Getting Lost - and the Growth Mindset

How do you get lost in your own hometown? Let me say - it is possible. I did this. Just yesterday. Yep. Plumb lost! I went out on a new mountain bike trail and saw a "single track" to the left and decided to take it.

It split into multiple single tracks and before I knew it, I had worked my way into a pickle. The single track disappeared and I found myself with my bike on the side of a mountain trying to figure out where to go.

Isn't life like this? Decisions all around. We are on one path, and all of a sudden find ourselves on another. And...sometimes...we find that the path isn't clear --or that it's down-right gone. How do you handle those difficult times in life? In class, we teach about the growth mindset. We realize that challenges can be good. In fact, some challenges - like my ride - are beautiful if you just look around and focus on the good.

Perseverance.  Determination.  You can do this. 
Every mistake you make is progress.
There is a difference between not knowing, and not knowing yet. (Sheila Tobias)

Sometimes learning isn't easy. Embrace the struggle and grow. Remember to talk to your child about having a growth mindset.


Rally !

I loved our short week! Didn't you!? Thursday was tons of fun ending the day with our first middle school rally. Jimison class theme was black and sunglasses (since our future is so bright). Paul theme was black and glow sticks. Yes - both teachers are super competitive. I must admit - I wished I had come up with that theme. I loved the glow stick idea. In the end - we won!! Woo hoo! I don't know if it was for our class theme or teacher spirit...I've heard both. But, either way, the class wins an ice cream party. Yes! So excited!

NEXT WEEK is our food drive week and is a competition!! CostCo is a great place to buy in bulk it you want. Each item is one point. Buy 12 cans = 12 points! The food goes to Placer County Food Bank so know you will be blessing someone with your donation. 

Monday- Canned Corn/ Canned Green Beans - Crazy ‘Bout Corn -Crazy hair day

Tuesday- Canned Pumpkin/ Canned Sweet Potatoes- Neon colors or tie dye colors

Wednesday- Salad Dressing- Mismatch outfit

Thursday- Stuffing mix/ Instant Mashed Potatoes - Bring in stuffed animal

Friday- Frozen Turkeys (not in barrel; Friday morning only at drop off) - PJ day

Other needed items:

Canned Ham
Boxed Scalloped Potatoes
Peanut Butter
Canned Cranberry Sauce

Next week is also parent conference time! I look forward to meeting with you. Remember that we have half day all week - school out an noon. 

We've been studying Ancient Egypt and it's such an interesting topic! Students did a great job sharing what they learned about the class system. 

The students always amaze me with their awesome work! 

Finally, I'll share my past weekend with you! Our daughter was married in February and we were able to travel to Santa Barbara to visit them. It was a super short - but sweet - visit. 
Awesome coffee at Handlebar.

Visit to Santa Barbara Mission

Great food at Vegetarian Restaurant - Mesa Verde


Happy Fall, Y'all!

Look at this plate of gooey-ness! Thank you to our parents who came and helped with our classroom party Friday. We had apples with caramel, chocolate, and toppings. You can see, some chose a little bit of apples and a lot of toppings!  Then, we played charades with Core Knowledge topics over the years! A special thank you to Mrs. Waters for planning it all for us. 

This week we took a field trip. Ooops! You didn't know we went out of country to Egypt? Yep. We took a virtual field trip to Egypt! Using Nearpod, we explored the outside of pyramids and went into the tomb of Ramesses VI!

It was so fun watching the students turn their iPads 360 degrees to look around! 

We are looking forward to fun adventures next week as we travel down the Nile River! Don't worry, parents...I'll cover the cost for you. (smile) 

During our e-block times we have been working on putting together our 4 foot robot, coding Osmo and Dash, researching careers via Classcraft, and working on skills in language and reading. MobyMax is a GREAT tool that I use to help reinforce skills. MobyMax works at filling in gaps and giving students that are ready to move on to the next level. All students may also use MobyMax from home! They have their own personal log in. SO - if you want your child to have extra practice in any subject (not just ELA and history) have your child log in to MobyMax. Students are also working on standards re-takes through MobyMax for ELA standards in which a 3 has not yet been achieved. I have assigned these students specific standards to practice. 

