Writing Territories - Idea banks and Heart Maps

by Mrs. Nilsen on September 21st, 2013

Weekly ELA News 9/16 - 9/20

Sometimes in life, it's ok to pause and refocus.

This week started a little rough in 6th grade.  As a class we were struggling to focus, stay on task, and with being respectful - but hey, the transition into 6th grade is really a tough one.  I always tell students that it's my job to help them make that transition.  This is their first year switching classes, having LOTS of teachers, and having things separated by subjects...its a lot to take in.  After a particularly rough day on Wednesday, we took Thursday to put the brakes on.  
We "restarted" the school year.  We read a children's book about being nice to each other called "The Three Questions."  Fantastic book!  (Thanks Ms. G and Ms. Breiten!) Sometimes it's perfectly OK to recognize that where you are, and what you're doing is not working, and to stop, breathe, and try something new.  So we hit pause on content and went back to talking about what's really most important: that the most important time is now, that the most important person is the one you are with, and that the most important thing to do is to take care of each other.

And it was incredible.

The depth of discussion, the sincerity of the students, the way they respected each other and themselves in their sharing blew me away.  We had a fabulous discussion about how we can be the best learners we can be in 6th grade, what we need from each other, and what we need from the teachers.  

Afterwards we learned about heart mapping and spent time in our ELA notebooks mapping out the things in life that really mean the most to us.  Here are just some of their rough drafts.  Wait until you see the finished art project!
I'm so thankful to work with such amazing students and colleagues.  Thank you, students, for your incredible depth, honesty, and willingness to trust this early in the year.  I can't believe it's only the third week of school!

Looking Forward

Monday, September 23th: 
6:00pm Strategic Planning Meeting

Tuesday, September 24th:
Subway lunch orders due no later than 3:00 pm
3-4 p.m. Homework Club w/ Mrs. Cook

Wednesday , September 25th:         
12:20 p.m. All School Assembly
1:00 p.m. Early Release     
Pizza orders and money due no later than 1:00 p.m. (late orders will not be accepted)
ODS Forms Due (see ODS Update blog post for forms and information)

Thursday, September 26th:
3-4 p.m. Homework Club w/ Mrs. Nilsen

Friday, September 27th:
Dress Up Friday
Jog-A-Thon!! Everyone one is invited to come out and run!

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