Welcome to Mrs. Nicholson's 6th grade Reading Class!


I'm pleased to be able to offer the use of the Literature of Elements First Course online. I hope you will take advantage of it, so you do not have to lug that heavy textbook home every night!

Here is a link to Mrs. Stephens' reading wiki, which has much more established information about AR, Noodle Tools, Google Search Tools, etc. Be sure to check it out.



Reading Reflections 2014-2015

Write at least one paragraph as you respond to the Reading Reflections questions. Each one will count as 10 points towards a Reading Reflection grade at the end of the nine weeks grading period. You will earn all 10 points for writing a quality paragraph, for answering in a relevant, thoughtful way, not using the "Not 6th grade Words," and for proofreading your answer to correct spelling or punctuation. Date each entry on your wiki page.




9/8/14 A Long Walk to Water Chapter 1
In Sudan rebels had been at war "fighting against the government." In our democratic society we are free to express our disagreement with our government or officials in a variety of ways. Find examples in the newspaper of the different ways citizens can voice their opinions about their government's actions or elected officials. Then write a paragraph on your page about your topic and what freedom of speech means to you.

8/27/14 Environmental Issue
Since we have read Flush, which made us aware of environmental dangers, think of another environmental issue that you think is important. Do a little bit of research about your topic, and then write a paragraph on your page telling about the issue and why it is important to you.

10/01/14 A Long Walk to Water Chapter 15
The orphaned boys of Sudan have come to be called "Lost Boys." This is a reference to the book Peter Pan. In Peter Pan the Lost Boys are a group of young orphans who join in Peter's adventures of fighting pirates and saving Indian princesses. Despite the fun and freedom they enjoy, the lost boys choose to leave Neverland at the end of the story and find families. Why is "Lost Boys" an appropriate name to give to boys like Salva?





4/29/14 Three Themes

Discuss what you think the themes are for "Annabel Lee," "Echo and Narcissus," and "The Only Girl in the World for Me."

4/28/14 "User Friendly"

What does this story say about love? Is there just one message about love or more than one? What do you think is the theme of the story?

4/9/14 Sami and T.J.

Sami and T.J. were each accepted in a new location differently. What made the biggest difference in how they were treated?

4/7/14 "Hum"

What theme, or revelation about life, does "Hum" reveal to you? (Remember to state the theme in one sentence.) How does this theme affect your thinking about life?

4/1/14 "Hearts and Hands"

What makes us care about certain people? Why do we connect with some people and not others?

3/17/14 "Stolen Day"

What was the flashback in the story about? How does the flashback help you understand the narrator's feelings? What do you learn about his character from the flashback?

3/6/14 "That October"

What helps boost your confidence when you are met with a challenge? When might you need others to believe in you before you believe in yourself?

3/3/14 "Seventh Grade"

Have you ever tried to impress someone by doing something that you now think was silly? Has this story changed your mind on whether it is or is not a good idea to try to impress others? Explain.

2/11/14 Award
What did you think of Mr. Tushman's speech? What do you think of Auggie winning the top award that recognizes greatness? Do you think he deserves this award? Does anyone else deserve it more? Explain.

2/10/14 Shift
What will the "monumental shift" mean to Auggie? Why does it sometimes take an unfavorable event to cause a favorable change to happen? Have you ever been is a situation like this? Explain.

2/7/13 Kindness
Why do you think some 6th graders are being unkind even as we read Wonder and are trying to focus on kindness? What can you do to help this situation?

2/5/14 Wonder
What do you think of Justin?

2/3/14 Know Yourself
Look up the definition of introvert and extrovert. Then read the rest of the "23 Signs That You May be an Introvert" that we started in class. Explain if you think you are more of an introvert or an extrovert or a combination of both.

