Knapp Forest Elementary 6th-Grade Site

update from our student writing club

November 30, 2018


ELA Update Written by: Noah E.

Starting later this week in English language arts we will be writing drafts of our literary essays on a book we have read this year. We have been practicing locating evidence for our theories to write a claim about the short story “Scouts Honor”. You can look for these papers in your child's new literature essay packet to come home at the end of the unit with their literary essay. We have been doing this learning with our selected reading and writing partners. A literary essay is a piece of writing you examine and sometimes analyze a work of literature.

DEFINITION of a Literary Essay

In a literary essay, students engage in theory-building, claim-making, and selecting and organizing supporting evidence. Students also build fluency, flexibility, and decision-making skills in essay writing. Starting in 6th grade and progressing through 8th grade literary essay units are scaffolded by complexity of topic and types and presentation of evidence.

In 6th grade we focus on developing and proving a theory as a claim about a character, using direct quotes and paraphrased examples as evidence. Students explain evidence by focusing on key words.

As we further learn more strategies to write this essay we will continue to improve on our piece. Lastly, make sure your child is reading every night in order to meet the 40-book standard on their chart. Look forward to reading these writings before the winter break.

Science Update Written by: Marlina H.

This week in science class, we have been wrapping up our Forces and Motion unit. We have recently completed a study guide with questions concerning previous investigations, including the egg drop and the phone case constructing. We identified the different independent and dependent variables of the different tests. Then we learned about force and mass, specifically how they affect each other. To finish the week, we will have our unit test on Friday, 11-30-18.

Math Update Written by: Ava F.

This week in math, we have started our new unit titled, “Let's be Rational!” We have been dividing and multiplying fractions by fractions. We have also been using visuals to find a part of a part in a math problem for example ⅔ of ¾. Lastly, we learned two different strategies to multiply mixed numbers and fractions.

Social Studies Update Written by: Tyler E.

Recently in Social Studies, we have been starting our new unit on the land use conflict in the Amazon. We have filled out our geoterms (which are the units vocabulary words) and we have learned about six different groups that want to use the Amazon in different ways. The groups are the Native Amazonians, Rubber Tappers, Loggers, Settlers, Cattle Ranchers, and the Environmentalists. We all gained a basic knowledge of what each group wants and now we will all we be diving deeper into one specific group. We were all split up into groups of four or five and given a specific group to study. By the end of our unit, our goal is to be able to create a video in the form of a newscast about our group. Our presentation will have to include when our group moved in, what our group wants to do with the rainforest, and why it is important. Each show will have at least one anchor person, one reporter, and two interviewees. After we record the videos they will be posted on seesaw so when they are done make sure to check them out.

Upcoming Events- (Written by Alina K.)

  • Orchestra Concert, Tuesday, December 4th at 7PM @ EMS
  • Half Day on Friday, December 7th
  • Meijer Garden Holidays Around the World Field Trip, Tuesday, December 11th we will leave at 10AM and return at 1PM
  • December 14th, Music Friday
  • Winter Bowling Party, Thursday, December 20th we leave at 11AM and return at 2 PM
  • Band Concert, Tuesday, December 18th at 7PM @EMS

Scholastic Writing Contest offering for all students. This contest has sentence story starters from author Jason Reynolds, click here for more details. (Once you click on the link you will have to click on the link from the redirected page as well.)

Thank you to our Photographers, Writers and Editors (Ellison D. and James D.) for all their hard work helping us publish this week!

Here's What We've Been Up to in Math and SS this Week...

In math, we just started our unit on Let's Be Rational by looking at how brownie pans can model fraction relationships (taking a part of a part). We are focusing on modeling our mathematical understanding of situations rather than just getting the right answer and not knowing what it means in a real life scenario.

In SS, we are studying our mapping lab of Europe and Russia. Students are locating physical features and countries on a map, as well as using thematic maps to gain more information about life in that region. An answer key was emailed home if you are looking for ways to help your child study! Their test will be on Tuesday, November 20.

