Sunday, June 6, 2010

Sixth Grade Presentations

Parent dinner and presentations is scheduled for Wednesday, June 9 at 5:00pm.

5:00-6:30pm presentation block 1

6:30-7:00pm dinner (stretch as needed)

7:00-8:30 presentation block 2

Daytime presentations will be Wed 6/9, Thurs 6/10.

Please Let us know which times; early evening or later evening will work better for your family so we can organize the presentations.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Final Project

Fourth Quarter Assignment

  1. Make your first decision:

    1. Are you a sixth grader? Then relax, you already have your assignment started. No, wait, you have due dates soon, get back to work!

    2. Select a passion and consider options for a “going-out” and interview opportunity.
(ex: Love of dogs = vet, Humane Society, Petco)

    1. Consider your family history and your point of immigration. Collect family stories.

  1. Submit your topic and plan for this project by 4/19/10.

  2. Brainstorm a list of questions for your interview. (by April 23rd – review in class)

    1. A word web style might organize your thoughts.

    2. Be sure to prepare related/ follow-up questions

  3. Schedule your interview.

    1. Plan a method for notes (written or recorded).

    2. Practice before calling what to say.

    3. Know possible dates to meet beforehand.

  4. Conduct the interview (Unless scheduled as a “going-out”, parents will need to sign off this area.)

    1. Dress nicely for your interview.

    2. Be attentive to the answers so you may ask follow-up questions.

    3. Be sure to thank your subject. (Also, send a thank you note afterward with a copy of your transcript or summary.)

  5. Review notes or prepare a transcript of your recording. (by May 14th – review in class)

  6. Write a summary of the interview. (by June 1st – review in class)

    1. Length will depend on the depth (or challenge) you aim for.

    2. Call with follow-up questions if things don't make sense in your notes.

    3. Use quotes rather than a script format.

  7. Prepare a presentation for the class. (Present on June 7th or 8th .)

    1. Practice sharing information or a story from your interview.

    2. Consider only highlights to share in a five minute or less period (note-cards may be helpful).

    3. Prepare any props or displays that compliment your presentation (photos, objects relevant to your study, etc.)

  8. Evaluate yourself with the rubric. Add comments about the process, esp. what you found valuable or interesting.


_______ Proposal for topic and plan (Due April 19th)

_______ List of questions and related questions (Due April 23rd)

_______ Comments on Interview Process

_______ Notes or transcript (Due May 14th)

_______ Summary of Interview (Due June 1st)

Presentation scheduled for June ____ @ _____.
(Parents are welcome to attend.)

Before the interview, the student prepared several in-depth AND factual questions to ask.
Before the interview, the student prepared several factual questions to ask
The student did not prepare any questions before the interview.
Scheduling the Interview
The student introduced himself, explained why he wanted to interview the person, and asked permission to set up a time for an interview.
Student sent a thank-you note to the subject afterward.
The student asked needed reminders to set up an interview.
The student needed assistance in all aspects of setting up the interview.
The interviewer took occasional notes during the interview, but usually maintained focus on the person rather than the notes. Notes were added to immediately after the interview so facts were not lost.
The interviewer took notes during the interview, but did so in a way that interrupted the "flow" of the interview. 
The interviewer took no notes during or after the interview.
The student listened carefully to the person being interviewed and asked several relevant follow-up questions based on what the person said.
The student asked a couple of follow-up questions based on what s/he thought the person said.
The student did not ask any follow-up questions based on what the person said.
Formatting and Editing
The student edited and organized the transcript or notes in a way that made the information clear and interesting.
The student edited and organized the transcript or notes but the information was not as clear or as interesting as it could have been.
The student did NOT edit or organize the transcript.
Report Writing
(Summary of interviews)
The report is well organized and contains accurate quotations and facts taken from the interview.
The report contains accurate quotations and facts taken from the interview.
The report is lacking facts and quotations from the interview OR the quotes and facts are not accurately reported.
Presentation to Class (knowledge gained)
Student can accurately answer several questions about the person who was interviewed and can tell how this interview relates to the subject of interest.
Student can accurately answer a few questions about the person who was interviewed.
Student cannot accurately answer questions about the person who was interviewed.
Preparedness for Presentation
Student is completely prepared and has obviously rehearsed. He/ she used a display or props to compliment the information.
The student is somewhat prepared, but it is clear that rehearsal was lacking. He/ she may have added items to share.
Student does not seem at all prepared to present.
Student met all deadlines and challenged self toward a worthwhile project.
Student met requirements.
Student lost enthusiasm for the project and just plodded along.

