Our sixth grade reading curriculum follows the reading workshop model and is directly aligned with the New Jersey Student Learning Standards. This workshop model provides opportunities for our students to practice reading under the direct instruction and supervision of their teacher. Teachers provide specific feedback to students to ensure reading growth and development. Throughout the year, students will work to deepen their comprehension and gain an understanding of literary elements. Students will also learn to think about their reading in a complex, multifaceted manner while learning the importance of supporting their inferences by citing evidence from the text. This will be accomplished through the implementation of whole class focus lessons, independent reading practice, small group instruction and 1:1 conferences.WRITINGThe writing curriculum in grade 6 incorporates the anchor standards of the New Jersey Student Learning Standards for Language Arts Literacy. More specifically, there is an emphasis on the writing process (planning, drafting, revising, editing), using technology to publish writing, building writing stamina, and demonstrating a command of standard English conventions. To embrace these areas of focus, the curriculum is set up into three main units of study, with specific writing skills and strategies at the center of each unit: writing arguments to support claims, writing informative / explanatory texts to convey information, and writing narratives to develop real or imagined experiences. These units are supported with the Lucy Calkins’ Units of Study writing program. Within this series are numerous resources to meet the middle school needs of all of our writers.
Providing opportunities for students to experience science phenomena firsthand is the goal of the new middle school science program.—Science & Technology Concepts for Middle School (STC/MS). Each grade level will delve into three inquiry based modules to enhance their science knowledge and facilitate their understanding of how they learn. Space Systems Exploration is our first module for sixth grade. Relationships and the cycles created by the Sun, Earth and Moon will be investigated as well as gravity. We will also explore the growth and development of organisms through the inquiry module—Structure and Function. Students will learn about cells and how they are the building block for all life. Lastly, students will work in the module Electricity Waves and Information Transfer. Students will delve into the world of electricity and circuits. In addition to STC/MS, students will participate in units of study created by the teachers such as the study of the environment around, the Pine Barrens.MATHEMATICSThe sixth grade mathematics curriculum is rooted in the Common Core State Standards (CCSS). As outlined in the CCSS, fewer content topics are taught at each grade allowing for deeper understanding. The skills and knowledge are specifically identified to succeed academically incredit-bearing, college entry courses and in workforce training programs. The targeted content for sixth grade includes:
Rations and Proportional Relationships: ratio concepts; ratio reasoning
The Number System: fraction and decimal operations; understanding rational
Expressions and Equations: Working with expressions, equations and inequalities
Geometry: area; surface area; volume
Statistics and Probability: data distributions; understanding variabilityThe program, Big Ideas Math, will be utilized to deliver the CCSS content. Lessons are designed in a balanced approach blending student-led discovery and teacher direct instruction. Each lesson begins with an inquiry-based activity allowing students to explore, question, explain and persevere as they seek to answer questions that encourage abstract thought. These rich activities are followed by direct instruction lessons, allowing for procedural fluency,modeling and the opportunity to use clear, precise mathematical language.
Students and parents have access to program materials online at http://bigideasmath.com. Once logged on, the students may access their Student Record and Practice book, lesson tutorials, games for extra practice,vocabulary flashcards and more.SOCIAL STUDIESHistory Alive! sounds like what it is…history brought to life utilizing interactive activities that require students to learn historical concepts and remember important details about history through participation. Students, in cooperation with their classmates, will make connections between classroom activities, the history, and their lives today. Using effective learning strategies such as the use of graphic organizers, analyzing primary sources, dramatizing compelling events, listening to music and discussing provocative questions will ensure that all students are engaged in the dynamics of learning for understanding.The Ancient World is the focus of the sixth grade year. Topics include early humans and the ancient times of Egypt, India, China, Greece and Rome.