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6th Grade Team Page


Sixth graders hard at work at The Ecology School on the coast of Maine.

Curriculum

English Language Arts

Listening

  • Listen respectfully to peers and adults
  • Listen to different sources and presentations of the spoken word
  • Understand principles of active listening

Speaking

  • Expand verbal vocabulary
  • Speak in a respectful manner
  • Use appropriate gestures and body language
  • Share own writing and respond to audience feedback
  • Express appreciation for others' ideas
  • Give tactful, constructive criticism
  • Ask appropriate questions to seek information

Writing

Production

  • Produce clear and coherent writing appropriate to task, purpose, and audience
  • Utilize initial writing activities, e.g. brainstorm, plan, and organize
  • Strengthen ability to compose, revise, edit, confer, and polish independently
  • Use technology to produce and publish writing as well as collaborate with others
  • Write routinely over extended time frames for a range of tasks

Writing Genres

  • Expressive and reflective passages; Creative non-fiction and memoir; Response to literature; Essays to inform, explain, persuade; Narrative stories; Poetry
  • Writing in all subject areas

Grammar, Usage and Mechanics

  • Master parts of speech including pronoun case and verb tenses
  • Diagram basic sentences
  • Understand synonyms, antonyms, and homonyms
  • Consolidate general syntactic rules
  • Write in varied and complete sentences
  • Write in coherent paragraphs with supporting details, smooth transitions, and appropriate tone and voice
  • Demonstrate command of standard conventions, including end punctuation, commas, and apostrophes
  • Begin to use correct punctuation in dialogue

Word Study and Spelling

  • Classical Roots Vocabulary study: Greek and Latin roots and affixes
  • Acquire vocabulary knowledge in grade appropriate subject areas
  • Learn weekly spelling words
  • Learn and correct misspelled words in written compositions
  • Review phonological awareness and syllable rules
  • Verify and determine meaning of word or phrase through context and consulting reference materials

Handwriting and Typing

  • Write in cursive through weekly assignments
  • Read cursive writing
  • Practice typing and word processing skills through weekly assignments
  • All final drafts produced in neat cursive or typing

Reading

  • Learn to use strategies to approach and understand a variety of reading tasks
  • Read out loud a grade-appropriate text smoothly and with appropriate expression
  • Learn research skills and read to gain information
  • Read different genres of literature independently and with understanding
  • Compare and contrast the literary elements and structure of text
  • Interact with text by applying inferences, questions, connections
  • Identify main ideas, themes, plot elements, details in text
  • Interpret words and phrases, including literal and figurative language
  • Recall details, summarize effectively, show cause and effect
  • Analyze how and why characters, events, and ideas develop in text
  • Understand writerʼs purpose and point-of-view to infer and draw conclusions
  • Read and follow directions independently
  • Distinguish fact from opinion

Math

Numbers and Numeration

  • Demonstrate the inverse relationship of addition and subtraction, multiplication and division
  • Read, write, and compare whole numbers, fractions, decimals, integers and percents, ratios and proportions
  • Know place value to a million, decimals to thousandths
  • Round whole numbers to 1,000,000, decimals to hundred thousandths
  • Use the commutative, associative and distributive properties, and the identity properties of zero and one
  • Recognize odd, even, prime, composite, and square numbers
  • Understand prime factors, greatest common factors, and least common multiples

Computation and Estimation

  • Add and subtract 5-digit whole numbers and decimals • Multiply whole numbers and decimals with regrouping, with up to a 3-digit multiplier
  • Divide 5-digit whole or decimal numbers by 2- digit whole or decimal numbers
  • Add and subtract any three proper or mixed fractions
  • Multiply any combination of fractions, mixed or whole numbers
  • Divide fractions, mixed or whole numbers
  • Introduce percent problems
  • Solve one, two and three-step word problems
  • Find equivalents of decimals, fractions, ratios and percents

Measurement

  • Measure length, perimeter, area, volume, circumference, surface area, and time
  • Convert units within a system of measurement
  • Estimate and measure angle degrees

Geometry

  • Classify angles
  • Identify and classify polygons
  • Identify the center, radius, diameter, and circumference of a circle
  • Identify pyramids, spheres, cubes, cylinders, and rectangular prisms
  • Use protractor and compass

Data Collection and Analysis

  • Collect, organize, represent, and interpret data using lists, tables, graphs (bar, line and circle)
  • Interpret data using the mean, median, mode and range
  • Predict, perform, record and analyze simple probability experiments
  • Use calculators and/or computers to process data

Problem Solving, Reasoning and Communication

  • Approach problem solving systematically and creatively
  • Develop flexibility, confidence, perseverance, and persistence both independently and in groups
  • Use concrete, informal and formal strategies to solve mathematical problems in real-world situations

