Week of Dec. 4th

News You Can Use

  • Band concert, Tuesday at 6:30
  • Checkpoint testing is Tuesday for ELA
  • Vocabulary Test is Wednesday (3 words to spell too)
  • Friday is the deadline for IR Tests (nonfiction)

This Week in ELA

  • We are continuing our study of “The President Has Been Shot!”  Even though we do discuss the history in the book quite a bit, our approach is always from an ELA perspective.
  • We ask questions such as these: “Why did the author put this information in this location in the book?” and “Is this statement more of an opinion of the author or is it supported by reason and/or facts?”
  • Students should be thinking of useful posters they could create relevant to the topics in the book for a culminating activity. The audience is the public. We have discussed social justice and respect for the President as two possible themes.
  • Just a reminder that we visit the library every Friday (unless an event is planned in there that conflicts with our schedule).


Welcome Back!

I hope you spent your break relaxing and enjoying family. We’re so close to the end of the quarter and the start of Christmas Holiday! Let’s round off the quarter with some serious learning…

IR Test

  • Due December 8th
  • Students should be finished their books by Friday.
  • Students should be answering IR Test questions as they read, then revising and editing as needed.
  • Cover sheets are required. Other requirements can be found on the IR page.
  • Students may come between 7:00 and 7:30 a.m. for help.

“The PResident Has been Shot!”

  • Students will be reading and responding to this quarter’s nonfiction text during centers rotations in class this week.
  • Much of their work will be recorded in their Literature Logs.
  • Vocabulary and spelling should be practiced in prep for a Friday test. See the word list here: JFK Vocab Study and Quiz 2


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!