6th Grade Superstar Weekly

September 19, 2016 | Week 5| Trimester 1

Classroom Expectations - Group Work

As you know, we have been focusing on classroom expectations in the first month of school. This week, we focused heavily on group work. There are many shifts that take place in 6th grade, and an emphasis on teamwork/group work is a major shift. In all of our subject areas, students will be encouraged to work collaboratively to learn and achieve objectives. This can be challenging for many sixth graders.

Over the course of the year, our students will continue to practice being effective teammates who are efficient and productive. We will learn what it means to contribute and how to problem solve when a teammate is not contributing or pulling his/her own weight.

As teachers, we recognized the anxiety and stress that working in teams can cause for some students, and we will do our best to support these students in their development. We believe that it is essential to build collaboration and teamwork skills now, as this will help students not only through their school days, but in their personal and professional lives. As a class we will continue to recognize the positive outcomes of working collaboratively as a team, as well as problem-solve the challenges of teamwork.

Please continue to support your child's development by recognizing that it can be challenging at times to work with others, but also emphasizing the power of collaboration and teamwork. Together we can achieve so much more!

Our First FUN FRIDAY of the Year!

Weekly Work Grid

Check out our weekly work grid (picture below) for our work from last week. Don't forget to remind your student to check the grid if he/she is absent.
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Academic Updates

Math Happenings

Last week, students explored area and developed an understanding of the importance of labeling measurements. See the picture below, in which students were asked to identify who is 6. Each of the pictures shows "6" - 6 years old, 6 months old, 6 months pregnant, 6 feet tall. The labeling of the measurement (or lack thereof) was very important in the question. We applied this to math by labeling the measurement of length with feet, inches, centimeters, units, etc. We labeled the measurement of area with square feet, square inches, square centimeters, square units, etc. This week, we will continue to work with perimeter and area, and explore the connection between multiplication and area, using generic rectangles. See below.
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Reading Updates

We will continue to work on writing about reading this week. Students are continuing to make theories about the books they are reading, ask questions about author choices, and really learn how to think deeply about their reading and their thinking about their reading. This week, we had our first Friday Reading Check-In. Our reading check-ins will happen every Friday from now on. The check-in is not something students need to study for or prepare for. They will be based on the learning done in class that week. This week, our Friday Check-In was based on our writing about reading, something we've been practicing for the last two weeks. Students were asked to choose their best (in their opinion), writing about reading entry from the last two weeks to submit via Google Classroom. All entries were evaluated based on a writing about reading rubric and will be returned to students on Monday. During reading time on Monday, we will take some time to go over their Friday Check-In from last week and determine how they could make it better. I responded to every student's writing about reading this week with a grade and comments. If you have signed up as a parent on Google Classroom, please take some time this week to go through your student's Friday Check-In with him/her and review my comments. We will continue to focus on expanding our thinking about reading through writing for the next few weeks. After that, it will become commonplace in our Reader's Workshop.

Due to some construction on site this week, we took our Reader's Workshop out to the grass! Many of the students enjoyed reading out in the afternoon shade.

Writing Work

Our students are nearing the end of their narrative writing unit, with just a few short weeks left until we publish our final drafts. Students will continue to work this week on improving small sections of their writing at a time. Again, just like last week, our work with the narrative writing checklist will be a big part of Writer's Workshop. We will also begin to model parts of our writing after mentor texts we've enjoyed reading.

Be on the lookout for more info to come about our FIRST Publishing Party on Monday, October 3rd! This is a time where our students publish their piece of writing and share it with family and friends. Due to the amount of time and effort our students are putting into their writing, it is going to be a great celebration!

Science and Social Studies Rundown

In social studies, the Stones and Bones teams will be working together all week to create presentations. Our presentations will take place next week!

This week in science, students will be doing some engineering tasks that are separate from our Environmental Detective Unit. These engineering tasks are not only part of the new Next Generation Science Standards, but will also give students an opportunity to work on group work and collaboration.

Important Dates

  • August 22-September 30: Campbell/Miller Lunch Helpers
  • September 20, 1:45-2:30pm: Mr. Eco Assembly
  • September 23, 10:40-11:10am: Genevieve's Fundraiser Kick-Off Assembly
  • September 26-October 7: Genevieve's Fundraiser Sales
  • September 26, 10:40-11:40am: Superstar Assembly!
  • September 30, 5:30-7:30pm: PTA Chili Pozole Cook-Off
  • October 6, 5:30-7:00pm: Family Math Night
  • October 11, 5:30-6:30pm: Camp Info Night, Room 21

Contact Us!

Please feel free, as always, to stop by the classroom before or after school, send us an email, or give us a call before or after school hours; we would love to talk to you!