Welcome to the 2021-2022 school year students and parents!
Mrs. Sweitzer and look forward to getting to know each of you and learning together in English Language Arts. Throughout each Language Arts unit we study this year, we will explore a variety of genres including fiction, non-fiction, poetry, drama, music, and art, as well as electronic media. Reading, writing, speaking, and listening will be integrated to allow for individual growth and development, where you can challenge yourself to grow as a reader, writer, speaker, listener. We may not get to everything we have listed below.
One of our goals is to help you become deeper thinkers. As we analyze multiple texts to explore our essential questions, you will compare and contrast many genres. You will learn to pull out important text from these genres to support your ideas and opinions. Sixth grade Language Arts is an important time to grow and learn together. We will engage in Project Based Learning, Reader's Workshop, and Writer's Workshop throughout the year. Learning is not a race but a journey. We look forward to exploring this amazing journey together.
One method of learning that we will explore with your student this year is called Project Based Learning (PBL). According to the Buck Institute for Education, “Project Based Learning is a teaching method in which students gain knowledge and skills by working for an extended period of time to investigate and respond to an engaging and complex question, problem, or challenge.”
Essential Project Design Elements include:
- Key Knowledge, Understanding, and Success Skills - The project is focused on student learning goals, including standards-based content and skills such as critical thinking/problem solving, collaboration, and self-management.
- Challenging Problem or Question - The project is framed by a meaningful problem to solve or a question to answer, at the appropriate level of challenge.
- Sustained Inquiry - Students engage in a rigorous, extended process of asking questions, finding resources, and applying information.
- Authenticity - The project features real-world context, tasks and tools, quality standards, or impact – or speaks to students’ personal concerns, interests, and issues in their lives.
- Student Voice & Choice - Students make some decisions about the project, including how they work and what they create.
- Reflection - Students and teachers reflect on learning, the effectiveness of their inquiry and project activities, the quality of student work, obstacles and how to overcome them.
- Critique & Revision - Students give, receive, and use feedback to improve their process and products.
- Public Product - Students make their project work public by explaining, displaying and/or presenting it to people beyond the classroom.
The major novels we may read include:
- Love That Dog by Sharon Creech
- The Westing Game by Ellen Raskin
- Where the Red Fern Grows by Wilson Rawls
- Refugee by Alan Gratz
Some examples of short stories we may read include:
1. "The Bracelet"
2. "All Summer in a Day"
- Matches individual readers
- Teaches independence
- Explicitly teaches strategies to access skills
- Values time spent reading, volume of reading, and a variety of reading experiences
- Follows predictable structures and routines
The Three Parts of Reader's Workshop:
- Mini Lessons
- Independent Reading with Conferences
In-depth writing will be done in response to literature, writing workshops, and as assigned pieces. Assignments are structured to allow for individual choice of topics, encourage creativity, and support strong voice. Most writing will occur during a writer’s workshop or in your journal. Here you will experiment with different types of writing. They will range from a response to a journal question, a prompt related to a book you are reading, a humorous sports commentary, a memoir, an experiment in developing your voice, etc. They will serve as inspiration for writing pieces throughout the year. We will collect your journal periodically throughout the year. Keep it up to date and well done. At the beginning of many class periods, we will ask you to write. We look forward to sharing our love of writing with you!
Google Classroom is an amazing source for students, parents and teachers. All assignments will be posted on Google Classroom. The assignment will be explained and a due date will be given. Your child´s Google Classroom is a perfect place to go and view all their assignments. Please review the following website to learn more about Google Classroom.
Sustained Silent Reading: Students MUST come to school every single day with an SSR book of their choice. Time will be allotted during the day for free reading. We will have SSR book checks periodically worth one point. Reading for pleasure is essential to developing a true love of reading. We will always be here to offer genre suggestions to fit your interests and reading abilities.
Paper Set-up: You will be asked to set up your paper with the following MLA heading on the left-hand side of your paper beside the red line. If you forget, refer to the example posted on the board or in your binder.
- Teacher’s Name:
- Class & Period:
1. It is YOUR responsibility to make up any missed assignments, class notes, etc. Your Study Buddy can help.
2. Weekly assignments are recorded in planners Monday morning.
3. The week's assignments and corresponding due dates can be found on the board, Google Calendar, and Google Classroom.
4. Homework is reviewed and collected at the beginning of class. Homework NOT completed at the beginning of class or on the due date will be late. Work turned in the day after the due date will earn half credit. If students do not not turn the work in the day after it is due, he or she will be invited to a lunch opportunity to complete the work.
5. Be aware that some assignments cannot be late.
6. Missed notes should be copied from your study buddy ASAP.
7. Your study buddy will also collect any items you missed during class. These documents will stapled and in the "Absent Work" drawer for your class period.
8. Please know that students have the number of days he or she was absent to complete any missing work.
Open House Video: Linking Teacher’s Calendar to Student’s Calendar
Please know we are accessible and will help you with any questions or concerns you have throughout the year. We are a team and we look forward to sharing a successful year in English Language Arts together!
We hope you have a wonderful year!
-Mrs. Hughes 330.653.1316 ext. 2309