Room 210 Homeroom

Meet Mr. Blaszko

Hello! I have been at Armstrong School for several years. I wasn't originally a teacher and after working 20 years in the corporate world, I decided to change my career. My original degree from Western Illinois University was a Bachelor of Business. So, in 2002, I went back to school and graduated with a Masters in Education from Roosevelt University in 2004. I began my teaching career at Armstrong and decided to obtain another masters degree. In 2009, I graduated from NIU with a Masters in Literacy Education with an emphasis in English Language Learning. I enjoy teaching and always continue to educate myself by reading and attending staff development and workshops. In fact, I completed my third Master's degree in Educational Leadership from the American College of Education. Education is important and it's one thing that people cannot take away from you.

I am happily married to my wife, Marilou, and we have three children. I also have four grandchildren. I live in Schaumburg so you just might see me at your favorite store or restaurant. I like to collect lighthouses especially for the lighthouses that I have visited. I like to garden, travel and relax on vacations too.

Classroom Procedures


Strikes are violations against our mutually agreed-upon classroom and school rules. When a student violates a rule or does not complete his or her homework for the day, the teacher records a “strike” on a chart in the classroom. Each student could record up to three strikes per day. The third strike will result in a phone call home to the parent. If a student does not complete his or her homework and receives a strike, they may have to complete the homework while the rest of the class is at recess or during homework club.

PBIS Stamps:

Each full week of school is worth 5 stamps on the students' PBIS card. For each day the student remains “strike free” they are rewarded one stamp given to them on a weekly basis. No stamps will be given for days a child is absent. PBIS Stamp Cards are collected and are spent at the PBIS store. Students should write his/her name on each stamp card because these cards become part of an all-school drawing for fun gifts.


Most times, we take bathroom breaks to give an opportunity for all students to use the washroom facilities. Unless there is an emergency, students are NOT allowed to go to the bathroom during lessons. When there is seat work and independent/team time, students may then be excused to use the bathroom. If there is excessive emergency use of the bathroom, a note from home explaining the reason for the excessive use of the bathroom may be needed.


Politeness is among one of our rules. Therefore, manners will be stressed in the classroom by saying “Please,” “Thank You” and “You’re Welcome” to fellow classmates. Therefore, rudeness, name calling, bullying, and speaking out of turn will NOT be tolerated by anyone in the classroom.

Homework and Grading Policy

To help set a routine, establish communication between school and home and to develop responsibility and good study skills, the children will be bringing home their Take Home Folder. Please make sure to take the time to look in the folder and discuss the assignments with your child. This will help to keep you updated on homework, what is due back at school, supplies needed, events happening at school, and anything important about your child and his/her school day. As a suggestion, establishing a designated location for the Take Home Folder to be placed each evening may be beneficial. Setting up a quiet place and a normal routine would be beneficial for the children to complete their homework quickly and to the best of their ability. Work out the best routine with your child.

Homework Policy:

Homework is important because it is a valuable aid in helping students to make the most of their experience in school. Homework is given because it is useful in reinforcing what has been learned in class, prepares student for upcoming lessons, teaches responsibility, and helps students develop positive study habits. Homework will usually be assigned Monday through Friday nights. Occasionally, homework will need to be completed over the weekend such as working on projects, studying for tests, and finishing class work that was not finished during class time.

Students are expected to write down their homework assignments, to do their best on their homework, and to turn in neat work. Students are expected to do the work on their own and only ask for help after they have given it their best effort. All assignments are expected to be the student’s best work and to be turned in on time.

Parents are asked to make homework a priority, provide necessary supplies and a quiet homework environment, set a daily homework routine, provide praise and support, not let children avoid homework, and contact the teacher when a problem is noticed.

Grading Scale:

90-100 A

80-89 B

70-79 C

60-69 D

59-below F

6th Grade Curriculum


Our literacy series is from Benchmark Education Company called Benchmark Universe. The 10-Unit series focuses on Read-Aloud, Shared Reading and Guided Reading, Independent Reading, Word Study, and Writing Workshop.

