5th to 6th Language Arts

Welcome to 5th to 6th grade Language Arts! In this class you will learn to write clearly and to think and respond to what you read. If you work hard, you will succeed!  Blank form for  reading-log

November 30th:


We are growing into stronger readers as we learn how to use all we know to read well and interpret texts. Today, we focused on how characters have problems. Usually there are moments in the story when something related to that problem shifts.

Discussion questions:

  • Name the problem a character is facing. What lessons does the character learn from the problem they are facing?
  • Describe a moment when the character realizes something related to that problem.
  • What life lesson (theme) does the author seem to be writing about? When does the main character realize this life lesson? Give an example of a moment from the story.


  1. Notice your own patterns of reading
  2. Keep a 2nd quarter reading log in our class notebook.
  3. Read 50 pages or 5 chapters in your class notebook. (or farther if you agreed to with your book group.)
  4. Fill out a journal entry in the Challenges Tab of the class notebook. Write at least a paragraph; write more to give examples from the story and what you think about the character’s problems.
  5. Vocabulary:

    1. revoked
    2. respond
    3. Related

    Please put these in the Vocabulary tab in your personal section of our notebook.


November 6th:

What to do during Conference Week:


We are finishing out personal narratives. Please follow these directions to finish yours by Thursday, Nov. 9th, so we can publish our stories together in a class book! You can find these directions in our 5th & 6th Language Arts class notebook.

Reading:  Challenges Unit

Read your challenges novel. Use the book mark to stay on schedule, and to remind yourself to deepen how you read. Add stickie notes or write about the details your are noticing.

When we return: bring back your Challenges novel, and your bookmark. If you’d like to come to school this week to choose a second book to read, please do!

October 19th:

Update for tomorrow, October 26th:

Last week, we worked on elaboration in our writing. Students chose a section where they could elaborate using these strategies:

Strategies for Elaborating on Important Parts:

  • Slow down the action, telling it bit-by-bit
  • Add dialogue
  • Give details
  • Show small actions
  • Add internal thinking

Next class period, we will be editing our writing. Please bring your personal narrative to look over with a peer in class.


We’re starting Book Clubs with the theme of “Challenges”. Each student chose a book from our class set that examines challenges we face in our lives.

Read 5 chapters or 50 pages.

Bring the book back every week to use in class, even if you finish it! You will need it in class to look for examples in the text.

October 12th:

Writing Workshop:

Did you know that your personal narrative is really a story with a story arc? Today we worked on identifying the main character, setting, problem, and rising action of your personal narrative by drawing a story arc in our class notebook.

Reading Workshop:New Unit – challenges

Identifying Theme – can you identify the theme of challenges in a text and give evidence from the story to support your idea? We practiced on the story, “Fly Away Home” by Eve Bunting, and then on a variety of poems in small discussion groups.

Parents – Questions to ask:

Summarize – Can you give me a quick retelling of the plot of the story “Fly Away Home”?

Identify a main idea – What is the author telling us about homelessness and family in this particular story?

Identify a theme – What’s a universal theme you see in this story?


Writing – finish your story arc in the class notebook. Which part of the story seems the most important? Next week, we will rewrite the most important part of the story to emphasize it.

Reading – three vocabulary words – you can find them in the class notebook. If you have trouble opening the class notebook, please email Mrs. Schutte.

Next week, every student will choose a chapter book to read as part of our “Challenges” unit. If you are in the middle of a book now, read – read – read to finish or get to a good pause point in the story.

October 5th:

We are learning about Universal ThemesWhat’s your story really about?

Homework: Write your whole story, beginning, middle, and end for your first real draft of your personal narrative. We will begin revising next week in class. You can write it by hand or type it in Microsoft Word.

September 28th, 2017:

Alert: next week we will finish taking the Reading MAP assessment. Many students still have a ways to read. If they do not finish, a makeup day will be held on Friday, October 6th.

Writer’s Workshop: Students all evaluated their ideas for a personal narrative. Mr. Schutte made a surprise visit to tell about an engaging, significant memory for their family when they picked up their first puppy.

Two targets: I can raise my level of writing by “showing, not telling”. This helps me place the reader inside my story, like it’s a movie.

I can choose an engaging moment to write about in my personal narrative.

We will begin the writing process next week, and work on these essays over the month of October.

Homework, Due October 5th:

  1. Read, read, read! At least 120 minutes this week.
  2. Write out three new vocabulary words. They are now in the Language ARts class notebook, or you can write them on a piece of paper. The words are: engage, infer, genre
  3. Decide on the memory moment for your personal narrative, for sure. No switching after this week.

September 21, 2017:

Alert: next week we will really be taking the Reading MAP assessment – the site wasn’t working this week.

Writer’s Workshop: we shared our fast drafts with partners, and also listened to a selection named, “Stray” by Cynthia Rylant. Her writing made us feel as if we were right in the story, which is our goal in our own narrative writing. We also brainstormed a list of favorite places, because sometimes that can help you think of a good memory to use for a narrative.

Homework, due September 28th:

  1. Read a lot! at least 120 minutes for the week. Write down the title of the book, the author, and how many pages you read.
  2. Write a fast draft. Choose one your favorite places. Write about something significant that happened there for 15 minutes. Tell the story as if you are reliving the event, and it’s playing like a movie in your head. Start at the beginning, then tell the middle, then what happened at the end. You can write this out all at once, or in 5 minute sessions. Be careful – don’t try to judge this event to see if it’s good, or you’ll discard all your ideas. Try it out by writing about it. Don’t worry about punctuation, spelling, etc. We are “Pre-Writing” to find a good narrative idea.
  3. Fill out your vocabulary page handed out in class. We will eventually be doing this on a computer – but for now, you can hand-write or type your work. Lost paper? Ask for one when you are here on campus this Tuesday.



For September 14, 2017:

Alert: next week we will be taking the Reading MAP assessment in class.

We are learning how to be readers and writers in our class. Our class had two parts – A Writer’s Work session and a “set up your device” session. Writer’s Work: We are on the hunt for a good topic for our narrative essay. We are learning how to find a worthy topic that is substantial and interesting. One strategy is to list some “firsts”, “Lasts”, and favorite people in our lives.


