Welcome to Sixth Grade!
And February arrives with a snow storm and a snow day!
I hope everyone is well and safe during Covid-19. February is a month of holidays and celebrations starting with Ground Hog Day, 100th Day of School, Valentine’s Day and Presidents’ Day! We start our winter break the 12th of Febuary and return Wednesday, February 17th .
Hopefully we will be in person learning as opposed to virtual for the remainder of the year. I think most of the students are getting tired of the restrictions Covid-19 is causing. We need to make certain that everyone is staying safe and the virus won’t spread. The sixth graders are willing to wear their masks most of the day. We continue to take short mask breaks throughout the day. Unfortunately, they have gotten much shorter as the weather has gotten colder. Usually the sixth grade classroom is down right hot in the winter… Not this year! Our windows are open to increase ventilation! Kids are bundling up and wearing sweaters, long pants, sweatshirts and even their jackets. Please be aware of this when sendng your child to school. As we do still go outside unless it’s below 25 as the real feel temperature, everyone should come with a winter coat, hats and gloves. Safe social distancing is by far the biggest challenge for sixth graders. I feel like I am constantly reminding them to move apart. This is increasingly difficult as kids are popping out of seats and running over to another person’s desk to talk. Sometimes it is quite innocent as they are only trying to help their classmates with something. Other times it is just a social visit. Please reiterate the importance of maintaining social distancing.
As we may go to distance learning at any moment, it is very important that your students “bin” is kept together. Many kids are leaving supplies at home when they are returning to school. We cannot share pencils, pens, scissors, glue, colored pencils, rulers etc. I gave everyone suppplies at the beginning of the year. Mrs. Johnson also gave many of the same supplies for art. When the time came, I made sure everyone had those items in their bins when we left. Please make sure these items return to the bins and come back to school. Everyone who takes a Chromebook home received a computer cover. It is a tight fit for some of the chromebooks, but they should be used. That cover will be in your student’s bin. That way we can just put the chromebook in the cover and in the bin. If thre is too much”stuff” in the bin, it will not fit. The chromebook doesn’t do well after being squished, so some of the items will have to go in the backpacks. I try to get everyone to organize their bins before they go home at home at night so that they will be ready to go home if need be.
Everyone should have appropriate winter attire if they want to go out into the snow during recess. Boots should come to school for those times. However, the students should also have a pair of regular shoes to change into once they get here. And of course, PE definitely requires sneakers!
I hope you are checking Powerschool regularly. Several students are having issues with completing work and turning it in on time. The result is some very low grades. When we are doing a project, I try to break it down into chunks with completion dates. Missing or falling behind at any deadline will result in a lower grade. They are required to either show it to me or share it me through an e-mail. Time management is a critical skill for middle school as the students do not see every teacher every day. We are more than halfway through 6th grade so your child should be taking more responsibility for completing work on time.
I am giving minimal homework this year as I think the kids don’t need the added stress. Therefore they have lots of time to complete long term assignments including projects, Reflex, Study Island and reading independently. Please make sure they are reading somethng independently for 20 minutes each day. Ask them to read aloud to you or a younger sibling. From here on, students are reading to learn not learning to read. While most have learned the skills necessary to read successfully, they need time to practice those skills daily. They also build critical background knowledge for greater success.
Parent conferences are coming up in early March. However, they are very close to the end of the term so there will not be time for your child to really improve their grades. Again it is essential that you check powerschool to get an idea of how yur child is doing, and if they need to get their grades up.
Sorry this is again so long AGAIN, but there is a lot of information you need to make this year as successful as possible and be prepared for next year. Sixth grade is a critical year for Scotland students as many of them will be changing schools for the first time next year.
Please stay safe, wear masks, wash hands and maintain social distances. We will get through this!
Distance learning plan update https://docs.google.com/document/d/1mb6lT9EJwpUc4JDLWX7pplPIuTI-zHOCSvyEIIQBbS4/edit?usp=sharing
As always, if you have any questions or concerns please contact me directly firstname.lastname@example.org