Mrs. Alvarado's Class

Tommie B. Williams Elementary 6th Grade

Excited to Make Your Aquaintance

Hello future scientists, mathematicians, engineers, poets, authors, entrepreneurs, chefs, veterinarians, pharmacists, computer technicians, political leaders, surgeons, dentists, lawyers, architects, craftsmen, community leaders, psychologists, pilots...leaders of tomorrow!

My name is Mrs. Dinisha Alvarado and I can not wait to make your acquaintance.

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This is going to be an exciting year!

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Language Arts

In addition to the typical areas of Language arts we are also going to look into the following overarching questions:

1st six weeks - What Makes a Hero?

2nd & 3rd six weeks - What's Fair and What's Not?

4th six weeks - What Brings Out the Best in You?

5th six weeks - What Makes You Who You Are?

6th six weeks - What are Worthwhile Goals?

As I am granted permission, I will post various links and documents to aid the students in their linguistic studies.

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Say this with me. "Fractions are our friends." As difficult as it may be to say, get used to it now. This will be our motto in math throughout this year.

1st six weeks

- Developing an Understanding Of and Fluency With Addition and Subtraction of Fractions and Decimals.

2nd six weeks

- Connecting Ratio and Rate to Multiplication and Division Using Equivalent Ratio to Represent Proportional Relationships

3rd six weeks

- Applying Measurement to Geometric Figures

4th six weeks

- Using Algebraic Notation to Represent Situations Involving Rational Numbers

5th six weeks

- Geometry

6th six weeks

- Review and Special Projects

As I am granted permission, I will post various links and documents to assist students in making this year a mathematical success.

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The Sixth Grade Science Curriculum is currently being overhauled to give Arlington ISD students the finest Science education possible. Below I have posted the areas we will be covering during the 1st six weeks. I will post an overview of the other six weeks periods as they are made available to me.

1st six weeks

- Introduction to Scientific Inquiry

- Scientific Communication

- Scientific Observations

- Biotic & Abiotic Parts of an Ecosystem

- Ecosystem Levels of Organization

- Biotic & Abiotic Interactions

- Organisms can be Autotrophic or Heterotrophic

- Cells: basic Structures of Life

- Organisms: Unicellular or Multicellular

- Cells: Prokaryotic and Eukaryotic

- Reproduction: Asexual and Sexual

As I am granted permission, I will post various links and documents to assist students with their scientific inquiries.

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Social Studies - Contemporary World Cultures

Throughout our adventure into global cultures we will examine the following areas of each continent we study:

P. Political (Who is in charge?)

E. Economic (How do the people earn their food?)

R. Religious (What is the meaning of life?)

S. Social (How do the people relate to each other?)

I. Intellectual-The Arts (How do the people express themselves and learn?)

A. Area (How does the environment influence the people?)

During the first week of school we will begin our focus in the small world we live in from day to day - our classroom. We will then, in very rapid fashion, expand our vision to Williams Elementary, Arlington, Texas, and finally the United States, looking at each of our six standard criteria at each level. From there our journey will begin.

Below is our itinerary for this year:

1st six weeks - North America

2nd six weeks - Central America, the Caribbean, and South America

3rd six weeks - Europe

4th six weeks - Russia and Eurasian Republics

5th six weeks - Sub-Saharan Africa, South Asia, East Asia and Southeast Asia

6th six weeks - Australia and the Pacific Rim

Williams Elementary is very culturally diverse and there will be many opportunities for the students to share their family culture with our class. Our classroom will be a safe and accepting environment for them to do so, as we seek to understand the various cultures that these children will be living and doing business with in the future.

As with all other areas of study, I will post various links and documents to aide these future global economists with their studies.

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Who am I? What is my story?

You probably want to know a little bit about me, so let me tell you my story. I grew up in Lawton, OK, a wonderfully unique town whose culture is a blend of military, college and agriculture. My family and I lived in Arizona for five years, but returned to Lawton where I spent most of my childhood.

As a student I tried out a lot of different things to figure out just where I fit. I played softball, ran track, was a cheerleader, a clog dancer, played tennis, was a member of choir, drama club, art club, student council, FCA, Spanish club, as well as a member of the yearbook staff and the academic decathlon team. I was a busy kid. I loved school, though it was not always easy. Yes, I had my trouble spots. However, I had a very supportive mama who helped me to understand that the mistakes of life are nothing to obsess over. They are simply opportunities to try again, this time with insight. Take the lesson, make amends if you need to, and leave the mess behind you.

I graduated high school with honors and began working right away to pay for my classes in college. I worked full time and went to school part time. My great granny and my mama taught me to work hard, do my best and treat everyone with respect. This helped me to progress quickly at work. Soon I was making great money and wanted to go out and live my life. I left college to pursue money and to experience life. I don't have many regrets in life, but that is one of the two things I would change.

