but can be handed in sooner.

The actual pages and resources for spelling can be found in their Google Classroom accounts in case they need access to it again.

Monday, November 14, 2016

2nd Quarter in English - An Update

With the first quarter over, we now continue onward in our quest to develop as better readers, writers, and speakers.  With its particular challenge of the 45 minute class period, and how little instructional time it provides us, we now switch our focus from reading strategies in the 1st quarter to more of a writing lens.  This means that the students are starting their first writing project this week in class.  More information about this project can be seen here  The due date for this project is December 2nd, with work time given every day in class except for Tuesday the 22nd.

A major focus of this project is the individual journey that each child is on as a writer.  We therefore abstain from many whole class lessons and instead focus on small group and one-on-one conferring.  Students will be asked to set their own specific conventions goals for this project, as well as other writing goals.

Spelling is another component added in the 2nd quarter, unless a child is in Literacy Skills with Mrs. Tanner, then they are exempt from our program.  The very first spelling work will be handed out Monday the 21st of November and will be due Monday the 5th.  There is no quiz attached, only the actual work that goes into the district mandated program.  There are two choices for the program; a regular list or an enriched list.  Students may choose which challenge they would like.  

We continue to work on reading more and deeper.  Every child should be reading at least 20 minutes outside of English, and should be reading books that they like, but that are also stretching them a little.  We will continue to analyze text in class and work on group discussions.

Speeches will also appear again in second quarter, they will be solo speeches in December and another group speech in January.

Conferences with me and the other team members of 7-O: Ms. Stoller, Ms. St. Clair, Mrs. Manzeck, Mr. Spaeth, Mrs. Gratzl and Mrs. Bures, as well as all other teachers will be held tomorrow, Tuesday, November 15th from 4 PM to 8 PM in the cafeteria. Each conference gets to last 5 minutes.  If you feel you need more time than that please reach out so we may schedule a different time for you.  There are also conferences happening at OMS on the 17th also from 4 PM to 8 PM with all other teachers except for the ones listed previously.  The book fair is also happening at school right now, it is a great place to pick up some great new titles for your learner.  

As always, it is an honor to get to be a part of your learner's journey in 7th grade.  Please reach out with any needs, questions, or concerns you may have.

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

The Refugee Crisis Assignment

The Refugee Crisis Assignment

To Do:
  1. Select three different articles to read from the choices provided - read them.  Also, choose one video clip to watch - take notes on this.
  2. Annotate each article - this is for you to use in discussion and they will not be handed in.
  3. Write a summary of one of the articles - to hand in to Mrs. Ripp.  A good summary has a main idea with supporting details.  Make sure it is written in your own words.
  4. Write an opinion piece answering; what is our role as Americans in the refugee crisis?  You must use MEL-Con format.  This is to be handed in to Mrs. Ripp and should be based on the three articles you read and the video clip you watched.  

Things to annotate for:
  • What surprised you?
  • What are the problems discussed?
  • What are the solutions discussed?
  • Anything else that you might want to discuss.

To hand in:
  • Your summary - due October 18th
  • Your opinion piece - due October 25th

What are you assessed on?

ELA 1:  Your opinion piece
Determine/analyze development of central ideas/themes in a text.

ELA 3: Both pieces
Write informative texts to convey ideas; select, organize, and analyze content; summarize.

ELA 5:  Your opinion piece
Draw evidence from texts to support written analysis.

ELA 6:  Both pieces
Command the conventions of standard English grammar, usage, and vocabulary.

This will be a summative assessment, practice and mini-lessons will occur during class.

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Where is Mrs. Ripp?

Your child may have told you that we had a substitute teacher, Mr. Wink, today in English.  This does happen from time to time because I am asked to speak at education events about how to be a better teacher and I have the incredible opportunity to share the words of the students I teach.  While I am delighted at the honor of teaching other teachers, my main job is to be a teacher for your child.  I therefore have an agreement with the district that I am not gone very often and I always make sure that it fits in with what we are doing.

Why am I out speaking?
It is due to the education blog I write at and also the books I have written (and am currently writing) about how to make education better for all student, global collaboration, as well as better reading instruction.

I also created the Global Read Aloud, which students will participate in starting October 3rd, and so I get asked to teach others about global collaboration, great literacy instruction, and personalizing learning.  To see more information about the Global Read Aloud, go to

How is my child impacted?
Hopefully not in a negative way.  I am very mindful of my few absences.  We try to create a classroom filled with students that push themselves as learners and so when I am out, they are not just doing busy work, they are actively working on things that matter to what we are doing.  One of the benefits is that the students voices get to be a part of the worldwide education debate, meaning they are starting conversations on a global scale about what students need and want.  This also means that we do a lot with authentic audiences, so that students are not just producing work for me but for others to give feedback as well.  Students also get to connect with authors and other students around the world.

I sometimes use pictures from my classrooms or words from my students in presentations.  I will ask for permission if this involves your child. 

Questions or concerns?
Please contact me.  My main responsibility is to be a 7th grade English teacher, not a speaker, or a writer.  Traveling to speak is a bonus but not my ambition and I want to make sure that I am the best possible teacher for your learner first.

Friday, September 16, 2016

1st Quarter Speech: Create Your Own Superhero or Your Choice of Topic

1st Quarter Speech:  Create Your Own Superhero or Your Choice of Topic
Goal:  To create a 1 minute speech discussing what type of superhero you would be or invent your own topic such as introducing yourself to the class.

Summative Standards Assessed:  
Standard 7:  Present focused claims with support, using eye contact, volume, and elocution.

Timeline & Due date:  Time will be given in class to work on this Tuesday, September 20th.  September 23rd, 2016 - all speeches will be performed in class live.

Detailed description:
Students will write and perform a 1 minute speech discussing what type of superhero they would be if they had to invent one,or a speech introducing themselves to the class, or on any other self-chosen topic.  

If you are introducing yourself here are suggestions for things to include:
  • What does your name mean or how did you get your name?
  • Where were you born?
  • What are things you are great at?
  • What are things you are passionate about?
  • What is your family like?

If you are doing the superhero here are suggestions for things to include:  
  • How would they become a superhero?
  • What would their superpowers be?
  • What would their name be?
  • What would they look like?
  • What would their main purpose be?
  • Would they be good superheroes or villains?  Why would they choose that?
  • What would their superhero gadgets be?
  • Where would their lair (hideout) be and what would it look like?

Students should:
  • Use their time wisely in class so they do not have to work on it at home.
  • Time their speech to make sure it is right around 1 minute, not too short and not too long
  • Practice their speech to make sure they feel comfortable.
  • Have a way of supporting themselves through their speech, meaning they can use notecards or a manuscript, however, they may not read their speech but need to deliver it as best as they can.
  • Content does not get assessed, only speaking skills.