Here is What We've Been Working on This Week in ELA and Science...


In reader's workshop we are wrapping up our deep character study. Throughout this unit of study we have focused on building character theories, investigating how setting influences our characters, and studying character conflicts to understand motif and theme. Students will work in centers next week Monday and Tuesday to celebrate the end of this unit. After Thanksgiving break, we will move on to a writer's workshop focused on literary essays.

In science we are wrapping up our study of Forces and Motion. Students are showing their understanding of the concepts taught throughout this unit by designing mock cellphone cases that will need to withstand a crush and drop test. Students will build their cases on Monday and test them next week Tuesday. After Thanksgiving break we will analyze our data, create presentations to share the results, and have our unit test. The unit test for forces and motion will be Friday, November 30th. Look for a review guide in your child's science folder on Monday 11/26 that will help them prepare for this assessment.

Winter Weather Is Here, Please HAve your Student dress Appropriately

update from our student writing club

November 9, 2018


ELA Update Written by: Noah E.

These past couple weeks in language arts, we have been working on reading strategies to help us better understand our books. Mrs. Cook and Dr. Topolinski teach us a mini lesson and then we will discuss some examples from our read aloud to help us find examples on our own. We will often be sent off to read for about 20 minutes to complete this task. In this time, we look for the designated strategy in our books. After reading and writing, we will share our ideas with our selected partner. Some of our recent strategies have been background knowledge and individuals who influence a character in a good or bad way. We have watched videos to give us a visual of what the strategies mean in a conversation. This has really helped us identify them in our own book because it gives us a consensus of what we are looking for in our texts.

Science Update Written by: Marlina H.

This week, in science we have been working on a variety of different things. To start, last week we were focusing on the egg drop. In this investigation, we had to test three different cushions and understand how a cushion effects the magnitude of the force when the egg collides with the table. Each team of three or four would pick out of a range of cushions to test. They dropped the egg from 20 cm, 40 cm, 60 cm, and 80 cm. This was focusing on the different cushions and the difference it makes. We have also been investigating the motion of a cork in a jar (accelerometer) when we move in different directions and speeds. Then we investigated the damage of the car and van collision. Next week, we will be constructing our phone cases to answer the unit questions. Please bring in CLEAN recycled scraps for our science phone case engineering project. (egg cartons, plastic containers, styrofoam, tin can, carpet scraps, etc...)

Math Update Written by: Ava F.

This week in math, we have been continuing our work with ratios. Instead of making comparison statements, we have been turning them into fractions, decimals, and lastly, we would convert our ratios into percentages. This week, we have also taken a couple practice quizzes to prepare us for our upcoming test on ratios.

Social Studies Update Written by: Tyler E.

This past week, we have started a new unit in social studies. We have been studying five Nation-States that make up the Soviet Union. They consist of Russia, Belarus, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, and Lithuania. Each day, our student selected groups get together to study a new nation-state. We rank it from one to five, one being excellent and five being very bad. We look at qualities such as freedom index ranking, Gross Domestic Product (GDP), life expectancy and crime rate. Our main unit goal is to be able to tell what nation-state would be the best for hosting the “Geogames”, our geography Olympics. In addition, by the end of the unit, we hope that everyone can say if a high or low number in a category is good and why. For example, students will know if a high freedom index ranking is good or not and can tell why. Additionally, make sure you are studying for our upcoming Social Studies test on Friday, November 9. Our Social Studies packets are due Friday, as well so if you need to finish yours, always remember you can use the online textbook!

Upcoming Events- (Written by Alina K.)

  • TODAY!!!! November 9th Report Cards will be coming home with your child
  • November 13th and 15th Parent/Teacher Conferences
  • No School for Thanksgiving Break November 21st -25th.

Scholastic Writing Contest offering for all students. This contest has sentence story starters from author Jason Reynolds, click here for more details. (Once you click on the link you will have to click on the link from the redirected page as well.)

Thank you to our Photographers, Writers and Editors (Ellison D. and James D.) for all their hard work helping us publish this week!

