Thursday, September 11, 2014

Pick an Element of Your SSR Book

The next assignment for Reading Workshop students is to pick one element of the book they are reading and write about its impact on the story. The key to this project is to support ideas and opinions with details from the text. Equally important is the need to stay on topic and DO NOT RETELL THE BOOK!

Students can choose one of the traits listed below or choose another aspect of their book. 

Setting
Character
Problems
Action
Adventure
Conflict
Mystery
Essays should begin with an introduction that gives the title, author, and topic of the writing. Below is an example using The Maze Runner featuring setting.
The book The Maze Runner by James Dashner takes place in an amazing setting.  This group of kids are locked into this mysterious place with no way to escape. Each day they try to run a maze outside their camp to find a way to get out.

Monday, September 8, 2014

New School Year Writing Assignment

Please copy and paste your post, The New School Year from the Question Board or your blog to be graded. As we discussed in class, grades will be based on use of supporting details in your writing, correct punctuation, grammar, and spelling.

Thursday, September 4, 2014

How's the New School Year?

According to Reading Workshop students this year is going well.


Over 80% of the students in an anonymous poll rated this school year as a 9 or 10 on a ten point scale. It's great to know that so many students are engaged and enjoying school.

PollHow would you rate this year so far?


The Best
10 
   
          37 votes (56.06%)
9
   
          16 votes (24.24%)
8
   
          2 votes (3.03%)
7
   
          2 votes (3.03%)
   
          3 votes (4.55%)
5 OK
  
          4 votes (6.06%)
4
  
          0 votes (0%)
3
   
          0 votes (0%)
2
 
          0 votes (0%)
1
   
          2 votes (3.03%)
The Worst

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Student of the Day

Study Island

Want to be rewarded for excellence? Students work daily in Reading Workshop with the online learning program from Study Island. This program is based on the Ohio State Standards. It has lessons that help teach each topic and remediates when students do not pass a topic. Students can do sessions anywhere they have internet access.

Students scores count towards their grade in Reading Workshop.  It is important that students pay attention to their score as they are completing a 20 question session.  If they are close to the next higher grade, doing a couple of extra questions correctly can really help their grade.

85 - 100 = A
75 - 84.9 = B
65 - 74.9 = C
55 - 64.9 = D 

Congratulations to today's Study Island Students of the Day: Emma M., Rachel T., Allison W., and Ian S.


Monday, August 18, 2014

Welcome to 2014/2015



I am excited to start the new school year and it all begins today. Open house is tonight from 5:30-7:00. Students and parents have the opportunity to meet teachers and tour the school. Please take a few minutes and stop by. Say hello and introduce yourself.

Tomorrow is the first day of school! I am pumped up to begin the new year. I have a lot of great activities planned for Reading Workshop. We will begin by setting up student blogs, reading aloud Swear to Howdy, and of course--singing!

Welcome to the new sixth grade students. I promise it will be an amazing year!

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Jupiter Grades Questions

Saturday, August 2, 2014

Great OAA Scores!

The sixth grade students in Reading Workshop did an amazing job on the Ohio Reading Achievement Assessment. Over 94% passed the reading test. I watched them work so hard in May when they took the test and hoped it would reflect the awesome work I had witnessed all year.

When the results came in I was pleased to see that last year's sixth graders showed so much growth and success. Super job to all the students that made last year so great. I truly enjoyed having the chance to work with such a great group.

Friday, May 2, 2014

Figurative Language is Fun


Straight from Mrs. Caudill at McDowell are some fun games to learn and practice all about figurative language.

Monday, April 28, 2014

D.A.R.E on the Question of the Week Board

Please turn in your D.A.R.E. Question of the Week post to be graded.


Friday, April 11, 2014

Success Post

Reading Workshop students, please submit your essay for grading in the form below. To see all the essays go HERE.

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.


Thursday, February 13, 2014

Did You "Get" Your Book?

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

No More Snow Days Please

I am ready for some school, and so are some parents. Want some evidence. Here it is.

Thursday, December 12, 2013

How Does Your Child Stack Up?

Brylee, A 50 Page/Day Reader
The Read at Home assignment is a major part of sixth grade language arts as Salt Creek. Nothing builds reading skills and the ability to comprehend like time spent reading. That is the reason the Read at Home assignment rewards those that read more with a higher grade.

As you may know, the grade is based on minutes read each week. 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.


