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Sixth Grade: How Sixth Grade Works - For Students, Parents, and Teachers

Grade Levels
1st - 7th, Homeschool
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215 pages
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Sixth Grade - Back to School - Professional Development: How Sixth Grade Works For Students, Parents, and Teachers.

This teacher and family friendly book is a twenty-year compilation of experiences in a sixth-grade classroom. It is one teacher's opinion, tips, and strategies for success.

Teacher use

• Veteran teachers changing to sixth grade.

• Student teaching.

• How to advise students & parents.

Student use

• Avoid an overwhelming sixth grade.

• What to expect this year.

• Techniques for self-improvement.

Parent use

• Understanding the teacher's perspective.

• Complementing what is taught at school.

• Learning about group dynamics & management.

Sixth grade is your year! It's time to put good use to all those years of show-and-tell, playing in the sandbox, and tasting crayons.

You already know what to do - hey, you're a sixth grader - now get a little inside teacher information from the guy who calls a dead shark hanging from the wall the "class pet."

This realistic, family guide answers common sixth-grade questions and describes how teachers operate their classrooms. It explains why things happen and how teachers think. Most of all, it is designed to improve self-reliance and promote your future success.

Writing - Impress your teacher the first day of school with the "perfect paragraph":

• Use a topic sentence.

• At least six words per sentence.

• At least six sentences per paragraph.

• No crime, violence, gore, or fluff (i.e. The End or I hoped you liked my essay.)

Why can't we do more fun stuff? That's the same question teachers ask each day! There are a couple points to remember, as you read about the ancient Egyptians, wondering if they ever had water fights building those pyramids in the hot sun.

First, teachers spread-out "fun" things over time. How boring would it be to go to Disneyland every day and ride the same rides? Totally awesome! (Okay, bad example.) But you get the idea. With every fun activity, students want something better next time. Soon it becomes more about the activity and less about the content...

Why do teachers always put me next to the bad kids? Let's start with the definition of "bad" kids. I'm not sure any student can be labeled as "bad." Your classmates work on different levels. Some watched Sesame Street when they were young and understand sharing, kindness, and cooperation more than others. I think the better term to use is "challenging" student. Every room has them, and there are about three per class (10%).

It's also good to point out that someone "challenging" to you may be friendly, hardworking, and thoughtful for others. It's a matter of perception or opinion. Likewise, the teacher may also have a different opinion of who is "challenging."

With that being said, yes, there are students who are difficult to work with and sit beside. So let's discuss further...

How are classes determined? The goal is balance, and there are multiple factors that determine the teacher's class. It starts at the end the year, when grade-level teachers meet and discuss each student's progress. Students are placed with the teacher that best matches their learning style, while balancing boy-girl, high-low, special needs, and behaviors. The lists go to the principal for review and a couple adjustments. Changes are also made when new students enroll, right up to the first day of school.

When will we ever need this in life? I always shake my head when a 12-year old thinks they already know everything - that's why we have teenagers!

It starts at the state level where adults develop studies they believe will make students more knowledgeable and well-balanced for life. It's the teacher's job to follow that plan and make sure students are exposed to those topics.

Friends - Sixth grade is a different year when it comes to friends. Your friends may change this year, whether you like it or not. It's natural; it happens to all students, and there are a couple of reasons why...



Chapter 1 - School Today

Chapter 2 - The Phases

Chapter 3 - For Students


Why do I have to go to school?

•Why do we have homework?

•Why is school boring?

•When will we ever need this in life?

•Why can’t we do more fun stuff?

•Why can’t we sit next to our friends?

•Why is math much more difficult?

•Why do teachers always put me next to the bad kids?

•Why can’t we eat in class?

•Why aren’t cell phones allowed?

•Who’s the ideal student?

•How do I have a successful sixth grade?

•How about a good teacher tip?

Absences - Tardies · Long-Term

Attention Span - ADHD

Before School Year Starts

Behavior - Good Individual · Bad Individual · Good Group · Bad Group

Common Misbehaviors - Bickering · Defiance · Forgery · Graffiti · Lying · Manners · Self-Control · Tattling · Theft

Book Orders

Bulletin Boards


Clean Desks




Conflict Resolution


Cooperation vs. Competition



Distractions - Air Conditioner/Heat · Barf · Cell Phones · Drinks · Fly · Gum · Hand Sanitizer · Hats and Hoods · Office Calls · Passing Notes · Paper Airplanes · Pencils · Rubber Bands · Scissors · Sneezes · Throwing Crayons · Tissues · Trash Cans

Flag Salute


Grading - Extra Credit · Sampling · Everyone Failed The Test!

Group Work





Mentoring/Little Buddies

Middle School

Name Tag

Paper Clips

Quiet Activity

Rainy Days


Rule of 3

Rule of 25

Seating Chart

Show and Tell


Silent Reading

Student Council

Subjects - Art · Computer Lab · Editing · Filler Activities · Geography · Handwriting · Math · Physical Education · Reading · Science · Social Studies · Speeches · Spelling · Writing




Chapter 4 - For Parents


How are classes determined?

•How are combo classes decided?

•What’s the optimum class size?

•Why does the teacher seem unavailable?

•What about the gifted students?

•How come nothing happens to the students with behavior problems?

•Is my student being prepared for the future?

•Why does the curriculum change every few years?

•How do I complain to a teacher?

•What makes students so different?

•What’s a typical hour of school?

•Who’s the ideal parent?

Combo Classes

Common Core


Weekly Letter




English Learners (EL)

First Day of School

Friends II


Subjective Grading

Grade Availability

Home School



Irate Parents



Report Cards

Special Education - Student Study Team (SST), Resource Specialist Program (RSP), Severely Emotionally Disturbed (SED),

Special Day Class (SDC), 504 Plan, Other

Students - Average · 15% · Good Students, Bad Test Takers · Low, But Always Trying · Opportunists · Sergeants ·

Thieves, Liars, and Malcontents



State Test


Thank-You Cards


Volunteers - Parent · Guest Speakers

Chapter 5 - The Teacher


Why are some teachers better than others?

• Is the teacher qualified?

• Won’t tenured teachers eventually just stop caring?

• How are teachers held accountable?

• Why is the teacher mean?

• Who’s the ideal teacher?

• Yes, but you get summers off!

• What’s a typical work day?

• What’s the best part of the job?

• What are the challenging aspects?




Back to School Night

Countdown Clock


Field Trips


Five Years

Job Interview

Last Day

Last Week

Lesson Plans

Lifestyle vs. Job

Lifestyle · Job


Opening Routine



Red Dot

Student Teachers

Sub Plans


Substituting - Tutors · Long-Term





Yard Duty

Chapter 6 - The School


• Why are there so many rules?

• Why is school food so bad?

• Why can’t we go on more field trips?

• What slows down the class?

• What’s the ideal classroom?


Certificated vs. Classified Employees

Copy Machine

Cumulative Files

Fire Drill


Open House



Rotating Classes

School District - Administrators · Personnel Benefits

Secretaries and Custodians

Sample Documents

• Grade Update/Teacher Communication

• Student-Parent Weekly Letter

• Student Self-Evaluation

Return to The Harstad Collection.

Total Pages
215 pages
Answer Key
Teaching Duration
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