1/31/14 Wonder
Mr. Tushman replied to Mrs. Albans' email (on page 163) by saying, "I did not think asking these children to be especially kind to a new student would place any extra 'burden or hardships' on them. In fact, I thought it would teach them a thing or two about empathy, friendship, and loyalty." Do you think kindness can be learned? Do you think kindness can be taught? Explain.

1/30/14 Wonder
We know that Jack has some compassion for Auggie. Name some of the insights you have read about so far that let us know how guilty Jack will feel when he finds out why Auggie is mad at him. How does Jack try to solve this problem?

1/29/14 Wonder
Now that you have read from Summer's point-of-view, what do you think of her? Does she have qualities that you admire or qualities that you would like to have? Explain.

1/28/14 Wonder
Via is struggling with many mixed emotions right now about Auggie, about her family, and about her friends. Do you think this is directly related to Auggie and his family situation, or do you think it is just normal adolescence when kids are trying to figure out who they are? Explain. (Even though Via is a little older than you are right now, you may include personal examples of internal conflicts if you want to:)

1/27/14 Wonder
How is Via's life affected by having Auggie as a brother? What sacrifices does Via have to make in her relationship with her parents? Can she lead a normal life?

1/24/14 Wonder

What important characteristics of friendship are Summer and Jack displaying? Does Auggie display similar characteristics of knowing how to be a friend? Have you ever had a friend that you knew from the beginning would be a loyal friend? Explain.

1/23/14 Wonder

Think of a time when you have been in an uncomfortable situation like Auggie is now. Explain what happened and how you felt. Did you learn anything about yourself by dealing with that situation?

1/22/14 Wonder

Auggie just met the three other children who are going to take him on a tour of the school. Pretend you are one of those children. Write a paragraph about what you would be thinking as you head out the office door. Be honest!

1/13/15 Wonder

Here is the link to the interview with the author of Wonder. Author of Wonder Read the information and then write a paragraph telling what you think of the incident that happened to the author that prompted her to write this book.

1/9/14 "Three Skeleton Key"

Write a paragraph telling about another setting for a story that would create suspense besides what we are reading in "Three Skeleton Key." Use details and powerful description for 10 bonus points.

10/30/13 Loyalty

After reading "A Mason-Dixon Memory," explain what it means to be loyal.

10/17/13 An Unforgettable Journey

Now that we have read A Long Walk to Water and "An Unforgettable Journey," what character traits do people develop from going through hardships? Do people who do not go through hardships have similar character traits or different character traits? Explain your reasoning in one paragraph.

10/9/13 Lesson Learned

In one paragraph explain what you have learned about yourself in reading so far this year.

9/24/13 A Long Walk To Water

What life lesson did your learn from reading A Long Walk to Water? Explain in one paragraph.

9/16/13 A Long Walk To Water

Nya and Salva have faced many hardships so far in the story. Is there a hardship you face that you are trying to find a solution to? If not, find a topic in the news that shows a problem that is trying to be solved. Write a paragraph about your hardship or your findings through research.

9/4/13 IALAC = "I am loveable and capable."

Write a paragraph explaining how you can use the information you heard in the IALAC story. Talk about your own IALAC sign and others' IALAC signs.

8/28/13 Mindset

After reading pages 9 and 10 in the Brain Toolkit packet about what your brain needs, write one paragraph telling what your plan is for fueling your brain from the tips mentioned.

In another paragraph, tell what you learned about yourself when we discussed Mindset. What is your plan for moving toward or strengthening your growth mindset.

8/15/13 Brain Toolkit

After reading pages 4 and 5 in the Brain Toolkit packet, write a paragraph telling how you know that the brain grows with learning? Give specific examples. Then in your concluding sentence tell how you might be able to use this new information this year in school.


Reading Reflections


4/22/13 Johnny Tremain "Which cause?"
Johnny and Rab are getting ready to help the Whigs with their cause. Do you think you would have sided with the Whigs or the Tories in that time period? Explain your reasoning using details from the novel.

