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Curriculum

Sixth Grade

The move to 6th grade at St. Michael School represents a major transition for our students. They leave the elementary wing of the building and move to the other end of the building to become "middle school" students. The daily schedule takes them to a different teacher each period which is a distinct change from the self-contained classrooms they've left.

Religion

Faith First (Resources for Christian Living RCL)

The Faith First Scope and Sequence is divided into three parts: Doctrine, Scripture, and the Liturgical Seasons. The three important elements of Catholic belief, God's word, and liturgical celebration are interwoven throughout each grade level of Faith First. This balanced approach ensures that children will come to know, love, and live the rich heritage of the faith we are proud to profess in Christ Jesus. (Faith First, grade 6, p. 15)

Math

Exploring your World (Silver Burdett Ginn)

This course explores the following math topics: ordering, estimating, and calculating with whole numbers and decimals; understanding and working with geometric figures; metric and customary measurement; fractions: common multiples, common factors and calculations; data, graphing; perimeter, area, volume; percent; and probability.

Social Studies

History Alive! The Ancient World (TCI)

Students begin the year with the world's earliest humans and the civilization of Mesopotamia and move through the years through Ancient Egypt, China, Greece, and finish up with Rome. This interactive curriculum is designed to involve the students on many levels involving multiple intelligences (Howard Gardner), cooperative learning and traditional instruction to learn about history, geography and social interactions of these early peoples.

Literature

Literature by Holt McDougal seamlessly weaves the Common Core State Standards for reading, writing, speaking and listening, and language into a relevant, engaging course of study utilizing age-appropriate fiction and informational text for sixth graders. Students are challenged to think critically and independently, write persuasively while backing up their writing with sound evidence, write creatively, and use language intentionally to express themselves.

Accelerated Reader (Reading Renaissance)

The Accelerated Reader program uses computer based testing to check students' comprehension of story lines and vocabulary. This program is used to assess both students' ability to read longer works and to assess their vocabulary growth. The books students read are "leveled" by the authors of this program and the levels are generally reflective of the length of book, the complexity of the vocabulary, and the length of sentences.

English

Writer's Choice (Glencoe/McGraw Hill)

This book combines the fundamentals of English grammar with various modes of writing. The writing process is taught as are descriptive, narrative, and persuasive writing. The text is supplemented with selected lessons utilizing the Six Traits of Writing.

Vocabulary Workshop (Sadlier-Oxford)

This systematic approach to vocabulary focuses on the words themselves, their meaning (both literal and figurative), their ranges of application (or usage), and their relationship to other words. The program is designed to provide students with the vocabulary skills they will need in order to achieve higher-level reading proficiency and to succeed at standardized tests.

Step Up to Writing (Maureen E. Auman)

This approach uses existing curriculum to teach students writing skills in the context of their content areas. They learn how to write summaries, paragraphs and essays with multiple types of topic sentences. Students also learn how to write speeches, take notes, write stories and work on reading and listening strategies.

Science

Science, by definition, is a way of learning about the natural world through observations and logical reasoning; leading to a body of knowledge. This year in Sixth Grade we will be studying several topics through the use of FOSS Delta Education (delta-education.com). The 6th Grade modules include Planetary Science (Earth Science), Electronics (Physical Science), and Human Brain and Senses (Life Science). Labs are an important part of our science classes. Each student keeps a science lab notebook to properly document all the phases of an experiment. The FOSS developers are dedicated to the proposition that students learn science best by doing science. Teachers and students do science together when they open the FOSS kits, engaging in enduring experiences that lead to deeper understanding of the natural world. 6th Grade is the first year for science fair and is an important part of Science and Engineering Practices. Each section in science will have its own set of vocabulary words. The students will be graded on their study cards and they will be evaluated on their knowledge of these words. The vocabulary is based on the highly researched six step Marzano’s approach to learning vocabulary. The technique teaches the formal definitions and students create non-linguistic representation of the word to deepen understanding and retain longer understanding. The Textbooks used with this course are Life Science, Physical Science, and Earth Science (Glencoe).

Physical Education

The Middle School curriculum emphasizes the concepts of physical fitness: strength, flexibility, and endurance. Sports skills are practiced and developed along with the concepts of teamwork and sportsmanship. Middle School girls may participate in the school team sports of volleyball, basketball and track, while team options for boys are flag football, basketball, and track.

Physical education is an integral part of the total education program. Through the enhancement of individual skills, as well as learning to be part of a team, students are given opportunities to increase self-esteem and to view exercise as an important component of a healthy lifestyle.

Spanish

All middle schoolers (Grades 6, 7, 8) at St. Mike's have the opportunity to learn Spanish. The textbook that is used for 6th-8th grade is called ¿Cómo te va? Nivel Verde by Glencoe/McGraw Hill. It is a program that aims to develop the communication skills of speaking, listening, reading and writing in Spanish. Classroom lessons and activities are designed with the goal of communication for real purposes. Grammar covers adjectives and adjective agreement, present tense of regular and most irregular verbs, an introduction to stem-changing verbs and the vocabulary of everyday life (family, body, home, school, food, sports, pastimes). Goals for learning Spanish and its application in the real world are themes that are foremost throughout the school year. Students are also introduced to examples of hispanic culture at every opportunity.

Electives

Students in 6-8th grades have elective class options that include Language and Math Boosters, art, technology, choir, band, yearbook, organizational skills, and Green Team.

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