Student Comment Section:

School Website

Our school website requires a webmaster to make it into an effective communication device for all current  and prospective parents.  Since my position as secretary of Friend's is up this year, I have taken on this responsibility for the rest of this year and next.  I am hoping that this will make the blog obsolete and unnecessary.  In the link section, a link to the school's website is available.  Please make it a bookmark and check it often.  I also need feedback, so please don't hesitate to send your ideas to my email address with "website" in the subject line and help us make this website better.

Parent's Day Tea

You are invited to join us in the Owyhee on Monday for tea, snacks, poetry and entertainment.  The party will start at 2:00 and end at 3:00.  Your child will spend the day decorating and preparing food for this event.  If you are not able to make the event (sorry about the late notice) we will be sending home an anthology for you.  You are an important part of our school and certainly an important part of your child’s life.  Whether you can make it on Monday or not, please know that we appreciate all you do to support our program and your child.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Book Report

The students should be reading a biograpghy for their March book report.  On Wednesday, they will need to present the information in a creative way- trifold board, monologue, power point, newspaper, etc.  It should show that they read the book and learned something about the person.  The dead line has been extended to the 31st, because families have expressed concern and the month has been a little interrupted.  Looking forward to hearing about all the famous people!

Tuesday, March 23, 2010


Yes, it is that time again!  The third quarter ends this Friday and conferences are the following week on Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday between 1:30 and 5:00.  Please sign-up as soon as possible.  I am encouraging you to bring your student with you.  At this time of year, we all need to be on the same page, begin setting goals for next year, and empower our students with the ability and responsiblity to make changes for the betterment of thier education. I am looking forward to speaking with all of you. 

Friday, February 19, 2010

Plans for Camping in June

Brigitte, Jamie, and Diana are making plans for our annual camping trip that will take place the first week in June.  We take over Camp WeChaMe which is located near Galena for three days and two nights.  During this time, we explore nature while on hikes, learn about or world through small group lessons, and bond as a community by participating in singing, skits, and meals-time.  This culminating activity requires the help of everyone, so we are asking all parents to sign-up for chaperoning, teaching, cooking, and any other assistance that you can provide.  Please let me know what you can do to make this the best end-of-the-year experience!

Used Book Sale

Upper Elementary would like to have a used book fair during the Science Fair next week.  We are asking that you send your slightly used books to school by next Wednesday.  We will be set-up in Lissner Hall between 6:00-7:30, please stop by and help us raise funds for some new microscopes.

Thursday, February 18, 2010


Thursday, students were sent home with a goldenod colored paper.  The paper asks you to fill out your contact information.  This information will be used by the Parent, Teacher Organization.  Please look over it, fill it out and return it as soon as possible.  We are trying to make sure that everyone has access to information about the school events and activities.


Yearbooks are not just for middle school and high school anymore.  This is the second year that HDMS has offered students the opportunity to develop a school-wide yearbook.  The Middle School Yearbook Club has been working on creating a hard bound book which contains pictures of the special and daily events that take place at our school.  The book is reasonably priced and can be purchased through the office or Miss Kelley, our Yearbook committee leader.  I have a copy of last year's if you would like to see a sample of what is included.  It is a great graduation gift and a way to remember the exciting activities that happen each year at our school.  Don't be left out!

Thursday, February 11, 2010


The first week in March is just around the corner.  This is the week when all 3rd-8th Graders are tested on their knowledge of the year's objectives.  We suggest that student get as much sleep as possible by limiting the evening events during this week. The tests will begin at 9:00 and students that are tardy will not be allowed into the testing environment.  They will need to be tested in the afternoon, so please don't schedule morning appointments for of this week.  A good breakfast high in protein will help them to preform well.  The scores will be part of our Academic Yearly Progress a component of No Child Left Behind.   We are working hard to make sure that everyone does their best, so please practice the ACE problems, discuss math, reading, writing and science when ever possible.  If you have further questions, please don't hesitate to ask.


We are looking for some supplies as we move into the last half of the year.  We are looking for plastic storage containers(shoe box size and smaller) to hold some of our smaller materials and to help us organize some clutter collecting in our closet.  We could use composition books, plastic folders, and newsprint that is three feet wide for our health unit.  We appreciate all that you provided at the beginning of the year and anything that you can provide at this time.  We are beginning to discuss plans for next year, so if you have any thoughts or suggestions, please click on the comment link or the e-mail me envelope at the bottom of the page.


Some students have worked very hard on their Black History essay, for those students, I would like to give them the opportunity to continue refinements on  their work for another week instead of moving to the narrative essay.  I have enjoyed learning with the students this week.  The room has a new atmosphere.  I hope we can continue to build up the culture that is beginning to develop.

Fight for Education

Please attend a rally, organized by the Nevada State Education Association, on Saturday, February 13 from 9 until 1 at City Hall in support of stopping the budget cuts for education.  The Governor is asking for schools to propose budgets with 10-20% cuts for the 2010-2011 school year.  Approximately, 650 teachers in Washoe County will lose their jobs.  We are at the bottom of the list for per pupil expenditures, but 18th from the top in the number of objectives covered by teachers.  Your attendance is not need for the entire time, but showing up will make an impression.  If you are unable to attend, please write your Governor about express your concern for the future.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Community Help

This information comes to us from the administrator at Mariposa. Once you get to the site click on immigration assistance.

Thursday, February 4, 2010


Last week, I received a minimal amount of homework back on Friday and after talking to the other Upper Elementary teachers we had similar concerns.  Ms. Frost, our Love and Logic Trainer, told us about an up coming webimar on homework.We are thinking of broadcasting it at the school.  Please let me know if you are interested so that we can make the appropriate accommodations.

Sixth Grade Projects

All of our sixth graders received approval on their topics this week, but many of them struggled with finding the required number of books necessary for this big project. Lessons on accessing and reserving materials at the Washoe County Libraries were given to student who had their library cards, and will continue to be given until the end of next week. We are also planning a "going out" for next week on Tuesday or Wednesday to retrieve these materials at the Sparks Library. Sixth graders are required to have a book with them in class each day so that they may work on their note cards as they finish classwork and daily lessons. Five points for topic and 10 points for note cards have been given to those students that were checked this week. More points will be given and past expectations can still be met with a minimal amount of lost points. Help your students to get caught up and stay up-to-date with future deadlines.

Science Help

For science next week (Thursday afternoon 2/11), Linda has planned for the students to create their own earth model, highlighting the layers of the earth. I need five or six volunteers to make a different color of play-dough(e-mail me for your assignment) or send in the ingredients for students to make in class.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Report Cards

The end of the semester is here! This means that report cards should arrive in the mail the first week in February. Please set up a time to discuss any concerns that may arise. Reading logs, book summaries and reports, daily math assignments, the multi-cultural project and weekly writing assignments factor into your student's grades. Please look for and discuss graded work which should come home each Monday in their plastic folders. This will give you a snapshot of the work that is being turned in. The third quarter starts Monday and everyone has an A.

Poetry Winners

In October, we submitted poems to the Celebration of Poets contest put on by Creative Communication. Last week, we received letters that two of the poems were excepted into the anthology. Hunter Waldren and Brandon O'Neil need one additional edit before publication. I will be ordering one of the books to keep in the classroom. Congratulations on being Owyhee's first published authors!
In February, they have an essay contest. I plan to talk to the teachers about submitting a few of the essays that will be written next week. Do your best and let's see how many author's we can publish in one year.

Field Trip

A change in our field trip plans came up after a discussion about the earthquake in Haiti. The class discussed three options. First, donate our field trip money to the relief efforts. Second, continue making plans to go ice skating for Friday the 29th. Finally, reschedule and attend a less expensive field trip and give some money to the relief fund. The students had all day to look at information and talk about the pros and cons of all three. At the end of the day, we voted (closed eyes)and 13 out of 24 students decided to give some money to the Haitian people and attend a Grossology Museum. I wanted to give everyone notice. Please talk to your student and provide any feedback on the topic. I hope this does not cause a problem for anyone.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Book Report

Steps for writing book report essay

1.In an intro paragraph, write the position on this topic giving some ideas from below.
2.Choice three or four of the ways listed below and expand each idea in three or four follow-up paragraphs. Please list other resources that you use in your paper.
V Values & beliefs-what most people believe

E/O Expert opinion-what experts say

S Statistics-summary of survey

A Analogies-if A then B

F Facts-proofs

E Examples-things found in nature

C Cause & effect-the outcome of something else

A Anecdotes-stories

T Traditions & customs-cultural explainations

S Special rules-

2. Use the T bar we used in class. Write a complete sentences about the topic and briefly identify. Then expand into a multiple paragraph essay.

Arguments against topic Arguments for the topic

3. In a closing paragraph, rewrite your opinion.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Forcing Bulb Fund Raiser

Today students will receive an envelope for our forcing bulb fund raiser. The envelope has a picture of what the package will look like and a picture of the plant once it matures. Each student is encouraged to sell three plants. The plants will cost $10 and include the bulb, directions, marbles and a glass container. We will be collecting the envelopes and money on January 22. This will give us time to order and construct the cute little gifts. Delivery will by on February 12th so that they can be given for Valentine's Day, St. Patrick's Day. They can be forced and also be a spring gift to that special loved one. Please help us make our goal of $4,000. The money will be used by Friends to improve your student's school experience(lunch program, playground, bird observation, or art program).

Haiti Help

How can we help! CNN published an article saying that clothes and other supplies can not be sent to the people in Haiti at this time. Red Cross states that money is needed. Friends would like to start a coin drive on Friday, January 16 through January 23. We will be discussing this during our agenda meeting tomorrow. Thank you in advance for any contribution you can make. We can make a difference!

Book Orders

I have exciting news. You can now place your Scholastic Book Clubs orders online! Browse all the great monthly Book Club selections at low prices and order online. Plus, our class earns a FREE book every time a parent orders online.

Here’s how it works:

  1. Use the information below to access the Scholastic Book Clubs Web site.

  2. Browse the titles with your child and place your order with your credit card.

  3. Your order will come to me, and your credit card payment will go directly to Scholastic’s secure server. There’s no need to send money to school.

  4. After I submit the entire class order to Scholastic, your order will be delivered to our classroom for your child to take home.

To get started, go to the Web address below and enter our class’s personalized user name and password in the sign-in fields on the right side of the page. Note: You do not need to create your own user name and password.

User Name: Berfield

Password: Owyhee09

Ordering online is the most convenient way to use Scholastic Book Clubs. You can order anytime, right up until the online order due date. You’ll also get instant access to over 500 additional titles plus online-only specials and discounts.

And don’t forget: Every time a parent places an order online, we earn a FREE book for our classroom library!

If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact me.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Science Fair Projects

Science Fair time is here again! In class, the students have been introduced and have practiced the scientific method since the first few weeks of school. Now, it is their turn to show-off what they have learned. Students can select a project and begin the process: Title, Question, Hypothesis, Materials, Procedure, Observations, and Conclusions (many books which include science projects are in the classroom and can be checked out if needed). Please keep a science journal of work that is started, research that is found, and reading that is completed. As February 23rd approaches, have your student prepare a tri-fold board which includes the process from above. Pictures add a lot to the presentation and the journal needs to be included. Each classroom will have the opportunity to send the student with the best project to the State Science Fair. Let's make it hard for the judges to choose just one best from Owyhee. We will include pictures of some projects in March.