  • Write a fast draft. Choose one of the firsts or lasts on your list. Write about it for 15 minutes. Tell the story as if you are reliving the event, and it’s playing like a movie in your head. Start at the beginning, then tell the middle, then what happened at the end. You can write this out all at once, or in 5 minute sessions. Be careful – don’t try to judge this event to see if it’s good, or you’ll discard all your ideas. Try it out by writing about it. Don’t worry about punctuation, spelling, etc. We are “Pre-Writing” to find a good narrative idea.
  • Read for 120 minutes. Record the title of the book and the author.
  • Bring a book to read silently in class.
  • Here’s an example of a fast draft:

    This describes the first time we had a puppy.



Older Posts – From 2016-2017 School Year.

For June 15th:

Please bring:

  1. Your Hoot Book to turn in
  2. Your paragraphs or essay about National Parks.
    1. This could be one, three, or five paragraphs, depending on your own level.
    2. You don’t have to print it out – you can share it with Mrs. Schutte, or print it out at school.
    3. We will read a selection and discuss our claims and evidence in class.
  3. Ms. Kirsten is coming for our Summer Book Kick-off. No book check out, though
  4. No new vocabulary or reading logs, but you can catch up on your past words and logs.

Don’t forget: Drama plays Wednesday and Thursday nights – 6:30

PARADE Family Picnic – Friday, 10:30, Tolt McDonald Park

June 1st:

We’re writing, writing, writing! Our five paragraph essay on overcrowding in National Parks is our last project.


Look in the Class Notebook for examples and ideas.

Write Body paragraph 2 and 3.

No more reading log.

No new vocabulary words. But we will play some games with our words for the year.

Don’t write the introduction or the conclusion yet. We’re going to do this in class next week.


May 18th:

We discussed the words “law-abiding” and how this word applies to the book Hoot.  As usual, we don’t all agree! Good topic to discuss with your family. 🙂

Also – see the full list of books Ms. Kirsten book talked in the 5 6 LA Class notebook – Content Library!

We also are learning how to organize notes we’ve collected into an outline for an essay. It isn’t easy. If you are having trouble figuring it out, you can copy Mrs. Schutte’s paragraph groups. This might make it easier for you as we learn to write the body paragraphs.

It doesn’t matter where you type yours, or if you write it by hand. What matters is that you’ve been thinking about the examples you want to use to support your claim, and tried to put the ones that are similar in a group.

Homework: Due May 25th

  1. Work on your Essay Planner. Write or type it. Bring it to class.
  2. Read Hoot, chapters 14-17.
  3. Three vocabulary words: endangered species, rehabilitation, sustainable = in the Class Notebook!

May 11th:

Congratulations on another successful Skype National Park Ranger Interview. We learned a lot!

Check the LA Classnote book to look at the homework due for May 18th.

Homework, Due May 18th:

Organize Your National Parks Essay

The link is working in the Class Notebook!! Use the Organize Your Essay page to help you organize your evidence and notes. Don’t write the essay yet.

Read Hoot, chapters 10 – 13

You can always look at the reading schedule on the second page of this unit.

Fill in 3 vocabulary words

law-abiding, burrow, jurisdiction

Reading Log

You can make your own table in your personal section of this notebook for your reading log, or you can keep using your paper & pencil way.

Ms. Kirsten is coming to visit!

Bring your library card. Or type in the number right here so you’ll have it in class!

May 4th:

SBAC Math testing happened today. If you missed it, please contact Ms. Stephanie to make it up.

During our next class on May 11th, another Skype interview – Yellowstone National Park Ranger.

Be Ready: Find Yellowstone National Park on a map.

  • What state(s) is it in?
  • What famous tourist attractions are in Yellowstone? Look up some photos of tourists and animals in Yellowstone. Do you think there are more visitors to Yellowstone National Park or to Joshua Tree?
  • Are there any animals that are flourishing or experiencing hardships due to tourists in the park? What can you find out about them?


  1. Hoot! Keep reading – see the reading schedule in the LA Class Notebook.

    Read chapters 5 – 9.

  2. Reading Log: You can write this on paper, or in your personal section of the Class Notebook
  3. Did you write a paragraph with a claim last week? If not, write it this week.
  4. Catch up on your vocabulary!!
  5. Write some more questions for our next interview – this week – with a Yellowstone National Park ranger.

April 27th:

During our class, we interviewed Ranger Karen, from Joshua Tree National Park. Our class did an outstanding job of listening, speaking, and asking questions.

The interview notes, some of the actual Skype session, and our homework for next week is all in the Class Notebook. Please open it through the Office 365 portal to see what the homework is and to complete your pages.

Need help? stop by after school tomorrow and Mrs. Schutte will help you find the LA class Notebook.

Smarter Balanced Testing!! This week!!

Tuesday:  Smarter Balanced Testing – Math Performance Task – 9:15 to 12:00 noon.

Thursday: Smarter Balanced Testing – Math Computer Adaptive Test – 9:15 to 12:00 noon.

Please come on both days! If you can’t come, please contact Ms. Stephanie Foley to arrange a make up session.

Bring: a good attitude and a lot of grit! To figure out the Performance Task usually takes a couple hours. Only four questions, but it’s a lot to figure out!

Bring: a book to read when you are finished.

There will be regular classes in the afternoon on both days.

April 20th:

New quarter, new unit of study! Our guiding question is:

Are there too many visitors to National Parks? Should there be limits?

Over the next few months, we will be reading a novel with an environmental impact theme, reading about National Parks and issues, and inviting guest speakers in to our classroom to hear their perspective. During this process, we will collect notes in order to write an argumentative essay to answer this question.

Homework this week:

  • Keep a Reading Log
  • Complete 3 vocabulary words in our Class Notebook
  • Read the article in our Super Science magazine about the National Parks and take notes. Do this in the class notebook.
  • Find the Joshua Tree National Park on a map. We are talking with a park ranger there next week at 11:00 am.

