Thursday, August 29, 2013

Want to Know Your Grades?

If you want to know your grades just go to Jupiter.  Jupiter Grades is an online program (similar to Engrade, Progress Book, and others) that hosts students' grades and other information so that students, parents, and teachers can access them at any time from anywhere with Internet access.

All of students' grades and information about discipline and behavior will be posted on Jupiter. Students can check their grades daily during Brave Period, the intervention period that starts every day. If you are a parent, you will soon be receiving information to enable you to view your child's grades.

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Writing an Essay/Blog Post

Building an essay is just taking yesterday's lesson one step further. The basic idea for building a paragraph is expanded into several paragraphs. The organization is the same.

Here is another of Mr. Heath's videos that explains the process.

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Writing a Paragraph

Reading Workshop students have been setting up their blogs. Now the task of becoming a writer is ahead. We will start by looking at paragraphs and how to set up the basic paragraph.

This video by Mr. Heath explains the basic parts of a paragraph, the topic sentence, supporting details, and the conclusion.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Read Your Way to a Good Grade

Students weekly Read at Home assignment rewards extra effort. Students choose a book that they want to read from home, the library, or the bookmobile. The only requirement is that they log the title, time read, and pages.

As a teacher, I reward the students that make the most effort. Although grades are not entirely tied to how hard a student works, poor grades are reflective of a lack of work ethic.  If a student wants a better grade, just read a little more.  I even give extra credit for students that read more than 180 minutes.

A =    180 + Minutes
B =    120 - 179 Minutes
C =    60 - 119 Minutes
F =    0 - 59 Minutes

Although students have no direct assignments associated with Read at Home many of the activities and projects in class are based on the book they are reading. When students write about their book, it is easy to monitor comprehension and see if students are "getting it." The fact that students can pick their book to read helps because they can find a book that interests them.

So if you want a good grade Reading Workshop students, all you have to do is read!

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Dear Parents

Thank you for the opportunity to spend the year with your child in Reading Workshop. We had a great first day. I saw a lot of smiling faces and good attitudes. Students seemed glad to be back. 

Today's schedule was different than it will be the rest of the year. We started with a whole school assembly and had a walk through to discuss expectations throughout the building. We also spent a lot of time discussing routines and procedures. A major portion of the day was spent preparing students to have a successful year while explaining things like the assignment book and student handbook.

Tomorrow we will begin our regular schedule in Reading Workshop. We will start some of our regular classroom activities. Different pieces of the class will be explained and students will start to work on some of the things they will do all year.

For tomorrow, students must get a parent signature on the Blog Permission form. Soon we will be setting up an individual blog for each student. This will allow them to write essays for teachers, parents, and fellow students to read. This is an exciting learning activity that is extremely beneficial in building students' writing ability.

As the year progresses, I look forward to getting to know your child. My hope is that each sixth grader can have the best year possible. If I can help you in any way, or you have questions or comments, please let me know. Once again, thanks for sharing your child with me and all the staff at Salt Creek. 

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Are you Nervous?

New grade, new teachers, new classmates, new shoes--it's a new school year. Everyone is nervous. All the teachers are nervous. All the students are nervous. It happens every year. It even happens to old teachers that have seen many new school years. 

Should you be nervous as you start this year in Reading Workshop? Maybe, maybe not. It all depends on you.

It's really easy to succeed. It all comes down to just three things.

1.  Work hard--always do your best. Set a high standard for yourself and give it your all. Never turn in work until you are sure it is your best.

2.  Respect others--treat people kindly. Show friendship and care towards others. Help your classmates when they need it. 

3.  Be responsible--take care of yourself. You aren't a little kid any more. It's not up to me, or your mom, or dad, or grandma. Your success depends on you.

If you do these three things, you really have no reason to be nervous. You will have the best year of your life this year in sixth grade. You will learn a lot and have fun doing it. You will be successful. Your parents, grandparents, and teachers will be proud of you. 

No need to be nervous--YOU WILL SUCCEED!