Friday, January 22 - well that's a wrap on semester 1! On Friday, Quarter 2 and Semester 1 ended. Both Herron and Lynch PE classes completed in class work this week. Remote Activity Logs were also due Friday. Ok, I'm working on grades this weekend so as long as your sheet is to me by Monday morning, I will calculate that in your grade. The log can be accessed in the Google Classroom. You may start a new sheet, add to the one from the fall, write the info in a Google Doc, or handwrite it, take a picture, and email it to me. Requirements? You need to log physical activity, the date and the duration of that activity for remote time between January 5 and 22. All other academic work (ELA and/or social studies) needs to be in also.
We begin Semester 2, Rotation #1 on Tuesday with Monday being a work/prep day for teachers (no remote on Monday). The first rotation will have Herron in social studies and ELA, and Lynch in math and science. On Tuesday we will move into Phase 2 with all kids in school Tuesday through Friday. With those changes, we want everyone to be diligent about using COVID safe practices so we can stay in school together. I know we can!
Finally, I just wanted to express how honored I am to have been your teacher this year. In a weird way, I think the circumstances brought us closer together, masks and all. I am so hopeful for the second semester as we move into phase 2 and all kids are back in school. In some ways, Tuesday will feel like the first day of school, but it will feel much more like 6th grade, and I am thrilled for the kids. I look forward to seeing the kids next fall and hearing all about the rest of their 6th grade experience. And I will have stories to tell, too.
Friday, January 15 - great work this week, 6th graders! We continued with PE for both classes and we definitely got our floor hockey on. Kids continued to hone skills (passing, movement, and offensive and defensive teamwork) as we began playing. I am so impressed with the willingness of students to work hard and engage all their classmates as we play. Thank you! Keep in mind that the rotation ends next Friday (January 22) so Activity Logs will be due by then. Remember, you need to complete and record 30 minutes of activity during rotation #7 (Jan. 5-22) for all your remote days. For A-K, that will be 210 minutes. For L-Z, you'll need 180 minutes. Also, a reminder that Monday the 18th is the Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday so there is no required work that day.
This week, we took one day to complete our Reading and Math winter STAR assessments. We'll use those results to continue to adjust curriculum going into the second semester. Speaking of the second semester, we have one week left in semester one so kids need to double check Q to make sure that any missing work is completed and turned in. If you have questions, please reach out to me but reach out soon.
Finally, I want to let you know that my replacement for the second semester has been hired, and I could not be more happy for the kids. Brian Moe is a longtime veteran in the middle school and was one of my colleagues here at Washington before he went overseas for an adventure. He'll have to tell you all about it. We have spent a significant amount of time together this week and last, along with our school PLC, planning and getting ready the second semester. I am sad to be leaving, but I am confident that kids will have a wonderful experience with Mr. Moe.
Friday, January 8 - Back from the break, we finished up Rotation 6 and began Rotation #7. On Monday and Tuesday, Lynch's ELA had the Chapter 13-14 Comprehension Quiz due for remote Monday. On Tuesday, A-K worked through the Bud, Not Buddy Essay Graphic Organizer and Steve Jobs Speech Assessment. Both of those were due Wednesday. L-Z had the same assignments due on Thursday when they returned from remote. A reminder that these assignments are due and need to be turned in along with yellow packet work based on your last assigned reading of Bud.
On Wednesday, we shifted to Rotation #7 and HPE. We began our floor hockey unit and will continue through next week. Also, next week (Wednesday for A-K and Thursday for L-Z) kids will take their winter STAR assessment in reading and math. Please make sure we are dressing for PE which means tennis shoes.
I received a number of assignments the last couple of days and I will work to get those graded and posted by the end of the day Saturday. Please be checking Q and getting missing work done and turned in. The end of the quarter and semester is just around the corner.
Friday, December 18 - Phew! We made it! Rotation #6 is almost over and we have made it to the holiday break. In Lynch's ELA, we wrapped up our study of figurative language with the Carousel of Quotes and a Mid-Unit Assessment looking at text from Bud, Not Buddy. The rest of the week we focused on argumentative writing, working through a pre-writing graphic organizer and then building an argumentative paragraph based on Steve Jobs' rules. We then began to build an essay using the same formats. L-Z took the next step, completing a writing assessment and then applying that knowledge to our primary text, Bud, Not Buddy. The Bud, Not Buddy Argumentative Essay Graphic Organizer is due when I see them next Thursday (in PE). A-K will work through these on Tuesday, January 5. Remote learning is posted in the Remote Learning tab and includes reading assignments and activities for both groups. I will also post our last quiz on Monday, January 4 for Remote Mondays. Please take a look at Q as a number of grades are now posted.
