9/12 Questions & A Prompt To Ponder…..

Good Afternoon,

We are off to a great start of the year, as the students are really settling in and working hard.  To prepare for our upcoming lesson tomorrow, please discuss the following questions at home.  It is imperative that our students are able to hold an academic conversation in which they are able to support their thinking with facts and examples.  We are working on our oral language skills in class as we speak, and we look forward to sharing your child’s progress in this area very soon.

Discussion Questions:

  1. Why did September 11th happen?
  2. What were the outcomes of September 11th?

In addition, tomorrow we will be administering a writing prompt to gather data, which in turn will give us feedback as to what skills in writing to focus our instruction around.  Students are able to think  about and research their chosen topic addressing this prompt tonight.  Students are encouraged to bring in any additional resources, such as articles, images, etc., to support their thinking during the prompt exercise.  The prompt is as follows:

“Think of a topic that you’re passionate about and you believe needs to be changed or needs to continue.”

We are still missing a few forms for both classes.  Please ensure your child has turned in the following forms:

  • Social Studies Syllabus (Yellow or Goldenrod)
  • Science Syllabus (Brown)
  • Common Core 7 Technology Implementation


Please look for an email blast every Friday.  It is our goal to ensure parents are informed weekly of our progress.  Please feel free to email or contact us both at anytime.


Yours In Education,

Shannon Kaplan & Amy Niklasch





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Free Gardening Camp For Grades K-8th


Large rectangular plot behind North side of building

JUNE & JULY 2016 – TUESDAYs & THURSDAYs 6pm – 8pm

6PM-7PM Hands on activities for younger learners (suggested ages 6-11)

7PM-8PM Activities for more advances learners (suggested ages 11& up)

Week 1: June 14th & 16th/ Week 2: June 28th & 30th/ Week 3: July 12th & 14th

Weeding days w/break-out sessions: Tuesday 9-11am & Thursday 6-8 pm


FOR MORE INFO: Email peelk@reeths-puffer.org

Reeths-Puffer Schools received a grant in support of their Gardens to Cafeterias program, which will expand production of the school’s gardens and increase purchase of local produce. Campers will learn fundamentals of seeds, gardening, pests, soil, light, crop rotation, what organic means, composting, recipes,,etc. Children are encouraged to bring gardening gloves, but not mandatory.

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6/2 RPIS Field Day

RPI Sixth Grade Families,

On Thursday, June 2, all sixth grade students will be participating in field day from 8:30 AM – approximately 11:45. In order for this day to be a success, we need volunteers during this time.  If you are able to volunteer, please respond back to one of your child’s teachers.  You would need to have a background check form filled out for this school year, which is attached.  These forms do take a few days to process, so if you could return this form to the RPI office by Thursday, May 26, that would be greatly appreciated. We would need you to report to the RP football stadium by 8:00 AM on June 2.
Thank you so much for helping us make this a great morning for our kids.

Background Check Form

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First Annual RPIS 6th Grade Debate Final: Monday, May 2nd 5:30-8

Announcing the 1st Annual

6th Grade Rocket City

Debate Championship

Debate Topic: Which struggling country has demonstrated the greatest need for United Nations support?                

When: Monday, May 2nd, 2016

Where: RPIS Cafeteria

Time: Seating will begin at 5:30 PM, the live events begin at 6:00 PM sharp!!!

Who: All sixth grade students and their families.

(It is requested that all sixth grade students attend this event and receive social studies extra credit)

Cost: $3.00 per family and/or a donation of dry/canned foods for our local Muskegon Kids Food Basket is requested.

*The following items are request and the bolded items are most pressing: 100% Fruit Juice Boxes, Cracker Packs, Cheerios, Creamy Peanut Butter, Individual Raisin Boxes, Snack Size Zipper Bags, Individual Fruit, Pudding, and Gelatin Cups.

*Light international snacks will be provided by Reeths-Puffer Food Service from the generous support of the RPIS Parent Connect.  

