6th Grade October Update from Scott Ringenbach & Teresa Taylor
As we reflect on this quarter, the exposure to new and deeper ways of considering their class content is notable. For example, thus far, students have accomplished using “The Big Six” to approach research. They also learned how to credit sources for their information regarding history content. In all classes, students are learning about reading with strategies to recall and use their reading to apply to larger ideas and concepts. Using tools like quizlet, reading guides, and the constant friend–the assignment notebook–has supported their learning as they reinforced the process of working with content to build confidence. We are on our way to discovering as we “dig deep”!
Our sixth grade focus is leading self. Many of our advisory activities and daily conversations will center around being self-aware. We are building upon the lower school’s focus on the character tree with its concrete foundation of courage as we discuss the kind of courage one must have to be his/her best self. Recognizing the ownership we have in our decisions is key to a life lived with intention, and having an early start toward this goal is a precious opportunity.
As we think about how we should approach this second part of the semester, a few suggestions come to mind. Because their energy is boundless and they have much to divide their attention, our sixth graders need to have pace in their process. What I mean by having this pace includes using resources, planning ahead, slowing down, doing a bit of a task piece by piece. Like us, our students’ thoughts race through “to-do” lists and agendas as they pass from class to activity. Like us, they think about the next item on the calendar before pausing to reflect on what they did well this day. Like us, they find difficulty in reflecting because of the time and stillness required.
With these truths in mind, how then do we prepare our young adults to be settled, focused, and reflective citizens? How do we prepare them to be self-aware among distractions? I’d like to think that we remind them of the value of a measured pace, an action plan, and some mindful thought by modeling these ourselves and by providing the best scenarios for success. These scenarios include a timely arrival at school, a place for the bookbag and charged chromebook to rest before going back to school, healthy snacks, and at least 8 hours of sleep free of distractions. If we set them up for success, they will have little choice other than to do great and be strong in their approach toward challenges.
The Grade Level Representatives would like you to know the following information:
The first middle school dance is November 11 from 7:00-9:00. Sixth grade students will meet in the 6th grade hall at 6:45 (15mins) before the dance to enjoy a snack together before walking to the dance as a grade.
On December 9, there will be a Coffee & Candle Exchange for the 6th grade parents in the Dining Hall. More information will come next month!
There are discussions about a holiday event for our sixth graders in December with a hot chocolate bar where donations of winter hats, scarves, and gloves will be collected to give to Note in the Pocket.
Truly, many exciting activities are going on in Middle School. Spirit Week, our first service learning experience, and our desire to win the Game of Social when using social media are just a few of the opportunities students have enjoyed thus far in the year.
Scott Ringenbach, our dean, and the sixth grade team wish to thank you for your support as we anticipate a settled, paced process during this next part of our school year!
The Sixth Grade Team