We cleaned out and collected our Lightning Thief books. Get a load of the evidence flags collected out of one book! I just had to snap a photo of it!!

This week students will finish their "hero" stories and turn them into mini-movies using Toon-tastic! I can't wait to share these with you. Toon-tastic has turned 3D which should be really fun!


Keep The Quote

One of my favorite things in our room is "Keep the Quote."  At the beginning of the year, students turned in their very favorite quote. Each week, I choose a new one to write on our Keep the Quote paper that hangs up at the front of the room. At the end of the week, I cut it off and give it to the student and place a new one up! I love all the quotes they chose!

This week students will work on their end of module assessment - an analytical essay comparing a common theme found in The Lightning Thief and the myth of Cronus. Wow. Sounds impressive, doesn't it?  I know they will do a wonderful job! We are using many graphic organizers, rough drafts, peer editing, and typing up the final paper. 

We will also have tons of fun with building a Ziggurat and an activity with Hammurabi's Code! These activities will culminate our study of Ancient Mesopotamia before we move on to Ancient Egypt. I can't wait to see their Ziggurats and will be posting pictures next week!

Enjoy the journey!


Love Our 6th Graders!

 Parents - you have done an amazing job. Really. Our students continue to be respectful, responsible, and resourceful! They take pride in their work and are ready to learn new things.

Our e-block time has been fun this week! We are rotating centers and were able to begin our robotics and coding with items donated from Donor's Choose! We are having fun with ClassCraft and students are writing about their favorite career choice. They are researching colleges, wages, and important information to present in a poster, Keynote, or essay. If we finish in time, we can get $200 on Donor's Choose to purchase more items for our class!

I am super proud of our students for doing a wonderful job this past week on their essays and flip books! We finished our Judaism and Christianity unit with an informational flip book. They were so fun to read!! I wish I could share them all with you but here are a few highlights:

Our mid-unit assessment was writing a mini analytical essay about the theme and elements of mythology in Prometheus. Again - great work!


Running Along!

How was your weekend?  Ours was awesome! We had our daughter and son-in-law visit from Santa Barbara. It is always so nice to see them! They were both running in the Sacramento Urban Cow Half Marathon. Lauren took first last year and made the course record. She took first again! AND - her husband Seth took first for men! Yep - it was an exciting day!

Guess who also ran the half marathon?  Ms. Dowd!! YES!  Way to go!!! 

We had another great week! This week we will finish up our unit on Judaism and Christianity. Our test will be Friday. Be on the look out for the study guide Wednesday night.  Our next unit will be Ancient Mesopotamia and Egypt. It should be fun!

In ELA we will begin our first mini analytical essay. Students will be writing about the theme of Prometheus and Lightning Thief and proving why Prometheus is a classical myth. We have been "capturing" vocabulary words in our word catchers to increase vocabulary skills. Hopefully they will use some of these words in their own writing.


Outdoor Education!

What a great week at Alliance Redwoods! There's nothing better than beautiful forests, clean air, and awesome 6th graders. Students had a wonderful time zip lining, climbing ropes courses, braving the giant pinata/swing, and learning about forest ecology. I loved it all. Okay. That's not quite true. As a whole foods geek, I had a hard time eating the food...but other than that it was great!

Parents, please view the photos located on Bloomz. They are in the "media" tab. 

Next week at school we continue our work with The Lightning Thief and learning how to compare and contrast with other myths. Our mid-module assessment will be writing a mini analytical essay about the elements of mythology they will find in the Prometheus text. Our final module assessment will be writing a 5 paragraph analytical essay connecting the theme of Cronus to the Lightning Thief. In social studies, we will begin our unit on Judaism and Christianity. It will be a short (less than 2 week) unit and then we will move on to Mesopotamia, Egypt and Kush. 

Our art docent starts this week! Thank you, Mrs. Vierra!


Great Student Jobs!

I could go on and on about how I adore my students. They are simply amazing respectful, responsible, and resourceful students! We have several classroom jobs and each month students get "paid" for doing a job well done. They apply for a new job each month. I have a few jobs I'd love to share with you...

Volume Control:  My 2 boys that had this job this past month did an OUTSTANDING job! The person with this job is allowed to stand up and say, "Class, Give me 5!" just like a teacher. They then remind the class of the volume they should be out. A big shout out to these 2 students that took on this courageous task. They completed their job with poise and expertise! I love seeing student leaders!

