Papers and Lit Circle Schedule

by Mrs. Nilsen on February 22nd, 2013

Weekly ELA News 2/18 - 2/22

Dang!  Time is just FLYING in ELA right now.  We're so busy!  Here's a brief update on two of our bigger projects going on right now:

Science Fair Papers

We're hard at work in 6th grade language arts on our Science Fair papers.  Rough drafts were due this week and final drafts are due next week.  I would like EVERY STUDENT to turn in a revised draft to me on Monday.  I will be taking them home and giving individual feedback for each of the drafts turned in on Monday.  We've been doing revision lessons in class all this week (for the students who where ready) giving peer to peer feedback continuously and I give feedback to students on their drafts as we work together on revision.  I want to spend some time with EACH draft at the start of the week so students still have time to make corrections and revisions  before their final draft is due.

DATE CHANGE:  Final draft of paper for 6th graders is Due Friday, March 1st!

Exciting news too!  We'll be using our Tablets starting on Monday to help some students who struggle with writing and revising, talk their papers into the dictation software!  Check out the blog post all about our new tablets!

Picture Killers vs. Picture Makers
We worked in class this week on getting rid of those little, boring words that kill the picture we're trying to paint in our drafts.  It's hard work - breaking old habits - but our papers will be so much better when we instead add more "picture makers" to our drafts.  These words give students a strategy to improve their scores in ideas and content, word choice, voice, and sentence fluency - all areas they are graded in for writing.  

Students - Use the lists below as reminders this weekend of what to use and not use in your papers.  Notice that we rarely use the picture makers by themselves.  The picture makers encourage us to use a good prepositional phrase or clause, adding detail and description to our work. Good luck!

Picture Killers (we'll keep adding to this list):
  • um yeah, a lot, so, dude, cool, stuff, truly, really, fine, very, awesome, great, big, good, bad, nice, kind of, sort of, weird, thing, neat, cute, guy, person, go(went) get, said, eat(ate), you know.
Picture Makers (we'll keep adding to this list, too):
  • above, in, on, for, of, when, that, from, to, since, between, after, as, over, behind, at, under, before, who, about, by, during, like, near, off, through, toward, under, with, until, up.

Lit Circle Schedule

Lit Circles are well underway!  I've realized though, as each group has different assignments, it's hard for me to put the reading expectations on Engrade.  I can put the quizzes and the participation scores that go with parts of the homework, but the "read this chapter by this date" doesn't work well on Engrade currently.  In light of this, I'll be adding the Lit Circle reading schedule on the weekly news for ELA for the next few weeks.  

The discussions we are having with the books are incredible.  Listening to the students talk confidently about plot, rising action, characters and how the author uses events and dialogue to get us to learn certain things about them, how the author is building suspense, words that they don't know that they looked up, summarizing a chapter or two,'s just a dream for a teacher.  I participate with them instead of leading them.  I ask questions on occasion to spur deeper discussion, but most of the groups could operate without my help.  That's what Lit Circles should be about!

There are a few students who are struggling to do their prep work before the meetings.  It's my hope that putting the schedule on here weekly can help a bit with this.  Enjoy your reading this weekend and upcoming week!

Lit Circle Schedule 2/25 - 2/29
Monday - no groups meeting; Lit Circle Quiz # 2
Tuesday - Holes Ch 21 - 25; Westing Game Ch 13 - 18
Wednesday - no groups meeting; KAA work time
Thursday - Old Yeller Ch 6-7; Al Capone Ch 16 - 18
Friday - NO ELA - Read-a-thon in Homerooms all day!  Yipee!!


Monday February 25th

Tuesday February 26th
  • Subway Lunch orders due no later than 3:00 p.m. (later orders will not be accepted) – Please pay separate from your pizza order and only 1 week at a time.
  • Homework Club 3:00 to 4:00 PM
Wednesday February 27th
  • Pizza orders and money due no later than 1:30 p.m. (late orders will not be accepted) Please pay separate from your subway order.
  • Early Release-1:00 PM

Thursday February 28th     
  • Auction Meeting 3:30 PM

Friday March 1st
  • Pizza Lunch     
  • Dress Down Friday     
  • Homework Club 3:00 to 4:00 PM
  • Family Movie Night

Future Dates:

March 4th - 2:00 p.m. Auction Meeting for homeroom parents
March 4th - 6:00 to 7:00 p.m. MRA Open House for new families
March 4th—15th - Talent Show Tryouts in Ms. Blythe’s room at lunchtime 
March 13th - Booster Meeting 
March 15th - Deadline for updated Applications
March 21 - Teacher Report Writing - NO SCHOOL
March 22 - Teacher Report Writing - NO SCHOOL
March 25-29th - SPRING BREAK - NO SCHOOL    
April 5th - MRA Talent Show MRA
April 9th - Public Lottery
April 20th - 4th Annual Auction—A Wild West Bonanza
April 24th - Kindergarten Orientation 6:00 PM
April 25th - Drop-in Conferences in gym - NO SCHOOL
April 26th - Teacher Planning (Conferences by request) - NO SCHOOL

Posted in 6th Grade ELA Updates    Tagged with Read-a-thon, Science fair, Lit Circles


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