6th Grade: 2016-2017
6th Grade Global Theme: Cycles of Change
Humanities Course Overview:
Sixth grade is a time for students to take greater responsibility for their own learning, develop independence and confidence in their writing, and become critical thinkers about literature and history.
Language Arts: Why do we write and how do we read? Voice and purpose in writing and literature.
We will cover three types of writing; Narrative, Expository (Informational), and Persuasive/Opinion. Students will be given opportunities to practice each type of writing both through real world applications as well as directly connected to the current curriculum. There will be structured support and varied instruction in order to maximize the learning for all students.
Within these units of writing, we will be addressing grammar, mechanics, spelling, and conventions.
Through novels, short stories, and folk tales we will be looking at story elements as well as author’s voice and purpose.
Global Studies: What motivates expansion and what happens when cultures clash?
Students will pick up where they left off in 5th grade. Starting with the Pre-Columbian cultures of North and South America, we will be taking a close look at the myriad cultures that thrived in the Americas prior to European intervention. From there we will look closely at the colonization of the Atlantic coast, the formation of local governments and economies, and the colonial history of Marblehead and the surrounding areas. FInally, we will take a close look at the events leading to the Revolutionary War and the war itself, up to the signing of the Declaration of Independence.
Mathematics: Students will be using a new textbook that has an extensive online component that will allow students to complete homework, test, and quizzes online. It will give them useful feedback about their progress and skills development. I will be able to target their learning areas in order to reinforce, progress, or challenge the students in their respective mathematical areas. Here is a short explanation from the authors about the book, materials, and what is accomplished by using them:
“The revised Big Ideas Math series uses the same research-based strategy of a balanced approach to instruction … This approach opens doors to abstract thought, reasoning, and inquiry as students persevere to answer the Essential Questions that introduce each section. The foundation of the program is the Common Core Standards for Mathematical Content and Standards for Mathematical Practice. Students are subtly introduced to ‘Habits of Mind’ that help them internalize concepts for a greater depth of understanding. These habits serve students well not only in mathematics, but across all curricula throughout their academic careers.The Big Ideas Math series exposes students to highly motivating and relevant problems. Woven throughout the series are the depth and rigor students need to prepare for career-readiness and other college-level courses.”
Science: Students will use the Scientific Method to explore a variety of topics. Term I will start Life Science from molecules to organisms, and onto biological evolution focusing its concepts of unity and diversity. Then we will transition to the macro and examine the interesting world of Earth Science from Earth’s systems, to its geologic time scale and land formations, to rock layers, and radiometric dating. In Term II, we will discover the secrets of the Universe, learn about our Solar System, and Earth’s place in the Universe. Also, we will cover the Physical Sciences: matter and its interactions, motion and stability, and waves and their applications. In Term III, we will return to the life sciences (Ecosystems), learn the science of Technology, Engineering, and Design by applying these to the development and final project of a working solar car.
(this is not a comprehensive list)
-A History of Us: Joy Hakim; 3 book series covering exploration through revolution.
-Writer’s Express; writing manual/reference
-Newsela: Current events/news website. Presents current news items with leveled text, as determined by individual student’s performance on quizzes related to articles.
Big Ideas: the online math program the 6th grade is using. www.bigideasmath.com
Khan Academy: www.khanacademy.com Online math program useful for skills reinforcement and mathematic advancement.
Homework will not be assigned every night, with the exception of the required 30 minutes of nightly reading and 60 minutes a week of Khan Academy. When homework is assigned it will be expected to be turned in on time and done neatly. Students are encouraged to communicate with their teacher(s) if there are any questions about homework.
Please note that the Week and Location Have CHANGED FROM THE ORIGINAL SCHOOL CALENDAR!
Dates: April 10-14
Location: Colebrook, CT
– Salem Sound Coastwatch Eelgrass and Plankton Ocean Exploration
– Abbot Public Library – Introduction to Resources and Scavenger Hunt
– Periodic walking trips to local beaches for plankton research and beach clean-up, data collection, and invasive species identification and remediation
– Boston: Old South Meeting House/Tea Party Boats
(Note: All field trips require permission slips. Times are subject to change. Ample notice will be given in the event of any changes).
Abbot Library: the Abbot library has agreed to assist with research projects, as well as teaching the students how to use various resources. We will be visiting the library in conjunction with various units of study.
Marblehead Museum: We have worked closely with the folks at the museum/historical society to give the students an in-depth, historical view of the community.
Salem Sound Coastwatch: We will learn from and work with this local organization that’s goal is to monitor, preserve, and improve our coast and waterways. Our students will be able to provide them will valuable data and aid in keeping our shores clean.
Community Service Learning:
Community Service Learning will be woven back into our curriculum as it is key component to our Mission Statement. Students will learn the important role that they play in being an empowered student that can change and transform their world around them for the better; all the while incorporating their learning into the process. Agents of change identify a problem, develop a plan of action, revise as needed, and achieve their goal. Therefore, a goal does not need to be daunting, but it doesn’t mean it can’t be limitless. Students will hone their analytical, communication, and deductive reasoning skills through the process of applying their academic skills to real world situations and complete their Community Service Learning by being productive contributors to their school and their communities both locally and globally.