Instrumental Music 6 (Introductory and Advanced): The 6th grade ensembles will begin the awesome process of developing our ensemble skills as we begin playing together in the coming weeks! Our focus will shift from individual musicianship and technique to working together to create a musical experience as a group. This will expand the students’ skills from self-awareness and experience to ensemble-awareness, and will require the students to listen and adjust to one another as they work to play their music accurately and expressively.
Acting 6: The 6th grade acting students have just finished up their “Pirate Fairy Tale” project. We are now moving onto building individual stories in the upcoming “Neighborhood Stories” project. The project starts 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. We will end the year with a longer story generated by the students using all of the skills they have practiced throughout the semester.
Vocal Music 6: The 6th Grade choir students continue to explore vocal techniques and breath management as they embark on creating choral music together for the first time. Students are learning a Unison piece (“Galop”), a two-part piece (“Ol’ Dan Tucker”), and a three-part piece (“Kookaburra”).
Art 6: 6th grade artists are well into their comic project. This is a multi-lesson project that challenges the students to conceptualize form in space by designing a character that they have to render from multiple perspectives. We then learn about narrative sequencing and designing within a frame as they figure out how to visually represent a story in three to five frames. The final design is then inked in after we spend some time learning about the Japanese concept of Notan. It’s fantastic having the kids back in the art room. We have a clay project on the horizon.
PE 6: It is great to have the students back on campus running around and working with each other during our classes at SPARC. Our first two units back will be Volleyball and Speedminton. The students will learn the rules and strategies while practicing the necessary skills needed to play both of these sports. The students are discovering that even the workouts are more enjoyable to do when they are with their classmates.
Health and Wellness 6: We are launching into our work around race, racism and 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, we will begin our unit on puberty, focusing on physical, social and emotional changes. Ms. Hicks will also share related lessons about gender identity and sexual orientation. Throughout these lessons, students will continue to develop practices of mindfulness and self-care.
Science 6: In 6th grade science, students begin to work on their science research projects. Students have just finished up presenting their science research ideas and will form research groups in the next couple of weeks. After that, students will begin their research process by doing background research and writing an introduction to their project. Afterwards, students will collect their data or design and build their engineering projects starting in late April. This is a really fun process for students and a time for them to put into practice all of the research skills they have learned earlier this year.
French 6: The next couple of months will bring loads of new vocabulary, grammar structures, and culture. We will begin working with the structures that show gender and plurality in French—an important component of all romance languages. They will also practice using negation in French. We continue to discuss cultural comparisons and contrasts, especially with francophone music and francophone Africa. Toward the end of April, we will begin working in Unit 3, our final unit this year. Students will learn different ways to talk about school supplies, shopping, and prices. We’ll delve into how to tell time and look at school schedules in francophone countries. They will take a deep dive into how articles work, and how to choose the right one as well. Students will widely expand their communication skills this month and next when they tackle two of the four major verbs in French: avoir and être. We play games during class that help repeat common expressions and structures so that students can begin to determine what ‘sounds right.’ It’s a way we can hone skills while having fun.
Chinese 6: In Chinese 6 class, students will learn to exchange information on the days of the week and months; inquire about and describe the relative location of an item; as well as ask and answer questions regarding food and drink choices or preferences. For grammar, we are going to learn about using 在 to indicate relative location and degree adverbs 最 喜欢 and 了 to indicate change. Students will make a traditional Chinese sewing book online about themselves with the book creator app, which each will use to introduce their name, age, nationality, family members, school, and place they live etc. For the culture piece, students will learn about the difference between solar and lunar calendar; the four treasures of study; and the special symbolism in fruits and the role of food in Chinese society.
Spanish 6: Seeing most of the students in person has been great for learning and for fun! We have started Unit 4: The Hotel. This unit focuses on hotel vocabulary and the verb Tener (to have). This verb has many idiomatic uses in Spanish and it is an irregular verb. This will be a bit tricky for some students but we will get it down. We also have some silly songs to help memorize the conjugations of Tener. Later, we will do some role-playing to reserve and arrive at a hotel room.
Technology 6: The 6th grade Tech students have just finished their “Big Project,'' which was a project based on their own tech creation interests. The students worked in CoSpaces, Scratch, or MakeCode. Once we finish the critique and feedback phase we are going to begin a short 'interactive-storytelling' project and then finish up the semester working with Augmented Reality using the Merge Cube that is a part of the CoSpaces 3D content creation platform. Cospaces will allow the students to create animated and static 3D content that “lives “on the 3D cube. Ask your students to show you what they have been creating!
Pre-Algebra Prep 6: With fractions, decimals, properties and some algebraic foundations under their belts, these mathematicians are moving onto work with integers (positive and negative numbers) and absolute value. We will explore what integers are, how to compare them, work with all the operations and apply these concepts to fractions, decimals and more distributive property and order of operations. The beauty of math is how it all builds on what came before. As we approach the end of the year we will either do some ratio work or play with some statistical concepts.
Pre-Algebra 6: We are delving into all solving expressions using all operations with negative and positive integers, and absolute value. The trick is to remember all of the rules this involves. Following operations with, the students will add more rules to incorporate all operations involving rational numbers. With all of their knowledge from this year, the culmination will be solving linear functions.
Humanities 6: Being back in the classroom has afforded us the opportunity to dive into geography. Making maps of India, its neighbors, and its physical geography supports understanding of the partition of India, which is central to our current novel, The Night Diary. Students continue to track elements of literature, discuss character, plot, and writing style, and put themselves in the shoes of the story’s main characters during discussion activities in class. We look forward to finishing the book in mid-April, at which point we will explore Gandhi’s legacy. Meanwhile, Humanities students have also learned the basic tenets of Islam and have researched the scientific and cultural achievements and impact of the Abassid Dynasty. Research and notetaking, slide design, and presentation skills are the main areas of focus for the project. Ask your student about their topic and what they have learned!