June 16th, 2014
Dear rising 6th Graders,
Greetings, soon-to-be 6th graders. I am very excited to get to know you, and I am looking forward to a dynamic sixth grade year with you. There are two things I’d like you to do over the summer. The first thing is to write a letter to your 6th grade teachers about yourself as a learner. The second thing is for you to read at least two books between now and the start of school in September.
Letter to your 6th Grade Teachers
As your new teachers, we are very curious to discover as much as we can as soon as possible about you as a learner, as a student, and how you see yourself in school. We would also like to know about the things you are interested in outside of school. This will help us get to know you more quickly.
Your letter should be about 4 paragraphs long, although some of you may want to tell us even more, and that’s fine. Please write a paragraph (about 4 sentences in length) about each of the following topics.
A snapshot of you - tell us about what you really enjoy doing in your free time. This can include things like: being outdoors or indoors, playing specific sports, taking care of animals, hanging out with friends, being with your family, cooking, camping, skate boarding, kite-flying, whatever and etc. Or this can include your hobbies, such as making model airplanes, making jewelry or collecting something special like minerals, stuffed animals, coins, things that start with the letter “q” --- you name it! If you have pets of your own, we would love to hear about them as well – anything to help us know you better.
What is easiest for you in school? This can include subjects you enjoy (like reading, writing, science, math, history, art, music, sports, or drama) or, it can include things like:s being really good at class discussions, memorizing things, using computers, problem solving, working in groups, doing school projects, following directions, meeting due dates, taking tests or quizzes, or other things like that.
What is hardest for you in school? Include specific subjects (math, writing, reading, history, etc.). Or, tell us about things like: listening in class, following directions, meeting due dates, sitting still for 40 minutes, staying organized, taking tests or quizzes, or working in groups, for example. Describe for us how teachers or your parents have helped you in the past solve some of these problems. Or, tell us things you wish your teachers or your parents would do to help you solve these kinds of problems.
What do you imagine yourself doing when you grow up? What kind of job (or jobs) would you like to try? (When I was in eighth grade I imagined myself becoming a marine biologist, but instead I became a jeweler and then a teacher.) Where do you imagine yourself living - - somewhere warm year-round? near the mountains? in the city? in the country? in a foreign country?
OPTIONAL PARAGRAPH - What kinds of things do you wish your teachers knew about you as a person? Maybe you have had a piece of your writing published or you have won a special award. Maybe you have traveled across the U.S. or have lived in a foreign country. Maybe you have some very special family traditions that mean a lot to you. Tell me anything else you really want me to know about you.
TWO DRAFTS: Begin the letter with “Dear Sixth Grade teachers,” and the date (like I did on mine to you) and then sign it with your name at the end (like I have signed my letter to you). Please write at least two drafts of your letter. The first draft is to get your ideas down on paper; some of your teachers may call this the “sloppy copy.” The second one is revised and “cleaned up” for the reader. Please write the second draft on the computer so we can have an electronic copy for your 6th grade electronic portfolio. Save it to your Google Drive or to a flash drive if you aren’t able to save to your Google account. Have your parents contact me if this presents a problem for you.
Print out the second draft and staple the two drafts together with the “final” draft on top and bring it and your reading list for the first day of school.
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