In math, we are currently working on solving equations and inequalities. We have begun working in teams to collectively work on mastering learning math standards using a system called SCRUM. The idea behind SCRUM is that we use a SCRUM board to visually show how as a team, groups of students are completing assignments and passing math standards quizzes. Students have an elected captain of each team and check in with each other on their progress towards mastering math standards. Our hope is that students learn to be more self sufficient and gain a greater sense of intrinsic motivation in preparing students for 7th grade.
In social studies, students have been researching and debating the question is "Hammurabi's code just?" Yesterday, in class each student was able to stand before the class in teams of three and debate the question. As their peers watched the debates, they were able to "live" tweet what was happening in class during the debate. Above is a snapshot of the tweets!
The Putnam Avenue 6th grade scientists have been identifying biotic and abiotic factors in ecosystems, building food webs and tracking the transfer of energy through trophic levels, and investigated the structures and functions of numerous organisms. They are now applying their growing knowledge of ecosystem dynamics to the ecosystems of EcoMUVE, a program has two similar virtual island ecosystems. In this program, students must solve the mystery of why visitors have stopped visiting one of the islands, but continue visiting another. They are digging deep into data tables, practicing graph making and reading, and creating hypotheses that are backed by only the most convincing ecological data. Concurrently, students are working on their "You Are The Scientists" projects every Friday. In this project, students independently pursue answers to their own research questions about biology or geology and construct presentations to be done in class in June.
In ELA, we are currently working on a Literary Analysis Unit. The purpose of this unit is to lay the foundation for future literary analysis in middle school and beyond, while building on the character work started in the Elements of Fiction Unit. After examining short stories through read aloud and whole class conversation, we will individually read appropriately leveled short stories, discussing them in small groups. After forming thoughts around character development, we will develop a thesis statement for a formal essay and begin to collect and analyze text evidence. This will culminate in learning essay structure, with a particular emphasis on paragraph structure, and the composition, revision, and editing of a formal literary analysis essay.