Friday, April 11, 2014

Success Post

Reading Workshop students, please submit your essay for grading in the form below.

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Do You Connect the Dots?

As students work on writing their Success project, one of the challenges will be to connect the dots. When using three sources and personal experiences, tying everything together will be extremely important. 

When writing an essay you need to consider the reader. When someone reads your essay, does it make sense? Does one point lead to another? Do examples support main points? Do you stay on topic from beginning to end? A good writer always connects the dots.




Want more information on using transitions to improve your writing? Check this site at Aims Community College

What Did You Enjoy Most About Camp Responses

To read all the responses, please go to the Question of the Week Board.

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Thanks for a Great Time!

Group 10 at Split Rock
The Sixth Grade students went to Camp Oty Okwa for Outdoor Education Camp on March 26 - 28. Last Wednesday morning, three school buses with 147 students, 14 Salt Creek staff, three pickup trucks, one pulling a large trailer loaded completely full of luggage, all headed out with high hopes for a great time. 

Although camp started out a little cool with a temperature of 20° as we loaded up to leave, it didn't affect the mood. A few raindrops fell here and there also, but again, it had little impact on the attitudes of everyone. I had a great time and couldn't imagine any way possible to enjoy camp any more.

Smiles were everywhere at Camp. Every time I looked at a student for the entire three days, a smile was just waiting to jump out. Any comment, look, or smile and a big grin was busting out. Students smiled at each other, at Camp Oty Okwa staff, and at teachers. One look at any student's face and you knew they were having fun.

Students' attitudes and cooperation was the best. Every teacher bragged on "their" group and how well they did. Students worked together in classes. They helped each other over and around obstacles on the trails. When students make a leather indian pouch during craft time, everywhere you looked someone was giving a hand to a classmate.

Salt Creek students were the best. In over twenty years of going to Outdoor Education Camp, I have never had a better time. Students' friendship, kindness, and humor made it a blast. I am very proud of all of the sixth graders and appreciate how they all cooperated to make camp so awesome. Thanks for a great time!

A Debris Hut Built in Survival Class

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

The Maze Runner Movie is Coming

Many students have read the exciting Maze Runner series written by James Dashner. The movie is set to be released on September 19, 2014. This three book series has nonstop action and has been a favorite since it was released. I am sure the movie will be a hit.




Tuesday, March 18, 2014

The Road to Success

We have compared the message about the struggles to success as they are shared in the song Let it Go from the movie Frozen with lyrics from the song Monster. In both, the main character (writer) achieves success. In both, they face their fears/demons to achieve it. This video is another piece of work detailing this struggle.





The assignment, Reading Workshop students is to write an essay about success. Please use the five paragraph essay format with introduction, body, and conclusion. Use at least one specific detail from each source. You may also use other resources. Be sure, at some point in the essay to include your "monster" and how success relates to your life.

Some things to consider:

1.  What is your point/focus?
2.  What do you want your readers to learn from your essay?
3.  What opinion do you hope to share and convince your readers?
4.  What details can you use to best back up your message?
5.  How can you begin in a way that will hook your reader?
6.  How can you end in a way that will leave your readers thinking about your message?
7.  How can you best organize your essay to help the reader gain by reading and understanding your essay?
8.  What (or how you say it) can you say to set your essay apart and make it the most meaningful?
9.  Does your essay have a first person look at success in your life?

Monday, March 17, 2014

He Used a Venn Diagram

Matt used a Venn Diagram. Some people might say "so what?" It may not seem like that big of a deal. After all, almost any sixth grader can use a Venn Diagram. They probably learned that in third or fourth grade. So what's the big deal?

We spent last week in Reading Workshop studying the lyrics in the song Monster. This song focuses on the struggle to deal with the demons within and coming to grips with yourself to be successful. This week we are looking at Let it Go from the movie Frozen. Students are going to compare the two, their message, theme, and tone.

