Minnesota Studies Course Syllabus

Sixth Grade, Hidden Oaks/Twin Oaks Middle Schools

Welcome to MN Studies!

This semester-long course includes the study of famous people, places, events and topics such as Minnesota geography, the Dakota and the Ojibwe, immigration, territorial history and early statehood, and the fur trade, agriculture, and lumber industries. We use the 2013 revised second edition of the Northern Lights curriculum which is developed by the Minnesota Historical Society.

We expect our students to follow L.A.K.E.R.S. behavior expectations. For other general expectations and policies, please consult your student handbook.

The Textbook

  • Students will get a physical book which must be covered with a brown paper bag.
  • The text is also available as a .pdf in Schoology, so if you have access, students don't have to bring the book home.


  • Formative assessments (homework assignments and daily work) are weighted at 20% of the total grade.
  • Students have assignments due a few times a week; most of the time students get started on them in class and need to finish outside of class.
  • If nothing is "due" - there is still homework - STUDY!
  • All homework assignments are posted in Schoology; check frequently.
  • Extra copies of assignments are generally posted in Schoology.
  • Missing assignments are accepted for full credit until the end of each unit (test date), at which point the score will remain a zero.


  • Summative assessments (unit tests or projects) are weighted at 80% of the total grade.
  • Chapters are fast and assessments come up every two weeks or so.
  • Reminders are sent to parents for upcoming assessments via email (the address you have posted in Infinite Campus), in addition to posts on Schoology.
  • If a student is missing a summative assessment, it will result in an incomplete at the end of the quarter. Missing summative assessments must be completed within 2 weeks of the end of the quarter or else it will result in a zero.
  • Scores on summative assessments that are less than 50% will be changed to a minimum score of 50%. For example, if a student gets a score of 15/36, the score will be adjusted to 18/36 in the gradebook, with the original score noted in the comments column.

Test Retake Information
  • Students will have one opportunity to retake any learning target of any summative assessment. All students are eligible for this opportunity provided they have completed the necessary steps listed below. A student's grade on the assessment will reflect the highest score earned.
  • Students wishing to retake must complete the following steps:
  1. Analyze test performance using reflection sheet (done in class).
  2. Share test reflection sheet with parent/guardian and complete test retake form and proof of growth activities.
  3. Attach proof of growth activities to test retake form and reflection sheet and hand it in at least one day before retake date.
  4. If all work for the unit was not handed in by the test date, the student will not be able to retake.

Study Guides

  • Students receive one for any units that are tested.
  • They help students focus on the important information to know for assessments.
  • Most answers can be found in the text - re-read to find them.
  • These are very helpful for adults to use in helping their child prepare for tests.

Study for Success!

  • Studying should happen daily, not just the night before the test. This is a new habit to work on in middle school.
  • Students have the following tools: study guide, textbook, vocab study tools from class, and the Quizlet site: https://quizlet.com/PLMNStudies
  • Most sixth graders still need adult support in studying for tests.

How to Keep on Top of Things

Have an awesome day!