March 23rd:

Next week is Journal Reading Day! Please bring:

  • Your finished journal
  • an item of clothing from the period if you can find it
  • a snack to share if you’d like
  • Invite your families to come and listen.
  • See the Journal reading invite 2017 here!

March 16, 2017:

We are starting to use our 5th 6th Language Arts Class Notebook for some of our work. Please look in the Class Notebook to see a full description of our homework.

  1. Read 50 pages/5 more chapters in your historical novel.
  2. Keep a reading log.
  3. Work on your Journal Story Plot planner
  4. Write Journal Entry #4 & #5 – rough draft
  5. Start copying or printing your finished Journal entries into your real immigrant journal.

March 9, 2017:

We are starting to use our 5th 6th Language Arts Class Notebook for some of our work. Please look in the Class Notebook to see a full description of our homework.

  1. Read 50 pages/5 more chapters in your historical novel
    1. Keep a reading log.
    2. Work on your Journal Story Plot planner
    3. Write Journal Entry #2 & #3 – rough draft
    4. Start copying or printing your finished Journal entries into your real immigrant journal.
    5. Begin working on the cover of the journal.

    How do I find the Office 365 class notebook?


    1. 1. Go to the link on the front of the Riverview Learning Center webpage: Office 365 log in.


    1. type in student’s user name & password:

    User name:  schuttec@rsd407.org

    Password: Cs903871


    1. Once you’ve logged in, go to OneDrive.
    2. Choose “Shared with me”
    3. Choose the 5th & 6th LA Class Notebook
    4. Find your student’s personal section “Third Quarter”.

Feb. 23rd, 2017:

Thank you to everyone who turned in their Performance Task essay on Marine Debris. I can’t wait to score them. If you forgot, you can still turn them.

Immigration Unit: 1850’s to 1940’s

We started our historical fiction unit on immigration. Everyone looked up the exact setting in their book; we also looked in a World History Atlas to see what was going on in the world during that time. We started using a CLASS NOTEBOOK for Language Arts. This is an Office 365 tool that we will be using to organize our learning and homework.


  1. Reading Log. Always. 🙂
  2. Read 50 more pages or 5 more chapters (total: 100 pages or 10 chapters) in your historical fiction immigration book.
  3. Log in to Office 365 and open the Class Notebook. Go to the RLC website for the link to log in, or type this into a browser:  portal.office.com
  4. Do you need your password? Email Mrs. Schutte.
  5. Find your own section to work in.
  6. Open the Scholastic Immigration website. Use the link in the class notebook. Collect five facts that interest you. Type them into your Class notebook.
  7. Think about the immigrant journal you will be writing. What country will the main character be from? What name would be appropriate for someone from that country during the 1850’s to 1920’s?
  8. Show the yellow direction papers to your parents so they know what’s going on.

Feb. 9th, 2017:

We enjoyed several book talks from peers today! Ms. Kirsten also joined us, suggesting several books on the Mt. Readmore lists – which means we have two copies floating around our building for you to check out and read! You will find most of these in the bookcases by the front desk. We started Performance Task #2. This is a district writing project that I, Mrs. Schutte, find really helpful, because I take your papers and compare them to others in the same grade level to see what we need to focus on next. I can also share this with families so you can be aware, too.


  • Keep a Reading Log. Read books of your own choosing. Next week you will choose a historical fiction book from the 1850’s in the US.
  • Read the Fact Sheet and “Poster” about Marine Debris. Take notes – with examples – on both of them. Bring all of this back to class next Thursday. We will use them to write an essay in class.
  • Here is a link to the video on Marine Debris in case you want to watch it again for more notes.
  • No vocabulary this week, but look look look for your vocabulary book and bring it back. we will use them next week. And don’t forget the quiz!!!

Due February 9th:

Book talk #2: Choose any book you’ve read in the last year or so that you want to recommend for your classmates. Use the book talk form to get ready to present a book talk to your classmates this Thursday. Especially work on your “hook” to engage us in the book talk!

 Don’t forget – we’re having a vocabulary quiz over your ten words. Please also fill out a reading log!

January 19th, 2017:

Have you finished your Reading and Math MAP tests? Three sessions you can come to:

  • Tuesday, Jan. 24th, 9:15 am (in class to finish Math) until 10:30 am
  • Wednesday, Jan. 25th, 1:15 pm
  • Friday, Jan. 27th, 9:15 am.

We are almost finished with our study of the book Icefall. This week, please pick a project to show some of the literary elements you’ve studied.


  • Finish reading Icefall
  • Begin to study your 10 vocabulary words. The test will be our first class in February.
  • Add these two vocabulary words: monument and analyze
  • Choose and complete an Icefall book project. Look on the blue paper for project choices as we discussed in class. Remember to pick a project that fits the time you and your family have this week.
  • If you lost your blue paper, please email Mrs. Schutte.

January 12th, 2017:

Most of us finished up MAP testing for READING. If you didn’t finish, there is a make up session scheduled for Friday, Jan. 20th, from 9:00 to 11:00 am.


  • Finish reading Icefall.
  • Use the Story Mountain Homework for Icefall the elements of the story Icefall.
  • After you fill out the story map, use some sticky notes or book marks to prepare for Literature Circle tomorrow. Bring your book and your notes so you will be ready to share in your group.
  • Reading Log, as always.
  • No vocabulary this week.

January 5th, 2017:

In the story Icefall, the setting and the weather acts as another character in the story. Our lesson today focused on Visualization, which is a strategy good writers and readers use to bring the setting alive in a story. In class, Mrs. Schutte read a passage out loud while everyone listened. We created a mental image of the scene, using the words from the text and our background knowledge. We discussed what came to our minds, and then we sketched the scene using colored pencils. After that, we filled in the sentences stems to describe with words what we visualized.