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Game On- Debates Start Tomorrow

Dear Students and Parents,

Please make sure you are ready to begin round #1 tomorrow! Game ON!



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~All Rockets Needed- Please sign up for the 2016 Seaway Run~

~All Rockets Needed- Please sign up for the 2016 Seaway Run~
Saturday, June 28th at 7:45 am
In an attempt to remain the Stinky Shoe Champion of Muskegon Area Public Schools, please consider signing up for this healthy, family event.  All sign ups will be conducted online this year and there is no school t-shirt order.  Please see the following link to register: http://seawayrun.com/
Please show your Rocket Pride and wear your Rocket gear on the day of the race! 
Go Rockets!!!!


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Spring Conference Changes- Please Read

Dear Students and Parents,

There were some technical difficulties with the previous sign up system.  To make our sign up system more user friendly, I have included a Google Doc sign up. This will allow parents to sign up to conference with both Ms. Jacoby and myself at separate ten minute increments.  Please use the link below and follow the directions posted below.
1. Please enter your child’s name for both teachers on the date and time that works best for your family.
2. Please include an email to ensure we can contact you for any reason.
3. Please be sure to not overlap your time sessions.  For example, If you see Mrs. Niklasch at 5:00 pm, please schedule your next conference with Ms. Jacoby at 5:11.  Each conference is scheduled for 10 minutes.
4. If you have already scheduled your time in the old sign up system, I tried to enter you as close to your first choice as possible. If these times do not fit into your schedule, please do not hesitate to contact me at anytime.
Thank you for your flexibility and patience,
Mrs. Niklasch & Ms. Jacoby
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2/18 College Night

College Night at Reeths-Puffer Intermediate

February 18th, Thursday


  • Understand how today’s learning is purposeful for more opportunities later  
  • Interact with representatives of learn institutions beyond R-P
  • Have fun with other forward thinking Rockets!

Time & Place:

5:30-7:30 p.m., RPI Café


Alma, Aquinas, Baker, Calvin, Career Tech Center, Central Michigan University, Concordia University of Ann Arbor, Davenport, Detroit Mercy, Ferris, Grand Valley State University,  Hope, Kendall College of Art and Design, Kettering University, Lake Superior State University, Michigan State University, Michigan Technological University, Muskegon Community College, Northern Michigan University, Oakland University, University of Michigan – Flint,  Wayne State University, Western Michigan University

Various trade and vocational schools.  

Financing College:

Joe Finkler of AIG Advisor Group, R-P Parent & Financial Advisor  

College Night Sponsor:

Pizza will be sold with part of the proceeds to benefit college awareness activities!  

All Learners 100% Engaged, All Day


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1/26 Report Cards, M-Step Reports, and Growth Data

Good Afternoon,

It is with pleasure that I communicate that your child received their standards based report card for the second marking period and their 5th grade M-Step scores.  These reports were placed in a name labeled envelope,  for families to please review and discuss the academic scores and student achievement.

We have been working very hard in 6th grade science and social studies.  The growth I have observed is outstanding.  Here are a few highlights:

  • Self monitoring of behavior to foster 100% engagement daily
  • Learning to disagree with group members while maintaining a working relationship
  • Asking and answering high level questions 
  • Persevering through challenging material and having a positive outlook 
  • Learning to write for meaning and improving the mechanics of writing 
  • Keeping class pace that matches instructional rigor at RPMS
  • Self managing of classroom learning opportunities and using lunch time to catch up on work
  • Learning the importance of a growth minded learner, in contrast to a fixed learner 

As our students continue to grow in their maturity, responsibility, and ability to think at rigorous levels of academic difficulty, it is imperative that students give themselves time to learn.  The following video clip emcompasses my vision of educational excellence that I hope to foster within your child.  It is never been more important for our students to learn the value of hard work, failure, and optimism.  Please view the posted video and discuss your child’s learning style, as I think you will find it helpful when considering your child’s education and upbringing.

