Happy Thanksgiving!

This short week includes reviewing IR Tests, Common Formative Assessments, and vocab/spelling tests on Monday. We can learn a lot from reviewing our work! Tuesday is our field trip! Students who did not turn in a permission slip on Friday will not be coming on the trip. They will join another classroom for the duration of the field trip.

I wish you and your family a wonderful Thanksgiving. May goodness overflow in your lives and continual thanksgiving be the result.

Week of Nov. 13th

This Week in Language Arts
  • Tuesday, students will take a computerized reading text called EasyCBM.
  • In Wednesday folders, we will be sending home a Field Trip permission slip. We have planned a field trip on Nov. 21st. Permission slips should come back by Friday!
  • By Wednesday, students should be 1/3 through their nonfiction book.

This week, we will read several poems to study figurative language, theme, and perspective. You can preview some of the poems at http://mrsray.me/poetry .

Novel Study

Through our nonfiction text, “The President Has Been Shot!,” most of the informational standards will be practiced. We will also practice answering the questions on the nonfiction IR Test several times during the next few weeks.

Qtr. 2 – Week 4

Happy Halloween!

Please no costumes, face paint, or hair dye on Halloween Day.  Instead, our school is opting to celebrate Breast Cancer Awareness and is calling for a “Pink Out”– this means, wear ALL pink! I’m in! I love pink!

Monday:  Final essays (edited/revised) should be completed.
Tuesday: We will read a drama called “The Dead Rising” about Mercy Brown.
Wednesday: Intro to JFK and our next book
Thursday: Begin reading “The President Has Been Shot!: The Assassination of John F. Kennedy,” by James L. Swanson

Also, Monday – Thursday will include IR Test question review to help students as they complete their IR Tests.

books!BOOK FAIR – THURSDAY  5:30 to 7 PM! All are welcome! Teacher wishlists will be posted. Students may also shop for books on Thursday during their ELA block as we will take a special trip to the library for that purpose!

Qtr. 2 – Week 3

This Week

  • Students should be finished their IR Fiction book by Friday. This will give them the weekend and next week to complete their IR Tests, which are due Nov. 3rd.
  • We will continue to review IR Test questions in class.
  • Students are working on essays still this week. It’s a worthwhile but long process. Good for them! They’re budding writers!
  • I will be attending a training Tuesday, so students will have a substitute teacher during Blocks 2 & 3. They will be learning about citing text evidence through examples, stories, and a cut-and-paste activity.
  • Wednesday, we will be having Writer’s Cafe. I am serving fall cookies and apple cider. Students will work quietly the whole class period, using tools we’ve been gathering, reviewing, and practicing for the last couple of weeks.

Next Week

Whole-school laptop roll out for 1:1 computing! I’m so happy this opportunity is coming our way. I pioneered blended learning in my former school district, which included integrating technology in meaningful ways. Your students will benefit from the opportunities a 1:1 learning system brings.

Qtr. 2 – Week 2

Big Ideas for this week

  • Word and language study, which culminates in a quiz on Friday
  • IR Test practice: Fiction, Question 1
  • Nonfiction articles
  • Perspective Writing short, fun project
  • Writer’s Café – essay

(Pop over to the “Calendar” tab to see associated standards and details of lessons.)

HOMEWORK for this week:

  • Be 1/3 through fiction book for IR Test by mid-week.


All ITIS students, families, and faculty are invited to the 1st General PTA meeting this year with free bingo, snacks, and pizza!


Welcome to Quarter 2

Quarter 2 News

Welcome back from Fall Break! I hope your break gave you rest, relaxation, and family time. Now it’s back to the grindstone! Let’s go! Quarter 2 brings changes with it in Mrs. Ray’s classroom–all to benefit your child’s learning.  Here is what you need to know:

  • As always, you can see events, due dates, and class work on my planbook online at http://mrsray.me/daily-schedule/. (All listings are subject to change!)
  • Our study focus is perspective for quarter 2. Learn about the articles and books we’ll be reading on the Quarter 2 page (click here).
  • IR TESTS – the first book is FICTION for all students, and it is due Nov. 3rd. This time around, let’s dig deeper into our reading skills, so no comic-type books are allowed (i.e., Dork Diaries, Diary of a Wimpy Kid, Amulet, etc.).  Students should have a book selected by Friday and reported to me. I will send home a packet with IR Test information on Wednesday, including a calendar for success, sentence stems to help students with prompts, the grading rubric, and checklists.  You may also view all you need at http://mrsray.me/ir/
  • Daily warm-ups will no longer be a worksheet format (with the exception of this week). This means that there won’t be “extra credit” to go along with it. Instead, the first 10-15 minutes of each class period (M-Th) will focus on the 6th Grade Language Standards through whole-class activities, responses around the room, voting, individual work in journals, and more.
  • Even though our focus in Quarter 2 is non-fiction works, I will provide one activity per week to keep learning and reviewing the fiction reading standards. Some of these will be quite exciting, such as our “story knives” unit — taken from an Alaskan Yupik storytelling tradition.  I will also keep the literature standards alive by reading Book 2 in “The Breadwinner” series, called “Parvana’s Journey,” aloud on Fridays.
  • We will be visiting the library every Friday instead of every other Friday, except when there are conflicts with the library schedule.
  • Student seating will change regularly, based upon my purpose for grouping. Some activities will pair students with like abilities, while other activities will pair students with mixed abilities.

End of Quarter & Fall Break

Fall Break begins after school on Friday. It’s hard to believe we’ve completed our first nine weeks!

Oct. 11th’s Wednesday folder will contain your child’s Qtr. 1 report card.

This Week in ELA

  • Students will complete the book, “The Breadwinner.”
  • Students will individually conference with Mrs. Ray this week about their Qtr. 1 Checkpoint (benchmark) tests and set specific goals for Qtr. 2.
  • Students will complete entries related to “The Breadwinner” in their Literature Logs.
  • Any makeup work must be turned in by Friday. Points will be taken off for lateness. Missing work lists were given out last week, but it can also be viewed on PowerSchool if you log in with your account. Students who were absent last week need to check their makeup folders on the back table for work and see Mrs. Ray for assistance if needed.