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Grade 6 Happenings

Follow the latest happenings in Grade 6 below.

Extension Week: Our "Fruit Bowl" Project

posted Sep 21, 2020, 2:55 AM by Jason Brunken

It's finally here! This week, the 6th grade class will begin its first extension activity: a "fruit bowl" project. This activity comes straight from our reading last week. The idea is that writers use words like painters use paint. When two painters paint the same bowl of fruit, the results are never identical. The same goes for writers. Give different writers the same elements of a story to work with and they will manipulate words differently to create very different works.

For this assignment we will be writing our own “Fruit Bowl” Project. The students' task is to create pieces of writing of any genre that includes the seven elements below. They will begin by drafting at least three different ideas in your journal (some can be short, but not all.) They will then choose their favorite two to edit and make into final drafts.

Final drafts should be written with graphics and text features and displayed in a creative way. These will be hung outside the classroom for all of Happy Kids to see how awesome they are. They will also be posted on the class website when they are finished. The seven elements that students must include in their pieces are listed below. I think we will have some very creative work this year.

The Seven Elements

  1. 6th grade
  2. at the end of class
  3. a boorish teacher
  4. a girl in agony
  5. a tumult
  6. a flying eraser
  7. a culprit comes clean

Meet Mr. Brunken

posted Sep 17, 2020, 6:28 AM by Jason Brunken

This week I emailed and sent home a video introducing myself, my teaching, and what's going on in 6th Grade this year. I hope you all had the chance to watch it. If you forgot, don't worry. I'll post it here too for you to see. Remember you can always contact me with questions and concerns. I look forward to meeting all of you at Parent-Teacher Conferences later in October.

This Week: The Fruit Bowl Project

posted Sep 14, 2020, 6:21 PM by Jason Brunken   [ updated Sep 14, 2020, 6:22 PM ]

Hello, Grade 6! This week we are reading The Fruit Bowl Project. It is an interesting story of a class of students who, using the same seven elements, create a menagerie of compositions that, while similar, are completely different. Kind of like a fruit bowl! This selection comes from the novel of the same name by Sarah Durkee. It's about a class of 8th graders who get a visit from a rock star. He teaches them how words for a writer are like paint to a painter. He gives them the "fruit bowl" assignment, and amazing writing happens.

After inspiration form this novel, the class will be creating its own fruit bowl project starting this Friday. Details to come later.

Below is the weekly handout for this week. Please remember to practice the spelling words and review the vocabulary. I've included a vocabulary slideshow below for you to use to help review. The grammar questions on page two of the handout can be completed for extra credit as well. 

This week, in preparation for our first writing project, I will be going through a writing lesson about using showing sentences instead of telling ones. The kids really enjoyed on on Monday.

I'll have a video introducing myself and the class out later this week. Stay tuned.



This Week: Knots in My Yo-yo String

posted Sep 6, 2020, 6:04 PM by Jason Brunken   [ updated Sep 9, 2020, 7:12 PM ]

This week the Grade 6 class is reading Knots in My Yo-Yo String by Jerry Spinelli. This book is an autobiography. Mr. Spinelli writes this book telling us about how he grew from a sports-loving kid to a successful author. While Spinelli has written some books I would never recommend to anyone, he has also written a few of my favorite for young readers. Three must-read books by Jerry Spinelli are Loser, Maniac Magee, and Stargirl. All are available in Happy Kids's library. The reading skill packet for this week can be found here.

Below you will find the weekly handout sheet that your child should have brought home with her this week. On it, you will see the spelling words that will be assessed this week, our target vocabulary words, the grammar concept we will be looking at, and other useful information about the week. Please review and study at home. To help, I have also attached a slideshow of our vocabulary words this week below.

This week will continue working on writing skills with writing traits mini-lessons focused around using descriptive language and adding detail to writing. 


This Week: School Story

posted Aug 30, 2020, 6:43 PM by Jason Brunken   [ updated Aug 30, 2020, 6:43 PM ]

This week, we begin using the Journeys curriculum. Most weeks we will be working out of it to practice spelling, writing skills, vocabulary, grammar, and, of course, reading. 

This we will be reading the first story titled School Story by Andrew Clements. Andrew Clements writes great stories that captivate young readers. His bestseller is Frindle. School Story has its share or quirky characters and ingenious plans that kids are sure to love. 

Below you will find the weekly handout sheet that your child should have brought home with her this week. On it, you will see the spelling words that will be tested on Friday, our target vocabulary words, the grammar concept we will be looking at, and other useful information about the week. Please review and study at home. To help, I have also attached a slideshow of our vocabulary words this week below.

Students' independent assignment begins this week. they have set reading goals for the year and have to complete their pledged reading each week. Please encourage your child to meet this goal each week. Part of their duties for this class are to complete Weekly Independent Reading Summary forms for their independent reading each week and turn them in to me. Please help remind your child. Please email me if you have any questions.

