Grader 6 Update: December 6, 2018

Grader 6 Update: December 6, 2018
Posted on 12/06/2018
The students are currently investigating “Can I Believe My Eyes?” They are exploring the phenomenon of how the human eye sees color by building a pinhole viewer and exploring light and color from an angle in order to explain how humans see and capture light. Students’ work that is exemplary has been posted and celebrated. Additional students whose work is not exemplary but has shown growth in their writing has also been praised. The scholars in science class have shown pride, perseverance, and ownership by doing a rewrite on their first 6th grade PS (Physics) Common Interim Assessment 1 open response question. The determination and eagerness to do the rewrite was profound and showed the character fortitude that is needed to be successful in science and in all classes.


We have transitioned from constructing strong Claim, Evidence, Reasoning (CER) paragraphs to identifying literary devices in literary works. This tool will help students continue analyzing their writing and reading of our classroom text, Seedfolks. They are now better understanding how the author skillfully and purposefully uses these devices to guide the reader to the theme. Students have committed themselves to producing well thought out extended chapters to any chapter of Seedfolks they choose. They have not only demonstrated their understanding of how paragraphs are structured but are flaunting their creativity through their written stories! Students have also demonstrated passion through writing about characters in Seedfolks. Each character in the story is faced with discrimination, prejudice, or stereotypes, which has moved the students to pursue academic excellence in their writing on this topic.

Social Studies
Social StudiesStudents have been researching a country of their choosing in order to create a virtual brochure that a Cambridge resident might use to visit that country. Students have been writing the brochures through the lens of the five themes of geography in order to reinforce what we have been learning. On November 7th, students were able to present their projects to each other, members of the Putnam Ave. community, and superintendent Dr. Kenneth Salim. They explained the five themes of geography as it related to their countries and displayed their virtual brochures for viewing. During this period of learning, research and presentation, students showed pride in their work and their accomplishments. During presentations of the project, many students took ownership of the strengths and weaknesses of their project and were able to reflect on ways they were going to improve for their next project.

Social StudiesMath

This month we are moving through Unit 2, Introduction to Ratios. Thus far, we have been using a number of diagrams to explore ratio language and structure in a real world context. For example, we played with ratios of water and drink mix to see how ratios affect recipes. We also did the same with food coloring and water to see how ratios affect color mixing. Students are continuing to develop their proportional reasoning through these conversations over class work with their peers. In addition, each week we are posting students who ranked in the top 5 for IXL (an online math tool we are using in class). We are going into week three of this celebration. Lastly, we launched an independent, guided research project in which students find a mathematician in whom they can identify. This connects with our core value of pride (identity and impact). This has been an awesome opportunity and a challenge at the same time. Stay tuned as this effort develops!

Special Educators

Organization can be difficult for middle school students. We are using organizational checklists and frequent reminders to get students better prepared for class and our school day. Many students have started to master their locker use/locker combination. This is a challenging task for all 6th graders, and mastering your lock takes practice! In addition to locker use, many students are mastering their homework agenda and regularly writing down their classroom homework assignments. In advisory, we have been participating in very positive circle discussions. These circles have allowed us to communicate and share our Putnam Ave. values with one another in addition to our own personal values. The process of writing, presenting and sharing our Stories of Self has also continued to help develop relationships school wide.

Chinese Immersion

Students are exploring the five themes of Geography. Students will choose a country and create a virtual brochure by using culturegram to wrap up this unit. We will then start a new unit covering Human Origins by using CultureGrams, an online database.