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A partnership of the Indiana Department of Education and Indiana Commission for Higher Education

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Six tips for school success ..................................................................3 ISTEP+: a checkup on what you know, Extra credit.........................4 ISTEP+: sample questions ....................................................................5 Starting Now: Im going to make my future happen ...................6-7 Surf safely, Extra credit, Homework help .........................................8 Career Party .............................................................................................9 Be a career explorer............................................................................10 Say bye to bulliesand hello to a brave new you ........................11 Parents: 10 great ways you can help your child succeed .......Back Cover

Indiana Department of Education Indiana Commission for Higher Education

If you have questions, call Learn More Indiana at 800.992.2076 or visit Garfield Paws. All rights reserved.

6th Grade

Here are 6 easy ways to help you do well in school:

GET ORGANIZED! feel moreorganized seemsput your papers and but Getting like it takes more time, only at first. In the end, youll save time and confident if you
assignments where they belong. Use different colored folders for each class and label them with the class name. Insert your notes in the center clasp. Keep graded assignments in one pocket and assignments to turn in to your teacher in the other. Use a planner or notebook to record all of your assignments, due dates and test dates so they are all in one place. Keep your assignments, tests and notes so you can study them and learn from your workand your mistakes.

HOMEWORK: feel like it! Figure out theIT. Dont wait until you feel like JUST DO system that works best for you: do studying to startyou may never
easy homework first before you move on to longer assignments, or tackle the tough stuff first so its out of the way. Keep up with your assignments so homework doesnt become overwhelming.

TALKlearn and YOUR get into higher grades, classes Your teachers and you TO do well. As you TEACHERS. may get bigger want you to
may have different teachers for each subject. Each teacher will have high expectations and require you to complete your work on time. If youre having problems in a subject, ask your teacher or parents for help right away.

What do you like to do? Find a group to do it with! Many students find that filling some of their free time with interesting activities actually helps them get better grades by energizing their minds and teaching them to budget their time. Choose a sport, club, volunteer project or arts organization that will help you meet new people and have new experiences. Need another reason to join? Heres one: its fun!


MAKE THE ask questions, do yourYoull get better grades in youtime,attention in GRADE. homework and turn it if on pay read class, take plenty of notes,
everything you are assigned, and review your class work and homework for tests. If youre worried about your grade, talk to your teacher right away about what you can do to improve.

PLAY SMART. ofGet plenty of eat. Exercise, either byhours each or playing sleepat least eight night. Choose water over soda. Limit the number sweets you practicing
your favorite sport or by taking a walk instead of watching TV. Speaking of TV, try to save most of your watching for the weekend. Some of your friends may offer you cigarettes, alcohol or drugs just stay away. Nothing good comes from doing illegal things that are bad for your body.

A checkup on what you know

ISTEP+ is important. Indianas academic standards outline the knowledge and skills you need at each grade level to make sure you graduate high school prepared for college, careers and citizenship. Tests like ISTEP+ provide a checkup along the way to make sure youre on track and signal if youre ready for more advanced work or need extra help.

BE PREPARED Cramming for any test is never the best way to prepare. Keep up with your homework, complete assignments and ask your teacher for help when you need it. This will keep you on the path for ISTEP+ success.

REVIEW ISTEP+ checks what you should be learning. Your teacher may do some reviewing during class in the weeks before you take the ISTEP+ test. Take it seriously.

GET PLENTY OF SLEEP Go to bed a little earlier so you get a good nights sleep. Being well rested will give you an extra boost of energy for test day.

HAVE A GOOD BREAKFAST Protein such as eggs, meat, cheese or yogurt will help you perform better than a sugary donut. Too much food can make you feel sleepy, so dont overdo it.

TAKE A BREAK Use your time at lunch and after school to get some exercise. Too much sitting around can make you restless during the test.

ASK FOR HELP If youve had trouble with the ISTEP+ test in the past, dont wait to ask a teacher, counselor or parent for help. Passing ISTEP+ is important every year. Your school and community have extra help available. Be sure to take advantage of it.

For more information on ISTEP+, go to

Extra credit

Double-checking your work on a test pays off youll probably catch mistakes if you take the time to proofread your answers carefully. Make sure youve erased any changes completely. And dont forget to write your name in the proper place.

