Friday, October 26, 2012

Backward, turn backward, O Time, in your flight make me a child again just for to-night! ~Elizabeth Akers Allen

Halloween Dance tonight from 7 to 9
Hi everybody--

I think I've been out of the Halloween business too long.  When DO kids go out trick-or-treating these days?  Is it still on the 31st, or is there now a designated weekend day when the 31st falls in the middle of the week?  I love that our community has a family Halloween dance each year.  The kids talk about it with great enthusiasm and I feel like it's a safe, fun way to celebrate the holiday with family and friends. I found a site while browsing that looked like it had a multitude of ideas for those folks with "Halloween-age" children.  You can check it out here.

I'm doing this week's lessons in reverse this week; sorry about that. It can serve as a review of the week's work for you and your child. Hopefully he or she has been  bringing their planner home for you to look at each night.  It's a good way for you to spend a few quality minutes together and stay informed about what's happening at school.  I initial everyone's planner when it is filled in and brought to me. (We're helping move students toward being self-directed learners.)  If you notice that that isn't happening, please have a talk with your child and remind him or her that it is an expectation in grades 5 and 6; with two teachers, it can get confusing if assignments and due dates are not written down.  I check planners periodically to see if they are being filled out, and consider it a part of their Language Arts grade.

Assignments for October 22 -- October 26

LANGUAGE ARTS (using the "6 Traits" of writing): 

Trait 1: Ideas

Tuesday:  Completed "What Am I?" activity in class (looking for subtle details in common classroom objects and writing descriptively about them).  It was lots of fun! 
Assignment for tomorrow:  Story Skeleton about a food you dislike the most.  (A template for how to complete it was provided.)  Again, details is the focus.

Wednesday:  Finished the "What Am I? game. 6th grade had time to look at a mentor text about where to find ideas for writing. 
Assignment for tomorrow:  Type "My Least Favorite Food."

Thursday:  After an animated discussion about where ideas come from (sharing stories is an invaluable step in the writing process for many), we settled on a seasonal topic.  Beginning with the words, "It was a dark and stormy night . . ." students were to write a short descriptive narrative.  The focus: to create a vivid "picture" through the use of descriptive details. 

Friday:  We continued on our "dark and stormy night" narratives, sharing works-in-progress with friends and typing them in preparation for group readings next week.


Tuesday:  Continuing with our "Seven Wonders" unit, students in both classes have now chosen a "wonder" from a list of both modern and not-so-modern man-made structures.  The project will be to create a travel brochure advertising the amazing qualities of  his or her chosen wonder--to be shared with the class and later put on display for the school and community to view.  We will then vote on which ones we believe should be chosen as our personal "7 Wonders of the World."

In the template I provided to each student are seven questions that must be answered thoroughly.  The answers will be used in the writing of the brochure.  To be included as well should be "cool and unusual facts" found in the course of their research.

Ask to see your child's work.  Have them talk to you about their wonder.  The goal is that each child should produce a well-researched, presentation quality final product.


Grade 6 needs to finish up their latest packet if they haven't already done so (pgs. 19-36).  They were due today.  We will have our Spelling test on Monday and move into the next unit.

Both 5/6 classrooms have begun new Reading groups They will meet Mondays, Tuesdays, and Thursdays from 1:50 to 2:45 PM. Much of what we do in Reading is informational and is also covered in Social Studies and Science classes.

Please be sure your child is reading at LEAST 30 minutes each night.  Remember, grade 6 is expected to read and respond to two books per month.  Grade 5 is responsible for 1.

Thank you, families, for all you do.  I hope you have a wonderful weekend!

Halloween Scene: