Classroom News

Classroom Updates

Ms. Biller - Journey LA
May 10, 2019   (05/09/2019)
Students have worked hard during our historical fiction unit to sharpen their comprehension skills, and look for the historical facts embedded within fictional stories taking place in the past.  We've shifted a bit to also look for themes in the texts we read, and work on using text evidence to support those claims.  We'll wrap up the unit early this upcoming week with a summative Theme Paragraph.  We'll then begin work on a creative choice project, also summative, in which students will demonstrate the reading and writing skills gained and honed during the unit.  The following week will be devoted to our historical fiction book chat, with an added creative project to enhance the presentations.  I'm eager to see what students produce int eh coming weeks!
April 26, 2019   (04/26/2019)
Students are well into our historical fiction unit, blending historical fact with fictional elements.  Everyone has chosen an engaging IR book that is historical fiction, and so far, students have been enjoying being immersed in a completely different time in history, experiencing the time period vicariously through the characters of their books!  We're also reading some short pieces in class and analyzing how authors carefully create a setting that is historically accurate, and blending it with an engaging plot.  Next week, we will use these stories to develop a deeper understanding of theme, and engage in activities to help students identify, articulate, and write about the theme of the stories we are reading.  This means students will be doing some short writing pieces in addition to various other reading responses.  While more than ample class time has been scheduled for all of these activities, some students may need more time outside of school to finish and review their work - especially if class time is not being used wisely, or students are absent.  Please keep in mind that I am available every Monday after school and welcome any students who would like extra guidance, or just need a quiet place to work!
April 12, 2019   (04/11/2019)
Students have worked hard in wrapping up their Nobel Nominee research projects, due Monday morning of this week!  If you haven't seen your child's work, ask to see his/her I-Chart!  Since they have also been reading non-fiction for IR, students used class time this week to prepare for their second book chat of the year. Block 1 presented on Thursday, while Blocks 2-5 presented on Friday.  Students participating in GSA Day of Silence were given the option to pre-record their presentation on iMovie.

Next week, we will be shifting over to a new unit of study, centering on historical fiction.  Students will be reading historical fiction for IR, and we will be exploring this genre through texts related to social studies topics they have already had some introduction to.  Once again, we will be using a blend of short story narratives (both fictional and real), picture books and student IR books to help students gain a deeper grasp of this important genre. 

As always, please reach out with any questions or concerns you may have!  Enjoy the upcoming spring season!
March 22, 2019   (03/20/2019)
As we roll into our third trimester, students are in the midst of their Nobel Nominee research projects.  They've been asked to choose someone they believe should be nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize, and conduct research to help support their nomination.  So far, students have chosen some incredible individuals!  Ask your child to show you his or her work so far!  When we return from break, we will be finishing the research process, including using EasyBib to create citations.  We're all looking forward to seeing just how much these nominees have done to make our world a better place!

We have also begun working on IR bookmarks again - this time, students are reading non-fiction books!  Students can choose to read about any topic that interests them, using books at or near their reading level.  Students who finish their book before break is over are encouraged to choose another non-ficiton book focusing on a different topic.  Ask your child about what (s)he is reading!

As always, thank you for all you do to help support our students from home.  Please reach out to me any time you may have questions.  Have a wonderful Spring Break!
March 8, 2019   (03/08/2019)
Students had a strong finish in our Freak the Mighty unit, creating projects they should certainly be proud of!  Students who worked in partnerships learned how to budget their time and share tasks, and those working on their own developed stronger self-management and time management skills as well!

We've now entered our major research unit for the year, and our focus is nominating someone for a Nobel Peace Prize.  This week, students explored the inception and meaning of this prestigious honor, added some critical words to their vocabulary, and have already learned a "quick search" strategy to help them find information.  By the middle of next week, each student will have looked up and recorded the philanthropic efforts of a large list of candidates; students may add individuals that are not on the list, but who have done a lot of work to benefit others - with teacher approval.  When that is due (Tues/Wed), students will narrow it down to their top three choices, and from there, choose one person they strongly believe should be nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize.  Our lessons from now into the week before break will focus on actual strategies for conducting effective research, including effective questioning, how to paraphrase vs summarize, ways to determine whether a source is reliable, and how they will be organizing their sources and notes.  Ultimately, everything they learn about their chosen person will be used in a series of writing pieces.