If you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to email me at any time.  If there is any additional ways in which I can support your child in their learning, please do not hesitate to ask.  Thank you for your continued support and for sharing such amazing, talented students that will someday change our city, country, and world.

Yours In Education,

Amy Niklasch 🙂









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Upcoming Due Dates- Week of 11/30-12/4

Good Afternoon,

We are working to complete both units in science and social studies.  This week will be a busy one, with many assignments and assessments planned.  Please review the following task lists to ensure students are prepared for the expectations in science and social studies this week.

Monday 11/30: Putin-ISIS Research Paper typed, due today!

Tuesday 12/1: 5 Themes Assessment, students must be qualified to take the assessment. Numerous study guides are located in student binders.

Thursday 12/3: Vocab WS 2.2 due, vocab quiz 2.2 today!

Friday 12/4: Ecosystem Vocabulary Quiz, must be qualified to take the assessment.

Please let me know if you need any support to fulfill these requirements. I am open for lunch everyday but Wednesday this week and I can arrange after school support if needed.


Happy Holidays,

Mrs. N 🙂


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11/16 Putin-ISIS Writing Support

Dear Parents,

Your child has been participating in a rich co-curricular learning experience in both social studies and language arts. We have researched in depth, both threats to global peace, ISIS and Putin.  Students have been given the choice to choose one topic and write an argumentative paper.  We are in the beginning stages of this paper and we need your support.  After students have made their choice of topic, they completed an in- depth research packet to support the writing process.  The arguments for their paper will be found in this research.

To support our learners in the writing process, we are completing a “Persuasion Writing Map”, that helps students identify a road map to the writing process.  We are requesting that you review your child’s map and ensure it supports this process of writing.  To do so, please consider the following information as a guide:

  1. Claim must be from one of the two statements given on research packet.  Students will choose if the problem is global or a regional issue, and identify the involvement of the USA.
  2. Students need to identify three reasons that support their chosen claim and state them in a topic sentence format.
  3. Students need to include three facts or examples that support each reason stated.  Numerous examples are found in the created research packets.
  4. Please do not start the conclusion just yet.  We still need to instruct on the mechanics of creating a proper conclusion.
  5. Parents, please sign your initials on the bottom of the paper stating you reviewed this process with your child.

Thanks so much for your partnership on this process,

Mrs. Niklasch and Mrs. Jacoby



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11/9 Grading Changes: Per Mr. Smith

Hello R-PI Families,


I wanted to send out a letter to help prior to conferences letting you know that we are making some changes in our reporting of learning starting this year.  We are making these changes to ensure that you as a parent have the best and most specific information possible, so you know where your child is at in their learning progression at any given time.  Everything we are doing at R-PI is based on a learning focused approach.


The communication of grades should be focused on giving students and parents specific information about the progress the child is making towards the mastery of the given standards being taught; not on a single grade for a broad category.  For example, a single grade in the area of reading will not provide enough information to a student or parent about what a student can and cannot yet do in the area of reading.  We know that for grades to be meaningful, we need to offer precise information based on the specific standards being taught so we can tell what standards have been met and what standards still need additional work. For these reasons we have suppressed the “grades” all together at RPI and will solely be reporting on the standards for each part of your student’s day.    


Please know that this first marking period reporting is going to be messy, and we apologize for this upfront.  With that being said, we are not willing to wait to make the changes because this is not what is best for students or for you as parents.  You deserve to know exactly where your child is at in their learning journey at Rocket City.  Please know that even though the technology may not be right where we need it yet, we will be able to report more specifically to you where your child is achieving at this level on the standards that have been taught.  Please know that once the technology is working, you will be able to see a live up-to-date snapshot in the new online reporting system.  This online reporting will be the exact copy of reports generated at each marking period.


At conferences, you will expect to receive a standards based report, by course, that will give you specific information about where your child is currently achieving, at this given time, against the standards s/he has been taught.  We look forward to sharing work samples with you from your child’s daily work during conferences.  This will allow teachers and parents to have a deeper conversation about your child’s work.   We believe that the new report card, the work samples, and deeper conversations will give you a better understanding of current level of progress based on grade level standards/expectations outlined for each grade level.   


