• 7th grade Core with Mr. Schertle

    Current Projects/Homework (listed with due dates)

      • Brown Bag Speeches - 6/2 and 6/3
      • Response to Master Puppeteer - 6/3
      • SCRATCH final on Three Cups of Tea - Monday, 6/6
      • Literature Circle Groups reading and written work - Every Thursday (need to be up on your reading and have written work done to before class every Thursday in order to participate in your literature circle book discussion)
     Looking Back at 7th Grade...

    1.      How have you changed academically and socially over the course of your two years at Price Middle School?

    2.      What is your greatest strength as a learner overall? Please share examples from your portfolio to support your choice.

    3.      What was your most difficult subject? (any class) Why?

    4.      Describe some activities and assignments that involved working cooperatively in a group. Was this a positive experience? Why or why not?  Please share work samples.

    5.      What have you done at Price that you are most proud of? (any class, i.e. curriculum, sports, band, etc.)

    6.      What else do you have in your portfolio that you would like to share?  How has the process of evaluating your work been helpful?

    7.      What do you consider to be your greatest challenge as you enter 8th grade ? (attendance, organization, timeliness)  How are you prepared to overcome these challenges?  Please be specific.

    8.      What are your goals for the next school year and how can I help you achieve them?  What do you see yourself doing in five years, in ten years? Please be specific and include what steps you will take to achieve these goals.  

    Older Assignments: 
     NY Times Learning Network - Thursday 10/22 - Use this link for the assignment

      • Create a blog entry on The Outsiders - Title it "Outsiders - Personal Response - Write a paragraph for EACH of the following topics - Due Monday 9/28
    •                   - Why did S.E. Hinton title the book The Outsiders?  Which of the characters best fits the description?  Explain your                      answer.
    •                   - Compare and contrast the attitudes, actions and appearance of the Greasers and the Socs.
    •                   - At the end of the book, Pony Boy wants to tell his story.  What is the main message he wants to get across to people                      when he tells his story?  What are people in YOUR world that need their story told.  What would you want to                                       communicate about them?
        • Read The Outsiders - Chapter 5 and be prepared for a quiz on Tuesday 9/15
        • Grammar Weeks 3 and 4 with Rewrites - Friday 9/18 
        • Literature Circle Groups reading and written work - Every Thursday (need to be up on your reading and have written work done to before class every Thursday in order to participate in your literature circle book discussion)

      • Read The Outsiders - Finish Chapter 2 and all of Chapter 3  and be prepared for a quiz on Tuesday 9/8
      • Rewrite the Farmer and His Sons using the 4 Dress-ups you learned (and underline them) and avoiding all banned verbs and adjectives. - Due Tuesday 9/8
    Grammar Rewrites - Week 1 and 2 with classwork - Friday, 9/4

    • Literature Circle Meeting - Book 1, Meeting 1 - Thursday, 9/3
    • Research 3-5 blogs on the internet that may interest you.  On YOUR blog, summarize each blog you researched and provide a web link to each - Thursday 8/27
    • All About Me Project - Wednesday 8/26
    • All School Documents signed and returned - Wednesday 8/26
    Class References  
    Grammer Goofs - Book Creator Book 
    • Using the following website: http://www.copyblogger.com/grammar-goofs/ create a fifteen page Book Creator Book, giving your own original examples of these 15 Grammar Goofs. 
    • Each page should have a title with the grammar goof, original examples you come up with and 5-10 pictures of illustrations.
    • The First Thanksgiving -  Use this website:  http://kids.nationalgeographic.com/kids/stories/history/first-thanksgiving/ to read about the First Thanksgiving.  Create a Keyword Outline on TWO paragraphs in the article that interest you most.  Then use your keyword outline to retell those two paragraphs from the article.  Use ALL the Dress-Ups for EACH paragraph and ONE Decoration per Paragraph.  Underline Dress-Ups and Decorations and make sure you follow the Title Rule for EACH paragraph.

    Two ways to start your own:
    1. What is the opposite of _____________?
    2. The opposite of __________ is _____________. 
    Then answer the "Why" or "Because" question.

