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Curriculum

SIXTH-GRADE CURRICULUM

Welcome to our new school year together. I look forward to helping your children as they adjust to the challenges that sixth grade presents. The following  are outlines, texts and supplemental activities we will use in class as we move our students forward in meeting the school’s Student Learning Expectations. Teachers and staff will work to help students become spiritually grounded, self-aware, and academically responsible.



RELIGION: Ms. Middleton

Text
  • Faith First (Resources For Christian Living, 2007)
  • Bible
          Additional Resources:

  • Journals
  • Faith formation videos/film
          
The Faith First program leads children to grow in their Catholic faith by teaching what we believe as Christians and how we can live out those beliefs. The program is created around three pillars: church doctrine, scripture, and the liturgical year. By interweaving ideas from each of these areas, Faith First provides students with a foundation that they can use to understand and create their faith, becoming spiritually aware individuals.

Each unit is divided into chapters that reflect the three areas of emphasis. Activities in each chapter provide both students and their families with a chance to reflect on what has been learned.

Further Study:  Mass, formal and informal prayer, sacraments, saints, Ten Commandments, formation of conscience, respect for others (our world), the Church, vocations, scripture, special seasonal and liturgical celebrations.

Experiences: classroom prayer, class and school prayer services, mass, reconciliation, and outreach.



FAMILY LIFE: Ms. Middleton

Text
  • Growing Within, Changing Without (Brown Publishing, 1994)
  • What to Expect When Expecting
Film
  • In the Womb (National Geographic, 2005)
Family Life education will be integrated throughout the religion program. The goal of this program is to help students become more self-aware in the daily lives. Topics discussed will include family and friend relationships, sexuality and responsibility. Material from the Safe Environment for Children project will also be covered in Family Life. Family Life instruction will begin in September. 



SCIENCE: Mrs. Gialis

Holt Science & Technology, Earth Science (2007) Holt, Rinehart, Winston, (Grades 6–8)

The focus of Science in sixth grade is Earth and Space Science. We will be using Holt Science & Technology which is designed with new activities and visual resources.  The recently revised middle school science program includes new supplementary resources designed to reach students of all abilities.  Numerous labs, hands-on activities, and interdisciplinary connections show students how science interconnects in their world.  Grading is based on a combination of the following:

    • Homework (formative)
    • Classwork (formative)
    • Participation/Collaboration (formative)
    • Skill Building (formative)
    • Published Writing - Science notebooks/Completed Labs (summative)
    • Tests/Quizzes (summative)
    • Exams/Projects -“Invention Convention”  (summative) 

Formative

25%

Summative

75%

The science program has been designed to create a new focus on learning theories that help students grasp science in a meaningful way.  The research-proven strategies and materials will help make an even more relevant and effective science program for middle school students.  The goal is to develop scientifically literate students.         

OBJECTIVES:

·       Understanding of important science concepts, processes, and ideas.

·       Use of higher order thinking skills.

·       Ability to solve problems and apply scientific principles.

·       Commitment to environmental protection.

·       Interest in independent study of scientific topics.

·       Social skills.

·       Communication skills.

·       Study skills.

 



MATH: Mrs. Twomey

Text:  Mathematics (Scott Foresman, Addison Wesley, 2005) 

Students will explore the wonder of mathematics while studying topics such as equations, decimals, fractions, number theory ratios, proportions, percent, geometry, & measurement.  Every day students will problem solve while working on “The Problem of the Day.” 

Common Core has been implemented to provide your child with the deepest understanding of the following strands:


6-8 Strands

Ratios and Proportional Relationships

Number System

Expressions and Equations

Geometry

Statistics and Probability 


To achieve these goals,  students will use a variety of materials including textbooks, ancillary materials, and resources .  Some topics may have shifted from grade to grade to allow time to practice for mastery. Students will additionally demonstrate a variety of approaches to mathematical practices. Emphasis will be given to developing thinking, reasoning, and attending  to precision Individual needs of students will be concretely addressed.  Team and group work will also be used to explore different strategies for problem solving. 

GRADING FOR MATH

      SUMMATIVE – 75% - INCLUDES:

  • 35% TESTS
  • 25% QUIZZES
  • 15% PROJECTS
       FORMATIVE – 25% - INCLUDES

  • CLASSWORK
  • PARTICIPATION / COLLABORATION
  • SKILL BUILDING
  • HOMEWORK



LITERATURE- Ms. Plante 

We are lucky in Literature. Just open a book and you’re in another world! In sixth grade, students will begin their journey to formally understand and appreciate the written word by first learning the elements of literature and applying it to their reading by evaluating a range of different texts—short stories, poetry, novels, and non-fiction selections. We will make connections with the text (text to self, text to text, text to world) in order to deepen our appreciation of the arts, and ultimately make lasting memories of how reading a good story can make an imprint on our lives.  

We will learn and practice skills of finding textual evidence, making inferences, identifying author’s purpose, rooting out figurative language, using context clues, in addition to other skills tailored to their needs. For writing, we will work on creative, reflective, analytical, and comparative writing assignments with 4-point rubrics. In addition, we will work on note-taking skills and use graphic organizers to break down lengthy or difficult texts.

We will read and discuss in class; however, homework will often be to read or evaluate the text at home. Students will have three Independent Reading assignments, which are project-based and will include a short book review. Most of the reading will be done at home but some time in class will be devoted to Silent Sustained Reading. This long-term assignment will develop their planning and time management skills. At home, it is important to give them guidance on the reading level and content of their IR selections while keeping in mind their interests. Ask them questions about their book in order to activate their understanding and appreciation. Please feel free to email nplante@csdo.org for any questions or concerns.

