Students in Sixth Grade are paired up with a Faith Partner from the incoming Kindergarten class. Together the students forge a bond with their younger partners to help guide the younger students on their faith journey as they prepare for their First Holy Communion. Students will stay with the Faith Partners for three years, until they graduate. Throughout the year, sixth grade students study, research, and examine the people, places, and events recorded in the Old Testament. In addition, they also study the lives of saints. Students become proficient in locating Scripture and comprehending passages. They will also study what Catholics believe, how we worship, and live out our faith. Students have use of their assigned iPads to support them in their studies.
Language Arts and Literature
While the foundational curriculum in Language Arts and Literature are the same throughout the middle school grades, the concepts become increasingly challenging at each grade level, this includes reading levels (Lexile ranges) and vocabulary words, among others.
The middle school Language Arts curriculum’s focus is on strengthening skills in a variety of areas. Specific attention is given to vocabulary acquisition through the usage of the Vocabulary Workshop textbook. Students master synonyms, antonyms, spelling, and new words in context. Grammar is also an important component of the course through the examination of parts of speech, sentence structure, punctuation, and diagramming. Emphasis is placed on writing as students integrate the new vocabulary and grammar skills learned. A variety of pieces are composed in the genres of creative, expository, research based, literary analysis, and persuasive writing.
Students in middle school study a variety of literary genres. These include short stories, poetry, nonfiction, drama, myths, and legends. Through studying these pieces, literary elements are introduced and reinforced. These elements are used as a main focus in class discussion and literary analysis writing. Novel study is an important component of the course as students read together as a class as well as independently. Through novel study, students apply a variety of critical thinking skills through analyzing the author’s message, historical context, social influences, and the effects of literary elements. Furthermore, general reading comprehension strategies are emphasized across all genres discussed in the course. Students also present a variety of projects with a focus on improving public speaking skills.
Students in Sixth Grade study mathematics through the Carnegie Math program, which they use through their digital textbooks on their individually assigned iPads. This creates a hands-on environment that provides instant feedback. The students continue to develop their arithmetic skills and begin to learn algebraic concepts, such as, combining like terms, simplifying algebraic expressions, and solving for unknown variables. The goals of all junior high math classes are to build skills, confidence, and habits to enable success in high school math no matter the level. Every year students will work toward mastery and retention of concepts.
Students in Sixth Grade build upon their knowledge, thinking, and critical thinking skills, using basic and “higher-order” skills, such as analysis and interpretation, through the study of ancient history. They will be studying ancient world civilizations from prehistory to 500 A.D. and connect ancient world history to religious history. Students learn to effectively use maps and properly identify primary and secondary sources to present information in oral and written form. Students have use of their assigned iPads to support them in their studies.
Science and STEM
Sixth Grade science focuses on the study of meteorology, oceanography, geology and biomes. The students will use the Holt Science and Technology textbook to learn about Earth’s resources, how plate tectonics play a part in earthquakes and volcanoes, the importance of water on shaping our land, the oceans and the weather. Students learn science note-taking skills and take part in hands-on science investigations that include, but are not limited to: metric Olympics, cookie mining, stream tables, convection/conduction activities, and paper plate tectonics.
In Sixth Grade, the emphasis is on combinations of the skills developed previously, as well as, specialized sport skills in increasingly complex lead-up games. Students focus on lead-up games at this level because the rules, strategies and scoring system are simplified, success is maximized, and further skill development increases. Students participate in volleyball, soccer, flag football, basketball, hockey, paddleball, tennis, frisbee, wiffleball, track and field, as well as, a variety of rhythm and dance and team building cooperation activities. Sixth Grade: Students participate in P.E. twice a week for 45 minutes. Students also have the option of participating in our after-school sports program.
Students in Sixth Grade participate in Spanish class twice a week. Their classwork, including participation, and homework earn a letter grade.
Sixth Grade students complete their recorder studies and begin reading bass clef notation for application in piano studies. They learn the music terms and symbols for tempo, dynamics, and direction within a piece. The other properties of a musical tone, timbre and duration, are also explored. Sixth grade students are eligible to join the school choir.
Students in Sixth Grade are each assigned an iPad that they may take home throughout the school year. They may use the iPads for their math texts, to research writing in ELA, or to use Google Classroom, among others. Technology is fully integrated into the classroom learning. In addition, we use a program that allows teachers to closely monitor each student’s iPad and internet use.