Instrumental Music 6 (Introductory and Advanced): I am excited to launch the 6th grade instrumental ensembles into the process of learning an instrument as well as developing the skills needed to be a successful ensemble musician. The Introductory Ensemble start the year by selecting instruments, talking about instrument care, and establishing what practice habits are needed to be successful in their new endeavor! The Advanced Ensemble will start the year by reviewing instrumentation and music reading, talking about participation in music ensembles, and establishing what practices habits are needed to be successful musicians. Technology will play a key role in class for recording/reviewing and maintaining a vlog about the progress each individual makes toward the learning goals for the class. The vlog will serve as a portfolio of evidence that the students will use to set goals and adjust their strategies for meeting those goals throughout the year.
Acting 6: The 6th grade acting students will be focusing on learning the basic skills of collaborative and group storytelling. We will be exploring techniques that use our physical and vocal “instruments” to add emotional color and texture to our stories. Theater vocabulary, stage picture, introductory character creation, and constructive critique will all be incorporated.
Vocal Music 6: Greetings parents of 6th graders! This is Adam Steele, subbing for Ms. Phelps while she is on maternity leave. I’ll be sharing the joy of singing with your children until after Thanksgiving break. I am excited to get to know the 6th graders as they begin their MS journey. In September we will focus on music of other cultures, as well as a couple of fun pop-style songs. We will also establish some good routines around setting goals during each class, and reflecting on the learning that happened that day. We’ll start to solidify their learning and use of the solfege system, and begin to work on developing sight-reading skills. Near the end of the month we’ll start our “Song Choice” project, where students get to pick a pop song to sing either as a solo or in a small group. This is a great project for developing confidence and an awareness of how to perform.
Art 6: We will begin the year creating Portfolio Folders for our Artist Pages. Artist Pages are collaborative worksheets where students can explore their inspirations, artistic processes, and reflections about the creative process during the semester. Students will then learn about the Caves of Lascaux, as well as other ancient cave paintings throughout the world. We will finish the month drawing pastel animals while focusing on line quality, visual movement, and color tones.
PE 6: Welcome to 6th grade PE. We will begin the year outside with units on Ultimate Frisbee and Soccer. We will begin each unit with the basic rules, skills and strategies that are needed to play the game successfully. We will also be completing our first round of Physical Fitness Testing (no need to panic about this). Two of the main goals for PE is to be active and have FUN. The plan is to have classes outside on the fields as long as the weather allows. Once the Oregon rain appears, we will make the transition inside to SPARC.
Health and Wellness 6: In September, our Rotation sessions will be devoted to establishing community across the 6th grade and preparations for our fall trip. Students will be introduced to our Community Commitments, Restorative Practices and some tools of mindfulness. We will also play games that will get students laughing and working as teams, to help them feel connected as they launch into middle school together.
Science 6: Welcome to sixth grade science! We are going to start the year by learning about the metric system and practicing our quantitative measuring skills. We will cap this off with a Metric Olympics challenge! From there, students will learn about qualitative methods of description and eventually combine qualitative and quantitative methods of observation in an exploration of our OES campus and ecosystem.
French 6: Bienvenue! Welcome to the first year of French. Each unit will be built around questions that help us connect French to our own language and cultures. How many different ways do we use to greet each other? Is there a formal way of speaking in English? This month, we will start off with greetings and introductions in different contexts. We will also dive into numbers and common expressions for working in the classroom together. Students will practice their speaking and listening skills using a variety of scenarios, and will learn about speaking formally and informally. We will explore cognates, listen to popular songs, and examine the pitfalls of online translators.
Chinese 6: Huanyin huixia 欢迎回校！ I am so excited to welcome all of you entering OES Middle School and you are so brave to take the challenge to learn the Chinese language. We will be focused on learning Chinese character pronunciation based on the pinyin (initials finals) and four tones. You will have a chance to create a pinyin song by yourself. Meanwhile, we will learn greetings in the Chinese manner and numbers. Also, we will be celebrating the traditional Chinese festival—Mid Autumn’s Festival with hands on crafts and mooncake tasting.
Spanish 6: ¡BIENVENIDO (welcome)! I am excited to meet you! We are all arriving to OES Middle School with zero or some experience in Spanish. The first chapter is the basics and brand new for some people and a great review for others! We will be starting with the alphabet and pronunciation supported by some goofy songs. Learning greetings and goodbyes are a natural place to start with some role-playing activities. Also, we will be working on numbers to 100 with games. A basic small-talk area in every language is asking and telling the date and we will practice this often. See you soon!
Technology 6: Once we return from our fall retreat, the Introduction to Computer Science class will begin. This year students will take a semester of technology. We will explore computer science through an inquiry and project-based lens with the goal of understanding computational thinking practices and perspectives such as: experimenting and iterating, testing and debugging and viewing technology as a medium of creation. Some of the technologies used in this course are the micro: bit microcontroller, 3D printer, and Scratch programming environment.
Pre-Algebra Prep 6: We’ll be starting off the year getting organized, learning the math class routines, getting comfortable with the e-textbook and then jumping into a quick division review before embarking on powers and exponents, order of operations, divisibility tests, some non-traditional problems and introducing the “24 challenge.” As students readjust to being back and school and doing math, I encourage them to ask questions and see me as needed.
Pre-Algebra 6: Welcome to Pre-Algebra! We’ll be starting off the year getting organized, learning the math class routines, getting comfortable with the e-textbook and then we will delve into powers and exponents, order of operations, prime factorization, and problem solving. Games and puzzles are sprinkled in throughout the month. Math Club begins Thursday September 19th for all interested participants.
Humanities 6: Welcome to the wonderful world of Humanities! We are truly looking forward to getting to know you, and will spend a good amount of time during the first weeks of school doing exactly that. Students can anticipate exploring culture, developing and sharing their own stories, and taking in a big-picture view of the world in which we live. As the fall trip approaches, we’ll spend time considering the gifts that each individual brings to the class of 2026. There’s so much to look forward to, and we can’t wait to begin exploring together!