4/15/13 Johnny Tremain "Customary Reserve"
Name the two times when Rab lost his "customary reserve." Explain. Is Rab a good influence on Johnny? How do you know?

4/9/13 Johnny Tremain "Dismissed"
What were the circumstances that caused Johnny's case in court to be dismissed? Explain how and why that happened.

4/8/13 Johnny Tremain "Fault"
Make your case for the ONE person who owns the MOST fault for Johnny's accident that caused the injury to his hand.

4/3/13 Johnny Tremain "Pride"
What personal qualities or accomplishments are you proud of? What are some of the positive effects of pride? What are some of the negative effects of pride? Do you think Johnny has too much pride?

3/19/13 "Stolen Day" and "A Day's Wait"
Compare the two boys in the two stories by discussing their character traits. Be sure to include how each story ended.

3/13/13 "Seventh Grade"
Have you ever tried to impress someone by doing something that you now think was silly? Has this story changed your mind on whether it is or is not a good idea to try to impress others? Explain.

2/13/13
Paragraph One: What life lessons did you learn from reading Wonder?
Paragraph Two: What life lesson did you learn specifically from Auggie?

2/11/13
What are your thoughts about Miranda? Does she have compassion? How do you know?

2/7/13
Why do you think some 6th graders are being unkind even as we read Wonder and are trying to focus on kindness?

2/4/13 Wonder
What do you think of Justin?

2/1/12 Wonder
What is something you learned from the discussion with Dr. Gulley today? It could be about yourself (self-awareness), about the characters in the book, or about Dr. Gulley.

1/31/13 Wonder
(Be sure you read the last few pages we didn't finish about Jack [through p. 185] before you answer the question.)
For what purpose do you think the author is bringing in Via's boyfriend?

1/29/13 Wonder
Mr. Tushman replied to Mrs. Albans' email (on page 163) by saying, "I did not think asking these children to be especially kind to a new student would place any extra 'burden or hardships' on them. In fact, I thought it would teach them a thing or two about empathy, friendship, and loyalty." Do you think kindness can be learned? Do you think kindness can be taught? Explain.

1/28/13 Wonder
We know that Jack has some compassion for Auggie. Name some of the insights we have read about so far that let us know that Jack will feel guilty when he finds out why Auggie is mad at him.

1/25/13 Wonder
Now that we have read a little bit from Summer's point-of-view, what do you think of her? Does she have qualities that you admire or qualities that you would like to have? Explain.

1/24/13 Wonder
Via is struggling with many mixed emotions right now about Auggie, about her family, and about her friends. Do you think this is directly related to Auggie and her family situation, or do you think it is just normal adolescence when kids are trying to figure out who they are? Explain. (Even though Via is a little older than you are right now, you may include personal examples of internal conflicts if you want to.)

1/23/13 Wonder
How is Via's life affected by having Auggie as a brother? What sacrifices does does Via have to make in her relationship with her parents?
Can she lead a normal life?

1/22/13 Wonder
What important characteristics of friendship are Summer and Jack displaying? Does Auggie display similar characteristics of knowing how to be a friend? Explain.

1/15/13 Wonder
Here is the link to the interview with the author of Wonder. Author of Wonder Read the information. What does the author say that relates to a universal theme that arises our of the book of "Be Kind."

1/14/13 Wonder
Auggie just met the three other children who are going to take him on a tour of the school. Pretend you are one of those children. Write a paragraph about what you would be thinking as you head out the office door. Be honest! (Optional: Research Treacher-Collins Syndrome)

12/20/12 A Christmas Carol Conclusion (two paragraphs)
1.) What are the important components in life? How did Scrooge come to discover them?
2.) Do you like the format of a play for reading fiction stories or would you rather read in regular story form? Do you like to go to the theater to see a play or would you rather see the same story in a movie? Explain your reasoning.

