6th Grade Life

Vikan Middle School

Archive for Weekly News

Fun in Room 6

Check out our door! This is October’s advisory challenge: decorate our door for  img_4298Dia de los Muertos! The idea, design and all of the work is the product of teamwork and creativity from all of the students in Advisory. I think it looks great!! We get “judged” tomorrow. I wonder what award we will receive… Please send non-perishable items this week and next. Collecting canned foods is our challenge for November. All food items will be delivered as a donation to a local food bank here in Brighton.

We have been having a great time in Social Studies. Our DBQ (ask you student what a DBQ is!) unit is in full swing. All 6th grade Social Studies teachers got the necessary training to borrow and handle artifacts from our Denver Museum of Nature and Science. Students got to explore primary artifacts from the 1860s. Amazing stuff!


Checking out Gold Rush equipment.


Pyrite – fools’ gold!


Arapahoe Native American rattle


1860s Drill Bit!







In Language Arts, we continue to work on writing an informational piece about Vikan. Ask your student what his/her favorite thing at Vikan is. I have been reading lots of great writing in both period 1 and 2!!

Thank you for sharing your children with me!

Ana Marlatt


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.

Thank You!

Thank you parents for entrusting you precious children to us while in Outdoor Ed. We had a fabulous time! The weather was perfect and made it possible for us to have every class outside. The kids did a great job as well. They were curious and hard-working. They got along and enjoyed the time. We had a great time together! Please check out the pictures on the post below.

It is nice to be back to a routine. I hope the weekend helped everyone recuperate – I know I was very tired and only today feel like myself again!

This coming week we will delve into the Weather on Earth. This is a huge tested item on CMASS for 5th graders and I have just started using a new curriculum. I am very excited about what we will learn together. We will explore the question What is Weather? and learn about the variables meteorologists use to measure conditions of the atmosphere. You can be involved in what we are doing by asking your child about our everyday investigations and experiments. You can track the weather together Watch the evening news together and pay attention to the weather. If you have access to newspapers or online resources, look at weather maps together. Look for patterns. Ask questions about what words your child is learning so that they can use the vocabulary words in real life situations. Weather is all around us!

I will be out of the classroom on Tuesday for an observation. I have something fun for the students that day and hope they will enjoy the short break from our daily rigor.

Thank you for sharing your children with me!

Ana Marlatt

It is All About Outdoor Ed! (well, almost…)

Outdoor Education is almost here. One week from tomorrow we will be loading the busses and heading to our 3 day adventure. Here are a few things to think about:

  1. Do you have the packing list? If not, please let me know and I’ll send another your way. Do you have all you need so your child is ready and comfortable?
  2. It will be cold, so make sure your child brings plenty of warm stuff (hats, gloves, scarves and warm socks).
  3. If your child is getting new boots (not necessary – tennis shoes will do!), make sure that he/she breaks them in before the trip!!!
  4. I will remind you all again, but next weekend will be the weekend to load up on water. Set an alarm and remind your child to drink a cup of water every 1-2 hours – just like medicine. This will avoid a lot of potential problems.
  5. Busses LEAVE the school at 7 am next Monday. Make sure your child is there in plenty of time to check in and say goodbye. Our first class starts at 9:00 am so we are unable to wait for tardies.

I promise we will take good care of your child…! 🙂

The other news is Halloween. I sent a sign up link last Friday. The party starts at 2:45 pm. Here is the link again: http://www.signupgenius.com/go/70a084eaea72bab9-halloween (to activate the link, you might have to copy and paste it to your browser).

I have added a few pictures of our egg adventure. We candled the eggs and found out that 17 out of the 18 eggs have chicks in them. This does not mean they will all hatch, but chances are good that we will have a few go all the way to hatching. “Chick day” is tomorrow, so we should be seeing some action soon. We also dissected an egg that was found in our kindergarten playground. This was a fun, yet disgusting experience for all of us. Make sure to ask your child about it.

Grades are available on Infinite Campus now. You should also be able to see 2nd quarter work already. If you don’t have a login  for your child, please contact the office for help.

Thank you for sharing your children with me!

Ana Marlatt

Erosion and Weathering Labs

Welcome to October!

October is here and I for one was glad to see cooler temperatures! October also brings us Picture Day! Our time is TOMORROW at 11:20 am. We are lucky to have picture day before lunch, but we do have gym tomorrow… I will provide time for kids to visit the bathrooms and use mirrors to make sure you get your money’s worth when you purchase the pictures.

I have added lots of fun pictures of the students’ earthquake proof structures. They had fun researching, planning and building their structures out of marshmallows and spaghetti noodles.

Science this week: We will complete our comics project (probably by Tuesday). We will the start experimenting with weathering and erosion concepts. We will start with a great lab that involves water, dirt, rocks and sand. Kids usually love this lab and we get lots of hands-on exploration that will help firm the weathering and erosion concepts in their minds.

Literacy this week: We start our first “big” writing project tomorrow. All students will be working on a narrative piece. This is one of three writing genres required by our state standards. I expect all of the work to be done in school. If your student brings work home, it will be because he/she did not finish it. They will have to type their pieces, and we are hoping to get time in the computer lab here at school to do so. I am looking forward to this as kids always surprise me with their creativity.

