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Grade 6 Happenings

Follow the latest happenings in Grade 6 below.

Extension Week: Haunted House Scene

posted Oct 20, 2019, 7:12 AM by Jason Brunken   [ updated Oct 20, 2019, 7:12 AM ]

Image attributed to Flickr user lobo235.
The next two weeks are extension weeks for the grade six students. They will be getting their first taste of dramatic writing this week. The assignment: Prepare a spooky story to act out for visitors to the Happy Kids ASLA Haunted House on October 31. The students will work to decorate and prepare a scenes for the younger ASLA visitors. Students working on scenes will be expected to write a short script that tells a mini story related to our theme of "Mad Science". Together, it should make for a fun and spooky Haunted House for our Halloween Fun House this year.

The kids have already begun planning this assignment and are excited to get to work on it. During this week we will not be having a spelling test, grammar lesson, or vocabulary words. We will still have library on Tuesdays, and WIRSFs are still due on Tuesday as usual. 

Remember that Parent-Teacher Conferences are this week, so no class on Thursday and Friday. I'm looking forward to seeing everyone then.

This Week: The ACES Phones

posted Sep 28, 2019, 8:27 PM by Jason Brunken

Hello Grade 6! This week we are moving on in Journeys to The ACES Phone. This is a wonderful science fiction story by Jeanne Duprau. Duprau is a popular science fiction writer for young adults. Perhaps her most famous book is The City of Ember. We have a few of her titles in our library that I highly recommend the kids pick up. You can see a complete list of her books here.

As always we will begin the week looking at our vocabulary words, move into grammar on Tuesday, read the selection on Thursday, and then do a writing assignment on Friday. The spelling test will also be on Friday. Please remember to help your child study for the tests. Below is the weekly handout and a slideshow of the vocabulary words to help your child review and practice at home. On it you will find all of the spelling and vocabulary words along with some grammar practice.

We will also be using time from class to wrap up our Fruit Bowl Project from last week. The kids' ideas were so great they needed more time to complete them.  I hope to have pictures posted before next week. I'm looking forward to sharing their work with you all.

Extension Week: Our "Fruit Bowl" Project

posted Sep 24, 2019, 7:16 PM by Jason Brunken   [ updated Sep 24, 2019, 7:17 PM ]

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. precisely 5:00
  3. a girl sneezes vigorously
  4. a revolting smell coming from a backpack
  5. pandemonium
  6. spilled tea
  7. a drowsy student has a great fall

This Week: Knots in My Yo-Yo String

posted Sep 16, 2019, 5:26 AM by Jason Brunken   [ updated Sep 16, 2019, 5:27 AM ]

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.

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 begin working on our Fruit Bowl Project. I'm looking forward to seeing the kids' excellent and creative work. 


This Week: The Fruit Bowl Project

posted Sep 10, 2019, 6:57 AM by Jason Brunken   [ updated Sep 10, 2019, 6:58 AM ]

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. 

Parents, please remember that Meet the Teacher is this Thursday at 6:00. I hope I see you all there.


Our Class Constitution!

posted Sep 10, 2019, 6:56 AM by Jason Brunken

During the first week of school, I tasked the class with examining what our values as a class were. I then had them brainstorm how those values would look as laws or a bill of rights for our classroom. The result was a declaration of our values and a bill of rights that we all agreed on as a class. We call it our Class Constitution, and we have proudly hung it up outside our small classroom. Enjoy the pictures below. We can't wait to share it with you all at Meet the Teacher this week.


This Week: School Story

posted Sep 1, 2019, 6:14 AM by Jason Brunken

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 2019-2020 School Year

posted Aug 26, 2019, 5:38 AM by Jason Brunken   [ updated Aug 26, 2019, 5:39 AM ]

Hello! I'm Mr. Jason Brunken, and you've found the online home for the Grade 6 class at Happy Kids. Let me welcome Grade 6 parents. I am very excited to get the chance to teach your child this year. Your involvement and input is very important to me. Please feel free to contact me whenever you like with questions, feedback, or concerns about class this year.

To learn more about me, please visit the About Me page on this website, or see the letter of introduction I sent home this week. I have been teaching Grade 6 at Happy kids since I started here back in 2006. It is one of my favorite classes to teach, and I am really looking forward to helping these kids grow into strong young writers and readers this year.

This week we will be focusing on three main tasks. First, we will be getting used to each other and learning our class routines, rules, weekly tasks, and expectations. Second, we will do some character education with Happy Kids's Core Values. I want the kids to think about how they can not just be good students while they are here, but also good people. To do this we will be crafting a class constitution! Finally, we will complete our first writing task, a description of a little thing. I will be focusing heavily on craft and voice with writing this year. I hope the kids graduate as much more proficient and expressive writers.

Please stop by here each week to get updates on what we will be doing in class and to view important class materials like our weekly handouts or writing assignment sheets. I work hard to keep this site updated for your convenience. Thank you again. I am looking forward to getting to meeting you all at Meet the Teacher on September 12 at 6:00.

This Week: Graduation Prep and First to Fly

posted May 5, 2019, 6:29 AM by Jason Brunken   [ updated May 5, 2019, 6:30 AM ]

This week, Grade 6 is reading First to Fly, a wonderful narrative non-fiction piece about the the Wright Brothers being the first people to ever fly in a powered aircraft. This captivating story shows students that doing something great takes practice and failure. I hope they enjoy it. 

Students will also get an opportunity to work on and complete their poems for their poetry book assignment as well as pieces for their graduation play. the kids have been working on these for the past week. They are big projects and will take time. First to Fly is the last Journeys unit we will do this year as we prepared for graduation. 

Extension Week: Book of Poems

posted Apr 21, 2019, 6:47 AM by Jason Brunken   [ updated Apr 21, 2019, 6:47 AM ]

For the next week, the Grade 6 class will be writing poetry and preparing for graduation. All this week will be devoted to learning how to write poems and working on a collection of six poems to share as a book with everyone by the end of the year. The kids will be writing several different styles of poem. We talked a lot about what a poem is and good processes for writing one. I recommended the the magic formula below which I devised for helping kids write poetry. 
Below is the assignment packet for this project. It details the required and free choice content for the books and mini-lessons on several different types of poems the students can write for this project. I am looking forward to sharing these poems with everyone at Graduation in several weeks.

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