Portland Public Schools
Portland, Oregon

MLC logoMetropolitan Learning Center

K x 12 student-centered education

2033 NW Glisan St. | Portland, OR 97209
Phone: (503) 916-5737
Fax: (503) 916-2658

6th Grade at MLC

6th Grade at MLC

Morning Meeting

Morning meeting provides a familiar routine to start the day.  It is a community building opportunity, and a great time for students to lead and perform in a safe setting.  We feel that this may be the most important half hour of the day.  It sets the tone for working together in school.  Kids are expected to participate every day and “show what they know.”  It’s a time for mini lessons, instructions and announcements.  We also teach children to express their impressions and observations about art, music, ethics, current events, and daily poetry.  We expect all students to be on time and ready to start  right at 8:30.  We appreciate the work it takes to get your student to school on time each day.  Thank you!


After an assessment and review period at the beginning of the year, we group children by learning style and move them between Kelly, Ned and Julie’s classrooms.  These groups are flexible and usually change many times during the year.  We also seek to group children according to the appropriate student teacher ratio.  Some kids need a small group, while others thrive with lots of voices.


Writer’s workshop and Literacy study are the main focus of our literacy program.  Students are asked to read an average of two novels a month and discuss it in a Literature Circle format.  All students are expected to memorize a poem every month of the year.  Daily read aloud allows for highlighting fluency, prediction and inference as well as exposing students to text that they might not otherwise read.  This year the sixth grade will read Wm. Shakespeare’s Cimbeline and then attend the Portland Center Stage Production in the spring.


Sixth graders across Multnomah County attend outdoor school.  This once in a lifetime opportunity for six days in the woods has regretably been cut to only two nights this year.  Please help us restore Outdoor School to its full six days for future sixth graders by contacting your school board members.

We also study Weather and weather patterns in sixth grade as well as much astronomy as we can pack in.  In the spring we attend a spring science trip.  Health education rounds out our science curriculum.


The 4x6 team plans common units using the Scottish Storyline method.  Storyliine seeks to teach by using story grammar to engage the student in the study.  Character, plot, setting, mood all help to contextualize the study and allow a broad yet clear look at a topic.  A typical storyline is a microcosm thats represents a larger theme or content.  Storyline goes broadly at a narrow topic instead of memorizing a shallow pool of facts.  Storyline is great for your children.

Community Building

MLC prides itself on being one of the few K-12 schools in the nation, and we look to take advantage of the opportunities that presents.  Whether high school students are teaching the sixth grade about poetry, or the sixth grade is reading to and early reader in our Reading Buddy program, we look for meaningful cross age activities and learning. All members have powerful thing to offer.

 Kelly and Ned work very hard to create a cohesive sixth grade community before your students enter middle school and high school.  We feel that this helps them be more compassionate and creative adolescents. 


In the sixth grade we give weekly homework that emphasizes practicing skills learned in class, preparing for upcoming events and literature study, and reflecting on reading.  We also expect our students to read one hour each day to prepare for ongoing literature study group meetings.

We expect that parents will play a large roll in promoting, monitoring and assessing the quality of homework.  As teachers we have no way of knowing how much or how little assistance students get with their homework, but we do expect that an adult or older sibling will take responsibility each week to carefully look at their student’s homework, assess it on our “CRANE” scale, and make a short comment.

Field Work

Outdoor School, science trips, community building trips, walking to downtown attractions, Forest Park walks, neighborhood walks, lunch off campus and walking to class picnics are some of the opportunities that MLC students have to be exposed and learn to behave appropriately in public.  The MLC community, both teachers and students, have very high expectations for a students behavior out in the community.  Students value and want to protect these opportunities.

I am sure there is much that we have forgotten here.  If you have any questions, feel free to email either Kelly or Ned at ksorg@pps.net or nhascall@pps.net.   We may also be reached at (503) 916-5737 x 76042