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Putnam County R-I Schools

Middle School


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Welcome Back to School!


Hello!  I would like to welcome you to Sixth Grade! My name is Mrs. Sivetts and I teach sixth grade English Language Arts.  I am looking forward to working with each one of you to help make the transition from Elementary School to Middle School a successful experience.  This transition encompasses many new experiences, freedoms, and responsibilities.

I’m including a few explanations regarding procedures in my classroom in order to make sure that the school year is started with everyone on the same page.  

*Alternative Seating...The sixth grade ELA classroom has a variety of seating options.  The students are going to have a choice in where/how they work in the classroom. A few options that are available are crate seats, gaming chairs, swivel chairs, a rocking chair,  and bean bags. Desks are still available for students who prefer this seating arrangement or for the students whose behavior inhibits them from participating in the alternative seating.  

*No textbooks…Yes I said no textbooks.  I do have textbooks in the classroom that will be used randomly as a resource.  The students might have to check one out periodically if they need to use it as a resource.  

*Notebooks...The students are required to bring in two composition notebooks for my classes. One notebook will be used as a Writer’s Workshop Notebook and the other one will be the Reader’s Workshop Notebook.  These notebooks will be important to daily instruction and therefore will be required to stay in the classroom. I will provide a place for the students to store their notebooks. These notebooks will be graded quarterly and will be a very important part of the students’ classroom grade.   If for some reason the student needs to use his/her notebook for homework then the individual student is allowed to come check his/her notebook out at the end of the day (during study skills). My reasoning for this policy is to ensure that each student has all the necessary materials to participate in class on a daily basis.  If the student needs to take the notebook home then he/she is available to do this but needs to bring it back the very next day. We will be using these notebooks daily in class to complete assignments as well as paste important reference materials in them.

*Spelling and Definition Tests...Starting the first full week of August spelling and definition tests will take place every Friday. We will have activities during the week to practice those words and definitions but I ask that all students also study at home. If students choose to, they may write words and definitions 10 times each for 5 extra credit points to be added to their test score. If a student misses a spelling test on Friday they have until the following Friday to make that spelling test up, if the test is not made up during that time it will be entered as a 0.

*Independent Reading Book...I’m sure in the past, the students have been required to read a book when their work has been completed.  Well, in my class this is taken a bit further. The students are required to come to class daily with an independent reading book. This book has to be one of their choices and be within a reasonable reading level (compared to where he/she is reading).  Points will be awarded weekly for these daily checks.


*Study Skills...This is a great time for the students to complete their homework and to receive help if needed. If the students do not have homework then I will encourage them to read a book.  

I believe that my classroom will be a productive environment for the students.  I expect the students to be courteous to one another and to be responsible for their actions.  In order to grow as a reader and writer, the students have to feel safe in the environment they practice in.  I want the students to go out on a limb and read a genre they never dreamed of or write a letter to the editor of the paper about a topic they feel very compassionate about.  In order for the students to succeed they have to know that it is ok to fail and that “we” (the other students and teacher) are there to support them and help them learn how to grow.


I look forward to working with each and every one of you this coming school year.  If you have any questions or concerns please feel free to call me at ext. 348 or email me at jsivetts@putnamcountyr1.net.   I am available before or after school as well as from 1 p.m. to 1.43 p.m. daily.


Thank you,

Mrs. Jenna Sivetts