IR Tests are due Sept. 25th. Students should have completed their book by now and should be working to complete ALL questions on the appropriate IR Test. Learn details here. Remember, if they read fiction last time, they should read non-fiction this time. Also, last time, test grades were calculated using only the two best answers. This time, all questions will be graded.
Online “Checkpoint” tests (district benchmark tests) will happen Monday. Learn more here.
Picture retakes are Wednesday.
Walk-a-Thon is Friday during related arts. Information was sent home in last week’s Wednesday folder.
Parent-Teacher conferences are coming up. Coyote 2 teachers will provide scheduling opportunities soon, so stay tuned!
End of quarter approaches — September 29th!
Fall Break: Week of October 2nd.
THIS WEEK IN ELA
Fun new words: connotation and allusion! We are learning how authors use these when they write to affect the tone of the story. In particular, we are looking for examples of both in our current novel, “The Breadwinner.”
Students are beginning or working on a creative writing assignment. Some began it on SeeSaw, but because of limited computer availability, most will write their stories on paper, and some will be given a print-out from their story start on SeeSaw to complete on paper.
Encourage your student to take home the weekly extra credit. It really helps pull up the weekly quiz grade!
Please check student trackers and Wednesday folders tomorrow, Wednesday, after school. In ELA, students will write the following homework assignments in their trackers: 1.) Wednesday night, read over the IR Test; 2.) Thursday night, create a do/what chart for the IR Test; and 3.) Friday and through the weekend, answer ONE question on the IR Test to get going on it. The second IR test is due Sept. 25th.
If your child reported on a fiction book the first time around, he or she needs to report on a non-fiction book this time. All students know where the blank tests are located in the classroom and should have a book and a blank test by now.
Finally, the first set of IR tests (graded) will be sent home next Wednesday.
Last week, students made memes (on paper) to reflect point of view from the short story, “Ribbons,” by Laurence Yep. This week, students will be blogging on their new student blogs and including their own memes as a post, as well as writing a creative letter based upon the article. NOTE: You will be given information for accessing your child’s blog.
THIS WEEK IN ENGLISH LANGUAGE ARTS
Students will be completing their point-of-view Know-Wonder-Learned (KWL) sticky notes on our Padlet (see post below).
Students will access their blogs for the first time and begin a writing assignment.
We will have a discussion regarding body image based upon the foot-binding article, the culture PowerPoint that introduced students to unusual customs (from our point of view) around the world, and from an article on modern-day waist training. Students will read articles on body image as well.
All of the above launches us into this quarter’s novel, The Breadwinner, by Deborah Ellis. This story is about growing up in an Afghanistan family during Taliban rule. All reading of this novel occurs during class time. Students will begin this week by establishing point of view and beginning a plot diagram.
In addition to the above, we will study how the main character in “Ribbons,” Stacy, changes from the start of the story to the end. This should help students with their IR Tests.
Curious how these are graded? Download the scoring rubrics on this blog’s IR Test page.
If your child read a fiction novel for the first one, he or she should read non-fiction this time, and vice versa.
Several students have still NOT turned in IR Test #1. They were told that it was 5 points off per every day it was late. These were due August 28th and are a TEST grade. Students who have not turned one in by now will now see their overall ELA grade go down due to a low or failed grade. Please email me if you have concerns.
Grading is still in progress for the first set of IR Tests. The grade is based upon two out of four questions THIS TIME ONLY. Extra credit points will be given for students who correctly completed the bonus question.
The questions on the IR Tests are Tennessee state standards. These are required learning of 6th graders. Students are learning these skills in class. The language of the standards should be familiar to students, especially if they attended ITIS in 5th grade. The checklists attached to the IR Tests should help students focus, and students should also create “do/what” charts to make sure they answer all parts of each question. Please email me if you have concerns.
Please be sure to tab over on the menu to the “calendar” page. You can click forward on the calendar to see upcoming important dates and lessons.
You can also learn more on the website for ITIS here.
Grammar is essential to life, no matter what profession one chooses. By sixth grade, students should have a command of basic conventions such as comma placement, end punctuation, capital letters, and recognizing misspelled words. Yet this has proven to be one of the most difficult sections of my students’ weekly grammar work, which as you know counts as a quiz grade each week.
In order to help students’ grades improve, I will be offering extra credit in the form of weekly paragraph editing that students may take home and complete by Friday. Not only can this bump up their grades, but it will give them practice with recognizing the mistakes that reflect poor grammar. Please tell your child to let me know if he or she wishes to participate. I will also announce it in class.
Common Formative Assessment Monday. This test is given to all ITIS 6th graders. Data are compared during a follow-up ELA teacher meeting to look for trends in learning and to guide further instruction. Topics covered on the test include the following:
cause/effect (in relation to story development)
Text: “Ribbons,” by Laurence Yep. This is a short-story on Chinese foot-binding that students will compare and contrast to the non-fiction article they read about the same topic. We will focus on theme, point of view, and tone/mood throughout this week.
Mid-term report cards will be coming home in students’ Wednesday folders. Please be sure to sign them and return them by the end of the week.
The solar eclipse last Monday certainly entertained all of us! Students enjoyed the free time on the hill while waiting for the big event to occur. When it did, some were disappointed since we did not experience total darkness, but most felt lucky to have been a part of this event.
Around 2:30 is the best time to use your special glasses and have a look, and that is when we’ll have the students (who have signed permission slips) outside with their special glasses for viewing!
Don’t have special glasses and wish to see it yourself? Watch it live on this NASA website.
Tuesday, 5:30 – 7:oo PM, you are invited to Coyote Hall’s Open House!
Students shouldn’t be taking books out of my classroom that belong to my classroom library. If they wish to read one during class free time, they may choose one and keep it on the reserve shelf.
Mid-term assessments are just around the corner.
Health Screenings happen this week. (A yellow letter went home in the Wednesday folder last week about it.)
This Week in ELA
Daily warm-ups and Daily Quick-Writes stay in students’ journals in the classroom. They are not for taking home please.
Monday, since we anticipate some students will be absent because of the eclipse (it’s an excused absence, by the way), I have modified our lessons for the day. We will be doing a fun activity that requires teamwork and culminates in poster-making. From the menu above, please click on the “schedule” to see details!
Tuesday and Wednesday, we will complete our reading and analysis of the Chinese Foot-Binding non-fiction article.
Thursday, we will read a fiction article, called “Ribbons,” which ties into the topic at hand.
Friday, we will continue with the “Ribbons” article, determining the central idea, studying the plot and how it unfolds, describing how the characters respond or change as the plot moves toward a resolution, and adding vocabulary to our literature logs.