Monday, August 31, 2009

HOMEWORK, Monday, August 31, 2009

No Homework! *(But you can review the hand-outs from class, if you are so inclined)

Language Arts:
Pig & Pepper Questions
Vocab. practice(s) - including looking up three portmanteaus
Due: Tomorrow, Tuesday, September 1
Study for vocab/grammar test on FRIDAY!

Study for test tomorrow!
Finish hand-out
Due: Tomorrow, Tuesday, September 1

Finish the review (except 16, 20, & 21)
Study for test
Due: Tomorrow, Tuesday, September 1

Social Studies:
No Homework!

Friday, August 28, 2009


Odyssey of the Mind
If you are interested in joining, the first meeting
is this coming Monday, August 31 at 3:15 PM
in the Zelman Center.

HOMEWORK, Friday, August 28, 2009

No Homework.
Enjoy: you deserve it!

Language Arts:
Edit "My Super Creative Vocabulary Story"
Read Ch. 6, Pig & Pepper
Look up the definitions for "languid" and "contempt"
Write them in complete sentences in your own words.
Due: Monday, August 31

Complete the hand-out given in class; show your work neatly
Due: Monday, August 31

Read p. 22-27
Write down vocabulary words
Due: Monday, August 31

Social Studies:
Read Section 1: Text (p. 6-11)
Take notes and write down vocabulary words and definitions as you go
*(You will keep these on an on-going, ever-growing sheet)
Answer Section Assessment Questions, p. 11, 1-5
- Write your answers in complete sentences (diagram Q. 4)
Find a small rock or stone to bring to school (no more than 1 lb.)
Due: Monday, August 31

Thursday, August 27, 2009


Homecoming T-shirt order forms
Went home with your student today.
*Return to main office by Wed., Sept. 2*

Curriculum Night:
Thursday, September 3, 6:30 PM

Labor Day Weekend:
Early release on Friday, Sept. 4: 12:25 PM
No School, Monday, September 7

HOMEWORK, Thursday, August 27, 2009

Rehearse Jabberwocky
Work on:
- Pronunciation
- Enunciation/articulation
- Projection
- Memorization
- Presence
For: Tomorrow, Friday, August 28

Language Arts:
Sentence practices: 1.6, 1.7
Compound, complex and simple sentences
w/Vocab. words (1 of ea. for ea. vocab word; 27 sentences total)
Vocab words: adventure, observation, genre, perspective, idiom, tenacious, ensemble, ennui
Due: Tomorrow, Friday, August 28

Study for Ch. 2 Test
Next Tuesday
Tonight: p. 27-29, problem 2.3
Due: Tomorrow, Friday, August 28

Finish proposal
Due: Tomorrow, Friday, August 28

Social Studies:
Look through text book; Familiarize yourself
Bring book back tomorrow
Due: Tomorrow, Friday, August 28

Digging Deep and Planting our Feet

I always appreciate when things fall into place in ways that I hadn't planned.

This week was a terrific example.

First, Room 503 is now a full class of 22 students.* We are a group of 15 girls and seven boys. I am excited by the general enthusiasm and cohesiveness of our class and am in awe that we are already almost through our third week of the fall semester!

This week I introduced the phrase "Dig Deep." On Monday, I brought a shovel to class with me as a visual aid to encourage the students to think: to question, to wonder, to be curious, and then to continue to ponder, to notice more, to ask more questions, to think differently and go beyond the surface and their own comfort zones. I asked them to do this in all of their subject areas.

The big coincidence was that we began delving into archaeology in Social Studies and actually did have to dig (not too deep, as we were using shoe boxes as excavation sites)...and we had to differentiate. The students were required to hone their observation skills and determine the differences between "objective" observations and interpretations and inferences. To do this requires a great deal of time, care, patience and thoughtfulness (not to mention the employment of all of our senses), as well as curiosity and creative thinking (a good run-on sentence for a language arts teacher, eh?! I am taking creative liberties with this blog).

These skills are obviously part of life-long learning, but the benefits of beginning to hone them at the start of the school year are great. The acrostic/mnemonic poems below are examples of a few of the students' ability to meld together creative, well-thought out (and well-researched)words to describe the job of an archaeologist:



Research [and]
Happen upon
Of the underside
To understand history


And an

Besides encouraging the students to dig deep, I have become a "stricternanrian" this week (another liberty I take: creating my own lexicon) - meaning I have really cracked the whip a number of times in order to help the students understand the importance of suiting up, showing up and commiting to all of their work in class and at home. Creating good habits at the beginning of the year in terms of study/assignment work, organization and being present for all that we do in the classroom is integral to the success of each individual as well as our class as a whole.