Please remember that every change we make is to help each child grow their learning and make their educational journey focused and rigorous.  We believe that our new reporting system will bring more clarity to the individual standards your child is learning this year.  We appreciate your patience and we look forward to seeing each and every one of you at conference next week.  


How will I, as a parent, know when the technology is ready?  

We will continue to communicate with you, offer visual steps to access the new online reporting system, and create videos to explain how to navigate and what to focus on when you are in the new system.  

The information and screenshots will help you navigate the system and will provide you more information about what the new screens mean.  We are excited about the amount of information we will soon be able to share with you and how the information will be more clarifying to the individual standards your child is learning this year.  


   How can I monitor at home?

  • You can support the student by asking questions about their learning.  
  • What is something that you learned in your Science class today?
  • What are some reflections that you have from your reading in Language Arts class?
  • What was your learning target in Math?   Did you move any closer to mastering the skill?
  • Can you show me what you worked on today?  
  • What did you write about in your science journal, writer’s notebook, etc.?
  • Was there anything that was a challenge today?  What made it a challenge?
  • Did you have any questions about what you learned today that you did not ask?


What can I do to help?

  • Read and ask your student about weekly emails the teachers send out regarding learning.
  • Email or contact the teacher with questions or needs for clarification.
  • Honor your student when they are struggling and support them as they work through the growth.
  • Recognize growth in their skills and celebrate their learning progress.
  • Encourage problem solving.

Watch The Video Here

Thank you for your support, and I look forward to our working together through this exciting learning process.



Mr. Smith

“All learners, 100% engaged, All day”



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Love and Logic Classes Offered!

“Where parents do too much for their children, the children will not do much for themselves.” E. Hubbard

Love and Logic is filled with ideas on how to help our kids manage tough situations whether created by themselves or forced upon them.  They are stronger than we give them credit.  

When: Tuesdays November 3, 17, December 1, & 15.  6-7:30 p.m.

Where: R-P Intermediate, Room 124.  

Cost: Free! Plus a few perks for supporting your kids.  

Bring your own refreshments, grab a friend, and join us for a humorous look at some “new” ideas that are really quite recognizable by grandparents.  

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Upcoming Announcements- End Of The Marking Period

Good Afternoon,

Please be advised to the upcoming due dates:

  1. Wednesday 10/28: Social Scientist Assessment, please use handout to study or pretest.
  2. Thursday 10/29: Vocab Quiz 1.4, Vocab WS 1.5 due 11/5. Please study using blog or hardcopy.
  3. Tuesday 11/3: Part One Ecosystem Assessment, please study using formative assessments.
  4. Wednesday 11/4: SS and Sci SIN check.  Please make sure both your science and social studies SINs are up to date and completed.  We will check these in class on Wednesday and they will serve as a project grade. Mrs. N has a master copy if needed, or see a friend for support.

*** Conferences are November 11th & 12th.  To guarantee your spot, please sign up using the following link.   

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10/23 Friday: Please sign up online for a fall conference data meeting.

Good Afternoon,

Please identify the day and time slots to meet for your child’s 10 minute conference with Ms. Jacoby (math & language arts) and Mrs. Niklasch (science & social studies) by using the provided link.  At this meeting, we will be discussing performance data and behavioral characteristics demonstrated by your child, while providing feedback for growth in learning. Please sign up separately to see both Mrs. Niklasch and Mrs. Jacoby.  Please do not double book your time slots, be sure to schedule two separate conferences.

If none of these time slots will work for your schedule, please send us an email stating your availability concerning days and times.

Thank you for your support and we look forward to meeting you soon,

Mrs. Niklasch and Ms. Jacoby

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10/21 Sub Plan

Good Morning:

Please follow the following plans throughout the day.

