Mr. Kay's Blog

The day to day happenings of a 6th grade classroom teacher

  • In The Sixth Grade We Read

    Every week I take in how many pages each student has read. Below is the "Wall Of Fame", the top readers for the week, and "The 200+ Club", all the students who have read more than 200 pages in a week. Congratulations to all those mentioned!
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Archive for September, 2013

it’s all about me!

Posted by willkay on September 29, 2013

The luvverly Mrs. Kay has been making some videos for my mum. You may have noticed some odd videos appearing on my youtube page, not odd, more “less to do with school”. This is because my niece has just got in contact with me and she lives near my mum. This means that when my mum goes round to visit her, my niece can show my mum videos of me. [Are you still following?] That explains why videos of me walking round the corner to the taco stand, the journey home by car, and other non-school related videos have been turning up on my youtube page. The reason that I am telling you this is that the luvverly Mrs. Kay has taken two videos this week, for my mum, that she thinks would be a good idea to put up on the blog.

As you know, every morning we have “morning line up”. I have already posted a video of the exercises that the children do (it’s here or scroll three posts down). However, every morning one teacher gets to talk about the value of the month. Last Friday it was my turn to talk to the school about Cooperation. I chose to talk about the “Beach Clean Up”.

The second video is of me teaching an English lesson. This year we are really concentrating on the children “reading to understand”. Using the new books, Learning Journeys, we read passages out of the book and then discuss what we have read. This week we have been reading to Compare and Contrast. Here we are reading about two different places the author has lived in, and how she writes about them.

Oh, and because there should be something about the students…here’s a bit of a PE lesson.

Posted in english, morning line up, PE, youtube | 1 Comment »

where does the time go

Posted by willkay on September 26, 2013

wall of fame sept 26

Sorry, I’m late. It is, as you probably know, exam week. So, most of my evenings have been taken up with marking exams. Plus, Mrs. Kay and I have been working very hard on mental maths. We’ve been trying to increase the speed of the Fourth, Fifth, and Sixth graders in doing their number bonds. There are still children using their fingers, instead of “knowing” the answers. At Fourth grade level this isn’t very good…don’t get me started on what I think about the Fifth and Sixth grade still using their fingers. However, all these Mental Maths tests mean that they have to be marked. 100 questions each student, and I teach a lot of students, means that time has been passing me by. HOWEVER, enough of my problems, let’s get down to the good news…


  • 793 pages: Patricio

  • 645 pages: Carlos C.

  • 420 pages: Victor

  • 402 pages: Luis Angel

  • 380 pages: Ricardo

  • 367 pages: Andres

  • 360 pages: Carmina

  • 350 pages: Nina

  • 321 pages: Jimena

Fantastic! Nine students on The Wall Of Fame and there are eleven students in The 200+ Club. Quick bit of mental maths [9+11] means that over twenty students have read over 200 pages. Of course, a little more mental maths [26-(9+11)] leads me to the conclusion that six students are reading under 200 pages, but let’s celebrate the achievements of the readers!

Well done to all!

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100 Cupboards and more

Posted by willkay on September 19, 2013

wall of fame for september 16th

Mrs. Kay recommends books that I should read. The way she does it is by putting the book into my iPad, where it joins the long list of books that are waiting to be read. It is a rare moment when I get to recommend a book to Mrs. Kay, she is normally far ahead of the game. So, it was with some surprise the other day, she asked me to move a book into her iPad/Kindle. it was a book recommended by a student! This is brilliant. The sixth grade are starting to read, really read. They are recommending books to each other. They are talking about books. They are asking each other what they are reading. And, they are recommending books to Mrs. Kay! Sat on y iPad is 100 Cupboards, waiting to be read…once I finish David Mitchell’s autobiography.


  • 805 pages: Carlos C.

  • 581 pages: Patricio

  • 560 pages: Andres

  • 425 pages: Luis Angel

  • 347 pages: Allan

  • 344 pages: Jose

  • 314 pages: Carmina

  • 305 pages: Ildefonso

  • 301 pages: Emiliano

  • 301 pages: Jimena

Added to those names are the 8 students who made The 200+ Club. Which means that 18 out of 26 students have read over 200 pages. Well done all round!

Posted in wall of fame | 2 Comments »

morning warm up

Posted by willkay on September 19, 2013

Every morning the whole school lines up. We listen to any notices, and a teacher talks about the value of the month. Then we do a morning warm up.

