Instrumental Music 6 (Introductory and Advanced): The 6th grade instrumental music students are winding down the year with a few video projects that will document their efforts to increase their endurance (how long they can play with good tone); improve their pitch identification and knowledge of fingerings; and reflect on how the year unfolded for them. The focus for these last few weeks will be to celebrate the good work that they have done throughout the year and gearing up for how to maintain their progress through the summer.
Acting 6: The 6th grade acting students are finishing up the “Neighborhood Stories” project right now. The project started with the question: “While walking through your Neighborhood what stories bubble up for you?” The stories could be based on actual experiences, or could be totally made-up, generated by visual prompts. Once the students shared those stores with the class we broke into smaller groups to reimagine those stories and share them as a small cast. The students will end the semester with a final “Big Story” exercise in which they will create a new story based on prompts, and then will tell that story in the style of an old radio show.
Vocal Music 6: Students are working on their final big project of the year, “Song Choice” in which they work as a soloist or collaborate with others to create a performance on a song of their choice. Their performance must meet certain criteria and will be filmed before our final class where classmates will watch each other’s pre-recorded performances and give feedback. As young musicians, students are also learning the critical skills of recording, collaborating, editing, and troubleshooting remotely via some technologies that every professional artist needs to be comfortable with in the modern world.
Art 6: Students are working on Islamic Geometric Designs. They are designing tiles and a calligraphic version of their name in Arabic so they can create a drawn Islamic tiled arch of their own creation.
PE 6: In the final weeks of the school year, our goal in class will be to continue to keep the students active on a daily basis. I am very impressed with the work that the students have done and the variety of exercises that they have been performing on a daily basis. The weekly fitness log with an assignment given for each day of the week has worked well for the kids. We recently started to do either small groups or entire class F2F warm-up exercises together. I have loved this because it has given me the opportunity to see the kids being themselves doing PE. They have also mentioned that they have enjoyed this as a way to connect with their classmates. Usually, during this time of year, our final round of fitness testing occurs. We should be able to be able to do a couple of those tests during our F2F time together. Again, the main objective is to keep the kids active and enjoying fitness.
Health and Wellness 6: This month we will launch into our work around the power of words. We will start by introducing a vocabulary of equity and inclusion and then discuss the history, intent, and impact of language that attacks the dignity of others. Following this unit, Ms. Hicks will work with students around the theme of mental health. Students will continue the practice of self care throughout the month through analyzing their “digital diet,” suggested wellness activities and maintaining their gratitude journals.
Science 6: To close the year in science, students are engaging in project-based learning activities. Students will spend the first few weeks of May working on an at-home version of science research. Students have the opportunity to pick any project of their liking and demonstrate three new concepts and three new skills they’ve learned via completing their project. Just after the first day, the number of ideas the students have is astounding! Afterwards, students will close out the year working on different STEM challenges that will fortify their creative thinking, measuring, and content knowledge through various STEM projects they can do at home. Students will have an opportunity to present their work on one of their remote-learning projects to your family and the greater community towards the end of the year, so we will still get to celebrate the fantastic work your young scientists have accomplished this year. Despite not having the typical science research process, they still have so much impressive work to share! There will be more to come on about how we will share and celebrate their work towards the end of the school year.
French 6: In the final stretch, students will build their vocabulary skills for classes, descriptive adjectives, places around town, and how to ask specific questions. They’ll make cultural comparisons with what it’s like to go to school in France, and what school lunches are like in francophone countries. They will expand their communication skills tackling two major verbs this month: être and aller. They will also learn a staple grammar point: agreement and position of regular adjectives. At the beginning of the month, we begin preparing for the oral interview, their final assessment. We continue to look out for what I call PFGs: petites fautes de grammaire. These little grammar mistakes start to get more attention, as students better understand how French grammar works. During remote learning, we can still play perennial favorites together, like the crossy-offy game, Quizlet live, and Kahoot. During the last two weeks of school, students will be busy preparing for their final written assessment on Unit 3 (May 28) and their oral exam (June 2–3).
Chinese 6: This month, students will continue finishing and presenting their fruit game board game by playing with one family member. We are going to learn about the symbolism in fruits. After that, we are starting Lesson 11, which is about food. Students will inquire about how to indicate hunger and thirst, and ask for food and drinks. We will learn a few common food and drinks and learn to ask and answer questions regarding food and drink choices or preferences. For grammar, students will learn how to use 了to indicate change; 想 to express wishes and make suggestions with 吧 ba. For the last class project, students will create a self-introduction Chinese script and video with all the lessons we have learned this school year. I am so looking forward to celebrating what great learning they have done this year!
Spanish 6: The end of the school year has us excited to finish our last chapter and to get started on final projects. Chapter 6 is focused on pastime and hobby vocabulary. We will continue to work on indirect object pronouns (to/for me, you, her, us, etc.) with some tricky verbs. Also, we will soon directly practice possessives, even though we have been intuitively using them all year. Our cultural learning has us demystifying “Cinco de Mayo” and trying to understand some complicated socio-cultural aspects in contemporary and historical contexts. For pronunciation we are enjoying having two songs to alternate between. Our final projects are TBD given the current situation. There will not be a final exam!
Pre-Algebra Prep 6: We’ll finish up our work with positive and negative numbers and absolute value. We’ll work with all the operations, which will also provide a platform for reviewing order of operations, exponents, fractions and decimals. We’ll end the year with a quick look at some statistics such as what makes a statistical question along with dot plots, mean, median mode and perhaps quartile analysis and box and whiskers diagrams as time allows.
Pre-Algebra 6: The PA students will work through chapter 14, their final chapter of the year. This chapter gives them an opportunity to pull together many of the skills that they have worked on this year including applying rational numbers, working with percents, solving algebraic equations, and deciphering real world situations as equations to solve.
Humanities 6: Humanities students are exploring the world of Ancient Greece from the comfort of their homes. Geraldine McCaughrean’s The Odyssey provides an adventure opportunity to explore mythology, ancient beliefs, and what it means to be a leader. For each chapter, students mark a variety of elements of literature and note passages that catch their interest. They share their work with their teacher through short videos, and they discuss the book in large and small groups during weekly face-to-face time. Beginning the week of May 11, students will brainstorm topics of individual interest in preparation for an inquiry-based project that will take them through the end of the year. Whether their focus is on literature, history, geography, culture, or another area of interest, they’ll have daily note taking, journaling, and/or other documentation tasks to lay the groundwork for a final product of their own design.