6th Grade Home Page

4/19/24 Update

U.S. History: We’re now deep into our study of World War II. We have been taking lots of notes, as well as reading and discussing various speeches, such as FDR’s Four Freedom’s speech and Eisenhower’s D-Day speech, along the way. We are now memorizing all 50 states, which students will need to know both for the retrieval this Friday, April 19th, and for the WWII test on Tuesday, April 30th. You can help your student by quizzing them on their map and their flashcards!


Science: We are gearing up for the Science Fair on May1st! Your scholar should already have a strong idea (with parental approval), 2 background references, and be working on their research paper. Going into next week they should be conducting theri experiments and gathering results!


Latin I: Students have continued reading their Labyrinthus novella, learning about how Ariadna will find the solution to the maze of the Labyrinth. They have also been working on the passive voice, both for the present and imperfect tense. We have especially been focusing on asking and answering questions in Latin, as well as translating, so be prepared for students to come home needing to read a part of their book to you, translating it into English!


Art: Students have just completed their still life drawings of Plants & Animals in color, and we are transitioning into portraiture currently which will culminate in a self-portrait.

6th Grade Links

School Readiness Checklist:

     Supplies, Books, Uniforms, Fees, etc

Lesson Review Schedule

Test and Major Assignment Calendar

6th grade Syllabi

Parent Ambassadors

Additional questions, reach out to your Parent Ambassadors (emails linked below), they are all happy to help!!! 

Kristin Hirst

Patricia Maldonado

Aja Caldwell

Cristina Rizk

Jaime Kelly

6th Grade Events

Quarter One, Every Tuesday: Mentor Tuesdays (Lyceum)

8/8  New Student Orientation & Open House 

8/10  First Day of School

8/10  Coffee with the Headmaster (all grades)

8/11  Fall Sports Kick Off 

8/14-17  Benchmark Testing

8/19  6th Grade Social (after school)

8/24  6th-7th Curriculum Night

8/30  Fall Picture Day

9/13  6th Gr Quarterly Commons

10/23-27 Benchmark Testing 

10/27 Literary Character Day

11/2  6th Gr Parent Coffee @ Luci's

11/3  Field Day

11/9  6th Gr Cowboy Breakfast 

11/15  6th Gr Quarterly Commons

12/6 Fine Arts Night (R&R)

1/16-26  Benchmark Testing

1/26  Mentor lunch w/mentees

2/2  Field Day

2/7  Class Picture Day & Spring Pictures

3/1  Mentor lunch w/mentees

3/28  6th Gr Field Trip

4/2-4  AASA Testing

4/16  6th Grade Science Fair

5/15  Fine Arts Night (R&R)

5/17  End of the Year Awards

4/5/24 Update

U.S. History: We are starting our Unit on World War II next week, which will take us to the end of the month (with a test on April 30th). We will mostly focus on the US’s involvement in the war, from its neutrality, to Pearl Harbor, to D-Day, to VE-Day! We will be finishing our memorization of the US states this Unit, so you can help your student by quizzing them on their states memory.


Music: This week we have been reviewing beat functions and using notation, identifying the tonal center and corresponding solfège syllables, and rehearsing Concert Repertoire in preparation for Fine Arts Night. Students should continue rehearsing at home and completing and their practice logs.


Science: After we wrap up AASA testing this week, we will be moving onto the science fair! The science fair will be on May 1st. Your student will be bringing home more information in the coming days, keep an eye out!


Latin I: Students in Latin I have begun their new novella, Labyrinthus, in which they explore the story of Ariadna, Icarus and the Minotaur. They have also learned the passive voice in Latin and have been practicing it both with present and imperfect verbs. 


Math: These past few weeks in math have been devoted to preparing for the state exam for 6th grade math (AASA). Not only have we focused on reviewing the computational aspects of the content, but also practiced extensively on building up our conceptual knowledge of the course content. Looking ahead to the next few weeks, we will be continuing our work with 3-D geometry and continue to strengthen our conceptual knowledge of this year's content.


Art: We are developing an understand of the relationship between color and value. Students are studying a variety of objects and drawing them in full color to practice these principles. 


Lit/Comp: Students will be finishing up The Wind in the Willows this week. Please prepare to send your student with the next book, Shakespeare’s Midsummer Night’s Dream. We are so excited to act out this classic play in class and have some fun! The students will continue to complete multi-paragraph writing assignments and we would ask for your continued help with editing at home.

