Important Things To Know About Mr. Seely's 6th Grade English Language Arts Class

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Springboard is the name of the English Language Arts curriculum taught in the Tahoma school district. Springboard is created by College Board--the organization that also creates the SAT and AP exams. It is designed to prepare students for college level courses by the time they get to high school. Springboard is fairly writing intensive. Students will produce one major piece of writing about every month. 

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*  To open Classroom you must use the Google Chrome web-browser

Google Classroom is the online platform that will be the primary tool for students to write and revise their writing. I will expect for students to do most of their writing on the laptops I provide for them in class. However, if you have internet access at home, students can use their school email account and password to login to Google Classroom any time to continue their work. I also use Google Classroom to keep a running list of all assignments and due dates, even assignments that are not done online. This makes Classroom a one stop place to view all students’ past work and future due dates. However, I do not use Google Classroom to report grades. 


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Skyward is the website Tahoma School District uses to report grades. Most of my assignments will be recorded in Skyward. The final products students turn in to show what their skills and knowledge will be worth much more than practice or homework. Though completing assignments and turning them in on time are fundamental study skills, I believe grades should primarily reflect what students know and are able to do. 

Independent Reading

For a majority of the year, students will be reading a book of their choice for at least 15 minutes each weekday. I expect the majority of this to be done at home. Here are two considerations for helping your student choose a book to read. 

1. Reading Level: Choose a book that is on the cusp of their reading ability. Ideally, they should know enough words to not get lost, but still have to use a dictionary occasionally. 

2. Your Family's Values: Books are not always value neutral. Many "young adult novels" also contain content that is not appropriate for 6th grade readers. I try to be current regarding the content of the most popular new books on the YA scene, and I repeatedly emphasize to students that they should only read books that their parents would approve of. However, there are simply too many new books to be familiar with them all. Please be involved in what your student reads. Books can profoundly shape young hearts and imaginations. I believe it is vital that students are exposed to the right ones. If you want to evaluate a book your student wants to read here are two websites that I have found helpful. 

CommonSenseMedia.org and PluggedIn.com

Mr. Seely's Late Work, Revision and Redo Policy

I will always accept work right up to the end of the quarter. Late work will not be penalized. Writing revisions and test redos will be welcomed if students also submit a written reflection on what they have done to improve. I want to give students every chance to demonstrate their skills and knowledge. If a student demonstrates mastery, their grade should reflect that even if the assignment is late. 

That said, meeting deadlines is extremely important and failing to do so does have some consequences. I give precedence to work that has been turned in on time, students will have to wait longer for feedback. If a student waits until the very end of the quarter to turn in their work, I can’t promise that I will get to it in time. I must operate under deadlines as well.