Beginning Instrumental Music 6: The 6th grade beginning instrumental ensemble will be working on some new music for the St. Nick’s Chapel. We will be playing with the advanced ensemble, which will require some flexibility as the students learn how to play in a larger group. We will spend some time talking about rehearsal norms and how to be successful with other musicians that we don’t normally work with. A goal for this time will be to have all the music practiced and prepared at home so we can work on playing together in class, instead of learning parts in class.
Advanced Instrumental Music 6: The 6th grade advanced instrumental ensemble will be working on some new music for the St. Nick’s Chapel. We will be playing with the beginning ensemble, which will require some flexibility as the students learn how to play in a larger group. We will spend some time talking about rehearsal norms and how to be successful with other musicians that we don’t normally work with. A goal for this time will be to have all the music practiced and prepared at home so we can work on playing together in class, instead of learning parts in class.
Acting 6: The 6th grade acting students are starting out the month looking at how individual character choices impact the story, exploring that concept via improvisation and the construction of very short stories. We will also be in contact with the LS to see what books the K-2nd grade students are looking at so that we can use that material as we start to formulate those stories to be presented towards the end of January.
Vocal Music 6: After learning/reviewing solfege and rhythm separately, students will be combining skills to begin sight singing. We are learning a trio of Christmas songs in French to perform for the whole school at St. Nick’s chapel, in addition to enjoying singing holiday favorites in class.
Art 6: We are just finishing our Egyptian Hieroglyph alphabet and cartoons and will be moving onto studying the Nok Terracotta sculptures. We will be sculpting small faces will imaginative characteristics out of clay.
PE 6: We are wrapping up our unit on the fast pace game of Speedminton. The students have improved greatly and the matches have been very intense. We are also in the middle of our unit of Physical Fitness. The students are learning about the different components of fitness, taking their heart rate, the importance of knowing your target heart rate zone, and many more fitness concepts. This is the unit where they will actually have some homework and will take a written test on the knowledge that they learn. Volleyball is the next unit that we will begin after speedminton.
Health and Wellness 6: We have been focusing on ways to overcome stress. Our next unit is on nutrition. We will have Kelly Cowing, the Director of our Dining Hall, speak with students. Students will then do research with a partner on an aspect of diet and nutrition. Of course, part of our curriculum is mindfulness.
Science 6: This month we will be extending our explorations of watersheds by delving into river systems. Students will design and complete a lab, using a stream table to investigate how river system works. We will also visit Fanno Creek on campus to look for and identify river system features. Our unit will culminate with a test. To prepare for this we will continue to build upon the study and test taking skills students have been developing this year.
French 6: Students will learn to express how much they like and don’t like different activities. They will consider the questions, “Do people in the francophone world do the same activities we do?” and “What sports are popular in the francophone world? Are they different from popular sports in the U.S.?” They will learn about the French origins of the Olympic Games and about the importance of hockey in Quebec. We will study subject pronouns and will head into the exciting world of verb conjugation, starting with -er verbs, which is a key foundational concept this year. One structural goal will be to understand the difference between an infinitive and a conjugated verb, and when to use them correctly. We will continue to watch different episodes of the Belgian cartoon series Tintin through the spring (subtitled).
Chinese 6: This is a great class to teach with a lot of learning happening. Students remain very enthused and really enjoyed learning to type in Chinese, and we are looking for opportunities to use brush pens now. They also enjoyed going carolling last year in different classes and want to do this again this year. So we will learn a few Christmas songs and take them to other classes, especially the Lower School, as they want to see their former teachers and friends again. In terms of language development, December will be a time to learn how to talk about time and place in Chinese. Students will begin to make their e-portfolio with information on their family, school, and birthday. They will also interview their friends to solicit basic bio information. They will also make a greeting card in Chinese for their pen pals in China.
Spanish 6: This December we are continuing to work with the tricky verbs SER and ESTAR. We now have the basics of our grammar foundation on which to build. December will have us more extensively creating our own questions in Spanish. Our focus for vocabulary and cultural learning is the family. We will discuss how different cultures view and interact with family. Also, we will make our own family tree, real or imagined, and then present them in class! Supporting all this will be a new song, “Hoy es domingo.”
Technology 6: We begin our second rotation in technology this month. In addition to keyboarding with Ed Club and coding with Swift, students will explore computer-aided design for the 3D printer. We will also investigate Khan Academy’s Java scripting lessons as well as their Growth Mindset curriculum and continue working on our technology portfolios.
Pre-Algebra Prep 6: In Math we will continue our review of fractions and fraction operations focusing both on the computation involved and the why behind the computation. Then we will look at the reasoning behind decimal operations and work towards greater accuracy. We will also be doing a multi-day application problem involving estimating the population in a park from a limited amount of information.
Pre-Algebra 6: We’re delving into algebra as we explore how to include variables in mathematical expressions. The understanding of why and how terms can be manipulated in math comes to light as the students learn about a variety of mathematical properties and their uses. They are learning how to simplify algebraic expressions given a variety of mathematical properties. Then the class will dig into ratios, rates, and proportions.
Humanities 6: Humanities 6 students will be taking the next steps in their study of India after Thanksgiving. The first week back will focus on early civilizations, geography, and the Hindu gods and goddesses. Students will begin reading Homeless Bird by Gloria Whelan the week of December 3rd, with a focus on cultural clues and elements of literature. Students will also write their own Indian-style folktale after reading and discussing a number of examples. Character, structure, style, and dialogue will be emphasized. Finally, we’re in the process of planning our next Sacred Spaces field trip, this time to BAPS Hindu temple in Tigard. Stay tuned for confirmation of the date and details of the trip!
Library Skills 6: We will be moving into the beginning stages of research skills: How does one take a big research question and break it down into chunks? We will work on creating search terms and combining them together and looking at how to search for information using databases and the Internet.