2/9/24 Update

U.S. History: We are now starting our Unit on Progressivism and the United States’ role in World War I, which will continue until the end of the quarter, with the test on Tuesday, March 5th. This era of US History particularly evokes a lot of interesting questions, so we will be integrating some more textbook reading and writing assignments during this second half of the quarter. Feel free to read the assigned readings along with your student!


Music: Students are beginning to look at notation (both rhythmic and tonal). Students are applying learned tonal and rhythmic patterns on notation.


Science: This week we wrapped Unit 5 on Matter with our big unit test. We will now be moving onto Unit 6 on Atoms and the Periodic Table.


Latin I: Students are continuing to read their new novella, Piso Ille Poetulus (Piso the Little Poet). Piso is finding a way to bond with his father, a solider who does not like poetry, by writing a patriotic poem about Rome. Because Piso has been traveling around Rome to view Roman sites which he can write about, we have also been able to discuss Roman architecture (including some of the Ancient Wonders of the World). Alongside the novel, students are continuing to practice how to decline nouns and conjugate verbs.


Math: These past few weeks we have been working extensively in the world of algebra (Unit #8). We have practiced immensely one of the most common techniques used in algebra, the infamous "Inverse Operation." As a reminder, students have a quiz or test each Thursday in class and should be working on their Study Guides every Wednesday evening to prepare for the quiz/test.


Art: Students are moving forward from their abstract art projects and on to understanding the relationship between value and form. We are simplifying 3D objects into their shape and value and then using collaging to recreate the composition.


Lit/Comp: Students are continuing to read The Adventures of Tom Sawyer in class and at home. It would be beneficial for you to listen to your child read aloud often. This helps increase fluency and correct any errors they may be making. We encourage family read-alouds even through high school as it fosters a love of stories and a shared experience.  

1/26/24 Update

U.S. History: We are starting Reconstruction and the Gilded Age this week and next – please ask your students how the Gilded Age received its name and why. We will be reciting the Gettysburg Address on Monday, January 29th – we have been working on this since the start of the quarter so I’m excited to see your students’ hard work on that pay off!


Music: Students have covered concepts such as: beat, rhythm, pentachord, and pitches. Students should be reviewing their daily bellwork and notes to be prepared for their weekly retrievals. Homework continues to be of high importance in order to help develop aural skills. Students will have their first Unit exam on February 1st.


Science: In science class this week we took our first quiz of the semester on the first part of our matter unit. Next, we will be learning about gas laws.


Latin I: We are working our way through our new novella, Piso Ille Poetulus, which is about a young Roman boy who dreams of being a poet like Virgil. Alongside the novella, we are practicing our use of imperfect or past tense verbs and figuring out how to use them in sentences. We are also talking about sports and instruments in Latin, which has given us an opportunity to talk about how we come up with a new Latin word for something the Romans did not have, such as baseball or tennis.


Math:   These past few weeks we completed our unit on negative numbers and the Cartesian Coordinate System, while also taking time to review and prepare for the Quarter 3 Galileo Math Exam (aka Benchmark Testing). Students linked concepts covered in the 1st semester to real-world applications, while also developing important test taking strategies to be successful on standardized based testing.


Lit/Comp: Sixth graders will continue reading The Adventures of Tom Sawyer. If reading is assigned at home and your student is struggling, feel free to have them read along with an audio book. You can find the chapters and audio at this website. They will write an analytical paragraph in the next week as well. They will learn how to write and support a thesis using examples and information from the book.

All families from 6th - 8th grade are invited to our upcoming High School Info Night! 


High School Info Night will present families the opportunity to attend sessions on these topics:


If you know any families currently outside our school who are considering Cicero Prep for high school, please invite them to join us!

Benchmark Testing 1/22-25

To all middle-school families,

Next week we are administering our third standardized benchmark tests of the year. These are designed to determine this year's growth for student mastery of Math and Language Arts. This will allow teachers to emphasize needed topics and identify students that will benefit from extra supports, especially as we approach state testing in April.

Students can best prepare for these assessments by getting plenty of rest and remembering to try their personal best on every question. As much as possible, please avoid scheduling appointments and other absences during this time in order to allow for a consistent testing session for your student.

Thank you for supporting your student through the testing process!

