Grade 6 Update: February 28, 2019

Grade 6 Update: February 28, 2019
Posted on 02/28/2019
Dear Putnam Avenue 6th Grade Families,

“To agree to learn from a stranger who does not respect your integrity causes a major loss to self. The only alternative is to not learn…” –Herbert Kohl

People are like precious gems—multi-faceted. There have been times in human history where we have forgotten this awesome truth found in Kohl's words. Our integrity as human beings is a reflection of those combined parts of the beautiful whole. We have the remaining 80 days of school to continue listening to and learning from one another… building relationships is the vehicle to place these gems in the best possible light to shine.

Below is the most recent round of updates for your reference:

Tuesday, April 9; Wednesday, April 10; Thursday, April 11, 2019 (make-ups): 6th Grade ELA MCAS

Tuesday, May 7; Wednesday, May 8; Thursday, May 9, 2019 (make-ups): 6th Grade Math MCAS


In class this month we investigated the ocean floor and determined that it is made up of trenches, mountains, and volcanoes. We learned about a woman scientist named Marie Thorps, who was one the first pioneers to map the ocean floor. Students continue to shine by delving into scientific inquiry of why and how the Earth is changing and what is causing the Earth’s continents to move or change. Students are showing passion by being engaged in the Earth’s history and by contributing in class consistently. They have had numerous “aha” moments of learning!


We have been exploring literary devices and how they are used to enhance an author’s written piece. We have been working on how to not only sharpen our writing abilities, but also how to think critically about what the author’s purpose is through these tools and strategies we discover. This month, we have started reading The Giver, which immediately has become a crowd favorite. Students have successfully connected to the text and find themselves in the midst of making real-life connections with this book and the idea of a utopian society. Students have continually demonstrated perseverance through the high demand of writing CER (Claim Evidence Reasoning) paragraphs and reading consistently every week.

Social Studies

Students have begun working on our third unit of study, Mesopotamia. We have been learning about the first civilizations that settled in the fertile crescent and have been taking virtual tours and explorations of early Neolithic sites. Students have taken on the role of apprentice archeologist to make hypotheses of how Neolithic people used to live and some challenges they faced while doing so.


This month we have been working on dividing fractions. The concept for division is always the same. Students are asking themselves, “How many groups of the divisor are present in the dividend?” We’ve been exploring dividing whole numbers by fractions and also dividing fractions by fractions. Students have been challenged to make models to organize and represent their thinking. Core 1 was the first of the four cohorts to earn a “paperclip party.” Students can earn paperclips by modeling expectations and taking risks in class. We celebrated this accomplishment with a pizza party! This unit on fractions has been challenging, but rewarding. Perseverance means sticking with something even when it’s tough, and we will await the next round of paperclip parties!

Special Education
In the pull-out setting students are working on using strategies to make inferences. Strong inferential skills will help students to determine theme, character traits, and character development in grade level texts. Students are also learning that making inferences is not only for academic purpose, but can also be used in their social interaction and in their chosen career later in life. As students activate prior knowledge around making inferences, they are able to apply strategies to reading passages. With continued practice, they will take ownership and apply the skill while reading grade level texts. Some students have yet to discover the joy of reading, however, providing passages that interest them has been helpful. This strategy is helping students to be focused and to accomplish tasks in the pull out setting.

Chinese Immersion

Students have been working hard to finish their Unit 2 “The Early Human” research project. Our study of “race” continues as students were able to express why human beings’ skin colors are different based on scientific evidence. In Unit 3, we will study Mesopotamia by exploring and comparing the differences between the Paleolithic and Neolithic eras.
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