6th Grade

Sample Questions
Building a Railroad
During the 1850s, many people believed that a railroad could not be built across the United States. They said the western mountains and deserts could not be crossed. Theodore Judah, an experienced railroad builder in the East, was sure that the job could be done. Judah began the job of laying the Central Pacific Railroad tracks eastward from California. Somewhere in the middle of the country, the tracks would be joined with those of the Union Pacific Railroad, which had been laid from the East. Many difficulties faced Judah. In the Sierra Nevada Mountains, sharp cliffs dropped into steep canyons. Workers were lowered in baskets over these cliffs. They swung hammers against the cliffs to carve paths into the sides of the mountains. These paths were then widened enough to lay railroad tracks. When winter came, the wind piled snow into drifts fifty feet high. Wooden snow sheds were built to protect the workers and the tracks. Even so, some workers were freezing and had to be sent down to Sacramento. The slowest work was digging Summit Tunnel. Day and night for a whole year, hammers and chisels bit into the rock often removing as little as two inches of rock a day. It was the most expensive quarter of a mile of railroad track in history. After the mountains were crossed, the workers faced the desert heat of the Great Basin. Even with all the difficulties, the Central Pacific Railroad joined the Union Pacific in Utah in 1869. Theodore Judah died before the railroad was completed, but he and many brave people had proved that it could be done.

Read this sentence from Building a Railroad: Day and night for a whole year, hammers and chisels bit into the rock often removing as little as two inches of rock a day. Which word is the same as, or a synonym for, bit? ate flew gripped cut According to the article, what are TWO MAIN difficulties that Theodore Judah and the workers faced while building the railroad? ______________________________ ____________________________ This passage is an example of what kind of writing? a tall tale a folktale an autobiography a piece of non-fiction

Find the value of 6y + 13 when y = 7. 19 26 55 80

Darla wants to buy a CD player and some CDs. She can spend $70.00. The CD player she wants is $39.95. CDs cost between $8.00 and $12.00 each. On the lines below explain how Darla could estimate whether she could pay for the cost of the CD player and 4 CDs before tax. ______________________________ ____________________________ How many degrees are in 1 4 of a full turn? 90 180 270 360
0 0

Prompt: CAREER DAY SPEAKER Your schools Career Day will welcome guest speakers who will talk about their jobs. What kind of work interests you? Write an essay in which you suggest a speaker for Career Day. On a separate piece of paper, describe the job and give reasons why learning about that job would be beneficial for you and your classmates.

Stephanie bought a sweater that originally cost $71.28. It was discounted by $12.50. How much will the discounted sweater cost before tax? $58.78 $61.22 $69.78 $83.78 Which of the following lists of numbers is in order from LEAST to GREATEST? 0.5, 2.15, 2.25, 1.75 0.5, 1.75, 2.15, 2.25 2.25, 2.15, 1.75, .5 1.75, .5, 2.25, 2.15

1. cut 2. Possible answers: In the winter, wind piled snow into fifty-foot drifts, Some of the workers were too cold to work and had to be sent to Sacramento, The mountains had sharp cliffs and steep canyons so it was dangerous for the workers, Digging Summit Tunnel was difficult because workers had to remove the rock with hammers and chisels. 3. a piece of non-fiction 4. Answers will vary and will be scored using the ISTEP+ rubrics for writing applications and language conventions. 5. 55 6. Darla spends about $40 on the CD player. CDs cost between $8 and $12, which is about $10 each. Four CDs would be about $40. Adding $40 for the CD player plus another $40 for the CDs is $80. Darla does not have enough money to buy the CD player she wants and four CDs. 7. 90 8. $58.78 9. 0.5, 1.75, 2.15, 2.25

Ever daydream about what it is going to be like when youre in middle school, high school or college, or what you want to be when you grow up? Check out the next page for ideas to get you on the right path to make your future happen.

6th Grade

Middle School
While some students start middle school in fifth grade, others start later in sixth or seventh grade. Whenever you begin middle school, youll discover that teachers and parents will have big expectations of you. You should expect more homework and your homework will count toward your grade more than ever. Regular tests and quizzes will help you and your teachers keep track of your progress. You may get some choices about a few of the classes you take. If you can, try to get ahead by taking Algebra I or a world language like French or Spanish. Remember to talk to your parents and school counselor about all available options. When you get to middle school, youll probably have some choices about extracurricular activities, too. Its a great time to try something new!

High School
High school presents more options. In Indiana, Core 40 is your academic plan. Core 40 is a solid set of high school courses in the core subjects of English/language arts, mathematics, science and social studies. Youll also take courses in physical education and health/wellness, and electives including world languages, career/technical training, and fine arts. Core 40 comes with some pretty cool rewards, too, like paying for up to 90 percent of approved tuition and fees at eligible colleges for those who qualify. High school also provides great opportunities to get involved: join a club, play a sport, volunteer for a cause or explore a fine art. All of these options will help you grow as a person, develop your talents and prepare you for future scholarship applications.