1/12/24 Update

U.S. History: The semester started on Monday with the first shot of the Civil War at Fort Sumter in 1861. We will be studying the Civil War (including some activities about letters from actual soldiers) and learning 12 more US states until the Unit 6 Test on Tuesday, January 23rd. Students are also memorizing the Gettysburg Address, for recitations on Monday, January 29th. Please ask your students to tell you what they learned about in History each day, and ask them to recite for you the lines of the Gettysburg Address they have memorized so far (we will be working backwards)!


Music: This week students reviewed the class syllabus, classroom procedures, and homework structure for the class. The main conceptual focus has been Beat, Simple Beat, Compound Beat, and Major/Minor Pentachord. We will be taking retrievals weekly on Fridays.


Science: We are kicking off Quarter 3 in 6th grade science with our unit on Matter and its properties! Your students took their first retrieval this week and will have one just about every week from here on out so make sure they are reviewing and getting all of their homework done!


Latin I: Students are entering the new year with a new novella, Piso Ille Poetulus. If your student does not have a copy of the book, please make sure they have one by next week. They will also be learning how to conjugate verbs in the imperfect tense and continuing to build their stock of nouns, adjectives, conjunctions and verbs. 


Math:  As we start the new year, and new semester, we officially begin to transition our arithmetic to not just working with positive numbers – but now with negative numbers as well. Unit #7 will focus on negative numbers as well as graphing coordinates on the Cartesian Plane. 


Art: Students are currently learning about how a point extends into a line and how lines can become shapes and letters. Both form the bases of communicating thoughts and ideas.


Lit/Comp: This quarter the sixth graders are reading The Adventures of Tom Sawyer. Please ensure that your child has their own copy and that they are bringing it to school. In class, students are learning about figurative language and are on the lookout for it in everything we read. They will also continue diagramming. At home, it would be helpful for parents to cross-check students planners with the physical homework they have completed. Also, it would be helpful to do a bit of review with them each night, particularly if they have struggled with tests and retrievals in Semester 1.

12/1/23 Update

U.S. History: We are studying for our Unit 5 Test on Tuesday, December 5th on Madison to Lincoln. You can help your student by quizzing them on their notes, flashcards, and study guide. After that, we will be studying for the History final for the rest of the quarter! There will be a big study guide that includes optional extra practice taken from previous assessments. Please encourage your student to work on that Study Guide every night once they have it so they feel confident for the final exam.


Music: Students are currently practicing their repertoire that will be performed on December 6th. Singers should still be rehearsing at home in order to solidify  the learning of their music. Students are expected to apply concert etiquette: performer and audience, as part of their growing, learning, and appreciation for the arts! Students are expected to arrive at 5pm on December 6th!


Science: Your students just wrapped up their test on motion as a part of our physics unit! Soon the grades will be in. Moving forward, we are learning about Sir Isaac Newton and his contributions to science, mainly his three laws of motion. Then we will start preparing for finals!


Latin I: Students have finished their novella, Familia Mala, and have learned how to conjugate the verb "to be" in the future, present and past: I am, I was, I will be, etc. During these last few weeks before we begin reviewing for the exam, they are reading a short story about Romulus and Remus, the founders of Rome, and their mother Rhea Silvia. They will also be learning how nouns and adjectives change their form in Latin depending on whether they are the subject of the sentence, the object, or come after a preposition.


Math:  We are quickly approaching the end of the quarter and the end of the semester. Currently, students are finishing up Unit #6 -- Operations with Fractions. Once completed, we will be devoting the week of 12/11 - 12/16 to reviewing and preparing for the Final Exam (which will cover Units #1 - Units #6). 

11/17/23 Update

History: This week we are studying the divisive President Andrew Jackson, as well as a particularly dark part of this country’s history with the Indian Removal Act and the Trail of Tears. Please continue conversations about these events at home with your students, and encourage them to work every night on their Andrew Jackson Writing Assignment, which is due Tuesday, November 21st.


Math:  We just completed Unit #5 (Concepts of Fractions) and will now finish our semester completing Unit #6 (Operations with Fractions). As a reminder, students have a weekly quiz/test every Thursday in class and the study guide they receive in class is the best resource for preparing for these weekly quizzes/tests. 