Patterns, Functions and Algebra

  • Identify, describe and extend patterns
  • Use order of operations to solve equations involving parentheses and exponents
  • Use tables, graphs and verbal or symbolic rules
  • Understand the use of variables in equations
  • Solve simple algebraic equations
  • Graph, describe and compare equations on a Cartesian grid

Science

Process Skills

Analyze data, verify information, experiment, plan experiments, use equipment to collect data, record data in a variety of ways, discuss and analyze data, control and manipulate variables, validate reliability of results, invent, make inferences, use knowledge to solve problems, generalize, expand knowledge to analogous situations

Content

Forces in Motion:
  • Galileo’s pendulums
  • Principles of pendulums
  • Construction of pendulums Simple
  • Six simple machines and how they work
Electricity:
  • Simple, series and parallel circuits
  • Materials and conductivity resistance
Gases and Airs:
  • Properties of air (composition, pressure, oxidation)
  • Properties of vacuums (expansion, contraction)
Oceanography:
  • Ocean waves, currents, sea water, sand, ocean floors,
  • Man’s effect on the oceans
  • Adaptations of life cycles
Brain:
  • Anatomy and function
  • Memory, laterality and language
  • Color theory and visual perception
Genetics:
  • Patterns of inheritance: punnet squares and pedigrees
  • Nature vs. nurture
Health:
  • Reproductive System and Reproduction
  • Drug Education/Substance Abuse
  • HIV

Social Studies

Historical Perspective and Sources

  • The Meaning and Importance of History
  • Timeline Project: use of timelines; creating life timeline; interpreting material culture
  • Analyze Primary Source Artifacts: art, architecture, historical documents, maps
  • Read “History of US” textbook and historical fiction independently
  • Integrate visual information with print and digital texts

World History

  • The Age of Exploration, Discovery, and Encounter: Atlantic world
  • Expansion of Worldview: the Colombian Exchange
  • Amerindian tribes, African kingdoms and the slave trade
  • Historical Geography of Americas: pre-Colombian to colonial

U.S. History “From Colonies to Country”

  • Spain, England, and France: a struggle for dominance
  • North American eastern settlements: comparative study
  • Salem witchcraft trials: historical fiction reading
  • Implications of slavery
  • The Revolutionary War: loyalist and patriot point-of-view; causes and reactions; specific significant battles; the aftermath; historical fiction reading
  • Introduction to America’s historical documents: Declaration of Independence, Articles of Confederation, Constitution of the U.S., Bill of Rights
  • American systems of government

Research Skills

- integrated with ELA

  • conduct short and more sustained research projects based on focused questions demonstrating understanding of subject
  • gather relevant information from multiple print and digital sources
  • draw evidence from literary or informational texts to support research and learn to avoid plagiarism

Study Skills

  • read and reason from different sources
  • analyze the structure of text and visuals in terms of organization and purpose
  • ask specific and expansive questions on a grade appropriate topic
  • identify the main idea of a paragraph or essay
  • select examples of supporting details illustrating a main idea
  • acquire and use accurately grade-appropriate academic and domain-specific words and phrases
  • distinguish among fact, opinion, and reasoned judgement
  • follow precisely a multi-step procedure
  • initiate and complete assignment guidelines and planning
  • record daily assignments in a homework planner
  • complete daily assignments and turn them in on time
  • make a plan with teachers to complete assignments missed due to tardiness or absence
  • understand that people learn in different ways
  • practice different strategies for learning success
  • follow directions, written and oral
  • work independently, carefully, and cooperatively

Social Skills

Civic and Social Responsibility

  • Stay current with work assignments
  • Be of service to community

Communication

  • Advocate for self

Personal Development

  • Solve problems
  • Negotiate and compromise

Art

In their last year at the Marion Cross School, the sixth graders continue the tradition of adding their piece to the all-school art creation. The projects for the rest of the year involve longer, multi-tasked, intricate art forms. Students are encouraged to take time during the design phase of their projects as well as to work carefully creating their final products. These include: ceramic mirror frames, various types of sculpture, scenery for 6th grade plays, dyed paper and reed mobiles, design problems, Impressionist water colors, Inkle loom weaving, Shibori fabric dying, LEEEP habitat artbooks (oceans), open studio art, as well as the traditional 6th grade “What’s in Your Head?,” silhouette drawings (displayed with their first grade self-portraits) and the most anticipated and remembered Gingerbread houses.