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


Plus, if students read more than 180 minutes I give extra credit. The students from our hallway (Classes 601-604) have averaged reading 232 minutes each week. All Students will be bringing home a letter that tells how many minutes they have averaged reading.



You can see all the responses HERE.



Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Fictional Writing Project

1.  Can be by yourself or with a partner (shared writing on Google Docs).
2.  Must have problems building to a climax.
3.  Must use dialogue with correct paragraphing and punctuation
4.  Must have a main character and at least one supporting character
5.  The setting should play into the story
6.  End with a purpose

Want some easy steps to follow? Here are some tips from an earlier blog post.

The first step to writing a story involves making some decisions.

How many characters will there be?
What are the names of the characters?
Who is the main character?
Where does the story take place?
When does the story take place?
What will happen in the story?
What problems occur?
How will the problems be solved?
What moral or lesson will be learned?

Start Here

1.  Create your characters and develop their characteristics and physical traits.  Is there a villain and what is he/she like?  How does the bad guy impact the story?

2.  Create the setting.  Where and when does the story take place?  How does the setting impact the story?

3.  Create the problem or conflict?  What minor problems will build tension leading to the climax?  How will the main character react when faced with the main problem/conflict?

4. What crisis will occur at the last minute which will grab the reader and give the main character a last chance to solve the problem?  Plan for a fingernail biting moment.

5. How will the main character solve the problem?  What positive attribute like courage, creativity, or intelligence does he/she possess which will help him succeed?

6.  Finish with style.  What lesson does the main character learn?  How will the reader connect and learn from the moral?

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

A Little Extra

At the end of each day we stack the chairs. This makes it easier to clean the room. Yesterday three students worked a little harder than everyone else to make sure all the chairs were stacked and stacked neatly. I didn't ask them, they just took it on themselves to make sure it was done before they left. 

As Colton, Clayton and Alexis walked out, I started thinking about this. Why did they take on this responsibility? Why did they make the extra effort?

Several times through the evening, this kept popping into my thoughts. When everyone else was standing in line waiting to leave, these three students were working a little harder and a little longer than anyone else. The more I thought about it, the more I started to relate it to their performance in class. Eventually I came to the conclusion that this type of behavior is why they are so successful in school.

I don't have to tell them to work harder, they just do. I don't have to tell them to be more responsible, they are. I don't have to tell them to help others, they do it on their own. I don't have to tell them to be a role model, they live it.  It's funny how such a little thing like stacking chairs can be such a big sign of someone who knows all about success.



Monday, November 18, 2013

What is Your Kind?


Many Reading Workshop classes end with singing for the last five minutes. Lyrics are projected on the white board and students sing along with the music. This helps students learn to be better readers, but especially improves fluency and vocabulary.

Recently we were singing a Miranda Lambert song, All Kinds of Kinds. The point of this song is that the world is made up of all kinds of people each unique in their own way.

The assignment, Reading Workshop students is to write a blog post that describes your traits. Think about what makes you unique. What makes you the kind of person that you are? What are your strongest traits? When people think of you, what comes to mind? Please use specific examples/incidents/stories to illustrate your points.

Some examples of traits include:

kind, considerate, caring, responsible, outgoing, introverted, hard working, leader, follower, noisy, quiet, talkative, helpful, outspoken, patient, impatient, cooperative, honest, dishonest, strong-minded, independent, dependent, courageous, thankful, appreciative, brave, polite, mannerly, lazy, unmannerly, respectful, disrespectful, humorous, witty, good listener, empathetic, creative, open-minded, studious, controlling, bossy, shy, particular, weird, insane, willing, prepared, competitive, unprepared, close-minded, morose, somber, serious, sad, sassy, passionate, fiery, loving, adventurous, feisty, stubborn, curious, believing, sharing, giving, opinionated, brainy, intelligent, fair, fearless, fearful, trustworthy, trusting, energetic, enthusiastic, hilarious, mature, materialistic, greedy, selfish, unselfish, idealistic, cocky, self-assured, assertive, picky, aggressive, passive, stable, timid, backwards, sneaky, forceful, mindful, addictive, careful, flexible, kind-hearted, joyful, over-achiever, attention seeking, sensitive, calm, spicy, optimistic, radiant, comforting, outrageous,  . . .

Before you write, please create an outline. Below is an example of the expected outline format that Hannah made for her Bullying Essay.


