6th Grade Life

Vikan Middle School

Archive for October, 2013

Week of 10-21-13

Grades, Halloween and more…

PTO Fall Festival Cuties!

PTO Fall Festival Cuties!

I am so sorry for such a delayed post. The weekend flew by and I have been fighting a cold. But here we are, finally with news and pictures.

First, an explanation on grades. I have said this before, and the truth is I dislike grades. I am not sure grades is the best way to measure our students’ effort and thinking capacity. However, we live in the world of grades, and they are due 4 times a year. You can go to the Infinite Campus Portal and the grades are visible  you you now (you might have done this already). The portal goes dark for parents when we are finalizing grades. I waited until Wednesday for late work, and made everything final Thursday night. By final, I mean no late work can be turned in anymore, and the grades are as they are. Grades in elementary school should be a learning experience. Later on, in High School, when grades really count and will determine students’ chances of a good college, the work kids and parents put into grades now will pay off.

The academic grades are a percentage of work.  They also get calculated with the participation grade students get from me (everyone starts with 100% and it is their to lose – 10 points at a time – when homework is not turned in and there is no parental excuse). Then there is the behavior and effort grades. Those are not based on a percentage, but it is at a teacher’s discretion. I start everyone with S (satisfactory) and go down form there. Almost every kid received an S, or they got a lower letter, depending on their work. I made comments if your child got lower than S. No one received E righto now, but this is something to work towards.

Please look at your child’s final grades. This is a great time to make goals with your child. We are very goal oriented here, and your child should be able to create a goal towards better grades easily. Please let me know if you have any questions about the grades or any comments I made.

Our Halloween party will take place on Thursday. I sent a paper with information and a sign up for treats. Let me know if you have questions about any of it. It should be a great day for dressing up, eating and having fun together.

Academic news: We have started to read and learn about Marco Polo and his trip to China. This goes along well with our read aloud – Chengli. Ask your child how the two go together! The Marco Polo information starts our Explorers unit, and will take us to Columbus, Early America and the Revolution. This is exciting, thought-provoking stuff, and I will challenge your child to think deeply, make decisions and prove their thinking with text evidence. In other words, we will go beyond the facts (although facts are important are we will cover them). In math, we are starting to use our knowledge of math to make measurement conversions. My youngest daughter is going to chef school, and this is a skill she must use constantly. In Science, we completed our look at Weather and now we move on to Body Systems. We started by looking at the cell, and will move on to learning about how our bodies work. You should receive a request for candy donations as we will soon make cell models in the classroom. This is so much fun! We will then present to 4th grade and share our edible cells.

Last but not least, our student McKenna Stadler is performing on Shrek. How about a trip to the theater for a great play, and to support McKenna? My husband and I have tickets for Saturday, November 16th. We would LOVE to have as many of you as possible to come join us. McKenna’s mom is selling tickets or you can get them at the Northglenn Youth Theater. Just make sure you tell them you are supporting McKenna Stadler. If you can’t join us on November 16th, you can go on any of the following dates:

November 15, 16, 17 – 20, 21 – 22, 23, 24

Fridays and Saturdays are from 7:00 pm to 9:00 pm.

Sundays are from 2:00 pm top 4:00 pm

Adults are $8 and Senior/Youth tickets are $7.00

Make sure to tell me if you are doing on the 16th so I can look for you!

We have so much to look forward to!

Don’t forget to check the Photos Tab for some great photos of the kids. Some of the 5th graders in my family had a chance to lead and serve last Friday. Check them out!

Thank you for sharing your children with me each and everyday.

Ana Marlatt

Weeks 09-23 and 09-30

Glad to be back!

Our 13-14 Student Council Reps!

Our 13-14 Student Council Reps!

Sorry for the two week hiatus! The first week I was very busy trying to get our freshman in college a car. Last week, my site was down. But here we are again, with lots to report.

Last week we ended our first unit of math with a bang! Go to the Photos tab to check out games and fun! As a way to demonstrate their knowledge gained, students are asked to show their new math skills but creating some kind of presentation. Most chose to create a game, but some did a poster, and other created a power point on the iPad. I was very impressed by their creativity and enthusiasm.

We started Unit 2 on Monday. This unit will use their multiplication and division skills acquired in 4th grade. It is assumed that students know how to multiply by 2 digits and divide by one. It is also assumed that students know their multiplication and division facts. If your student is struggling with this, you can refresh their memory by playing fun facts games while driving or waiting in line somewhere. Having the correct facts committed to memory will help all of them be more precise and work on problems faster.

We alos completed our work on Earth Science (layers of the earth, plate tectonics, volcanoes and earthquakes…). Next week we will spend some time on weather and how erosion shapes our earth. We will do some very fun experiments to help cement the understanding around these subjects.

We are also starting a new Read-Aloud! “Chengli” will introduce the students to the Silk Road and World Explorers, which is the next unit of study for us.

We continue with our Thursday morning tutoring time. This has been a good time for students to catch up or work on their reading responses. We have had around 5-7 kids every Thursday morning!

Do you have a conference time yet? Conferences are on October 16th and 17th. I am very excited t share all the great things your child has been up to since August! I look forward to seeing all of you in 2 weeks.

Thank you for sharing your children with me!

Ana Marlatt