Great Beginnings (Grade 6)

Great Beginnings (Grade 6)
Posted on 09/30/2015
Hello Putnam Avenue Sixth Grade Community, and Welcome to the 2015 - 2016 School Year!

The beginning of the school year has been full of community building, getting acquainted with new teachers and new peers, and preparing ourselves for an awesome and challenging school year. In less than one month's time, we have: started to build positive and supportive advisory communities, cheered for our school and ourselves, earned new routines and expectations, and explored what it means to be a sixth grader at the Putnam Avenue Upper School. Our advisory theme for this year is, "identity." This theme, coupled with our school wide theme, "The Good Life," are framing ideas for all that we will do this year. The sixth grade team knows that in order for rigorous learning to occur, all members of the sixth grade community must feel known and celebrated for who they are, and must feel safe to take risks, make mistakes, and learn from these mistakes. A strong focus on "identity" means that we are challenging students to get to know and share about themselves as students, and as young people who have much going on in their lives. This work is enhanced by the idea of our school wide theme, "The Good Life," as we are committed to being educators who push all sixth graders to work hard to achieve their full potential.

At our first all school town hall meeting, the sixth graders demonstrated both of these themes with gusto! They cheered wildly for their teachers and other students, they were attentive and engaged, and they took risks by sharing ideas in front of our entire school community. In classes, we are hard at work learning about sixth grade expectations, routines, and of course, science, math, ELA, and social studies! We know that learning occurs in classes that feel safe and structured, so we have focused on setting up environments in which students understand what is expected of them, and know where to go with any questions they may have. As was indicated in the note that was sent home regarding the fifth to sixth grade transition, we believe that clear and consistent systems of organization are fundamental to the success of all sixth graders.

Please take the time to check in with your student about his/her agenda book (where they should be recording all homework assignments each and every day), and about what they are learning in school. In addition to regularly checking agenda books, we suggest also asking your student about what he/she is reading. Sixth graders should be reading each night, and a quick five minute reading check in will help to build accountability for this expectation! All sixth grade advisors serve as the point person for communication between families and our school. Should you have any questions or ideas regarding your sixth grader, we encourage you to reach out to his/her advisor through email!