Phone: (907)372-3306 x31053
Degrees and Certifications:
B.A. Interdisciplinary Studies K-8 MA.Educational Neuropsychology, pending graduation
Ms. Tracy Ball, 6th Grade Teacher
Hello and Welcome to Sixth Grade
My name is Tracy Ball and I have taught at Crawford for the last two years and 2019-2020 will be my third year here. Before moving from Alabama to Alaska, I taught 6-8 grade math, 4th grade, and 1st grade. I enjoy teaching sixth grade at Crawford and hope to stay here for as long as I can. I graduated from Western Governors University and am working on a masters in Educational Neuropsychology at Ball State University.
Subjects: In the next school year, we will be studying Ancient Civilizations for Social Studies, Earth, Physical and Life Science, Math, Wrting Essays citing references and making bibliographies (APA format), making presentations using Google Slides and presenting to their class, Reading literature to study litereary elements, and Reading informational text to learn how to read graphs, maps, data, etc., Poetry, Spelling, Vocabulary, Grammar, Art, Music, Physical Education, and the students will have an opportunity to participate in band, orchestra, and choir. The 2019-2020 school year, we will be participating with a UAF/NASA study program of the climate in Alaska called GLOBE project. They have projects on clouds, greening, berry change, animal movement, snow pack, etc.
I teach from novels a lot in reading. I teach from The Giver, A Wrinkle in Time, Hatchet, Flying Solo, Freedom Walkers,etc. Some of these books have movies that go along with them and I. usually let the children watch it for comparison. I will always send a note home if it is above a PG movie. We also do a study of the Titanic disaster. The students do a slide presentation on it and we watch a short documentary of a survivor who tells her account of the sinking of the ship. I also give grades for any base projets like fire prevention posters, Black History Month Essay, etc. We want to show support to our base by being involved in their projects.
School Supply List: The school supply list is available on the main Crawford website. The only thing that I ask for in addition or replacement of some items on that list is a pack of higlighters, no crayons or colored pencils but markers instead. No pencil box needed. I prefer a 3 ring 2-3" binder that has a clear pocket on the front and back. I prefer translucent colored tab dividers with pockets for the inside of the binder. They will use the binder for their planners, all homework, and returned graded papers. It is essential they have one exactly like I described. If you ever have questions about what your child is studying, look in their binder and newsletter. There will also be a section for school announcements to get to you and at times, back to me. If your child "misplaced" their correspondence, I do try to email you a copy of our newsletter.
Classroom management: I have a very simple order to my class room. The students use hand signals and I use CHAMPS which stands for Conversation level, Help, Activity, Movement, Participation, Success. I use positive reinforcement to control behavior which means, they earn prizes like cookies, doughnuts, pajama day, etc. They get to decide. If there is a major problem, I will ask a student to pull as stick and it will be recorded under the attendance with the reason they pulled a stick. Typically, a green stick is a verbal warning, a yellow stick is to write "The Seven Habits of Highly Effetive Students", the red stick gets a discipline referral, phone call, and/or email from Mrs. Sperl, Mrs. Bussa, or me.
Homework: I do not give a lot of homework if any at all. If a student does not finish their work during the day, it becomes homework that must be turned in at 8:00 a.m. If they do not turn it in, it will be recorded as a zero and no make up or extra credit will be given later on. Also, if a student misses school, there will be a folder on their desk of the work they missed. If they miss one day, they have one day to finish it and turn it in, if the miss a week, they have a week to turn it in. For example, if you child misses a Monday, returns on Tuesday, the work is due to me on Wednesday at 8:00 a.m. Again, if the work is not completed, it will be recorded as a zero and no late assignments are given a second makeup time. I recommend downloading the Powerschool app on your phone and keeping a close eye on their grades and not let them fall behind.
Classwork: I assign classwork in each subject. Sometimes I will take quizes on items we have gone over, otherwise I will give points for classwork completed or notes taken. I have a bulletin board with folders that are attached which is where work should be turned in. I take those out each day and grade them. If an assignement is missing I enter it as a zero until the work is turned in to me at 8:00 am the next morning. If the work is not turned in, it will remain a zero. I will be reintroducing cursive writing and we will be using cursive writing all year. If your child struggles, please work with them on the proper way to write in cursive.