12/19/12 A Christmas Carol (Present)
The Ghost of Christmas Present had "two gnarled baby dolls" representing Man's children. The boy was Ignorance and the girl was Want. (see page 813 if you need to review this part.) Why is "Man's" capitalized? What does "Man's" stand for? What does Present mean when he talks about "Beware of them both, and all their degree . . . "? (You may have to research if you do not understand what this is about.)

12/18/12 A Christmas Carol (Past)
Scrooge has become an unpleasant, grumpy miser in his adulthood. Do you know anyone like this? Do you think it is possible for people to change. Give examples, no names!

12/10/12 Informational Text
Write a paragraph about the importance of being an active learner/critical thinker when reading informational text. Include strategies for learning the information when a reading assignment is made, whether it is in reading, social studies, or science.

11/2/12 One-Eyed Cat Ch. 8
How did you feel about the end of the novel? If you could change the ending, what would you change and why? If you would not change the ending, why were you satisfied with the ending?

11/1/12 One-Eyed Cat Ch. 7
Were you surprised at the information mama told Ned about her life when he was younger and before she was sick? Does the information she shared with Ned cause Ned to feel different about her? How do you feel about the information she shared?

10/29/12 One-Eyed Cat Ch. 6
Why do you think Ned whispered, "Die, cat, die!" while he was sick? He felt painful confusion . . . He wished there was someone who could make him speak of the cat, a magician, perhaps, who would magically draw the words from him. Who will Ned tell? What would you do if you were in this situation?

10/25/12 One-Eyed Cat Ch. 5
The title of this chapter is called "The Strength of Life." What do you think is meant by "the strength of life"? Relate as many of the main characters to having "the strength of life" and explain your reasonao

10/24/12 One-Eyed Cat Ch. 4
Think of all of the gifts mentioned so far in this book: a gun, a watch, books, two boiled potatoes. Think about the qualities that make a gift appropriate and special to the receiver. Then write about a gift that you gave or received. Tell why is was or was not received happily.

10/18/12 One-Eyed Cat Ch. 2
Would you have shot the gun as Ned did? Why or why not? How is Ned feeling now that he shot the gun?

10/17/12 One-Eyed Cat Ch. 1
Who is Uncle Hilary? What effect does his coming to visit mean to each of the other characters?

10/9/12
After reading the 10/1/12 Current Event, tell which one article made the most impression on you. Discuss the main point of the article and give the reasons why it has influence your thinking in either a positive or negative way.

9/6/12
Were you satisfied with the ending of "Amigo Brothers"? If not, how would you have rather it ended? Explain in one paragraph. If you were satisfied, explain why you were satisfied in one paragraph. Be sure to use details from the story in your explanations.

8/30/12
After reading "Fish Cheeks" you may have thought about one or some of your embarrassing moments. Write a paragraph telling about an embarrassing moment that has happened to you or your family. Did you learned a lesson from this event? Explain.

8/27/12
After reading the Current Event articles, pick one article that has an impact on your life now or one that will have an impact on your life in the future. Write one paragraph telling why the topic of the article does now or could in the future affect your life.

8/21/12
Since we have read Flush, which made us aware of environmental dangers, think of another environmental issue that you think is important. Do a little bit of research about your topic, and then write a paragraph telling about the issue and why it is important to you.


READING REFLECTIONS 2011-2013

5/10/12

How would you rate Door in the Wall using 1-5 stars? Explain your rating. Also, tell about at least one life lesson that you learned from the author.

5/9/12

Brother Luke tells Robin that the measure of success is what we do with what we have. What is your definition of success? Explain your reasoning.

5/2/12

How are you handling the lack of much action in Door in the Wall? Even if there is action coming, has the story intrigued you enough so far to want to keep reading? Do you think we have reached the climax yet? Have you read other books like this when you thought it would never get better, but then it has a fantastic ending?Explain your thoughts.

5/1/12

From pages 26-41, there are two "doors in the wall" mentioned. Find the two "doors" and explain each in one paragraph.