While the students are reminded every day in Drama to plant their feet as we begin vocal and physical warm-ups, I would like to encourage them to plant their feet in firm resolve to strive to meet their personal bests on a daily basis in all that they do. Each of the students in Room 503 has something important to contribute to our classroom, to our school and to our greater community. I have no doubt that each one of them will shine if they continue to put their best foot forward one day at a time.

Wishing you all a happy, safe and restful weekend -

Ms. Nicky Pitman

*(grammar note: when using single digit numbers in writing, write out the number, i.e. "one"; when using double digits, simply write the numerical form, i.e. above, "22." - just sharing what I, myself, "dug" up this week to make sure I was using - and giving - accurate information).

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

HOMEWORK, Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Go over (and over & over) Jabberwocky
Must be completely memorized by Friday
Due: Friday, August 28

Language Arts:
Sentence practice: 1.4 & 1.5
Look up the word "tenacious"; Define in a complete sentence in your own words.
Alice, Ch. 5: "Who am I?" assignment
Complete idiom pictures (if you haven't)
Due: Tomorrow, Thursday, August 27

p. 26, prob. 2.2

Read p. 12-21
Define vocabulary words
Due: Tomorrow, Thursday, August 27

Social Studies:
Read over "The Reading Process" hand-out
(both sides)
Go over U.S. States/Capitols (hint, hint)
Edit "Archaeologist" mnemonic/acrostic (if needed)
Due: Tomorrow, Thursday, August 27

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

HOMEWORK, Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Memorize stanza 6, Jabberwocky
Due: Tomorrow, Wednesday, August 26

Language Arts:
Read Ch. 5:
Complete "idiom" picture
Bring back answers to questions from Alice Ch.'s 3 & 4
Due: Tomorrow, Wednesday, August 26

**Tutoring: Room 202
7:30-8:25 AM, Tu/Th
3:10 - 4:00 PM, Wed.
Make tables of #'s 1-30
Due: Tomorrow, Wednesday, August 26

Finish reading packet; Highlight and take notes
Due: Tomorrow, Wednesday, August 26

Social Studies:
Complete inferences and conclusion for "Shoebox Archaeologist"
(if you did not do so in class)
Archaeologist Mnemonic (acrostic poem)
Complete thoughtfully and creatively.
Due: Tomorrow, Wednesday, August 26

Monday, August 24, 2009

HOMEWORK, Monday, August 24, 2009

Memorize stanza 5, Jabberwocky

Language Arts:
Complete Ch. 3 & 4 Questions (Dig Deep!)
Complete "Word Play" hand-out: define "idiom" and give three examples.
Complete vocabulary practice: "ensemble" & "perspective"
Due: Tomorrow, Tuesday, August 25

p. 30, #2, 4, 5, 7
Due: Tomorrow, Tuesday, August 25

Read p. 4-10, define vocabulary words
Due: Tomorrow, Tuesday, August 25

Social Studies:
Complete Shoebox preparation; Be sure to number your box with the number you were given.
Due: Tomorrow, Tuesday, August 25

Friday, August 21, 2009

HOMEWORK, Friday, August 21, 2009

Memorize stanza 4, Jabberwocky
Due: Monday, August 24

Language Arts:
Look up the words "ensemble" and perspective"
Write the definitions out in your own words in COMPLETE sentences
Due: Monday, August 24

Read Ch. 3-4, Alice's Adventures in Wonderland
Due: Monday, August 24

Do page 20 #47, 48, 49.
Due: Monday, August 24

Look over Science Fair packet
Due: Monday, August 24

Social Studies:
"Hunt, gather and prepare" Shoebox
Due: Tuesday, August 25

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Week Two Musings

Drama, and Language Arts and Social Studies - oh, my (and of course, Math and Science, as well)!

We are almost through our second week of school and the students, Mrs. Hipple, Mrs. Stoyanoff and myself seem to have found a fairly good daily groove. Though we're still getting our feet wet in some areas, and experiencing a few hitches/glitches here and there (i.e. the locker situation), we all seem to be settling in to the 2009-2010 school year.