Homework this week:

  1. Read through chapter 20 in Icefall.
  2. Choose your own passage from chapters 15 to 20 that you can visualize.
  3. Use the handout to write/type your passage.
  4. Sketch your image on one side of the paper. A copy was given out in class, or you can find it shared with you in your O365 account. I think you can type in this version, but save a copy to your own OneDrive first.
  5. Write with words to answer the sentence stems on the other side of the paper.
  6. Bring your paper and book back to class next week.
  7. Vocabulary words: potent and connotation

  8. MAP testing next week! Math on Tuesday, Reading on Thursday. Come both days if you can!!

December 8th, 2016:

Icefall is a book worth talking about – we discussed what we thought might happen, what event we wished had NOT happened…and the point of view of the story.

Homework this week:

  1. Read through ch. 10 in Icefall
  2. Answer the reading response question on the sticker in your planner. Write a short paragraph using full sentences. Refer to the text with your answer.
  3. Complete two vocabulary words – skald and prodigiously
  4. Study the Viking Handout about Life on the Farm. Be ready to write a paragraph about this when you come on December 15th.

December 1st, 2016:

We had some great book suggestions today – see the list on the front page of our Class blog!

In addition to hearing about several book favorites, we also are starting a new unit: Vikings. To start it off, all students are reading the book Icefall by Matthew Kirby, which was checked out to them in class. PAX audio files: I am trying to locate audio files for each chapter of PAX. Various teachers from around the globe have been recording them – as I find each file, I am saving it in a shared file called 5 6 LA Student ShareTo find it:

  1. please log into your Office 365 account. 
  2. Choose One Drive
  3. Choose Shared with Me
  4. Choose 5 6 LA Student Share


Look in your agenda planner!

  1. Be ready to give your book talk if you haven’t done one yet
  2. Read 5 chapters or 50 pages in our new book Icefall. You can read ahead, but you’ll have to be careful not to give things away when we talk about the plot in class.
  3. Find two good vocabulary words in the book Icefall. If you can’t find a word that’s new to you, then choose a “cultural” word; one that is specific to the setting of the book. Examples might be fjord and larder.

November 17th, 2016:

What a great day! Congratulations, everyone, on your first published work of the 2016-17 school year!

Students enjoyed creating PAX trading cards on the READ WRITE THINK website, and then reading their own copy of our first class book, “What’s Your Story?” We also welcomed Ms. Kirsten Edwards, our favorite teen librarian, who book-talked several of the Young Reader’s Choice nominees for this year. We can check these out from the King County Library System, and soon from our very own RLC Student Library!

Homework: Present a Book Talk! Due next time we meet! – Dec. 1st!

It’s your turn! Choose any book you have read in the last year or so that you’d like to recommend to your peers. Use the instructions handed out (blue paper) and prepare a book talk on your book. This is not a book report, but an oral presentation to try and get your classmates eager to read your book. book-talk-fall-student-directions-2016

November 3, 2016:

Congratulations on all the stories that came in! It will be fun to put them altogether into a class book – each student will receive a copy. Did you hear about our Class Skype session? We could see and hear a partner 6th grade class in Ohio, but couldn’t get our sound to work. We hope to connect with them again and discuss the book PAX when we get back after conferences.


  • Keep a reading log!
  • Fill out the Character Trading Card planner sheet. Choose Pax, Peter, or Vola. Runt would also be an “Ok” choice, but as a secondary character, it won’t give you as much to work with.

October 27th, 2016:

In class, we noticed the “Hook” of our story:

  • two suggestions – start in the middle of the action, or start with dialogue, mid-conversation, and then flash back to quickly give the setting.

We also noticed the conclusion: many stories end with “the end.” Instead, try to bring the story to a place of “rest” – the problem is solved, at least for today. All student need to bring their story digitally next week.


  • Edit your story for spelling, punctuation, commas. It’s okay to print out your story, have a parent “mark it up” with conventions mistakes, and then for the student to go back and fix them.
  • Figure out a title. Type it at the top.
  • Bring a finished story in digital form next Thursday, November 3rd. We will be printing them together into a book.
  • As Always, a reading log. Keep reading, reading, reading!

October 20th, 2016:

Students spent a good amount of time working on their stories, making sure they had all the parts of a story arc. Please send student stories to class in electronic form, not printed out so we can work on them in class one more time next Tuesday.

We also looked in to character descriptions, using the character Vola in PAX as our in class example.

Homework, due October 27th:

  • Keep working on revising your story. Does it have all the typical parts of a story? (Main character, setting, problem to be solved, rising action, climax, resolution) Include and emphasize as many as you can.
  • Keep reading, reading, reading.
  • Choose one character to analyze. Use the “character-map-10-20-16 sheet to help you. Bring it back to class next week.

October 13th, 2016:

Global Read Aloud: PAX. We are joining 100’s of classrooms around the world during the month of October, reading the same book at the same time, and then meeting together to discuss what we’re reading. Who are we meeting with?

  • Mrs. Johns 5th grade Class at Pinchbeck Elementary, Richmond, Virginia
  • Mrs. Jordan’s 5th grade class in Choteau, Montana
  • Ms. Olsen’s 5th grade class at Delano Middle School, Delano, Minnesota

Homework: What’s your story really about? Try these tips:

To emphasize what your story is really about, try this:

  1. Start in the middle so you can get right to the action, then flashback and explain the beginning.
  2. Speed up to the important part and add more details, dialogue, and explanation to make the most important part stand out.
  3. Read the whole story and listen to the tone – does it send the emotion you are feeling?
  4. Add in more about another character to emphasize a certain part.

Bring back to class:

  • Type your flash draft. Revise as you go. Your parent can help you type, but don’t let them change anything. Bring it to school to you can work on it on a computer next week. (hint: try using your Office 365 account.)
  • Reading log – always 120 minutes.
  • Vocabulary Booklet – check if you have any sentences to change. Add these two words: inseparable, instinctive.
  • Answer one reading response question about PAX in your Reading Response Journal.

Here’s the link to our PAX student slide show.

October 6th, 2016:

Writing – We chose an idea for our narrative essay today. Reading – Today we started participating in the Global Read Aloud, listening to the beginning chapters in the book PAX, by Sara Pennypacker.


