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6th Grade Learning Previews 3/19/19

Social Studies
Ms. Gisel Saillant | gsaillant@cpsd.us
This week students will be working on their Mesopotamia unit project. The unit project is a document-based-question (DBQ) performance assessment. This DBQ will focus on the Code of Hammurabi, one of the earliest recorded examples of written law. The DBQ asks students to examine primary and secondary source documents in order to answer an analytical question, Is the code of Hammurabi fair? They then write analytical essays in which they defend a position, using evidence from the documents as support. Students will work in class for the next two weeks on crafting a five paragraph essay to support their position. The homework throughout the project timeline is to complete the unfinished homework. Ask your student to show you the timeline. And ask them how their thinking is evolving about the fairness of Hammurabi’s code. Make sure they give you evidence to support their thinking. The DBQ rubric here.

ELA
Dan Tobin, aka Mr. Tobin | dtobin@cpsd.us

We are continuing to read Red Scarf Girl, Ji Li Liang’s memoir of China’s embrace of the Cultural Revolution and what it was like to live under communist rule. From there, we’ll transition into writing an essay comparing the fictional world of The Giver to one of the memoirs we’ve been reading about oppressive societies, Red Scarf Girl and The Wall. All of this will help get students prepared for the big work of April: MCAS. Meanwhile, students should continue reading independently for 30 min a night. To get to the desired total of 15-20 books this year, your sixth grader should be on their 9th or 10th book by now. If not, get them reading! Feel free to reach out to me or Ms. Musher, our librarian (smusher@cpsd.us), if you find your student is struggling to find a book that catches their interest.

Science
Mr. Phil Nervosa | pnerboso@cpsd.us

Students have been think about their ideas of the ocean floor, looking at maps of the ocean floor, then reading about a scientist (Marie Tharpe) whose new evidence (along with the evidence of others) reinvigorated Alfred Wegener’s ideas of continental drift. Students modeled seafloor spreading and thought about how this might support Wegener’s ideas on how the contentents shifted over millions of years. Students also learned how igneous rocks form as part of seafloor spreading. It’s not until this point in the unit that we give students information about the tectonic plates. They will look at a map of the plates (without me telling that’s what they are) and think about how it might connect to what they’ve learned so far about the locations of earthquakes and volcanoes, seafloor spreading, etc. After they have a chance to reflect, students read about tectonic plates and learn the end of Wegener’s story (that his ideas were finally accepted based on the explanation that the Earth’s surface changes due to the movement of these tectonic plates). Ask them to explain Wegener’s ideas to you and what evidence they think is most convincing for them.

Math
Ms. Alexandra Spencer | alspencer@cpsd.us

During the upcoming weeks students will be investigating the exciting world of algebra! Within algebra we will be writing, reading, and evaluating expressions in which letters stand for numbers. We will also write and solve equations. Ask your student what the difference is between an expression and equation! Our work within algebra this year will serve as a strong foundation for the work they’ll be doing over the next several years in math classes.
Students will also be taking their second district-designed assessment later in the month. This will give them an opportunity to review some of the previous units and get more comfortable taking an online assessment prior to the MCAS. Students will be well prepared for this from class work and should not spend extra time studying. As always, if they would like to they are more than welcome to come before or after school for extra review!