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What's Happening in the Sixth Grade: January 2016

What's Happening in the Sixth Grade: January 2016
Posted on 01/19/2016
The sixth grade did a great job transitioning to our new building. Students have really stepped up and have taken ownership in their new building. Sixth graders have already gotten into their new routines after only two full weeks at our new school.

In math, students are working on ratios, rates, and percents. Students have been shocked by some of the statistics that they have been looking at through their mathematical lens. The wealth distribution in America was particularly shocking to students. The graph below shows the statistics and percentages that students analyzed in class. With their new knowledge of rates, ratios, and percentages we hope students are better informed about the world around them and can make decisions now that can impact how these statistics look in their future.

We have been studying the rise of agriculture in class for the past 2 weeks. To enrich our unit, we attended a field trip at the Harvard Museum of Semitic History and the Peabody Museum of Ethnology and Archaeology. We have just started out next unit titled Race: The Power of an Illusion. We will explore the topic of race in hopes of being able to better understand and answer the question "is there a scientific basis for race?"

In 6th grade science, students are developing models that show what happens to molecules in different phases and at different temperatures. Students have explored the periodic table of elements and built molecular models. Using their own personal experiences, students identify ways that molecules naturally respond to the environment.

In ELA, we are working on our nonfiction unit. This unit is designed to give students a broad range of experience with reading, comprehending, and analyzing nonfiction texts. Over the course of the unit, students will read widely in a variety of nonfiction text types. They will learn to identify and analyze the elements of nonfiction. In addition, they will explore the authorís purpose and motivation in writing a particular piece of nonfiction. Throughout the unit, students will build and refine an identity for themselves as readers of nonfiction. All the while, we will get our nonfiction texts from the Civil Right era. In the concluding phase of the unit, students will write have an opportunity to write about their experiences and growth as a reader of nonfiction. This phase allows them to articulate how they approach nonfiction reading now that they have studied it extensively. I am encouraging students to pick nonfiction texts about the countries your families are from, heritage, and/or families for independent reading.