Mrs. DeFors's Desk

Information and Conversation for 8th graders

Literature Circles January 13, 2014

Filed under: Uncategorized — jdefors @ 8:11 pm

In all ELA/A.ELA classes periods 5/6 and 7/8, students are working collaboratively in groups to discuss novels. During these literature circle discussions, students are focusing on communicating with each other about a book they’ve read.  Last week students were put into groups according to which novel they wanted to read.  Each day students are given time in class to read their group-assigned section in preparation for the discussion. Students are also required to complete a bookmark to help guide them through a discussion. The overall goal with these circles is to get students comfortable with communicating with people; they are learning how to take turns speaking and how to respectfully agree/disagree with each other’s ideas. For this reason, Mrs. DeFors and I decided we would give students the opportunity to work with each other’s classes. For example, there are groups that include students from both my class and Mrs. DeFors’s class.

We are super excited about this experience and can’t wait to sit in on the discussions!!


Unit Two: Respect and Tolerance December 2, 2013

Filed under: Uncategorized — jdefors @ 5:50 pm

Welcome back! I hope everyone enjoyed their Thanksgiving holiday and got plenty of rest.

The seventh graders are about to begin their second unit of study in ELA, titled Respect and Tolerance. Throughout this unit, we will be looking at a variety of texts, including written, spoken, and visual texts, to guide students to an understanding of what it means to respect someone and be a tolerant citizen.  Students will be reading both fictional and informational texts dealing with various acts of intolerance, including bullying and acts of disrespect.  Our goal with this unit, while including the common core standards, is to teach students empathy.  Our hope is that students will feel safe to discuss sensitive topics and our goal is to create an atmosphere of respect.


Schoology September 27, 2013

Filed under: Uncategorized — jdefors @ 5:26 pm

Mrs. Mixon and I are excited to start using Schoology with the 7th graders!  Towards the end of next week, your child will be creating a Schoology account.   This account with enable us to facilitate online discussions relating to what is occurring in the classroom.

Students will learn the importance of Digital Citizenship before we begin our use of Schoology.  Our goal is that students learn respectful, responsible, and safe skills while using online discussion boards!  Then, seventh graders will learn how to write a “substantive response” to the discussion questions posted on Schoology.  This will enable students to collaborate and “keep the discussion going”, rather than cutting a discussion short due to a response like, “That’s cool! I agree!”


Please let me know if you have any questions about Schoology!

Click the link below to learn more about Schoology!



Highs & Lows Book Report September 13, 2013

Filed under: Uncategorized — jdefors @ 4:51 pm

All ELA students have been assigned the first book report of the school year.  Today, students visited the IMC where Miss Hagensee reviewed IMC policies and procedures.  Additionally, Miss Hagenseee gave a “book talk” on some new fiction selections.  Students were then given time to select any age-appropriate fiction book.

Book Report Informational sheets can be located in the 7th Grade Filing Cabinet.  Here is a brief explanation:

1. After you finish your book report book, think of AT LEAST 5 significant events your main character experienced.

2. Think of a school appropriate picture or image that illustrates this event.

3.  Give each event a rating from 3 to negative 3.  A 3 would be an event that was AWESOME! A -3 would be a horrible event.  You may also use 2, 1, 0, -1, and -2. 

4. On a clean sheet of computer paper, create a timeline of these significant events that shows the “highs and lows” of the story. Add your images near the event they relate to.  Your images may be drawn by hand or something you find in a magazine/online.


This book report is due by October 11!


7th Grade ELA Unit 1: Change and Acceptance September 6, 2013

Filed under: Uncategorized — jdefors @ 1:38 pm

Starting next week, all 7th grade students will begin the very first ELA unit of study, Change and Acceptance.  Throughout this unit students will read, analyze, and respond to various texts which connect to the themes of change and acceptance.  In adherence to the Common Core State Standards, we will be completing Close reading to help students gain a deep level of comprehension of fiction and non-fiction texts.  Students will be analyzing  the development of the theme of change and acceptance across various texts, comparing and contrasting character  experiences, as well as determining the impact of points of view in narration.  They will be responding to the texts they encounter.  Throughout the unit, students will be sharing their analyses and research findings with their classmates through various means.  The goal by the end of this unit is for students to have deep, meaningful, and personal answers to the following essential questions:

1. What traits are needed in order for a character to face and accept change?

2. What motivates a character to chance or remain the same?

3. What is necessary in order for a character to arrive at acceptance?

4. How do characters handle change (self/others)?


Welcome! August 29, 2013

Filed under: Uncategorized — jdefors @ 3:00 am

Hello and welcome to 7th grade ELA (English Language Arts).  My name is Joy DeFors, and I will be your child’s ELA teacher for the 2013-2014 school year.  I am looking forward to working with your child and guiding them to be a better reader and writer.
Communication between a parent, a student, and the student’s teacher is one of the most important tools that enable children to be successful!  I invite you to call or email us if you have questions or concerns:

~ The phone number to the front office is: 630 985-2700

– My email address is:
I will do my very best best to return calls and emails promptly.   I am very excited about the upcoming school year, and I look forward to working with you and your child.



Joy DeFors


Maternity Leave March 20, 2013

Filed under: Uncategorized — jdefors @ 12:34 pm

Dear Parents,

I hope that you are anticipating a wonderful spring vacation as much as I am.  As most of you know, I am about to take the rest of the school year off for maternity leave. My intention is to work through March 22, at which point Mrs. Carole Adams will take over for me.  


In my absence, Mrs. Adams will be working with  your children.  Mrs. Adams retired as an educator several years ago from CCSD66.  She has 30 years of experience working in the district.  In fact, she ended her career right here at Lakeview as an 8th grade language arts and reading teacher!  As a result, I do not think of Mrs. Adams as a “substitute teacher”.  Your children are in capable hands, and I could not ask for a more perfect person to take over the classroom!  I am 100% confident that you will agree and that she’ll do a wonderful job!


Should you need to contact Mrs. Adams, you may email her at 


Thank you so much for your support.  I hope to be able to attend the graduation commencement ceremony and see you there.



Joy DeFors