Friday, 30 August 2013 10:49

Mrs. Rodine's Newsletter

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8th Grade Reading - Rodine

Our year is off to a fantastic start!  What a fun group of young people!  Our first novel for the year is Lord of the Flies by William Golding.  It is a great book to start with, as it lends itself well to study of literary elements such as characterization, personification, foreshadowing, and descriptive text.  The book will give us the opportunity for discussion of such themes as friendship, survival, and the question of good and evil in the human heart. If you would like to borrow an extra copy of the book to read along with your student, I have some copies available.  We will also work on improving our reading fluency, accuracy, expression and comprehension all year, as well as working on vocabulary skills within our text. 

AR goals have been set.   Your student can log on to Renaissance Place at any time to see their goals for the first trimester.  Reaching their AR goal will count as 1 quiz score on their first trimester grade. 


6th Grade Reading - Rodine

I am very excited to be teaching this class this year, not only because the kids have been great, but also because we have a new Reading series, Journeys, which we are implementing this year.  You should have received a letter from me about the Think Central website.  Think Central gives your child access to the textbook online.   It is not going to be used for posting Reading grades.   It is a tool to help your child with organization if needed, and the online text offers lots of comprehension aids that may assist your students with more difficult reading pieces if necessary.  We have looked at many of the online features in class, and the students are excited by all it can do!   However, all assignments and assessments that your child will have for Reading class will be done pencil/paper or on the I Pads in class - a computer or internet access at home is not required.   Lesson #1 will begin next Tuesday, and we are planning to pace ourselves at one lesson per week.  That means that your child will most likely have review and assessment days on Mondays.   All thematic tests at the end of the each lesson are short, but please keep these in mind over the weekend.  I do not typically want kids to have homework over weekends, but having them read their AR books, and a quick review (using their textbook or Think Central) of the stories from the previous week’s lesson would be very beneficial.

AR goals will be set soon.  Once all of our I Pad-Technology contracts are in, we will take the STAR Reading assessment on the I Pads to set their reading levels and goals.  But your student doesn’t need to wait to know what their goal is!  They should be reading now so that they can start taking AR tests soon!


5th Grade Guidance

5th grade is starting the year with Guidance for the first trimester.  The purpose is to give them assistance right away so that they start middle school off on the right foot.   We have started by learning about how to set realistic, specific, and purposeful goals for this school year.   Next we will determine the steps needed to reach these goals, as well as predict possible pitfalls that may arise, as well as people that can offer assistance along the way.  Then we will move into focusing on good study skills, time management, and test taking strategies before Iowa Assessments.  We will also work on interpersonal skills, because their friendships and relationships with their peers have a strong influence on their learning at school.


6th Grade Guidance

6th grade will also be having Guidance during the first trimester.  We have started the year by learning about perspectives, and how to use empathy skills to understand others’ perspectives, as well as strategies to avoid making assumptions about what people are thinking or feeling.  We really want to help these students, who now have a year of middle school under their belts, to be examples of caring, respectful, forgiving people.  We will also review test taking strategies, as well as having lessons on drug awareness and peer pressure when we get closer to Red Ribbon Week.


** In the next couple weeks we will be talking with middle school students about elections for the House Council (Student Council).  If your child is interested in running for and officer position or class representative there will be a form for you to sign, telling us you are aware that your child is running for HC, and has your permission to do so.  The first House Council meeting is set for Wednesday, October 9th, from 3:30-4:00. 


After all these years, I still feel the same excitement when a new year begins.  I hope you and your child(ren) feel the same.  If you have any questions, please contact me via email at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. 


God Bless, Mrs. Rodine

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