Reading Syllabus

Dear Parents/Guardians,  

I am pleased to welcome your child into my classroom.  Please read and discuss this syllabus with your child. Please complete and return the information blanks on the page I sent home with your child.  You will also find a copy of it on the last page of this electronic syllabus.  The syllabus will remain posted on my webpage throughout the year for your reference. 

 Course Standards: The focus of Sixth Grade Reading Class is to deepen a student’s understanding and comprehension of written language, using examples from both narrative, informational, and argumentative texts, including written texts, electronic publications and film.  Students will read from a variety of fictional genres; however, the main focus of the classroom instruction will be centered on building comprehension, using a variety of nonfiction texts, fictional texts, poetry, and other media texts.  I encourage you to visit the Texas Education Agency to understand more clearly the 6th grade state standards. After you’ve studied the standards, it becomes quickly apparent that these standards require students to use complex and intricate thought processes.  The work will be difficult, and your student may struggle and be challenged as he/she works to master the Reading TEKS. A certain amount of struggle and difficulty is a part of learning any new process.   

Students will improve their reading comprehension skills through the mastery of TEKS or Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills to master reading skills such as Identifying the Central Idea, drawing conclusions, identifying supporting facts, understanding vocabulary in context and a deep understanding of the patterns of discourse including, narrative, expository, argument and poetry. Mastery of required reading comprehension skills may be measured through the following: individual reading observations, written work that includes both short answer pieces and analytical essays, district benchmarks, testing, and by individual participation during class discussions.  Our TEKS focus will employ reading strategies, which facilitate reading in the following methods:  1.Key Ideas and Details 2. Read closely to determine what the text says explicitly and to make logical inferences from it; cite specific textual evidence when writing or speaking to support conclusions drawn from the text. 3. Determine central ideas or themes of a text and analyze their development; summarize the key supporting details and ideas. 4. Analyze how and why individuals, events, and ideas develop and interact over the course of a text.  5. Interpret words and phrases as they are used in a text, including determining technical, connotative, and figurative meanings, and analyze how specific word choices shape meaning or tone.6. Analyze the structure of texts, including how specific sentences, paragraphs, and larger portions of the text (e.g., a section, chapter, scene, or stanza) relate to each other and the whole. 7. Assess how point of view or purpose shapes the content and style of a text. 8. Integrate and evaluate content presented in diverse media and formats, including visually and quantitatively, as well as in words.   9. Delineate and evaluate the argument and specific claims in a text, including the validity of the reasoning as well as the relevance and sufficiency of the evidence 10. Analyze how two or more texts address similar themes or topics in order to build knowledge or to compare the approaches the authors take.

Independent Reading Program:  All students are required to read a minimum of 30 minutes each weekday. Students may count any reading, for any academic class, as part of their 30-minute daily reading requirement.  To receive credit, students are also required to keep a Reading Calendar Log. Students must log their independent reading each night on his or her calendar, which must be signed each night.  A grade of 100 or 0 will be logged in the gradebook.

Assigned textbooks will be in the classroom and students will utilize them to analyze fiction, non-fiction, poetry and other resources. Additionally, students will use a variety of texts including newspapers, magazines, short stories, novels, and other medium.

Homework:  Other than reading for 30 minutes each day, students will not have assigned homework unless the following circumstances occur:  A student has an excused absence and must make up missed classwork or a student needs to finish classwork.  Students who choose not to attempt or finish class work may not make it up as homework. 

In Class assignments: All classwork should be finished in class. Submissions should be neat, legible, and contain the proper heading (name, date, and period in the upper left hand corner).  If a student’s work is not legible he/she may be asked to redo the assignment.  Every Monday, each student is expected to write the week’s assignments, class objectives, and TEKS covered in their student planners.  Parents should check and sign the planner on a weekly basis.  

Students are expected to do their own work.  Any student involved in copying or plagiarizing someone else’s work will receive a grade of O% for that assignment.


Grading Breakdown of Content Percentages:    Homework/Class work: 50%   Tests/Quizzes: 50% 

The academic grading scale is as follows: 90 – 100% is an A.  80 - 89% is a B.  70 – 79% is a C.  60 – 69% is a D.  Anything lower than 60% is an F. Progress reports are issued every three weeks; official report cards are issued every six weeks.  The student’s grades are posted online, so that you may have access to a daily progress report of your student’s grades via the school’s online platform for accessing student grades.

Citizenship:  The code of conduct for classroom behavior is fully communicated on the first day of class.  Additionally, students will write the class expectations in their organizers. Ill behaviors in the classroom will not be accepted as it interferes with other students’ right to learn and my right to teach.  The student’s effort, cooperation, behavior and interaction with other students will determine citizenship grades.  

Discipline Policy:  Students are expected to be kind, respectful and to work cooperatively in class.  The following rules are posted in our classroom: Attend class regularly, begin assignments immediately, come prepared, raise your hand to share ideas, stay seated in your chair, show respect to all, complete and turn in work, use low voices in group projects, No candy, gum, food, or beverages are allowed in class, no restroom breaks outside of the allotted time slots, respect school property, no sleeping or lying head down unless for a specific reason, obey all district rules.

Consequences:   Infractions-Class Disruption, Gum, Dress Code (3 infractions within a grading period results in time served in Detention Hall).  Discipline Consequences:  1. Verbal Warning 2. Discipline Essay 3. Parent Contact 4. Detention Hall served after school.  5. Parent/Teacher conference.  Note:  The teacher may decide to skip the series of consequences for serious rule infractions.  

Our Class Goal:  To see all students develop a love for reading, to foster an interest in different types of reading genres, and to learn a series of effective reading strategies that will help them master state and district reading expectations in which they will benefit for the remainder of their academic and personal lives.