Beginning Instrumental Music 6: The 6th Beginning Instrumental Ensemble will begin to wind down the year as we prepare for our spring performance. We will continue to work out of the book as we cover the last few concepts for this year, including major and minor scales, common rhythm patterns, and advanced articulations such as marcatto and tenutto. The spring performance will bring together all the skills we have learned this year and give us the chance to demonstrate our growth as an ensemble.
Advanced Instrumental Music 6: The 6th Advanced Instrumental Ensemble will host a 5th grade class and give a demonstration of their instruments to students who might be interested in taking instrumental music next year. The 6th grade students will talk about their instrument, play a selection of music to show what their instrument sounds like, and then help the 5th grade students play on some demo instruments in order to help them make a decision about what they might like to play. The 6th grade ensemble will also continue to prepare for the upcoming spring performance, where they will demonstrate the growth they made throughout this year.
Acting 6: Sixth grade acting is continuing their work on group storytelling with adaptations of fables. Then we will write and perform our own morality stories. We will also talk about movement as a group, status, and continue our focus on stage conventions.
Vocal Music 6: In our last unit of the year we are working on challenging arrangements of modern and classic pop music. The students have also chosen a song to sing for their final in-class performance project and are working to fulfill specific guidelines around arrangement and singing in their best range. We are also finalizing our theory learning with sight reading lessons that emphasize the rhythm and pitch work we’ve built over the year.
Art 6: Students have just begun their Hieroglyph Comic project. Once finished they will glaze their sculpted Clay Heads and finish up the semester with a Cultural Mask project.
PE 6: We have a lot to cover during the last stretch of school. Flag football, team handball and (finally) our brief unit on fencing. We will also complete our final round of fitness testing during the first week of June. I am hoping that we will also have some time to play some capture the flag and ultimate Frisbee. We will also complete the second semester project which is a 30 minute jog that I am sure that the students are excited about. This ends up being a fun time and a great accomplishment that the kids are proud of.
Health and Wellness 6: Our class is immersed in an inquiry and research unit in which students have the opportunity to further explore a topic of interest to them related to health and wellness. Each student works with a partner to research and present their findings, as well as offer an actionable recommendation to their peers about their topic. Following this project, our class will begin our unit on human development. For 6th grade we will focus primarily on the physiological changes that occur in the body during puberty. We will also discuss basic ideas of gender and sexual identity as well. This is a sensitive topic that we approach with great care.
Science 6: The sixth graders are busy putting together their final reports and boards for their science research projects. Their efforts will culminate on Sixth Grade Science Night, 6:30-8:00 pm on May 14th. We look forward to seeing you there! After we wrap up science research students will dive into a water quality study of Fanno Creek. They will have an opportunity to link this exploration to the skills we learned and data we collected at Barnes Creek and the Elwah River in the Olympic Peninsula.
French 6: Students will build their vocabulary skills for classes, descriptive adjectives, places around school and town, telling time, and asking specific questions. They will 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 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. Students will execute the Paris trip brochure project. They choose a francophone country/region to visit, plus Paris. I set a budget and they plan transportation, hotels, and sites to visit. Then they create an itinerary and brochure for their trip. Toward the mid-May, we begin preparing for the oral interview, their final assessment. We will continue to look carefully at 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. We watch Tintin on Fridays and play perennial favorites, like the circle game (Chef!) and the crossy-offy game. Ask about these!
Chinese 6: The 6th graders enjoyed their watermelon sculpture project. In fact they liked their carved watermelons so much that they refused to get rid of them until I found opportunities to throw them out while they were on their excursion. We have certainly found quite a few artists in the class. Following their recent adventures in the Olympia National Park, they will learn to present their experience in a photo slide. They will learn how to upload their own pictures or use relevant google images in organizing their presentations. This month we will also have two topics students love to talk about: sports and animals. They will learn how to talk about their favorite sports and have opportunities to describe their pets and design a poster for them. Finally, they will complete their e-portfolio so that they can summarize their learning for the first year and use it to talk about their family, schools, hobbies and interests in Chinese in the future.
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 be directly practicing 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 will be starting the end of May. The first, in small groups, is to make a music video to one of the songs we have sung this year. The final project will be two days of role-playing common travel situations. Each student will have a “job” for one class and the other day they will be a “traveler” moving through stations that require them to effectively navigate numerous scenarios we have practiced each chapter this year. There will not be a final exam!
Technology 6: Each 6th grade technology class is completing the last 2-week rotation over the next 8 weeks. Each group is editing iMovie skits about digital citizenship and presenting their learning to the class. Students will evaluate their goals for the year and reflect on their work, adding artifacts to their technology portfolio. They are comparing their incoming skills and habits using technology (Google Apps, touch typing, programming with micro: bits and personal technology use) with their current levels of skill and understanding and setting a personal goal for 7th grade.
Pre-Algebra Prep 6: We are deep into our work with positive and negative numbers. We will work on all the operations with integers and then bring in some positive and negative fractions and decimals. Then we will move onto some statistical concepts such as measures of central tendency, quartiles and, if time allows, some different ways of displaying formation. We will finish up the year with an application project using the statistics.
Pre-Algebra 6: Pre-algebra students will begin May by exploring ratios, rates further and incorporate writing and solving proportions. Their work with solving equations will come in handy as they find ways to complete proportions using inverse operations. Connections with real life situations are plentiful in the coming unit. As the students prepare for algebra 1 they will also learn about slope and direct variation. Come June they will use percents to explore how to calculate discounts, mark-ups, and tips as well as simple interest.
Humanities 6: We’re looking forward to our final unit of the year on Mongolia and China. 6th graders should bring Daughter of Xanadu by Dori Jones Yang to school on Monday, May 6th. Each student will be given a “Note and Notice” book (a reading journal) to make notes on “aha!” moments, cultural clues and values, character development, quotes, vocabulary, and more. Students will try out various approaches to book discussions, explore history, and develop a work of creative writing while reading the book. By the end of the month, each student will have chosen a topic to research in preparation for a presentation to their peers in early June. It’s an exciting time, so keep asking your student about what’s going on in Humanities this spring!
Library Skills 6: 6th graders are finishing up their library skills rotation by working on a final project which will incorporate the skills they have learned throughout the year. This will be a mini-research project about music. They are researching a band or single musician and will use the research skills they have learned throughout the year, from using databases to analyzing websites and they will also look at copyright issues related to the musician or band they are researching. They will show the steps they took along the way, from keywords they used to how they determined the worthiness of the website they chose.