"You must do the thing you think you cannot do." Eleanor Roosevelt

DV Weekly Update

  • Weekly Updates are sent out on Sundays or Mondays every week to ELA 1-2 Parents and Guardians.  They include the weekly agenda and assignments, and important reminders to nag your kid about.  You can check them here, or have them delivered to your email address.  If you would like to be added to our weekly email list, please email me at Sarah.Vecera@dvusd.org




    Weekly Update:

    Weeks 1-2: August 3rd-14th

    Dear Parents and Guardians,

    Welcome to the Weekly Parent Update for ELA 1-2 at DVHS!  Usually I have parents sign up to be added to my weekly email list in the syllabus, but that would be very difficult to do this year.  Instead, I have pulled your email addresses from PowerSchools.  If you would like to be removed from this list, please email me and let me know.

    The purpose of the Weekly Update is to let parents know about this week’s agenda and expected assignments.  Some students require more reminders and/or nagging than others, and this gives you ample opportunity to do both.  It also lets you explore what we are learning about in the current unit.  I also keep Updates on my class webpage.

    We begin our course today with a Kick-Off Unit that focuses on some basic policies and practices.  We also have a few diagnostic pre-tests planned to assess students’ progress with the ELA standards.  Naturally, we will also be doing some introduction activities.

    During digital learning, our coursework will be kept on Canvas.  Some weeks I will see your students 2 days, and other weeks it will be 3 due to the A/B schedule.  This can make lesson planning difficult and due dates different.  The previously mentioned pre-assessments will take place this week and next, but once they are over, we should have a bit more regularity and routine.  Here is how I would like to structure our time:

    Day 1

    (Monday or Tuesday)

    Day 2

    (Wednesday or Thursday)


    (every other week / shortened school day)

    ·         SAT Vocabulary / Unit Vocabulary

    ·         Reading 1

    ·         Grammar

    ·         Writing

    ·         Work Time/Interventions

    ·         Reading 2


    I strongly recommend getting a Canvas Parent Account to better keep track of what assignments students need to complete.  At first, my prediction is that things will be pretty messy and confusing until students adjust to online learning and the Canvas platform.  I hope that within a few weeks it will become easier to understand and manage digital assignments.

    Canvas module

    For planning and communication purposes, this time it will be easiest for me to give you our schedule in a two-week block.  During the next two weeks, I will see your student 5 times.  On Canvas, students will see a MODULE that contains the courses week for each of the 5 times they see me, and each day will be labelled and separated.  Some assignments should be done during class time and submitted the same day; other assignments will be ongoing, and they might have a few days or weeks to complete them.  During online learning, students may turn in missing assignments without incurring a late penalty for two weeks.  As students begin understanding the expectations and how to use Canvas and their device, I should not see as many late assignments.

    Here is our  assignment schedule for the first two weeks of school:

    • Day 1: August 3-4
      • Syllabus- Students will read and sign the class syllabus, and will have their parents or guardians sign as well. Due 8/7
      • Syllabus Quiz- Students will take this quiz once together during class. If they do not like their score, they can re-take the quiz and the highest grade they earn will be put into the gradebook. Due 8/7
      • Four-Square Biography- Students will practice using their iPad to create a graphic that answers a few questions about who they are and what they value. Due on Day 2.
    • Day 2: August 5-6
      • My Territories- These will be notes that students put in their notebooks. If they do not have notebooks, they can use paper.  Students will take a photo of their work and submit on Canvas.
      • DOK Vocabulary Slideshow- Students will take 12 words that are commonly found in assignments and assessments. They will define and explain each, and find a graphic that illustrates what that verb is all about.  Due on Day 5.
    • Day 3: August 7 + August 10
      • Lexile Test- Students will take a reading comprehension test and submit a picture of their score. Freshmen should score about a L1050 to be considered reading at grade-level. Due by the end of class.  Students must take the Lexile Test on the assigned day.
      • Stories Activity- Students will compose 3 paragraphs following 3 different prompts about their favorite topics in fiction. Due by Day 4.
    • Day 4: August 11-12
      • District Comprehensive Pre-Assessment- Students will take a test on SchoolCity to gather formative data on their progress with the ELA standards.
    • Day 5: August 13-14
      • Plotline Vocabulary Notes- Students will take notes about key literary elements and the plotline.
      • Plotline Slideshow- Students will create a Google slideshow that shows the detail of the plot for one of their favorite movies. Students will be assigned a partner to work with.  Due next class (August 16-17)


    The next time I write a Weekly Update, it will be for one week and we will be done with the mandated Pre-Assessments that are throwing off our learning schedule.  As I said before, if you would like me to remove you from my email list, please email me with your request.

    If your child is struggling with any of the concepts, please let me know.  If they are struggling with Canvas or submitting an assignment, in the current Module there is a Page called How To Canvas that can help with technical issues.

    Thank you for your time and support,

                Sarah Vecera