Writing: Write a “flash-draft” of the story idea you’ve chosen. Write it as if you are the main character. Add as many details as you can to the beginning, middle, and end. You can type or handwrite this one. Bring it to class and we will revise sections of it all month long. Reading: Read 120 minutes or more. Record your reading in your Reading Log or continue to use the Reading Log Sheet. Vocabulary: No new words this week because you will likely spend more time writing out your first draft of your narrative.

September 29, 2016:

Most students took the Reading MAP assessment. If they didn’t finish, we have until this Friday, October 7th, to complete these assessments. Writing Work: We shared some of our fantastic writing. We added to our list of how to find a good topic: Does it have a strong emotion? Think of times you were embarrassed, scared, happy, sad, lonely, ecstatic, etc. Does this remind you of a story that you remember really well? Next week, we will choose one of these story ideas and begin to write a first draft. Be thinking about which story idea you will choose.


Writing:  1 – write about one more memory: think about a time you felt a strong emotion. Try to write about it as if you were reliving the moment, and tell about it “beginning, middle, and end.”  20 minutes of writing. 2 – Vocabulary – Add two words to your vocabulary booklet – 6 words total 3 – Reading Log – continue to read for 120 minutes this week, minimum. Write down what you are reading and for how long.

September 22nd, 2016:

Alert: next week we will be taking the Reading MAP assessment in class. Our class had two parts – A Writer’s Work session and A Reading Session. Writer’s Work: We are on the hunt for a good topic for our narrative essay. We are learning how to find a worthy topic that is substantial and interesting. One strategy is to list some favorite places. Then think up events that happened in each of these places.


Choose an event that happened in one of your favorite places. Write about it for 20 minutes. Tell the story as if you are reliving the event, and it’s playing like a movie in your head. Start at the beginning, then tell the middle, then what happened at the end. You can write this out all at once, or in 5 minute sessions. Be careful – don’t try to judge this event to see if it’s good, or you’ll discard all your ideas. Try it out by writing about it. Reading Work: We discussed how to choose a best fit book at our just right or slightly harder reading level. This is the level that will grow us the most as readers.


  • Read for 120 minutes. Record it in your Reading Log.
  • Vocabulary Work: Choose two more interesting words from your reading and fill out a page for each.
  • Bring a book to read silently in class.


Older Posts – From 2015-2016 School Year.

You are welcome to read them – they have lots of excellent book recommendations and examples!

May 19th:

Homework, due May 26th:
  1. Reading Log
  2. Finish drawing all your panels so you can ink them during class.
  3. or, finish coloring half of your panels, and draw the rest of the panels.
  4. We will have another long work time during class next week. Bring all your materials to work on.
  5. Do you want to bring snacks to share on Thursday, June 2nd? Or we could eat half the element models that day. Discuss this with your parents and we’ll make a plan during class this week!
  6. June 2nd – Ms. Kirsten joins us one last time for a Summer Reading Kick-off!

May 12th:

Good job arranging your story into panels! Now – check the angles – are they all the same? How about close ups and far aways? Do you have any pop art words, such as “POW”  or “Help!”?

Homework, due May 17th:

  1. Sketch out at least one half of your panels. Add the details and the dialogue. We also discussed that if writing the dialogue so small would be hard, you could type it and print it out to paste in your panels.
  2. Be ready to ink (color) during class next week…
  3. and always, a reading log.

May 5th:

We made great progress on creating a plot map for our mini-graphic novel. Many students began plotting their story events in panels during class.

The Homework Goal:

  1. Arrange your “plot events” from your story map onto panels. You can place one event per panel, or split an important event into two or three panels.
  2. Make a mini sketch of each event in the panel to show the image you have in your head.
  3. Add some dialogue and narration to make the story move along.
  4. Do you need more panels? or arranged in a different way? you can draw your own or come get some more on Tuesday during Science.

Goal: 12 to 20 panels arranged into a mini-graphic novel. Bring this to class on May 12th! Don’t forget: on May 12th, we will be Math Smarter Balance Testing. You can sketch on your graphic novel when you’re finished testing.

April 28th:

Did you give your book talk this week? Congratulations! Do you need to give your book talk next week on May 5th? Come prepared to give your talk at the beginning of class.

Homework Due May 5th:

  • Reading Log – 120 minutes or more
  • Vocabulary Booklet – the two words are determine and identify.
  • Determine which story you are going to convert into a graphic novel.
  • Finish the handouts from class about the plot and characters for your novel.
  • Next week in class, we will work on a plot map and storyboard of the novel. Bring a copy of the book or story you’re using to class so you can refer to it.
  • Doodle your characters in different poses and various emotions!


April 21st:

It’s Graphic Novel Quarter – yippee!!

Today, we introduced the genre of graphic novels, examined our own creative process preferences, and enjoyed Ms. Kirsten’s book talks on soooooo many different books!

Homework Due April 28th:

  • Reading Log – 120 minutes or more
  • Vocabulary Booklet – the two words are contrast and proportion.
  • Make a small “My Creative Processes” journal. Include a cover and three ways that help your creative juices and ideas flow. These can be a list with a sketch for each one, or a sketch with a caption for each one.
  • Read one half or more of your chosen graphic novel.
  • Prepare a book talk on any book of your choice. We do a book talk at the end of each quarter. Reflect back on your presentation from last quarter to think about how to improve your talk this week. If you need the rubric, you can email Mrs. Schutte.

March 31st:

Today, we practiced writing introduction paragraphs and using our vocabulary words in a Jellybean challenge! Have you turned in your Reading Log and Vocab booklet for the quarter? Bring them next Tuesday!! Keep Reading, Reading, Reading!!! We will be presenting Book Talk #3 after Spring Break, so you could start to choose your book over the next few weeks! No homework! yippee!!

Homework for March 24th:

Spend your extra time doing math 4 times a week, and working on your Science Expo project.

Homework for March 17th:

  1. Read. Read your sources for your Science Expo investigation.
  2. Fill out two crossword puzzles using your vocabulary words. Bring them back to correct.
  3. (Forgot to say this one in class) – Make a list of ten technologies in your home that you think make a difference in your daily life. If you moved to a country where these weren’t available, which one would you keep? Why?
    1. Here’s the start of Mrs. Schutte’s list: dishwasher, washing machine, coffee machine, contacts, running water, automobile. . .
  4. Spend your extra time doing math 4 times a week, and working on your Science Expo project.