Check out the announcements below as we begin in the new year. Make sure you are caught up on work and don't be afraid to read a good book. See you next year (hahaha)!
Friday, December 11 - Rotation #6 is in full session. In Lynch's ELA, we introduced Bud, Not Buddy doing study of the Great Depression to find context for Bud's world. We then began our study focusing on figurative language (a favorite of Bud). We clarified definitions and then found examples in our text so far. We determined the differences between figurative and literal language and then practiced on our Carousel of Quotes. Next week, we'll do the flip side for a grade. On Friday, the L-Z group moved to the Steve Jobs commencement speech, our non-fiction text, as we introduced argumentative writing. Kids also began to see the connection between Steve and Bud (rules???). We'll use that connection next week to compare two texts using support and evidence from text (quotes). We'll produce a handful of paragraphs on the speech before completing a graphic organizer that could be used to write an essay about Bud and his rules.
Remember, Remote Learning is posted regularly on the 2020-21 Remote Learning button of my webpage. Both groups have work assigned and there will be another post by Monday morning for Monday's remote. As I have told students, nearly half of this rotation's grades are reflective of remote work so it is vital that kids are taking care of this whether it is reading, packet work and/or check-up quizzes.
Please take a moment and check out next week's announcements. It contains good stuff about a dress-up opportunity, library books, and a virtual movie night. Also, let's get missing work in before break so you can chill and read a good book (or a few) during break.
Friday, December 4 - Rotation #5 is in the books as of Thursday. In Herron's ELA, we got through as much of Bud, Not Buddy as possible. Kids completed another Remote assignment (A-K chapters 9-14, L-Z chapters 11-17), utilizing reading comprehension strategies and documenting more of Bud's Rules to Live By. They also were responsible for a comprehension check-up covering ch. 13-14. In class, we checked our understanding of figurative language one more time using the Carousel of Quotes. Also, we focused on the Steve Jobs paragraph, practicing building paragraphs about whether his rules helped him to survive or thrive. Then, kids applied that understanding to Bud, completing the Bud, Not Buddy Argumentative Essay graphic organizer. L-Z was due Friday, and I will collect A-K's on Tuesday at lunch. Both groups need to return their hard copy of the book next week also. I encourage them to all finish reading the text, if they are not done. In Lynch's social studies, we turned in Civilization Projects, responded to Weslandia, and wrapped up with an Artifact Investigation from the Keffron Museum (haha). A-K had a brief response to chapter 6 that was due for remote work Thursday. L-Z was able to look at chapter 6 in class.
On Friday, Rotation #6 began. We are in ELA with Ms. Lynch's homeroom. A-K was to remotely read/listen to chapter 1 for Friday. L-Z was in class, and we introduced the book and read chapter 1. I will post Remote Learning assignments for next week by Monday morning.
Please make sure you are getting all work in so you can comfortably shift to your next classes. I expect to have all my grades up to date by mid-day Monday. If you are missing work or are unsure about something, please reach out by email or join me for my Google Meets on Tuesday and/or Thursday from 2:00-2:30.
Friday, November 20 - rolling through Rotation #5. In Herron's ELA, we continued our reading of Bud, Not Buddy, focusing on figurative language. We identified examples in our texts, noting both the literal and figurative meanings, noting the author's tone and how it affects meaning. We began using a tool, the Carousel of Quotes, and next week kids will complete this for a grade. Also, we took a mid-unit assessment checking kids' undersanding. The next shift was to our non-fiction text, the Steve Jobs Commencement address. We will use this to find rules, write paragraphs explaining those rules and eventually comparing and contrasting those with Bud's rules. Kids continue to be responsible for reading the text (see Remote Learning) and completing the Yellow Journal Packets. Also, we are taking comprehension check-ups, so it is vital that kids keep up with their reading to be successful this rotation.
