Friday, October 11 - great week for our 6th graders. In social studies we spent the week applying our understandings of the 5 themes of geography. Our focus was finding ideal places to settle. After a quickwrite focusing on settlement today, we looked backward 20,000 years to think about what an ideal location would look like. Kids worked in small groups to imagine the physical characteristics that would represent the best place to live. Cooperatively, they created descriptions and illustrations of their ideal settlement. Then they spent time evaluating all the posters and then supporting them in writing, noting those charactersitics that were of import. Finally, they applied that same knowledge and understanding to select a place in the real world that would have been best for settlemement. Those maps will be due on Monday. This sets the stage for beginning our study of early humans and the rise of civilizations. On Monday, we'll begin our first geography challenge to gain an understanding the setting for our first chapter of study. These will be due Wednesday. Then we will begin our study of early humans. In ELA, we completed our mid-unit assessment, showing our skills in citing evidence to support our responses and the ability to draw inferences related to chapter 4 in The Lighting Thief. Once done, we moved to "The Hero's Journey," a non-fiction text that will be the basis for much of the rest of our study of the novel. We briefly began chapter 5, tying the events to this non-fiction piece. Next week, we'll continue to work our way through both texts, focusing on gist and determining the meaning of unfamiliar vocabulary while making connections. In PE, we continue to try and get outsde to play ultimate frisbee.
Picture Day was today and it was quite the fine looking group of 6th graders. We have a short week next week but we need it to be productive. Be ready to get stuff done.
Friday, September 27 - 1st mid quarter done. In Social Studies, we have worked our way through the last three themes of geography. We introduced regions and completed three repsonses to narratives called "Regional Reasoning," the final one for a grade on Thursday. We touched on movement and then introduced human environment interactions. On Friday the kids worked on "Throw Me a Line," a culminating activity checking their understanding of all five themes. These are due monday at the beginning of class. We will review for an assessment over the five themes on Monday and we'll take that assessment Tuesday. On Monday we will also introduce our final project for the five themes, the Create a Country project. These will be due Thursday before we begin our studies of civilizations. In ELA, we are squarely in The Lightning Thief. We have read a fictional piece, "Shrouded in Myth" and practiced skills we will use as we navigate the novel. We have learned how to cite evidence from text and figured out how to use context clues to make sense of unfamiliar vocabulary. We read chapter 1 and completed an exit ticket on Friday and assigned chapter 2 for Monday (kids should be noting the challenges Percy faces and how he responds). Next week, we'll continue to hone those skills as we begin to get a clearer picture of our main character. By the end of next week, we'll have a mid-unit assessment to check our progress. In PE, we introduced some Frisbee skills in the hope that we can use our understanding of ultimate frog to play ultimate Frisbee.
Picture packets will go home early next week with picture day sceduled for October 11.
Friday, September 20 - Great work this week, sixth graders. In social studies, we selected, researched and created famous place posters including interesting facts, paragraphs, images, and locations. We turned those in on Thursday and got our first taste of art walk presentations. On Friday we shifted to the next theme of geography, regions. Next week we'll explore regions and introduce our last two themes, movement and human environment interaction. Late in the week, we'll prepare for our assessment over the five themes before moving into our study of ancient civilizations. In ELA, we took our Reading STAR assessment, finished up our "Peak" reading and then did "Touching Spirit Bear" for our assessment. We are now beginning our Engage NY curriculum, introducing our novel The Lightning Thief. Parents, be aware a paperback copy has been issued to each student to have at home. They will have a hard back copy that will be kept here at school. Look for the paperback at home. On Friday we began our study diving into the text "Shrouded in Myth." Next week we'll launch into the text, establishing close reading skills and strategies to identify unfamiliar vocabulary. In PE, we learned a couple of new "rainy day" games and had a quick tutorial on Gaga Ball.
Kudos to the kids as we have started to have more deadlines in terms of assignments. Many are making great decisions about using time wiesely and some are taking advantage of ART (academic recovery time) during recess at lunch to make sure they get assignments in on time. Well done.
Friday, September 13 - another super good week. In social studies, we did a quick assessment on absolute location and then began our work on place, the second theme of geography. We turned in our Topo Quest Friday and we are presently going over that in class to try and figure differences in harbors, bays, and gulfs and recognizing peninsulas are everywhere, among other things. Next week, we'll veer from the definition of place based on physical characteristics to the human created places as we do some research and create Famous Place posters. We'll do research Monday and Tuesday and have those due Thursday. Then we'll shift to regions. In ELA, we spent nearly all week learning/reviewing reading comprehension strategies and then applying them together to a group reading and then to a couple of independent reads (How I Became a Ghost and Peak). We are using feedback to gain clarity about what is expected in these activities. Next week, we'll grade one to determine proficiency. Also, on Monday, kids will take their STAR 360 reading assessment. We'll use the results to guide instruction as we move forward. In PE, we are playing Ultimate Frog and the kids are rockin' it. Again, Herron needs proper clothing on Mondays and Wednesdays and Lynch needs it on Tuesday and Friday.
We are settled into our M&M management system. Kids have applied for and been given their jobs (everyone has a responsibility). We have selected currency and that will be in kids' hands next week. We had our first "real" kudo's club, rewarding kids who are following the program. I'm excited about settling in to our routine and working with these 6th graders. See you next week.
Friday, September 6 - Eight days in and we're rockin' 6th grade. Thanks to all parents for getting in ALL THAT PAPERWORK. Only missing a couple of forms so we're looking good. In social studies, we have begun the year focusing on some map skills and introducing the first of the five themes of geography - location. Next week, we'll assess kids on their ability to find absolute locations on a world map. Then we'll shift to our second theme - place. We will identify a number of places based on their physical characteristics in out Topo Graph assignment. In ELA, we began the year with a Letter to Mr. Herron, an introductory piece of writing that also allowed us to use the format of a friendly letter. Earlier this week, we read a short story, "The Circuit," and responded to it through a descriptive writing piece know as "The Box." On Friday, we did a quick check up on paragraph writing. Next week, we'll finish that up and then focus on some reading strategies before getting into our first Engage NY novel. In PE, we are developing skills and beginning to play Ultimate Frog. Unfamiliar? Ask your child. A reminder that Herron's homeroom has PE on Monday and Wednesday and Lynch's is Tuesday and Friday. Make sure we are dressed for PE on on those days.
Our homeroom work is moving right along. We have established our M&M management system and kids are in the process of applying for jobs in our community. Hopefully, next week we will select currency and pay kids on Thursday for their work. Keep up the good work. Looking forward to our first full week.
Wednesday, August 28 - Whew! What a first day. It was frantic, but I was so excited to spend most of the day with your kiddos. As a general rule, I post to my webpage on Fridays, recapping the week and pointing to what is coming up. I added today's to encourage you to work through all the beginning of year forms and get those signed and returned by September 6. Tomorrow, we will follow a "normal" schedule so I will see both my class and Ms. Lynch's for the core classes. Thanks to all for being flexible as we (the entire school) figure out together how to be in community with one another. Hopefully lockers happen tomorrow.