|Sixth Grade Curriculum|
Algebra continues from fifth to sixth grade. Students are grouped according to ability and there are usually two or three groups within the class. The Key to Algebra series by Key Curriculum Press provides a set of ten workbooks that build on each other and provide concentrated practice repetition for different concept areas. Workbook study is combined with group activities and problems from other sources, which explore practical applications of algebra.
Sixth graders continue to
work in math groups at their own levels. All math groups cover the basic
concept areas that are recommended by the California State frameworks for
different grade levels. The upper math group uses Sadlier Oxford Progress in
Math and the Connected Mathematics curriculum for most of its work. The Connected Mathematics series presents number concepts in a rich verbal
context designed to develop meaning through computations. This curriculum
provides many opportunities for students to see how numbers can be used to
solve every day problems. The program emphasizes student interaction and
discussion and is designed for group and individual learning.
Science units at this level are water, properties of matter, wave energy, simple machines, thermal energy, evolution/genetics, plants, and properties of air. Students learn to use models, keep records, and devise investigations. Curiosity, respect for evidence, perseverance, and flexibility are encouraged. Students are taught to articulate concepts and reasoning behind explanations and to challenge non-scientific ideas. All students participate in the school’s annual Science Fair.
students receive an additional science period in our Life Lab each week. Life
Lab is a garden classroom and living laboratory that teaches environmental
sciences and stewardship. More information can be found on the Life Lab
READING & LANGUAGE ARTS
movement through literature begins with a simple, concrete understanding of
literature and progresses toward a more complex, subtle, and critical
comprehension. In terms of a classroom strategy, the students begin with
personal responses to texts; they develop their responses into more formal
analysis, and learn to synthesize the critical perspectives of others with
their own understanding. Students practice discussion and literary
interpretations through weekly literature circle discussions. A variety of
novels are selected for the class, each chosen to tie in with some aspect of
the history/humanities curriculum.
HISTORY & GEOGRAPHY
In fifth and sixth
grades, the two-year history program covers Europe in the Middle Ages, the
Renaissance, and United States history. It is our belief that history cannot be
meaningful without a geographical background. Physical, political, climatic,
and cultural geography studies are an integral part of learning about our
heritage and our involvement in the world.
It all begins inside the heads of our children. There are ideas, language and many other possibilities. Writing is a pulling together of all of the emotions and ideas inside each student. Fluency is our first consideration; how to start writing and then to continue writing. As students progress, they work to find their own voices. Once this voice is found, students learn to control it and let it grow toward maturity. Students progress toward fine-tuning, maintaining proper habits in grammar and punctuation. Students develop an understanding of the writing process. Throughout the year, students delve into many writing genres — from drama to narrative, exposition to argumentation, and poetry to prose.
Writer’s Workshop provides a space for students to
share their writing and evaluate the writing of others. Students write in their
journals to capture ideas and inspirations for later stories.
Preparation for Junior
High is an important focus in 6th grade. Throughout the year,
personal responsibility, organization, time management, study and research
skills are emphasized. A weekly period is dedicated to the development of these
skills. Students are expected to practice these skills and demonstrate an increasing
ability to use them.
Students continue their study of Spanish. Basic conversational skills are practiced and tested through hands-on activity, role playing, and field trips. The class is given a choice whether they want to continue to study Latin or to begin studying French. Students learn to engage in simple conversations in French, using a basic vocabulary. This adventure into a new language may inspire them continue studying French in high school.
2007/2008 was Casey’s first year teaching at Spring Hill. He has his Bachelors Degree in Film and Digital Media from the University of California, Santa Cruz. He has a Multiple Subject Teaching Credential from St. Mary’s College of California.