Miss Dunn's Classroom Toolbox

6th Grade English/Language Arts

Below, I have briefly explained three new interactive tools that you and your child will be exposed to in my English/Language Arts class this year. I hope that you find this newsletter informative and helpful. Let me know if you have any more questions about the tools, I am looking forward to collaborating with you and your child this year!

Open Study

Open Study is an interactive tool that allows students to ask specific questions they have about any subject. Other students or ‘qualified helpers’ will see the posted question your child asked and will be able to respond quickly and appropriately. Your child will be asked which subject group he/she wants to join (English, Math, History, etc.). Once your child chooses the subject, he/she will be entered into a group that includes students and qualified helpers that are ready to answer questions involving that subject. This is a great study tool for students to use for our English/Language Arts class or any other class because they are able to receive feedback from others who understand the subject matter when your child’s teachers are not available. I suggest that your child uses this website when he/she is struggling with homework their homework or need extra help studying before an assessment. I also encourage your child to answer questions that other students have posted if he/she is able to respond in a clear an effective way. By helping other students to better understand content that your child understands well, your child would not only be helping someone else to succeed but will also remember and understand the content better in the long run! “To teach is to learn twice!” –Joseph Joubert

Story Bird

Story Bird is a simple-to-use website that involves a community of students creating and exploring story books. The purpose behind this site is to use artwork to inspire people of all ages to write. Upon entering the website, your child will be given three storybook format options: picture book, poetry, and longform. The picture book format will guide your child to pick out 10-12 artwork pieces that will lay out the foundation of his/her story. The idea is that the pictures would help spark ideas for your child to write about, which can be very helpful, especially for beginning writers who are not sure what to write about. The poetry format is similar, however, your child would be given ‘word treys’ instead of pictures that can be placed on one piece of artwork the student chooses. The word plates will have various words and phrases that can be recontextualized to create unique poem. This activity would be an enriching warm up activity to prepare students for writing longer pieces. The third format that Story Bird offers is the longform story. This format focuses more on the words rather than artwork, but artwork can still be used as a form of inspiration. Students can create multiple chapters using this format, which allows for a more complex story to be created.

You child can turn in any story he/she is working on or has completed to me so that I can review it privately and give helpful feedback, which can help students to further excel in their writing. Your child can be given the option, upon your approval, to publish their completed stories or chapters publicly, which allows other members on the site to read and provide positive feedback. Parents also will have the option to purchase a hard copy version of the stories your child creates. For every book purchased, our school will receive 30% of the profits that will go towards improving your child’s education!

Storybird for Educators

Class Dojo

Class Dojo is a free behavioral management tool that helps you as a parent stay connected which your child’s classroom experience. Each parent in my class will receive an access code that you can type in when registering for Class Dojo. This will connect you to the profile I have created for your child. I will then be able to update you on your child’s progress through a variety of ways. I can give out positive or negative behavior points, which will be sent directly to your phone as soon as give them out. Brief comments/concerns may be attached to update you on why your student received a positive or negative point. A positive point may be added to your child’s profile when he/she is working hard or showing positive behavior towards others in the classroom. A point may be taken away if your child is continuously off task or being disrespectful towards his classmates or teachers.

There is also a messaging feature on Class Dojo that allows you and I to exchange messages regarding your child’s progress in the classroom. Please feel free to message me about any questions, comments, or concerns that you have about your child and I will be sure to respond as quickly as I can!

There is another feature on Class Dojo that allows me to send out broadcast announcements to all of the parents in the class. These announcements will include information about upcoming events in the classroom as well as homework assignments and test date information to keep you in the loop with what your child is expected to be working on at home. I am looking forward to communicating with each parent on a regular basis through using Class Dojo!

Once you have received your access code from me, please follow the link that is listed below to sign up for Class Dojo!