6th Grade

NFS Curriculum Update :: May & June 2016


All of our drawing exercises have prepared us for our current adventure in the art room, exploring op art. Op art refers to optical illusions artists like Bridget Riley and Victor Vasarely explored in the 60's and 70's. After learning ways to create different optical illusions through a series of worksheets and exercises, students will be creating three-dimensional op art cubes. Each side of the cube will demonstrate a different optical illusion chosen by the artist. This endeavor will test patience and challenge each artist's skills. It is a perfect way to end the year!


We end our year with gardening and ice cream! All students will have the opportunity to work with residents in the Pennswood Garden. Students will reflect on their year of service through the Friday Friends program and share their thoughts with residents over an ice cream social.


May will be dedicated to the many different stages of creating a non-fiction picture book. This unit emphasizes questioning, research, note taking, synthesizing information, non-fiction writing craft strategies, and many other skills. We will examine different mentor texts and use them as guides for each step. Students will get to show off their technological skills by using different layout designs on Google Slides. At the end of the year, we will have a gallery walk where students will present their non-fiction picture books to our community. After the gallery walk, we will break into groups for a final book club.



We will begin the month with a unit on dating and relationships. The class will define relationships and explore the various ways people communicate in a relationship. We will study types of relationships, what makes for healthy relationships as well as qualities to seek in others when entering into a relationship. We will examine dating and the appropriate ways people behave towards each other. The unit ends with the explanation and definitions of sexual harassment and dating violence along with our theme in Health class of making responsible decisions and avoiding dangerous situations. For the remainder of the year, we will focus on male/ female human sexuality. Through studying the male and female reproductive systems, students will learn to identify the various parts within both systems as well as describe the functions within the process.


We will continue our discussions on the reproductive systems, both female and male. The girls watched the puberty video last month and we discussed the changes that occur during puberty. We discussed the menstrual cycle and will continue to do so to make sure they all understand what is happening to their bodies. STDs and HIV will be introduced, and contraception methods will be touched on lightly. Relationships between friends, and also between the opposite sex will be discussed. It's been a pleasure teaching the girls this year!


This month the sixth grade Latin students will master the future tense of first conjugation verbs, completing Lesson VI in our textbooks. The students will become experts at conjugating verbs in the future tense as well as distinguishing between present and future tense verbs in the context of sentences. Once we complete this work, we will move on to Lesson VII, which introduces the indirect object. This construction uses the dative case endings of nouns to indicate the recipient of the direct object in a sentence. This knowledge will greatly expand the diversity and complexity of the sentences our class can read and write!


Sixth grade students will spend the first part of May immersed in geometry, and we will focus on the properties of three-dimensional shapes. We will work with geometric nets to create different shapes and students will complete an in-class assessment where they will be challenged to create their own geometric net for a specific shape. After we finish with nets, students will review surface area and we will explore different ways to measure volume. We will then move on to studying circle properties and students will discover the relationship between pi and the area and perimeter of a circle. Finally, we will examine angles and their geometric properties.


We will be finish the year playing handbells. Students will practice reading music and playing musical instruments in a group. Thank you for sharing your child with me this year!


We will begin May with the conclusion of the hockey unit and game play. Next, the badminton unit will include a review of the basic grip of the racket, forehand, backhand, as well as shots like the underhand lob, overhand smash and drop shot. We will work on and practice various aspects of the game including serving, volleying and team play and end badminton by completing the tournament where students have been assigned a team and play against other teams in the class. We will also review Field Day and some of the activities they will participate in. The class will discuss various forms of leadership that can be seen during Field Day, good sportsmanship that should be displayed, and the concepts of teamwork, community and healthy competition. The school year will end with a unit on softball and softball type activities as well as large group outdoor games.


We are working on a comprehensive meteorology unit. After two exams in weather studies, the students will work on a challenge problem/project where they have to build a ten step Rube Goldberg machine that incorporates five magnets. The point of this challenge is to drive home the principles of magnetism. After this challenge, the students will learn about the Earth as a magnet, how the Earth is like a bar magnet, and how magnetism affects Earth. Then the class will learn about electrical charges and static electricity as well as solar energy.


In May, the sixth grade social studies students will continue their United Nations and Human Rights Unit. The students will learn about the history, the divisions, and the actions taken by the United Nations in defense of human rights. During May, the students will complete a project in which they make a proposal to the United Nations General Assembly that aims to solve an international human rights problem from the perspective of a United Nations commission. The change in topic is exciting for the sixth graders and their teacher. We will conclude the year on a strong note!


Sixth-grade Spanish class will continue reading the Spanish text, Patricia va a California. Students will apply vocabulary learned to summarize and discuss story events. They will practice new vocabulary in games / activities, pronunciation and fluidity skills in out loud reading exercises. In warm-up and exit activities, the class will continue to practice the future tense and the preterit tense will be introduced in oral work to state in the "yo" form what I did last weekend.

US 101

As the year wraps up, we will discuss strategies on how to stay focused and motivated despite "summeritis." We will also reflect upon the first year of Upper School in order to build upon strengths, learn from mistakes, and grow as individuals.