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An Update from the 6th Grade: April 2016

An Update from the 6th Grade: April 2016
Posted on 04/13/2016

In Math, we have continued to work on how we work in teams. Developing leadership within teams has been a point of emphasis in Math. We want students to not only be able to understand the mathematical concepts but to also be able to explain the concepts to others which is a true test of mastery. Students are learning the value of getting others to become more productive in preparation for the global job market that values leaders who can inspire others to become productive. Mathematically we are finishing up our unit on Geometry and are moving towards statistics. We will be taking the Math PARCC assessment May 2nd - 4th.

Things have been very busy in the 6th grade science classroom! Students are currently finishing up their long-term ecosystem projects by integrating the ecosystem science they've explored all quarter with their science-based artwork and new technology. This sophisticated and multi-layered project has students working hard to bring all the components of the project together to "tell the story" of a virtual ecosystem. They will be presenting their projects before we depart for break. Simultaneously, students are spending each Friday working on their independent research topics (20% Time). Last week, students presented their "research pitches" to their peers for feedback, and are back to work revising and reworking their ideas. We've got topics that range from "Who would win in a fight, a T-Rex or a Velociraptor and why?" to "How do tsunamis form and how can we survive one?." Sixth grade scientists are building many new research skills, both working independently and as small groups. After the vacation, we will begin our fourth and final unit, Earth science."

We have been in the drafting and revising phase, students have been using their plan to draft their essays. I have modeled the drafting process, demonstrating how writers incorporate and explain specific quotations, examples, and language from the book into their own writing. I have placed an emphasis on clearly showing how the evidence supports their thesis statements. I have gone through mini-lessons that focus on crafting strong introductions, and topic sentences at the paragraph level. In this final phase, students will reread their work and make changes to strengthen the quality of their writing, with particular attention to recognizing and correcting punctuation and grammar usage. Students will share their work, celebrate their accomplishments, and reflect on their growth and change as readers and writers once we complete writing our conclusions.

In social studies, we have started out our unit in Egypt. We have studied Pharaohs and discussed the similarities and differences of river civilizations like Egypt. Students have begun working on their DBQ essays for this Unit. They are writing papers about how the Nile river affected ancient Egypt.