Weekly Update: Week of January 25, 2016

Overview this Week:
In Social Studies, we are evaluating the pros and cons of the “Neolithic Revolution” and how the invention of agriculture transformed human civilization. We will then review for our quiz on Wednesday. At the end of the week, students will be introduced to a historical mystery that they will be asked to try to solve from the Neolithic Revolution.
In English, we are focusing in on our story ideas, developing the plot, and will begin drafting in class by the end of the week. Though students’ reading goals vary, ALL students should be done with at least their first genre study book by the end of the week (including completing at least one genre wheel entry).

Need to Know:
1​. ​Quiz on Hominids and Neolithic Revolution this Wednesday (Jan 27) 
     – Click Here for Study Guide
2. Students should ​NOT be writing their short stories at home
     – In class, students will be writing and will have the following “due dates:”
     – Rough Draft Due Friday, Feb 5th
     – Final Draft Due Monday, Feb 29th
3. Some students are participating in the “Countries of the World Donut Challenge” (it is completely optional, click link for more info!)

Homework this week:
​1. ​Read ​20-​30 minutes a day
​2. Genre Wheel Entries (for finished books)
– Whenever students finish a book​ for their genre goals, they are to fill out a google form (it can be accessed from their written goal or their email)
3. Study for Quiz on Wednesday

Table Talk: 
– ​Are you making progress on your genre reading goal?
​- What are you currently reading?​ What have you finished reading?
– What ​will you be writing about for your short story?
– What are some study strategies you will use to prepare for the quiz on Wednesday?
– After seeing your report card comments, what are your strengths as a student?
– After seeing your report card comments, what do you need to work on getting better at as a student?

Weekly Update: Week of January 18, 2016

Overview this Week:
​This is our third week of the D​iscoveryunit!​
In Social Studies, we are wrapping up our discussion of hominids and focusing now on the “Neolithic Revolution.” In English, we will ​continue to “discover ourselves” as readers as we read books related to our genre goals. We are also now turning our focus to developing story ideas, building on our character planning from last week and adding setting and plot development.

Need to Know:
1. ​Quiz on Hominids and Neolithic Revolution next Wednesday (Jan 27) 
2. Semester Two Assessment Calendar (click link, dates subject to slight changes)
​3. ​I wanted to reiterate the importance of students reading between 20-30 minutes per night (or 2.5 to 3.5 hours per week). It is an important habit for students to develop, and is directly related to our curriculum and assessment: in this semester the “genre goal.” Strategies that are useful for encouraging students to read regularly include:
      – having a regular reading “spot”
      – having a regular reading “time”
      – reading together
      – ​talking about reading/book ideas
4. ​Students should ​NOT be doing any writing for their short stories at home. At the most, students might jot down “ideas” that come to them while they are at home​, but not drafting the story.
5. Some students are participating in the “Countries of the World Donut Challenge” (it is completely optional, click link for more info!)

Homework this week:
1. ​Read 20-​30 minutes a day
​​​2. Genre Wheel Entries (for finished books)
– Whenever students finish a book​ for their genre goals, they are to fill out a google form (it can be accessed from their written goal or their email)
3. Bring 1 new roll of Toilet Paper by THURS
– This is for a history experiment we will do in class!

Table Talk: 
– ​Are you making progress on your genre goal?
​- What are you currently reading?​
– What ​are your story ideas so far?
– What makes a character interesting?
– What does a descriptive setting need to include?

Countries of the World Donut Challenge!

In addition to their regular learning, many students are participating in an extra learning (and donut earning) experience: The countries of the World Donut challenge.

The goal is that by the end of the year, students who participate in the challenge will know the name and location of every country in the world!

Round Two ​Challenge(for quarter three):​

​FOUR CONTINENT GROUPS BY MARCH 1​8 = Ms. Walker will bring you your favorite donut before​Spring Break…

Continent Groups to choose from:

  1. Asia and the Middle East
  2. Europe
  3. Africa
  4. The CaribbeanOceania, and North America
  5. South America and Central America

*Must pass​ “Level 5 Expert” with at least a 95%  during tutorials on or before the challenge date (click on the links above)

​Congratulations to the first round of winners!

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6bb4956c-e4fb-4f03-b975-23dd0445a022

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​Remember to just take it one step at a time, and by the end of the year, you will know the location of EVERY country in the WORLD!
​If you know ​ALL FIVE CONTINENTS GROUPS BY JUNE 3rd, ​Ms. Walker will throw you a PIZZA PARTY before Summer Break​!​

 

Weekly Update: Week of January 11, 2016

Overview this Week:
​We continue this week with our new unit about discovery!
In Social Studies, we will be watching and discussing the video Walking With Cavemen
(see link below) to investigate the evidence that has been discovered about early hominids and what this might tell us about their lives.
In English, we will ​continue to “discover ourselves” as readers ​as we read books related to our genre goals. We will also be working on a class reading of A Wrinkle in Time. This week will also be our first steps toward discovering our inner “storytellers​,” focusing at first on character development.

Need to Know:
1. Attached here is a detailed explanation about the unit in Social Studies, as well as a video we will show in class this week. If you have any concerns about the unit teachings please send me an email.
2. Visiting author Alex London will be giving talks to the 6th grade this week for English. His books are on sale in front of the MS office all week, and students will be able to meet and get signatures from the author.

Homework this week:
​1. ​Read 30 minutes a day
– ​students  should be reading texts related to their “genre” goals


Table Talk: 
–  What goal did you set for reading different genres?

​- How did your first week go working on this goal?​
– ​What are strategies that you will use to find books in these genres?
 – What was something surprising you learned about ​fossils?
– What are you looking forward to in semester two?
– What makes a character interesting?
– How do writers show what characters are like?

Weekly Update: Week of January 5, 2016

Overview this Week:
​This week we are jumping into our new unit for quarter three: Discovery!
In Social Studies, we will be investigating both the​ discoveries that have been made about humans, and the discoveries that humans ​make. We will also be “discovering ourselves” as historians, applying our knowledge,​ curiosity, ​and ​skills to solve historical and future problems.
 In English, we will ​be “discovering ourselves” as readers and writers. Students are writing personalized goals to challenge themselves to read a variety of genres throughout the semester. They will complete tasks along the way to apply their learning and show their growth. As writers, students will be discovering their inner “storyteller” as we write narrative fiction.

Need to Know:
​As this is an introductory week, there are no big items to be concerned with yet.​

Homework this week:
– Read 30 minutes a day

– ​students can start working on their “genre” goals

Table Talk: 
– ​What goal did you set for reading different genres?
– ​What are strategies that you will use to find books in these genres?
– What was something surprising you learned about humans?
– What are you looking forward to in semester two?