Sheldrup's Grizzly Gazette

News in Room 202!

March 10, 2013

Dear Parents/Guardians,

Highlights of the upcoming week include: beginning health class, a late start on Tuesday, Math NWEA tests, and our last week in PE Skate Time. I am so proud of the PRIDE our class is showing each and every day. We tested our Unit 4 reading test and discussed the efforts we would need to make to achieve our personal best. Thank you for any discussions you had at home. I was so impressed with the dedication students exhibited during testing. I look forward to showing you the Unit 4 results at conferences.

Because of the the snow day, our Reading NWEA was postponed. I do not have a reschedule date, but my guess is that it will be next week. This week your child will test Math NWEA's on Thursday afternoon and Friday morning. The best way to prepare your child would be to discuss Determination and Excellence in effort, and ensure they get adequate sleep and a healthy breakfast before each test.

A big congratulations to those students who participated in Garfield Science Fair and Math Masters! I am very proud of your efforts outside of school!

Thank you to all parents who donated time and resources to make Garfield's Spring Fling a success. We are very lucky to have such an involved group of parents!

If you haven't had a chance, please help your child return their conference slip. I only have 1/3 of students scheduled. If you plan on attending open arena, I still need confirmation of your plan. If it is easier, you can email me to schedule a conference time. Dates and times are listed below.

I look forward to meeting with you again in the upcoming weeks!

Mrs. Sheldrup

March's Events and Notes

3/12 Students begin Health, 2- Hour late start
3/19 Parent-Teacher Conferences, Scheduled, 3:15 – 8:00 pm
3/21 Parent-Teacher Conferences, Arena, 3:15 – 8:00 pm
3/22 Parent-Teacher Conferences, Scheduled, 7:30 – 12:00 pm
3/25-3/31 No School, Spring Break

Read, Read, Read!

“The more you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you'll go.” - Dr. Seuss, "I Can Read With My Eyes Shut!"

I am working closely with your child to find good fit books that excited them and expand their interests. Students receive independent read time each day, but also need to read at night. You can greatly help your child achieve their reading goal by:
  • requiring your child read a minimum of 100 minutes a week at home: 20 minutes 5x/week; 14-15 minutes 7x/week; 25 minutes 4x/week
  • checking in with his/her progress on the novel
  • helping your child set goals of completion "If my book is 250 pages and I want to finish in two weeks, I will read 18 pages a day. I have time to read approximately 10 pages in school and 8 pages at home. I will read at _____ time each day/night. If I miss a day, I will read double the next day or reconfigure the number of pages I read to finish the book by my goal. If time allows on a particular day, I will read on ahead of my goal. I will track my progress on a bookmark Mrs. Sheldrup gave to me."
  • Involving him/her in conversations about his/her book
  • asking him/her to read aloud to you and offering to read to him/her

This Week's Reading Focus: Author's Purpose

This week we are diving even deeper into Author's Purpose. Students studied earlier in the year that four general reasons author's write are to: persuade, inform, entertain, and inquire. I am asking students to go further to analyze intentions of authors. This is important because as students progress to read more complex material, they must be aware of how the author's intentions affect their purpose for reading, as well as the author's bias, credibility, and perspective.

A few key distinctions sixth graders need to make to be successful are:
1) Separate themselves from the text and look solely at the author's intent
Students should ask themselves, "What is the author's intention?" not "Was I entertained, persuaded, or informed?" Example: Oftentimes, a student will assume because he/she was entertained, that was what the author set out to accomplish. When in reality, the subject matter may have been a good match for the student, and the author's intent was to inform the reader.
2) Specific author's perspectives (opinion) portrayed with the author's purpose. Along with the author's intent/purpose, comes the actual opinions the author will portray through word choice, plot and character decisions, text structure, mood, tone, and possibly bias. I want students armed to read objectively and be aware of their purpose for reading and how that differs from the author's intent.

We are lucky to be working this year with, Dr. Houck, a reading specialist. Below are question prompts she has suggested to help your child better understand the author's purpose vs. perspective.

  • Thinking about an author’s main reason for writing helps readers set a purpose for reading a selection.
  • Authors may use different text structures depending on their purpose.
  • Some authors write to entertain. They tell stories about characters and settings that are fun to read about. They often use sequence to tell story events in order.
  • Authors who write mainly to teach, inform, or explain give readers facts about a topic. This is often used in nonfiction writing. Authors may use main idea and details to tell the information.
  • Authors who write to persuade give opinions about their subjects. They may ask or try to convince readers to do or think a certain way. They give reasons and details to support their opinion. This is often found in speeches, advertisements, and letters to editors.
  • Recognizing the author’s purpose can help readers understand the author’s perspective.


What is the MOST LIKELY reason the author wrote the story?
What is the author’s main purpose for writing this article?
Which sentence from the article tells the author’s main message?
In the last paragraph, why did the author end the passage with __?
What does the author mean when he/she writes ___?
How does the author help readers BETTER understand how to…?
With which statement would the author MOST LIKELY agree?
In order to show readers that ___, the author includes ___.
Why did the author include the section __?
The MOST LIKELY reason the author _____, was to…
The author says “___” to show that…
Why does the author ____?
What was the author’s purpose in _____ ?
What is the purpose of the first heading? (illustration, etc.)
What clues helped you determine the author’s purpose for…?
How did the author let the reader know his/her perspective on the topic?
*Adapted from Dr. Houck 3/10/13.

Unit 5, Week 1 Vocabulary Questions for Home Discussion

• A person’s reputation is
what he or she is known for.
What kind of reputation do you think you have at school?
What kind of reputation would you like to have?
What actions do you think you need to consistently make to achieve that reputation?

• If something is uttered,
it is said aloud.
What are synonyms for uttered? How are they different?
What are words that should always be uttered?

• When something is
quickened, it is
hastened or sped up.
When is it beneficial to quicken your pace?
When is it detrimental to quicken your pace?

• To be a migrant is to
move from place to place
to find work.
If your parents were migrant workers, how would your life be different? How would it be the same?

• If something is,
mistreated, it is treated
What can you do if you observe someone being mistreated?

• Wrath is the quality of
vengeful anger.
How might wrath be expressed? What consequences might occur?

• If something is done
Illegally, it is against
the law.
(Mr. Ringhofer has recently spoke of consequences of using technology to hurt someone. We will also have a visit from a police officer this spring who specializes in internet crimes.) What actions are illegal on technology equipment? What are common poor choices students make? What are the consequences of using technology in this way? What are LEGAL actions a student could make using technology that could have a negative impact in their future?

• If something is
ruptured, it is broken
List as many things that can be ruptured.

This Month's Focus: EXCELLENCE

At Garfield, we emphasize P.R.I.D.E. in student behavior and choices. The acronym means:
P- Preparedness
R- Respect
I- Integrity
D- Determination
E- Excellence

Excellence in your Work

"Excellence is the gradual result of always striving to do better."
Pat Riley
"We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit."

Below are questions you may use to facilitate a discussion with your child on excellence.
1) What does high quality work look like?

2) What choices does a person make while giving their best effort on an assignment?

3) What are the benefits of completing high quality work?

4) What are the drawbacks when your work is subpar?

5) What are the benefits of handing work in on time?

6) What are the effects of handing in assignments late?

7) Interview someone in class you believe hands in work on time and makes extra effort to ensure their best. What choices do they make? What is their routine?

8) Make a personal plan to complete high quality work.
My choices while working in school-

My routine for completing work outside of school-

My choices while working at home-

My Contact Information:

Please contact me any time! I look forward to working with you and your child!