Hello and welcome to Sixth Grade Language Arts and Discovery Language Arts!

If you're seeking information about Current Events & Issues, please contact me @ dsmith2@rentonschools.us with questions and concerns.

On this page you'll find a variety of resources, many of which your child has (or will have) seen, studied, and taped or glued into his or her composition notebook in class. Because we generally keep composition notebooks in class, I'm including the handouts here (under "Reading Materials" and "Writing Materials") so that you may help your child with our first quarter reading and writing goals in mind.



Every student needs to find a "Just Right" independent reading book to bring to class every day.

Every student should read 2 or more hours a week. This generally translates to about 80-120 pages each week and equals to a grade of a "3" (out of "4"). For a "4," students should read more pages for more hours, and from a variety of genres. Students should have a “Plan B” book (or “back-up” book, or “next” book) ready to go for when they finish the first.

The weekly reading homework for second quarter contains the additional expectation of "stop-n-jot" annotations, where students write about their books on sticky notes. The homework is usually about five sticky notes per week, with students aiming to show different kinds of thinking (summaries, predictions, questions, connections, etc.) and to write about three sentences on each sticky.

Five things you can do to help your child be successful with reading in L.A.:
1) make sure they have an Independent Reading book every day; 
2) make sure they have a "next" book on deck and ready to go for when they finish with the first; 
3) strive to provide a regular time and, if possible, a quiet and distraction free space for your child to read; 
4) ask to see their reading bookmark. This record of pages and minutes spent reading is turned in every Mon.
6) ask your child questions about the books.



Every student will compose a successful short story. Students will do most of their brainstorming, drafting, and editing of their narratives in class, and the "Writing Materials" folder contains many of these handouts.

I try to keep students at the forefront of the conversation about their learning, so I do not update my website every day. I write a lesson plan for each day of class, so whenever you want a record of what activities we’re doing or what concepts we’re learning, let me know and I’ll fill you in. I also keep detailed records of students' reading habits and behaviors (page count, minute count, trends, other observations), so whenever you want to know what I'm seeing from my end, contact me at dsmith2@rentonschools.us or derek.smith1@rentonschools.us. (I've heard reports of emails bouncing back, so if you do not receive a response from me within 24 hours, try the other address.)

Thank you so much for your concern and support!

Mr. Smith