Coach Hammond's 7th Grade Reading Website

Hello and thank you for subscribing to my web page.  My name is Thomas Hammond and I am a 7th grade reading teacher at West Brazos.  This year is my first full year of teaching, although I did teach a 7th grade writing class during the second semester of last year.  Prior to becoming a teacher, I worked as a juvenile probation officer and supervisor for ten years with Brazoria county. I was a probation officer in both Wyoming and California prior to moving back to this area in 2008.  I previously lived in the Wild Peach area as a young child, but then moved out of state back in the early 80's with my family.  I have married to my wife, Misty Hammond, for 20 years, and we have four daughters together.  Misty is a 5th grade teacher at West Columbia Elementary and is also the primary sponsor for Color Guard at Columbia High School.  My oldest daughter, Marissa, is a sophomore at the University of Houston and is also a color guard sponsor at CHS.  My daughter, Abbey, is a senior at CHS, and Jordan is a sophomore at CHS.  Kyla, my youngest, is in 8th grade at WBJH.   
 

Posts

Week of 5/18 - 5/21

The end of the school year has arrived!  It has been a crazy one to say the least, and like nothing that has been experienced before.  We can only hope that students will not have to experience a year like this again in the future.  I posted a couple of Readworks assignments in Google Classroom for your students to work on. I want to express my appreciation to all of the parents out there who pushed their students to get work done, even when all they wanted to do was sleep and have fun.  Your efforts and care for your children’s education are both greatly appreciated.  I wish all of you a safe, healthy, and enjoyable summer and hope this experience we have all gone through has offered us all some perspective as we move toward the future.  Best wishes to you all. 

Week of 5/11 - 5/15/2020

Hello!  Hope you are all continuing to do well and stay healthy.  As you may know, there are only two more weeks of school remaining.  We are not clear yet on what next year will look like, and to be honest, we may not know anything until at least July.  I am sure that information will be shared once we all have it.  I have posted new assignments for this week in Google Classroom. They will include Readworks and Seesaw, which all of your students should be familiar with.  Thanks to all of you for your continued support of your students as they try to continue their educations in unprecedented circumstances.  We can only hope to return to some level of normalcy in the near future, and, with any luck, perhaps we will not have to experience anything like this again.  We have all discovered that life is so unpredictable, it is just hard to see what the future may hold.  In either case, I wish you all the best of health and happiness as we wrap up your child’s 7th grade year.  Take care and thanks to all of you. 

Week of 5/4 - 5/8/20

Good morning! Hope all of you are doing well and staying healthy.  Just to put things in perspective, if students were physically in school, we would only have 14 school days left.  That is less than three weeks from today.  I know it seems a bit irrelevant at this point, but I also realize how easy it has been for me to lose track of time over the past couple of months.  The days simply run together, and in truth, Mondays are not much different than Fridays or Saturdays anymore.  That is just weird to me.  

I have posted new assignments in Google Classroom and the Seesaw app.  I ask that you continue to encourage your students to work toward improving their minds by reading and working on tasks beyond just video games and fun.  Many of them are doing a great job, but others not so much.  With any luck, in just over three months from now we will be back in school, and your students will be 8th graders at WBJH.  Encourage them to get some work done, so when we do resume, they will be ready.  As always, take care of yourselves and your families and I wish you all the best.  ​​​​​​​

4/27 - 5/1/2020

 
  Message Detail   
 
Hello!  Hope you are all continuing to stay healthy and maintaining your sanity.  I have posted new assignments in Google Classroom for your students.  There have been some additional students who have started participating, so for that I say thanks and keep up the good work.  I ask that those of you whose students are not participating, please encourage them to do so.  If you are not sure if your student is participating or not, shoot me an e-mail and I will gladly let you know.  Best wishes as we continue through these unusual times and take care of yourselves and your family. 

