Welcome to Sixth Grade!

Dear Sixth Grade Student,

This year you will learn how to read better, how to find the meaning and spelling of words based on their origins and roots, how to do higher level math, how to express yourself cohesively in essay form, how to more closely examine the physical world around you, how to understand the impact and contributions of ancient civilizations, and how to think critically and maintain a nonjudgmental stance as you discuss all these subjects and more with your peers and your parents.

In the upcoming months, you will stretch your muscles and your own thinking, and you will learn more about yourself, including beginning to see the cause and effect of your own actions, as you become a responsible and respectful member of a classroom family. You will be given challenging tasks to complete, and you will learn to meet deadlines in a timely manner. You will come to understand how to use simple formulas to calculate circumference, diameter, and volume.

You will read myriad books, poetry, and articles that will broaden your horizons and expand your emotional experiences. You will begin to think in complex sentences and to edit text for grammatical errors.

By the time the year is finished, you will have produced a book of original poetry, marveled at the wonders of science, taken a walk through the Ancient World, learned algebra, created vivid art, sung and danced with your peers and for an audience, told tales, practiced the manners necessary in polite society, learned to take responsibility, and refined the art of conversation.

Your grades will help to show how well you have achieved some of these goals. However, learning and a growth in intellect cannot be measured solely by grades or test scores. You will get out of this class exactly what you put into it. I will do my personal best for you, and I expect you to be the best that you can be and to do your personal best for yourself.

During the next ten months, I will issue Kleenex, books, and Band-Aids. I will encourage each of you to think about the consequences of your actions as you interpret your own emotions and their impact on the feelings of others.

You will grow as much as four inches taller and become a few pounds heavier. You will have plentiful opportunities to demonstrate your creativity and your intellectual ability. You will make me laugh and make me cry. I hope that I won’t make you cry, but if I do, let’s work it out and move forward. Come June, I will sadly wave goodbye to you and watch you run off into a summer full of fun and a life full of hope and promise. If I am lucky, you will keep in contact with me to let me know the new shape of your life.

Welcome to sixth grade; we are going to have such a fabulous year!

♥ Ms. M.

One Final Message

As I sit here in the classroom on the last day of the school year, surveying the empty chairs and bare walls, I begin to reflect on the year.  What a wonderful journey it has been!  You sixth graders have been a part of most of my waking thoughts and the subject of more than a few of my dreams.  You have taught me at least as much as I hope I have taught you.  You have been models of compassion, empathy, and creativity.  Your playfulness has reminded me that too much seriousness in a classroom can undermine the natural joy of learning.  Most of all, I have been inspired by your passion for life and your efforts to walk in this world as your true selves, trying to remain unencumbered by pressure to conform to someone else’s vision.

You are ready to move to the next stage of your journey.  I know you will do amazing things.  Before I send you on, however, I want to give you my most heartfelt best wishes for the future in the form of some slightly altered lines from “Starlings in Winter,” a poem by Mary Oliver:

I want you to think of dangerous and noble things.
I want you to be light and frolicsome.
I want you to be improbable beautiful and afraid of nothing,
as though you had wings.

starlit path

Your future awaits, and the best is yet to come!

I love you,
♥ Ms. M.

This Week’s News

For our last day of school, we will participate in the “one word” activity, which is from the One Word Three Sixty Five website.  The activity is designed to define each new year, and I think it will be a perfect way to begin to frame your future educational journey.  By next Thursday, please post your one word as a comment on this page.  I know each of you will select an amazing word to guide and define you in the coming year, and I’d love you to be able to check back here to remind yourself of your aspirations, and I’d also love your one-word goals to help other students find their own one-word ambitions.  At the end of this post, there are a few student examples, and the One Word website has many more examples.

Below is an excerpt from the One Word website to remind you of the task.

One word can change everything.

One word that sums up who you want to be or how you want to live or what you want to achieve by the end of your seventh grade year.

One word that you can focus on every day, all year long.

It will take hard work, and will require intentionality and commitment. But if you let it, your word will shape you and your year. It will guide your decisions and help you grow.

Discover the big impact one word can make.

One word.

365 days.

A changed life.

What’s Your One Word?

One word that will become a filter, a diving board, a prod?

 One word that will serve as a compass for your actions, decisions, and priorities. All year long.

One word.

Because that is easy to remember. All 365 days of the year.

It becomes the filter through which you see and live your life. It steers your decisions and guides your steps.

It can be something tangible or intangible. It can be a thought or a feeling or an action. It can be a character trait or an accomplishment or a place you want to end up.

A word that can be a reminder, a nudge. A word that you can reflect on, that will challenge you, that will inspire you.

One word that will serve as a compass for your actions, decisions, and priorities. All year long.

Your word can be anything you want it to be. All that matters is that it has personal meaning for you. This isn’t your mother’s word. Or your sibling’s word. Or your friend’s word.

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