Week of Nov. 5th

Highlights of this Week

General News
  • No school Tuesday
  • Substitute teacher Thursday – Monday
  • ELA Tutoring begins Wednesday at 7 AM. Thursday tutoring has been canceled because I will be out of town until next Tuesday.
This Week in ELA
  • Review of arguments via a Nearpod activity
  • Continuation of “The President Has Been Shot!” (silent reading, responses to the reading that are standards-based)
  • Grammar challenge (SeeSaw)
  • Pressure Maps (paper assignment captured by photo to SeeSaw)
  • 2nd Whooo’s Reading test is due by Friday

Week of Oct. 29th

This Week’s Highlights
  • Pink Out! on October 31st. Everyone wears pink!
  • No costumes on October 31st.
  • Book Fair – during class on Thursday and Thursday evening 5-7 PM! (Send money to school if your child will be purchasing books during our class visit.)
ELA News
  • Argument essays completed by Monday!
  • Quiz Tuesday on the 4 articles we’ve been using to write our argumentative essays.
  • Standards for personalized learning on Wednesday.
  • Fiction review using two articles for comparison.
  • Preview of this quarter’s book, “The President Has Been Shot!” by James L. Swanson. We will begin reading it Monday, November 5th.

Week of Oct. 22nd

tHIS wEEK IN ela

Most of this week is dedicated to planning and writing an argument essay. Students learned about using arguments, counterclaims, counterarguments, data, quotes from well-known people, and extreme words to craft a good essay. I’m excited to see the results because I believe they’re very prepared!

Students will participate in a mock election on Tuesday. Also on Tuesday, all students in the school will take a 30-minute standardized practice test.

Mr. Garrett is the substitute teacher. He is very nice and capable. I think the students will enjoy working with him.

FYI: Professional development trip

Mrs. Ray will be with other teachers from the district on a trip to Nashville from Sunday through Wednesday to learn more about the benefits and techniques of blended and personalized learning.

iNACOL symposium

The iNACOL Symposium 2018 will be held at the Nashville Music City Center in Nashville, Tennessee on October 21-24, 2018.

The iNACOL Symposium will be held on October 21-24, 2018 at the Nashville Music City Center in Nashville, Tennessee. iNACOL’s annual conference is the industry’s leading event shaping the future of K-12 education. Experts, practitioners, educators, policymakers and researchers gather and work to transform education. This year’s theme is “Driving the Transformation of Learning.”

Attendees will find unprecedented networking opportunities and gain access to expertise, analysis and trends in personalized, competency-based learning. Through thought-provoking sessions and information-sharing, the leaders who attend become equipped to shape the future of education. The symposium includes more than 200 sessions, each with a specific track to guide attendees toward sessions that fit their unique professional learning needs. Registration is now open for the iNACOL Symposium 2018.

Week of October 15th

quarter 2

Welcome back! Things to Remember in Quarter Two:

  • Three Whooo’s Reading books must be completed and tested on per the schedule in the right sidebar. At least one fiction and one nonfiction book required. The third is up to the student. The fourth book will be the in-class novel for this quarter.
  • Students MUST record 120 minutes of reading per week into Whooo’s Reading. This can be done at home or at school. Tracking on paper is OK, but times still must be added into Whooo’s Reading (online) by the end of the day each Friday.
  • Trackers should be signed each night.
  • Wednesday folders should be signed weekly and returned by Friday each week.

New Things in Quarter 2:

  • A new in-class book! We’ll be reading the nonfiction book: “The President Has Been Shot! The Assassination of John F. Kennedy,” by James L. Swanson
  • Centers for a Blended Learning Environment. This week, students will begin working in centers (aka station rotations). Each center is designed to focus on one element of an ELA classroom. Our centers include reading, writing, grammar, vocabulary, standards study (in context). Work is completed in Canvas, in Google classroom (just weekly checklists), on paper, and in SeeSaw.
  • The Language Arts department’s pacing guide for quarter two can be viewed here. On the pacing guide, you can read about standards and activities for this quarter.


Beginning Nov. 7th, I will be offering tutoring in my room every Wednesday and Thursday morning from 7 – 7:30 a.m. to all 5th & 6th grade students who would like support in their ELA learning. No registration needed! Just show up.

