Welcome to the Sixth Grade Website!

"Honor the Lord with your wealth, with first fruits of all your produce."  Proverbs 3:9

In the upcoming weeks, we will be busy preparing for Catholic Schools Week.  Throughout our school, our theme is the continents and our class is Asia.  We will be discussing and celebrating ways in which we can radiate His love through faith, academics and service as part of our Catholic Schools Week goal not only here, but around the world.  Stay tuned for a list of events to come.

Saint Benedict Academy STEM Stars RIZE at Robotics Competition

On Saturday several of our fifth and sixth grade students attended the 2016 RIZE Robotics Holiday Invitational, a LEGO robotics competition in Manchester. Saint Benedict Academy sent three teams to the completion to compete in several robotic challenges, showcase their teamwork and leadership skills, and share their design and programming ideas with judges and other teams. We are excited to announce that our teams did extremely well winning several awards.  Team Robot Threat members, Matthew Clarner, Jordan Milus, Sean Ampongan took Bronze in both the Speedbot and Bankshot challenges. Team Chewbacca members, Maria Dufour, Kyle Ampongan, Alex Oyaronbi, Raner Chow took Bronze in the Bankshot challenge and Gold in the Speedbot challenge, 
and Team L.E.A.Q. emerged as one of the top teams at the event. Team L.E.A.Qmembers, Lydia Hartshorn, Ellie Clarner Quinn McGinley, and Angelo Bernazzani took home Gold in the Bankshot Challenge and the 1st place Leadership Award and 1st Place in Engineering Design.  All three teams are coached by Mrs.Clarner who is donating an enormous amount of time to prepare the teams for competition this season.In September 2015 Saint Benedict Academy integrated a Robotics Education program for 5th and 6th grade students. While the primary mission of this program is to introduce key engineering, programming, and design skills,
our Robotics program also asks the kids to focus on problem solving, practical application, and critical thinking. Throughout working in groups the students also learn communication, team-work, and time management skills.

In Religion, the Second Unit of our series, "We Believe," will focus on an enslaved people, a free people, a conquering people to a royal people who become quite prosperous as well as the importance of Advent and how the church prepares us for the celebration of Christmas. As a supplement to our series, we will be discussing Apologetics with the students to enhance their overall capacity to confront and respond to major intellectual and cultural challenges they face today.  Each Friday we will be engaging in discussions questions and reflections based on the Sunday Mass and Holy Day liturgy.

In Reading, we will be reading varied types of genre throughout "Scholastic Scope" and supplemental group books where we are integrating knowledge and ideas, using close-reading and critical thinking questions, vocabulary and implementation of the writing process.  Throughout the year we will be reading the novels "Shooting Kabul," "A Long Walk to Water," "Out of My Mind," and "Number the Stars"/"Klipfish Code."  We are currently reading "Out of My Mind."

 "Shooting Kabul" takes place in the summer of 2001 when a twelve-year old boy and his family make the difficult decision to illegally leave Afghanistan and move their family to the United States.  Adjusting to life in the United States isn't easy for this boy's family as the events of September 11th unfold.  When a photography competition with a grand prize trip to India is announced, the boy sees his chance to return home to find a lost family member.  But, can one photo really bring them home? This is a story of love, hope and perseverance based on real events experienced by the author's husband.

 The New York Times bestseller, "A Long Walk to Water" is a story about one of the "lost boys" of Sudan  and a girl who fetches water from a pond by making a two-hour walk twice a day.  Both characters are survivors and their stories go on to intersect with each other's in an astonishing and moving way. 

 "Out of My Mind" is the story of a brilliant girl who cannot speak or write.  She has an amazing photographic memory and refuses to be defined by cerebral palsy.  Her brave spirit and brilliant mind will change forever how anyone looks at someone with a disability.

Lastly, we will be reading the novel "Number the Stars" and/or "The Klipfish Code.  Both novels are middle school novels filled with excitement and suspense.  The twelve-year-old characters throughout both books experience the Nazi occupation in various areas throughout the Holocaust.  They learn about responsibility, secrecy and loyalty as they take risks to uphold their beliefs.  Both novels incorporate a deep respect for freedom held by their people and their careful attempts to thwart the power of the Nazis in their homelands.  The heart of the characters and the spirit of the young patriots make these both truly enjoyable and informative novels. 
In Writing, we will be working in our "Grammar for Writing" textbook along with other supplemental lessons throughout "Scholastic Scope" and other texts where we are learning various parts of speech and are able to incorporate it throughout frequent diagramming of sentence structure.  Throughout using these as well as our Reading series, we will incorporate what we are currently learning in Reading and apply this to varied types of writing and the writing process. 
At this time, the students have completed a Persuasive Writing Project-Creating a Business.  Once they decided on what type of business it will be, they were to write a letter to the bank looking for a loan and convincing them that the business will be successful.  The persuasive business letter contained an introduction, claim and support, opposing viewpoint in preparation of counterarguments, and a conclusion.  The students presented all of their ideas with a building, floor plan and business cards.  When they were not presenting, they assumed the role of bank loan officers.  I was so impressed with all of their ideas, advertising, ability to revise their proposals after listening to classmates' suggestions, and math problem solving skills applied to the financial aspects of applying for a loan, running a business, and hiring employees.

In Math, the students are learning about number theory and fractions which includes prime & composite numbers, greatest common factor, prime factorization, mixed numbers and improper fractions, renaming fractions as decimals and comparing and ordering rational numbers.

In Spelling the students learn words at the beginning of the week and the patterns the words follow such as Latin and Greek Roots as well as the students choosing supplemental words.  The students will be responsible for completing the packets for homework.  Packets will be handed in on Friday and they should be prepared for a weekly test on Friday as well.
I am responsible for teaching both the 5th and 6th Grade Science Classes while Mrs. Timpe teaches both grades for Social Studies.  This is an excellent opportunity for the students to experience switching classes as well as being prepared for class with the appropriate materials and assignments. 

Each Friday the 5th and 6th Grade Classes will be meeting to take part in a Lego Robotics Program sponsored by Dan Hughes (also known as "Dan the Lego Man") who works at numerous public schools throughout the area as part of the New Hampshire Lego League.  We will be learning a great deal from him-not only Robotics, but also team collaboration, problem solving, critical and analytical thinking and applying the Scientific Method.  The kids love working with Dan and look forward to every Friday and what he has in store for them!

The Fifth Grade Class is investigating types of simple machines and how they make work easier by changing the effective size or direction of a force.  As part of this unit, we will be visiting the Montshire Museum of Science and taking part in a workshop called "Reinventing the Wheel."

The Sixth Grade Class is beginning to investigate physical and chemical changes, atomic structure, elements, compounds and mixtures and the differences between them in addition to acids and bases and the pH scale.

*Please refer to the Fifth Grade Website to see what your children will be learning in Social Studies.
If you ever have any questions, please feel free to email me or write me a note.  I am also happy to meet with you at a time which would be convenient for both of us.  Thank you once again for sharing with me the opportunity to teach your children and the blessings each and every one of them brings with them to share.
God Bless,
Mrs. LaPalme

Additional Information:

All students need BOOTS and winter gear every day. 

Important Dates:

Progress Reports go home January 18th.

Thursday, January 24-Field Trip to Montshire Museum of Science, Norwich, VT touring the museum as well as taking part in a workshop "Reinventing the Wheel"

Thursday, January 19-Spelling Bee Grades 4-6 @ 12:45

January 29-February 5- Catholic Schools Week!!!!  Stay tuned for events. :)