11/2/23 Update

History: We are finishing up our Unit 4 on the Constitution and Founding Fathers of America, with our Test on Tuesday, November 4th! You can help your student by quizzing them with their notes, flashcards, study guide, and map (so far we have only learned the first 26 states to enter the Union). Next week, we will start our Unit 5: Jackson to Lincoln, during which we will have a writing assignment about Andrew Jackson, due Tuesday, November 21st.


Math: Returning back from Fall Break, we started our 4th unit on Number Theory (one of my favorite areas of arithmetic). Students explored the benefits of prime numbers and how we utilize them to represent other numbers, as well as their benefits in finding the greatest common factor (GCF) and the least common multiple (LCM). Starting next week, we venture into our extensive journey into the world of fractions. 


Latin I: Students are still working their way through our novella Familia Mala, and have now read 8 chapters. They are also gaining valuable insights into grammar as we read, and will continue to spend a class or two per week working on verb conjugation. They have now studied four different conjugations of verb and now are ready to learn how to conjugate irregular verbs like the verb "to be" / esse in the coming weeks.


Science: Over the past two weeks, we have moved into Unit 4 on PHYSICS! While we are just brushing the surface of this wonderful topic, we are currently learning about the difference between a scalar and a vector quantity and how velocity, distance, and time are all intertwined.

10/20/23 Update

Latin I: Students are starting off the quarter with a week of food and drink vocabulary. They will be interviewing each other to learn how to express likes and dislikes, as well as what kinds of food goes with what kinds of drinks, and what time of day is best for each food and drink. In the next few weeks we will be resuming our novella Familia Mala, where they will get to find out what happens next with the infant Jupiter and eventually his own offspring. 

 

U.S. History: This week we begin our Unit on the Young Republic, studying the beginnings of the American government, from the Articles of Confederation, to the Constitution, to the first three Presidents of the United States. Students will be memorizing the Preamble to the Constitution, which they will recite on Tuesday, October 24th. You can help your student by encouraging them to practice their recitation with you and to study their flashcards.

 

Science: Now that we are back form a wonderful break, we are continuing Unit 3 on measurement and unit conversions. The Unit 3 test will be on Wednesday 10/24, so make sure you're ready!

 

Art: 6th grade Art students are entering the world of color theory. They have created color wheels and will explore how color operates in changing lighting conditions. 


Math: These past few weeks in class we finished up our unit on Decimals and have recently started our next unit on Number Theory. Students will be exploring the various ways we organize and classify numbers, while also exploring the relationships they share. Students have also started working on their Quarterly Commons Project: Math in Nature.


Lit/Comp: This week, students have been reading short stories and learning about literary elements. They have been reviewing and practicing grammar and diagramming as well. Next week, on Wednesday, October 25, students will begin reading Shane. Your student must have their own copy of the book and bring it to class each day.

Quarter 1 Summaries

Latin I: Students were introduced to the Latin language first through verbal commands and simple nouns such as animals and toys. When their vocabulary developed, we began our first short story about a cat looking for a monkey. In this short story, we began our transition from commands like "Run!" to indicative, present tense verbs like "I run". In the last few weeks, we studied the Roman pantheon, and began our first novella, practicing reading aloud and translation. 

 

U.S. History: To begin our study of U.S. History, we discussed the history and cultures of Native Americans living on the American lands before the arrival of the Europeans. Next, we studied the circumstances that led to the Europeans’ discovery and exploration of America. We traced the development and expansion of British colonies up to the French & Indian War and through the aftermath, as tension brewed in the colonies against England. We studied the Revolutionary War itself, paying close attention to many of the most significant events in its duration, such as the meeting of the Continental Congresses and the drafting of the Declaration of Independence, in addition to key battles of the war. Throughout these studies this quarter, we analyzed, discussed, and wrote about many historical documents directly from the time periods we were studying to develop a comprehensive view of the events.

 

Science: We began this quarter with readings from Aristotle and Sir Frances Bacon to inform our understanding of observation and reasoning. We learned about logical fallacies that we need to avoid as scientists. Then we moved onto the scientific method, models and variables, which are going to help us tremendously when we get to our science fair projects at the end of the year. Finally, we began our unit on measurement and learned about how to measure length with rulers, different systems of measurement and how to convert between units.