Grades: I grade on the 100% scale and add in the points from classwork, notes, projects, writing, etc. I will have a rubric/grading chart for expecttions on each project. Let me remind you that in sixth grade, we do not take late work, it is a zero in the grade book unless of illness, family vacations, etc. If there is a vacation, etc, let me know a week in advance so I can have their work ready for them to do while gone.
Celebrations: If you wish to celebrate your child's birthday at school, please let me know a week in advance so I can let the lunchroom know not to cook as much food that day. Y.ou are welcome to eat lunch with your child any time you wish--no reason needed.
Holidays: For Halloween they are allowed to wear their costume, no mask over the face, and it must remain in dress code. The children exchange candy, kind of like trick or treating in the class, they eat as much as possible before I send them home. We have a traditional Thanksgiving lunch (I will set up a Sign-Up Genious for you to sign up for what you wish to bring).At Christmas I order pizza for the whole class, they bring a soda of their choice, and what ever knick knacks so they can snack all day. We also play 'Dirty Santa". Boys bring a $10 boy gift, girls bring a $10 girls gift. If the student wants to participate they can and if they don't they don't have to. On Valentines Day, the students exchange Valentines with each other and again bring any sweets they want to snack on. April is the month of the Military Child. We do things throughout the month to thank our little heros. May the last days of school come too fast. We typically have a school wide field day, we take the sixth grade to the bowling alley and food court, have free hotdog day and then we let you take them for the summer.
Dress Code: Please read the student handbook and my visual on dress code rules. Leggings are a BIG NO NO unless they are worn under a tunic or dress. If a student is not clothed according to dress code they have two options: find something from the lost and found or you bring them a change of clothes; Otherwise, they will be written up for disciplinary action.
Snow Gear: If this is your first winter in Alaska, you HAVE TO HAVE snow gear. The children go outside to play until the temperature outside reaches 20 degrees below zero. They will need snow boots, snow pants, heavy insulated jacket, gloves, warm hat, scarf or neck gator. Even when the temperatures "warm up" if there is snow on the ground, they are required to wear snow boots, snow pants, hats, and gloves. They get snow on them while outside, they come in, it melts and ther clothes are wet for the rest of the day.
Other Gear: The students will need gym shoes just for the gym. They are not allowed to wear these outside.
Parent Teacher Meeting: Aside from the scheduled parent teacher conferences, you are welcome to call, email, or visit the classroom any time you wish. All I ask is that if you need to talk to me about your child, to make an appointment with me so the whole class doesn't lose instuction time. We have conference rooms available and I can have someone come in to take care of the class if it is that suddenly came up. Just let the receptionist know that you need an emergency conference.
Deployments: I know the "D" word is so hard on the whole family structure. If you have someone in your family deploying, please let me know. I will not announce it (I understand OPSEC) but there are specialihelsts here at school who help your child cope with the deployment. Also, your child can call and/or FaceTime their parent from school. If you will me know what time your child needs to talk or FaceTime, I will make sure they have a private room to do so. My son is a soldier and I understand how important it is to the child and the parent to communicate with each other.
Cellphones, Electronic Devices: Cell phones are not allowed to be powered up or in a students possession. They must be turned of (not just silenced) and in their book bag. They only time they can take it out is when a staff memeber asks them to in cases of a real emergency or when they exit the building to go home.
Field Trips: We are on a very limited budget and have $100 for school supplies for the classroom and for field trips. We do go to Anne Wein for the Alaska Room, which is a free field trip, we go to the Symphony Orchestra, which is also free, we will go to the UAF Science Museum, another free trip, and we went to a ballet which the students had to pay for. I would like to add a couple of additional trips in like visiting the gold mine and go to the movies one day (close to Christmas). The school funded "paid trips" do not require a permission form since it is a learning experience. The other trips require a permission form.