ELA Update

We are getting into a rhythm and really starting to roll with our reading and writing in class. Hopefully you see your child building good habits for themselves (or with your help) reading outside of class. I am encouraging students to read sixty minutes outside of class as homework.

Book Order Earlier I sent an email about ordering books from Scholastic. Orders must be placed by October 11. Please one of the first two links on the email, as the last link is incomplete.

LEARNING Students did very well on the genre quiz. We are now learning about LITERARY ELEMENTS! We started with mapping a story with the CaSPER song. (Ask your student if they remember what CaSPER stands for.) The “C” stands for characters. We will be writing about and exploring the characters in our books most of next week. Hatchet, by Gary 0689808828.lPaulsen is being read aloud as an anchor text for our learning.

Grading Students will be graded on various quizzes like the genre quiz. Other examples of quizzes are sentence writing/parts of speech and literary elements.

Another large part of the grade will be on trimester reading and recording. Students record the page they are on in their book in class each day. This helps me monitor their reading progress in class. Students also record the books they read in a reading/writing journal. This helps me monitor which book they are currently reading, which books they have completed, and which books they have abandoned.

Hopefully we all have “A book we love!” That is the goal. I am doing my best to help students find a book (or books) that they love!



English/Language Arts has been going very well. Mrs. Van Houzen team teaches this class with me. We both agree that this is a great group of sixth graders! I want to keep you informed of what we are focusing on.

We spend time each day READING! The best way to become a better reader is to READ! We will visit the library every other Monday to check out books. Students may also check out books from their classroom library. They are asked to bring an IR (independent reading book) to each core class to read during extra time.

We have worked on identifying the subject (noun) and verb of a sentence. Next week we will work on identifying prepositional phrases. We are working on this to help us write proper sentences.

Books are divided into various genre or types. Some examples are realistic fiction, historical fiction, fantasy, science fiction, and poetry. Students have taken notes on the various types and will have a quiz next Thursday on this material. On Monday students will take home a definition study page. I will also post it on the blog.

Students have a reading/writing journal which they keep at school. On one side they keep a list of books that they have read, responses to their reading, and class notes. On the flip side they will write journal entries and other writing pieces.


The class will be set up in a workshop format. This means that students will be encouraged to read books that THEY choose. Following a mini-lesson focusing on the particular skill we are working on, students will practice using the skill in their reading or writing. Conferences will occur weekly to guide students as they read and write. Mrs. Van Houzen and I will be team teaching this class together.

We will be focusing on an essential question each trimester. The first one is “What allows some people to overcome obstacles?” We will read aloud the book “Hatchet” by Gary Paulson and look at traits of the main character that develop this theme in this book.Hatchet

We will use interesting literature, poetry, nonfiction, and other genres to help us think and express our thoughts clearly and creatively. Together, we will work on developing skills of reading and writing that will be beneficial now and in the future.

Move to Middle School!

I am very excited about my new position at Baldwin Street Middle School. I am looking forward to focusing on my passion: English/Language Arts. I will be working with students to help them develop their skills in reading, writing, listening, and speaking. I will teach two classes of ELA, two classes of Read 180, and “Say What,” a six week course to help students feel more comfortable speaking in front of others. Watch for more postings that describe these classes in more detail. Parents are encouraged to check the blog weekly to read about what we are doing in class.