Here's What We've Been Up to in Math and SS this Week...

In math, we continued our unit on Comparing Bits and Pieces by looking at comparison statements, fractions, and ratios. We have now added in finding equivalent fractions, ratios, and decimals and absolute value. We are also working on comparing rational numbers and placing them on a number line. Our next test is scheduled for Wednesday, November 14th.


In SS, we are studying the nation states that arose from the fall of the Soviet Union. We are ranking their success as independent nations by looking at a variety of economic and political factors. We will have a test over this material on Friday, 11/9.

update from our student writing club

October 26, 2018

ELA Update Written by: Noah E.

In 6th-grade language arts, we are currently working on our Paper tower CER as well as strategies to make us better readers. We recently did a challenge with a group where we build towers out of five pieces of paper and then try to stack textbooks on them within a time period. We wrote about the winning group tower as well as how they won. This was similar to our bubblegum and boat CERs. You can look for this piece on Google Classroom. Additionally, we have been working on ways to grow our reading stamina and track our reading. Each night we have brought home a sticky note, which we have used to track our pages and jot down some character traits. We can find these character traits in our own book, our read aloud and book club texts. Lastly, we have also started book clubs with our peers during intervention time. Every group is reading a different book and discusses it with their group their thoughts. We should be finished with our CER by the end of this week, so look forward to reading them.

Science Update Written by: Marlina H.

This week in science class, we have been covering a lot of different content. First, at the end of last week, we conducted an experiment called the paper tower challenge. Students had to make a paper tower that could withstand at least one textbook. During this experiment, students were teamed up each other to make a tower with five pieces of printer paper and 70 centimeters of masking tape. They had to make this tower in a total of fifteen minutes. Afterward, we conducted this experiment to see which team could have the sturdiest structure. At the starting of this week, we wrote a Claim, Evidence, and Reasoning (CER) for our paper tower challenge. Finally, we have started to look at the different things that are scientifically fair and unfair with a few videos and notes. Remember, we are still collecting recyclables for our end of the unit experiment!

Math Update Written by: Ava F.

This week, in math we have been talking about ratios. We have been making “for every” statement and investigating different ways to solve different types of ratio problems. With a brand new partner each day, we have been working in our packets. According to our math teachers, next week we will still be investigating more ratios and potentially start a new lesson.

Social Studies Update Written by: Tyler E.

This past week, we student have been learning a lot in Social Studies. We have recently been focusing on the topic of transboundary pollution, which is pollution that starts in one country and spreads to other nations. We have been taking an in-depth look at three main examples of this transboundary pollution. One of these was the incident at the Chernobyl power plant, a factory in Ukraine that exploded in 1986. This accident resulted in the spreading of high levels of radiation throughout Europe. Even though the explosion happened in Ukraine, the effects spread throughout Europe. This is a key example of transboundary pollution. The second would be the all but common acid rain in the Black Triangle. The Black Triangle is made up of Germany, Poland, and the Czech Republic. This region produces lots of acid rain due to the fact there are many factories in the area that pollute the air. Similar to the radiation from Chernobyl, the acid rain is spread to other countries when the clouds holding the toxic water move across the sky. The third and final example of transboundary pollution that we studied would be the Danube and Tisza Cyanide Spill. This catastrophe happened after an extreme storm hit in Romania. It destroyed a dam dividing a large river system and a pond of cyanide (a very harmful chemical). All of the toxic substance was spilled into the river. This then spread throughout the Danube River and became other countries problem too. We will be taking a test on transboundary pollution on Wednesday, 10-24-18. These tests will come back home graded for parents to sign. Thank you!

Upcoming Events- (Written by Alina K.)

Scholastic Writing Contest offering for all students. This contest has sentence story starters from author Jason Reynolds, click here for more details. (Once you click on the link you will have to click on the link from the redirected page as well.)

Thank you to our Photographers, Writers and Editors (Ellison D. and James D.) for all their hard work helping us publish this week!

Here's What We've Been Up to in Math and SS this Week...

