Welcome to Mrs. Parker’s 6th Grade English Language Arts and Social Studies!


I’m so excited to be starting a new year of learning and fun!  I hope this first newsletter of the year is informative, but if you have any questions after reading through it, please don’t hesitate to contact me.  My contact information is:
* School (until around 4:00 most days): 684-1295
* Cell (anytime-texts are great!): 828-388-3016
* Email:
* Classroom website:
(Check our website often for lots of great links and updates!)
* Feel free to drop by the classroom anytime!
* We also have our own classroom Instagram account!  To follow us on Instagram: mrsparker6thgrade. (If you would rather your child’s pictures NOT be posted on any social media or on our website please just let me know!   



In English/Language Arts we use the EL Curriculum to focus on:
* Citing text to prove our thinking when answering questions about what we have read
* Theme
* Plot
* Figurative language
* Comparing and contrasting text
* Reading and comprehending fiction and nonfiction
* Writing argumentatively, fictionally, narratively and poetically
* Using technology for writing
* Conducting research and citing sources using both technology and books
* Collaborative discussion
* Public speaking and presentation
* Vocabulary building and word parts   

Throughout the year we will learn new vocabulary words, create and add to digital portfolios, practice reading strategies, read together as a class and discuss what we read, read on our own and write our thoughts, write stories, memoirs, poems and essays and conduct research on topics that interest us.  


In Social Studies we focus on the following:

Beginnings of Man 3500 BC

Fertile Crescent 3500-500 BC

Ancient Egypt 3100 BC-350 AD

Ancient India and China 2500 BC- 1911 AD

Ancient Greece 2000 BC-146 BC

Ancient Rome 900 BC-476 AD

Middle Ages and Renaissance 500 AD-1500 AD

Mayans, Aztecs and Incas

Here are some things to expect from 6th grade Social Studies:

* first formal look at a study of the world

* heavy focus on geography to understand the emergence, expansion and decline of civilizations and societies from the beginning of human existence to the Age of Exploration

* a look at the development of economic, political and social systems

* an examination of the various factors that shaped the development of civilizations, societies and regions in the ancient world

* a study of various civilizations, societies and regions from every continent -Africa, Asia, Europe and the Americas

***For each subject, graded work will be sent home weekly, but I encourage you to also check Powerschool often to keep an idea of how your child is doing in class.  


For my class you will need the following items EVERYDAY:

2 composition books, the kind with the sewn-in pages: (please label one WRITING JOURNAL and one THOUGHTS AND REFLECTIONS)



Folder for loose papers




From August until December, your child will be given homework packets which will require them to reflect upon topics and write appropriate responses. This writing will help me to assess your child’s ability to form correct and complete sentences, their handwriting, and the ability to record their thoughts.  Most importantly, their response will help us to make connections to things we discuss in class throughout the weeks. Your child will have 2 weeks to complete each packet and they will be returned promptly with feedback. The specific directions for homework are listed below and extra copies will be in the classroom and can always be printed off our classroom website if needed.  

In January, homework will begin to focus more on reading and on multiple choice questions to prepare for standardized testing in May (more information on this change later).


Directions for homework:

  • Answer each writing prompt using as many lines as you can. 

  • You will be graded on your effort and on how much you write.

  • You will get this packet back with a grade and comments about spelling, punctuation, etc.  Use these comments to make improvements on the next packet and the next and the next, throughout the semester.

  • Please use complete sentences.

  • Please use neat handwriting.

  • Your answers will help you make connections to discussions we will have in class each week.


Grading Scale

90-100 A

80-89 B

70-79 C

60-69 D

<59 F

***Your child will be expected to make regular use of an agenda.  Using an agenda is a lifelong organizational skill and I hope to see it used well and often.  

Your child’s grades will be based upon the following:


Reading assessments

Writing Journal

Reflection Journal

Vocabulary quizzes

Digital Portfolio essays


Google Classroom discussions

Daily classwork

Homework packets

Book projects



Digital Portfolio entries

Yearlong Activism project



Book Orders

Our Scholastic book orders are a great way for you to build your child’s home library and to earn points for free books for our classroom at the same time!  I will always have these book order forms available in the classroom, they never expire so you may order out of any of them at any time during the year. You can order in a couple of different ways:
* Send in the completed order form and a check for the amount made out to Scholastic or…* * place your order online at and use the following classroom code: H7DX3  ***************************************************************************************************Schedule Our weekly schedule and lesson plans will also be posted each week so you know exactly what to ask your child about when talking to them about their day.

  • Your child will have PE two times a week and recess the other three days.

  • Guidance classes will be held once a month with Mrs. McKay.

  • Your child will have the opportunity to check out books from the media center and from our classroom as often as needed.  They can visit the Media Center both before and after school.


