Curriculum Night

Dear Parents or Guardians,

            Welcome to sixth grade!  We would like to begin by thanking you for coming to Curriculum Night and joining us as partners to ensure a successful educational experience for your child! If you were unable to attend, this letter will help you better understand the curriculum and methods we are utilizing to deliver the curriculum.

Sixth Grade Curriculum

Literacy:

Our literacy program has five pillars designated by LPS: Community, Reading Workshop, Writing Workshop, Language/Word Study and Integration. This framework is designed to foster active, responsible, and cooperative learning. Students will work at their own developmental pace, building understanding based on prior knowledge. The ultimate goal is to help students learn to see themselves as readers, writers, listeners and speakers.

 

Reading Workshop:

            The Reading Workshop is designed to motivate students by engaging them in meaningful literature where they can learn to enjoy reading. In sixth grade, we will continue to explore comprehension strategies such as activating schema, making connections, determining importance, questioning, inferring, synthesizing, and creating sensory images. To help students broaden their reading experiences and to look at texts in more meaningful ways, we will focus on a variety of genres throughout the school year. They will spend a great deal of time exploring informational text structures and informational reading strategies. Students will have daily opportunities to learn how to work together, set goals, evaluate their own reading accomplishments, and be engaged in meaningful conversations about what they read and take notes to support their learning. Our overall goals are to create responsive readers who can form opinions and interpret and understand the deeper meaning of what they read.

 

Components to Reading Workshop:

  1. Reading Mini-lessons: Whole group exploration of reading procedures, skills and comprehension strategies.Activities such as teacher modeling, and student practice will take place during this time.
     
  2. Independent Reading: Individual students read for sustained periods of time to build reading stamina, make appropriate book choices, and become comprehensive thinkers. They may sometimes demonstrate their thinking through the use of a reading notebook or reading extension activity.Our goal is for all students to read at least 6 books per card marking. This goal may slightly be adjusted based on individual needs.
     
  3. Small Group Instruction: Small groups of students with similar reading skills and needs will meet with the teacher to learn more about reading strategies.
     
  4. Book Clubs: Groups of readers meet to discuss various aspects of texts and sometimes work on extensions to demonstrate comprehension.
     
  5. Conferring: One-on-one discussions about the application of comprehension strategies and personal thoughts about the text with the teacher.
     
  6. Reading Notebooks – This is a journal that students will use to keep notes on mini-lessons, reflect on their learning, respond to their reading and to keep track of their thinking while reading. This is primarily for a place to practice and approximations. They will be collected and graded on a rotating basis.

 


Writing Workshop:

Writer’s Workshop is a student-centered environment where writers study rich literature to discover the decisions authors make and practice in their writing. The students will learn how to apply these skills and techniques into their own writing. During Writer’s Workshop students will be exploring different writing genres, such as, forms of non-fiction writing like opinion, persuasive and essay, as well as, poetry and literary essay. Students will also be utilizing the writing process to successfully publish pieces of writing. Our writing mini-lessons will focus on writing techniques and skills. 

Components to Writing Workshop:
  1. Writing Mini-lessons: During this time we will gather together as a whole group to explore rich texts and examples of quality writing, and learn procedures and skills. We will also explore the four dimensions of writing (ideas and content, organization, style and voice, and conventions). The teacher will model the process of being a real writer.

  2. Small Group Instruction: Small groups of children with similar writing skills and needs will meet with the teacher to learn more about writing.

  3. Independent Writing: Students write about self-selected topics on a daily basis and use a writer’s notebook to collect ideas, observations, questions, ideas, and memories for writing.

  4. Conferring: Students will meet with the teacher on a regular basis to discuss writing accomplishments and goals for continued writing.  The ultimate goal is for the teacher to help the student recognize strengths and then push the student forward in his or her writing.

  5. Writer’s Notebooks – This is a journal that students will use on a daily basis to keep notes on mini-lessons, reflect on their learning, and utilize as a helpful tool (that real writer’s use) to capture and hold their thoughts, observations, wonderings, drawings or anything that they might used later for inspiration for their writing. Writers will use this for a place to practice and make approximations also. These notebooks will be collected and graded on a rotating basis.
 

