Monday, September 24, 2012

"Writing, to me, is simply thinking through my fingers." ~ Isaac Asimov

Welcome, everyone!

This week has us doing a wide variety of activities--finishing up projects, starting new ones. . . Sorry to say, some students are already coming in without assignments completed.  Please, please, please check your child's planner --and this blog--to see what (if anything) needs to be done, and direct him/her as needed to a quiet place to finish it.  So much class work is collaborative, and contingent on each child's completed work from the day before.  (Late work also affects grades. . .)

I have something I'd like to give you a "heads up" about.   I'm oh so well aware that, as our wonderful children plow headlong into early adolescence, attitudes and behaviors develop the capacity to change from moment to moment.  I'm also aware that our sixth graders, being the school elders, regard themselves differently--and they should; they've earned a particular distinction in our school family.  
Kids this age like to banter--a communication skill that unquestionably improves with practice.  It takes a bit of fine-tuning to banter effectively, and it carries the unfortunate potential to come across as back-talk (timing is everything, as they say). Such may be the case with some of our elders who (playfully or otherwise) have chosen, of late, to challenge adults and rules. Please remind your child that everyone's perception/tolerance of "banter aka back-talk" is different, and that this form of word play requires a person's ability to determine the appropriate time, place, and circumstance in which to engage in it. 

I love these kids and celebrate each wonderful, often zany step they take toward maturity, but I also recognize that missteps are a natural part of the process. Respecting others, be it adults or peers, must remain the bottom line. 

I hope your week is wonderful!


October 9, 10, 11, and 12:  
  • Grade 5 -- 9:50-11:30 AM
  • Grade 6 -- 12:30-2:00 PM
October 15 and 16:  
  • Grade 6 -- 12:30-2:00 PM
October 15, 16, 17 and 18:  
  • Grade 5 -- 9:50-11:30 AM

(Unless otherwise stated, all assignments are due the next class day.)


Language Arts 6:  
  • Monday:  Complete Learning Modalities assessment
  • Tuesday:  Writing for a Purpose -- Write an Ad for the Beagle Bugle (specific directions on worksheet)
  • Wednesday:  Complete Mission Statement activity.  2 STICKS REQUIRED!! (about 10 inches each) Complete Basset Hound Ad from yesterday.
  • Thursday:  Compose "How I Learn" essay based on information from Learning Styles assessments
  • Friday: Complete Mission Statement activity and continue "How I Learn." Turn in "WRITER'S NOTEBOOKS" with September's work completed
Language Arts 5:
  • Monday:  "Fragment Frustration" (avoiding sentence fragments and enhancing writing through elaboration)
  • Tuesday: Writing for a Purpose -- Write an Ad for the Beagle Bugle (specific directions on worksheet)
  • Wednesday:   "Complete Thoughts" activity and worksheet.  Complete Basset Hound Ad from yesterday.
  • Thursday:  "No Jamming" and "No Jumbling" packet-- (avoiding run-on sentences)
  • Friday:  "Complete Thoughts" and "Starting and Stopping" activity.Turn in "WRITER'S NOTEBOOKS" with September's work completed.

Social Studies:
  •  Monday (Mrs. Maynard's class):  Turn in "9 Questions" activity about your wonder and complete RUBRIC to determine what you believe makes a wonder a wonder.
  • Tuesday (Mrs. DaBica's class):  Same as above.
  • Wednesday (Mrs. Maynard's class):  Class discussion to determine consensus about what makes a wonder a wonder (based on individual/group information).  Using handout, review Forgotten Wonders, Natural Wonders, and Modern Wonders," choose a wonder to learn more about and begin creation of a travel brochure. (Information will be provided.)
  • Thursday (Mrs. DaBica's class):  Same as above.  


Monday, September 17, 2012

“There are no seven wonders of the world in the eyes of a child. There are seven million.” ~Walt Streightiff

Happy Monday, everyone!

With school in full swing and games, practices, and other after-school activities filling up many evenings, kids seem busier than ever! It's good for children to have a variety of organized activities available to them outside of school.  Aside from providing healthful, constructive ways to occupy their unstructured after-school time, extra-curricular activities help them build friendships and develop collaborative skills, responsibility, time management skills, independence, and overall physical and emotional health.  After all, it's good to feel like you belong to something.  Click here for a short article about the value in involving children in organized extracurricular activities. 