Classroom Expectations

At school, your child will be encouraged to follow the “7 Habits” program created by the late Stephen Covey.  By practicing these 7 Habits your child will become positive leaders in our school, but more importantly, in their own lives.  The habits are listed below and you will be hearing more about them as we begin our year together.


HABIT 1: BE PROACTIVE: Proactive kids are responsible for their own actions. They recognize they are making their own choices and are empowered by that understanding.

HABIT 2: BEGIN WITH THE END IN MIND:  By visualizing what the goal (the end) is for individuals (families, teams and organizations) children take control of their future. They have a vision of where they are headed and how they are planning on getting there.

HABIT 3: PUT FIRST THINGS FIRST:  Children are able to organize themselves and prioritize their responsibilities so that they keep aligned with their principles and what they value the most.

HABIT 4: THINK WIN-WIN:  Children who think win-win have a frame of mind and heart that seeks mutual benefit and mutual respect with all whom they are involved. It is about "we" not "me" that drives them to an empathetic relationship with others.

HABIT 5: SEEK FIRST TO UNDERSTAND, THEN TO BE UNDERSTOOD:  When we listen so that we can understand others, not so much that we are simply waiting to reply, we begin to experience what true communication is like. It doesn't take away from our opportunities to speak, it enriches us when we do.

HABIT 6: SYNERGIZE: This habit is all about teamwork and cooperation. Not just my way or your way but our way. It encompasses respect, valuing others as well as celebrating differences.

HABIT 7: SHARPEN THE SAW: To be an effective person, we have to continually renew our emotional/social, physical, mental and spiritual self. This is the key to being able to live out the 7 habits effectively.

Besides our daily incorporation of the 7 Habits, I have two rules in my classroom and that is Respect and Be Kind.  It covers every expectation I will have for your child.  We spend lots of time in the beginning of the year discussing and practicing what respect looks like in every situation we will encounter.  The PBIS model our school has adopted fits nicely with these expectations. You will be receiving more information about this as well, but basically it means things like:

  • Actively listening to one another in the classroom during discussions and waiting for our turn to talk.

  • Using laptops only when it is an appropriate time. (I will post these times on the board each day as they pertain to our lessons.)

  • Taking care of classroom and school property.

  • Being honest.   

  • Being helpful to others when they need help.

  • Understanding that everyone will not always agree with you or think exactly like you.

  • Showing compassion for others’ feelings.  

  • Walking quietly in the hallway so as not to disturb other classrooms.

  •  Leaving the cafeteria clean after eating.

  • Encouraging others to do the right thing.

  • Treating others the way you would like to be treated at all times.

Discipline and Positive Reinforcement

I have high expectations and I know we will have a great year together!  Some of the positive reinforcements that will be available will include:

  • Verbal recognition

  • Positive phone calls home

  • Homework passes

  • Treat box

  • Free time

Occasionally, we all slip up and make mistakes.  Some of the disciplinary consequences I will use to remind of the high expectations I have are:

Verbal correction
Time away from class or classroom (in another teacher’s classroom)

Written reflection

School community service/restitution

After school detention (this will be scheduled as convenient)

Office visit/Referral

* You will be notified of any disciplinary action that needs to be taken.

***With your permission, I will also use recess as a time to reflect by requiring a structured time instead of free time.  This structured time will always include movement and will often include walking laps around the blacktop.



  • All students will have the opportunity to access technology at school using laptops and iPads when necessary.  LAPTOPS ARE ONLY TO BE USED IN THE CLASSROOM AT SCHEDULED AND APPROPRIATE TIMES.   

  • Cell phones must be kept in lockers turned off at all times.   

  • Nooks, Kindles or other electronic reading devices are not allowed in my classroom.     

Odds and Ends

  • Water bottles ARE allowed and encouraged!  Our classroom gets really warm in the early fall and spring.  Water is a must! If you have extra water bottles you would like to donate to our classroom that would be great, we can always use them!  

  • Please do not allow your child to bring the following items to school: toys, hats, makeup, fidget spinners, slime, or anything else that will distract their learning or their classmates learning.  I will give one warning then these items will be taken and put into our “June Box” until the end of the year. I will give the item back earlier only if a parent comes into the classroom to get it.  If it is an electronic that is the distraction, since these can get costly, I will still take the item, but call you immediately to come pick it up. 

  • Appropriate and healthy snacks can be eaten anytime as long as it is not distracting to others.  An appropriate snack should be able to be pulled out discreetly and eaten while still listening and working.

  • All classroom books are available to borrow and take home, I simply ask that they are taken care of and returned when your child is finished so that other students may enjoy them.  We will have a check-out/check-in notebook in our room.

  • Please check our school website and our classroom website often!

  • You will receive a weekly newsletter on Sunday nights by email.  If you would like a paper copy instead or in addition to please let me know. 

I can’t wait to work with you and your child this year!


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