The lunch program started just three months ago. Students dined on chicken tamales today! Some minor problems manifested themselves, but we have tried to fix them. To help clear the air, I would like to explain the procedures related to lunch. Owyhee requested a change in order because we just seemed to always be late(sound familiar). When called, hot lunch people are sent to line and the cold lunch people clear the tables and cover them with table clothes. When people begin returning, we sit down and eat for thirty minutes. If we don't get our full thirty minutes of recess, I told the students that we would make-up the recess at the end of the day or the following morning. As we move into the next three months, we will explore new options to these problems.
Owyhee students participate in the preparation, serving, and cleaning of lunch every Tuesday. As of this week, groups of 3 to 4 students work for two hours in the kitchen(one group in the morning from 10:30-12:30, a second group from 12:30-2:30). This way students are only working in the kitchen once a month. I hope your son or daughter is enjoying the opportunity to be part of this unique food program.

Valentine's Day

Every year, HDMS observes Valentine's day as a day of friendship. We share cards that have been handmade at home, one for each person in the class(27). This gives us an opportunity to practice letter writing, addressing envelopes, grace, and courtesy at gatherings. This date coincides with the 100th day of school. This day gives us a time to review place value and discuss the number 100 and larger numbers. The celebration will take place at 2:00pm and will include the passing out of letters, sharing homemade rootbeer floats, and other activities that relate to the curriculum. Please take some time to discuss how your child will show their friendship with all of his classmates. We will have an album of ideas in the school, if you get stuck. If you would like to donate items for the rootbeer floats we need the following: yeast, gallon containers with lids, root beer flavoring, ice cream makers, salt, cream, vanilla, or vanilla ice cream. These materials need to brought in by January 29th because it takes two weeks to make it.
Valentine's brings up the discussion of health. HDMS encourages students that choose to bring treats to make snacks with a small amount of sugar, no processed foods, and individually wrapped for easy distribution and consumption over time. I hope that this gives you enough information. Any comments or suggestions can be added by clicking the comment box or clicking on the E-mail Me link at the bottom of the page(it should be fixed now).

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Ice Skating

Should we have the ability to go on a field trip to the ice skating rink? Jamie posed this question to the Owyhee students on Monday. The students read, discussed, and took notes on how field trips play an important part in providing new experiences for children. The reading presented the lost of instructional minutes as a valid justification for limiting all outings. The students listed activities related to ice skating that could meet state standards before, during, and after the experience. Kurt challenaged them to research the effects of physical activity on school proformance, but nothing materialized, yet. We set a tentative date for Friday, January 29th. Students will continue to work on projects with related topics until the day. To ice skate or not to ice skate? That is the question.

Bike Rally

What is bike rally? This project started two years ago by a couple 6th grade boys and grew out of the need for something to do other than play on what used to be a field of rocks and sand. Student bring their bikes and ride. Don't want to bring yours, we have a few that will be provided for ten-fifteen minute intervals depending on the supply and demand. This year Maya and Tiffany Joy got the ball rolling. They explained the necessary rules to the students, talked about the procedures, and found a safe location to ride. Maya, Tiffany, and one adult will be supervising the bikers in the parent parking lot during lunch recess behind the closed gate. Give it a try on Tuesday, Thursday, or both!

State Writing Test

Grabber, zinger, SVVP, and dead verbs are words you might have heard at home. Ideas, words, and strategies used to assist our students in blowing away the state writing assessment. This test will involve all students in grades 3rd-6th, but only the 5th grade work will be scored by the state and factor into the school's over all Annual Year Progress Evaluation. Please check out the writing fix link at the bottom of this blog and talk with your student about doing their best to write exciting and detailed paragraphs without using is, are, was, and were.

6th Grade Projects

Each year, our sixth graders take on a final upper elementary project. Presented in May, the students give a glimpse of the facts and their views on the topic, to the student body and parents. The five minute presentation consists of power points, stop animation, models, and information. The process starts the week of January 11, 2010. We will be asking students to choose a topic, seek out the necessary resources, find mentors, organize outings, and generate an essential question, which will help guide the in-depth research. Parents of sixth graders are encouraged to attend this meeting to receive the project packet.


Thursday Night, the parent’s group gathered to collect opinions about school uniforms. After a number of great issues on both sides were presented, the group agreed that we needed to modify the schools dress code. Many ideas to address safety during outings were discussed, but no final solution was determined. Please add your ideas and comments, so we can include them in our next discussion.