6th Grade Teacher

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Welcome to our new school year together. I look forward to helping your children as they adjust to the challenges that sixth grade presents. The following  are outlines, texts and supplemental activities we will use in class as we move our students forward in meeting the school’s Student Learning Expectations. Teachers and staff will work to help students become spiritually grounded, self-aware, and academically responsible.

RELIGION: Ms. Middleton

  • Faith First (Resources For Christian Living, 2007)
  • Bible
          Additional Resources:

  • Journals
  • Faith formation videos/film
The Faith First program leads children to grow in their Catholic faith by teaching what we believe as Christians and how we can live out those beliefs. The program is created around three pillars: church doctrine, scripture, and the liturgical year. By interweaving ideas from each of these areas, Faith First provides students with a foundation that they can use to understand and create their faith, becoming spiritually aware individuals.

Each unit is divided into chapters that reflect the three areas of emphasis. Activities in each chapter provide both students and their families with a chance to reflect on what has been learned.

Further Study:  Mass, formal and informal prayer, sacraments, saints, Ten Commandments, formation of conscience, respect for others (our world), the Church, vocations, scripture, special seasonal and liturgical celebrations.

Experiences: classroom prayer, class and school prayer services, mass, reconciliation, and outreach.

FAMILY LIFE: Ms. Middleton

  • Growing Within, Changing Without (Brown Publishing, 1994)
  • What to Expect When Expecting
  • In the Womb (National Geographic, 2005)
Family Life education will be integrated throughout the religion program. The goal of this program is to help students become more self-aware in the daily lives. Topics discussed will include family and friend relationships, sexuality and responsibility. Material from the Safe Environment for Children project will also be covered in Family Life. Family Life instruction will begin in September. 

SCIENCE: Mrs. Wahl

  • Holt Science and Technology (Holt, 2007)
The Holt Science and Technology program is based on the constructivist learning model. With this approach, students “construct” an understanding of concepts step by step, beginning by identifying what they already know about the topic. The students then do hands-on activities and textbook reading to experience the subject matter directly. These experiences cause them to amend, add to or scrap the mental model they already have of the subject in question. Emphasis will be on applying knowledge to science. 

Objectives of the Holt Science and Technology program:
  • Understanding of important science concepts, processes and ideas
  • Use of higher order thinking skills
  • Ability to solve problems and apply scientific principles
  • Interest in independent study of scientific topics
  • Social skills
  • Communication skills
In addition, 6th graders will:
  • Keep a class journal and lab notebook which will be ongoing records of students’ learning
  • Experience many explorations (short labs) per unit
  • Visit the fully equipped science lab once a week for a full period of laboratory experimentation
  • Be responsible for researching and reporting on a science topic
  • Participate in the spring sixth grade science fair
  • Understand fully the scientific method and be able to apply to experimentation 
  • Attend Camp Arroyo, an outdoor environmental education camp

MATH: Mrs. Twomey

  • Mathematics (Scott Foresman, Addison Wesley, 2005)

Students will explore the wonder of mathematics while studying topics such as equations, decimals, fractions, number theory ratios, proportions, percent, geometry, & measurement. Every day students will problem solve while working on “The Problem of the Day.” 

Mathematical thinking skills and mental math will be as important to student learning as will drill and practice. As parents, you can help your child with both thinking skills and practice if they do not understand homework assignments. Homework will be assigned daily. Each week will end with a quiz. We will have a chapter test at the end of each chapter.

Individual needs of students will concretely addressed. Team and group work will also be used to explore different strategies for problem solving.

LITERATURE: Mrs. Cummings


We use a literature-based program in which students are introduced to a wide range of quality writing. Students will develop a variety of strategies and skills that allow them to become confident readers, able to critically examine and apply meaning to literary works. They will learn to pick out and appreciate the elements of good literature, develop vocabulary, and strengthen comprehension, helping to establish a strong base in language arts. Each quarter students will be assigned a book report on a novel approved by the teacher – students are encouraged to read award-winning novels such as Newberry winners and honor books..