It looks like the locker situation should be remedied any day now. The lockers have been delivered and just need to be set up. I have not been given any information, but I am sure that the students should have their lockers next week. I applaud all of the students' patience with this, as I know how exciting it is to have one's own locker and a place to set up as one's own.

This week the students began reading Lewis Carroll's The Adventures of Alice in Wonderland. Prior to reading the story, the students were given some questions and prompts. Here are some of their responses:

Make a list of ten things you know for a fact:
The world is round.
TPA is in Tempe.
Abraham Lincoln was president during the Civil War.
Make a list of ten rules which you follow without hesitation:
Don't cheat.
I don't touch my dad's computers.
Never stick your finger in an electrical socket.
Adults are...
...crazy when they have Red Bull.
...annoying sometimes.
...experienced people.
Growing up is...
...the hardest part of my life.

Today, the students were given some historical background on Victorian England (the period of time when Carroll was writing). It will be interesting to see - as we read about Alice and her adventures - what, where, and how the students' thoughts will meld with Victorian views and what the students' perspectives on the story will be.

This week in Language Arts we have added a few more vocabulary words to our repertoire and delved into three different types of sentences: simple, compound and complex. The students also had the opportunity to delve into creative writing this week.

Drama work focused on two types of communication: emotions and gesture. Today we brought the two together. We are also working daily on breath work, articulation and projection. The students are in the midst of learning Lewis Carroll's poem, Jabberwocky (which they will come across again in the spring when we read Through the Looking Glass). They are memorizing the poem stanza by stanza. If you hear repetitive nonsense words floating through your house, such as "bandersnatch" and "slithy toves" worries: Your students are studying English (though some of it is a bit funny sounding).

Our focus in Social Studies this week has been Geography and next week we will spend some time exploring archaeology. We will begin our first unit of study on August 31: The Stone Age.

Please remember that you are always welcome to stop by our room and share class time with us. Just stop in at the main office and obtain a pass first and then come join us.

Bradley Spiker celebrated his birthday yesterday and I would just like to send a big thank you to Mr./Mrs. Spiker for the delicious homemade Rice Krispy Treats. They were enjoyed by all (this teacher included)!

Thanks to those of you who donated paper towels, to those who have offered their time and services for upcoming classroom help, and for keeping me abreast of what's going on with your student by way of email.

Here's to another excellent week. May you all have a happy, safe and restful weekend.


Ms. Nicky Pitman


Notice from Mr. Hallman, Headmaster
*A notice went home with your student today regarding swine flu prevention.
Thanks for being alert and helping to keep our students and our school flu-free!

Friday, August 21: Early release
Tomorrow TPA/TPJA will have an early release day.
School will end at 12:25 PM. There will be no lunch period.

HOMEWORK, Thursday, August 20, 2009

Memorize 3rd Stanza, Jabberwocky
Due: Tomorrow, Friday, August 21

Language Arts:
Go over vocabulary words and types of sentences
Read, Ch. 2: The Pool of Tears
Due: Tomorrow, Friday, August 21

Hand out #1-7 (finish plus study for your test on Ch. 1)
Due: Tomorrow, Friday, August 21

Complete back side of "Possible Science Topics"
Due: Tomorrow, Friday, August 21

Social Studies:
Go over/memorize U.S. states and capitols
Due: Tomorrow, Friday, August 21

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

HOMEWORK, Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Memorize second stanza, Jabberwocky
Due: Tomorrow, Thursday, August 20

Language Arts:
Creative writing, on Ch. 1: Down the Rabbit Hole
8 sentences - 1 page
Due: Tomorrow, Thursday, August 20

P. 16-18, #28-39
Due: Tomorrow, Thursday, August 20

Back of planning guide: Possible Topics
Due: Friday, August 21

Social Studies:
Memorize U.S. States M-Z in alphabetical order
and their capitols.
Complete longitude & latitude sheet
Due: Tomorrow, Thursday, August 20

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Science Notice from Mrs. Stoyanoff

I wanted to keep everyone up to date on the Science Fair. At TPA/TPJA, the Science Fair will be a mandatory project for all 6th and 7th grade students. Students will be using the Scientific Method to explore a specific hypothesis and will formally report all findings and conclusions. The project will span the first three quarters of the school year and will have a large impact on the students' science grades.

I have sent home the first assignment tonight, which is due tomorrow. The students are to complete the Science Fair Planning Guide and have it signed by a parent. Parent involvement is critical in a child's decision for science fair. Students must, of course, explore something approved by their parents. Additionally, students will need help and guidance, as this is an in-depth project spanning a large time span. I appreciate any assistance that you may be able to give.

