Sixth Grade Team News
Sixth Grade Team News for February 2010.
The first half of the year is behind us. The craziness of the holidays is over, and now we need to get down to business. It’s hard to believe, but we have to start thinking about next year.
The end of the second trimester is February 11. The next Parent Teacher Conferences are scheduled for the evening of February 11. We were very pleased with the way conferences went last trimester, and we hope to follow a very similar format. We will keep the focus on the student’s personal growth and responsibility, and not just on the grades and tests.
Remember that it takes twelve weeks to earn a trimester grade. Check the homework on the hotline and the Explorers Website. Frequently visit the portal on Infinite Campus to check out grades. According to our records, less than half of the parents are checking the portal for grades. Grades are a product of effort and performance, but it’s really all about learning. Attitude toward learning is the most important thing. Citizenship grades are often just as important as the academic grades. Choose to help your child succeed!
Sixth Grade MAP (Missouri Achievement Program) testing is scheduled for March 31, April 1, and April 6. Missouri established Grade-Level Expectations (GLEs), which gives specific guidelines for what a sixth-grader should know at the end of the year. The GLEs are available on the DESE website. MAP scores become an important assessment of the student’s, the teacher’s, the school’s, and the district’s performance and effectiveness. It’s like the championship game at the end of the year, the Super Bowl, World Series, and the World Cup all rolled into one academic test. We take it very seriously.
In Communication Arts, the students are learning about nonfiction text features. Students have also been working with nonfiction books to apply the strategies previously learned. After students have mastered nonfiction text features, they will begin to write a feature article on their topic of interest.
After the nonfiction unit is complete, students will transition into writing a persuasive piece. Students should continue to read nightly and remember to fill out their reading logs!
In Geography, we are continuing our journey through Asia as we look at both the physical and human features that describe Asia’s different regions. Continue to check your student’s notebook for organization and completion.
In Science, we have finished exploring Earth’s waters. Water has distinct properties, and its distribution is erratic. We need to take charge in observing its misuse, and most importantly we need to conserve this precious natural resource. Congratulations to three students: Lauren, Justin P., and Elita for fighting their way to the top of the Sweet Sixteen Super Scientists List. In February, we will delve into the chemical building blocks section of our studies. I see great growth in everyone’s scientific thinking. Keep trying daily to do your best and striving for understanding and excellence.
In Math, the Explorers Check-up #5 is scheduled for February 5, and Check-up #6 is scheduled for March 26. Can the boys recover and prove equality with the girls in math? Who will get the first 100%? There are four new Check-up practices available on Mr. Bradley’s website to assist them in their quest for excellence. We are pretty much finished with the basic sixth grade math curriculum, and now we have to work on learning it deeply and understanding it even better. We’re into level three of the Mental Math program and moving into the last half of Madley Brath. For the rest of the year, we’ll be concentrating on Algebra and Geometry and keeping fractions/decimals/percents fresh in our minds. There are a series of eight CARE (Calculator Abuse Resistance Education) exercises and quizzes that are designed to review sixth grade math operations. We’ll do one per week in preparation for the MAP.
Use Mr. Bradley’s website to keep up with homework and studying for tests. Just click on any assignment and it will pop up as a PDF file. There are no excuses for falling behind.
|Mr. Bradley||Mrs. Brauss|
|Mr. Caltagirone||Mrs. Cerutti|
|Ms. Ott||Mrs. Rock|
We are currently working from the CMP2 booklet: Covering and Surrounding. In this unit we develop formulas and procedures for finding areas and perimeters of rectangles, parallelograms, triangles, circles and irregular figures. There is a lot of investigating involved in this unit, so students will continue to bring home problems that will make them think mathematically about WHY they are using a certain formula or procedure. We have enjoyed “inventing” formulas for finding the area and perimeter of polygons. Thank you for helping your child “muddle” through these difficult problems as we prepare for upcoming MAP tests.
We continue to practice our Mental Math Skills daily and take the quiz every Friday. We are currently on Level 2 and will start Level 3 third trimester. As always, flash cards are available on my website, http://www.pkwy.k12.mo.us/southwest/homepages/home.cfm?userid=KTerbrock for students to practice weekly.
In communication arts we are currently finishing our nonfiction unit. Students explored the features of nonfiction texts in the reading portion of the unit and are currently working to finish writing feature articles for the writing portion of the unit.
All students have used their new knowledge of nonfiction reading to assist them in creating their own feature article. Students chose a 21st Century topic and researched it in the library and online.
After students have written their feature article, they will complete a culminating project in which they will write and produce their own news broadcast covering their topic. Students will be responsible for writing a script for their broadcast, recording it, and editing it on the computer. If your child has a flash drive, please send it to school with him/her to assist us with our videos.
Students are continuing to write their Feature Articles on 21st Century Events of their choice. Students are learning and applying research techniques and strategies to help them collect pertinent information that will strengthen their article. The students were required to identify a target audience and purpose for writing and decide how to grab and keep the attention of their intended audience. We used creative techniques such as personal stories and writing using a variety of sentence structures and figurative language to enhance the effectiveness of the article.
Coming up next is a Performance Event designed around the GRASPS concept of Understanding by Design (UbD). Students will pretend that they work for a company that handles consumer complaints. They will be responsible for creating a solution to a complex problem existing within the company, and they must provide a rationale for why they believe their solution will be effective.
Next, they will have to design a presentation that will propose the solution they created to the business executives that manage the company. The goal the students are trying to reach is to have their solution adapted as protocol for whenever the problem presents itself to the company. The winner will be awarded a $1000 bonus on their next "paycheck" and the opportunity to be recommended for a higher-up position within the company. The students are competing against 61 other students to win the prize, so their presentation has to be relevant, researched, well-informed, and fact based. They must also choose a form that best fits the information they are presenting. Good luck students!
Do you know what a Khamsa is? How about a Sarcophagus? Talk with your child, and he or she will solve the riddles of Africa for you. Students will be introduced to the continent of Africa and the region of the world known as the Middle East. Students will study the physical and political geography as they learn about the distinct physical, cultural, and economic characteristics of the area’s different regions. Students will research challenges in the region including poverty, political unrest, and health concerns, as well as studying the international aid agencies who provide assistance there. Current events will be incorporated into the geographical study of Africa and the Middle East.
We just moved into the Water book and will be doing many different exciting things. Students will get a feel for how much water is on our Earth and how much we can actually use. They will investigate how their actions affect our water supply and what can be done to help conserve our water. We will do experiments, demonstrations, and a culminating project that will let them investigate ways of cleaning water. We will also look at different cultures to get a better appreciation of why water is so important and how fortunate we are to have clean water easily accessible to us.
|Ms. Frisch||Mrs. Kilcullin|
|Ms. Luckett||Ms. Mandula|
|Mrs. Terbrock||Mrs. Easton|