6th Grade Life

Vikan Middle School

Archive for March, 2014

Conferences, Spring Break, and what’s to come…

Working together to create digital book trailers!

Working together to create digital book trailers!

It was pure pleasure to watch each student give their presentation to their families. After much preparation, conferences went better than expected. Students shared their progress in reading, writing and math; their goals for the rest of the year; and their digital book trailers. I am so proud of this group of kids, and how much they have grown this year.

You should have received your invitation from your child’s middle school during conferences. Prairie View’s “Check It Out” night is on April 2nd from 7:00pm to 8:30 pm. I highly recommend you attend whichever middle school’s orientation night your child will go to. Getting to check out the middle school will help alleviate much anxiety. It will be good to have a chance to go to the middle school before summer gets here and we all have to say goodbye.

Please look over the Ameritowne papers sent home today. Your child should practice getting ready for his/her interview. I have send dress code suggestions, interview questions and dos/don’ts sheet. Ameritowne upcoming important dates are as follows:

Tuesday, April 1st – interviews at school with community members

Monday, April 7th – permission slip and $20 entrance fee due to me

Monday, April 14th – Ameritowne!!!!! 

What’s to come…: Starting March 31st, we will start a rotation of classes. We decided this will be a great way to allow students a very small taste of middle school life. Students will stay with me for their homeroom and also science. They will rotate to other 5th grade teachers for Social Studies and Math. We are very excited for this opportunity , and we think everyone will benefit greatly from the experience.

Mark your calendars! May 1st is the Track Meet for 5th graders. This will take place at Prairie View Middle School. We will spend the whole day at the middle school and have track and field competitions. More to come on this soon… Parents are welcomed to come and join us for whatever part of the day they can.

Spring Break, conferences and 4th quarter is the beginning of many “lasts” in the life of your child. As they look towards middle school, it has been my tradition to create a movie of their experiences. I have been collecting many pictures of your child all year long. I would also like you to help by sending me pictures of your child. More specifically, I would love a baby picture and also a “child” picture, specially if you have pictures of your child when he/she was smaller and attended West Ridge. If your child did not go to school here when he/she was small, that’s okay too. Just send me two pictures of your child at a younger stage. If you can, please send digital pictures. Otherwise, send me the original. I will scan and send it back to you unharmed. The videos are a gift from me to you… and your wonderful child.

Please remember there is no school tomorrow! Enjoy your Spring Break!

Thank you for your encouragement and support, and thank you for sharing your children with me!

Ana Marlatt

Week of 3-10-14

Last TCAP, Parent-Teacher Conferences and more…

Pizza party!

Pizza party!

We ended TCAP well. Our last Math test was on Wednesday morning, and we tried to get back to our usual schedule during the rest of the week. I am very proud of each and every student – for their effort rand resilience during two weeks of testing. We celebrated the end of testing with pizza, drinks and cupcakes in Friday. Thank you so much, families, for the kindness and generosity. The kids enjoyed the celebration very much. We will have our science tests in the computer  room in the end of April. More details to come your way soon!

I look forward to participating with you in your child’s last conference as an elementary school student! Please come at the time you picked, and plan on being available for 20-30 minutes. There will be more than one family in the classroom and I will be going from presentation to presentation. Your child has a special presentation for you, that will highlight growth and learning so far.

We continue to move forward with our Ameritowne curriculum. We are learning a lot of information on check writing, savings, and free enterprise. We just can’t wait for out trip on April 14th!

Please check the photos tab for a few pictures of our week.

Thank you for sharing your children with me!

Ana Marlatt


Week of 3-03-14

First Week of TCAP


Kinder buddies

Kinder buddies

TCAP – We started TCAP with a bang with homemade fortune cookies. Inside each cookie, I hid a “TCAP fortune”. These were funny goals the students created (not knowing the fortunes would end up inside a cookie) about how they would conquer TCAP. For example, one of the fortunes read: ” I will conquer TCAP this week. I will put TCAP in the middle of two convergent plates and watch it blow up like a volcano”. There were 24 similar fortunes. It made kids laugh! We opened TCAP with a special quote, a movie clip, fun songs (“We are the champions of TCAP!!!”) and TCAP yoga. This was a fun way to get things going. We will continue with the same traditions this week. We will have math testing Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, with Tuesday being a double testing day. The kids and I enjoyed donuts and milk on Friday to celebrate the end of our first testing week. We were going to play outside but the weather was awful so we stayed inside and played games. We had loads of fun. For this week, make sure your child is present, rested and has a good breakfast on TCAP testing days. We do have snack right before the test, so please send a good snack each day. I have been amazed at the great effort shown by all students. One of the writing sessions was particularly hard – many pages of multiple choice questions. All students were focused and made me extremely proud by finishing all of the required pages. Our kids are amazing! This coming Friday will be our last celebration – Pizza and drinks for lunch, so no lunch needed that day! Again, I hope to leave all of our 5th graders with excellent memories of these 2 testing weeks.

