Sixth Grade

In sixth grade our goal is to increase our children’s sense of purpose, enhance their independent critical thinking, and build their self-confidence. Socially and emotionally, we focus on strengthening their self-image and self-respect, further enhancing their respect for those around them.

Within our language arts lessons we focus on writing, vocabulary and literature. Our primary aim is to provide the tools, resources and inspiration for students to become better writers. Students are taught through a writing workshop approach that integrates grammar, punctuation, genres and principles of good writing into the writing process. They learn to write and publish written work in various genres, including poetry, memoirs, short stories, book reviews and persuasive essays. This work dramatically increases their self-confidence and ability to start thinking more creatively.

To enable our students to become more fluent and insightful readers, we focus on increasing their vocabulary skills. Every week students learn the definition, synonym, antonym, part of speech and proper sentence usage for multiple words. A spelling unit also is covered weekly, focusing on word origins, parts of speech, prefixes, suffixes, synonyms, antonyms, syllabication and proper usage. In our reading, a multi-text approach is taken. We read from novels, trade books and various collections of poetry, short stories, and other non-fiction works, as well as self-selected readings.

In sixth grade, math continues to be a dynamic and exciting part of our day. Our students work on mastering computation with whole numbers, decimals, fractions, integers, factors and exponents. Simple to complex numerical expressions are evaluated, and algebraic expressions are simplified. Much time is devoted to critical thinking and problem-solving skills. Our students use ratios, proportions, and percents, one-and two-step equations and inequalities are solved, and geometry and measurement concepts are studied. Finally, students are introduced to graphing in the coordinate plane, and numerous ways to display and interpret data.

In our social science studies, our goal is to increase the degree to which students can work independently to deliver their desired outcome. We carry out extensive project work covering U.S. Geography; The Changing World View; the Empires of the Americas, World Religions and Medieval Societies. Note-taking techniques, outlining and research report writing are a large part of these studies. Geography and map skills are also integrated with the study of history. Two of our field trips are linked to this learning, one to New York to see The Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Cloisters, and St. Patrick’s Cathedral; the other to the University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archeology and Anthropology.

We continue our focus on science in sixth grade with a highlight of the year being the Science Expo. Students have the opportunity to experiment, research or create a project pertaining to an area of science that interests them, by employing the scientific method and inquiry. These projects are then shared with the whole school, and our students have to explain, demonstrate and debate their discoveries with visiting classes.

Our sixth graders also enjoy lesson time every week with our Spanish, French and Latin teachers, and additionally, they attend computer studies, art, music and physical eductation - with these subject areas fully integrated into our themed units.

Sixth grade’s service project taps into the class passion for animals. We collect food and needed items for local animal shelters. Also, our grade is responsible for escorting younger grades to after-school care at the end of the day. We are also buddies with the Pre-K class, spending time reading, playing and learning together throughout the year. At the end of sixth grade, it is our pleasure to see more mature, self-confident, self-directed children move on to the challenges of seventh grade.

Sixth Grade Curriculum Overview:

Reading/Language Arts

  • Provide students with interesting and challenging materials.
  • Identify and read a variety of genres.
  • Develop an awareness of personal responses to literature.
  • Identify main ideas and author’s purpose.
  • Predict outcomes.
  • Identify elements of plot, character development, theme, and point of view.
  • Provide opportunities for developing higher level thinking skills by reading across the curriculum.
  • Use the writing process to explore, draft, revise, edit and publish pieces.
  • Write and expand sentences and paragraphs.
  • Write expository, narrative, descriptive and persuasive pieces.
  • Revise pieces to make writing more effective.
  • Edit for proper spelling, grammar, usage and mechanics.

Mathematics

  • Decimals and integers
  • Fractions and percent
  • Factors and exponents
  • Geometry and measurement
  • Ratios, rates and proportions
  • Displaying and analyzing data
  • Graphing in the coordinate plane
  • Probability
  • Equations and inequalities
  • Algebra: patterns and rules

Science

    Earth Science:
  • Ecology - study of the interactions between bio-life and its physical environment.
    Life Science:
  • Relationships between animals and plants and how one species affects another.
  • Cells and heredity
    Physical Science:
  • Light, color and sound
  • Scientific method

Social Studies

  • U.S. Geography/The Changing World View
  • Empires of the Americas - The Mayans and The Incas
  • World Religions
  • Medieval Societies