 

Art: In “Introduction to Fine Arts” this quarter we followed a progression from one principle of picture making to another. We progressed from the smallest principle, point, then extended that point to make a line. Lines enclose upon themselves to make a shape. Shapes are the most essential principle of picture making because they are flat, and all pictures are an arrangement of flat shapes. From here we looked at the beginnings of building skill in shading to create an illusion of three-dimensional solids on a flat surface. Your student looked at examples of drawings and paintings from Art History that fit into each unit. So far, your student has seen works by Raphael, Michelangelo, Leonardo da Vinci, Diego Velazquez, Jean-August-Dominique Ingres, Jean Leon Gerome, Edgar Degas, Pierre Bonnard, Wassily Kandinsky, and Henri Matisse.

 

Lit/Comp: The first literature book of the 6th grade year was Anne of Green Gables. The students greatly enjoyed reading about Anne’s tricky situations and they loved her quirky personality. We had lively discussions in class after sharing the experience of reading together. We learned about parts of speech and how to diagram simple sentences and sentences with prepositions. The students did a lot of writing this quarter, culminating in a formal paragraph assignment about the cause of Anne’s troubles. 


Math: Students have been introduced to operations with whole numbers, using variables appropriately, and started a brief foray into the decimal system. Students learned PEMDAS order of operations and the various properties that can be used to manipulate the operations of addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division. Students also learned how to solve simple equations and inequalities as well as how the aforementioned properties (particularly distributive) can be implemented to great effect. Lastly, students have been exploring the decimal system, the importance of base 10, and scientific notation.

9/29/23 Update

U.S. History: Tomorrow and Friday we will have our Patrick Henry recitations, which many of the students are excited for, so please encourage them to recite them to you at home as well! We will study for our Midterm test starting Monday, which will be heavy on Unit 3, with some review of Units 1 and 2 (including the colonies map). Thank you for helping your students study!


Lit/Comp: We are continuing to read Anne of Green Gables, and the students love hearing about all of Anne’s misadventures! They are learning to write fiction summaries and will begin writing summaries of informational and non-fiction texts. You can support your student by making sure their completed homework is aligned with what they have written in their planner each night.


Math: These past few weeks we have begun revisiting the world of decimals. Not only are we reviewing key operations (addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division), but we are also placing emphasis on the power of 10 and all its benefits. 


Science: In these past two weeks, we finished Unit 2 where we covered the Scientific Method, models, and variables. We are now in our 3rd Unit on measurement and units, where we will be learning about the Imperial System, Metric System, and how to convert between the two.


Latin I: In the past few weeks, students in Latin I have started reading their first book, Familia Mala (The Bad Family). They have studied the family tree of the Roman gods to prepare for this. They also have begun reading and speaking in full Latin sentences after receiving their first grammar lesson on present tense verbs. 

9/14/23 Update

Music: Students have taken Unit 1 test recently, and we are ready to move forward with note reading in class. In order to be successful students should feel comfortable determining simple/compound beat type, duple/triple/quadruple meter, and meter signatures. If students feel that they are not comfortable in these concepts, lesson review is recommended so that they do not struggle with Unit 2.


Art: Over the next few weeks 6th grade Art students will be focused in on value and form. These units will build the skills necessary to draw just about anything in their daily environment. 


U.S. History: This week we are starting our exciting Unit on the American Revolution, studying the founding of our country. We will be learning about great leaders in our country’s history as well as the documents they wrote, including, of course, the Declaration of Independence. We will also be memorizing Patrick Henry’s speech, “Give me Liberty, or give me Death!” You can help your student by asking them to practice this speech with you, and asking them what they learned about the story of the American Revolution each day.


Lit/Comp: We are continuing to read Anne of Green Gables, and the students love hearing about all of Anne’s misadventures! They are learning to write fiction summaries and will begin writing summaries of informational and non-fiction texts. You can support your student by making sure their completed homework is aligned with what they have written in their planner each night.


Math: These past few weeks we finished Unit #2, which focused on the concept of variables and one of the most common techniques to solve for them: Inverse Operation. We recently started our journey into Unit #3: Operations with Decimals. As a reminder, students have a weekly assessment every Thursday in class and their Study Guide is the best resource for preparing for these assessments. 


Science: Over the past two weeks we took our first exam and started our second unit on the scientific method, variables, and scientific models. Your students will be working on test correction over the next day or two, please encourage them to complete these to the best of their ability and attend lesson review so that they can get points back for the exam! 


Latin: Latin I students read their first short story last week and learned the names of the Roman gods, what animals are associated with each god/goddess, and what item/symbol they have. Next week we will be applying our vocabulary about the family of the Roman gods to our own families, and after that we will begin our first novella, Familia Mala.

