Welcome to 6th Grade!

It’s hard to believe that it’s time for the 2018-19 school year to begin, but we are looking forward to an AMAZING year together. We encourage every student and parent to embrace the opportunity to make this a great experience and opportunity and we would like to clarify what you can expect for the rest of the school year and perhaps even reassure you that your child CAN and WILL succeed in sixth grade!

THINGS TO REMEMBER:

  • 9/14- Picture Day :)
  • 9/21- Family Night 6pm-8pm
  • 9/27- Band Night 6pm
  • 9/28- Good News Assembly 2pm
  • 10/5- Professional Development (1/2 Day for Students)
  • 10/8- NO SCHOOL (Columbus Day)
  • 10/18 & 10/19- PARENT TEACHER CONFERENCES

Subjects:

Reading:

The sixth grade reading program uses a variety of elements which include a McDougal Littell reading series, class novels (Number the Stars & Boy in the Striped Pajamas) as well as Wordly Wise, a vocabulary program. Reading classes focus on improving reading comprehension strategies, vocabulary development, effective written literary responses and other crucial reading tools. Each day will also include independent reading time. Students will learn how to select their own “just right book” and learn to love reading!

Math:

Grade 6 students will be introduced to the Prentice Hall Mathematics Common Core Series. We begin with Course 1 and students will continue Course 2 & 3 in seventh and eighth grade. Concepts such as number theory, coordinate plane, geometry, multiplying and dividing fractions, and factorization will be explored and mastered.

Writing:

This is a huge part of the sixth grade curriculum. Students will learn English grammar such as sentence structure, verb phrases and adjectives along with how to write a 5 paragraph essay, and argumentative writing.

Science (Mr. Jones):

Science instruction focuses on developing critical thinking and problem solving skills. Students will participate in many hands-on laboratory experiments and science lecture. Students will also focus on reading nonfiction science materials and work on note-taking skills. The units for the year will include Energy, Ecology, and Weather.

Social Studies (Ms. Scovish):

Our social studies curriculum this year will follow Connecticut’s Social Studies framework which demands instruction on Ancient Civilizations such as Rome, Greece and Egypt. Students will explore the history, geography and other important aspects of these early cultures, beliefs and peoples.

Below, please find some questions often asked by parents of students new to sixth grade.

Why does this year seem so different/much harder than last year?

Change is hard. Sixth grade is a big change from fifth grade; the needs and expectations for this grade change and students are expected to assume more personal responsibility. Also, their organizational skills become vital to success. Student learning will become more self-driven as more open-ended and creative tasks are introduced. Projects will be a large part of this year’s expectations and students will have to grasp a concept of time management. Your student will be able to rise to this challenge as long as they are supported both at school and home as we develop a positive relationship for positive growth and change.

My child seems to have a lot of homework. Is it going to be like this all year?

Sixth graders are considered middle schoolers, therefore this transition may seem alarming at first, however homework problems will lessen significantly as the year progresses. Students are guaranteed to get nightly homework and it is suggested that an hour of time is put aside each day for these assignments. If possible, students will also be able to work on homework in school if they finish early or are ahead on projects.

Why are there so many folders and notebooks? Are they necessary?

In sixth grade, this organizational skill is key to each student’s success. While it may initially seem overwhelming, learning these valuable organizational skills will help further in your child’s school career. Wouldn’t it be nice to study for a science test and have all of your science notes in one place? What if you are working on an essay and need to refer back to a strategy we learned in class? Notebooks and folders allow for all of those benefits and more.

My child seems to be struggling more this year than ever before. Are the classes too hard or expectations too high?

Once again, this year is a big change and students will need to adjust. In younger grades, most learning occurred under direct teacher guidance in the classroom. By middle school, learning becomes more self-directed. Students will most likely need to start studying for tests and practice in math in essential. Sixth grade students need to practice on their own in varying amounts of time to internalize concepts and processes. Of course, teachers are always available to guide, give study suggestions and/or offer extra help as needed. Students do, however, need to put in the time to figure out how they learn best and then to fully learn the material. Each student is an individual and some will require more or less independent study time than others. Teacher expectations are high, but that will lead to high results.

What can I do to help my child succeed this year?

Thanks for asking! Here are some suggestions:

· If you have a question or concern, please contact the teacher.

· Talk to your child about what they are learning in school, and show that you are interested and care.

· Make sure your student is fluent in their math skills such as multiplication. Middle school math covers long division, large number multiplication and fractions which are almost impossible and frustrating if times tables do not come easily.

· Help your child with homework completion and organization. This guarantees concepts are reinforced nightly and students will be able to improve immensely.

· Understand that when your child comes home from school, they are reporting from their point of view. At this age, issues are sure to arise between classmates and problems will be addressed by the teacher or adult present given what they have witnesses and experienced at school. But of course, inform either teacher if you think you have information that would be pertinent to an issue regarding students.

· Show that you value education and that school is important. When parents and teachers work together, students are successful. Make sure your child knows that he or she is expected to do the work and follow the rules and you will be proud of him or her when he or she succeeds!

LET’S HAVE A GREAT YEAR!