This Week

No hair color, masks, or face paint, but note that on Tuesday, HATS or GLASSES may be worn.

This Week In ELA

Students will read chapters 1-4 of “The Breadwinner” with purpose.

  • Research shows that reading comprehension is improved in relation to learned vocabulary. Students will identify unknown words from “The Breadwinner” and create a glossary in their Literature Logs.
  • Students will be able to explain and demonstrate how word choice in the text affects meaning and tone.
  • Students will be able to describe how the plot of a story or drama unfolds, as well as how the characters respond or change as the plot moves along.
  • Students will write a story. Their creative writing assignment will reflect an understanding of story elements and of the problems faced by the protagonist in “The Breadwinner.”

Click on the “Calendar” tab to see upcoming events and lesson plans.

Week 6

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.


  1. Students will be completing their point-of-view Know-Wonder-Learned (KWL) sticky notes on our Padlet (see post below).
  2. Students will access their blogs for the first time and begin a writing assignment.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.

Independent Reading tests qtr.1 – #2

  • The due date for the final IR Test of this quarter is September 25th. Download information here.
  • 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.

other notes

  • 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 & Weekly Quiz

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.

Here is a snapshot of what one looks like:

Week 5

This Week in ELA

  • Independent Reading Tests due today.
  • 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:
    • central idea
    • summarizing
    • cause/effect (in relation to story development)
    • author’s purpose
    • vocab
  • 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.

Week 4

The solar Eclipse IS MONDAY

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.

Week 3


Picture Day!School pictures will be taken this Wednesday. Our class is scheduled for 11:30.

Dress your best and wear a smile!

This Week in ELA

  • Daily warm-ups will now consist of both a short grammar review and a quick write. The grammar review counts as a weekly quiz grade.
  • The Do-What Tests from Friday will be returned in this week’s Wednesday folder.
  • We practiced creating a thesis statement last week, using our two articles (“The Go-Kart” and “Blue Lightning”) as our frame of reference. We also reviewed three types of writing: narrative, argumentative, and info/explanatory.
  • This week, students will write their first essay using the thesis statement they created last week. To prepare, they will work in teams to create outlines, followed by solo work on their essays.
  • Culture Kick-Off!  This week, we begin our ELA unit on culture. Tuesday, a PowerPoint presentation and some video clips will introduce a variety of cultural practices from around the globe. We will begin reading an article on the practice of Chinese foot-binding. Students will write a narrative essay from the perspective of a Chinese girl or her parents.

The solar Eclipse

  • Please return the permission slip for your child to view the solar eclipse with the whole school using special safety glasses provided by ITIS.
  • Don’t have special glasses and wish to see it yourself? Watch it live on this NASA website.

Week 2 – First Full Week!

We started the week with introductions on Wednesday and Thursday, a STEM challenge on Thursday, and then started learning our content on Friday. Students were introduced to annotation symbols, which we will use this week on a non-fiction article. They were also asked to write about a small moment from their summer — a point in time that they could elaborate upon. These short essays were graded for “participation” only, and will be returned in the Wednesday folder.

IR – Independent Reading

Did your child remember to share the IR contract with you this weekend, and have you sign it and his or her Tracker? The contract is due Monday. All students need to begin either their fiction or non-fiction IR book this week. We will be visiting the library on Wednesday, during which students may select a book with the librarian’s assistance.

What to Expect

This week, we will focus on the three types of writing that are taught at this age level: argumentative, informative/explanatory, and narrative. We will review each type, and students will write short essays for each after reading two articles that they will compare and contrast.  We will also use our “Lit Logs,” and practice annotation.

As always, I welcome your comments or questions. Please contact me using the Bloomz app. If you did not receive information about it from your child, please send in a note to let me know so that I can send home information to get you signed up.