Info Email for Quarterly Commons: https://conta.cc/3PuVnxU

9/1/23 Update

Music: In music we have introduced meter signatures and notation. Students will begin combining these elements with their rhythmic and tonal vocabulary in order to begin reading musical phrases. Students are expected to continue practicing their rhythmic and tonal patterns online, the link is on the student’s Weekly Practice Log. We hope to begin reading our Concert Music in the coming days with new learned material.


Art: Students are working through exercises in Beginning Drawing Atelier by Juliette Aristides. They are using governing shapes to build more complex pictures. In the next two weeks they will be starting the second extended project using blocked in shapes to create a picture! 


U.S. History: We have started our Unit on Colonization, studying the map, culture, and leaders of the original 13 colonies. You can help your student by encouraging them to study for the colonies map retrieval on Tuesday, September 5th as well as for the Unit 2 Test on Tuesday, September 12th.


Lit/Comp: We are continuing to read Anne of Green Gables. We will be focusing on summarizing fiction and non-fiction reading. Students have also begun diagramming sentences in class and for homework. If your student needs support in reading, writing, or grammar, please encourage them to attend Lesson Review.


Math: These past few weeks have been exciting in class. We finished up Unit #1, which focused primarily on operations of whole numbers, and have now started Unit #2: Using Variables. As a reminder, students have a weekly quiz (or test) every Thursday and the Study Guide is the BEST resource for preparing for that quiz/test. Don't forget to review their planners each day to ensure students are starting out the year in an organized manner.


Science: Over the past week and a half, we have been reading and learning about a lot of philosophy. From Aristotle to Sir Francis Bacon, we have learned about classifying things using Aristotle's Four Causes, writing syllogisms, and now we are onto logical fallacies. Scholars took their first two retrievals, and their first exam is quickly approaching. Let's make sure our scholars are reviewing those notes whenever they can to help with retention!


Latin: In the next couple of weeks, the students will be finishing up their base of Latin vocabulary so that we can move on to reading very short stories. After a few short stories, they will be ready to begin their first novella. We will be learning new vocabulary as we go, reading the stories all together and with partners, as well as answering questions about the stories for homework.

8/18/23 Update

Art: This week in 6th grade Art class students are working on the jobs and qualities of lines. In the next week we will be moving into our first extended drawing project. 


U.S. History: This week we are studying European exploration and arrival in the Americas. We have also been memorizing some countries in Europe, especially the ones the majority of explorers came from. We will be having our first test on the European map and the notes we have taken so far on Thursday, August 24th. You can help your student at home by quizzing them on their Europe map and their flashcards.


Lit/Comp: This week we are continuing to read Anne of Green Gables. Your scholar should be working on memorizing the poem “Nothing Gold Can Stay” (to be recited August 24). You can help your scholar at home by asking them to recite the poem.


Math: During the first few weeks of math class, we will focus on Unit #1 (Operations with Whole Numbers) and will also be working on the following key areas for student success: Organization, Classroom Routine/Expectations, and Growth. To strengthen these key areas, students will be receiving daily specific instructions with organizing their classroom binders, establishing proper etiquette in the classroom, and the importance of homework corrections/reflection. 


Science: This week’s science classes have been filled with great discussions of Aristotle and Dillard, where we learned about the importance of observing the world around us and asking questions. We also spent some time outside in the heat practicing the art of observation. It would be beneficial for your child to ensure that they are thoroughly reading the upcoming works by Aristotle and Bacon.


Latin: In Latin this week we have been learning all sorts of words and phrases. We have been walking around the room, picking up pencils and swords, and eating cats and dogs. I hope you have had the opportunity to look at the “Picture Dictionary” homework they have had since the start of school. This will help to give you a sense of these words and phrases in Latin. Friday, we have a retrieval, so after it is returned, please look over this with your child to see what words they recognize and what words they could practice some more.

Benchmark Testing 8/15-17

To all middle-school families,

Next week we are administering our first standardized benchmark tests of the year. These are designed to determine this year's starting baseline for student mastery of Math and Language Arts. This will allow teachers to emphasize needed topics and identify students that will benefit from extra supports.

Students can best prepare for these assessments by getting plenty of rest and remembering to try their personal best on every question. As much as possible, please avoid scheduling appointments and other absences during this time in order to allow for a consistent testing session for your student.