In math, we just started our unit on Comparing Bits and Pieces by looking at comparison statements, fractions, and ratios. Ask your child about the chocolate bar lesson and dividing up chewy fruit worms. We are also beginning to look at unit rates and how to find equivalent fractions and ratios to represent situations.


In SS, we are studying transboundary pollution. We looked at the Chernobyl explosion, acid rain in the Black Triangle, and a cyanide spill that spread through the Danube river system. We discussed how one country's pollution can become another country's problem, especially in Europe. We looked at the cause, effects, spread, and efforts to reduce the spread of each type of pollution. We will have a test over this material on Wednesday, 10/24.

update from our student writing club

October 12, 2018

ELA Update Written by: Noah E.

This week in English language arts, we have been working on editing and revising our personal narratives. After we had all finished our rough drafts, we received papers with writing strategies, such as captivating intros, interesting conclusions, and a variety of word choice. These were used to further improve our writing, and we reflected on our drafts when we were done editing. This proved to be an excellent idea since most kids prefer going step by step when writing this kind of essay. We then preserved these strategies by gluing them into our notebooks. This Friday (10-12-18), we will be having a celebration where we share all of our personal narratives. Mrs. Cook will combine with Dr. Topolinski’s class and Mrs. Stiles will partner with Ms. Boles. Remember to take a couple minutes out of your busy schedule to sit down and enjoy sharing our personal narratives. Lastly, this upcoming week, we will start to learn more about identifying and understanding characters. To do so, we are going to begin by using some from our anchor text, but really dive into everything about. We are looking forward to that next week.

Science Update Written by: Marlina H.

This week in science class, we have been focusing on systems and models. Starting this week, we made a chart as well as a list of different models and how they relate to systems. Later in the week, we learned about the parts that make systems. This included the input and output, boundaries, and the different parts of systems. We continued by making small posters with a partner. These posters consisted of systems that the students had in their household. They had to label the different parts of the systems with help via research they did on the Chromebook.

Finally, we started to learn about recycling items that will be helpful in our "Forces and Motion" unit. With this came ways to make a system with only recycled items. The class watched a short video highlighting a book. In the book a rhino who sat on his sandwich and smashed it. We made another poster consisting of a solution to the problem: How can we prevent the rhino from sitting on the sandwich? On this poster, we had to label the input, output, boundaries and the parts of the system, just like we did with the previous system. This will wrap up the lesson of systems and models in science. Next unit, we will have forces and motion. In this unit, will be will collecting recyclable items (egg cartons, plastic containers, styrofoam, tin can, carpet scraps, etc...) to use in our project as a part of the unit challenge.

Math Update Written by: Ava F.

This week has been full of new math equations and operations to follow. Throughout the last two weeks, we have been working on equivalent expressions, the distributive property, and exponents. This week we just started working on the order of operations, also known as PEMDAS. PEMDAS is an abbreviation for Parentheses, Exponents, Multiplication, Division, Addition, and Subtraction. Next week we will be starting a new math unit where we will learn about ratios.

Social Studies Update Written by: Eduardo S. & Nick W.

Recently, we have been reviewing hemispheres in chapter 1. We have also learned about map elements, such as map keys and compass roses. Did you like those first test results? Well, we have the Chapter 2 test coming to you, completely scored, next week. Additionally, we will be skipping ahead to Chapter 16 for our next unit. We will observe pollution in Europe and how it affects other countries around the world. I hope you enjoy the test results and look forward to more news!

Upcoming Events- (Written by Tyler E.)

  • National school lunch week next week (Monday the 15th - Friday the 19th) if you get hot lunch you get a special treat with it for each day.
  • Bring in CLEAN recycled scraps for our science phone case engineering project. (egg cartons, plastic containers, styrofoam, tin can, carpet scraps, etc...)
  • October 19th music Friday
  • October 31st Halloween Parade and Party starting at 2:45PM "Costume Guidelines" link or the alternate "Harvest Party Permission Slip" link at 2:30PM

Scholastic Writing Contest offering for all students. This contest has sentence story starters from author Jason Reynolds, click here for more details. (Once you click on the link you will have to click on the link from the redirected page as well.)

