Document 15530931

Dear Parents/Guardians and Students,
Welcome to sixth grade at Sousa Elementary. I am very excited to be your child’s math teacher this
year. In this letter, I will tell you a little bit about myself, my expectations, and everything you need to
know about math in sixth grade at Sousa.
The 2015-2016 school year will be my 12th year of teaching. The first ten years were spent teaching fifth
and sixth grades at Webster Elementary, and this fall marks my third year at Sousa. I really enjoy working
with sixth grade students, and particularly love teaching math. My husband is also a math teacher—he
teaches 8th grade math at Shepherd Jr. High in Mesa. We have two awesome kids who both attend Mesa
Public Schools as well.
Supplies – In order to be successful, the following supplies must be brought to class everyday:
Pencils and more pencils
Pens (preferably red)
White board markers and eraser
Math notebook
Mechanical pencil lead, if applicable
Loose leaf paper
Planner (provided by Sousa PTO)
School appropriate book or magazine
Pocket folder labeled “Math”
I highly recommend organizing all papers, folders, and supplies into a 3-ring binder. Loose items such as
pencils, erasers, and pens can be stored in a 3-hole punched fabric pencil pouch. Textbook SHOULD NOT
be carried in backpacks.
* Students
The Curriculum
I believe it is very important for students to build upon prior learning, so we will focus everyday on
reviewing previously learned concepts with spiral review. You child will use a different textbook series
than they used in previous grades. Mesa Public Schools has adopted the Big Ideas curriculum to support
the state standards for grades 6-8, and we use the Big Ideas materials regularly.
You will have the option of keeping a textbook at home or accessing the content online. If you choose to
check out a textbook, please remember you are responsible for maintaining the condition of the textbook
and returning the book if you move during the year or at the end of the school year. Big Ideas has a
wonderful online component, including a full textbook, practice tests, video tutorials, and much more.
Classroom Expectations
I have 2 simple rules—work hard and be nice. Students must be willing to take responsibility for their
actions, follow directions, stay on-task in class, and listen to others while they are sharing their ideas.
Most importantly, students will not be allowed to interfere in anyone else’s learning. The following things
are not allowed in my class: gum, soda/energy drinks, hats, profanity, defiance, cheating, lying, cell phones,
or bad attitudes. Our classroom will be a safe learning environment where students build each other up,
not bring each other down.
* Parents will be notified if students are not following these expectations on a regular basis.
Homework and Participation (20% of the overall grade)
Homework will be assigned every night with very few exceptions. Homework will not be assigned on
Fridays. Since homework is based on effort, you must show your work to get credit on homework. No
effort = no credit. You can look at the sample page in your child’s math notebook if you have questions
about the format or expectations of showing work. Homework is checked and discussed the day after it is
assigned, however, the homework page will not be collected until Friday. (If work is done on a separate
sheet of paper, all work must be stapled together and handed in together.)
The best way to ensure success on quizzes and tests is to ensure the content assigned as homework is
understood and mastered. If your child does not understand the problems assigned as homework, please
look at the examples in the textbook, in their math notebook, or encourage them to see me at recess for
help. Homework must be done on time. Late work will not be accepted for credit. If your child has
attempted the work but does not understand, please write me a note detailing what problem(s) they don’t
understand and what they have done to try working through the problems. This will allow me to work
with them and give them credit for the assignment once it is completed.
Participation in class is very important. Each day, we spend our time in class completing meaningful
lessons and activities. Students are expected to do warm-ups, take notes, solve problems together, and
complete any other assignment given during class time. Occasionally, their notebooks and classwork will
be collected and graded.
Quizzes (30% of the overall grade) and Tests (50% of the overall grade)
Quizzes assess only a portion of each chapter and they will take place on a weekly basis. Each quiz consists
of 5-10 questions similar to those from that week’s homework assignments. Tests are given at the
conclusion of each chapter and contain questions from each lesson. The best way to prepare for quizzes
and tests is to complete the homework regularly, watch the online tutorials, study the notes, and/or take
the practice quizzes and tests in the textbook. Students may not use their homework or textbook to help
them on quizzes or tests.
Students are responsible for all content they miss when they are absent. If the absence is planned, students
should ask for the work they will miss ahead of time. Notes are posted on my website, so students can
copy the notes from home or they may use a classroom computer before school or during recess to access
the notes.
Progress Reports
Students will be given their progress reports 3 times per quarter. I do not allow students to retake tests, so
it is important to ensure understanding of concepts or ask for help much sooner than the day of the test.
My contact information is listed below. If you have any questions about your child’s grade, please contact
me and I will gladly send you an updated progress report at any time.
Progress reports will be sent home on the following dates:
8/21, 9/11, 9/25, 10/30, 11/20, 12/4, 1/15, 2/5, 2/26, 3/4, 4/1, 4/22, and 5/13.
If you have additional questions or concern, please let me know by phone or email. Email is the
best method of communication for me, and I will try to get back to you as soon as possible.
Additional information is available on my website, so please check it out!
Mrs. Beck