Grade 6 Department & HEAT Magnet Program
Joseph Le Conte Middle School
1316 N Bronson Ave
Hollywood, CA 90028
Dear Parents or Guardians,
I am Ms. Belay and I will be your child’s English, Ancient Civilizations and Homeroom teacher for the 2023/2024 school year. I am excited to work with you and your child this school year. The information that follows outlines my focused curriculum based on the Common Core State Standards. These standards aid students in meeting grade-level standards and prepare them for the Smarter Balanced Assessment (SBAC). In addition, I explain course contents and grading, classroom and academic expectations and discipline policies for the three classes. Please review this information with your child. I am able and willing to meet with you during 4th and 8th periods. I can also be reached via e-mail at [email protected], through Class Dojo, Schoology and by calling Joseph Le Conte Middle School at (323) 308-1700.
Student will be evaluated through both formal and informal assessments. These include examinations, oral and written work, class participation in activities, projects, and teacher observations or evaluations for each subject. I use principles of Mastery Learning and Grading to assign grades. Grades are based on demonstrated levels of proficiency on selected learning targets for English and History. Assignments will be graded on a scale of 0-4 (explained below). Students must complete projects and other standards-based assignments so that they are able to master standards and content for grade 6. In addition to letter grades, students will receive work habits and cooperation grades on their report cards. The options for work habits and cooperation grades are “E” (excellent), “S” (satisfactory) and “U” (unsatisfactory). Students are expected to consistently turn in assigned work and participate in class in order to have a mark of “E” in work habits. Students are expected to follow classroom and school rules and classroom expectations. Students are also expected to respect classroom and school property in order to receive a mark of “E” in cooperation. Anything less means there is room for improvement in work habits and cooperation. There are only work habits and cooperation grades given for Homeroom. Being on time and completing the assigned reading and activities contribute to work habits grades for Homeroom. The letter grades on progress reports and report cards are based on the following scales.
4 Points=Mastery (Excellent), 3 Points=Proficient (Good), 2 Points= Approaching (Satisfactory), 1 Point=Developing, 0 Points= Not Yet (MASTERY SCALE). The corresponding percentages scores are ROUGHLY, A=80-100% B=79-60% C=59-40% D=39-20% F=19-0%
Teacher’s professional evaluations and observations as well as current level of performance is a factor in assigned grades.
Assignments and Activities Based on Learning Targets:
Each student will turn in work that is their own, on the date it is due. I grade students on various activities, tests, projects and other assignments using learning targets based on grade-level standards. Assignments are organized by learning targets, units and categories in Schoology folders. Schoology is a great resource for keeping track of assignments. When an assignment is submitted on Schoology, there will be a small blue paper icon. All assignments will be graded based on the Mastery Scale, dependent on the degree of completeness and accurateness. I expect 100% participation in assignments, discussions and group work. Because of LAUSD grading demands, assignments have due dates. If the due date has passed, students are able to and must still complete missing assignments on Schoology. However, at the end of the grading period, I record an “I” for incomplete assignments on Schoology. I do not record a grade of “0” for incomplete or missing assignments because it lowers a student’s overall grade. As a result of this, the grades shown on Schoologymight not be what a student is currently earning in the course, if a student is missing assignments. I will use LAUSD’s pacing plans and curriculum and instructional maps for each subject to schedule due dates for assignments.
School and Classroom Rules, Expectations/Procedures:
Please refer to the Student Handbook for a complete list of school rules and expectations that also apply to the classroom. The classroom rules and expectations are as followed:
1) Come to class on time and prepared to work. 2) Do NOT get out of your seat without permission. 3) Raise your hand before speaking. 4) Keep your hands to yourself (No horseplay or play fighting in class). 5) No eating or drinking in class. 6) Follow directions.
Behavior Policies: A positive, safe, respectful and nurturing classroom and school is a great place to be. I would like all students to have great success in my classes and at Joseph Le Conte Middle School. In order for me to teach and for students to learn, we need an orderly classroom that is free of distraction and disruption. I expect everyone in room 105 to respect each other and school property. I encourage and reward positive behavior through verbal praise, phone calls/notes home, and other minor classroom and school-wide privileges. If students consistently challenge school and classroom rules and expectations, they also choose the consequences. These consequences may include classroom discipline such as loss of students’ personal time during Lunch, Nutrition or after school and yard clean-up duty. I also notify and confer with parents about persistent behavior challenges. If the problem persists, a parent conference will be schedule to discuss the problem and possible solutions. Students will also earn a grade of “U” in Cooperation on their report card. Students will also be referred to the Intervention and/or Counseling Office for behavior modification. I also expect students to be on time to each class. I keep students for detention if they are consistently tardy to any of my classes.
