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Welcome to the 2017-2018 School Year!

We had a great turn out for Open House!  If you weren’t able to make it, don’t worry.  You can pick up your schedule Monday morning before school in the gym. All sixth graders will get a new copy of their schedule at that time.

Sixth graders will gather in the gym before school each morning.  You should enter the gym on the west end of the building and go in through the north door.  There will be teachers there to answer questions and guide you if you need assistance.

Remember, school will be dismissed at 1:38 p.m. the first two days of school.  The regular schedule for school will begin on Wednesday.

I am looking forward to seeing you all on Monday morning!  I just know it will be great year!

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It’s Almost August!

August is right around the corner, and you all know what that means.  The 2017 – 2018 school year is almost here.  I hope your summer was filled with everything you love most!  If not, you still have a couple of weeks left to make some summer memories.  Go to the pool, ride your bike, read a great book, or just relax.  See you all at our open house, August 9, from 4 pm to 6pm!

 

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It’s Research Time!

Students are off to a great start with their research!  Our topic is Man-Made Wonders of the World.  Mrs. Westphalen and I are team teaching research.  We started on Oct. 19, the first day back after break.  This week we finished up with note taking.  On Monday students will learn how to make a cover page for their research project.  Tuesday the lesson will be on writing an introduction.  Wednesday we will practice turning questions into topic sentences and working on the body of the paper.  Thursday we will write our conclusions, and Friday students will finish up the typing of their research papers.

The following week, Nov.7 – 11 we will practice giving the oral presentations to the class.  Students will sign up for oral presentations and there will be 8 presentations a day for 4 days.  Students need to have a visual for their classmates to see as they give their presentation.  His could be a model, a poster, or a power point presentation.  If it is a power point, students should have between 3 and 6 slides.

Hopefully, this will be a great learning opportunity for students.  Maybe they will even get some ideas for their next travel destination.  I know every year I do!

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September News

It’s hard to believe, but we have already completed half of the first quarter.  Mid-quarter grades will be sent to parents through email this Thursday or Friday.  If the grades are not what you had hoped for, you still have time to turn things around and improve them before the end of the quarter.  The last day of the quarter will be October 14.

Hopefully, you are now aware of our testing schedule.  Students take their weekly tests on Friday.  These tests include spelling, vocabulary, and reading comprehension.  We also have a grammar quiz on Fridays. The only tests students are able to retake is the vocabulary test.  If students are not happy with their grade, they can write eight meaningful sentences to show me they understand the meaning of the words. This needs to be handed in on Friday.

We have a great group of readers in this class!  Students have been prepared and have seemed to enjoy our first couple of books!  Thursdays are the days the literature groups meet.  Students need to come to their literature group prepared.  This means they have read the required section of the book, they have their book with them, and they bring a prepared sheet to help them discuss the book with their peers.  If students are not prepared for literature groups, they can not get those points back.  They are allowed to turn in their sheet late to get points, but can not earn the discussion points.

Parent/Teacher conferences will be held on September 20 and 22.  You do not need an appointment.  Teachers will be in the 6B pod area, so you can easily meet with all your child’s core teachers.  The academic connection teachers will be in the cafeteria in alphabetical order.  Hope to see you then!

 

 

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Welcome to Scott Middle School!

The 2016-2017 school year is about ready to begin!  I hope you’ve had a wonderful summer.  If you still have some things you want to accomplish, you still have a little time.  School starts August 18.  Open house for sixth graders will be Wednesday, August 10.  I look forward to meeting you all then!

Open house gives students a chance to get their schedules, meet their teachers, and start learning to find their way around the building.  Students also will get their locker numbers and locks. It’s an exciting night for all!

Enjoy your last few days of summer!  See you all soon!

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On to Second Quarter!

Can you believe first quarter of the 2015-16 school year is already gone? What a great quarter it was!  Students completed the quarter by raising money and then purchasing groceries for the Food Bank of Lincoln.  This is the thirteenth year for this community service project, and it was a huge success!  Students raised over $1,400 dollars.  One student even asked for money for her birthday party to give as a donation instead of receiving presents.  With this money, students were able to purchase 1,675 pounds of food!  Thank you to all who contributed!  You made life better for many people in the Lincoln community!

On October 26, we will start Unit 2, Week 5.  Testing day will be Friday, October 30.  That means the first week of November will be the Unit 2 test.  We will take our day 1 test on November 4 and the day 2 test on November 5.  Unit 3, Week 1 will begin on November 9.

Students were to hand in their rough drafts of their descriptive essay on October 19.  I have made comments and suggestions for improvements on each essay.  Students need to have the final copy done by November 2.

Literature groups continue to meet on Thursday.  I have been impressed with the students ability to be prepared and discuss their books.  I appreciate this remarkable group of students!

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Happy Fall!

Last week we finished Unit 1 in our reading series, so this week is a big testing week!  On Monday students will read a passage and write a constructed response.  The students have been working hard on this skill and know they need a topic sentence, at least four pieces of evidence from the text, and a concluding sentence.  Tuesday the students will have the unit 1 reading comprehension test.  Wednesday will be the second part of the unit 1 test.  It is made up of two parts, grammar and another constructed response.  Thursday we will complete the unit 1 testing by writing meaningful sentences with the unit vocabulary words.  Although they have had 40 words, the students will only be given 12 words.  From those 12 words, the students will need to choose 10 to write meaningful sentences.