This week

Hello folks!  Hope this message finds all of you doing well.  As I am sure you are all aware, Governor Abbott announced Friday that we will not be returning to school this year.  That means the next time your 7th graders go to school, they will be 8th graders.  I want to stress this because many students are still not doing the activities that are posted in Google Classroom.  For those students who aren’t, they are risking the possibility of not being ready when they start school next year.  I again ask that you push your students to get some work done.  Even if they don’t do it all, they at least need to do something to keep their brains working.  That having been said, I have posted more assignments in Google Classroom for this coming week.  Please review them with your students and follow up on whether they are doing any work or not.  Some are doing a great job, but others have done nothing.  I just don’t want to see them starting off next year further behind.  Also, I have posted information about Zoom class meetings in Google Classroom.  The meetings will be taking place this week, so hopefully your students will be there. For this initial meeting, we will just be talking and getting re-acquainted, but in the future, we will be looking at learning oriented activities. Wishing you all the best and looking forward to the future.  Take care and stay safe. 

Week of 4/13 - 4/17/2020

Good morning to all you social distancers out there.  Hope everyone is doing well and maintaining good health.  I am reaching out again this week to let you know that there are new assignments posted in Google Classroom for your students.  As previously mentioned, many of your students are doing a great job on keeping up with school work, while others are participating very little to not at all.  Again, just keep in mind, school will resume at some point, so keeping that brain working is essential to not falling behind once we are back in class.  I also want to let you know that I am looking at setting up a virtual classroom either later this week or early next week. It will not be a classroom in the classic sense obviously. But for those students who choose to participate, it will be a chance to interact with classmates and to offer some discussion and input about current events and other topics that we may wish to explore.  Keep an eye on Google Classroom for more information about that.  Just a reminder, school work packets are available for pickup at WBJH by appointment only, so if you need a packet, or something else school related, make sure you call ahead to schedule.  Thank you for your ongoing efforts toward preservation of all our health and best wishes for a healthy, happy, and prosperous week. 

Classwork

Good evening,
I hope this message finds you doing as well as can be under the current circumstances.  I have just posted several new enrichment and learning opportunities in Google Classroom.  Some of your students have been doing a great job of participating, and much of their work has been amazing to see.  I am impressed beyond my wildest imagination at some of the slideshow projects that have been shared with me.  Unfortunately, many of your students have done very little or nothing to take advantage of the learning opportunities that have been posted.  Whether any of this is graded or not, I ask that you consider where your student will be one life goes back to normal and they are all back in school.  Follow up and make sure your children are doing something to improve their minds and not just sitting around playing video games or sleeping all day.  You don’t want them to be behind when school does resume, be it this year or next.  At some point life will return to normal.  Please keep in mind that school is not all about grades, but rather is about developing the minds and abilities of your students as they start to mature into young adults.  I send my prayers and best wishes to all of you and your families, and wish you the best of health and prosperity.  
Coach Hammond

Update

Good evening to you all. I hope this message finds you all doing well and in good health.  A teleconference meeting occurred this morning to finalize plans for online activities over the next several weeks while school is closed.  Starting on Monday, March 23, 2020, teachers will begin posting weekly course related activities and enrichment opportunities for students to work on.  These activities will vary from teacher to teacher, and will come in multiple formats.  For me personally, I continue to stress the importance of daily reading, and one of the activities that I will be utilizing weekly are video reading logs on the Seesaw application, that is accessible to your student through his / her CBISD Classlink account.  Most of your students will be familiar with Seesaw as I have personal insight into the fact that many of them used it in 5th grade math to describe how they worked out math problems.  In fact I had the opportunity to watch some of them work out their math problems on video when they were younger as a demonstration.  I also very much want to see your students complete their slide show research presentations.  Many of them have worked very hard on these presentations and have done a great job on them.  I think following through on completion of the presentation would help them by allowing them work to completion on something that should be interesting and important to them, and also by enriching their knowledge of conduction research, development, and presentation, which will benefit them tremendously as they advance in their academic careers.  They can share these presentations with me at any time and I will do my best to provide timely feedback to them regarding their efforts.  There will be other items posted in Google Classroom starting Monday which will provide your students the opportunity to enrich their knowledge and prepare for their future academic endeavors.  Please keep a close watch on Google Classroom as I will be posting many items there over the weekend to help get this process started.  For those who do not have access to the internet, there will be paper work packets available at the school as well, so those students can also further their education.  Those should be available on Monday also.  If you have internet access, but no computer, please contact the school on Monday between 9 a.m. and 2 p.m. to check into borrowing a Chromebook.  Thank you all for your patience and understanding as the staff of WBJH embark on a journey toward trying to educate your children in a completely new forum.  I assure you we will all do our best to help you through this process and to maximize opportunities for your students to grow.  I wish all students and families the best of health and prosperity as this constantly developing situations continues to change our lives on an almost daily basis.  From my conversations with other teachers, we are all missing working with your children in school and very much look forward to returning to normalcy whenever that day may come.  

