Welcome to Otto
6th Grade Newsletter
Beginning the year as a Bobcat!
The beginning of the year has been full of new experiences, organization, and independence for our incoming students. Lockers have been mastered, schedules are memorized, and getting to class on time is in the books! Each 6th grader should be utilizing their agenda in all their classes. As a reminder students and guardians can always check class websites and agendas for any upcoming assignments.
The Scholastic Book Fair will be held in the Otto library September 14th-18th. The book fair will be open in the morning and afternoon. Students will also visit the book fair through their English classes.
We focus on growing our mindset at Otto Middle School. Please watch the video below to learn more about the OMS mindset!
We are a PBIS (Positive Behavior Intervention Support) campus. All students will receive positive reinforcements for making successful choices in their classes. We are PAWSitive at Otto!
What's Happening This Six Weeks
English Language Arts
Sixth graders are diving into their past and special memories to communicate personal experiences through reading and discussing memoirs in class and writing their own. Specific lessons in this unit include a study of how to develop a list of meaningful topics for writing, how to recognize and craft the life lessons that make memoirs more meaningful, and how to communicate memoir-like writing in a variety of formats. We will be visiting the library every week in order to self-select a chapter book that they would like to read during Reading Workshop time. Reading Workshop is done every day in class, during the first twenty minutes. We will also be reviewing the parts of speech in a fun and interactive way, called Color Coded Grammar.
Math 6 and 6 Honors
Our next step is scientific notation and the ability to express very small or very large numbers in a simple way using negative and positive exponents. The last step we will look at is similarity of polygons while investigating their unique properties with loads of formulas along the way.
Science 6/Science 7
Social Studies 6
Social Studies 6/TX History 7
As School Counselors, we work with students on an individual basis, in small groups and in their classrooms. The focus of the counseling program is on academic skills, career awareness, and personal/social skills. We also attend parent-teacher conferences at the request of the parent/guardian or teacher, as our schedule allows.
Here are some reasons students might want to talk to the School Counselor:
- "I had an argument with my best friend and she doesn't want to be my friend anymore."
- "Some kids in my science class are talking about fighting after school."
- "My parents argue all the time and I don't know what to do."
- "My grandfather is really sick and I'm scared he's going to die."
- "My mom just had a baby and she doesn't have time for me anymore."
- "We're moving again!"
- "My dad wants me to be an engineer like him, but I want to be a pilot."
Here are some reasons parents might want to talk to the School Counselor:
- "This is John's third school this year, and he's having difficulty adjusting."
- "My husband is being deployed in two weeks and Carolyn may need some help coping with this change."
- "Sam used to be excited about school, but lately he doesn't seem to care."
- "My wife and I recently separated and our daughter could use some help understanding this."
- "My son seems to be the target of some teasing and bullying after school. Can you help?"
Teens and Technology Tips
As your child enters middle school, they may either already have a cell phone, or they may be incessantly begging you for one because “all of their friends have one.” Parents today have a lot to think about when it comes to allowing their child to utilize social media, as well as apps on smart phones, and the many other trends in technology that capture the attention of our youth. Children are children, and they are learning how to navigate through a complicated social world that includes technology as a key piece of the social interaction puzzle. Because our youth view technology as a necessary element to maintaining friendships and accessing information, it is difficult (if not impossible) to limit what they view, but as parents and educators, we should always be aware of what and whom our children are exposed to. As you continue to raise a middle school child in a tech-happy world, here are some tips:
- As you allow technology to be a part of your child’s life, consider putting in place a Parent-Child Technology Agreement. This will allow your child to understand that as a parent, you are not invading their privacy; rather, you are trying to help them protect it.
- Work to understand emoticons and leetspeak. Not sure what your kid is texting or even saying? There are leet translators on the internet that are easy to find and use!
- Be aware of the lengths that youth will go to in order to keep a conversation “private.” Kids may program a friend in under a different name, so when you think it’s Veronica that left sixteen voicemails, it could actually be Timmy! Also, be aware that many students text within apps, so if you look at their text messages, you may not see their complete conversations. KIK is a popular app that many students chat and send photos/videos over, and kids can block their parents! Instamessage is a new social networking app that is totally private, and Stickam.com is a site on the internet where a person can meet other people to chat with via webcam.
- Feel like restricting them from everything? That is a totally normal gut reaction. While you may be able to keep the technology at bay for a few more years, there will come a time when your child will access what they want with or without your involvement. Smart kids can be sneaky! Technology is part of student culture and both colleges and employers want to see that youth are not only immersed in social media, but that they know how to use it properly. Years of experience and parental guidance will help them get a hang of personal branding using technology.
- Want to keep on top of all of the technological trends but don’t have enough time? That’s what blogs like www.hightechdad.com are for!