The 6th grade day begins with a community building morning meeting that includes reading, sharing, and the agenda for the day.
Our ELA curriculum targets students’ growth in the areas of reading, writing, listening, speaking, discussion, and reflection. The main elements of 6th grade reading instruction includes: reading strategies, critical thinking skills, and vocabulary building.
Specifically, our reading curriculum includes instruction in lessons through a variety of increasingly complex texts, both fiction and non-fiction studies, and poetry reading, with a focus on comprehension and vocabulary. We teach skills that prepare our sixth grade students to become flexible, resilient readers who read for pleasure as well as for academic purposes. Through literature, sixth grade students continue to develop their vocabulary, fluency, comprehension, and reading stamina. Our goal is for sixth grade readers to develop a toolkit of strategies for dealing with difficulty, and we want them to know when and how to use those strategies.
6th grade reading instruction focuses on short stories, nonfiction, drama, poetry, novels, narrative, and assessment preparation. Reading instruction will also focus on comprehension and critical thinking strategies, elements of literature, poetic elements, text features, summarizing, analysis, and all 6th grade national and/or state ELA standards.
Daily oral language development is practiced through language activities and skills practice. Vocabulary development is also practiced through Wordly Wise. Students also celebrate “Shakespeare Day” on Shakespeare’s birthday, where they enjoy tea and scones and read age appropriate Shakespeare poetry and trivia.
Students are assessed through weekly reading assignments/tests. Teachers administer the STAR Reading Test- a computer adaptive assessment that measures key aspects of a student’s knowledge of reading and language. The STAR reading test is given at the beginning, middle, and end of the year and it is used to help understand a student’s strengths and needs in reading.
Accelerated Reader is a digital enrichment program that students may access. Student’s may choose a book from the AR list of books, read it at his/her own pace, and then complete a quiz on the book. Points are awarded based on the number of questions answered correctly. The points accumulate to reach milestones and awards.
Through our writing curriculum, sixth grade students write narrative, persuasive, descriptive, and expository pieces. In addition they complete creative writing pieces and master essay writing. Grammar, usage, mechanics, editing techniques, and spelling remains a crucial part of the ELA portion of each lesson.
The sixth grade writing curriculum emphasizes organization and idea development as students write paragraphs, short stories, and multi-paragraph essays. Students learn various techniques as part of the writing process, including prewriting and revision strategies, to help them communicate their ideas more effectively. Writing activities throughout the year provide an opportunity for students to develop their personal writing voices. Sixth-grade students write opinion/argument, information, and narrative pieces. Students spend ample time envisioning, planning, crafting, and revising their pieces. The pieces students write at this level are organized, edited, thoughtfully crafted, and full of voice.
In Unit 1, Personal Narrative: Crafting Powerful Life Stories, students draw on their lives, learning strategies to generate meaningful story ideas, manage pace, elaborate on important scenes, and deepen insights. This unit especially emphasizes the importance of setting goals, practicing strategically, and aiming for high productivity.
In Unit 2, The Literary Essay: From Character to Compare/Contrast, sixth graders learn ways to generate ideas based on close readings of a text and learning strategies essayists use to gather, analyze, and explain evidence from the text to support their claims.
In Unit 3, Research-Based Information Writing: Books, Websites, and Presentations, students begin by exploring the broad topic of teen activism in order to teach their readers about a topic, using increasingly sophisticated ways to draw on and structure information to explain a position or make a call to action.
Students also participate in “Greek and Roman Day” which concludes their Greek mythology study. Students dress up as their favorite God or Goddess and enjoy a meal at a Greek restaurant where they learn about Greek culture. Afterwards they participate in Greek vs. Roman games on the front lawn!
Through our math curriculum, Progress in Mathematics, students build on skills in numbers sense, multiplication and division, expressions and equations, integers, number theory and fractions, data and statistics, geometry, ratio, proportion, and percent, measurement, and problem solving. The approach used builds deep conceptual understanding of key math skills and concepts at a developmentally appropriate level. Students also have an opportunity for advanced placement in our math enrichment program, Math Matters.
In sixth grade, students become scientists as they observe, classify, and record data collected through science investigations. The core areas of the sixth grade science curriculum include concepts in life, earth, and physical science. Sixth grade students also participate in the Science Fair. They engage in weekly STEM and science lab activities.
Social Studies concepts taught in sixth grade include global studies and geography. Students participate in International Day, a year long project where each student researches his or her country of choice. Students research the history, landmarks, geography, and food and culture. It is their job to become an “expert” on their chosen country. International Day concludes with a presentation where each student presents to the student body the information they have gathered throughout the course of the year.
Students participate in performances including Chapel presentations, Middle School Battle of the Books, Middle School Quiz Bowl, Spelling Bee, and International Day Exhibit that builds confidence and pride. Students also participate in special classes including Religion, music, PE, art, Spanish, technology, and library one-two times each week.
Student Leadership opportunities include Student Council, Beta Club, Math Team, and Young Ambassadors.