Literature Groups will also meet on Thursday.  The AM group needs to complete Timothy of the Cay.  The PM students are either reading The Cay or Al Capone Does My ShirtsThe Cay needs to read pages 39 – 92 and Al Capone Does My Shirts needs to read from pages 43 – 108.  All students need to bring their completed Thinkmark to literature group.

We will begin unit 2 on Thursday, so the unit 2, week 1 test will be Wednesday, September 30.  Weekly testing will continue o Wednesday until Fall Break.  After Fall Break, testing will go back to Friday.

Students are collecting money in their second period class to buy groceries for the Food Bank.  If you want more details on this community service project, you can read last weeks note.  Our class has collected $47 so far.  Thank you for your generous donations!  You have until October 2 to contribute to this worthwhile cause!

I now have daily assignments listed on my Quia calendar page.  If you are interested to know what is coming up, be sure to check out this page.  Just click on the left side of this page on Mrs. Wittstruck’s Quia Website and then click on the calendar.  Hopefully, you will find this information helpful!

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It’s Parent/Teacher Conference Time

Parent/Teacher conferences will be held at Scott Middle School on September 10 and 15 from 3:30 to 6:30.  The sixth grade teachers will have tables set up in their pod areas.  Students are welcome and encouraged to join us at the conference.  We look forward to seeing you and discussing your child’s sixth grade year!

We are currently on Unit 1, Week 4.  Our testing day will again be on Friday, September 11.  The week 5 test will be on September 18.  On September 22 and 23 we will take the end of the unit test.  I have been impressed with the effort and motivation the students have had each and every test day!  They have set goals for themselves and are working hard to achieve them!

Literature groups will meet tomorrow, September 10.  The AM group is reading, Timothy of the Cay.  They should be ready to discuss pages 1-70 and complete the Thinkmark.  The PM group should complete, The True Confessions of Charlotte Doyle and complete the Thinkmark.  The students will get a sheet on my Google Classroom page to complete by Monday.

In English we are studying the differences between simple, compound, and complex sentences.  Ask your child to explain the differences.  Hopefully, the students will be using all three of these types of sentences in their writing.

The 6B teachers are excited to announce our first community service project of the year at the pod meeting this week.  We will be collecting money September 14 – October 2.  On October 6, students will then take the money that is raised, walk to Super Saver, and buy groceries for the Food Bank.  Students will research what food is most needed during this time of year.  They will work with their group to buy nutritious food and get the most food for their money.  The use of coupons is encouraged!

If you would like to accompany us, we would love your help!  We need parents to help groups shop and transport groceries back to Scott Middle School. The Food Bank will be coming later in the week to pick up the groceries from Scott.  My AM class will leave for Super Savor on October 6 at about 8:10.  We should arrive about 8:25 to 8:30.  If you can shop with us, let me know.  It usually takes about 30 minutes for the students to pick out the groceries. Thank you for your support of our first quarter community service project!

My PM class will visit the Sheldon Art Gallery on October 21 from 10:35 – 11:20.  This year we will be walking around the University of Nebraska campus and observing the sculptures around campus.  If you would like to join us, let me know.  We would love to have you meet us and enjoy the beautiful Sheldon garden and the UNL campus!

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Picture Day and Other News

Picture Day at Scott Middle School will be Sept. 1.  If students are interested in buying pictures, they should bring the packets with the money on that day.  Every student will have their picture taken to be included in the yearbook.  Be ready to give us your best smile!

Today was the Unit 1, Week 2 test, and things did not go as well as we would hope.  The AM class had many problems with repeating questions, pages not loading, answers not showing up, etc.  Fortunately, the problems seemed to be fixed by the time the PM class tested.  Some students were frustrated and felt their score was affected by these problems.  Because of this, I have given these students the option of retesting on Monday.  If your child wants to retest, they may.  If you and your child feel their score was acceptable, they will not have to retake the test.

Please encourage your child to keep a positive attitude.  The Chromebooks are a wonderful tool!  But with this large implementation, there seems to be some growing pains.  Be assured the district is working hard to correct these problems!  We all know problems can arise, so your child will never be “in trouble” if the computer or internet is not working correctly.  Let us know and we will contact the right people to fix the problems.

The first literature groups went very well.  Our next literature group will be Sept 3.  The Cay needs to have the book completed.  The True Confessions of Charlotte Doyle should be ready to discuss chapters 1-15.  Students should bring their Thinkmark to literature groups.  The Thinkmark needs to be filled out in complete sentences with their reaction to events in the story.  Don’t forget that sentences always start with a capital letter and end with punctuation!

Parent/Teacher conferences are September 10 and 15 from 3:30 to 6:30.  Hope to see you then!

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It’s like We Won the Lottery!

What an exciting day!  Every sixth grader at Scott Middle School received their Chromebook on Monday, and things have gone very well.  Learning is happening!  Students are reminded that Chromebooks are for school assignments.  They are wonderful tools to practice spelling, vocabulary, and reading activities, along with other subject areas.  I look forward to exploring the many opportunities for learning that Chromebooks give us!

The PM Language Arts class checked out their first literature book today, August 19.  They chose, The True Confessions of Charlotte Doyle.  The first literature groups will meet on August 27.  Students should have their Thinkmark filled out and be ready to discuss pages 1 – 70.  The AM class will be reading The Cay.  Their literature group will also meet on August 27, and they need to be able to discuss pages 1-68.

A reminder that Unit 1, Week 1, testing will be on Friday, August 21.  Students will take their spelling, vocabulary, and reading comprehension tests that day.

Curriculum Night is August 20 for 6 to 7.  Hope to see you there!

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