January 3-7, 2022 and Happy New Year!

Happy, happy New Year! I hope it was a wonderful Christmas holiday for your family!  I'm excited to see everyone back in class after our blessedly long break!
Read on for a few quick general basic announcements, followed by Academic Updates by subject/grade. We'll see you back on Monday morning!
Health: You/your student may be feeling apprehensive about the return to school during this escalation in illness. There was a recent email from Mrs. Burnside explaining procedures, which should help. We will definitely be drilling down on our wellness procedures: handwashing, exceptionally perfect mask-wearing, hand and desk area sanitizing, and most importantly, the social distancing. With regard to attendance, teachers are prepared to have a mix of students in and out of school for the near future, and we're all going to do our best to maintain healthy practices and stay in school, as well as support students awaiting a return to school. 
Giving Tree: Mrs. Johnston has said that the timeframe for continuing to give a Giving Tree gift can be extended. Keep the gifts unwrapped. All gifts will be given to the Migrant and Refugee Services Center of Catholic Charities. With the runup to Christmas, the information letter may have been lost, but here is a quick summary: items needed include kitchen and tableware, such as dish and utensil sets, flatware, can openers, dishtowels, cookware. Bedding such as twin size blankets, sheets and pillows are needed. 13-gallon trash cans, and shower curtains with a set of rings. Additionally, Target/Walmart or generic Visa gift cards are needed for other personal supplies as well as groceries. Last, if you have upgraded your electronics and have gently used tablets, PCs or laptops, the Center is happy to take those as well. 
Christmas Program and holiday gifts: Although it seems ages ago, thank you again for getting your student up to school for the beautiful Christmas program and the timely pickup back in the classroom. While they may all have been fatigued from anticipation of the break from school, we are so happy to be able to present this gift of the season. We are also grateful to Mrs. Meehan for coordinating the creation of a handmade family gift!  Additionally, thank you to the 6th grade room parents who made bags of sweet treats to celebrate the last day of school before the holiday!
Academic News:
Religion 6: The students took their Chapter 8 quiz, The Israelites Journey to Egypt. Chapter 9 is a Unit Review, and Chapter 10 will be God Rescues the Chosen People from Slavery. A short summary from the Loyola Press homepage may be helpful for you to view in advance: https://s3.us-east-1.amazonaws.com/lpress-craft/files/col2016-files/Christourlife2016-study-gd-g6-ch10.pdf
The Chapter 9 Unit Review includes all material presented in Chapters 6, 7, and 8. Here is an at-home summary for you if helpful:
While I'm at it, here is a general link to any of the chapters and the practice games and quizzes, which you may find helpful to encourage your student when studying for the Religion tests!
Reading 6: We have been reading The Year of the Boar and Jackie Robinson by Betty Bao Lord. We got away from it a bit due to a variety of factors, but it's time to dive back in.  This week on Monday and Tuesday we'll be studying figurative language and following story events. Wednesday and Friday we will work on vocabulary and word work, and Thursdays are still set aside for Storyworks and "Blessed Reading Time".  The 6th graders are very happy with their Reading routine and I appreciate that they enjoy coming to class on Thursdays with their books to read. I've been reading Almost Autumn by Marianne Kaurin, about the German-occupied Norwegian Jewish community in 1942. Many of the students enjoyed the Alan Gratz WWII books and this one is told from a girl's perspective. It is important to keep establishing the daily practice of reading at home, even without the reading log. 
We will be reading the following books after this unit: Inside Out and Back Again and Listen, Slowly, both by Thanhha Lai, Grace Lin's Where the Mountain meets the Moon, Starry River of the Sky, When the Sea Turns to Silver, as well as Red Thread Sisters, by Carol Peacock. 
Reading 7: We finished The Gift of the Magi by O. Henry ("If this story is so famous, why have I never heard of it before" - quote from a student, I guess it's IYKYK about some of these short stories) and enjoyed a very fun week of Scrabble!  I took some amazing photos and hope that you had at least a flicker of smile about Reading class in the week before Christmas, because it was fun!
In January and February, we will be reading Heart of a Samurai by Margi Preus on Mondays and Tuesdays, and working within nonfiction reading and study skills on Wednesdays and Fridays. We are working toward an independent reading goal of 30 minutes of continuous independent reading on Thursdays for a total of 120 minutes during the month of January. Stay tuned for weekly updates for January 6, 13, 20, and 27th!
LA 6: We completed the Adjectives writing project and Adjectives Unit Test. The students will be bringing home a Skills Analysis activity to complete at home and have signed by a parent. Our next grammar unit, Verbs, is one of the more difficult units we'll do this year, so I break it down slowly into three sections 4.1-4.5: Principal Parts of Verbs and Verb Phrases, Regular and Irregular Verbs, Troublesome Verbs, and Transitive and Intransitive Verbs. Next is 4.6-4.10: Linking Verbs, and Simple, Progressive, Perfect Tenses, and Subject-Verb Agreement. Last is 4.11-4.16: Active/Passive Voice, and Indicative, Emphatic, Imperative, and Subjunctive Mood, and Modal Auxiliaries. There will be a test in between each section, instead of one big test at the end, as well as miniquizzes and opportunities for extra credit work. 
The writing unit for Unit 4 is Persuasive Writing and we generally spend a short amount of time analyzing TV and radio commercials for persuasive writing techniques, with a short writing assignment using some of the techniques to sell a product. 
Thanks for reading to the end!
Mrs. Morgan