Guidance


The school counselor, Katie Cormier, visits with the 6th grade classes during elective time. Each class meets five times throughout the year, for an hour and fifteen minutes. The health based curriculum is designed to help students learn about themselves as well as how develop positive relationships with others. The school counselor co-teaches with the school nurse, Pam Hausler, during these lessons. They use the Life Skills health/guidance curriculum to teach sixth graders about self-esteem, decision making, positive and negative stress, verbal/ nonverbal communication, advertising, peer pressure, assertiveness, tobacco/drug/alcohol use, and reproduction. Students use class discussions, role-playing, videos and writing to supplement student learning. Mr. Minelli, MCS’s technology teacher, also comes in to co-teach for two lessons with Katie on internet safety during two 45 minute study hall times based on common sense media’s digital citizenship program.

Information Technology


Best practices in education show that technology is best incorporated into a student’s education as an embedded “tool” used to support learning in the major curricular fields. This means that tech isn’t something just to “do” for students; rather it is used where appropriate to help students succeed in their other subject areas.

Accordingly, 6th grade students continue to strengthen their word processing skills (using the programs, MS Word and Google Docs) to write, edit, format, save and publish a variety of written assignments. These skills are facilitated through our Google accounts and students log onto hanovernorwichschools.org accounts and access Google Drive for creating and storing their documents. All teachers center their teaching through a Google Classroom and students are able to work on their assignments both at home and at school.

MCS uses the assessment software, Track My Progress, and 6th grade students are testing 4 times per year in Math and ELA using a computer adaptive test that can help teachers and parents understand the student’s strengths in various areas of these subjects. Some 6th grade students also are using Symphony Math to help improve their math concepts and understanding and are also given subscriptions to iXL mathematics to improve their math skills. These programs can be used both at school and at home to improve math skills.

Along with Katie Cormier, our school counselor, we also teach a select group of lessons with 6th grade students about the topic of safe computer use. These include such areas as computer safety, privacy, Gender Bias, and the prevention of Cyberbullying. The lessons come from the highly regarded I.S. site, Common Sense Media.

6th grade students have a computer elective 6 times per year on Wednesday afternoons, and the focus is on the Maker Movement. In 6th grade we use the Maker tools, Little Bits and Lego WeDo Robotics to learn both design and inventing. We also have an introduction to 3D Design and Printing, and student create and print their own invention on the school's 3D printer. Finally, MCS is strongly committed to the Hour of Code and in school and at home, students work through a 20 hr. class on beginner computer programming.

Music

The music program at the Marion Cross School is designed to help students develop the skills needed to realize a rewarding and joyful lifetime musical experience and to realize their own and other’s innate ability and need to create.

In sixth grade the students continue work learning the language and notation of music and have a concentrated exposure to composition using music technology. Through the use of technology, they also write and perform their own songs. In January we begin a study of American Opera and then create our own, culminating in a performance in April. Sixth grade students have the opportunity to take instrumental lessons, participate in band, orchestra and/or chorus and other small ensembles. Throughout the year they take leadership roles in “rep”, the holiday concert and the May Festival.

Library Skills

Use of the Dewey Decimal System

  • Understand the 10 main classes of the Dewey Decimal System and that they can be divided and subdivided into more specific categories

Use of Reference Collection

  • Use cross references in an encyclopedia to locate information
  • Use an almanac to find statistics and other facts
  • Use biographical and geographical dictionaries


Research and Reporting Techniques

  • Take notes from reference and other source materials
  • Organize information into a usable format
  • Present information in an in-depth written report and/or visual/oral presentation

Selection and Evaluation Techniques

  • Discuss reactions to and evaluations of independent reading
  • Read and discuss Newbury Medal winners

Use of Indexes

  • Be aware of indexes in various places (books, encyclopedias, periodicals)
  • Use cross-references in indexes

Parts of a Book

  • Identify the appendix

Literature Appreciation

  • Be familiar with important authors and their works
  • Describe impact of the historical period on the plot and characters in an historical novel
  • Understand the relationship of African American folk tales to the condition of the American slave

PE

The goal of the fifth and sixth grade physical education program is to help students enhance their physical skills and awareness, refine skills learned in grades 3, 4 and 5, and practice good sportsmanship and team play. Students learn about and begin to take personal charge of the following: personal fitness and wellness (fitness tests, fitness activities and warm-ups), sportsmanship and social interaction (New Games, cooperative learning situations, problem solving skills, recognizing own strengths and strengths of others, accepting differences), locomotor skills (dance, gymnastics), non-locomotor skills (high and long jumping, balance activities), striking skills (volleyball, pickleball, paddle tennis, badminton, whiffleball), movement concepts (general and personal space, speed, force and flow of movement, offense and defense), and manipulatives of circus arts activities (juggling scarves, balls and clubs; spinning diabolos and plates). In addition they are introduced to and play modified games of lacrosse, whiffleball, volleyball, basketball, ultimate frisbee, and soccer. Track and field events are taught and practiced, and we continue to occasionally play some large group games.

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