Colleges come in all sizes and types. Youll need to do some research to find the best one for you. The important thing to know is that Indiana has nearly 100 college campuses all over the state, and there are thousands of choices across the United States, which means that you have lots of options. When you get to college, you can prepare for the career you want. College gives you independence and a great start for life.

The best careers require you to continue your education after high school. Some call for just a few months of training, most require you to complete a college degree. You can learn about careers at, or by checking out library books about careers, by talking with your parents and their friends about their jobs, and by doing volunteer work in your community. This is one time when its a good idea to daydream. Think about your perfect life: What kind of job will you have? Where will you live? What will you have to do to reach your goal? Whatever career you start with when youre young, you should know that most people change jobs and careers several times during their lifetime. The important thing is to get a good education now, so youll be prepared for whatever you choose to do in the future.

Explore more

Drive of Your Life is a fun, online career exploration game that can help you learn more about yourself, education and careers. Youll answer a series of questions to learn which careers interest you and then take a virtual drive to learn more about each of those careers all in your own customized car. Find out more at

The Internet is an amazing tool for school, socializing and mindless surfing. But its also a big, big cyber-world out there, full of ways to get in trouble. You have to be smart and streetwise to stay safe. Youve probably heard the stories about people who have gotten into serious trouble online, either because they are looking at Web sites they shouldnt, or because theyve met people online who persuade them to do things that are wrong. Be smart: Follow your parents rules about computer use (or risk losing your privileges). Never give out personal information online. Dont ever reveal your name, home address, phone number, Social Security number, passwords, names of your family members, your parents credit card numbers, or the name of your school. Make sure that your online identity (e-mail address or screen name) wont identify whether you are male or female. In chat rooms, use a name that is different from your e-mail address so that no one can contact you after you leave the chat room. Be aware that what you post on the Internet can follow you for a long, long time. Anything you write or any pictures or videos you post on the Internet are available for all to seenot just your friends. Before posting something on the Internet, ask yourself if it is something you want your parents, grandparents, potential employers or colleges to see when they search for your name. For more information on Internet safety, visit

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Do you have troub le with math and science homework? If youre feeling stumped, Rose-Hul man Institute of Technology, a top-r anked engineering school right here in Indiana, has volunteers ready to help you with the Homework Hotline . Students may ca ll the Homework Hotli ne with math and science questions from 7-10 p.m. (Eastern Daylight Sa vings Time) at 1-877-ASK-ROSE . Its a free service and a free call.


6th Grade


Youre invited to a

Lucky you! Youre invited to a party at a friends house this weekend. When you arrive, you see lots of your classmates. They all seem to be talking in small groups about different topics. As you walk around the room, listen to each group to see which one you want to join:

Career Party
Everyone in this group is interested in watching, investigating, analyzing or solving problems. Some say they like science, others enjoy puzzles and computer games. Theyre definitely good at finding answers.

Your friends in this group are talking about everything from sports to raising animals to fixing cars. Everyone in the group enjoys being outdoors and working with their hands, fixing and tinkering with things.

This group of your friends is very creative. Some like to draw and paint, others enjoy doing innovative or unusual things. All of them enjoy using their imagination and creativity in unstructured situations.

At first you think this group is very loud, but then you realize they just all like to talk. Some of the students say they want to teach people what they know, others want to be on stage or in movies, while others want to work with people in the medical field.

Your friends in this group are take charge people who like to persuade others. Theyre definitely leaders, some are on the student council, and others say they want to own their own business or make a lot of money some day.

Even though this group is quieter than the others, you can tell that these students like to talk about how they keep things ordered and organized. Most of your friends in this group like working with numbers and dataand theyre really good at it.

Which group do you decide to hang out with first? Write that groups number in the box on the right. After 10 minutes, that group moves to the kitchen to get some snacks. So which group do you go to next? Write that groups number in the box on the right. After 10 more minutes, you decide to chat with another group. Which one? Write that groups number in the box on the right.




Using the KEY below, write the first letter of each of the groups you chose in order here. These 3 letters in this order form your unique career code. Then go to the career profiles at and enter your code to see information on careers that might interest you.