In Lynch's social studies, A-K studied the transition from paleolithic to neolithic ages, taking notes on chapter 3, completing a graphic organizer to affirm understanding, and then applying that understanding to the Comic Book assignment where kids illustrated three of those transitions. We then looked at the problems and solutions of growth in ancient Sumer. Finally, we introduced the characteristics of civilization doing the Sumerian Artifact activity. Kids were then assigned the Civilization Project (Google Classroom) which will be due December 2. When we return, we'll visit "Westlandia" and do our own artifact investigation. For L-Z, with Comic Books done, we looked at chapter 4's problems and solutions and and dove deeper into civilizations. Sumerian artifacts and an assessment over them. Kids were assigned the Civilization Project (due December 3) and they also received "Weslandia." We'll wrap on the 3rd with an artifact investigation.
Thanks to all families for the parent/teacher conferences. So glad to "meet" many of you. Couple of things to leave you with. Grades are a little behind due to conferences. I will try to get Q up to date by Monday. Please be checking to see where you are. Herron's homeroom - also check last rotation's social studies to see if anything is still hanging out there. Also, I will check my email every other day during break. If kids have questions, shoot me a message and we'll get it answered. Have a great break and we'll see you in December.
Friday, November 13 - we've wrappd up Rotation #4 and are in the swing of Rotation #5. On Tuesday, Herron's A-K social studies did one more artifact investigation and L-Z put a wrap on their civilization projects. On Wednesday, Herron's A-K shifted to ELA where we did some backgound work on Bud, Not Buddy (after kids listened to chapter 1 remotely the prior Monday). We looked at the Great Depression, inference, notice and wonder statements, and making connections (text, self, world). We also introduced the concepts of survive and thrive and how that figures prominently in our text. We read chapter 2 looking for these along with figurative language. Kids were given Journal and Rules packets to track many of these as they read. Their remote learning for Thursday, Friday, and the next Monday are on the Remote Learning page. The L-Z kids also began the book on Thursday, doing the same activities. They had a brief Journal assignment that was due Friday to show their understanding of the text and the ways we are going to engage it. On Friday, we focused our attention on figurative language, defining different kinds and finding examples as a group as we read through chapter 3. Remote work for this group is also posted on my Remote Learning button.
In social studies, A-K began their study of our most ancient history. We reviewed timelines and how we read out text. Then we focused on early humans, eventually creating a Hominid Poster, sharing hominid notes, and then completing a constructed response about the most important capability in these early hominids. Remote work for Thursday and Friday was "How We Study the Past," chapter 1's written activity, and next Monday's is the Unit 1 Crossword (on the back of the assignment above). For L-Z, "How we Study the Past" was Wednesday's remote work. Thursday we did the hominid poster, and on Friday we focused on chapter 3 and the move from hunter/gatherer to farmer. The paleolithic/neolithic transition was vital in the growth of civilizations, and we took notes about what those impacts were. With those notes and the text, kids were assigned the Neolithic Comic Book. This remote assignment for Tuesday and Wednesday next week has them create a comic book that represents three of these changes that occurred in the transition from paleolithic to neolithic times. Monday's remote assignment is the Unit 1 Crossword (on the back of "How We Study the Past").
Next week, we focus on civilization - what it is, what is isn't, how they happen, how we know we are looking at one. A reminder that textbooks (History Alive! and Bud Not Buddy) need to be coming to school every day. I'm looking forward to meeting with you all next week during conferences. Note - I will not be on my regular weekly Google Meets due to conferences. We'll pick those back up after Thanksgiving.
Friday, November 6 - As we near the end of Rotation #4, we'll recap the week and look forward to Rotation #5. In social studies, kids remotely watched a video on the characteristics of civilization and identified those on Monday's remote assignment. We then spent the week studying those characteristics through the ancient city-state of Sumer in Mesopotamia. We examined artifacts, describing them, sketching them, and then determining the aspect of civilization that they represented. Then we assessed kids' understanding, having them define the characteristics and explain how one artifact was representative of that characteristic. We then visited "Weslandia." We viewed a video of the short story and kids found examples of the characteristics of civilization in Wes's new world. Kids explained those connections and then gave evidence from text to prove it. Finally, remotely kids were given the Civilization Project, the culminating activity for Rotation #4, that encourages kids to create their own civilization. This was last week's weeklong remote assignment and the instructions and rubric are in the Google Classroom. All of these (Sumer Artifact Assessment, Weslandia, Civilization Project) need to be turned in when kids return in person next week. Tuesday will be the last day for this rotation. A-K will be in class and L-Z will be remote, and we will wrap up Unit 1.
