6th Grade Language Arts Syllabus

Justice Page Middle School 2017-2018

Kelly Marr                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Ramsey: 612-668-4040

Website: http://page.mpls.k12.mn.us/marr                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Email: kelly.marr@mpls.k12.mn.us                 



My name is Kelly Marr and I will be your Language Arts teacher this year. I look forward to getting to know you and working together! 6th grade Language Arts at Justice Page Middle School will focus on developing our skills as readers, writers, talkers, and critical thinkers. Each of our units is based on the Minnesota Common Core Standards for Language Arts and the Understanding By Design model.




Essential Question

Final Project



Seedfolks by Paul Fleischman

How does one person impact a community?

Narrative Vignette


Justice and Forgiveness

Touching Spirit Bear by Ben Mikaelson

What is justice and how can it be used to restore relationships?

Persuasive Multi-Media Project


Human Nature

Various Non-Fiction and Poetry Texts

What do these texts teach us about Human Nature?

Response to Literature:

5 Paragraph Essay


Family and Culture

Brown Girl Dreaming by Jacqueline Woodson

How do our families, places, and culture and cultures shape who we are?

Poetry Portfolio


Daily reading is the foundation of our studies in Language Arts. Students will read choice books along with whole-class novels, short stories, nonfiction, and poetry. Throughout the year students will track and share their reading through reflection, discussion, and blogging. Students are expected to bring their independent reading books with them to class each day. Students are also required to read at least 100 minutes a week at home. Students will be challenged to read multiple genres throughout the year.


Writing is a significant piece of every unit, from daily tasks to final projects. Throughout the year we will explore narrative, informational, and persuasive writing. During each unit students will participate in the writing process, from brainstorming and drafting to peer conferencing and revising. Writing is a part of our daily life in Language Arts and students are expected to come to class every day with their materials, prepared to write.

Vocabulary and Grammar

6th grade vocabulary focuses on the study of Greek and Latin prefixes, suffixes, and roots to help students make sense of word patterns and expand their word knowledge. Writing instruction will include study of sentence structure, punctuation, sentence variety, style, and overall mechanics. Students are always expected to use their best grammar. Every week students will complete a Greek and Latin word study.


  1. 100 minutes of independent reading a week (in addition to our in-class reading time)
  2. Reader’s Response Blogs about your independent reading book, as assigned
  3. Weekly Greek/Latin word study


Late work/Redos:

1.     Late work/redos will be accepted generally up to two weeks after the initial assignment was due (or turned back for redo work).  If you have an emergency, and need an extension on an assignment, please speak to me as soon as possible.  Reading Rubrics must be completed by Friday afternoon in the week they are due to earn credit.  After that they will earn zeros with no make-up options!


Justice Page Middle School’s Standards-Based Grading Scale:

1.     In 6th grade Language Arts we use a standards-based approach to grading based on the Minnesota Common Core Standards for Language Arts. Students track their own learning and receive feedback through a variety of formats, including reflection, conferences, and written and verbal communication. Students are assessed for ten Long-Term Learning Targets and for “Work Habits” where students will be assessed for assignment completion and participation.


2.     Assignment grades will be based on the JPS 4-point Standards-Based Grading Scale (shown below).  The Student/Parent Portal then translates those grades into overall letter grades.  Please see the separate handout about SBG and letter grades for details.


3.     Our goal is to help all students reach proficiency level (3), meaning they are demonstrating appropriate sixth grade skills.  We offer a variety of supports for students who are struggling, and encourage students and families to ask for additional help when needed.


4.     Some students will demonstrate 4-range skills on some assignments, and we will support students whose goal is to excel beyond grade-level, but we want students and parents to know that 4s are extremely difficult to earn in sixth grade ELA.  Our expectations for student work in sixth grade are high, and we want all students to be able to celebrate their successes, wherever they may be.


5.     Please see my website and click on 6th Grade Language Arts for a list of our 10 Long-Term Learning Targets: http://rms.mpls.k12.mn.us/marr


Rubric Score

Proficiency Level






Partially Proficient


Not Proficient


No Evidence



Required Materials


·       Binder with ELA section

·       Loose leaf lined paper

·       Glue sticks

·       Pencil or pen (at least 2 each day)

·       Student Planner


It is essential that students come prepared to class every day. If acquiring these materials is difficult for you, please let me know and I will help you get what you need.

Parent Involvement

Please use my website page to stay up to date on lessons, projects, and weekly homework. Parent Portal is another good resource, and do not hesitate to contact me (email is always the fastest way to get in touch). I look forward to conferencing with you and working together to ensure that your child has the best education possible. We are constantly adding to our classroom library, so if you would like to donate any young adult and age-appropriate texts, our hungry readers would be more than grateful!