The components of a balanced literacy approach include the following:

  • Read-Aloud—Teachers read and model; students listen

  • Shared Reading—Whole group reading, shared reading booklet; selections from content area texts or supplementary resources; teacher reads and students follow along

  • Guided Reading—Small groups read based on common reading level or shared need; students practice using reading strategies

  • Independent Reading—Students demonstrate reading strategies and reflect on their reading.

  • Word Study—Embedded in other subject areas looking at words within context to identify meaning including study of roots and affixes.

  • Writing Workshop—Work on various essay formats: argumentative, narrative, and informational/expository; mini-lessons taught based on grade level expectations as well as student need. Writing is embedded in all subject areas too. Writing is responding to the text that is read.


District 54’s program aligned with our Essential Outcomes is an engaging and interactive approach to covering the Common Core State Standards. The Student Edition is a Write-In workbook that ensure appropriate levels of depth and rigor through the development of the

**Students switch for math class, please check with your student which math teacher they have when asking questions or contacting the teacher.

Mathematical Practices.

  • Make sense of problems and persevere in solving them.

  • Reason abstractly and quantitatively.

  • Construct viable arguments and critique the reasoning of others.

  • Model with mathematics.

  • Use appropriate tools strategically.

  • Attend to precision.

  • Look for and make use of structure.

  • Look for and express regularity in repeated reasoning.


Inquiry-based program* that allows children to experiment and investigate using scientific method. Units include:

  • Matter and Energy in Organisms and Ecosystems

  • Interdependent Relationships in Ecosystems

  • Earth’s Systems

  • Weather and Climate

  • Engineering Design (PLTW)

  • Health

*Students will rotate through these 6-week units throughout the year with a 6th grade teacher teaching two subject matters each trimester for about 13 weeks.

Social Science/Ancient Civilizations

Through the study of Ancient Civilizations students will…

  • Identify roles played by citizens (examples: voters, jurors, taxpayers, military, protesters, and office holders).

  • Describe the origins, purposes, and impact of constitutions, laws, treaties, and international agreements.

  • Compare the means by which individuals and groups change societies, promote the common good, and protect rights.

  • Explain why standards of living increase as productivity improves.

  • Analyze the role of innovation and entrepreneurship in a market economy.

  • Analyze the relationship between skills, education, jobs, and income.

  • Use geographic representations (maps, photographs, satellite images, etc.) to explain the relationships between the locations (places and regions) and changes in their environment.

  • Identify how cultural and environmental characteristics vary among regions of the world.

  • Classify series of historical events and developments as examples of change and/or continuity.

Lunch and Snack Time

Our lunchtime including recess is scheduled from 12:00 to 12:45 PM which is really about the midpoint of the school day. Yet, students may bring a healthy and quiet snack that is eaten mid-morning. The snacks must be placed in the student’s desk each morning before we begin the school day. Because snacks may be eaten during teaching time, students are NOT allowed to return to their lunch boxes or backpacks during snack time. Students are not allowed to transition with their snacks, the snacks must be eaten in their homeroom. Although it is important for each child to have a nutritional snack in the morning, students are not allowed to share and/or supply another child’s snack. You must send your child with his/her own snack.

Snacks must be nutritional. Candy bars, potato chips, snack cakes like Twinkies, and other “junk food” will not be allowed. If you choose to send a snack with your child, please send it in a paper bag with their name on it or include it in their lunchbox, indicating which food is the snack. Listed below are a few ideas for a nutritional snack to send with your child:

Fruit (fresh or dried): apples, grapes, bananas, cantaloupe, melon, raisins. Vegetables: pickles, celery, carrots. Other snacks: popcorn, unsweetened cereal, cheese, crackers, graham crackers, yogurt m pretzels, animal crackers, goldfish.

PLEASE NO DRINKS during snack times. Water bottles are allowed during the school day. The bottles MUST contain only clear water and be able to be closed to avoid spilling.