What impressed me about Matt's action was how he thought about the assignment and picked a tool that would make him more successful. Knowing how to use a tool is important, but knowing when and why is much more important. The fact that Matt did this of his own accord shows me that he is working to be successful, and has the sense to use tools that will make it happen.


Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Camp is Coming Soon

Sixth Grade Outdoor Education Camp at Oty Okwa is March 26 - 28. The video below shares some pictures from our one day trip in October.


Friday, February 28, 2014

An Assignment Checklist

We have a new program to give students a hand. Students will receive a checklist to help them identify things they need to accomplish during Brave Period. Then, student and parent volunteers will help them complete tasks on the “To Do” list. Each week students will fill out and staple an Assignment Checklist in their agenda books, so you can follow up at home to see if there are assignments your child needs complete.


The volunteers will help check Jupiter Grades with the students and then work on missing assignments. They will also help with Study Island lessons, ongoing writing assignments like blog essays and answering the Question of the Week. They will give a hand with social studies or science projects, and assist with homework. 

Hopefully this will help all students as they work to be successful.

Friday, February 21, 2014

The Role of Social Media

University of Kentucky men's basketball coach, John Calipari talks about the role of social media. Do you agree or disagree? How does social media affect your life? How are you "building your brand?"

Please respond on the Question of the Week Board.




Here is some information and  text from his comments:

Since a few of John Calipari’s teams at Kentucky, Memphis and UMass have started the year on extended undefeated streaks, Mike Greenberg and Mike Golic had Coach Cal come on their show, “Mike and Mike in the Morning,” on Thursday to discuss the difficulty of going undefeated and the pressure that comes with it. Of course, Syracuse suffered its first loss of the season Wednesday night and Wichita State is still undefeated, so the topic was relevant.
Lately, the topic of conversation nationally has been how student-athletes handle and respond to some of the criticism they get by having social media accounts and being connected to fans. A lot of coaches and people are suggesting they get off things like Twitter and Facebook, but Coach Cal doesn’t agree.
“This is no disrespect — the coaches you mentioned (Tom Izzo and Rick Pitino), I respect them all — they know nothing about social media. Nothing,” Calipari said. “They don’t do it. They feel it’s another job.”
Now, first things first, Pitino’s comments earlier in the week about social media were taken a bit out of context. When Pitino called social media a “waste of time,” he wasn’t necessarily saying he was against social media; rather, he just doesn’t think his players should be on there all the time and reading what people are saying to them. He feels they could be doing something more valuable with their time.
Calipari agrees with that notion to a point, but instead of banning social media, Coach Cal believes it’s better to educate them on how to use it properly.
“We’re trying to tell those kids, hey, you build your brand or you break your brand down,” Calipari said.
To do that, Calipari said UK teaches the players how to manage their accounts, the school monitors what the kids say, and the university brings in professionals to talk with the students and teach them how to best utilize the tool.
“I’m not going to hold my team back from the Twitter or Facebook, but I’m going to teach them how to use it for a positive,” said Coach Cal, who has 1.25 million Twitter followers, 417,000-plus Facebook fans and 44,000-plus Instagram followers.
Coach Cal reiterated what he said Saturday when College GameDay was in town that he doesn’t read his mentions on social media (that’s part of my job) and recommends to his players that they don’t read theirs either. If they’re going to be on it — which all 16 players are this year — he wants them to lift people up.
“Twitter is an opportunity — Facebook is an opportunity — to say what you feel, to try to pick people up, to try to be positive, to try to add something to society, to try to let people see you transparently,” Calipari said. “You cannot be defined, if you are on social media, by somebody else. You will define yourself. And if it’s negative, that’s your fault.”

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Connecting With Your Audience

The goal of every writer is to touch your reader. We all want to connect in a way that makes our words mean something. Last night on American Idol, M.K. Nobilette sings a song in a way that makes her one with the audience.

The comments by Jennifer Lopez and Harry Connick Jr. are just as relevant to writers as they are to singers. Fancy writing and fancy words don't matter. Writing a message that is meaningful to your reader is what matters most.