ELA & SS are getting a makeover!

Learn about our new name...

Your Kids are Geniuses!!

For the past 6 weeks, we have been participating in an educational movement known as

Genius Hour, 20% time or Passion Time... For one hour every week, students have the opportunity to follow their own passion and learn about something that matters to them. Students have been researching a topic of their own choosing in depth during Genius Hour. The idea is that we cultivate the genius in each member of our classroom community and all learn from one another. Helping students learn research skills in the context of their own passion project seems to be a great fit for everyone. Students are learning about a range of topics from music to film to architecture to social issues and medicine. One of the most exciting (and unexpected) parts of this work for me is has been hearing students contemplate possible career goals. Ask your child about his/her Genius Hour project!

Family Book Club

Wednesday, April 16th, 7-7:30am

Room 31D at DMS

We hope you will join us for the next Family Book Club! The students have chosen Strike Three and You're Dead, by Josh Berk. Click here to sign up.

Chromebook Update

Since the my last newsletter, we have been piloting a class set of Chromebooks on our team, and loving it! Students have each created their own website, where they have been blogging weekly about their learning. Writing using students' Google Drives has provided great opportunities for feedback. Not only have they been able to share their work with me, but they have also been able to elicit feedback from their peers. Students use the Chromebooks regularly for research and presentation as well. This past Friday during Genius Hour, students reviewed text resources on their topics that were a combination of video, written text and audio interviews. I'm looking forward to the presentations they will create to teach their classmates about their topics in the coming weeks.

Serving Our School Community

I am proud to announce that students from our team have joined me in volunteering at the Student Exchange Center each week since I asked for help. Every Friday, anywhere from 3-5 students have volunteered after school from 2:15-2:45. Our team has been responsible for collecting hangers, reorganizing the layout of the 'store' and sorting and hanging new merchandise each week. I'm impressed with the commitment students have shown to supporting such an important program. In fact, an article written by one of our own students about the Students Exchange Center, will be featured in UrbanEdLegends, an online publication focused on the power of public schools, in the next few weeks. I hope you'll check it out!

ELA & SS become Humanities

Over the course of the school year, I have been a part of a team working to develop a new standards based report card for sixth grade English Language Arts and Social Studies. The new report card will be formally introduced to the entire DMS community next next year, but you will get a sneak peek! I will be piloting this new reporting system for the third trimester- and I hope you will come to a meeting to learn more about it. I am excited about this change for many reasons! Most of all, I think you will appreciate the way this reporting system will provide you with much more detailed information about how your child is doing related to skills in ELA and SS. Since the two subject are so closely intertwined, you will see a name change on the new report card that I have been hoping for for years. The new class will be titled Humanities, and will represent all of the Social Studies and Language Arts standards we work on in grade six.