II. Bullying Is A Problem
     A. Everyone that gets bullied at school gets made fun of by the rest of the people
     B. I think that bullying is the worst!
          1.Why would someone go to school everyday just to make fun of someone.
     C. People that goes to school just to bully someone must be making the worst decision ever.
III. If You See Bullying
     A. If you ever see bullying the best thing you could do is tell an adult.
          1.When you tell an adult make sure you tell them everything that you seen.
     B. After the problem is solved.
          1. Try to make friends with that person and
          2. Make sure that the person isn't getting bullied anymore.
IV. When Bullying Starts
     A. Sometimes I don't see it at first because you might think they are just kidding.
     B. But after it happens 24/7 I start to wonder if I should go talk to that person and see whats going       on.


Thursday, November 14, 2013

Bullying Essay

Students in Reading Workshop recently completed an essay on bullying. You can read all of the essays HERE.



Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Who Do You Ask?

Ben and Chloe sit beside each other in Reading Workshop. Both are good students and work hard. When they have a problem, or don't understand something, they don't ask for help. They will talk to each other about things that don't matter but they don't ask each other for help. 

What makes this interesting is how our class is built around everyone helping everyone be successful. Peer tutoring is a continual thing. Any time a student doesn't understand, someone is ready to help. This is expected and students do an amazing job of making sure their classmates do well.

This is similar to how our team of teachers work. If someone has a question or concern, Mrs. Hardin, Mrs. Webb, Ms. Huysman  and I work together to help work it out. This makes a strong team of people that count on each other and are strong because of their unity. This also helps make our hallway a great place.

We talked about this in class today. Most of the students have a couple of people they count on when they need help. This might be when they are editing their writing, doing something on the computer, or trying to complete an assignment. Hopefully now that we have discussed this Ben, Chloe, and any other students that doesn't have a pal to count on will be open for a little help and ask someone when they need a hand.

Monday, November 4, 2013

What Did You Learn at Camp?

Last week's visit to Camp Oty Okwa was a great time for students and staff. The group building activities were exciting and students did an excellent job cooperating and making their team successful. With that in mind, this leads to this week's writing assignment. 

Students, on your blog, tell what you learned. Pick a skill and write about it. Define the word that best describes what you learned. This might be cooperation, teamwork, kindness, respect, friendship, working together, responsibility. . .  Include the meaning of the word, and what it means to you.

Explain the situation where you saw this skill in action. This will be one or more incidents during the group activities where this took place. Give details to help the reader understand. You may also want to include how the use of this skill impacted your group.

In your closing, tell how using this trait at school would effect Salt Creek. What would it look like? How would it improve our school? Where and/or when could you use this skill to make our school a better place?


When your blog post is completed, please submit it.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

A Look at Bullying

The assignment for Reading Workshop students is to write a blog post about bullying. Use the information below to help guide the writing. Use a web as a prewriting tool to help organize your post.

What is your view on bullying? Is it really a problem? Does it always look the same? Do you recognize it when it happens? How do you react? How do you define bullying? Is it always the bullies fault? Or does the person getting picked on sometimes cause the problem? 

Please pick one scenario listed on the Reading Workshop Wiki as an example. Explain how you view it and tell why it is or is not bullying. Describe possible responses to the situation and include how you would react if you were involved, both as the person being bullied and as a member of the group, but not the person doing the bullying.





Thursday, October 24, 2013

A Great Start to the Year

This school year is off to a great start. As we close in on the end of the 1st nine weeks, I can't imagine things going any better. A recent Question of the Week got me thinking about why things were going so well. 

As I said in the question:




Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Question of the Week

Recently at Reading Workshop I created a discussion board for the Question of the Week. Responses must be a minimum of two - three paragraphs with details to support students' points.

Students, please post your best response to be graded.

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Easy Extra Credit

Hey parents, grandparents, and other family members, want to help your student earn some easy extra credit? All you have to do is fill out the form below. It is well worth it to me just to get parents to check in here.

Our language arts class is anchored around this blog. At the top you can find links like the one to Jupiter Grades that are helpful to both students and parents. On the right sidebar classwork, homework, and important dates are listed. Further down on the right side are links to blogs of all of the Reading Workshop students. 

This website is the easiest way for parents to know what is taking place in language arts and at Salt Creek. Please use it to your advantage and thank you for helping your child earn some extra credit.