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Reading Helps Children’s Maths

Posted by willkay on September 15, 2013

Taken from the BBC website. You can find the original article here.

Reading ‘helps children’s maths’

11 September 2013 Last updated at 09:33 BST

A new study by the Institute of Education shows that children who read for pleasure are not only better at English but are also better at maths.

The study’s co-author Dr Alice Sullivan explained to the Today programme’s Sarah Montague the possible reasons for the results.

“It absolutely makes sense that you would expect reading for pleasure to improve children’s vocabularies,” she said.

“But I think that that also does improve children’s ability to take on new information and new concepts across the curriculum.”

She added: “A child who has a narrow vocabulary may constantly be coming across things they don’t understand.”

First broadcast on the Today programme on Wednesday 11 September.

If you want me, I’ll be sat in the corner, holding a big sign, that says:

                                   TOLD YOU SO!

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Now we’re cooking with gas!

Posted by willkay on September 10, 2013

the wall of fame

Now I’m a happy bunny. Just look at these numbers.


  • 649 pages: Angel

  • 351 pages: Mariana

  • 347 pages: Patricio

  • 320 pages: Jose

  • 313 pages: Victor

  • 308 pages: Allan

  • 305 pages: Hector

  • 303 pages: Carlos C.

How happy does that make me! Eight out of twenty six students read more than 300 pages. This is fantastic, especially when you consider that there has been a change in the Reading Logs this year – I no longer count pages read in Spanish. Congratulations to these eight students. However, if you are handing out congratulations, don’t forget The 200+ Club members. If you look at the top of the page, there, to the left…can you see it? The 200+ Club. Seven students read more than 200 pages! And, if you include The Wall Of Fame readers, that means there are fifteen out of twenty six students reading more than 200 pages!

This is what the sixth grade is all about!

Posted in wall of fame | 1 Comment »

moments from a PE lesson

Posted by willkay on September 10, 2013

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They’re Up

Posted by willkay on September 3, 2013

Mrs. Kay has gone through the photos she took at the assembly, and she has loaded them up onto my Flikr page. You can either click on the link in the left hand side there, just there, on the left. Or you could just click here.


Posted in Uncategorized | 2 Comments »

softly, softly, catchee monkey

Posted by willkay on September 3, 2013

we've read a book

Here we go:


  • 220 pages: Alexis

  • 214 pages: Jose

  • 208 pages: Claudia

  • 207 pages: Emiliano

  • 206 pages: Maria Jose

  • 201 pages: Mariana

  • 200 pages: Victor

Yes, I know. No one over 300…yet! But give it time. It’s still early in the year. I believe!

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The Wall Of Fame

Posted by willkay on September 1, 2013

The first numbers are in! Reading Logs have been checked, pages have been totalled, and only one person managed more than 200 pages! Well done Jose.


I realise that it is the beginning of the year, and all of this is new to the students. I have certain, different ideas to reading. I do not believe in reading a book you don’t enjoy. I don’t believe in finishing a book because “you have to”. I love reading! Reading takes me away from my day to day life, it puts me in situations I could never be in, it introduces me to people who I would never meet. I would like to instil this love of reading into my students. I set the target of 20 minutes a day, but I want them to read more. I want them to experience the joy of not wanting to put a book down, because they have to find out what is going to happen next. I want their parents to tell them to put their book down, turn the light off, and go to sleep. I want them to come into school and start telling their friends about the book they are reading.

Finding the right book is important, the book which will suddenly spark this desire to read. I realise that this can be an expensive problem. Often, as a parent, we buy a book for our children, and we insist that they read it to the end. But, if it is the wrong book, this can kill any enthusiasm for reading. In my classroom I have several books that I have bought, or previous students have donated, these are all available to the students. I encourage the children to lend books to each other. This way the cost can be decreased, and the students get a wider selection. But most of all, I encourage children to try more and more books. I’m not concerned about what books the children read, so long as they read. They more they read, the more they will read. The more they read, the more they will want to read. The better they become as readers means that they will want to read better books. It is an upward spiral.

And reading is the future. The written word is still the way that we communicate. Oh, for a moment it looked like Skype/FaceTime/Google+ Hangouts might rule the world, but the future is in the Internet. It is in the written word. Whether it is Wikipedia, WikiLeaks, FaceBook, or Twitter we have to be able to read, and to understand what we read.

The good news? I get the feeling that there are going to more people in The 200+ Club next week. Watch this space…

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