6th Grade Update

from Ms. Donlon

Winter Break is Here!

Dear Families,

As we wind down 2014, I want to thank you all so much for your thoughtful notes and gifts. I'm really so very fortunate to work with your children each day. I hope that this newsletter will give you a brief peek at what's to come for your children when they return in January :)

Please enjoy a safe and relaxing Winter Vacation, and I look forward to seeing everyone again in 2015!





When we return from break, we will be wrapping up our unit of study on Character in Short Fiction, and shifting to a general study of short text. Students will be reading a variety of genre during this unit, and they will respond to both open ended and multiple choice questions about their reading. Expect to see them coming home with poems, song lyrics, myths, fairy tales, feature articles, general non-fiction, etc. There may be times where I assign this reading in place of 30 minutes with an independent chapter book, and other times it will be in addition to this work.

Social Studies

We've finished up our unit on Geography and Human Interactions, but this may not be the end for some of your children. The National Geographic Geo Bee will take place in mid-late January, so some of your children may be studying for this exciting event in their spare time.

I have shared information about the Bee with all 3 classes during Social Studies class this week. While all students will participate in the preliminary round during Social Studies, they are not required to study for the event at all. I will run an optional Geo Bee lunchtime club for those students who are interested in doing so. The size of the group will be limited to those students willing to commit to coming to all sessions, and a note about this will go home during the first week back. In the meantime, please feel free to explore info about the Geo Bee at:


In class, the focus of our next unit will be on Human Rights. We will study what human rights are, how to protect them, and how to help those whose rights are being violated around the world. I expect that there will be many "aha" moments and lots of good conversation during this unit. It's an excellent opportunity at home to engage your child in conversations about current events that touch upon issues around human rights. Our 6th graders will likely develop a new passion for social justice, and an increased desire to understand what is happening to people both locally and around the world.

A Few Notes and Requests...

  • The weather has now shifted. Please remember to send your child to school dressed appropriately. If there is snow on the ground, only those students with boots will be allowed on the field during recess.
  • We eat snack daily in class. Please remember to send HEALTHY snacks that are tree and peanut-free. Candy and sugary drinks are not helpful when it comes to sustaining the energy to learn over the course of a long day!
  • We will soon find ourselves with more weather-related indoor recess days. If you have any gently used board games (no missing pieces, please!) that you would like to donate to our classroom, we would really appreciate it. Thank you to those who have already sent a few in!
  • This weather shift also means that cold and flu season is upon us. Please, please reinforce good hand washing routines with your children in order to keep us all as healthy as possible! We have had many absences these past few weeks due to illness, so the more we can minimize this the better!
  • Your child is welcome to bring his/her own e-reader, Chromebook or laptop to school with just a few caveats. In order to do so, your child needs to understand and abide by our acceptable use policy, and you will need to sign a permission slip. Please let me know if you would like one.