Update

Good evening! I am writing to update you on the student coursework situation.  I and all of my fellow teachers are still awaiting further instruction from our administration in order to start the process of assigning coursework.  You should expect to start seeing work in Google Classroom by 3/23/20, which is next Monday.  In the meantime, all of your students do have a research slide show that most of them have been working on during out class time.  Although the parameters have changed and are still unknown at this point, I would still very much love to see your students complete these projects since they have already put work into them, and since many of them are doing an excellent job.  The guidelines for the projects and MLA formatting can all be located in Google Classroom, and I just moved them to the top of the stream for your convenience.  I would again reiterate that students should also be reading something at least 30 minutes per day.  Depending on what directives we receive for further coursework, I am hoping to start the process of collecting reading logs from students again, but in a different format that I hope will appeal to them more. I will fill you in more when I know more.  I am providing a link that you can look at with the hopes that it will provide you some insight on how to navigate Google Classroom.  When you have a chance, take a look at it. It may help you to be able to better help your students as they get to work.  The link is below:
 
 
Again, I continue to wish you all the best of health and prosperity as we embark on this journey into uncharted territory together. 
Regards,
Coach Hammond

Coursework

Good Afternoon. 
I hope this message finds you all doing as well as can be expected under our present circumstances.  I am writing to make you aware that the ELAR team at WBJH is working with our administration to develop coursework and materials that will help your students to continue to progress in their 7th grade careers. I am hopeful that by this time tomorrow a full plan and list of resources will have been developed and assignments posted to Google Classroom so that your students can start getting some course work done at home. In the meantime, I would like to stress that the most important thing your student can do during this time off from a reading teacher’s perspective is read.  They can read books, magazines, newspapers, or whatever materials appeal to them as long as they are reading.  This will, in turn, broaden their vocabulary, help with grammar, and expand their knowledge overall.  I know it can be difficult to get your students to read, but do your best to encourage them to read something for at least 30 minutes per day.  If they say they don’t have books to read, I would offer that the internet puts any book, journal, or article at their fingertips, often at little or no expense.  There is always something available to read, so not having anything should not be an acceptable excuse.  They just have to look, and we all know how great they are at looking on the internet.  Again, I hope to reach out to you all again tomorrow with much more information.  In the meantime, take care of yourselves and your families and I wish you all the best of health and prosperity.  
Coach Hammond

Students out sick

If your student is out sick this week, the classwork that we have completed is all posted in Google Classroom.  There are warm up questions posted for Tuesday and today.  There is also an assignment that we worked on Tuesday  in class and today in class. It is entitled Story of an Eyewitness / Letter from New Orleans.  There is a reading passage, a worksheet, and a multiple choice “quiz” form that can all be submitted in Google Classroom.  Yesterday was reading day, so the assignment was monitored reading, which any ill or absent students are excused from. Thanks and get or stay healthy!