Updates and Curriculum Announcements

Dear Parents,

Outdoor School:
We are off an running into the school year. We had such a phenomenal time at Outdoor School and many of our students did not want to leave to come home! It was so great to see all of the new friendships formed and experiences that the students made during this special 6th grade experience. Thank you so much for supporting your child.
Organizational Buddies:
We are making a great effort in our classroom to get organized to increase learning outcomes for all students. I think we can all agree on the importance of organization and preparedness for student success in school. With that being said, I have paired students up with an Organizational Buddy to give them tips and tricks for staying organized in school by focusing on the cleanliness and organization of their desks and backpacks.
Current Curriculum Studies:
Math: We are currently working in Chapter 2, which is focused on fractions, decimals, and percents.
Reading/Language Arts: 
Animal Allies is our unit of study. In this unit students will be developing skills towards writing an informational essay, and they will learn how to refer back to what they've read to support their thinking with text based evidence. The essential question is "How can people and animals relate to each other?" In this unit students will read and evaluate informative essays, arguments, fictional and nonfiction narratives that will be used to support their own research to answer the essential question. This textbook can be accessed online as well. Please have your child login to the Google Drive, select the "waffle" then scroll down to the bottom of the list to find the white icon that says Pearson Easy Bridge.
Writing: Students have two weeks left to work on their personal narratives. They are making great progress, and I am looking forward to the final outcomes of their stories. Please ask them about their stories at home.
Science: Unit 1 - Energy and Climate 
"Throughout the unit, students develop skills in asking scientific questions to better understand the causes of our changing climate. In each lesson, students will be gaining knowledge on heat transfer to design a more energy-efficient home. Early on, students will play the game Carbon Command and use this game as a model for Earth’s systems and the role of greenhouse gases on climate. Students will also study rising CO2 levels either kinesthetically through a role-play, or by investigating data. This will ultimately give students the knowledge and skills to successfully complete the unit’s culminating activity to design a climate-friendly home."
~The Green Ninja curriculum was developed out of San Jose State University with support from NSF and NASA.
"The curriculum aim is to engage middle school students in science through personal inquiry and action. Students find science meaningful and relevant by solving real-world problems and deepening connections to the environment."
Parent Teacher Conference Week Starts November 5th:
Just a friendly reminder to please select your conference appointment time here on Class Tag. Select the 'Activities' tab to find the remaining appointment times available.
Please email me with any questions or concerns. Our sixth graders are working so hard! I am proud of all of their progress.
Holiday Party
Next up...the Halloween party!!! The 6th grade loves our joined Halloween party tradition. Stay tuned for details from our room parents, Laura and Maureen.
Special Thanks
I wanted to send a special thank you to all of the volunteers that we have in our classroom. We can't do it without you! Thank you to Laura for sending in a soccer ball, football, and volleyball for students to have for play at recess.
Thanks again, 
~Ms. Birchall


Class Tag and Parent Teacher Conference Reservations

Dear Parents,

You should have received an email last week, asking you to join "ClassTag". Please be sure to check your junk inbox. ClassTag is a classroom events management and parent involvement tool. You can download the app to your phone, and Class Tag can be accessed from Smart phones, desk tops, iPads, etc.

The parent teacher conference schedule time slots reservations can be found there.  I am looking forward to keeping you up to date and informed with announcements through Class Tag.

Please be sure to contact me with any questions.

Thank you,
Ms. Birchall



Welcome to the 2018-2019 School Year!

Dear Parents and Students,

       Welcome to Ms. Birchall's 2018-2019 6th grade class! I can't wait to meet all of you and your families! We have an exciting curriculum this year! 6th grade will be an adventure of learning and exploring our world through ancient civilizations, foundational skills in math to prepare for future success in algebra, writer's workshop, Earth, Space, Life, and Physical science, A.R. reading, spelling, and of course reading across across the curriculum. As a sixth grader, you will be earning letter grades on your report card to help your transition to junior high school. 

        One of my specialties and passions for teaching is student differentiation in mathematics. Students will be placed in appropriate leveled groups by the use of the following data: SBAC, MAP, and Moby Max. This will allow students to be challenged at their independent level and to help them reach their fullest potential in math. The group names that you will hear are Seahawk, Gold, and Blue. Students will have the opportunity to change group levels based on student data and performance. More information to come at Back to School Night. 

        This year as a sixth grader, please look forward to 6th Grade Science Camp the week of October 1st - October 5th! Save the date! There will be a parent meeting at Back to School Night. Stay tuned.
         As a sixth grader you can expect to have ownership of your classroom and school by participation in daily class jobs, class meetings, and other leadership opportunities such as student leadership, conflict managers, and reading buddies. 

        Sixth grade is an exciting year, as students are gaining more independence and they are learning how to self direct. By this time you know your child as a student, but even more importantly they begin to know themselves and the differences they can make to increase their own learning outcomes. This year, we will continue to instill an internal locus of control in education and behavior across the board. 

        Parent communication will be found on our Class Tag web page that you will be invited to join after Back to School Night. This is where I will send out information and organize Parent/Teacher Conferences. The best way to contact me is by email: brittany_birchall@pvusd.net. I can't wait to meet all of you and your families. 

