NFS Curriculum Update :: May & June, 2015
Sixth grade artists will be wrapping up their year in art with an independently led project interpreting art history. Students have looked at several ways that contemporary artists have recreated, used and interpreted famous pieces of art. Students were given partners and were asked to choose a piece of art or an artist to focus on. Students will be designing their own projects and are able to work in any medium including photography, stop motion animation, painting, drawing and sculpture. How each group sees the art work and chooses to interpret it is fully up to them as long as they work towards the goal of introducing the work to a new audience in an exciting way. This project requires discipline and planning, investigative skills, creativity and the ability to stay on track. What a perfect way to wrap up the year!
Students will spend the month of May working on their nonfiction picture books. Mini-lessons will empower students to craft the text and the layout of their books in smart, engaging ways. Throughout the writing process we will rely on mentor texts and mimic strategies used by writers of nonfiction. Our publishing celebration is scheduled for Friday, May 29th beginning at 8:30 am in the library. In June we will turn our focus to poetry. Students will learn practice figurative language while creating their own poems.
For the remainder of the year we will focus on human sexuality. We will start with 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 then take a very high level look at the miracle of life from birth to conception including the different stages of life. The year will end with a lesson on AIDS, STD’s (STI’s) and the importance of making responsible decisions.
This month the sixth grade Latin students will complete their work with indirect objects, finishing Lesson VII. Students are becoming increasingly capable of identifying and correctly translating indirect objects in Latin sentences, and once they have mastered this skill, they will be ready to move on to Lesson VIII. This lesson will introduce students to their first use of the ablative case, the ablative of means. Once we complete this lesson, students will know one major use for each of the five main cases of nouns! Our work with this concept will carry us through to the end of the school year.
This month students will begin our unit on Order of Operations. We will review the previously learned steps including adding, subtracting, multiplying, and dividing. We will then add exponents and parenthesis. Students will start by solving equations with whole numbers and will ultimately be able to simplify expressions and equations using a combination of order of operations, decimal and fraction operations, and like terms. We will also review exponents and integer rules. After taking a quiz on order of operations, we will begin our unit on Geometry and Measurement. Students will learn about surface area by manipulating nets of three-dimensional figures and at the end of May students will create their own net.
I have had such a wonderful time working with this sixth grade class. We will be finishing the year playing handbells. Keep your eyes on Facebook for a performance just for you. Thank you for sharing your child with me this year!
Students are enjoying our badminton unit! We have worked on and practiced various aspects of the game such as serving, volleying and team play. The unit will end with a tournament. We will also review Field Day activities. The class will discuss various forms of leadership that can be seen during Field Day, good sportsmanship that should be displayed during Field Day and the concepts teamwork, community and healthy competition. The school year will end with a unit on softball and related activities.
Currently, the sixth graders are working on a challenge problem/project where they have to build a ten step Rube Goldberg incorporating 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 and 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. Ultimately, the students will try to develop a way to fry an egg without the use of “plug in or battery powered” electricity.
In May and June the sixth grade social studies students will complete their United Nations unit. The students will start by embarking on their first full Document-Based Question (DBQ) Essay test. The test will cover the missions and actions of the main organizations and organs of the United Nations. The students will incorporate the skills that they have been practicing throughout the year. They will be expected to annotate a variety of documents, answer critical reading questions, write persuasive paragraphs, and incorporate all of these skills into writing a five-paragraph essay. After we complete the essay we will move on to a unit in which we address specific human rights issues in the United States and abroad. The students will complete the year by writing another Document-Based Question Essay that addresses a human rights issue.
In May, the class will continue to practice the preterit structure. Every Monday until the end of the term, the class will write a paragraph to describe what they did over the weekend using time, weather expressions, adverbs of time and manner. They will learn the past forms of irregular verbs like “tener, estar and jugar." They will explain what they did in past family vacations, and present it in a paper slide video format to illustrate and convey their stories.
US101 will wrap up the year with reflection and projection. We will reflect how the first year of Upper School went: What went well? What do you wish you could have done better? What went as planned? What took you by surprise? We will then project into the next two years: How are you more prepared to enter 7th grade? What skills do you still need to work on? How can these skills help you even outside of NFS? What words of wisdom do you have for the rising 6th graders? These 6th graders have certainly grown over this past school year! It is time to appreciate that growth a look forward to more exciting times ahead!