Homework For March 10th:

  1. Write 3 short answer responses. Use the three sources we read in class. 6th graders = Robots. 5th graders = Stormwater run off. Bring your responses and the articles back to class.
  2. One vocabulary word = paraphrase
  3. Read 5 chapters or 50 pages. Write it down in your reading log.
  4. Should we do skittles for vocab? or will it get out of control? 🙂

Feb. 18th, 2016: Mrs. Schutte says, “We are naming this quarter “double meaning quarter”. So confusing – all those words with double or triple meanings! and parts of speech – don’t even get me started on those. . .”

Homework, due Feb. 25th, 2016:

1. vocabulary words: vague, claim (noun version) , summarize (see these Vocab notes feb 18 2016) 2. Reading Log 3. Read 5 chapters or 50 pages in your Bookcart Historical Fiction book 4. Closely read this piece from The Boy Who Invented TV. Then answer the prompt in a short answer response. You can hand write or type your writing. Here’s the homework:  Short answer response TV

Feb. 11th, 2016:

Here’s our Big Idea: New or improved technologies are developed to meet societal demands.

Here are the Lesson 1 Notes from class 2 11 16 Mrs. Schutte took for you to look over. There are three pages of them – keep looking to find the part you want!

Homework, due Feb. 18th:

  1. Vocabulary words: four of them!  artifact, technologies, society, beneficial
  2. Reading Log
  3. Read 5 chapters or 50 pages in your Bookcart Historical Fiction book.
  4. Use your Historical Fiction book to write TWO short answer responses to the questions on this handout. Short Response Questions. You can write them in your Reading Log or type them on another piece of paper.

Feb. 4th, 2016:

Book Talk Day #2!!

Wow – have our presentation skills as a class improved or WHAT?!? Between all the wonderful drama training with Mrs. Gould, and the specific tips from Ms. Kirsten, our presentations have grown to be super engaging and fun to listen to!

Homework: due Feb. 11th:

We’re starting a new theme, using historical fiction and informational text. Everyone needs to read one historical fiction centered in the time period 1850 to 1925 around the theme of the Industrial Revolution. We will pair this with reading about inventions and how technology has changed the way we interact with the world. 1. Read five chapters or 50 pages in the novel you picked out. (Didn’t get a novel? you can download it on your kindle, get one from the library, or get one from Mrs. Schutte. She is buying a few more copies because students were so interested in some titles. What should you do if you don’t have a book? – don’t worry, you can choose one this week! The titles are:

  • City of Orphans by AVI
  • Breaker by N.A. Perez
  • Lyddie by Katherine Paterson
  • Counting on Grace by Elizabeth Winthrop
  • Dear America: The Diary of Margaret Ann Brady, Voyage on the Great Titanic by Ellen Emerson White

2. Find your vocabulary booklet. Define the word “control”. Two ways, as a noun, and a verb. Write two good sentences in your definition. Bring your booklet back to class to use in class. 3. Science students: work on your science investigation! 🙂

Jan. 21, 2016: 

What a wonderful day of sharing our writing and acting! Thank you to all parents and students who risked sharing your writing and thoughts. It’s our PARADE community at its best!

Homework, due Feb. 4th:

Prepare a Book Talk of a book you have read in the last year that you think your peers would enjoy. Be ready to present on the morning of Feb. 4th. We will have a “Magic Circle” in blue tape in the front of the room as suggested by Ms. Kirsten. Here are the speaking tips Ms. Kirsten gave us in class. Tips for Public Speaking Ms Kirsten

Excellent Avi Author Study projects! If you didn’t get to present yours, please arrange a time with Mrs. Schutte for conference week.

Homework, due Jan. 21st:

  1. Be ready to share your pieces of writing in our Author Sharing Circles. You can choose one piece to share three times or three different pieces. Practice reading it out loud so your voice is clear and smooth. You could even change your voice for different characters!
  2. AVI Character Paragraphs: Choose two AVI books; choose a character from each book. Compare and contrast the characters – see the full AVI Character paragraphs directions here. Bring this writing to tucked into your Reading Log to turn in next week.
  3. Reading Log: Fill out one more reading log and bring it to turn in for conference week. I’ll keep them with me and give it back to you at your conference.
  4. Vocabulary Booklet: We took our quiz and turned in our booklets. Bring it next week if you forgot to bring it this week.
  5. See if your parents want to come to the sharing circles, or if you’d like to send in a small snack to share. If they’d like to help lead a circle, please tell them to email me.  It’s going to be fun!

Jan. 7th:

Bring all the Avi Books back, plus your vocab. booklet and reading log to turn in for the quarter. Homework due Jan. 14th: 1. Vocab quiz over 12 of your words. (no new words this week.) 2. Our culminating project for our Avi Author Study: Pick something from the Avi Book Project Menu. Here are the Books and choices students made today. These are

Nov. 19th: Welcome to our new Avi Author Study!

Did you get to present your book talks? I would have liked to hear them!!

Homework due Dec. 3rd (seriously that’s a lot of time!)

  1. Read 5 chapters or 50 pages in your new Avi book. Keep a reading log. You can finish your book if you want to read ahead.
  2. Choose two vocabulary words from your book or another part of your life. These should be interesting, useful words. Fill out all the parts of the vocabulary page in your yellow vocabulary books for each word. You should have two words for this quarter so far.
  3. Answer these two questions in your Reading Response section of your Reading Log. Use full sentences, and explain yourself. Try to support your answer with a section to your Avi book, using an example from the book with a page number.
  4. “Who are your characters? Give a detailed description.” 

    “How would you describe the main character’s personality? What did the character say or do to make you think that? Use a quote.”