Ms. Caputo - Journey Team Student Services Teacher
Caputo's ELA Update   (04/25/2019)
Ms. Caputo's reading and writing class finished up the System 44 curriculum in the "Special Forces" module. We started a new module learning the difference of famous and infamous, and how reality TV is changing our culture in the United States. We are looking forward to attending the Optimist Essay Banquet May 7th at Deerfield High School! Everyone's reading and writing skills continue to grow, and Ms. Caputo continues to be super impressed with our progress!
Ms. Chow - Language Arts, Gifted Enrichment - 6th Grade
6th Grade GE LA   (05/10/2019)

Students have continued to conduct research for their MGP Biography Project.  They have been learning valuable skills such as summarizing, paraphrasing, and using quotations when taking notes, along with how to organize their research notes by subtopics.  They are finding that when managing such a large amount information, organization is crucial!  So far, students have written a news article highlighting a major event in their person’s life.  They have also begun drafting a formal, five-paragraph essay detailing their person’s contributions to the world.  Additionally, students are learning how to use MLA (Modern Language Association) style parenthetical citations to cite their research sources, and how to create a works cited bibliography page.

This week we also held our last Nonfiction Book Club meeting.  For their culminating project, students will be reflecting on the their experience and presenting book talks to the class.

6th Grade GE LA   (04/26/2019)

Students have completed three out of their five Nonfiction Book Club meetings.  They have been strengthening their ability to dig deeper into a text, make insightful connections and analogies, and cite text evidence to support opinions!

We have also begun a Multi-Genre Biography research project, which students have referred to as “MGP” (Multi-Genre Project).  Students chose a person to research whom they admire and want to learn more about, and who has contributed to the world in a meaningful way.  This week they learned various research skills, such as how to use a database to access books, periodicals, websites, videos, and other sources.  Our librarian Ms. Nekola created a scavenger hunt in which students had to use different research modalities to find information about a mystery aviator.  Students accessed reference books, nonfiction books, biographies, online articles, and more to complete their scavenger hunt!  They also learned strategies for analyzing a resource’s credibility and reliability, which is particularly useful when conducting research via the internet!

6th Grade GE LA   (04/12/2019)

In reading, students have begun participating in Nonfiction Book Clubs.  The first Book Club meeting yesterday was a great success!  Students were well prepared, and they engaged in interesting and thought-provoking discussions about their books!  Book clubs will meet once a week, and during each meeting, students will be responsible for different roles: (1) discussion director, (2) summarizer, (3) connector/travel tracer, (4) literary luminary, (5) investigator, and (6) vocabulary enricher.  Some of the books students are reading include Black Potatoes: The Story of the Great Irish Famine, They Called Themselves the KKK: The Birth of an American Terrorist Group, Flesh & Blood So Cheap: The Triangle Fire & Its Legacy, The Impossible Rescue, and Hitler Youth.

In writing, we have been focusing on vocabulary and grammar.  Students created vocabulary stories, songs, and presentations with mnemonic devices to help them prepare for their quiz on roots and affixes.  We will also be working on pronoun case, pronoun-antecedent agreement, and avoiding vague pronoun usage.

