Sixth Grade

NFS Curriculum Update :: December, 2014


Sixth grade artists will be moving back and forth between glazing techniques and drawing with pen and ink. After practicing many ways to shade, add pattern,texture and detail using pen and ink. They will be completing a larger scale drawing using an image each student previously chose as reference. They will also be working on glazing their ceramic pieces using underglazes and a clear coat finish. This process also entails students learn studio care and multitasking.


Before we leave for break we will wrap up a majority of the activities based on Elsewhere. Students will complete their formal letters expressing gratitude and deliver them to a teacher or NFS staff member. We will continue to work with new character trait vocabulary and students will practice using the vocabulary in everything from their daily speech to short stories. We will review the components and steps of a five-paragraph essay and work together to learn how to gather and cite evidence from text.


We start the month in the second half of CPR and first aid training. Students in both groups continue to learn the basics of CPR with Nurse Cheryl and first aid with Coach Adam. Our class will then turn our attention to peer pressure. We will role-play different types of peer pressure scenarios teens face today and discuss appropriate ways to address it. This will lead right into our drug and alcohol speaker who will be visiting our class immediately following winter break.


This month the sixth grade Latin students will wrap up their work with Lesson IV, which introduces second declension nouns. Our studies will emphasize the important interplay between nouns, adjectives, declension, and gender. We will then move on to Lesson V, which features the genitive of possession. Students will learn how to express possession in Latin using the genitive case and in English using both apostrophes and prepositional phrases. We will also continue to expand our translation and composition skills.


In December sixth grade students will demonstrate their knowledge of the distributive property and combining like terms by taking their Unit 4 Exam. We will review fraction operations in the context of the real world and focus on word problems. We will also spend time analyzing fraction division and why it is the same as multiplying by the reciprocal. We will review decimal operations as well as prime and composite numbers. For students who feel comfortable with these skills, there will be a wide variety of enrichment activities, including examining fractions in recipes.


Sixth grade students continue to amaze me with their positive attitudes and strong work ethics. We will be starting the blocking and choreography process of our musical this month. Students will be given the date of January 13th to be “off book." This means everything should be memorized by just after this time next month!


December is the start of our basketball unit and many of the classes this month will focus on various basketball skills, drills and activities. We will play basketball games called H-O-R-S-E and Twenty One. We will play large group games like BBK and Knockout. We will play full and half court basketball games too. Fitness and skill development remain an important part of our activities, as well as sportsmanship and fair play.


In December, the sixth grade will continue their studies in models of the Earth, map projection, and topography. During the second week, they will prepare for and take a test on these topic areas. The month continues with the study of weathering and soil formation. We will continue to use our lab and outside space to illustrate the concepts we cover.

Social Studies

In December the sixth grade social studies students will finish their unit about Christianity. We will conclude with our second Document-Based Essay (DBQ) Exam. In this exam the students will utilize their primary source analysis skills as well as their paragraph writings with evidence and analysis skills. After the test we will begin our unit on Islam. We will learn more about the diverse beliefs, history, and modern culture of Islam. As a Middle Eastern Cultural Anthropology major, I am especially excited about this unit. Hopefully we will draw connections among the three Abrahamic Faiths of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam.


Sixth grade Spanish class will spend the first few days in December reviewing the structures they have learned, when to use these and what vocabulary is linked with it. Recycling vocabulary in various contexts will assist student’s ability to recall language readily and appropriately. The class will then learn the reflexive verb construction to describe their daily routines. This is a more complex grammar piece requiring reflexive pronouns accompanied by routine verbs and basic knowledge of irregular verb formation. Students will also learn to describe events that are occurring now using the present progressive structure, estar + ando / iendo. The language and grammar learned thus far will have prepared students for our reading work next month.

U.S. 101

With the first quarter under our belt, we are going to reflect and strategize on how to be academically successful Upper School students. We will review organization and time management as well as go over study and test taking skills.