    Blog Topics
    1. Intro Blog - Introduce yourself and your thoughts on bloggging
    2. I Have a Dream - Has King's dream been fulfilled for ALL Americans?  Explain.
    3. Stereotypes - What is a stereotype?  Give examples.
    4. Outsider Characters - List the characters in The Outsiders - Describe their physical appearance and the personality. 
    5. The Outsiders - Building Backgrounds (see above for directions)
    Older Assignments (Ignore for now - need to be organized using the new Schoolwires system).
    • The Omnivore's Dilemma Trivia Hunt - Due Wednesday, 6/5
    • Grammar Weeks 31 and 32 with rewrite - Due Thursday, 6/6
    • Vocab Quiz - Thursday 6/6
    • Finished Clay Marble Blog - Tuesday 6/4
    • Lit Circle Meeting #4 (The Pearl) - Thursday 5/16
    • Clay Marble Blog - Graded Friday 5/16
    • Comparative Essay - Due Thursday 5/23 (Comparative Essay Directions Here)
    • Grammar Weeks 29 & 30 with Rewrite - Due Friday 5/24
    • John Steinbeck - Author of The Pearl - We'll do research in our groups and then record results on the Today's Meet below.
      • 1/2 Core - Steinbeck research
      • 6/7 Core - Steinbeck research
        • What years did Steinbeck live?
        • What day is his birthday?
        • Where did he spend most of his life?
        • Where is the Steinbeck Center located and describe some of the events.
        • What themes did Steinbeck write about?
        • What are the names of some of his books?
        • Describe Steinbeck's personal life (married? kids? education?)
        • What's Steinbeck's most famous book?
    • Blog Post - Mary and Peter - How They've Changed - Wed. 4/24
      • Create a list of how Peter changes, how he is at the beginning of the book versus the end (with page numbers and quotes)
      • Create a list of how Mary changes, how she is at the beginning of the book versus the end (with page numbers and quotes)
    • Lit Circle Meeting #1 on The Pearl - Thursday, 4/25
    • Lit Circle Book Final Project Podcast - Due Thursday, 4/25
    • Grammar Weeks 25 and 26 with Rewrite - Due Friday 4/19
    • Illustrated Nanofiction - Tuesday, 4/2

    • Who am I? Project - Wednesday 4/3
    • Travels in Ausrailia - Due, Wednesday, 4/3 (Travels in Australia)

    • Grammar Weeks 23 & 24 with Rewrite - Friday, 3/29

    • Vocabulary Test #4 (Weeks 18-24) - Friday, 3/29
    • Lit Circle Meeting - Round 5, meeting 4 - Thursday, 3/28
    • Phantom Tollbooth Blog - Due Friday, 3/29
    • Phantom Tollbooth - Final SCRATCH Project - Friday, 3/29 (Getting Started with Scratch)
      • Topics Ideas
        • What happens next in the story?
        • Festival of Knowledge
        • Conversations between characters (Conversation Ideas)
        • Advertisement for the book Phantom Tollbooth
        • Recreate a scene from the book with quotes
      • Basic Projects Include
        • Different Characters (Sprites)
        • Dialogue between characters
        • Background (at least one)
      • Advanced Projects Include all of the above plus...
        • Sounds and animation
        • Interaction (key press or mouse click)
        • Multiple Backgrounds


    Blog Entries (log in to Class Press and look at my blog for more details on each entry -

    Make sure blog titles are numbered and named like below - Make sure the text on your blog is easy to read.

    1. Introductory Post
    2. Comparing/Critiquing Outsiders movie and book
    3. Presidential Debate - Watch at least 15 minutes and comment on blog
    4. Free Choice
    5. Characters from Wind in the Willows
    6. Election 2012 - Log onto our class blog page and read my blog for details
    7. Red Ribbon Week
    8. Poll
    9. Election Results
    10. Nanofiction
    11. Wordle
    12. Book Choice for Lit Circles
    13. Thanksgiving Traditions

    14. Wind in the Willows - Favorite Moments

    15. The First Thanksgiving -  Use this website:  http://kids.nationalgeographic.com/kids/stories/history/first-thanksgiving/ to read about the First Thanksgiving.  Create a Keyword Outline on TWO paragraphs in the article that interest you most.  Then use your keyword outline to retell those two paragraphs from the article.  

    16. Blog about what's going on in your Lit Circle book, include a personal response

    17.Christams Carol Vocabulary - Create a list of unfamiliar vocaublary words from the book A Christmas Carol.  Continue to add to this list as we make our way throught he book.  By the end of the book, you should have a list of 40-50 words with definitions.

    18.Christmas Carol - Story Elements - In this blog, you will list and describe characters, setting, mood, conflict, etc. from The Christmas Carol.  You'll add to this as well as we make our way through the book.

    19. Charles Dickens Bio

    20. A Christmas Carol Questions

    21. Free Choice Blog

    22. Mythbusters

    23. Holiday Trivia

    Older Assignments (not due)


    Other News

    • Lit Circle Audio books can be purchased on iTunes or reserved at the public library.  Students can listen to the audio as they read along in their novels.
      • Audio Books students can get from me on their iPod - The Bronze Bow, Walk Two Moons and Flush
      • Audio Books available for download from the San Jose Public Library website - Call of the Wild and Esperanza Rising

    Class Resources




    Course Content and Details

    7 Grade Language Arts Core

    with Mr. Schertle

    All you need to know


    A Bit About Me and my Class

    This is my 19th year teaching middle school, 16th at Price and I enjoy it very much.   Price is known for its excellent students and staff and high expectations.  That’s why we have so many veteran teachers.  For university, I went to Cal Poly San Luis Obispo where my wife and I met and we have two kids, 8 and 11.  Besides teaching, I love traveling all over the world, tinkering with stuff at home, the outdoors and spending time with friends and family. 


