What's Happening? In Mrs. Tofte's 6th grade Humanities block class

The week of February 6, 2017

Hello There, I was introduced to this form of a newsletter and fell in love with it. It allows you to include lovely photos and the layout is clean and crisp.

Now that we've begun our 2nd half of the year, I thought it would be a good time to reconnect with you and let you know what's happening in our humanities class.

One change I've embraced since late-fall is relying more on Google tools, Studentvue, and Schoology to keep materials accessible for students. I stopped posting on our humanities website. It felt time consuming and redundant. I want students to be aware and in control of finding what they need and the website didn't seem to work well for that. I push things out to students nearly daily via their student email and their personal Google Drive. It's been wonderful seeing kids work more independently and know where and how to access things easily. As a parent or family member, many handouts can found in a student's email or Google Drive. Often, hard copy assignments can be downloaded from Studentvue. On Studentvue, when a handout is available, you will see the assignment marked with "resource". A resource can be downloaded and printed.

Below you'll see some highlights from humanities:

This is our current class novel, The Revolution of Evelyn Serrano. Does the author look familiar? You may know her as Maria from Sesame Street. She is from Puerto Rico and writes books about young girls growing up in the Puerto Rican neighborhood of New York City, the El Barrio in the 1960s. I suspect she draws on personal experiences. Students will be finished with this novel by February 22nd.

Below is a link to Goodreads reviews/summaries of this book: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/13436375-the-revolution-of-evelyn-serrano

Students answer comprehension questions for each chapter of our current class novel using the strategy we use in 6th grade humanities called RAP. I push sets of RAP questions out to students' Google Drive. Both RAP question plans and weekly chapters to read goals are individualized for each student!
Students are working on analyzing the characters in the book. To better understand how authors use complex and simple characterization to bring life to their characters.

Each Friday, we take a break from our regular curriculum for Friday Focus.

The last few years, I have wanted to do something like the Friday Focus curriculum I've created for this year. We began Friday Focus the first Friday back from Winter Break. From then until the end of school, I have 3 main units for Friday Focus: Growth Mindset, Executive Function, Middle School Emotions, and finally a reflection unit. We began with Growth Mindset. Below is a video overview of what Growth Mindset is.

One of our Growth Mindset activities

Parent/Teacher Conferences

It's that time of year again, Parent/Teacher Conferences!

*Wednesday, 2/22, 5:00-8:00 pm, drop-in, in the gym/commons

Thursday, 2/23, 1:00-5:00 & 6:00-8:00, in classrooms by appointment

Look for information from Mrs. Petrie about scheduling appointments

Thank you for sharing your student with me. :-) Mrs. Tofte


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