Word Study: 

Word study is an active, hands-on approach to words where students are exposed to rich literacy language and will be taught strategies and processes to becoming a better speller.  We will explore patterns in spelling, vocabulary, grammar, mechanics and the way words and our language work. For example, students will be taught that correct spelling matters, how to use prefixes, root words and suffixes, how to use a dictionary and thesaurus, etc. The focus will be on strategies instead of memorization of spelling lists.

           

 


Math:

In Mrs. Piper's 6th grade math classes, students will be using a new math program called, "Big Ideas."   The will cover the following concepts: 

  •       Fractions and Decimals,
  •       Integers,
  •       Pre-Algebra,
  •       Graphing,
  •       Volume and Surface Area

 

Science:

            Students will be participating in fun and exciting science explorations to deepen their understanding of scientific concepts. They will gain opportunities to read across the curriculum when they read informational texts directly related to each unit. Students will be conducting many investigations using the scientific process, which will serve as authentic tools for assessment. Content will be woven into Reader’s and Writer’s workshop for integration of the curriculum.

 

 

Social Studies:

Sixth grade students will be studying world cultures and geography of the Western Hemisphere, which will include the five themes of social studies: history, geography, government, economics, and culture. This content will also investigate understanding of the core democratic values and map skills. Content will be woven into reader’s and writer’s workshop for integration of the curriculum.

 

 

 

 

 

Classroom Procedures and Information

Conduct and Behavior:

Students are expected to be demonstrating respect, responsibility, caring, and trustworthiness at all times. This is the foundation of our community here at Johnson.

 

Planners:

One of the goals we seek to help students achieve is to become more responsible and independent. To help students become more active in their learning, they will continue using assignment books. The assignment book will inform you and your child of assigned work, upcoming assessments, activities, unfinished schoolwork, and homework. To help students learn to become more organized, they will fill out the assignment book each day during school and will be expected to take it home each night.  Please review the assignment book with your child every night.  Planners need to be signed each Friday.

 

Homework:

Assignments that are not completed during the school day should be completed at home and turned in the following morning.  In addition to unfinished work, students will also be expected to read each night. Occasionally students will be asked to spend time at home on long-term class projects. We will send home guidelines for projects in advance throughout the school year.

We recommend that you set aside a specific “homework time” each night with your child to establish a routine. This has proven to be the most effective for students.

Assessment & Evaluation:

            We have many different methods that we use to communicate with you and your student regarding the progress your child is making. We use both on-going forms of assessment and formal evaluations of student’s progress.

On-going assessments come in the form of observations, conferring one-on-one with students, daily work, quizzes, and journals.  The purpose of these forms of assessment is to guide our teaching and allow students to have practice and take risks to propel their learning. Credit is based on understanding and completeness. Often a rubric will be attached that list the criteria. 

Formal assessments include district benchmarks, tests and projects. This information usually is also given in the form of a rubric, but will be marked according to the report card scale of a  4, 3, 2, 1.

           

Testing:

      Dates to come...

***To ensure the best testing environment, it is important that all students are on time and in attendance for these dates, unless they are ill. Please let us know as soon as possible if your child will not be in attendance. Students will also be taking district benchmark assessments for literacy and math. To help students learn strategies to help them succeed on any type of test, we will be reviewing test taking strategies at the beginning of the year and then teaching a unit in the spring to help prepare students for standardized testing.

 

 

 

Supporting Learning At Home

  • You can help us support learning at home by continuing to practice basic math facts and general computation skills especially with multiplication and division. There are many websites that provide games and resources.  If you are not able to find appropriate websites, please let us know and we will help you with that. If your child has not learned to enjoy reading yet, read with them.  Share a book aloud, read the newspaper together etc. Every little bit helps, even if you are doing the reading or sharing it.

 

Sixth Grade Camp:  

More information will follow.

 

 

 

If you have any further questions or comments, please do not hesitate to contact us. E-mail is an extremely quick and efficient way to contact us or please leave a message in the office.  Together we can help your child have a successful and memorable school year.  Thank you for your support!

 

 

 

                                 Looking forward to a great year,                                                         

 

 

                  

 

Mrs. Kate Herriff, kherriff@livoniapublicschools.org

Mrs. Dawn Piper, dpiper@livoniapublicschools.org

Mr. Glenn Wright, gwright@livoniapublicschools.org