Which brings us to Rotation #5. Starting this Wednesday, Lynch's kiddos are in social studies and Herron's kids will be in ELA. So here's the deal. Because of the schedule (starting on a Wednesday and ending on a Thursday), the two sections of each class will not necessarily move together. As I communicate on this page and in the Google Classroom (when appropriate), I will make a distinction between the work to be done by the A-K group and the L-Z group. It is vital that kids are paying close attention so they are doing the work assigned to their section. Also, for ELA, be aware that kids will be expected to "read" an entire book during the rotation. There are options for listening to the book, but much of the work we will do requires the physical use of text (figurative language, citing evidence from text) so reading will be necessary to be successful. I will check out a book to kids next week and it will need to move regularly from school to home and back during the rotation.
Other stuff - picture retakes are next week, Wednesday for A-K and Friday for L-Z. I know I still have A-K's pics so those will go home Tuesday. I have a number of people who have not returned conference forms, and I need those ASAP as we are scheduling those for November 17-19 from 2:00-6:00. For those who returned already, I will send confirmations with scheduled times back with kids next week. Quarter 1 ended today and will be the basis for our conferences. Finally, we are still collecting toiletries for our Washington families, and I encourage you to participate if you can. We are asking for full-sized shampoo, conditioner, body wash, deodorant and hand sanitizer. I think that's it. Get your work done, have a great weekend and we'll see you next week.
Friday, October 30 - We are off and running in Rotation #4. In social studies. Herron's kiddos started with a study of early humans, looking at scientific names, common names, where and when they existed and, most importantly, what were their most important capabilities. We created posters and then affixed them to our 60 locker timeline, showing the relative lengths of their existence and their comparative capabilities. We also did a brief constructed response asking kids to give and explain the most important capabilities of early humans. Then we looked at the Stone Age and the more recent transition from Paleolithic to Neolithic ages as a result of the widespread use of farming. Kids were asked to create a "comic strip" to represent three of these changes, and that assignment is due when kids return to class next week. Next week, remotely and in class, we will focus on civilization - what it is, what it's not, and how we identify artifacts and their relationship to those characteristics of a civilization. We will visit "Weslandia" and examine artifacts from ancient Sumer in Mesopotamia. Our understanding of civilization and the key characteristics will guide us as we look at a number of ancient civiliations throughout the rest of the year.
As we move to the end of the quarter (and the beginning of the next), it is really important that work is getting completed and turned in on time. A number of kids are missing work, either in my class or Ms. Lynch's, and we don't want that first report card and parent/teacher conference to be "uncomfortable." Make sure you are checking Q to see your grades. If you have questions, please email us. Speaking of conferences, forms were handed out this week and need to be returned or replied to soon. I received about half of mine back, and I am scheduling for November 17-19. Make sure to get yours in before the slot you want goes away. All conferences will be virtual (or by phone). Finally, as always, remote work will be posted on the Remote Learning button of my webpage by Monday morning. It will include Monday work for everyone and Tuesday-Wednesday work for L-Z and Thursday-Friday work for A-K. Oh, and Happy Halloween to all! Be safe and have fun.
Friday, October 23 - that's a wrap on Rotation #3. In ELA, we spent the week finishing up gist and then focusing on paragraph writing. Remote Learning focused on three articles and finding gist for each of the paragraphs. Then, in class we checked our understanding on the article "Welcome Back," finding gist for each of the paragraphs. Next, we shifted to paragraph writing, focusing first on writing clear, focused topic sentences. From there, we responded to a number of prompts and began building paragraphs that were unified, coherent, ordered, and complete. On our last day together, we assessed kids' understanding on the "Middle School" paragraph and then double checked ALL of their knowledge (gist, reading comprehension strategies) through the short story "The Circuit." I am very impressed with kids' work, and I'm looking forward to the next rotation when we get into Engage NY curriculum and read our first novel.