Anthology:        Literature Common Core Edition  (Prentice Hall, 2013)

Novels:          

             Phantom Tollbooth, Norton Jeste

             A Wrinkle in Time, Madeline L’Engle  

             Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry, Mildred D. Taylor         



LANGUAGE ARTS  - Ms. Middleton (Writing & Grammar) / (Vocabulary)

      English text

 Houghton Mifflin English (Houghton Mifflin, 2004)

  Additional Resource: The Shurley Method (Brenda Shurley, 1995)

 

      Vocabulary text:

  Vocabulary –Common Core Enriched (Sadlier-Oxford 2013)

 The fundamental principles of the English Program include: reading, writing, listening, speaking, thinking and     language study. Grammar, composition, spelling and vocabulary will be strongly emphasized. 

In the study of grammar, students will work toward mastery of sentence structure and an understanding of the parts of speech. Practical use of grammar will be emphasized in order to enhance student writing. Each week will end with an assessment; chapter test will be at the end of the chapter. 

The Sadlier-Oxford vocabulary workbook is successful in guiding students systematically in their vocabulary growth.Vocabulary quizzes will be every two weeks covering one unit during the first semester. Assessments will vary: multiple choice, fill in the blank, sentence development and definitions.  Quizzes and exams will be often computer-based, and on paper.  Students will regularly be expected to display mastery of vocabulary words and terms by using them in their writing. Sixth and Seventh grade will be required to submit vocabulary study cards for each unit. 

Methods from the Bay Area Writing Project and the 6+1 Traits of Writing Program is incorporated with the English curriculum.  



HANDWRITING: All Teachers

Handwriting will not be strictly enforced. However, we will encourage students to practice their skills as often as possible. Final papers and projects will be typed.

 



SOCIAL STUDIES:  Ms. Middleton

Text
  • A Message of Ancient Days (Houghton Mifflin Publishing, 1991)
  • Additional Resources : Film, Research, Ancient Literature through various forms of media.
The curriculum for sixth grade is Ancient Civilization. Students will explore how civilizations began and how they progressed through time. The emphasis is the impact of ancient time on the present. Students will identify and assess the responsibilities and gifts each civilization bestowed upon the world. 

The text will also be supplemented with outside resources. Areas covered include: history, geography, map reading, charts,and interpretation of original documents.



OTHER ACADEMIC AREAS

SPANISH: Senor Nunez
PHYSICAL EDUCATION: Mr. Profis
COMPUTER: Mrs. Nuti
MUSIC: Mrs. Contreras
ART:  Meet the Masters (Parents)


The weighting for Social Studies, Religion, Science, Literature, English and Spanish is as follows:

          SUMMATIVE, 75%:
TESTS/QUIZZES 25%
EXAMS/PROJECTS 25%
PUBLISHED WRITING 25%

FORMATIVE, 25%:
CLASSWORK
PARTICIPATION / COLLABORATION
SKILL BUILDING
HOMEWORK



HOMEWORK POLICY

The focus of homework is review in order to increase understanding. The benefits of homework also include: better retention and knowledge of material, critical thinking, and information processing. 

Homework will be required each week night (Monday-Thursday). Each teacher of the sixth, seventh and eighth grade team calculates homework times and assignments so as not to overburden students. Because of variations in ability levels and motivation, students may take more or less time to complete these assignments. 

*Students are expected to turn in assignments on time. If an assignment is late, the teacher may lower its final grade or keep the student in during recess to complete it.

*****
PLEASE notify me immediately if you notice your child having any difficulty in any area of his/her homework study. I will likewise do the same.



CLASS WORK

Class work, quizzes, and tests will be graded by each subject area teacher. Work will be sent home for parental and student review/correction at the end of each week. Graded work should be reviewed by both students and parent(s). SIGNATURES WILL NOT BE REQUIRED ON CORRECTED PAPERS UNLESS OTHERWISE SPECIFIED. Parents should ask their child frequently to see corrected papers. Papers are often left in desks, folders or backpacks and never reviewed by parents.



MAKE-UP WORK

When a child is absent from school, a student will be responsible for writing down missing assignments and collecting handouts for him/her. It will be the responsibility of the absentee student to make up all missing assignments in the time agreed upon with each teacher. It is necessary to contact the school office before 10:00 AM to have a student’s assignments available if you wish to pick them up in the school office at the end of the day. 

It is important to remember that absence adversely affects your child’s performance in school. 
Students that miss school due to vacation plans are responsible for completing any work that they miss. Students must meet witheach of their instructors upon returning to school to find out what they have missed.



ENRICHMENT

Enrichment activities will be planned and scheduled throughout the school year. Field trips will be planned and announced well in advance. I will ask for parent helpers on both field trip days and special in-school enrichment projects. Guest speakers and other forms of enrichment will enhance our curriculum this school year.



CLASSROOM GOALS

In order for students to fulfill their potential, they must have a classroom environment in which they can learn and we can teach. I emphasize four general rules in sixth grade to guide student behavior:

Respect: Students are to respect both themselves and others
Responsibility: Students are held accountable for their actions
Courtesy: Students are to be courteous in their dealings with others
Cooperation: Students are to work with each other and others in the school community towards various goals.



STUDENT BEHAVIOR

Students are expected to display positive behavior and stay on task during class time.  Please review the discipline handout previously distributed, signed and returned.




COMMUNICATION HOME

A weekly class letter will be uploaded onto our class website informing parents of sixth grade news including academics, class projects and upcoming events.
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