6th Grade Life

Vikan Middle School

Archive for October, 2016

My First KORT and Other News


Waiting for KORT to start.

End of First Quarter KORT:

Like many of our 6th grade parents, I did not know what KORT was until Friday. KORT (Knights of the Round Table) ceremonies take place at the end of every quarter, and they provide a time for us to recognize perfect attendance and A and B honor roll. This is what you get at other middle schools during their awards ceremony. But at Vikan, we also “knight” students every quarter who have displayed the great traits of a knight (hard work, great attitude, helpful, etc). Friday was my very first KORT ceremony and I really enjoyed it.  Each grade level celebrates KORT at different times during the day. Our 6th graders were all well behaved and enjoyed the ceremony. I think many saw the ceremony as something to shoot for next quarter. Students who qualified for either perfect attendance or A or B honor roll received a dog tag. The new “knights” received special hoodies and special dog tags. These dog tags give them permission to exit the classroom without their regular passes. The ‘knights” also got a special lunch to celebrate.

Upcoming Events and Classroom News:

We will be decorating our classroom door during advisory this week. This is our October Advisory Challenge. Our November advisory challenge is going to be collecting non-perishable goods. All the food will be donated to a local food bank. We will collect items in the classroom until the end of the month so please send them our way! We want another victory (we won the recycling challenge!).

Language Arts: We are working on a great writing project: Students will be writing about their favorite thing about Vikan. At the end of the assignment, students will vote on the best piece from periods 1 and 2. The “winners” will be posted on the Vikan website.

Social Studies: We are finishing up a DBQ (document based question) unit on Brighton History. This is a very rigorous unit that involves student discourse, reading and writing and a final essay.


Is your student reading every day? (minimum 20 minutes).

Is your student writing the reading in their planner?

Are you checking your student’s IC account every week?

Reading is the best thing your student can do, and it affects everything else they do in school!

Thank you for sharing your 6th grader with me every day!

Getting "knighted" by Principal Norris-Buck and Vice Principal Ortega.

Getting “knighted” by Principal Norris-Buck and Vice Principal Ortega.

The 40 Challenge



The 40 Challenge – Can you do it? 



Have you heard your student talking about The 40 Challenge? 6th graders are being challenged to read 40 books this year. The idea came from the book “The Book Whisperer” by Donalyn Miler (https://www.amazon.com/dp/0470372273/?tag=mh0b-20&hvadid=3523727451&hvqmt=e&hvbmt=be&hvdev=c&ref=pd_sl_7i5bjcdj2d_e).  She believes, as do I, that the only way to help students become better readers is to encourage and allow them to read more. Students must also choose and enjoy what they read. Challenging students to read 40 books is just one way to get them excited about books. The 40 Challenge is not a grade, or a requirement, but I hope every student who participates will develop a new love for reading and will find a book they fall in love with. Reading is fundamental. It affects every area of learning. It helps develop vocabulary, fluency and general thinking. Reading connects students with cultures and places otherwise unreachable.

I do quite a bit to create a book buzz in our classroom. I am doing The 40 Challenge with the students. I share books I read. I review books on Goodreads. I read book blogs and stay current on what great books other students out there are excited about. Our classroom has a huge selection of books and your student is always welcome to borrow from it. I dedicate the first 10 minutes of Language Arts class for reading, and we read for 30 minutes twice a week in Advisory. Reading has a special place in our daily routines at school.

You can also spread the reading love by encouraging your student in his/her reading life. Ask them about the book they are reading. If you love reading, share what you are reading with your student. Let your student see you reading – newspapers and blogs on the internet count! There are many ways to show that reading is important.

In the weeks to come, I will share many “reading moments” with you. I hope they will enrich your life and give you fresh ideas as you encourage your student to love reading.