Group 1=Realistic Group

Group 2=Investigative Group

Group 3=Artistic Group

Group 4=Social Group

Group 5=Enterprising Group

Group 6=Conventional Group

Adapted from What Color is Your Parachute?, Richard Bolles, Ten Speed Press, utilizing the Holland Code career theory.

Learn more!

Thinking about the future

Complete this activity at home or at school to help you think about what you might like to do or be someday.

Be a career explorer
Do you know what your mom or dad, or other adult in your family, does each day? Its possible that they work hard doing something that you know a little (but not a lot) about. Sometimes when students find out what their parents or other adults dothey say, Ah ha! Now you can have your own ah ha experience by asking a few questions:
Your name ______________________________________________

Adults name____________________________________________

What is his or her occupation?

What does he or she do in this job?

What kind of education or training did he or she need to do this work?

Would you be interested in doing this in the future? Why or why not?

If not, what would you like to do?


6th Grade

Say bye to bullies and hello to a brave new you!

Heres a little quiz:
What do all these behaviors have in common?
Pushing and shoving Mean gossip Threatening to beat up someone Telling someone to do something, or else Calling someone a cruel name Yelling at someone Whispering behind someones back Spreading lies about someone
All of theseplus many other mean things that we havent mentionedare examples of bullying. And for the next few years, you and your friends will have to be on your toes to make sure bullies dont get in the way of your education. You have a right to feel safe at school and in your community. Unfortunately, you may have to deal with a bully or two sometime in your life. Here are some ways you can cope now:

Set a good example. You

can choose to be a leader in making your schooland even the worlda better place to learn and live. Be someone that other people admire, not a bully.

Be strong.

Calmly tell the bully to stop. Say, Dont be a bully, or Quit saying things that arent true, or That hurt me. Stop. Dont make the situation worse by calling names or threatening the bully back. Be a strong peacemaker instead.

Ignore the bully. Heres a fact about bullies: they want you to react. If you
take their fun away, they may just give up.

Speak up. If the bullying does not stop or you feel afraid, immediately go
to a teacher, principal, parent or some other trusted adult. Concord East Side Elementary School in Elkhart, IN, started the Bully Busters Club to help prevent bullying at their school. Each member of the club signed a pledge to never be a bully, to stand up and speak out to stop bullying, and to be a role model for other students. If your school has a similar program, you could join it to help prevent bullying. If your school doesnt, maybe you can talk with a teacher or counselor about starting one.


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It is important for your child to know that you value education. Make sure your student understands that you expect him or her to work hard, graduate and continue learning after high school. Your son or daughter may say things are fine at school, but dont stop checking grades on report cards, progress reports, assignments, tests and class projects. Most schools let you check your childs progress online.


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Math exercises your brain and trains your mind to think logically a skill that is extremely important in todays complex world. Every occupation uses math in some way and the fastest growing, highest paid jobs rely heavily on math skills. Dont reinforce the myth that math is hard enforce the fact that math is power!


GET INVOLVED. Nothing will have a bigger

impact on your childs success than your involvement in his or her education: volunteer, participate in parent-teacher organizations and attend school events. Most schools offer parent nights or teacher/parent sessions that provide great information. Check your schools calendar for details.


know how hard students are working, how well they are behaving, the quality of their homework and what areas need improvement. Collect e-mail addresses or phone numbers of all your childs teachers and check in periodically.

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If your child is not studying at home, ask why and check with teachers. Its tough to hold the line, but making sure your child does his or her homework is important for academic success.

PLAN FOR THE FUTURE. College is an

important investment that will pay back for a lifetime. Help your child realize that college can and should be in his or her future. Open a savings account and investigate opportunities like Indianas 529 College Savings Plan ( that can help pay for education after high school. Remember, a few dollars saved each month now can make a big difference in the future. Show your child first hand the importance of education. Take a class. Finish your diploma. Earn a college degree. Seeing you demonstrate a personal commitment to lifelong learning sends your child a powerful message about the importance of education.

ASK FOR HELP. Students who are

struggling in a particular class may need extra help after school or with a tutor. Find out from your school where you can go for help and make sure your child gets the support he or she needs. Catching a problem area early can make a big difference.




More Indiana has lots of free information to help Indiana students and families explore careers, plan and pay for college, stay on track for academic success and more.
Learn More Indiana is made possible through a partnership of the Indiana Commission for Higher Education, the Indiana Department of Education, the Indiana Department of Workforce Development, and the State Student Assistance Commission of Indiana, with additional support from USA Funds, Inc., and the Lumina Foundation for Education all working together to provide you with information to support your childs learning.