Anthology:        Quest (Houghton Mifflin, 2000)

Novels:             Bridge to Terabithia, Katherine Peterson

            Roll of Thunder Hear my Cry, Mildred D Taylor

            Each Little Bird that Sings, Deborah Wiles

            Julie of the Wolves, Jean Craighead George

LANGUAGE ARTS: Ms. Middleton (Writing & Grammar) / (Spelling)

English text
  • Houghton Mifflin English (Houghton Mifflin, 2004)
  • Additional Resource : The Shurley Method (Brenda Shurley,1995)
Spelling text:
  • Spelling and Vocabulary (Houghton Mifflin, 2004)
The fundamental principles of the Houghton Mifflin English Program include: reading, writing, listening, speaking, thinking and language study. Grammar, composition, spelling and vocabulary will be strongly emphasized.

In the study of grammar, students will work toward mastery of sentence structure and an understanding of the parts of speech. Practical use of grammar will be emphasized in order to enhance student writing.

Methods from the Bay Area Writing Project and the 6+1 Traits of Writing Program will be incorporated with the English text.  


Teachers will give special attention to the students’ handwriting needs as written class assignments are turned in for review and correction. All students will be required to complete classroom assignments in 
cursive handwriting. However, final papers and projects will be typed. 

SOCIAL STUDIES:  Ms. Middleton

  • A Message of Ancient Days (Houghton Mifflin Publishing, 1991)
  • Additional Resources : Film, Research, Ancient Literature through various forms of media.
The curriculum for sixth grade is Ancient Civilization. Students will explore how civilizations began and how they progressed through time. The emphasis is the impact of ancient time on the present. Students will identify and assess the responsibilities and gifts each civilization bestowed upon the world. 

The text will also be supplemented with outside resources. Areas covered include: history, geography, map reading, charts,and interpretation of original documents.


SPANISH: Seniora Ruiz
COMPUTER: Mr. Malone
MUSIC: Mrs. Miller
ART: Parent


The focus of homework is review in order to increase understanding. The benefits of homework also include: better retention and knowledge of material, critical thinking, and information processing. 

Homework will be required each week night (Monday-Thursday). Each teacher of the sixth, seventh and eighth grade team calculates homework times and assignments so as not to overburden students. Because of variations in ability levels and motivation, students may take more or less time to complete these assignments. 

*Students are expected to turn in assignments on time. If an assignment is late, the teacher may lower its final grade or keep the student in during recess to complete it.

PLEASE notify me immediately if you notice your child having any difficulty in any area of his/her homework study. I will likewise do the same.


Class work, quizzes, and tests will be graded by each subject area teacher. Work will be sent home for parental and student review/correction at the end of each week. Graded work should be reviewed by both students and parent(s). SIGNATURES WILL NOT BE REQUIRED ON CORRECTED PAPERS UNLESS OTHERWISE SPECIFIED. Parents should ask their child frequently to see corrected papers. Papers are often left in desks, folders or backpacks and never reviewed by parents.


When a child is absent from school, a student will be responsible for writing down missing assignments and collecting handouts for him/her. It will be the responsibility of the absentee student to make up all missing assignments in the time agreed upon with each teacher. It is 
necessary to contact the school office before 10:00 AM to have a student’s assignments available if you wish to pick them up in the school office at the end of the day. 

It is important to remember that absence adversely affects your child’s performance in school. 
Students that miss school due to vacation plans are responsible for completing any work that they miss. Students must meet witheach of their instructors upon returning to school to find out what they have missed.


Enrichment activities will be planned and scheduled throughout the school year. Field trips will be planned and announced well in advance. I will ask for parent helpers on both field trip days and special in-school enrichment projects. Guest speakers and other forms of enrichment will enhance our curriculum this school year.


In order for students to fulfill their potential, they must have a classroom environment in which they can learn and we can teach. I emphasize four general rules in sixth grade to guide student behavior:

Respect: Students are to respect both themselves and others
Responsibility: Students are held accountable for their actions
Courtesy: Students are to be courteous in their dealings with others
Cooperation: Students are to work with each other and others in the school community towards various goals.



A weekly class newsletter will be uploaded onto our class website Friday afternoons informing parents of sixth grade news including academics, class projects and upcoming events.