Mrs. O'Rourke's Panther Press

August 26, 2017

Our First Edition

A Great Start!

We have had a great start to the year getting to know each other and our different interests. We have a friendly and fun group of students on our team this year and a lot of learning to do together! The 6th graders even paired up with 5th grade buddies the first week of school to help them with their lockers and tell them what kinds of things they could look forward to in 5th grade.
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A Few Important Things to Note - Keeping our kids organized


Woohoo! 40 out of my 49 students have their families connected on Seesaw! That's awesome! If you have not had a chance to connect, or if you need another information sheet explaining how to connect, please email me. Seesaw will be a great way for you to get a window into your child's world at school and to stay connected!

Daily Assignments -

We have asked the students to find an organizational system that works for them so that they can write down the daily requirements for their classes each day. Our team suggested that students open a new Note in their "Notes" app and title it "Assignments". They should be able to update their daily assignments there. In humanities, we are trying to establish a routine where the first thing students do when they come in is update their daily assignments. I remind them each day at the start of class. Some students are choosing to use planners, and that is ok - whatever works for each student is fine. But, please monitor these for the first few weeks to make sure that your students are keeping themselves organized and aware of their assignments and when they are due. If you ever have any questions, please feel free to contact me. Thanks!

Scholastic Book Orders - Due September 15th

This month’s Scholastic Reading Club flyers came home on Friday! Please take a few moments to explore the selection together and let your child help choose books he or she is excited to read.

It is preferred that you order online at, where you’ll find a wide selection of quality children’s books that are just right for your child’s reading interests. Or, return your paper order form to me with a check made out to “Scholastic Reading Club.”

Remember, you help our class earn FREE Books and supplies with every order. Thank you for supporting your child’s reading both at home and in the classroom!

PS: Please let me know if your order includes a gift for your child, and I will contact you when it arrives!

First Time Ordering Online?
•Go to
•Enter our one-time Class Activation Code: NCZKF
•Shop and submit your child's book order.
•Your books will be delivered directly to the classroom.

Learning Highlights from our first few weeks

A White Elephant Gift Exchange

In the interest of exploring different genres of books and trying new things, our humanities classes had a White Elephant style book exchange. Students were able to choose a wrapped book to open and read the summary aloud. Then, students could choose to steal books from other students. It was a lot of fun, and many students found some great new books to try!
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Exploring our background knowledge of different genres.

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Vocabulary Study - It's all Greek (or Latin) to me!

Our vocabulary study this year will be based on words formed from Greek and Latin stems as well as some extension words to challenge students. Every two weeks, students will harvest a number of words based on the stems we are studying so that they can have a say in what words we will study. Most weeks our assessments will be every other Friday. Students should be studying and reviewing words throughout the week. The lists will be posted to Seesaw via the Quizlet link.
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CNN Daily News

Most days we will get our dose of global news by watching CNN 10. Families can access this from home to see what their children are learning about each day. We have been practicing taking notes on main ideas from the news stories with partners and small groups. It is important that we remain aware of what is going on in the world around us.
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The Eclipse

When we first went outside on Monday, August 21st, the afternoon had clouded over. Our hopes to see the eclipse were dimmed, but then in a parting of the clouds, our 6th graders got to experience a little bit of scientific history. We were all amazed!
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Even the teachers were excited to put on some Nasa approved eclipse viewing glasses and witness the event!

Growth Mindset

We invited Mrs. Knerr to our class this week to lead a lesson on growth mindset. We learned that failure is a part of learning and that perseverance is essential for success! Students identified the difference between a fixed mindset and a growth mindset as we talked about ways that we could apply a growth mindset to school and at home.
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Upcoming Assessments and Project Due Dates

This section will contain upcoming assessments so that parents can help students stay on top of their studying.

Next Week:

Thursday 8/31 - Map Project is due

Friday 9/1- Vocabulary Assessment

Friday 9/1- Grammar Assessment over weekly grammar lessons


Canvas is the HSE district's new online learning management system. It has replaced Blackboard. We are in a transition phase now as teachers build their pages and begin to teach students how to use Canvas. Family access is slated to be available in October. More news to come!