In Rotation #4, I will be back with my homeroom for social studies. Make sure social studies textbooks are coming to class everyday of live instruction and going home for remote time. Remote work has been handed out to all those kiddos, but I will formally "assign" the work on my Remote Learning tab by Monday morning. A reminder that kids will be going to their period 9 exploratory first thing in the morning Tuesday (A-K) and Thursday (L-Z), so they have a few new responsibilities. First, kids should be checking their period 9 teacher's website to see what Remote Learning work needs to be done. The new rotation starts Monday so kids are responsible for beginning then. Also, they will have a new place to line up in the morning based on the last name of that 9th period teacher. Our kiddos are lining up at doors 7, 8, or 9 with the last name initial of their 9th period teacher - in yellow!
Finally, a few notes. First, next week we will celebrate Halloween by allowing dress-up opportunities on Wednesday (A-K) and Friday (L-Z). Below are the protocols for dressing up.
1. Halloween masks are allowed but should NOT cover your eyes. Covid-required masks still need to be worn but could be incorporated into your costume if it follows general facemask guidelines.
2. Makeup is allowed and partial face paint. Staff members must be able to identify students.
3. Mid-sections should be covered and school dress codes should be followed.
4. Costumes should depict only respectful language and be of non-violent nature. Fake weapons are not allowed.
5. Costumes should be sensitive and respectful to culture, gender, heritage, or religion.
6. Costumes should still allow you to participate in your classes, including P.E., and all school activities.
Make sure you follow the guidelines so we can continue to enjoy this time together. Second, conferences are scheduled to take place in a few weeks, and we will be sharing information about how and when those will take place in the next week or so. Stay warm!
Wednesday, October 14 - end of a quick week. With MEA Educator's Conference on Thursday and Friday, kids had one live day and two remote this week. Remote work for both days was completion of two Reading Comprehension Strategies Practice sheets using your own free-choice, independent text. L-Z was due today, while A-K will be due next Tuesday when we regather. In class, we reviewed our work on "Peak" and then did a reading comp assessment using "Touching Spirit Bear" with the goal of showing our understanding of strategies (connection, prediction, question, evaluation, summarization and creation of a mental image). After that, we played with gist (small summaries) and how it helps us chunk bigger pieces of text to help us make more sense of what we read. Next week, we will finish up gist ("Welcome Back" article) before focusing the remainder of the week on paragraph writing. Look for next week's Remote Learning to be posted on the Remote Learning tab on my webpage by Monday morning, October 19.
Friday, October 9 - we are now a week in to Rotation #3. I am teaching ELA to Ms. Lynch's group. In ELA, this week was all about reading comprehension strategies - why we use them, how we use them, and how they help us to make sense of text. We introduced a Reading Comprehension Strategies Practice activity that we will use to show our understanding. We started with a picture book and eventually worked through two excerpts ("How I Became a Ghost" and "Peak"). Next week, we'll do one more for an assessment before we focus our attention on the basic unit of writing for our 6th graders - paragraphs. The Remote Lesson for next week will be posted by 8:00 am Monday (but kids have already received the assignment). They are to complete two Reading Comprehension Strategies Practice sheets for their own free-choice, independent text.
A reminder of next week's schedule. For kids, it is a three day week due to MEA Teacher's Conference on Thursday and Friday. Monday is a remote day for all students. Tuesday is live for A-K and remote for L-Z. Wednesday is live for L-Z and remote for A-K. Kids will not have remote responsibility until the next Monday, October 19. Please make sure that you are checking Q for Rotation #1 and #2 grades. We are closing the books on these next Wednesday. Questions? Shoot me an email.
Friday, October 2 - we are bringing Rotation 2 to an end. Our last face-to-face days were this week with one more remote learning day this coming Monday, October 5. In social studies, we used our prior weeks' remote research as preparation for the Famous Place Poster and the Create a Country Project. Some were able to complete those in class but others still have some work to do as homework. I encourage kids to get that work done before their Rotation #3 responsibilities kick in. They can turn it in to me next week when they return to school. A reminder that lessons and guidance for both of those assignments can be found in the Google Classroom. Remotely, last week's lesson was River Research and that is due now. Monday's upcoming social studies remote lesson will be posted on the Remote Learning tab on my webpage by Monday morning. In PE, we built on our Frisbee skills from last week to play Ultimate Frisbee and then to introduce Frisbee golf (folf). We had beautiful weather and encourage kids to continue to get outside and enjoy it. Remotely, Activity Logs will be due on Monday, October 5 and should include the date, the activity and the duration (how long) of the activity. You should have a minimum of 210 minutes of activity for the rotation.