4/30/12

If you had an extended illness and had to stay in bed day after day like Robin, what would you do to keep yourself entertained? Do you think you could handle having to stay in bed each day? Would you appreciate your normal good health more even if it means going to school? Explain your reasoning.

4/23/12

Do sports help you know yourself better?

4/16/12

Think of situation that was not as scary or dangerous as you first thought it was. What did you learn from this experience?

4/10/12

When have you judged someone based on a first impression? Did your opinion later change? Has anyone judged you based on a first impression?

4/4/12

Has the story "That October" changed your mind on whether or not you need others to believe in you? Has the story influenced you in any way?

4/2/12

To believe in yourself, do you find you need others to believe in you? Why or why not?

3/29/12

Have the stories "Girls" and "Seventh Grade" changed your ideas of what is right to do in order to impress people? Do you think it is wise to go out of your way to impress people?

3/26/12 Characters

How do other people help you discover something within yourself? Give at least one example.

3/23/12 NBTT

Three Questions=Three paragraphs=30 points for new grading period

Did you like the format of the book? If so, explain why. If not, what did you not like? Did the format help or hurt your comprehension of the story?

Did you like how the story ended? If so, explain why. If not, how do you think the book should have ended?

What did you learn from reading Nothing But The Truth?

3/22/12 NBTT

We are almost finished with the book. How do you think this is going to end for Philip? How do you think this is going to end for Miss Narwin?

3/21/12 NBTT

Have you ever been in a situation where you thought the teacher didn't like you? If so, what did you do about it? (Do not use a teacher's name.) If not, do you know anyone who has been in this situation? Ask a parent if he or she ever had this situation. It does happen!

3/14/12 NOTHING BUT THE TRUTH

We will be beginning the novel, NOTHING BUT THE TRUTH, tomorrow in class. Write a paragraph explaining why we are always told to tell the truth.

2/29/12 End of Novel

Give your thoughts about the ending of Johnny Tremain in two paragraphs on your wiki page. 1.) What lessons was the author trying to teach us or what lessons did you learn from reading the book? 2.) If you were not satisfied with the ending, what would you have preferred to happen? If you were satisfied, why did you like the ending?

2/27/12 Paul Revere Animoto

Go to Mrs. Stephens' Johnny Tremain wiki. Click on the left side under Paul Revere. Watch the Animoto called Paul Revere, and then answer the following question on your page.
Even though the focal point was Paul Revere, what themes were being portrayed and how did those themes relate to the music?

2/2/12 Johnny Tremain

The author brought Cilla and Dove back into this chapter even though it was mainly about the Tea Party. What were the incidents involving Cilla and Dove? What do you think was the author's purpose for including these incidents?

11/15/11 Informational Text

Label your paragraph Informational Texts. Explain in one paragraph why it is important to be an active learner and a critical thinker when reading informational texts.

10/18/11 Danger

Answer in two paragraphs at the top of your other reading reflections and name this entry, "Danger." In the first paragraph, tell how Melly finally decided to solve her internal conflict about the dive. Use the words internal conflict and external conflict. In the second paragraph, write about a time when you were tempted to do something dangerous. What were your internal and external conflicts? Did you learn any life lessons from your experience?
*Also, notice that your Unit 1 Prezi is on your page and tell Mrs. Saykaly thanks for embedding it for you.

10/4/11 What is a mongoose?

On your own wiki page write the title as above and respond to the following:
The story "Rikki-tiki-tavi" is about a mongoose. Research and find out some interesting information about a mongoose. Write one paragraph explaining what you found. Then find a picture of a mongoose to add with your paragraph.

9/22/11 Book or movie?
Tell about a book you have read that you have also seen as a movie. Do you think the book version or the movie version was better? Why? Do you prefer to read a story or see a movie in the theater? Assume you could not do both. If you have not read a book and then seen the movie, tell which way you think would be better. Explain your thoughts in one paragraph.