    I take my teaching seriously and expect my students to do their personal best. We will have a fun and productive year as we read many good books together and work to improve our writing.  We’ll also be using technology for blogging, writing papers and researching on the internet.  My hope is that all of my students will have a wonderful and successful year.  To that end, all parents AND students please read through the following carefully and then sign off at the end.  All the best in our learning journey together!



    • What you can expect from me
      • challenging curriculum with built in support
      • exposure to lots of quality literature (we will be reading a lot!)
      • latest technology for grammar practice, publication and online collaboration
      • rigorous writing and grammar program
      • well managed and safe classroom environment
      • exposure to different perspectives and world views through literature and discussion
      • Timely communication with parents via email
    • What I expect of my students:
      • Excellent citizenship
      • Responsibility
      • Personal Best
      • Thinking!
    • What I hope from parents
      • Communication
      • Classroom help
      • Commitment to their Child’s Education

    Classroom Management

    I have high expectations for a well managed classroom.  Disruptive students will not be tolerated and parents will be contacted immediately.   Every Friday, students have the opportunity to earn some reward time to play board games (Preferred Activity Time or PAT).  Students can add to this period of time or have time taken away depending on their on-task activity during the week.  I’ve used this technique over the years and it’s proved quite effective in having very little wasted classroom time. 



    Reading is the foundation for everything related to language.  Students struggling in reading will suffer in every subject area.  My goal this year is to bring struggling readers up to and above grade level.  Most of the time, we will be reading three novels at a time… a class novel, individual novels as part of our literature circle time and finally I’ll be reading aloud most days a novel a bit higher than seventh grade level to challenge thinking and vocabulary.  Most likely, we’ll be reading the original Howard Pyle’s splendid version of the Merry Adventures of Robin Hood.  As for class novels, they will include:

    • The Outsiders
    • The Clay Marble
    • Walkabout
    • Three Cups of Tea
    • Farwell to Manzanar
    • Door in the Wall
    Literature Circle novels will include:
    • Esperanza Rising
    • The Bronze Bow
    • The Cay
    • Flush
    • Master Puppeteer
    • Call of the Wild
    • Walk Two Moons

     Writing and Grammar

    Vocabulary will not consist of random lists of words, but challenging words used in the context of class literature.  Writing will take place informally daily in the form of blogs and entries in student’s literature notebooks.  Formal writing will be practiced in the form of essay writing in preparation for the state writing test in March.  We’ll review and practice writing structure and several forms of essay writing.   As for grammar, daily practice will take place using the effective Fix-It! Grammar and Editing Made Easy with Classics.



    Homework will not be out of control.  Students can expect 15-20 minutes of reading in their literature circle books each night.  Every Thursday, students need to come with written work, prepared to participate in their literature circle discussions.   Also, homework will occasionally consist of finishing project students will know about well ahead of time.  All homework is posted on my website. 


    Late Work…

    is a paperwork nightmare for teachers.  In preparation of 8th grade, no late work will be accepted without a parent note or email (for extenuating circumstances) or excused absence.  Most of my assignments are given a number of days to complete so there are never surprises.  Students typically know about assignments well ahead of time and need to plan accordingly. 



    • Breakdown:
      • Lit Notebook      40%
      • Projects             40%
      • Tests                    20%
    • Because much of my class is project based, there will be fewer grades recorded in PowerSchool.  However each grade represents a good deal of work so no assignments should be missed.  Projects include essays, lit circle projects and homework, blogging, etc.
    • Current grade are updated and published in PowerSchool regularly.



    In addition to all the items on the Price Middle School 7th Grade Supply List (on the school website), students will need an additional spiral notebook for Core.  It should be a minimum of 70 pages.  Please have this by Monday, August 29th. 



    • Email is the very best way to communicate with me.  I usually am able to get back to you the same day or the next day at the latest.  Note the new email format: schertler@cambriansd.org
    • My website is where all the current information for my class is located.  Check it for assignments, handouts, links to websites for projects and anything else you may need related to my class.  See: www.cambriansd.org/price
    • Yahoo Groups – This year, I’m hoping for the first time to set up a Yahoo Group for me to communicate with you.  I’ll keep you updated.