I'm looking forward to seeing everyone on Wednesday, September 19th's  Open House! 

Take care--


Language Arts 6:

  • Alpha-List due Wednesday, September 18
  • Writer's Notebook--5 (illustrated) writing shorts from September Bingo card, due September 28 (1/2 to 1 page in length)
  • Begin work on Personal Mission Statements
    • Wednesday--Create list of Personal Characteristics
    • Thursday--Use list to create Mission Statement, 1st draft
    • Friday--Conference with teacher, begin final draft
Language Arts 5:

  • Alpha-List due Wednesday, September 18
  • Writer's Notebook--5 (illustrated) writing shorts from September Bingo card, due September 28 (1/2 to 1 page in length)
  • Descriptive Writing:
      • Monday -- write (detailed sensory) list of ten things that you like about Autumn (i.e.: Taking long walks along leaf-strewn paths; the pungent smell of woodsmoke rising from chimneys)
      • Tuesday -- share lists and type them, following format I provide (parallel structure)
      • Wednesday through Friday -- Conference with teacher / Type final drafts / Illustrate poem using "tear art."
Independent Reading:

Grade 5: Book Report (T-Shirt) due September 28
Grade 6: Book Report (T-Shirt) and Story Map due September 28

Social Studies:

Grade 6: The following activity to be completed by Monday, September 24 
Grade 5: The following activity to be completed by Tuesday, September 25


Use the following websites to help you find answers to questions 1-9 in your packet. (Even though you won't need to use them all, check them all out to see which ones offer the best information in the easiest format for you to follow.) You will need to have this information before you can proceed with the collaborative activity that follows.  Some interesting stuff here!!

Thursday, September 13, 2012

“Always walk through life as if you have something new to learn and you will.” ~Vernon Howard

Clip Art Credit: Phillip Martin

Welcome Parents and Students to NEXUS! 

We're moving through our first full week of school and seem to be adjusting well to our new schedule.  Lots of changes, but I have to say, they seem to be good ones.  An immediate benefit I've noticed has been the nucleus of students (our superb 6th graders who are already trained in the details of classroom organization, procedures, and expectations) who have kept the momentum going and mentored our newcomers, helping them to settle in.  Multi-age classrooms provide a broader social and intellectual experience, which will undoubtedly enrich us all as the year progresses and provide increased opportunities for leadership, collaboration, and flexibility in learning.  I like viewing the entire class (fifth and sixth graders together) as one community of learners. What a dynamic environment--I'm so lucky!

Blogger has a "new look," which I'm having a hard time figuring out, so I'm a little slow getting started (Any bloggers out there willing to give me a few pointers??) I hope to get the bugs worked out soon; please bear with me.

That being said, please bookmark NEXUS and visit often. Our blog will be the place to go for information about assignments, assessments, upcoming events, and 5/6 happenings.  It's also a place to look regularly for online resources to support your child's learning and to showcase their hard work.  (Don't forget to also check out Mrs. DaBica's web page. Both can be found on the school website--click on homerooms and scroll down.)

I'm looking forward to working with each and every one of you this year. A strong student-parent-teacher relationship can go a long way toward helping all our children achieve the success they deserve.

My best to you--


Grade 5 Language Arts:  
  • Complete "I Am" project 
Grade 6 Language Arts: 
  • Complete "The Important Thing About Me" project  
Both Language Arts Classes: 
  • Complete "Mr. Stick" activity
  • Continue work on Writer's Notebook "Alpha-Genres for Writing" 2-page writing/art activity--to be completed no later than Wednesday, September 19th.
  • Writer's Notebook independent writing activities for September:  Using the "Bingo" sheet attached to the notebook, choose 5 short writing/art activities to complete by the 30th. (These are fun and creative ways to enhance writing skills and are to be completed during free times and for homework.) 
 5/6 Social Studies (Studying Prehistoric Cultures Through Archeological and Anthropological Evidence)  

  • Calculating Clues from Bones--collaborative activity
  • Cave Art Project