Thank you to our Photographers, Writers and Editors (Ellison D. and James D.) for all their hard work helping us publish this week!


Here's What We've Been Up to in Math and SS this Week...

In math, we just finished our Prime Time unit with a focus on factors, multiples, prime factorization, GCF, LCM, equivalent expressions, the Distributive Property, and order of operations. We also recognized the application of all of these concepts to real world situations. We completed a practice test today and will be doing a final review on Monday before taking the Unit 1 math test on Tuesday 10/9.

Items to study:

  • Prime Time Focus Questions Study Guide
  • Practice Test
  • Online MathXL math problems
  • Optional online ACE problems
  • Previous Check-ups and Partner Quizzes

In SS we completed our study of map elements. You should have seen your child's test come home this week! We will be taking our Chapter 2 test over thematic maps next week Thursday 10/11.

Items to study:

  • Ch. 2 reading notes packet
  • In-class review study guide
  • Online textbook with reading quiz game

update from our student writing club

Here's What We've Been Working On This Week (9/28)

ELA Update Written by: Noah E.

In sixth grade language arts, we are learning so much already! Starting this coming week, the whole grade is going to work on personal narratives. If you do not know what this type of essay is, its literature often times written in the first person, and tends to refer to one’s life or experiences. All of the sixth-grade students will be writing their own personal narrative about Camp Henry. They could write about anything from overcoming their fear of heights on the Giant Swing to learning how to kayak or canoe. This piece will have such a variety of topics; it will easily appeal to a large span of people. Considering the fact that Camp Henry was a ton of fun, I’m sure everyone will have a very unique narrative. This will be a blast to write, as well as read for many families and students alike!

Science Update Written by: Marlina H.

This year in science class, we will talk about a number of topics, and starting this week in science class, we have been focusing on teamwork. With this, we have watched videos and talked with partners about what good and bad teamwork should look like. Soon after, we demonstrated teamwork with the marshmallow challenge. In this challenge, you would get in groups of four and each group would be provided with 20 uncooked spaghetti strands, one yard of tape, one yard of string, and one marshmallow. The goal was to be the team with the highest structure made with those items. This exercise helped the students learn what good and bad teamwork looks like. The next subject that we have started learning about is the engineering process. We started learning what all the different elements engineers have to think about when they are creating. This will come with an experiment happening later this week, building a boat to hold pennies. Learning about teamwork and the engineering process are just two of the fun things that sixth graders will be doing during this school year!

Math Update Written by: Ava F.

This week there have been tons of important math problems to form so many different math equations. There have been problems with real-life scenarios that we might actually need to use. This week and last week, we have been finding the least common multiple (LCM) in math by using real-life problems. For example, we tried to figure out when a big Ferris wheel and a small Ferris wheel would both meet at the bottom at the same time. We also tried to find the greatest common factor (GCF) by dividing supplies to make snack bags for a hiking trip. We also worked on prime factorization to find the longest factor string. Besides just working on problems, we played the factor and product game. According to math teachers, next week we will be solving equivalent expressions as well as looking at the distributive property.

Social Studies Update Written by: Eduardo S. & Ellison D.

There is much going on in social studies right now. We have recently finished chapter one in class, which was mainly about map features and geoterms, such as distortion, map scales, and more. We have taken the test, as well. Want the results? Your child will be taking them home next week. We are already starting Chapter two, and are currently working on making a promotional advertisement for a place that is near and dear to our hearts. They are looking great already! Adding to our busy schedule, we are beginning to make our own thematic maps in Gemini. We have been having a lot of fun in Social Studies this month, and it is looking like we are not done, yet!

Upcoming Events-

  • October 1st music fundraiser forms are due
  • October 5th Halk Walk
  • October 5th music Friday

GIRLS ONLY, STEM activity at Ferris State University in Grand Rapids on Saturday, October 6th from 9:30-12:30. See Flyer for more information.