6th Grade GE LA   (03/21/2019)
Hello!  As you may already know, I returned from maternity leave last Wednesday, March 6th, and had the opportunity for a "transition day" with Mr. Buzard, who caught me up on the units and projects your children have worked on in my absence.  Moving forward, we have started a nonfiction unit: so far, students have learned how to identify different nonfiction text structures.  They have also become more aware of different text features and how those features help organize, emphasize, and enhance information.  This week in writing, students presented "book talks" to the class, teaching their peers about a novel of their choice by providing a brief summary of the book and analyzing characters, conflicts, quotes, and themes.  As always, if you have any questions, please let me know.  Thank you for your kindness, patience, and ongoing support of student learning! 
P.S.  Baby Desmond turned four months old last Friday! 
6th Grade GE LA March 4, 2019, Mr. Buzard   (03/03/2019)
I was pleased to be able to conference last week with parents and share the successes of the past trimester.  Mrs. Chow will be returning on Wednesday, March 6, and I know her students are looking forward to seeing her!  Last week we read a pair of short writing pieces, Saki’s story “The Interlopers” and George Orwell’s personal account “Shooting an Elephant.”   Each provided engaging examples of conflict, cause and effect, and evolving plot lines. We also have connected with the Civil War unit in social studies by comparing and contrasting songs of the Union and Confederacy, translating Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address into “modern language”, and considering the message of his Second Inaugural Address, delivered just a month before his death as the war was ending.  A final writing activity this week is asking students to assume a soldier's role and then write and answer letters across the lines to a childhood friend in the opposing army.  Our last class periods together we will enjoy and critique one of the greatest movies ever made, Buster Keaton’s 1927 classic silent film, “The General.”  Both dramatic and comedic, it is based on an actual event in the Civil War.  With “talkies” on the horizon, this movie that Keaton wrote, directed, and starred in was considered the apex of silent film making, containing some of the most expensive and elaborate scenes ever filmed up to that time.  Watching it together will provide an enjoyable end to the second trimester.  The students know how much Mrs. Buzard and I have enjoyed working with them and how proud we are of their progress in reading and writing.  It has been a privilege to be their teacher for the past twelve weeks and I know they have ‘great things” ahead of them.
Mr. Leinbach - Social Studies Teacher
Social Studies News   (05/09/2019)
This week we began learning about the Industrial Revolution.  During this fascinating time period, America grew into more of an Industrial Society as railroads transformed the nation, big business grew rapidly, and workers began to organize.  Journey students will also be learning about some of the great inventors of this era, such as Thomas Edison, Alexander Graham Bell, and Granville T. Woods.  To enhance our learning, students will continue to take guided notes, create vocabulary note cards, develop inquiry based lessons, close read complex text, annotate biographies, and answer critical thinking questions.  

On Tuesday, May 14th, the Journey students will participate in a fascinating Civil War Days Field Trip at the Grove.  Students will be able to enhance and refine their vast Civil War knowledge by experiencing a variety of hands on activities and presentations from the Civil War Era! Great job in Social Studies Journey students and keep up the good work!

Mrs. Lindner - Language Arts Teacher
May 9, 2019   (05/09/2019)
The Nobel Peace Prize Projects were turned in last week, and they have been an absolute pleasure to grade!  Students put great efforts into these portfolios, and their research, creativity, and writing skills really shined through.  Please ask to see your child's portfolio and share in their success!  This week we have gone back to some grammar lessons and reviewed subjects and predicates, the building blocks of sentences!  We took a quiz on Friday (Monday for Block 1), and I hope the great grades continue!  We've also practiced our writing skills by creating public service announcements (PSAs) for local issues and causes.  Next week, we will return to writing and begin our argumentative unit.  
April 26, 2019   (04/24/2019)
The Journey writers have worked tirelessly the past two weeks constructing their Nobel Peace Prize Portfolios.  Once the research was completed in Reading class, students have been asked to write an FAQ, two expository pieces, two narrative pieces, and one visual piece.  Each piece contains new facts supporting their nominee’s rightful place as a Nobel Peace Prize Winner!  The portfolio is due on Tuesday, April 30, at the beginning of class.  Portfolios must be 100% complete, with each piece printed neatly and organized in the correct manner explained in class.  Please encourage your child to print any remaining pieces this weekend.  If you are without a printer, please know that the Glenview Public Library has many printing stations and charges a nominal fee per page.  Also know that the Attea LRC is open before and after school everyday for printing.  I look forward to reading about an incredible array of changemakers in today’s society and how our Journey students have connected with them and their causes.  Some nominees include the following people:  Bill Gates, Lebron James, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Angelina Jolie, Ramesh Ferris, Ellen DeGeneres, Emma Watson, Salma Hayek, Warren Buffett, Pope Francis, Elon Musk, and Michelle Obama to name a few!
April 12, 2019   (04/12/2019)
The Journey writers are hard at work, crafting their Nobel Peace Prize Museum Project and Portfolio!  Having done much research in Reading Class with Ms. Biller, the children are now able to communicate the facts about their nominee.  The project asks for five writing pieces and one visual piece.  I have reminded the students of the incredible nominees and the work these nominees have all done in pursuit for peace on our planet, and so I asked the kids to honor the work of these incredible people by putting in extra effort and focus to share their knowledge.  I look forward to dynamic classes and workshops, and of course I am excited to read their pieces.  As always, I will be available often, in the mornings and on select days after school to help and pre-read their pieces.  Please continue to encourage your children to do their best and come for help if they need it!
March 22, 2019   (03/22/2019)
Hello Journey Families!  My name is Ramina Zacharia and I am your child/children's current Science teacher while Megan Weinzierl is on maternity leave.  I have taught sixth grade Science, Social Studies, and Math in the past, but have currently been at home with my two young daughters (Faith and Grace).  We recently finished up our Life Science and Cells unit with a Human Body Systems project and presentation and have begun our new unit on the History of Earth.  I am looking forward to the next two months working with your children as we embark on this new adventure acting as scientists and uncovering the depths of the Earth!  Feel free to email me with any questions/concerns you may have! 
March 22, 2019   (03/21/2019)
The Journey writers continue to work very hard in class.  We completed 4 reading responses to different non fiction texts.  The last of these reading responses was a non fiction article itself!  Students applied their knowledge of non fiction text features (subheadings, graphics, captions, glossary, etc...) to create their own article about one of two given topics.   I look forward to reading these pieces when we return from Spring Break!  Once we return, we will begin our Multi-Genre Project on our chosen Nobel Peace Prize Candidate.  Students will choose different narrative and expository pieces to write, as they craft this very important and creative portfolio.  The goal is for the children to work as independently as possible, but of course they will be given whatever help they may need.  There is no homework from Writing Class over Spring Break, so please enjoy family and friends!  See the kids back here at Attea on April first!!
Mrs. Stern - Math Teacher
Updated: As of May 10, 2019   (05/10/2019)
All of my students have access to math IXL on their IPAD.  It is the same program that they used last year in 5th grade. So if there is downtime at home, please have your son/daughter work on it.