Rotation #3 begins Tuesday with kids attending their period 3 and period 8 classes. I'm excited that kids will get their first chance to go to an exploratory and enage with new kids and teachers (though I will miss them). I will have English (ELA) with Ms. Lynch's kids so I will post their remote lessons for October 6 - 9 (Tuesday-Friday) by Monday morning on the Remote Learning tab in my webpage. Next week also includes PICTURE DAY! A-K will have pictures taken on Tuesday morning while L-Z will be Thursday morning. You can order online before picture day by going to mylifetouch.com and entering the Picture Day ID: EVTZR6TZX. All students will have their photo taken, and each student will receive a picture ID. Know that pictures can also be ordered after picture day.
Friday, September 25 - smack dab in the middle of Rotation #2. In social studies, we continued our travels through the Five Themes of Geography. We began by looking at "location," both relative and absolute, and spent some focused time finding latitude and longitude, culminating in a brief assessment of that skill. Then we shifted to "place" looking at both physical and human characteristics that define "what it is." To focus on the physical, we completed our Topo Quest, noting specific physical features that define places. With L-Z, we were able to also explore "regions," those areas that share similar characteristics, and we completed Regional Reasoning, a couple of narratives from which kids needed to identify physical and human characteristics that defined a specific region. Next week, using Remote Learning research, kids will apply their understandings on the Famous Place Poster activity and the Create a Country Project. These will be due at the end of the rotation. In PE, we introduced the idea of the game of Ultimate, first by playing Ultimate Frog and then building some throwing, catching and movement skills with Frisbee discs. Next week, we'll look to play Ultimate Frisbee.
Know that Rotation 2 actually ends on a Monday, so there will be a Remote Learning activity that will be posted by Monday, October 5 for that day. Also, PICTURE DAY is scheduled for Tuesday, October 6 for A-K and October 8 for L-Z.
Friday, September 18 - rotation #1 is in the books as of Thursday afternoon. In social studies, we applied our understanding of the five themes of geography to create a unique country in the Create a Country project. Kids shared their knowledge through their own interpretation of a fictional country of their creation. They were able to show all the different components of a well-thought map, including physical and human characteristics representing "places." I appreciate the care that many gave to the project and I look forward to working with these guys again in rotation #4. In ELA, we focused our time and attention on "gist," a relatively new concept for many. We looked at old and new stories as we practiced this valuable skill. As we move into Engage NY novels and curriculum in the remaining rotations, we will rely heavily on gist to make sense of more complicated texts. And, kids will get the chance to apply the skill in other classes, too. As we finish rotation #1, kids need to check Q to make sure all their work is turned in. If not, that needs to be completed and turned in when they return to school next week. Just because I'm not your teacher doesn't mean you can't turn assignments in.
We will continue to make available office hours on Tuesday (L-Z) and on Thursday (A-K). These are both from 2:00 to 2:30. Remote Learning for Friday of this week (just for A-K) was posted today, Friday. Remote Learning for next week (September 21-25) will be posted by Monday morning on the Remote Learning tab of my webpage. If there are assignments in Google Classroom, you will be directed to find those there.
Friday, September 11 - another stellar week of 6th grade for this crew. In social studies, we focused on place through our Famous Place Poster project and got deep into regions. After gaining an understanding through a cooperative look at the United States (the Northwest, the South, the Midwest, etc.) we applied our knowledge through Regional Reasoning, identifying physical and human characteristics that help us identify regions.The remote work for all is preparation for our culminating project for rotation #1 - the Create a Country Project. Students will complete a Venn diagram comparing and contrasting physical and political maps. Then they will do the background, preparatory work to complete the project. Instructions and rubrics can be found in Google Classroom. The project will be due at the end of class on Wednesday for A-K and Thursday for L-Z. We'll touch on Movement and Human-Environment Interaction also before we finish the rotation. In ELA, kids completed a Reading Comprehension strategies assessment over a "Touching Spirit Bear" excerpt, and then we spent the rest of the week focusing on solid paragraph writing. Next week, we'll look at revision and do a little individual conferencing to make sure we are successful before heading to Rotation #2.
