Instrumental Music 6 (Introductory and Advanced): The 6th-grade instrumental classes will continue their work in developing a foundational understanding of rhythm syllables and applications into sight-reading. We will work individually and in small groups during our face-to-face times to practice counting out loud and reading increasing complex rhythms. We will also use this time to collect more evidence of growth using video recordings of the music and examples from the book that we are working on. The goals for this time are to increase sight reading skills and overall tone production and familiarity with the pitch in rhythm.
Acting 6: The 6th grade acting students will be focusing on learning the basic skills of collaboration 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 over the course of the semester. In February and March, we will introduce general story-telling skills using face-to-face improvisation exercises and then shift to small group storytelling skills as well as appropriate ways to share feedback.
Vocal Music 6: The 6th Grade Choir is continuing its journey through music literacy and music theory. We will be focusing on topics such as Meter, Pitch, Accidentals & Key Signatures, Dynamics, Form, and Articulation & The Music Staff. The class will explore these topics through Google Slides presentations, digital worksheets, and have the opportunity to practice these concepts through drills, quizzes, and assessments. Sight Reading Factory app will continue to play a large role in students’ development of their rhythmic and melodic abilities as they learn how to challenge themselves by creating their own assignments and assessing their current skills. Students will also have a Composition Project through Note flight. As we get closer to coming back to campus, students will begin to explore vocal techniques and prepare the voice for ensemble rehearsing.
Art 6: February is the beginning of our second semester and my opportunity to work with a new group of 6th graders. After taking some time getting to know each other and learning about what to expect in visual arts, we will start our creative exploration by going all the way back to the beginning—prehistoric cave art. Most of our projects in 6th grade are inspired by a period or region of ancient art. In this case, we look at some of the amazing examples of cave paintings that can be found in southern France. For this project, we learn some of the characteristics of line in art and we will experiment with using oil pastels to create our own version of an animal cave drawing. As we head into March, we typically launch a comic project where we design our own character, then try to render that character in various poses. Following that we build a simple storyline and learn about the narrative sequence, how to storyboard, and how to design an interesting comic layout. All exciting stuff!
PE 6: We will continue to keep working to improve our fitness with workouts during our F2F classes. Classes will continue to alternate between entire class or breakout groups to complete the workout together. More emphasis will be given to cardiovascular fitness at the start of February. The students will also be given time to work on individual fitness goals that they have for themselves on a regular basis. Fitness logs will still be assigned to help guide them through each week including their SP day.
Health and Wellness 6: Welcome to health and wellness! We’ll launch into the semester with a unit designed to foster connection between students and to help them get to know each other . . . and themselves better! Students will reflect on their values through a photo project and will delve into an exploration of happiness, through the creation of a “happiness mandala.” We’ll also begin to introduce practices of mindfulness and self-care, which we will continue to develop throughout the semester.
Science 6: In 6th-grade science, students will continue developing their skills in experimental design while also learning new content around evolution and adaptation. Students will continue to build upon their graphing and data analysis skills with experiments that begin to ask students to put together a scientific question, hypothesis, data collection, analysis, and a discussion of results. As a vehicle to help students practice these skills, we will learn about Charles Darwin and the fundamental tenets of evolution. Ultimately, students will be able to simulate this core concept through a “beaks of finches” lab.
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?” They will learn about major sites in Paris, the French origins of the Olympic Games, and the Tour de France. We will study subject pronouns and will head into the exciting world of verb conjugations, starting with -er verbs, which is a key foundational concept this year and beyond. One structural goal will be to understand the difference between an infinitive and a conjugated verb, and when to use them correctly. This month also brings our Fête de la Musique French song playoffs. On their French 6 Main Page, they can find all links to vocabulary flashcards and games with Quizlet.
Chinese 6: In Chinese 6 class, students will learn to identify terms for family members and their relationships and know-how to exchange information about families with others. Students will inquire about and provide location and address in Chinese and express where you or others live. For grammar, we are going to learn about using possessive word 有, 的 and conjunction word 和. Also, we will know how to use the adverb of location: 在. Students will make a book about themselves online with the book creator app, which students will use what they learned to introduce name, age, nationality, family members, school, and place they live. For the culture piece, students will learn about the story of the Chinese Lunar New Year and celebrate it by doing a bingo choice board which includes a bunch of fun new year activities like paper cutting, writing calligraphy on couplets, red pocket paper folding, the origin of New Year EDpuzzle, New Year song, etc.
Spanish 6: This February we start Unidad 3: Transportación. While focusing on various forms of ground transportation we will also begin practicing many regular verbs in the present tense. The basic verb conjugation is sometimes bewildering to students given that they have probably never been exposed to this concept before, even in English. The good news is they have learned to do this in English already, albeit intuitively. Regular small doses of independent practice will facilitate learning extremely well. For our culture component, we will learn how most families in the Spanish speaking world are single-car families while many only use public transportation. Also, we might look at some of the roots and importance of Semana Santa, or Holy Week, in the Spanish speaking world.
Technology 6: This year the 6th-grade 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 that may be used in this course are the CoSpaces environment, 3D printing, Unity, VR and AR technologies, and the Scratch programming environment.
Pre-Algebra Prep 6: With fractions now under their belts, we are poised to finish up all decimal operations including with order of operations and real-life problems. Then it’s on to exploring the various properties that come into play in math class. They will also learn about like terms and have an introduction to variables and the wonderful distributive property. We’ll incorporate review problems in class in order to keep their acquired skills fresh and will continue with math fact practice using google forms.
Pre-Algebra 6: We have absorbed the mathematical properties of addition and multiplication, and the awesome distributive property. We delved into factoring, also, as an added bonus. With the properties in hand, we are now simplifying algebraic expressions. Next, we are incorporating negative integers and exploring the rules to simplify numerical expressions with positive and negative integers using all operations.
Humanities 6: We are excited to begin a new unit on India during the first week of February. We’ll begin by delving into Hinduism through research and notetaking, writing, and artwork. Each student will take the lead on sharing their learning about one of Hinduism’s many gods and goddesses with their classmates. We’ll move on to explore a number of other influences on India’s culture and history including Islam, the British Empire, Gandhi, and the independence movement. All of this lays the foundation for our next novel, The Night Diary, by Veera Hiranandani, which follows the trying experience of a family during the partition of India through the eyes of an adolescent girl. Students will continue to practice close reading, annotation, discussion, critical thinking, writing, and other skills along the way.