In common core, students just finished up their test on area of a rectangle, square, triangle, trapezoid, parallelogram, and hexagon. Our next unit of study will be on surface area of prisms and pyramids (only 14.3, 14.4, and 14.5). Test on this will be on Monday May 20th. On math IXL, students can work on 6th grade FF2, FF3, FF4, FF5, and FF6.

In single acc.,  students are studying dot plots, histograms, and box plots.  Test will be on Thursday May 16th.
On math IXL students can work on 6th grade GG's.

In double acc.,  students just took their test on experimental and theoretical probability.  Our next unit of study will be on compound events.  On math IXL, students can work on 7th grade CC's, DD's  or 8th grade DD's and EE's.
Mrs. Weinzierl
Science Class Update!   (03/04/2019)
The Journey Team scientists have recently completed our Cell Processes Unit with a summative assessment last week. We will end the entire unit with a culminating human body systems group project. The project will highlight how something as small as a cell can organize to create an organism!  In the coming weeks will begin our next unit, History of Earth with a focus on ever changing dynamic planet!  
Science Class Update!   (02/14/2019)
The Journey scientists have recently used microscopes to investigate uni and multicellular organisms.  We have also completed an analogy project modeling a cell and the organelles inside!  Ask your son or daughter what analogy they used for their cell model! We have also started exploring the concept of diffusion and why this concept is important to the function of a cell. The Cell Processes Unit summative test will be at end of February, just before conferences. Ask your son or daughter what study strategies they will use to study for the test. Also, in the upcoming weeks we will explore and explain how the cell is one part of the organization of the human body system.  As always if you have any question or concerns please contact me!
Science Class Update!   (01/29/2019)
The Journey scientists have recently explored the characteristics of life! We are now beginning to use microscopes to investigate unicellular and multicellular organisms.  The students will have a mid-point quiz covering characteristics of life and differentiating between plant and animal cells and the organelles in each at the end of the week of February 4th.  The students will also begin working on a cell analogy project. The students will be introduced to the project during the week of February 4th as well.  As always, please contact me with any questions or concerns.

Science Class Update!   (01/16/2019)
Welcome back and Happy New Year!  The Journey Scientists have been exploring our new unit in Life Science: Cells!  The students have explored the characteristics of living things, Cells & will soon discover how we can accurately view the invisible world using microscopes!  We will continue investigation using microscopes in the coming weeks to identify the types of cells, cell organelles and cell function.  As always, please contact me with any questions or concerns. 
Science Class Update!   (12/18/2018)
Our Journey Scientists recently completed our first unit Structure and Properties of Matter!  Great work students!  We are looking forward to exploring our next unit, Cell Processes. When we return from winter break, the students will be introduced to the characteristics of life and begin investigating unknown substances to determine if the specimen are living or not. When we return from winter break, the students will continue investigations on unicellular and multicellular organisms. We will also learn how to use a microscope during labs! Students and Parents, Enjoy your well deserved break! Happy Holidays!