I appreciate your cooperation and assistance in the year to come. When parents, teachers, students and the school community work together, we can ensure that students are productive, successful, well adjusted and prepared for high school, college, career and life. I look forward to meeting with you during Open House and Parent Conferencing. Thank you for your time and support.
The Common Core State Standards (CCSS) aims to prepare students to be college and career ready. The focus of the CCSS is on close reading of complex texts, text-dependent questions and writing grounded in evidence from the text. Instruction in Ancient Civilizations is also based on the California History-Social Science Standards for grade 6. In this course, students will explore the ancient world from pre-historic people and their tools to the Fall of Rome.
Student will be able to:
-Compare and contrast the origin and development of African, Asian, European and Mesoamerican civilizations.
-Explain and demonstrate how geography influences the political, social, cultural and economic growth of a civilization.
Both primary and secondary sources, visual texts and various forms of technology will be used to allow students to access the content and curriculum. Students will work in pairs as well as groups to develop their listening and speaking skills.
All students have been assigned Impact California Social Studies: World History and Geography, Ancient Civilizationsand an Inquiry Journal Workbook published by McGraw-Hill Education. The textbook is also available online and students have been instructed on how to access the online version of the textbook and workbook. It is important that students not lose these materials. It is recommended that the hard-covered textbook be covered and kept free from damage (or further damage), marks and writing. It is best that students have a binder with a section for History and/or Ancient Civilizations where they may place filler paper and important handouts. In addition, students should always have several pencils and pens and paper. If possible, please supply your student with colored pencils and a pencil sharpener with a barrel for pencil shavings. Students must bring CHARGED devices assigned to them on a daily basis.
Student will be evaluated by examination, assignments, class participation and projects. Classroom participation is defined as active participation answering and asking questions relevant to the material being studied and the completion of dispatch activities (Warm-ups) and other work assigned for the course. Since students are enrolled in a magnet program, they will not earn a grade of “A” on the final report card if they do not complete all or many of the projects. Refer to the Schoology “Materials” page for units studied and learning targets being taught, assessed and evaluated for the semester.
Projects and Work Not Completed in Class:
If students have incomplete assignments, those assignments need to be completed outside of class. In Ancient Civilizations, students will have several projects they will work on independently, at home, with the conclusion of some units. These projects will require students to investigate aspects of the various civilizations we will study during the school year.
The Common Core State Standards aims to prepare students to be college and career ready. The Common Core Standards focus on close reading of complex texts, text dependent questions and writing grounded in evidence from the text. Instruction will be geared towards preparing students for the end of the year or summative assessment, created by the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium or SBAC. Throughout the school year, students will be diagnosed and practice with iReady. Students will be exposed to various rigorous forms of literature such as informational and visual texts, short stories, novels and other sources of relevant literature. Students will write short paragraphs and longer essays. The Common Core State Standards require that students are competent writers. Explicit instruction and practice in grammar and writing, aligned to the Common Core Standards, will be taught to enable students to be competent writers. Students will be given ample opportunities to practice speaking and listening by working in pairs and groups.
All students have been assigned the required text, StudySync, published by McGraw Hill. StudySync is a thematic and literature units-based program. There will be a hard copy version and a digital version of the program. Some components of the program require students to have an internet connection to access the curriculum. It is important that students not lose or misplace materials assigned to them as they will not receive replacements. The textbook, and all other necessary materials for the course, need to be brought to class when it meets. It is best that students have a binder with a section for English/Language Arts where they may place filler paper and important handouts. In addition, students should always have pencils and pens and paper. Students must also bring devices assigned to them on a daily basis.
Students will be evaluated through assignments, writing, tests, and writing assessments. Participation will also be a factor in the grade each student earns. Classroom participation is defined as: active participation in classroom discussions by answering and asking questions relevant to the material being studied, active contribution and engagement in group activities and completion of work assigned. Since students are enrolled in a magnet program, they will not earn a grade of “A” for the course without completing writing assessments and end of unit projects. Refer to the Schoology “Materials” page for learning targets being taught, assessed and evaluated for the semester.
Reading and Work Not Completed in Class:
Assignments not completed in class may and will need to be completed independently outside of class. It is also important that students read books that interest them, at home, on a daily basis. We are fortunate to have myON. MyON has thousands of e-books that students can read at their independent reading levels and take quizzes on those books. Students are expected to read books at their level and take corresponding Accelerated Reader or AR tests. The school’s library is also a great resource for students to check out books at various times during the school day. In addition, students may practice on IXL at home.