Speaking of Rotation #2, be aware that next Thursday is the last day of rotation #1 so it is this last day of social studies and ELA for the Herron homeroom (for now). On Friday, we shift to Rotation #2. The 8:00 am class is period 2 and the 11:00 am class is period 7. For Herron's homeroom, that should be science with Ms. Lynch and HPE with both myself and Ms. Lynch, as we split the class (I teach PE, Ms. Lynch teaches health). We'll provide more guidance for the kids as we get closer next week. I will continue to be available for office hours through Google Meets (link is on Google Classroom front page). I am available on Tuesdays from 2:00 - 2:30 for L-Z and 2:00 - 2:30 on Thursday for A-K. Also, students received their usernames and passwords for Q, our gradebook system that allows kids and families to track students' progress online. Please know that the information is in kids' agendas and that they can get you in. If you would like parent access to the system, you will need to contact the main office. Finally, we will administer the STAR assessment next week in Reading and Math. A-K will take them on Tuesday and L-Z will take theirs on Friday. We really encourage kids to give their best effort as it is a tool that we use to guide our instruction and points to progress in those academic areas.
I'm so impressed with the work and care these kids are showing. Great job by all!
Friday, September 4 - first "real" week on our "normal" schedule, and the kids were awesome. In social studies, we began our study of the five themes of geography, focusing on location and place. We honed our skills in finding absolute locations using latitude and longitude and then spent time identifying place according to physical features on our Topo Quest. Next week, we'll focus on other aspects of place on our Famous Place poster (kids have done the research during Remote Learning) and then we'll move through the remainder of the themes (regions, movement, human-environment interaction). In ELA, this week was all about reading comprehension strategies - why we use them, how we use them, and how they help us to make sense of text. We started with a picture book and eventually worked through three excerpts. Next week, we'll do one more for an assessment before we focus our attention on the basic unit of writing for our 6th graders - paragraphs.
Remote Learning has a new ELA assignment (due 9/10 = L-Z, 9/15 = A-K) and one that is due by September 7. The current social studies Remote Learning assignment is due 9/8 for A-K and 9/10 for L-Z. Please make sure these are complete as they will be the basis for the work we do in class. Also, know that we will begin regular office hours this coming week on Google Meets from 2:00 - 2:30 on Tuesdays (L-Z) and Thursdays (A-K). Go to Google Classroom and click on the Google Meet link to join. Thanks to all and enjoy the 3-day holiday weekend.
Friday, August 28 - first week of school in the books. It was fantastic to get to meet and learn with our new crop of 6th graders. Most of the week, we worked hard to figure out our roles and responsibilities for keeping everyone safe and started to assess where our learning left off from last year. In social studies, we did whiteboard work to determine our background knowledge on geography from our hometown to the world. I'm pretty impressed. Next week, we'll dive into the five themes of geography so we will have some language to support our study of ancient world history. We will begin with "location" and then shift to "place," learning how these impact our understanding of the physical and political world we live in. We'll identify physical features on our "Topo Quest" activity and then we'll research a famous place and present our new knowledge through a poster. In ELA, we assessed our prior understanding of parts of speech, basic sentence structure, and different types of sentences. Then, kids began writing a "Letter to Mr. Herron," to showcase their writing skills and share some about themselves. These are due next Tuesday (A-K) and Thursday (L-Z). Next week, we will focus on learning and practicing reading comprehension skills using excerpted texts. We'll work together on a couple of these before doing one reading for assessment purposes.
Remote learning expectations will be posted at the Remote Learning tab on my webpage. I expect to post that work on Mondays. Leading up to that, I have asked kids to have a free-choice book that they can read both here and at home. I expect to base much of my ELA remote work to utilize that free choice text, so getting that book, maybe this weekend, would be helpful going forward. Thanks!
Tuesday, August 25 - Twas the day before first day.... Some of you may have already seen tentative class lists and if so you might be here. If so, welcome. We get started tomorrow morning, Wednesday at 8:00 with Herron's homeroom, last names beginning with A-K. We will gather from 8:00 until 10:55 (just for tomorrow) and then L-Z will gather from 10:45 until 2:05 (just for tomorrow). The main thing we want to see is YOU as we begin this new, weird journey together. On Thursday, we will begin a "normal" schedule with A-K here from 8:00 until 1:30 and L-Z doing the same on Friday. I generally post to this webpage on Fridays, reviewing what we have done the past week and what's on tap for the week(s) to come. Dwight and I can't wait to meet you tomorrow!