ELA 6th grade

  • Welcome to my page! It’s truly an honor and a pleasure to have you in my class!


    I will outline the various units we will learn throughout the year, as well as course goals, the class expectations, various guidelines, and necessary materials list for my class.

     Each unit of study will have a reading and writing component.  

    The units of study are as follows:

    Unit 1:

    Reading Unit- The Comprehension Toolkit

    Theme- Reading for understanding/meaning

    Writing Unit- Narrative

    Unit 2:

    Reading Unit- Among the Hidden

    Theme- Coming of Age - Individual responsibility within a community. Government regulation. Dystopia.

    Writing Unit- Literary Analysis (LAT) Argumentative

    Unit 3:

    Reading Unit- The Watsons Go To Birmingham - 1963

    Theme- Racism, Discrimination, Prejudice, Social Justice, Coming of Age

    Writing Unit- Research Simulation Task (RST)

    Unit 4:

    Reading Unit- Out of the Dust

    Theme- Forgiveness, Survival and Courage

    Writing Unit- Narrative Writing Task (NWT) or Perspective Narrative



    • Read closely to determine explicit meaning of text and make logical inferences.

    • Become successful independent, efficient readers with reading endurance.

    • Determine central ideas and themes.

    • Cite specific textual evidence when writing or speaking to support conclusions drawn from a text.

    • Analyze how and why individuals, events, and ideas develop and interact over the course of a text.

    • Interpret words and phrases as they are used in a text.

    • Gain and refine skills in all states of the writing process (both expository and creative types of writing) through individualized writing assignments.

    • Develop and increase proficiency in grammar and vocabulary.

    • Practice test-taking strategies (PARCC).



    Texts:              Novels may include but are not limited to: The Watsons Go to Birmingham, Among the Hidden, Out of the Dust, and various non-fiction pieces


    In addition to our three core texts and supplemental readings, students will be responsible for completing independent reading for 20-30 minutes a day and keep a reading log which will be checked every 2-3 weeks.

    You will find your supply list for this class below. Please bring all required materials to class EVERY DAY! Preparedness is the first step to being successful.


    Each day when you enter the classroom, be sure to

    • Retrieve required handouts for the day (to be stacked in organized piles on the side table)

    • Go to your seats quietly

    • Take out all necessary materials

    • Read the Smart Board/white board for daily objectives/agenda/homework

    • Copy homework into HMS planner

    • Complete the Do Now activity

    • Actively Participate in class activities and discussions

    • Follow all directions

    • Ask and respond to questions

    • Contribute appropriately to class discussions and activities

    • Attentively listen to teacher/peers

    • Complete all work during the time it is assigned

    •Maintain organized notebooks (3 Composition Books - Reading, Writing, Vocabulary)

    • You are expected to keep all handouts, notes, and assignments stapled (or taped) in your notebook

    • Keep an organized record of all materials (I will help you with this)


    Tardiness is not acceptable. If you are late without a pass, please sign in and understand that you will serve a lunch detention.  

    To use the bathroom, be sure to acquire permission first.

    • Sign out in the binder completely and return promptly to class.

     • Only one person may use the facilities at a time.

    • Without a doctor’s note, I reserve the right to deny bathroom privileges, therefore, make use of your passing time wisely.


    Disciplinary infractions will be dealt with according to the school-wide policy.

    • Detentions will be assigned, parent contact will be made, discipline referrals will be submitted to assistant principals, and students will be removed from the class if deemed necessary to maintain order.  

    -         Cutting Class will be dealt with according to the school-wide policy.

    -         All work due, completed, and assigned in class is subject to receiving a zero.

    -         Students who cut may be given the option of completing work for partial credit after school.


    Cheating is not tolerated, whether it is for a homework assignment, test/quiz, or major assignment. Do not cheat! You will learn more (and get more points) for asking questions and trying your hardest.


    • Do not “lend” someone your work.