Scholastic Writing Contest offering for all students. This contest has sentence story starters from author Jason Reynolds, click here for more details. (Once you click on the link you will have to click on the link from the redirected page as well.)

Thank you to our Photographers, Writers and Editors (Ellison D. and James D.) for all their hard work helping us publish this week!

Here's What We've Been Up to in ELA and Science this Week...

In ELA we have been learning the structure of a workshop model and the important skills required in becoming a thriving independent reader. We have modeled and practiced skills such as picking a just right book, strategies for interacting with our text, ways we can refocus ourselves if we get distracted in our reading, and the ability to make inferences.

We continue to build our independent reading stamina and look forward to our next unit where we will be writing Personal Narratives.

In science we have discussed the similarities and differences between the Scientific Method and the Cycle of Inquiry. Through a variety of team building activities we have discovered the keys to successful collaboration and are using those skills to participate in STEM challenges such as the Marshmallow and Design A Boat Challenge.

We will continue to practice our designed thinking skills in our upcoming science unit about Forces and Motion.

Coming Next Friday 9/28 Student Written Articles and PHotos

Upcoming Events:

  • Picture Day-Monday, September 24th
  • Half Day of School- Friday, September 28th
  • Next Music Friday- October 5th
  • Hawk Walk- October 5th

Camp Henry Final Reminder

Departure Time: 9:00 a.m.on Wednesday, September 12, from Knapp Forest

Return Time: 2:00 p.m. on Friday, September 14, to Knapp Forest

***You may sign your child out and take them home at this time.***

Camp Henry Address: 5575 Gordon Ave, Newaygo, MI 49337

In Case of Emergency: Call Camp Henry at 616-459-2267 or 231-652-6472

Suggested Packing List: Please watch the weather forecast carefully before packing. A duffel bag or small suitcase works well to pack belongings in. We also suggest using large plastic garbage bags because they help to keep items clean and are easy to label for quick identification of belongings.

Bedding - Sleeping bag (preferred) or sheets/blankets

Pillow and case

Bathroom Articles - Towel/Washcloth

Soap/Shampoo

Toothbrush/Toothpaste

(They do have showers within the cabins.)

Clothing - Sweatshirt or sweater

Jeans or long pants

Shorts (be sure they meet school length requirements)

Tennis shoes, boots, or hiking shoes (shoes will get dirty)

Pajamas

Bathing Suit (one piece or tankini)

Raincoat/Poncho

Socks and Underwear

Shirts

Optional Items - Flashlight

Bug Spray

Sunscreen

Hat

PLEASE LEAVE ALL VALUABLES, MONEY, AND ELECTRONICS AT HOME. OUR SIXTH GRADERS WILL BE BUSY WITH ACTIVITIES AND WILL NOT HAVE TIME TO USE THESE ITEMS NOR WILL THEY BE SECURE IN OUR CABINS.

Camp Henry!

There will be a parent information meeting for Camp Henry on Wednesday, September 5, 2018 from 5:00-6:00p.m. Here are the camp release forms for both your child and any parent volunteer who will be attending camp with us! If you need an additional copy of these forms- please download the links below and send them in with your child.


Camp Release for Over 18
Camp Release form Under 18.pdf
MedicalAuthorizationForm.pdf

Upcoming Science Opportunity

Energizing Our World Saturday is a one-day camp program designed to introduce students currently in grades 6th through 8th to the power of sustainable energy and its applications to various fields.

The camp will be held at GVSU’s Allendale Campus on Saturday, October 20, 2018 from 8:00 am – 3:00 pm. The cost of the camp is $10 and includes a t-shirt, lunch, and snacks.

Students will participate in a large group introduction followed by breakout sessions providing them with opportunities to interact with solar, wind, hydro power energy, and much more! Content of the event is targeted at students who have not attended previously.

For more information visit the website. The registration will be open soon and spots are limited. For information on financial assistance, please call 616-331-2267.