Week of October 1st

This Week in ELA

Plans are a little squished together because of our unexpected day off Monday. Students would have been given time in class to complete their third Whooo’s Reading quiz on Monday because the quiz for the class novel, The Breadwinner, had been planned for Tuesday. So it seems both quizzes must done in class Tuesday. Here is the plan going forward:

  • Tuesday: Whooo’s Reading quizzes, Literature Log completion for The Breadwinner, Flipgrid book interviews (on Canvas)
  • Wednesday – Friday: Individual Data Conferences with Mrs. Ray; error analysis on Checkpoint (Wednesday); centers activities (Thursday & Friday
  • Students should continue to log reading minutes this week.
  • Report card grades are submitted by teachers on Wednesday by 10 a.m. (so basically Tuesday  after school).
  • End of quarter is Friday, followed by a week off for Fall Break!

Week of Sept. 24th


Checkpoints are required tests in ELA, math, and social studies that occur three times per year. These tests allow teachers to collect and analyze the growth of our students (similar to the common formative assessments given by ELA recently). While some people question the need for so much testing, I personally find data useful as a guide to targeting student strengths and weaknesses. It allows me to adjust my teaching to meet the needs of each kiddo.

Here is the schedule for checkpoints:

  • Monday, block 1 – ELA
  • Tuesday, block 1 – math
  • Wednesday, block 1 – social studies

Next week, I will conference with each student individually about his or her checkpoint score. We will develop a goal for the remainder of the year.

This Week in ELA

The time taken out of the day for testing means our teaching blocks are shortened. I have decided that the best use of this time in ELA is to read! Students will read The Breadwinner in class. They will also have time to work on Whooo’s Reading and complete their 100-word challenge in SeeSaw from last week. (This week, the final step is peer comments.)

Thursday, students will practice identifying elements of a story with a jigsaw activity called “Book in an Hour” using the classic story, The Adventures of Tom Sawyer. This group activity requires students to read part of the abridged version of the story, then respond to it visually (using a method of their choice, such as Google Slides, a poster, a skit, etc.).

Friday, students will present their jigsaw activities. Any remaining time will be spent on discovering allusions in pop music and movies.

Finally, each day we will examine grammar and spelling mistakes being made in daily short writes. It’s time to tighten up on this!

Next week, we will continue to apply many of the ELA standards we’ve been learning to the content in The Breadwinner as we finish up the book. Student “lit logs” are a reflection of a lot of this learning, and they will continue to add to these.

News You Can Use

Picture Retakes (or Missed): Wednesday, Oct. 3, is picture retake day!  ID for online purchase is AA508004Y2 at http://mylifetouch.com.  If you want retakes, simply return your original package on this day.

Whooo’s Reading at-home test #3 should be completed by Monday, October 1st. If we finish The Breadwinner on time, which we aim to do, we will take the Whooo’s Reading test on that book in class on October 4th.


Week of Sept. 16, 2018

  • Plot, Point of View, and Allusions are on this week’s menu!
  • We’ve also been learning about various literary devices!

  • We will continue reading The Breadwinner this week and be tested on reading comprehension for chapters 1-3.
  • We will compare characters in The Breadwinner with real kids from the following book:
  • A second common formative assessment will be given to students on Friday.
  • Many students are not logging minutes on Whooo’s Reading, nor are they taking the required quizzes. Remember that these count 20% of final grade, and time is given in class to log minutes and take the test (although it is preferred that these are completed at home).

Literary devices add interest to what we read!

Focus Standards This Week

6.RL.KID.1 – Analyze what a text says explicitly and draw logical inferences; cite textual evidence to support conclusions.

6.RL.KID.2 – Determine a theme or central idea of a text and analyze its development over the course of the text; provide an objective summary.

6.RL.KID.3 – Describe how the plot of a story or drama unfolds, as well as how the characters respond or change as the plot moves toward a resolution.

6.RL.CS.4 – Determine the meaning of words and phrases as they are used in a text, including figurative and connotative meanings; analyze the impact of specific word choices on meaning and tone, including allusions to other texts.

6.RL.CS.5 – Explain how a series of chapters, scenes, or stanzas fit together to provide the overall structure of particular texts.

6.RL.CS.6 – Explain how an author establishes and conveys the point of view of the narrator or speaker in a text.

6.RL.IKI.9 – Compare and contrast texts in different forms or genres in terms of their approaches to similar themes and topics.

6.W.TTP.3 – Write narratives (fiction and non-fiction) to develop real or imagined experiences or events using effective techniques, relevant descriptive details, and well-structured event sequences. (includes a – g).