    • Do not “try to help” someone out by letting him/her use your homework as an example.

    • Do not copy someone else’s work.

    • Do not hand in somebody else’s work as your own (including information and essays copied from the internet, former students, etc.). This is plagiarism!!

    • Do not ask for answers during tests/quizzes (this is cheating!).


    Cheating is an insult to both your intelligence and mine. Please be true to yourself, even when you think no one is watching.





    Regular homework/classwork assignments

    • Assignments not handed in during class when collected will be considered late and will automatically receive a 50.

    • When handwriting your homework, use black, or blue ink only. Do not write in pencil, red ink, or highlighters. Failure to follow the guidelines will result in a 50.

    • All handwritten assignments must be neat and legible. If I cannot read it, I will not grade it, and you will receive a zero.

    • If late work becomes a chronic problem, you will be assigned a mandatory detention to make up the work. The only way this work will be accepted is if you do the work in front of me. Do not email the assignment to me in an attempt to get out of mandatory detention.

    • Assignments that receive an R, must be redone and handed in the next day with the original assignment in order to receive credit. If you don’t redo an assignment or you hand it in two or more days later the grade automatically becomes a 50.




    • Please adhere to appropriate guidelines regarding format of typed work. This will be outlined when the assignment is given. The guidelines will also be available on my website.

    • Major assignments lose 10 points per day late. After 5 days, the highest grade that can be earned is a 50, so make sure it’s your absolute best effort.



    • All make up work must be handed in one week prior to the last day of the marking period. After this date, all late/missing work will result in a ZERO! You are always welcome to come and work with me during lunch by making an appointment.



    A Few More Important Things…

    1. This syllabus is your “Owner’s Manual” for my class. Please keep it in your marble notebooks.

    2. Utilize my Website. Important information will posted there.

    • Homework assignments

    • Most Handouts

    • Announcements

    • Resources

    3. When you are absent, you are expected to refer to my website to see what you missed. Do not ask for what you missed during class. Please take the time to come and see me either before or after school

    4. I am available for extra help. Please see me in the morning, or some days after school (most days I won’t be available after school, so email me with questions/concerns, or to schedule time after school). If I receive the email by 10 pm, I can respond to your question, thus allowing you to be prepared for the next day’s class.

    5. Major assignments must be typed. If this is a problem, please plan on coming to school early, going to the library/my classroom during recess, or staying late to type your work on a computer at school (again, please email me if you’re planning to stay after school).


    I am a fair person. Certain things happen that are out of your control, but if you don’t keep me informed as issues come up, I can’t help you.



    Room 125: Should you need extra help, you may see me for extra help in the morning and some days after school (appointment only).

    Email: m.jones@hackensackschools.org

    School Website: /webpages/mjones



    1 - plastic two pocket folder - please label (with a permanent marker) your full name and "Language Arts - Room 125" on the front (This will become your TAKE HOME folder for the year).

    2 - marble notebooks (color does not matter) - Please bring them on the first day of school. Your full name and Room 125 should be printed in permanent marker on the front of your notebooks.  

    1 - Dictionary (NOT a pocket dictionary) **This stays home**

    1 - Thesaurus (NOT a pocket thesaurus) **This stays home**

    1 - pack of #2 pencils - NO MECHANICAL PENCILS PLEASE!!! (to be replenished throughout the year)

    1 - personal sharpener

    1 - pack of large erasers

    1 - pack of red pens

    1 - pack of blue or black pens (to be replenished throughout the year)

    2 - different colored highlighters (to be replenished throughout the year)

    4 three-packs of 3x3 Post - it/ Sticky notes (to be replenished throughout the year)

    1 - large box of tissues

    1 -box of 1 gallon Zippered storage bags

    1-long sleeved hooded sweater (To be labeled and stored in the classroom for evacuations.)


    (Most of these items can all be purchased at Dollar tree, located on Essex Street, across from Chit Chat Diner)