If you’re reading this blog – good job for checking it! This is Mrs. Schutte 🙂 I’m out of the hospital and resting at home. I will have a super great scar when this is all healed, but for now, I’m learning how to walk again, drinking tea, and petting my cat, Buffy. Do your best and I’ll send a photo soon when I’m more rested. 🙂

Homework, due Nov. 19th:

  1. Reading Log – Keep track of any reading in a reading log. 120 minutes minimum.
  2. Prepare your own Book Talk. We watched Ms. Kirsten give a book talk; now it’s your turn. It can be on any book you have read or listened to in the last year, fiction or non-fiction. Here’s the handout describing the project: Book Talk Student Directions Important: for this first talk, try for 3 minutes or less. Bring a copy of the book or a slide or poster of the book if you don’t have the book any more so we can see what the cover looks like. If you are too nervous to give your talk to the whole class this first time, you can give your talk directly to a teacher. It’s really due next Thursday, Nov. 19th, even though the handout says Feb. 🙂


Nov. 11th Update:

What’s due tomorrow:

  1. no vocab words or reading log
  2. Bring your fantasy novel back to turn in. We’re getting new books!
  3. Your Fantasy Children’s Book: bring the text of the story. If you can put your text into pages and illustrate your book, you will be done!! You will have one more class period to work on it tomorrow in case you need to print, use art paper or materials, print in color, finish illustrating. We will share what we have tomorrow. After tomorrow, this will become an individual assignment to finish at home. We will have an official Author’s Day in January when I come back to class.
  4. Don’t forget! Ms. Kirsten Edwards, Duvall/Carnation Teen Librarian, is visiting our class tomorrow at 11:20 to share some current favorites. If you have a King County Library card, bring it and you can check out books directly from her.

October 22nd:

Writers were collaborating on story plots, characters, story leads, illustrations – it was lovely to see the critical thinking going on in everyone’s brains. Next week, we will have another morning work space. Bring everything you need to use your time well.

Homework, due October 29th:

1. Reading Log – 50 pages, or 5 chapters. You will be turning this in for Mrs. Schutte to look over. 2. Choose 2  more vocabulary words from the book you are reading. Write them in your yellow vocabulary book. Fill out the page for each word. You should have eight words altogether by now. You will be turning this booklet in to Mrs. Schutte today. 3. Study for your vocabulary test on your own eight words. 4. Work on your story. Try to finish all of the writing. Then plan out what words will go on each page. Begin to collect or sketch the drawings for each page. Bring it all in next week. Remember – no class the week of November 2 – 6.

Oct. 15th:

We’re writing a fantasy story, sending our readers on a hero’s quest! Come tomorrow (Thursday, October 22nd) ready to write out your story with your partner. Bring any materials you think you will need, including a jump drive to carry your writing back and forth if you need it.

Homework due October 22nd:

Read 50 pages or 5 chapters in your fantasy book. 2. Keep track of this reading and other reading in a reading log. 3. Choose 2 vocabulary words from the book you are reading. Write them in your yellow vocabulary book. Fill out the page for each word. You should have six words altogether by now. 4. Create a story board or story map for your Children’s Fantasy Book. Make one even if you are working with a partner so you have some ideas ready to collaborate on when we get to class. 5. Bring your fantasy book – we will be looking for examples with sticky notes in them in class.

October 1st:

Lost a dragon? need a boat captain? How about a burglar? We’ve got a resource board outside our classroom with business cards that will help you solve all these problems and more! Come and check them out!!

Homework due October 15th:

1. Read 50 pages or 5 chapters in your fantasy book. 2. Keep track of this reading and other reading in a reading log. 3. Choose 2 vocabulary words from the book you are reading. Write them in your yellow vocabulary book. Fill out the page for each word. 4. Writing Quest Assignment: See this Quest Writing Story Map example to see the assignment!

September 24th:

Everyone participated in their first Literature Circle today and discussed the character they prepared for homework. We also examined SYMBOLS in our culture and in literature.

Homework due October 1st:

1. Read 50 pages or 5 chapters in your fantasy book. 2. Keep track of this reading and other reading in a reading log. 3. Choose 2 vocabulary words from the book you are reading. Write them in your yellow vocabulary book. Fill out the page for each word. 4. Create a “Business Card” for a character in your book.  Use the directions we handed out in class. Try to finish this and bring it by October 1st. (If not finished, bring what you have to show you have been working on it.) It can be small, like a business card, or on a half sheet of paper so you have more room to work.

September 17th:

Today was Book Day – one of our favorite days of the quarter! Students chose a book from our Fantasy List, learned how to check in their Reading Logs, and were able to participate in a MAP Reading assessment. Homework Due Sept. 24th: 1. Read 5 chapters or 50 pages in your Fantasy Book. This can count towards your 120 minutes. Record your reading in your Reading Log. Bring your book and Reading Log back and forth every week to class! 2. Write a Reading Response about character. Use the questions on the sticker. Write in full sentences, with punctuation. That’s all – there wasn’t time to do any more because of the MAP testing. 🙂

September 10th:

We are off to a good start on our new genre study of Fantasy. Today, we spent most of our class time getting to know each other and organizing our notebooks – but we had time to introduce the fantasy genre and preview one book, Dragon Rider by Cornelia Funke. It will be one of the reading choices coming up next week.

Homework due Sept. 17th:

  1. Read for 120 minutes – that’s four times, 30 minutes each! Set up a reading log. Here’s an example:
  2. Read the folk tale “Living Water”. Find the fantasy elements and fill out the green chart as best you can.

  3. Writing: Answer the questions about yourself for Mrs. Schutte to get to know you. Use full sentences. Use another piece of paper. Write or type, whichever is faster.

If you need any help or lose any of the papers, email Mrs. Schutte at schuttec@riverview.wednet.edu

Older Posts from the Year 2014-2015:

June 4th:

Our Space Celebration!!

Excellent reports, created space books, and the Summer Book Reads by KCLS librarian Kirsten Edwards! What a great day of celebrating fiction and informational text! And we all gained an extra eye while we traveled in the Time Machine! Ms. Kirsten introduced the Summer Reading program where you can earn points by reading and enter to win a Samsung Galaxy tablet! Find out more at the Duvall and Carnation Library.