Welcome to the 2020-2021 school year!

posted Aug 23, 2020, 7:13 PM by Jason Brunken

Hi! Summer is officially over now that school has started. Don't worry, I miss it too. We also have a whole year together to look forward to. As we go through the year, this website (and especially this page) will be a helpful resource for you to stay on top of what's going on in class. I will work hard to make sure as much of the work that we do in class as possible is posted here for you to reference and ask your kids about.

I have high expectations for my Grade 6 class. I expect the kids to be on time every day to class, do their best each day, and to take time to read independently outside of class. One way I help encourage the kids to read outside of class is through our Weekly Independent Reading Assignment. The students will each set a weekly reading goal this week that they should try to meet. Each Tuesday starting September 8, they should complete and turn in a WIRSF. These forms can be found in class or downloaded here.

I appreciate your support in helping your kids grow this year. We will make a great team. If at any time you have questions or concerns or would like more content posted to this website, please contact me. Below is the letter of introduction I sent home today along with the monthly calendar which can be found online here.

Graduation Pictures!

posted May 29, 2020, 1:25 AM by Jason Brunken

Congratulations to my awesome class! It was a great year. I'm so proud of each and every one of them. As you all know we had a professional photographer come and take pictures for the event. I wanted to share all of those pictures with you all now. Just follow the link below to find an online folder with all of them. Feel free to click on and download any of them that you want. 

I hope everyone has a fun and safe summer. I hope I get a chance to see these guys again next fall in the Program for Upper Level Students.

Grade 6 Graduation pictures



2020 Website Project

posted Apr 6, 2020, 2:38 AM by Jason Brunken   [ updated Apr 6, 2020, 2:38 AM ]

For the next few weeks, the sixth grade class will be working on a very special project. They will be using Google Sites to build an original website about an ancient civilization. These websites are meant to introduce and teach about the ancient civilization each group chose. Students will have them ready to present on April 17 when we will be recording presentations for the special ASLA Expo video in lieu of our normal ASLA Expo. 

The project requires the students to collaborate with their team of 3. As this is the first website any of them have ever made, this project requires a tremendous about of learning, experimenting, creativity, and good old fashioned hard work to complete well. I know these kids can do it though. To learn more about the project, read through the assignment sheet below. I'll post the final websites after the Expo, so stay tuned.

This Week: The Hero and the Minotaur

posted Mar 9, 2020, 7:36 AM by Jason Brunken   [ updated Mar 9, 2020, 7:37 AM ]

This week in Grade 6, we will be exploring Ancient Greece as we read a version of the well-known Greek myth "Theseus and the Minotaur" called The Hero and the Minotaur. This class is really interested in Ancient Greece and their stories of gods and heroes. Many of the kids spent the first half of the year checking out Rick Riordan's popular retelling of these myths with his Percy Jackson and the Olympians series. I hope they enjoy this week's reading. If you are not familiar with the story of Theseus and the Minotaur, take a minute to read more here or watch the video to the right.

The handout with this week's spelling and vocabulary words is posted below. There is also some grammar practice and an overview for what we will be doing this week. Take a minute to review this week. I've posted a slideshow below to help with reviewing the vocabulary words. This week's writing lesson will be to review narrative writing and prepare to write their own myths. I can't wait to see their stories next week.

This Week: The Emperor's Silent Army

posted Feb 19, 2020, 6:16 PM by Jason Brunken

Welcome back! It's been over five weeks since I have last seen the kids in class. I'm so happy to see everyone back and healthy for the first week of classes of the new year. Due to the three weeks that have been cancelled, we are changing up our plan for Grade 6 a bit from what was originally scheduled. A new calendar has been sent home to tell you all about what is coming up.

This month, the Grade 6 class will continue to delve into ancient world history. We will explore two more units from Journeys before writing a narrative and then doing a history related research project later and into April. 

This week, we are reading The Emperor's Silent Army. This selection is about the famous Terracotta Soldiers that were buried with Emperor Qin Shihuang, the first emperor of a unified China. The Terracotta soldiers are one of history's most interesting mysteries. While archaeologists believe the army was meant to protect the Emperor in the afterlife, the elaborate detail and craftsmanship put into each statue makes us wonder if they were not something more. We will be discussing this and more as we cover the text on Thursday.

Did you know that Qin Shihuang's tomb is one of the great archaeological mysteries of today? While the location of the tomb has been found, no one is believed to have entered it since the emperor was buried. There are legends that tell of the magnificence of what's inside the tomb, but no one has been inside to confirm them.

Also this week will be vocabulary, writing, grammar, and spelling practice. A spelling test will be given on Friday. Please remind your child to study. Below is this week's handout with the vocabulary and spelling words for this week as well as some grammar practice. I've also posted a slideshow with this week's vocabulary and a Crash Course World history video about Ancient China for students to view to brush up on their history.


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