I spent about 14 years in the corporate world and enjoyed good success. I did notice, though, that I had to work, longer, harder and smarter than the kids fresh from college. During that time I met and married my husband, Robert. We had two beautiful children and soon decided that we would sacrifice our comfortable income so that I could stay at home with our children for their formative years.

I began talking to my children about college when they were toddlers. They have been die hard A&M and Longhorn fans almost since birth. Who knows why they picked those schools at such a young age or why they have been so loyal. My theory is, "I don't care which college you attend as long as you go and finish what you start." With that said, you should know that I felt a bit hypocritical since I had not finished college myself and I began the old college trek again at Tarrant County College, where I graduated on the Dean's List with an Associate of Arts degree.

In 2005 we moved from Plano to Arlington and joined the Williams family. My daughter, Kaitlyn's third grade teacher was Mrs. Marshall, who now oversees the exciting Science experience at Williams. My son, Joshua's first grade teacher was Mrs. Magoo, now retired. I began as a parent, then progressed to a parent volunteer. I spent many an afternoon making copies or cutting and pasting various lesson materials. I knew the teachers did not have time to do everything and I wanted to free them of the things I could help with so they could pour their efforts into creating engaging lessons for my children.

Soon I found myself on the PTA where I served as a board member for 3 of the 12 years that I have been a PTA member. I am honored to say that I was elected as a Texas PTA Lifetime member in 2010. That is one of my most prized accomplishments. I love these families and believe in these kids with my whole heart. A schools faculty and staff are essential, but parent volunteers are the difference between a good school and a great school.

During all my volunteering a position as aTeaching Assistant came available. A wise woman pointed out that It only made sense to get paid for what I was already doing, giving my time, talents and heart to Williams kids. I served as a Teaching Assistant to Shannon Hanrahan, our Language Arts Instructional Coach for four years as I completed my education at Dallas Baptist University. I graduated with a Bachelor of Science and Arts degree in Business and Education in 2012.

Last year, just as school got underway, a sweet friend and coworker found herself in need of a long term leave of absence to take care of her health. Having passed my Texas State Teacher Certification exam in October, I was primed to step in and teach her 6th grade math classes for a few weeks while she got healthy. A few weeks turned into the remainder of the year. What a wild ride! I loved those kids like they were my own. We learned so much together. I am proud to say that my friend is healthy and back to her post. I am also honored to teach with her this year.

Well, that brings us up to date. I have spent the summer painting and preparing our classroom and our lessons for this year. We are going to learn a lot about the world, life, and each other. We are also going to work hard at setting and attaining goals, both in and out of class. We are going to laugh, sweat, hopefully not cry, but probably scratch our heads in wonder as we face and conquer the curriculum this year. We are going to do it together and we will be successful.

My Family

My family is a little crazy and a lot loving. We live by a code and while we may not always agree on every little detail, family is family and family takes priority. Life is hard and sometimes it seems unfair. However, knowing you have a team that loves you and is in it with you, this fight we call life, makes all the difference in the world.


Help each other.

Be thankful.

Know you are loved.

Pay with hugs and kisses.

Try new things.

Be happy.

Show compassion.

Be grateful.

Dream big.

Respect one another.

Laugh out loud.

Joshua and Kaitlyn

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Kait and Josh are Williams alumni and have sat in the very rooms you will occupy this year. They have come up through Ferguson Jr. High and are now at Seguin High School. Kaitlyn is a Junior and Joshua will be a Freshman this year.

You'll learn more about them as the year progresses. Whatever lessons I learn about Jr. High and High School expectations through them, I pass on to you. I want you prepared to be successful as you sail through those important phases of your life.


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Ms. Valerie Sands, but everybody calls her Mimi

This is my mama. She raised me on her own, a single mom. While I was in school she worked full time as for the U.S. Army and went to school part time at night to get her Bachelor's degree in Business Administration. She graduated college the same year I graduated high school. After I left home, she went back to college to get her Master's degree in Contract Law and finished her career with the Army Corps of Engineers as a Contracting Officer. I am so proud of her. She's my own personal super hero.

Since her retirement Mimi has kept herself busy with various charity work and continuing education courses. She also is a big help with my kids. She teaches them things I probably would not have thought to teach them, or maybe would not have had the time, things like baking, sewing, painting, lawnmower repair, pet care, etc. She is a hard taskmaster when it comes to homework. If Mimi is on duty, you are finishing everything and probably doing extra credit. But she'll make it more tolerable with cookies.

You will see her face at the school from time to time. She has been an approved volunteer at Williams Elementary since 2006. She doesn't like the spot light, so you'll have to look closely to find her. She loves the kids and she understands the value of a good education. She knows first hand how it will improve their career path.

My Pets

Let's stay in touch.

Please feel free to contact me during my conference period, or send me written communication via email or handwritten notes.

Conference period: 2:40 p.m. - 3:10 p.m.