Term 3 ELA Overview

by Mrs. Nilsen on April 1st, 2014


Hey 6th graders and ELA parents,

Last year, I did a lot of researching and thinking about our reading logs, student goals, and student reading engagement.  Based on my findings and my work with last years 6th graders, I like to run my 3rd Trimester in ELA a little differently.

Reading logs are to encourage students to voraciously explore the world of reading.  For some students, they work very well, giving them a tangible way to track their successes.  For others, they are a complete chore and take all the fun out of reading.  Others still simply forget and end up faking the assignment or not turning it in. These last few are not at all what I want and negate the original purpose of the assignment.  

This term’s reading is focused more individually (Term 1 = whole group with Wrinkle in Time; Term 2 = small group with Lit Circle books).  For this term’s reading logs, students will craft their own goals and their own method of tracking their progress.  I will not always be there to stand over students, to force them to read.  The best thing I can do as a teacher is help students learn how to track their own progress, how to motivate themselves to dive deeper into reading, and how to take ownership of their own learning.

Students will choose and set their own goal for reading in class.  They will then choose their tracking method and have it signed by both myself and their parent(s).  I will want to see progress periodically and will be helping students see how to make that happen.  Students must choose at least one book from Mrs. Nilsen’s “list” of suggested 6th grade literature and will do a big final project on at least one of the books they choose to read.   (I'll post the list at the end of this blog post.  The list isn't meant to be exclusive, just simply books that I have read that I feel comfortable suggesting to most 6th graders at this point in the year.)

It is my hope that students are able to take more control of their learning and that this project and set of assignments allows me to cater our in class work to the individual needs of students.

I meeting with all of the students to set their goals this week.  I will keep checking in with students (every Monday and Thursday for sure, and more often if needed) and we'll make adjustments as needed.  I think this term's reading goals are a great why to meet students where they are and give each of them a reachable challenge.

Let me know how progress towards these goals goes at home.  Look forward to a writing update in the next couple of weeks.  

6th Grade Independent Choice Reading List - 2014
Old Yeller
Al Capone Does My Shirts
The Westing Game
A Wind in the Door
The Hunger Games (series)
Eragon (series)
Harry Potter (series)
Chronicles of Narnia (series)
The Lightening Thief (series)
The Hobbit
The Lord of the Rings (series)
The Rangers Apprentice (series)
The Watsons go to Birmingham
Where the Red Fern Grows
The Diary of Anne Frank
The Giver
Number of the Stars
Fahrenheit 451
Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIHM
Year of the Boar and Jackie Robinson
Little Women
Black Beauty
James and the Giant Peach
American Born Chinese
Island of the Blue Dolphin
The Ancient One
The Invention of Hugo Cabret
The Circut
Surviving the Applewhites
Air Raid - Perl Harbor!
The Higher Power of Lucky
Voyage of the Great Titanic - the Diary of Margaret An Brady
We Are the Ship - The story of  Negro League Baseball
The Trumpet of the Swan
Charlotte's Web
Where the Side Walk Ends


As I've previously mentioned, April is Poetry month at MRA!  We'll be studying a little more Poetry for April  (we did a little last term, so we're picking up where we left off).  We'll also have the 6th ELA OAKs testing to squeeze in this month, so that cuts down our availble time.  We'll be working up to Poem in your Pocket day on April 30th as well as a poetry slam that one of the elective classes is running.  It's going to be quite the month!

As with past terms, we'll still be working in our Writer's notebooks and on our Weekly Word Study growth.  Students will be setting writing and language goals along with their individual reading contracts/goals.  This term we really focus on setting up students to move on to 7th grade and beyond in all areas of ELA.  

In May, look forward to exploring persuasive writing!  More to come on that one soon.

As you can see, there's lots coming up in ELA.  Be sure you keep up with the blog!  I'll keep you updated as we go.

Here’s to fostering a love of reading and writing in our students!

Posted in 6th Grade ELA Updates    Tagged with Poetry, Individual Learning Contracts, Final projects, Writer's notebooks, Homework


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