Additionally, the back of the Science Planning Guide, which is slightly more detailed, will be due this Friday. Each student will be bringing home an entire Science Fair Packet by the end of the week. The Science Department has not decided on a final form as of yet, but be assured that it will be in the hands of the students no later than Friday.

I will make every effort to reinforce due dates by posting reminders on the blog.

Thank you,
Mrs. Meghan Stoyanoff


Picture Day is next Tuesday, August 25.
Today your student is bringing home information and a form to fill out.

Bradley Spiker's Birthday is tomorrow. We will be celebrating during homeroom time between 12:00-12:30 PM.

Room 503 is in need of paper towels. If you can send a roll or two with your student, it would be much appreciated.

HOMEWORK, Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Memorize the first stanza of Jabberwocky
Due: Tomorrow, Wednesday, August 19

Language Arts:
Look up definitions and write them out in your own words, in complete sentences:
Read Ch. 1: Down the Rabbit Hole
Due: Tomorrow, Wednesday, August 19

Answer questions from p.13, problem 1.3 "Finding Multiples"
Also do p. 15-16, #18-27 all
Due: Tomorrow, Wednesday, August 19

Complete Science Fair Planning Guide; get it signed
Due: Tomorrow, Wednesday, August 19

Social Studies:
Look up and list all the U.S. States M-Z, and their capitols
Due: Tomorrow, Wednesday, August 19

Begin "hunting & gathering" for "Shoebox Archaeologist"
Due: Next Tuesday, August 25

Do something nice for someone and don't get found out.
By: Tomorrow, Wednesday, August 19

Monday, August 17, 2009

HOMEWORK, Monday, August 17, 2009

Drama:No Homework this evening! : )

Language Arts:
- Read in Alice the following:
"Lewis Carroll"
"The World of Lewis Carroll" (viii-x)
Poems: "All in the golden afternoon..."; "Christmas Greetings"
*ALSO: Be sure to bring in homework that was originally due today (see Friday's blog post)
Due: Tomorrow, Tuesday, August 18

P. 15, #12-17 - ALL
Remember to copy the problem and show your work neatly. : )
Due: Tomorrow, Tuesday, August 18

Make a list of ways that you use water each day.
Estimate how much water each activity uses.
Due: Tomorrow, Tuesday, August 18

Social Studies:
- Find out who the governor of Arizona is!!!
- Find a map of the U.S.A. and make corrections on the blank map you filled in. Bring the corrections back to school.
- On a sheet of paper (neatly) write or type all that states that begin with the letters A-L (you can simply list them). Find out their capitols and write them beside them (Do NOT cut and paste!)

Friday, August 14, 2009

HOMEWORK, Friday, August 14, 2009

Memorize "Betty Botta"
Due: Monday, August 17

Language Arts:
Look up the definitions for "observation" and "genre"
Write the definitions out in complete sentences.
Due: Monday, August 17

Find and bring in book of your choice for first independent reading assignment
(Follow guidelines)
Due: Monday, August 17

Pre-Alice's Adventures in Wonderland assignment
Due: Monday, August 17

No homework this weekend

Science-Computer Experiment Paper
Be sure to put your name and Science (top right corner).
Conclusion must have 4-5 sentences
Name of the lab

Social Studies:
PICTURE THIS!: The Five Themes of Geography assignment
Due: Monday, August 17

Thursday, August 13, 2009

HOMEWORK, Thursday, August 13, 2009

Play the factor game with a student or family member. Answer questions 1.1 only on p. 9; Also: Do page 14, #1-11.
Due: Tomorrow, Friday, August 14

Type purpose, materials, and procedure for tomorrow's lab report.
Due: Tomorrow, Friday, August 14

Please Note: There is no Social Studies, Language Arts or Drama homework this evening...but there will be a good amount over the weekend. I am giving the students (and myself) an opportunity to pace ourselves.


The students are in the midst of Terra Nova testing (Standard tests) for reading, language and math. Testing will continue through Monday.

Welcome Week

School began just four days ago and while everything feels relatively new - as it should - it's been wonderful to be in a bit of routine already.

Seeing your students each morning is a real treat, and everyone of them seems to understand the importance of coming together as a community at the beginning of the school day and acknowledging the closing of each day with a bow.

Though adjusting to a new school and new friends can be tough, overall, it seems that most of the students are becoming accustomed to the routine of the daily schedule and to the expectations and flow of each of their subjects.

