Dear 6th Grade Parents and Students,

Welcome to 6th Grade Social Studies! I am taking a leave of absence from August 2011 until January 2012 in order to work on my dissertation. Miss Balch will be taking over my social studies classes until I return. We will be keeping in contact during my leave, and I already can't wait to get back in order to explore the world with you through our studies of World Cultures and Geography. Sixth grade is a fun-filled adventure in learning!

Our text book is World Cultures and Geography, published by McDougal Littell. This text book offers a visual approach that motivates students to gain a greater appreciation of the diversity of people around the world. Connections will be made between geography and current events. Students see geography as more relevant when they see how it connects to the other subjects they are studying. We will be making numerous cross curricular connections that show how geography and culture relate to literature, art, science, math and other subjects. Special emphasis will be placed on critical thinking, content-area reading and map skills in order to provide continual social studies skill development.

The sixth graders will keep all notes and handouts in the social studies binder, which will be collected and graded on test days. Each day we will do two Daily Oral Geography (D.O.G.) questions, which will be done in a spiral notebook. These will be collected and graded periodically, as well.

Grading for Social Studies is as follows: tests count triple, quizzes and projects count double, and classwork counts as one grade. There are two ways to earn extra credit in Social Studies: 1. Weekly "Where in the World?" question/s (which will resume in January 2012) and 2. Friday D.O.G. puzzles/brainteasers.

To further assist you in exploring what we are learning in Social Studies, I have created content-specific pages on this wiki for each unit of study. These pages are listed on the navigation bar to the left. Check them out!

Social Studies Classroom Procedures: Students are expected to be respectful of others, their property, and their ideas at all times. Miss Balch and I will be using the calendar, along with the other teachers who come in contact with you during the day. The following procedures will ensure that we have a strong learning environment and successful year.

Answer written questions in complete sentences: We will be grading activities, quizzes and tests. This may seem obvious, but sometimes we forget that the person reading our papers may not know who or what we are talking about even though it seems clear to us. To avoid this problem, students should:

1. Restate or rephrase the question in your answer so that your audience knows exactly what you are referring too. For example, when responding to the question, “How old is Michael?” a correct answer would be, “Michael is 12 years old.” This is a more complete and clear answer than, “Twelve.” Or “He is 12.”

2. Always remember to proofread for correct spelling, capitalization, and punctuation.

Homework: You are responsible for writing down assignments in the various classrooms you visit. However, each teacher will maintain her own subject-area homework page. The 6th Grade Social Studies Wiki is located in the naviagation bar to the left.

Absences: If you are absent for a day, go home early or miss part of a class, it is important that you make up all work that you missed. To do this you need to follow certain procedures:

1. If you are absent for the entire day, your homework will be recorded and appropriate books and supplies will be left on the homework table outside the office, unless we are otherwise notified

2. If you leave class early, you need to talk to me and find out what you will miss so that you can take those books home and complete the assignments

3. If you miss class for Mass practice, visit to the nurse, etc., you need to check with me

4. You may always check the Wiki!

Sixth Grade Social Studies should be quite a journey. There is a lot to do and learn. If you have any questions, please contact me. I check my e-mail continuously throughout the day. I am looking forward to working with you this year.

Sincerely,


Mrs. Debbie Fucoloro