May 28th:

LA 56 – Final update! It’s been a great year exploring Literacy with your students! We have read lots of books we might not normally have tried, exploring worlds and issues that have surfaced as we read, from the founding of the United States to the present. Please help your child continue to read, read, read during the summer! Homework for next week:

  1. Bring your finished space report. Here’s Mrs. Schutte’s Sample: Galaxy Clusters It can be printed out or emailed to Mrs. Schutte to print. Choose a background slide to show while you are reading your report to us. You will get to read for two minutes at the most. Students received a WRITING-RUBRIC-5th-Gr.-Informative to compare their essay to, and a lesson on how to use a “citation machine.”
  2. Bring your finished Space Book. It can have quotes, your space report, drawings, facts, poems – whatever you’d like. Finished can be “one-side only” if that feels done to you.
  3. Bring a food to share – optional. The students outvoted me and said “regular food” not “space themed” food. There are 14 of us altogether. If you choose to send candy, please just send a little bit.
  4. Wear a space outfit – no one wanted to do this but me – so super-optional. J
  5. Bring your reading log so we can add up minutes read, or hours, or pages, or titles – it’s fun to look at the whole year at once.
  6. Kirsten is coming at 11:15 to describe the Summer Reading program for King County Library Systems. She will likely bring some books to check out, so bring your library card or number if you are interested.
  7. Bring any books checked out for any PARADE classes to turn in. Next Thursday is the last PARADE classes day. (Although some students convinced me to let them check out more of the Science Fiction books today because they want to read more of them. They could really keep them through conferences.)

Wow – that’s it! Looking forward to a factoid-filled Thursday!! Mrs. Schutte

May 14th:

Wow – it’s was pretty hard to fit anything in besides the testing session today! And everyone concentrated so hard during the test that we were pretty worn out after it was done. Only 25 minutes to work with for class, so we had to adjust and cut some corners. New Plan: Because so many students asked if they could decide what to put in their Space Books, they now have a choice. Homework part 1 is to decide what they want to put in their own book. Homework: Part 1: Create a Storyboard for your Space Book. We will have one more class day on May 28th to finish the backgrounds of the books. Please plan out what you want to put on each page, start collecting the pieces, and even begin writing, sketching, drawing on your pages. You are welcome to decorate the pages at home, too, if you want to. Make this book your own! We will be showing them off on June 4th on Space Day! Part 2: Time to Write a Rough Draft of your Space Report. Please write the three main paragraphs, using your notes from last week. Here’s a  sample of the Paragraph Template I used. You can use it if you want to, or use your own style. Here’s a sample of my first paragraph on Galaxy Clusters. A good paragraph has a:

  • topic sentence
  • facts and details that make sense as you read them.
  • explanation or comments about the facts
  • a conclusion sentence
  • transition words to make the sentences flow more easier from one to the next

Can you write more than three paragraphs?  Yes! Can you write the intro and conclusion paragraph? Yes! Part 3:  Keep reading a Science Fiction Book. You can bring one in and trade it for another anytime! Don’t forget – we won’t have class next Thursday because of the field trip! But I still want you to bring in the rough draft next week so no one procrastinates too much. 🙂

May 7th:

Space Travel – Science Fiction – 4th Quarter Genre Study!

It’s New Book day!! Today, students chose a new book to read, worked on their Space Accordion Book, and had a mini lesson about how to narrow a topic for research. Homework: 1. Complete one or more crossword puzzles created by your classmate. The list of words is listed below on April 23rd’s blog post. You can use the dictionary or an online source to look up words. 2. Read 5 chapters or 50 pages in your new book. And it’s okay to read the whole book, bring it back Tuesday, and get another one before Thursday. 3. Complete Step 3 in your Research a Space Topic.

  • Narrow your topic to three sub-topics.
  • Read and take notes on just those three topics – leave the other information for another time.
  • Use note cards or paper, your choice.
  • Put all the notes for one sub-topic on one set of notecards, or one piece of paper. Use a second set of notecards or piece of paper for the second sub-topic. Use a third set of notecards or piece of paper for the third sub-topic.
  • Bring your notes to class next week to check off for a “did – it” grade.
  • Next week, we will start writing a rough draft. Our goal is to write a five paragraph essay: an introduction paragraph, three content paragraphs, and a conclusion paragraph.

Don’t forget: next week, we will be testing for the first hour of the day on Tuesday and Thursday. There will be regular classes the rest of the day on both days.

March 5th:

Outstanding discussion of conflict in our Revolutionary War novels today! Way to listen, think, and respond! We practiced a Smarter Balance Performance Task so we could learn the technology involved. We will keep practicing so that when the testing actually happens, we are confident test-takers! Homework: Reading Homework:

  1. Answer this question as a Reading Response.

Describe a major conflict in your novel. Is the conflict internal or external? How does the conflict relate to the theme of “Challenges”? Write in full sentences. Use five sentences (or more). Use evidence (details) from your Lit Circle graphic organizer, your discussion with your group, and from the text of your story. Use direct quotations in your response.

  1. Read 50 pages or 5 chapters. Keep a Reading Log.
  2. Practice your vocabulary words. Bring back your vocabulary dictionary, and be ready for a quiz!
  3. Choose a passage or scene that you think would work well for a Reader’s Theater. Mark it with a stickie or bookmark. We will try them out and begin practicing next week.

Writing: practice going to the Smarter Balanced Website and trying a practice test for English Language Arts. Here’s the steps we followed in class:

  1. Go to the Riverview Web Site
  2. Choose Staff Resources
  3. Choose “District System Log in Links”
  4. Choose”Smarter Balance Portal”
  5. Choose “Practice Training & Practice Tests” – Blue Box on the right side of the page
  6. Choose “Take the Practice & Training Tests”
  7. Try them out, just like we did in class. Practice typing an answer, pulling up the notes, reading the articles, etc. It will make you feel more confident, and also let you know what you can practice if you need to before April.

Try Math practice, too! Just for yourself to figure out how to use the calculator and math tools. See you next week! Mrs. Schutte

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