On the first day of school, students received a "Welcome Bag" filled with an assortment of candy and other items to remind them of some of the important things to keep in mind throughout the school year. They were as follows:

Three Musketeers Bar: "All for one, and one for all!"
A reminder that we don't do this alone - we're in it together!

Life Saver: Ask for help when you need it.
It's okay not to know: ask when you don't.

Reese's Peanut Butter Cups:
One idea is great!
Add another, and come up with something completely different.

You have the right to write.
Write well, or not so well - but keep writing!

Play-Doh: Be creative in all that you do.
Even math and science require your creative skills.

Highlighter: Find the extraordinary in the ordinary.
Notice the big and small things and how amazing they are!

Laffy Taffy: Don't take yourself too seriously.
Laugh a lot!

Much of this week has been about getting to one another, and it has given Mrs. Stoyanoff, Mrs. Hipple and myself an opportunity to begin to see what each of the students' strengths and challenges are. I appreciate the feedback I have received from all of you parents thus far. Getting to know you and your student will be an ongoing process and keeping the lines of communication open is key. I am confident that this blog is just one of the tools that help facilitate that communication.

I hope that each and everyone of you will feel comfortable contacting me with any questions or concerns you have about your student(s), and I hope that you will also share positive thoughts and experiences as well.

I raise a virtual glass to all of us - students, parents and teachers - for a terrific first week of school!

Ms. Nicky Pitman

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

HOMEWORK, Wednesday, August 12

Drama: Memorize "Take it to the Bridge"
Due: Tomorrow, Thursday, August 13

Language Arts: Sentence Hand-Out
Due: Tomorrow, Thursday, August 13

Math: Try to find someone to play the Factor Game;
Answer the questions on p. 9 (prob. 1.1, 1.2)
Write the question out or write the answer out in complete sentences.
Due: Tomorrow, Thursday, August 13

Science: Bring in a picture that represents what Science means to you.
(From a magazine, internet, etc.)
Due: Tomorrow, Thursday, August 13

Social Studies: Think like a historian/archaeologist:
Find five things in your home that would tell later historians/archaeologists about YOU>
(List them).
Find two (2) items (books, documents, coins, jewelry, pots) that would be considered primary sources (if it's a copy of a primary source, be sure to note "copy"); Find two (2) items that would be considered secondary sources. List all.
Due: Tomorrow, Thursday, August 13

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

HOMEWORK, Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Drama: Memorize "Whether the Weather"
Due: Tomorrow, Wednesday, August 12

Language Arts: Look up the definition(s) for the word "Adventure." Create the definition in your own words in [a] complete sentence(s).
Due: Tomorrow, Wednesday, August 12

Math: Read & Sign syllabus with parents.
Due: Tomorrow, Wednesday, August 12

O.T.O.: Decorate letter (to create "Truth, Beauty and Goodness")
Due: Tomorrow, Wednesday, August 12

Science: Get parent signature on form; Get specific binder (if you haven't got one already).
Due: Tomorrow, Wednesday, August 12

Social Studies:
Write a paragraph to a page about how each of the fields of social studies we discussed may impact one another.
Due: Tomorrow, Wednesday, August 12

Monday, August 10, 2009

HOMEWORK, Monday, August 10, 2009

Fill out (both sides) of the student information sheet.
Due: Tomorrow, Tuesday, August 11

Bring back all three (3) forms inside the Room 503 Parent Handbook.
Due: No later than Friday, August 14

Monday, Monday

Welcome to TPJA and congratulations to everyone - parents and students alike - on a wonderful first day!

It was a whirlwind of a day and the students were given a great deal of information. As I don't expect them to wrap their minds around all of it, I am confident that we began creating a good foundation for their sixth grade experience.

The students were given a Room 503 Parent Handbook with three forms to be filled out:
1) A form saying that the handbook was, indeed, received (a short sheet)
2) A parent information sheet
3) A permission slip to post your student's photo on this blog site.
All three forms are due back in class by Friday, August 14 (and, of course, can be turned in sooner if you like).

Please email me should you have any questions.

I am looking forward to another great day tomorrow and to a wonderful year!

Ms. Nicky Pitman

Sunday, August 9, 2009

On Your Mark, Get Set...

...and Voila: We are less than one day away from the first day of school!

Looking forward to a great first day and a wonderful year!

Ms. Nicky Pitman