Ameritowne – We have all of our parent volunteers for the trip. Please send signed permission slip and money as soon as possible. The permission slip went home with your child Friday. It is a white paper. If money is a concern, please send me a note or email. No kid will stay behind due to finances. We will make this happen! I have started teaching the lessons to get us ready for the trip. It has been fun teaching kids about banking, credit and money matters. They have a million questions and are learning a lot!

Kindergarten helpers – Our 5th graders spent one hour on Wednesday with Mrs. Eskam’s Kinder class. We helped them write a paper on Washington. Again, I was proud of our kids. No one goofed around. Everyone too their job serious and helped their little buddies stay focused and write. We hope to repeat this experience next month.

Parent-teacher conferences – They are coming up soon! I have many open slots for you to choose from. Your child will prepare a great presentation for you. There will be several families in the classroom together, so please let me know if you have a scheduling conflict. I can fit you in just about anytime you need. This will be an open house-type atmosphere. If you have concerns and need to meet with me. please send me an email. We can schedule something outside of the conferences time, before or after school.

The work you do with your child everyday is paying off. Our kids are strong, they have great focus, they have great effort and continue to amaze me. Thanks for all you do to at home to prepare them everyday to come learn at school.

Thank you for sharing you children with me!

Ana Marlatt

P.S. – Make sure to check the the photos tab for lots of great pictures!


Last week of February

TCAP is here!

A few of our girls waiting for "the talk" to start!

A few of our girls waiting for “the talk” to start!

“The Talk” last Wednesday went well! Of course, I only know for the girls’ perspective, but they were all respectful, and had many relevant questions.I think this time together is very special and important for many girls who are starting to see changes in their bodies and start to wonder what is going on…!

We start the week with 2 sessions of TCAP. In the morning and afternoon, we will start with the writing test. After Monday. our testing will take place only in the morning (from 11:00 am to 12:00 pm). I am not expecting much of a change in our daily schedule, which is great news!

I have a special surprise for the kids on Monday, to kick off TCAP testing. I also plan on getting the kids pumped for the testing time with music and specially prepared quotes, short movies and movie clips that I have put together to inspire us all to do our best. Again, I hope the testing time will be a source of fun, special memories and enjoyment, instead of stress. I still need parents to help with a special treat for the end of the week (I had one parent respond only). I am looking for a parent or parents who would like to sponsor a special end-of-the-week snack for the kids. I am thinking pizza, donuts, ice cream or something similar. I am totally open to suggestions! I know they are not great foods, but it is meant as a special snack, not an everyday meal. Please email me if you can help.

I know every child in our classroom will try and do their best during testing. This is a special opportunity to showcase our hard work. The results of the testing are not available until July, so as far as the students are concerned, the expectation is for effort and for serious…fun! I hope they are relaxed and I know the have the stamina for all of the testing ahead. I have been preparing them with writing prompts, rigorous reading and diverse math problems. They will all shine!

Please make sure your child is well rested tonight. Please make sure they wake up with enough time for a good breakfast. Share positive thoughts with them and encourage them. We will celebrate our first week of testing on Friday. We will have a celebration snack and, if the weather is good, we will go outside and have an extra long recess.

Please  follow the link below to help the PTO and their spring carnival.  I have signed us up for a reading basket (that’s the theme of our basket) for grades 4-6. The link will take you to a sign up genius page for the basket.


5th grade has the great opportunity to participate in Ameritowne this year! Our field trip will take place on April 14th. This exciting opportunity is a whole curriculum designed to teach kids financial literacy. So, even though the field trip will be lots of fun, all of us teachers will be busy teaching the curriculum so kids are prepared for the experience. There will be lots more information coming your way soon, but for now, please know we will need parent volunteers for the day of the field trip. If you are available that day, please let me know as soon as you can. Students will be learning about checks, debit cards, commerce, business ethics, etc. They will prepare to apply for a job and then learn all the facets of that job. This will be lots of fun. Like a said, lots more information will be coming your way soon!

Finally, make sure you have a conference time set up for the 3rd week of March. If you have any concerns or questions about conferences, please email me.

*** Make sure to check out the photo tab for some fun pictures of the kids!

It is hard to believe that March is here. It will go quickly. The year is slipping away. It has been fun, but it is hard to believe how fast everything is going! Thank you for your help, for your encouragement, and most of all, thank you for sharing your children with me everyday!

Ana Marlatt