Mrs. Rachel Gonsalves » Welcome!

Welcome!

Welcome to Edendale Middle School!
My name is Mrs. Gonsalves and I teach 6th grade English Language Arts, Social Studies, English Language Development, and Advisory. 
 
Read on to learn more about me and the courses that I'll be teaching at Edendale this year.
 
6th Grade English Language Arts
Our ELA program involves learning and demonstrating proficiency in the Common Core standards in reading, writing, speaking, and listening. We will be using our district curriculum, StudySync, which provides students with access via consumable workbooks and on-line learning opportunities. Students may also be asked to use other materials, such as BrainPop and Newsela. We encourage families to set aside time each day for students to read self-selected material for 20-30 minutes daily.
 
We will engage with short stories, informational texts, poetry, and drama. We will learn the most effective ways to annotate texts ("talking to the text") as well as using textual evidence to write effective responses for literary analysis. 
 
You can access the CA State CC Standards here: http://www.corestandards.org/ELA-Literacy/WHST/6-8/
 
6th Grade Social Studies
We will study ancient cultures and the ways these remarkable civilizations contribute to and influence the modern world. We'll spend time looking at pre-history (before the written word), the early civilizations of Sumeria, and ancient civilizations such as China, India, and student-favorite Egypt!
 
We will be following the California State Framework for History and Social Studies. You can access the state's framework here: https://www.cde.ca.gov/ci/hs/cf/documents/hssfwchapter10.pdf
 
We will use our district curriculum, TCI, which provides students with access via consumable workbooks and on-line learning opportunities. Students will also engage in Geography Challenges to help us understand how geography affected the development of societies and cultures around the world.
 
6th Grade ELD (English Language Development)
In this course, we will provide additional language support for mastery of academic English language needed to succeed in high school, college, and the workplace. We will specifically focus on speaking and writing, known as language outputs, to help students communicate effectively and demonstrate mastery of academic subjects in school.
 
We will work on the skills necessary to succeed in assessments such as the ELPAC. For more information about the assessment, visit the state ELPAC website by clicking on the link here: https://www.elpac.org/about/
 
6th Grade Advisory
The Advisory time was added to the SLZUSD middle school schedule in 2019-2020 in response to the student-expressed need for social-emotional learning and essential skills development. The curriculum I will be using at Edendale Middle School is our district-approved Character Strong
 
The Character Strong social-emotional learning curriculum focuses on the Eight Essentials: patience, kindness, humility, respect, selflessness, forgiveness, honesty, and commitment. In addition, students in my Advisory course will learn, practice, and begin to master the social-emotional skills of self-awareness, self-management, social awareness, responsible decision-making, and relationship skills.
 
Each week, students will be given a Character Dare -- an activity that will help students practice the Eight Essentials and social-emotional skills taught that week. You can learn more about Character Strong by reading the parent letter posted below: 
 
Bio
I have been teaching middle school English Language Arts for more than 18 years, and I have been teaching 6th Grade ELA/ELD/social studies in San Lorenzo Unified School District for 5 years. My teaching experiences have also included teaching AVID electives, and being a pilot teacher for ELA, social studies, and advisory curricula.
 
I have worked as both a vice-principal and principal at schools in the East Bay, but I chose to return to the classroom because being with students is my true passion! I use these prior administrative experiences to support my students to achieve their academic goals.
 
In my spare time, I enjoy spending time with my family that includes my husband, two college-age daughters, and our two cats, Lino and Lulu. I enjoy traveling (I used to work for an airline and traveled around the world!), camping, cooking, gardening, hiking, volunteering, and I'm learning yoga to stay healthy. I love sports and am an avid Oakland A's fan! I also like the Sharks, Warriors, and Earthquakes. My favorite thing is reading, and I really like historic fiction. I'm currently enjoying a book series called the Neapolitan Novels. My other favorite things in the world are redwood trees, and I love that we live in the only area in the world where these gentle giants grow!