  1. Rocket Time: Please watch the following video  and complete the “Noting What I’ve Learned”. 
  2. AM Social Studies: Please start the Social Scientist Activity. Please walk through the lesson step by step with the kids.
    1. Allow students to gather in groups of 5-7 students and complete #1 on ws.
    2. Please watch the video clip and complete the chart under question #1.
    3. Please allow students to complete the prop preparation.  Please show prop examples for class. Materials for props are located at the center table.  Construction paper is located in a lower cabinet. Have students paperclip their group props together and make sure their group name is located on it.
    4. Please allow students to use their device to take a Social Scientist Department picture and email to Mrs. Niklasch.
    5. Please allow students to be able to create their video using their device.  Please reference the success criteria under #4 on the worksheet so students understand the requirement.  Please have students upload video to UTube and share the video’s URL with me.
    6. Please stop here and collect packets.
  3. AM Science: Please allow students to work in pairs within their learning team, using the COWS, please complete Ecosystem WS.
    1. Please show this video for question #8.
  4. PM Core Social Studies: Please have students complete vocab ws 1.2 with your guidance.  Students will need to highlight and copy down terms from the overhead. Please allow them to use the COWS to find images.  Once complete, please collect and paperclip.
    1. After the worksheet is completed, please have students take the vocab quiz 1.2 off my blog as practice.
    2. Please have students complete the Europe packet using the COWS and Maps and More Website off my blog.
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10/21 Wednesday- World Map Assessment

Just a reminder to our world map assessment this Wednesday, October 21st.  Please use the resources in your binder or the following online practice quiz to prepare.  To be qualified to take this assessment, all assignments must be turned in.

Study World Map Here 


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10/12 Feedback For Growth

Good Afternoon,

It has been a pleasure getting to know your child as a person and learner.  It is always exciting to work with new students and watch them connect with the learning.  We continue to push ourselves daily, challenging our thought processes, and learning from others around us.  Sixth grade will require more focus, effort, and determination than ever experienced, as our goals is to prepare our students for RPMS and beyond.

As we progress through the year, student strengths and weaknesses come to light, and I work really hard to fill the holes and strengthen our students’ ability to succeed.  We have had some pretty candid conversations over the last few weeks.  There have been a few behaviors that I believe are limiting our learning, and acting as a barrier to growth.

  1. Using the learning time: Students are placed into learning teams to collaborate and learn from each other.  Some students are choosing to be off task and use the group as a social opportunity.  My concern is that they are missing an important layer of my instruction and this results in learning gaps which do appear at assessment time.
  2. Work Ethic: Many students are not actively engaging their best effort in my class.  Many want me to spoon feed the information, and this is not a strategy that will result in academic success for our students.  Students need to focus on the learning and give their best effort daily.  Learning is a journey and preparing our students for the 21st century requires students’ owning their learning and wanting more!
  3.  Following Transitions: The 21st Century classroom has many transitions in learning that build layers of knowledge for the learner.  Students are still struggling with transitioning and some are choosing to work at their own pace.  Students are being asked to stay with me as I progress through learning activities.  Assessment will not be administered until I have the data demonstrating student knowledge, which will lead to higher assessment performance.  Please encourage your child to focus on the learning and keep pace with my instruction.

As 6th grade is often looked upon as the kindergarten of secondary education, this will be a year filled with growth, achievement, and personal reflection.  Please know that I offer lunch time help most days and support each child’s learning needs.  I will continue to work through these issues at school, but I do request that you also support this message at home with your child.  It will help if they hear the message in more than one place.

In addition, Thursdays are our vocabulary quiz days.  Many students did not complete their qualifier (vocab ws) to take their quiz last week.  Please note that it is rare that homework is given, and students are expected to come to class with their vocabulary worksheet completed (they have a week to complete it at home) and ready to take the quiz.  If students need an extra copy, they are found on my blog.  In addition, the quizzes are also located on my blog and students may practice the intended quiz as many times as needed to ensure mastery.

Please know I truly care about my students and only want them to be prepared for higher education and the 21st century economy.  If you have a question or concern, please do not hesitate to contact me.

Learning Together,

Amy Niklasch






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