Transition Leader:  Like the volume control, this student is allowed to get class attention with "Give Me 5!" They then remind the class of the time and let them know how many minutes until transitioning. It's a hard job and we have a brave young leader taking it on this new month!

Organizer:  I like things tidy and organized. This is hard to do in a classroom. I hear other teachers talk about how hard it is to keep a room clean. Guess what? I had 3 great girls take on this task this past month. They organized the group supplies and shelves. I am so thankful for them!

As you may know, we got a student teacher! Her name is Ms. Dowd and she is in her final semester of student teaching! She loves the students already and has jumped right in there and given 2 ELA lessons already! We're thankful she is joining us.

This next week is camp! Parents, please be sure to check BLOOMZ for pictures and updates! We are going to have a FUN WEEK!

Student Blog is Up!

I couldn't have stated it any better. My student blogger is just amazing. So - she will tell this week's story...

This week was very jam-packed with map-testing, our Tool projects, making our desert posters, and our cell analogy writings. The online gator buck system was also started this week.

Map testing took a lot of time out of our day but thankfully, we got most of it completed! We at least started all of the tests even if we didn't complete them. 

Our tool projects turned out great! Everyone did an amazing job presenting them to the class. 

Our desert posters also turned out perfect! Everyone took a role and pursued it. Cooperation and working together was a huge part in this project and the end result was amazing. It even helped us write notes on each desert. We learned a lot of interesting things about each desert and got to have a lot of fun too. 

Our cell analogy writings are up and running. This week, we wrote about a place that we love to go to. But that's not it, we pretended it was a cell! Each part of the cell, represented a different part of the building. Everyone did a great job coming up with ideas for this writing. 

Is everyone excited to earn prizes from the gator buck store? If so, we should try to use the 3 R's a lot. Starting this week, you can earn gator bucks online! Also, if you earn 10 or more gator bucks, at fun Friday you can earn a prize and it won't cost you any gator bucks at all!

Coming up is Labor Day weekend so everyone enjoy your two extra days of free time until you come back to the another fun week of school! 

Reported by: Sophia

Wow - - - 

Didn't she do a great job? I am so proud of my students. They have been excellent listeners and collaborators. Our student blogger, Sophia, also put together the pictures above. Amazing work from all our students!
Parents, if you are not hooked up with SeeSaw, ask to see your child's account.  We recorded our presentations for you! Check your email for the parent link. Many of you will also soon receive a link to hook up with your child's Google classroom, if you wish. You will receive a weekly email update if you choose to do so. 

We completed our mid-unit assessment in ELA and we will be using this data to determine our CI goal as a 6th grade ELA team. I believe we are going to work on citing evidence - making sure to quote and add our own thinking. It's a great skill!


August 21-25, 2017

Well, we have had a busy busy week! So - I am going to give myself a little break and blog using Tellagami. Please view the video above for my blog post!  AND - we have a special blogger! Students are able to have the job of blogger in our class. Here is our first student blogger - Sophia:

Week 1: 

      The First week of school went great! This week, we started our first Language arts unit on myths, which includes reading Percy Jackson and making inferences with evidence.  The time capsules we made will be saved in our classrooms until the end of the school year so we can open them and see how much growth we have made throughout the year. 

Are you excited to construct a tool? Our next project is so exciting because you can only use things naturally found outside like weeds, leaves, bark, and more to create a tool. Remember to bring your tool into class by September 1! 

This week we used microscopes in math/science class! We started module one in math books which focuses on ratios. We also started organizing our interactive notebooks. 

Last, Alliance Redwoods is coming up on September 18! We had a great week with lots of progress. 

Welcome to Our First Week!

The Brief:

  • Return solar eclipse forms Monday. (Ask your child for it.)
  • Alliance Redwoods Parent Information Tuesday, August 22, 6552 multipurpose 5:50 PM
  • Back to School Tuesday August 22, 6552 rm. 225 for Jimison/Paul 6:30pm-7:10pm and 7:20pm-8:00pm
  • Friday August 25 Time Capsule assignment DUE

The Long:

Welcome to our first week! I am so blessed to experience this year with an awesome group of respectful, responsible, and resourceful 6th graders! My heart is full of joy!

