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.  




Hello families and students! Welcome to a new school year at Indian Trail Intermediate School. It is my pleasure to introduce myself to you, as I am new to this school. I have been teaching for several years, but in Alaska. We moved to Johnson City this summer and are happy to be back to what is more familiar to us–like heat, crickets chirping at night, and thunderstorms! We lived for many years in Durham, North Carolina, before we took off for our Alaskan adventure in 2005.

Visit this blog regularly for updates about school and classroom happenings. More information will follow soon! Once again, welcome to school, and welcome to my classroom!

Mrs. Ray