 ~ Ms. Birchall

Supply List 2018-2019 School Year

Student Supply List: 
  1. Hand pencil sharpener with catch for shavings and NO battery operated please a.k.a. silent sharpeners :)
  2. #2 Ticonderoga Pencils 
  3. 2 Blue/ 2 Black Pens
  4. 1 Red and 1 Green correcting pens for Writers Workshop
  5. 1 fine tip black sharpie
  6. Headphones 
  7. 1 inch Binder (Students need a small 1" binder. We want to keep their backpacks light, so please don't go bigger than this.)
  8. 2 packs of College Ruled Binder Paper (one for self one to donate to class)
  9. 4 Composition Notebooks (NO spiral notebooks please.)
  10. Textbook covers (2) 
  11. Box of Kleenex for the class
  12. Box of Clorox wipes for the class
  13. Plug in air fresheners
Class Donation Requests:
  • multiple colors of stamp/ink pads
  • plants for the classroom
  • clothes pins for hanging student work
  • help with and or purchasing backpack hangers ideas for the ramp
  • classroom mailbox for organizing papers going home
  • bean bag chairs for comfy reading 
  • Friday raffle prizes
  • Kleenex
  • Baby wipes for washing hands (no sink in the classroom)
  • Clorox wipes for cleaning desks
  • stickers (for the raffle box)
  • book marks
  • other fun small prizes (Oriental Trading Company)
  • fun pencils / erasers (for the raffle box)
  • footballs
  • basketballs
  • soccer balls
  • Frisbees
  • Eco friendly non toxic room fresheners
Other Needs

  • $$ to our class fund. Please make checks payable to RDMPA (Rio Del Mar Parent Alliance) and be sure to write Ms. Birchall's class on the memo. 
  • Gift Certificates to Beverly's Fabrics and Crafts, Palace Art Supply, STAPLES, Target, or Amazon.com are always great teacher go to shops. 

Classroom Parent Volunteers 
  • 1 Room Parent (This person loves organizing class parties and communicating with parents to prepare for events. In sixth grade, we have many fun events, such as our BIG sixth grade Halloween Party.)
  • Grading Helpers: Friday language assessments and language packets, weekly homework, etc. ( I am looking for 2 Friday morning grading volunteers between the hours of 8:15am and 12:00pm, who will be scheduled seperately in two blocks. (This will help with student work going home in Friday folders.)
  • Room Volunteers: cleaning and organizing book shelves, student supply station, etc. 
  • Room volunteers for one-one-on student help, specifically in math (and all other subjects)
  • Room volunteers for small group work, specifically in math (and all other subjects)
Thank you! ~Ms. Birchall


Will There Be Homework Every Night?

Will there be homework every night?
Yes! Typically whatever your child does not finish in class becomes homework. Please expect 30 minutes minimum of A.R. reading assignments daily. Remember to check your child's planner regularly or have them log in to their Google Classroom. It is possible that students may have homework over the weekend during project assignments. (Be sure to check their Thursday and Friday homework in their planners or Google Classroom.)

What can I do to bring up my grade and Late Work?
We want to teach our students to be responsible and accountable to due dates set for assignments. Opportunities for students to be successful is the top priority. Students will be better prepared for middle school if they learn to turn in assignments on time. Although punctuality on turning in student class work and homework will be the focus, we will determine if there are missing assignments that may provide an opportunity to bring up a grade. If there are missing assignments, we will start there, and we will come up with an individual plan to get your grade up and work turned in.

Do you offer extra credit?
Yes, if all assignments are completed and turned in, then extra credit may be an option. See me for individual details and assignments/projects.

How Can Parents Help Their Child Do Better on Tests?

How Can Parents Help Their Child Do Better on Tests?
• Find out and post the testing dates at home.• Encourage your child to do well on tests.• Ask your child’s teacher about the tests he/she will take and discuss the upcoming tests with your child to try to reduce anxiety.• Make sure your child attends school on testing days after a good nights sleep and a breakfast.

Como pueden los padres ayudar a sus hijos hacer mejor en los exámenes:
• Infórmense de las fechas, anoten en una lista en casa.• Animen a su hijo/a para que ellos hagan bien en sus pruebas.• Pregunta a la maestra de su hijo/a sobre las pruebas que el/ella tomara y discutan las pruebas que siguen con su hijo/a para tratar de reducir la ansiedad. • Asegúrense que su hijo/a asista a clases los días de las pruebas después de tener una noche tranquila y desayuno en la mañana.

Suggestions to Help Your Child in school:
• Make sure your child is in school on time—everyday. • Let your child know how important their work at school is.• Provide a quiet place for your child to do homework.• Listen to your child read and read to and with him or her.• Ask about what homework is due the next day• Encourage your child to write—lists, notes, letters, journals.• Set a limit on television watching.• Show your child how you use mathematics on a daily basis.• Help your child read charts and graphs in newspapers and magazines.

Sugestiónes Para Ayudar a Su Hijo en La Escuela:
• Asegúrense que su hijo/a llegue a clases a tiempo todos los días. • Deje saber a su hijo/a lo importante que es su trabajo de la escuela. • Proveer un lugar tranquilo para que su hijo/a haga su tarea.• Escucha a su hijo/a leer y lea con el/ella.• Pregunte sobre la tarea que tiene para esa noche.• Anime a su hijo/a a escribir—listas, notas, cartas y en su diario.• Ponga un límite de tiempo para mirar televisión.• Enséñele como usted usa las matemáticas diariamente.• Ayuda a su hijo/a leer un mapa y graficas en el periódico y revistas.