Thank you for supporting your student through the testing process!

Welcome from the 6th Grade Team!

Dear parents and guardians of 6th grade students, 


We hope your first week of school has been going well and we have been so excited to get to know your students! The virtue of responsibility is of high importance for 6th grade and we are delighted to be active members in shaping this virtue. Some grade level expectations are the following: be in proper uniform, bring all appropriate materials to class, keep a well organized binder, use school issued planner daily, and bring joy and curiosity to the subject! While the transition to middle school can be a difficult and scary one, we as your 6th grade team are here to support your student and foster these essential habits.  


Please visit this grade-level page for frequent updates from your teachers. We can’t wait to meet you all at Curriculum Night! Please don’t hesitate to reach out if you or your student have any questions or concerns. 


We wanted to take a minute to introduce ourselves to you: 


Chelsea Colliat | US History & Literature and Composition

I am a Great Hearts Graduate and knew ever since I graduated that I wanted to come back to Great Hearts to teach. I taught US History at Cicero before, but I am excited to teach Lit/Comp also this year. You can find me singing or humming wherever I go, and I also love playing piano, swing dancing, and riding my bike.


Chelsea Smith | US History & Literature and Composition 

This is my first year at Cicero Prep, but I have taught for eight years at the Archway level. My biggest hope is that my students walk away from my class with a love of good literature. When I’m not at school, I love reading and spending time with my husband and 3 year old daughter. We love attending the symphony, going to the theater, and visiting museums. 


Brighton Demerest-Smith | Intro to Fine Arts 

This is my 11th year with Great Hearts Academies. I have the privilege of serving as the Fine Arts Master Teacher at Cicero. Half the day I teach 6th grade Intro to Fine Arts and the other half I teach 11th and 12th grade Studio Art. I love teaching 6th grade because this class for me is a philosophy of art making. 6th graders are my people. I love guiding and helping them transition to prep. Outside of teaching I love gardening and making my own paintings. My wife and I both enjoy visiting museums, attending the symphony, and the opera together. 


Jeffrey Lucas | Mathematics 

This is my second year at Cicero Prep and I look forward to guiding students through a central theme here in our math department: the beauty of mathematics and the ability to think mathematically. In my spare time, I am a big fan of the Arizona Diamondbacks baseball team, and enjoy attending games to cheer them on whenever I can. Go Diamondbacks! 


Samuel Conner | Mathematics

Greetings! This is my third year teaching at Cicero Prep but first year tackling a mathematics class as my educational background is within biology and chemistry (although I am told that these subjects are related to mathematics…). I am yet another Great Hearts graduate within the Cicero Prep faculty and am privileged to have the opportunity to try and provide the high quality education which I was given in my youth. Outside of school I enjoy reading the classics, competing with friends in table-top board games, and pursuing creative writing ventures. 


Kendall Staring | 6th Grade Science

This will be my first year teaching 6th grade science with Cicero, but it is not my first experience with Great Hearts as I am a Great Hearts graduate myself. After I graduated, I went on to become an engineer, but I just couldn’t stay away from Great Hearts. Outside of class, and when it's not too hot, I enjoy hiking around our beautiful state!


Lewis Sherman | Latin

Salvete omnes! Hello all! I am a new Latin teacher here at Cicero. My background was in Greek and Latin, with a focus on Plato and medieval commentaries on his dialogues. Outside of the classroom, I fence épée and play tenor saxophone.


Abdiel Bernal | Intro to Music

I am thrilled to start my 11th year of teaching music (2nd year at Cicero Prep). I have a B.A. in Music Education (2013) and a M.A. in Curriculum and Instruction (2018) from Grand Canyon University. I enjoy spending time with family and friends, especially traveling with my wife and 3-year old son.

New Student Orientation

Join us on Tuesday, 8/8 for New Student Orientation!

Schedule & Details


Back to School Open House

The 6th Grade Team


Mr. Bonse - Latin

Mr. Hodge - Latin

Mr. Sherman - Latin

Ms. Colliat - History, Literature and Composition

Ms. Smith - History, Literature and Composition

Ms. Staring - Science, Math

Mr. Lucas - Math

Mr. Conner - Math

Mr. Bernal - Music

Mr. Pillado - Studio Art


Faculty & Staff Contact List