Grade 6 Update - March 2019

Grade 6 Update - March 2019
Posted on 04/02/2019
Our scholars are investigating how the continents drift. By observing a lava lamp’s characteristics, our students learned that convection currents in the mantle drive plate tectonics. They came to this conclusion by observing the density change of the material inside the lava lamp floating to the top and sinking back to the bottom. Additionally, they learned about three boundaries of the Earth that have helped shape our planet, which are: divergent boundaries, convergent boundaries, and transform boundaries. Each boundary impacted how the Earth looks today. The students also researched and reflected on women scientists who have made contributions to science but are often not recognized.

This month we are working on building more writing strategies! The two strategies that we are focusing on are breaking down a prompt and creating a planning page. The purpose of breaking down a prompt is to help students learn the skill of actively reading a prompt and looking for the “what-to-do” question before they start writing. Students have been practicing circling the verbs and the “WWWWH” (who, what, where, why, when, how) questions, as well as underlining key phrases. The purpose of a planning page is to help give students the knowledge of how to plan what they are going to write about before they answer a prompt. A common middle school error is to read a prompt and immediately start writing. The challenge with this is that many students tend to go off topic from the prompt in their written response and/or summarize. The planning page gives students an opportunity to script their claim and evidence after breaking down the prompt by using a visual aid.

Social Studies
Students have been exploring the idea of justice by analyzing and discussing Hammurabi’s code. We are attempting to argue whether his laws were just or unjust. This work is part of our practice with analytical writing and our second time working on answering a district DBQ (document based question). Students have shined by leading and participating in in-depth discussions, especially regarding the idea of justice being absolute.

After the break, we finished up our dividing fractions unit and are now working on arithmetic in base ten. We live in a world that functions on a base ten number system. A goal we are moving towards is getting students to see the effectiveness of the associative and commutative properties when operating with decimals. In addition, Core 2 earned their paperclip pizza party! Aside from that, the Top 5 users for IXL are highlighted on the bulletin board in class. The core value on our radar in class this month has been ownership (having students reflect on the work and plan to refine it). Students have the option of improving any assessment or homework grade that they are not happy with. We have an additional online math resource called ALEKS that is also being rolled out to help students refine their mathematical skills outside of the classroom. Look for more information on that soon!

Special Education
Students have stepped it up in IXL online math work at home this month. We are transitioning to a new online program, ALEKS, and students are encouraged to complete at least 30 minutes of math work 3 times a week outside of class. In Advisory, students are preparing for portfolio completion, which is due at the end of March, and students are working hard on their collection of evidence, artifacts, and writing reflections.

Chinese Immersion
Students have begun studying our third unit on Mesopotamia. Students will learn about the rise of Sumerian city-states, and they will identify how the physical setting contributed to the development of city-states in Mesopotamia. We will explore the characteristics of civilization by analyzing artifacts from ancient Sumer and explore answers to the question, “Was Ancient Sumer a Civilization?”

Christopher Godfrey, 6th Gr. Teacher Leader, Math –

Dora Acosta, Social Studies –

Adenike Babatunde, Special Educator –

Jennifer Gardony, Academic Support –

Jennifer Herring, ELA –

Hsui-Fei Hsu, Chinese Immersion –

Kerry Mency, Science –

Edward O’Brien, Special Educator –

Jared Powell, Academic Support –