Welcome to the 2017-2018 school year! I am delighted to have your child in my 6th grade class. My curriculum is based on the Common Core State Standards for English-Language Arts and Mathematics, as well as the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS). I anticipate an exciting and academically challenging school year. I invite you to join in partnership with me in support of your child’s educational progress. (Please print and sign; then, return the lower portion to school ASAP. Your child will receive extra bonus points and a PRIZE!)
I use the principles of Depth and Complexity, Cross-cutting Concepts, and Math/Science/ELA Practices to provide my students with deep and complex learning experiences. My GATE classroom has a curriculum that is differentiated to meet the needs, interests, and abilities of all students. I create environments in which my students are encouraged to think, question, explore and reflect. Students are actively engaged in learning experiences where they prove existing generalizations (deductive reasoning) or create their own generalizations (inductive reasoning). I provide an analytical approach to learning where students may select topics for investigation and exploration, including analysis of patterns and trends, opposing points of view, and the ethics of issues. In my classroom, the practice of teaching both the skills of the standards-based curriculum and higher level thinking skills reinforce each other and facilitate deeper levels of knowing for all learners. In addition, my students will be involved in learning computational thinking skills through a National Science Foundation funded grant in partnership with Cal State San Marcos.
I expect each student to arrive at school organized and prepared to work. Please be sure that your child comes to school each day with the following:
backpack or book bag
3-ring binder with dividers and 3-hole punch ruled paper/spiral notebooks
Interactive Science notebook and Interactive Social Studies notebook (made from spiral notebooks)Writing journal and folder
many sharpened pencils
The following is an outline of curriculum goals, assignments, homework, attendance, and grading:
This year we will continue learning through the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) for English Language Arts and Mathematics. The CCSS offer students exciting and challenging shifts in their learning. There is a greater emphasis on reading informational texts, working in collaborative groups, and speaking and listening. Written communication has a focus on argumentation, making claims and citing supporting evidence, and explanation. Of course, effective communication requires careful attention to grammar and mechanics of writing.
Mathematics: To achieve a complete and balanced mathematics curriculum, my students and I will be using Core Connections, Year 1 by College Preparatory Mathematics (CPM). It is a middle grades and secondary mathematics program that integrates basic skills and topics with conceptual understanding and problem solving strategies. I will be supplementing our CPM program with a variety of formative assessment lessons, performance tasks, and math explorations to develop the natural use of algebra as a problem solving tool. You are your child can learn more about CPM and access student resource pages, homework help, and parent guides (and more!) by visiting their website: cpm.org.
Technology Goals: Because our class will be a Google classroom, my students will enjoy its many benefits, including the free use of Google's Web 2.0 tools. (In addition, Google Classroom will replace the use of Edmodo.) I plan on integrating technology not only with iPads (which will be distributed early in September) but with computers, too. My students will become proficient with multiple presentation formats and with spreadsheets to collect, organize and display data using both their iPads and classroom computers. I expect all final drafts of writing projects, as well as reports, to be word processed.
Homework: Your child has a minimum of 20-30 minutes of independent reading every night, in addition to assigned work. It is important that your child choose a book, magazine, or Achieve 3000 article that interests him or her and that it is at an appropriate reading level. In addition to regular math homework, your child is required to use Dreambox every week completing a minimum of 5-7 unique lessons or for at least 60 minutes. (Their Dreambox assignment is graded and the program allows me to monitor each child's progress and number of minutes logged in.) Please contact me if your child is spending an unreasonable amount of time on homework, so we can work together to solve the problem.
Absences: It is crucial that your child be here to learn because much of what we do is dynamic and can not be replicated easily at home. If your child is absent, we will do our best to gather his or her absent work and make it available to pick up after school if you request this. (Please make this request early in the day since it does take some time to do this. Requests for homework made at the end of the day may not be available until the next school day.) It is each student’s responsibility to collect and complete the assignments s/he has missed. As a general rule, if a student is absent for two days, then s/he may have two days to complete the work. After the two days, the work becomes incomplete and will no longer be accepted. (If you know that your child will need more time to complete the work, please contact me before the work is incomplete so we can arrange an extension of time.)
Grading: Tests, quizzes, and projects will be scored on a 100-point system. I expect all work to be of the highest quality, neat, legible, fulfilling the requirements of the assignment, and on time. Late work will receive a 10% reduction in points for each day late. (Note: After two days, the work will be incomplete and will no longer be accepted. A grade of F will be recorded.)
Your child is a valued member of our classroom. He or she deserves the most positive educational climate possible for his or her academic and social growth. Since I believe that lifelong success depends in part on self-discipline, I have developed a Classroom Discipline Plan to give students guidance in making good decisions about their behavior and thus, an opportunity to learn in a positive, nurturing environment. The plan below outlines our classroom rules and the positive or negative consequences for appropriate and inappropriate behavior.
I will support appropriate behavior with praise, positive notes and phone calls home, trimester awards, hugs or handshakes from administration, and participation in special activities.
- Be on time.
- Be prepared.
- Be safe and walk at all times.
- Be respectful.
- Be a STAR!
However, if a student chooses inappropriate behavior, the following steps will be taken:
Step 1: Documented warning
Step 2: 10 minute detention during recess for student/teacher conference
Step 3: 15 minute detention during recess; parent contact/conference
Step 4: Administrative referral
Step 5: Suspension from classPlease be assured that my goal is to work with parents and families in ways that I would want my child’s teacher to work with me. I appreciate your insights regarding your child. To contact me, you may send a note with your child, leave a message at the office (956-5500), phone me directly (956-5574), or send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org. (If it is an urgent message, please call the school office.) I will make every effort to respond as soon as I possibly can. We will have parent/teacher conferences after the first trimester. If you would like a conference sooner, please let me know so we can schedule an appointment as soon as possible.
Mrs. June Richards
Please return this portion of this page to school (perhaps by copying and pasting into a Word document and printing out.)
Student name ___________________________________________________
Home phone _____________________________________
_____________________________ day phone ____________________
_____________________________ day phone ____________________
Parent email _______________________________________________________
Student email ______________________________________________________
I would like to volunteer in the classroom. Below are items with which I would like to assist.
correcting papers at school; note day available __________________
assisting in the classroom on special projects (days may vary)
assisting or prepping weekly art lessons
giving a presentation/lesson to students about your career (please indicate topic)
_____________________________________________________________ other ___________________________________________________