We started the week by creating a few "norms" together. Students came up with a social contract they all agreed with and signed it with their thumb print!

Next we worked on what makes a great discussion and came up with group expectations. We all know working with a group can be tough sometimes but it is a wonderful lifelong skill. Collaboration and participation are important.

Monday starts our new "regular" week. Students will be beginning science and history as well as music/band. PE will not be starting until the following week. In history we will start our year with the study of map skills, deserts, and the Paleolithic era. In ELA we are beginning our Lightning Thief book. Students will work on the essential standard of writing a gist and citing evidence. These two important standards will be visited throughout the year!

Monday is an important even! It's the first total solar eclipse since 1979! Students received permission slips on Friday that I hope they have given parents by now. Please sign the permission slip and return Monday. If you check the "yes" box your child will be able to go outside with special glasses and view the eclipse with us. If you check the "no" box your child will stay in for inside recess. The eclipse begins at the west coast and travels across the US to the east. Our best viewing time is just after 10 (around 10:12!) and our class is scheduled for viewing from 10-10:20! Yes! California is not in the path for totality but hopefully students will enjoy the experience. You may read more at NASA's web site our here.

Important DATES:
TUESDAY is our Alliance Redwoods Parent Information meeting - 5:50-6:20 in 6552 multipurpose unless otherwise indicated.  It is also Back to School Night (Parents only) at 6:30 or 7:20. Both homeroom classes will meet in 6552 room 225.

Remember to sign up for Bloomz! It is our parent communication tool. Thank you!


Monday Made It and Class Reveal!

I'm so excited to participate in another Monday Made It! This time - it's my classroom reveal...well, at least as much as I have completed of it! I have a tad bit more work to do. 

But - before the reveal, I have to share what I've been doing these past 3 weeks...

First...our son got married! We love our new daughter, Naomi! She is a gem and they are a great team.

Here's me giving a speech!

What do you do when you are an empty nester?...

Yes! My husband and I celebrated our 30th anniversary in Paris and Venice! It was a wonderful trip! It was really one of our few vacations. Anytime we have gone out of country, it has been on a mission trip with our church. These was the first time to go to another country and just relax! My hubby has been working out of town for the past few years and is only home a few days a week so it was a special time to be able to spend together. LOVED it!  Venice was my favorite...such a beautiful city and the FOOD....OMG. So good.  

After coming back home, I had to quickly get to work on my classroom. I moved rooms this year and while my room is a bit larger, it is long and skinny. I am still trying to figure out how my new desks fit together! I haven't quite gotten that down yet!

I love my shiplap bulletin board paper and papers flowers. The flowers were super easy to make and turned out so pretty! This board is the fridge for student work:

I can't take too much credit for this one except for printing out, laminating, and cutting! These are Marzano's Levels of Questioning by Teaching and So Forth. You can purchase it HERE from TPT!

This is my "Keep the Quote" board. All I did is take a roll of Kraft Paper and put twine through it and hung it from 2 hooks! Easy!

I've posted my group boxes but here they are again. I'm trying to make it so that my group shelves are not so messy! Someone will be in charge of keeping them clean and organized. The group caddies are cute with a fake succulent in them!

Those that know me know I love to run and had to include a little bit of that on my book shelf:

Here is our CI Goals board above our sink area along with our school-wide 8 keys of excellence:

My desks are so hard to put together. I am still working on that!:

Cricut comes in handy for the whiteboard!

Birthday cupcakes...student names will be on candles in the cupcakes:

My desk area. It's already starting to get full and school hasn't started yet. Yikes. 

Front of the room:

Student jobs and positive thoughts board:

File Cabinet Makeover!

My husband brought home an old file cabinet and we had fun making it over! First we painted it white (it was a weird tan color)...then...we added old solid redwood to the front that he had saved! Free makeover and looks awesome! We did buy cute drawer pulls from Amazon!

Finally, I bought a new essential oil for my classroom...Purification! Oh smells awesome!! I don't know how I am going to give it up and send it to school to use so I am going to have to get another one for our house!  I'm putting in an order mid month so comment if you want me to order some for you!

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