End of Quarter & Fall Break

Fall Break begins after school on Friday. It’s hard to believe we’ve completed our first nine weeks!

Oct. 11th’s Wednesday folder will contain your child’s Qtr. 1 report card.

This Week in ELA

  • Students will complete the book, “The Breadwinner.”
  • Students will individually conference with Mrs. Ray this week about their Qtr. 1 Checkpoint (benchmark) tests and set specific goals for Qtr. 2.
  • Students will complete entries related to “The Breadwinner” in their Literature Logs.
  • Any makeup work must be turned in by Friday. Points will be taken off for lateness. Missing work lists were given out last week, but it can also be viewed on PowerSchool if you log in with your account. Students who were absent last week need to check their makeup folders on the back table for work and see Mrs. Ray for assistance if needed.


Week of Sept. 18th

Most Important

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.

Other News

  • 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.


  • 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!

More News for Week of 9/11/17

Picture Orders are due 9/13/17

Picture Day!

Homework This Week

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.

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.