Last, but very important: Did you sign up for conferences yet? I have sent an email last week with a link. The same link is pasted below… You might have to copy and paste the link to your browser for it to work. If you have problems accessing the link please email me. I look forward to spending time with you and your student during conferences!


Thank you for sharing your children with me!

Ana Marlatt

Our 5th Graders are Awesome!

Our 5th graders did an awesome job being leaders at out Kids Night Out. I had no behavior problems. The kids were energetic and did not mind doing all of the various jobs required to make the night a success. I was so proud to be their teacher! We had a great turn out and we raised lots of money. As soon as we know how much, I will let you know.

I have posted lots of fun pictures of our first Kinder buddy meeting. This year we will be teaming up with Ms. Vigil’s class and we will be working together with her students once or twice a month. This is another great opportunity for our 5th graders to work as leaders and they sure stepped up during our first meeting. We got to know our buddies and we shared some science books.  I have also posted a few pictures of Kids Night Out so make sure to check the gallery.

Please remember our Outdoor Ed. Informational meeting! It will take place THIS WEDNESDAY from 6:15 pm to 7:00 pm in the West Ridge Cafeteria. Come and get all of your questions answered.

Fall pictures are October 5th. I ran out of time to send the packets home Friday. Please look for them on Monday. There is also information about a fun Walk/Bike/Run to promote Bond Voting. It will be fun!

Conferences are October 14 and 15. Watch for sign up link coming up soon!!!

This week in Science: We will explore earthquakes and mountains. We are getting close to starting our Weathering and Erosion unit!

This week in Literacy: We will continue reading Earthquake Terror, and exploring characters and setting together. We will also start a fun writing activity that goes along with Volcanoes, Earthquakes and Mountains and legends about their birth.

Finally, please help your student stay organized and participate in our class activities. Every student should be doing the following:

  1. Reading at least 20 minutes every night.
  2. Writing about the reading they did in their planners (check stickers in planner for information)
  3. Participating on our Edmodo posting and online conversation twice a week (Tuesdays and Thursdays)

Don’t hesitate to email or call if you have questions.

Thank you for sharing your children with me!

Ana Marlatt


Tectonic Plates Fun!

Last week we did our very first lab in Science class. By using crackers, frosting and some imagination, we were able to recreate tectonic plate movement in the classroom. The pictures really captured our fun and learning (check out the gallery above). It is not the best situation to do labs like this when we have no sinks or counters in our classroom, but we always make it work and the lesson was a success!

Coming up in Science: We will continue to explore tectonic movement by looking at earthquakes, mountains and volcanoes. We will be doing a bit of everything: reading, creating, writing and exploring. Ask your child about science class and all the fun we have been having!

Coming up in Literacy: Is you child reading at home everyday? Is your child writing on his-her planner everyday? The consistency of reading at home and being accountable to write on planners will set in soon and will become second nature. Reading is the number one best thing you can have your child do at home in order to be successful at school! Also in literacy: Your child should be posting to Edmodo twice a week. This will relate to something in literacy. I will always have your child write all necessary information on their planners, so please check. Did you happen to see their excellent poems about plate tectonics? If not, log into Edmodo. It will make you proud!

Please remember that our fundraiser Kids Night Out is THIS FRIDAY (Sept. 25th)!!! If your child is a helper, he/she is expected to come back to school at 4:45 pm and stay until 8:15 pm. Please be prompt picking your child up! It will be a fun, but long night… All proceeds benefit our Outdoor Ed. trip in November. Speaking of our trip, there will be an informational meeting about the trip on September 30th. This is a DO NOT MISS meeting. Watch for information on the meeting coming home TOMORROW with your 5th grader.

Thank you for sharing your children with me!

Ana Marlatt

Our Hat Day was a huge success! We made $305 for our Outdoor Education fund. Thank you for contributing! Hopefully you were able to find the Outdoor Ed. forms I sent home on Wednesday. There will be a lot more information coming home in the next few weeks so be on the lookout for it!

One of the ways we fundraise is by providing a Kids Night Out for West Ridge parents. Our first Kids Night Out is on September 25th. A flyer went home Friday. We will need a few 5th graders to come help. More information about this will be coming to you next week.

Your child should have also brought home Book Order flyers. Please send your order by Wednesday the 16th or make your purchases online by the same deadline.

If you have time and are looking for volunteer opportunities, I have three for you:

  1. Friday Folders – I need a parent who could come and prepare Friday Folders either Thursday pm. or Friday am. every week.
  2. Copies- I need a parent who can come make copies once a week (day and time is totally open)
  3. Parties – We have 3 parties every school year (Halloween, Christmas and Valentines). Do you like planning and coordinating parties? If so, let me know and I will put you to work!

Science focus:

This week in science we will continue to explore Plate Tectonics as one of the forces that changes the surface of the earth. We will explore through maps, a Google Earth application, a fun science lab involving Rice Krispies, graham crackers and frosting, and also some music and dancing.


Your child should be reading at least 20 minutes everyday. Please ask your student what he/she should be writing on the planner every night! Please remember: reading is the BEST thing your child can do as far as preparing his/her brain for school! Read everyday, read everywhere!!!

*** I am working on a new page for this website. The page will have book reviews. These book reviews will help you and your child make good decisions about books! I will let you know when the page is ready!

I am excited for a full week of learning.

Thank you for sharing your children with me!

Ana Marlatt

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