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6th Grade Learning Previews - January 2019

6th Grade Learning Previews - January 2019
Posted on 01/15/2019
Science
Mr. Phil Nerboso pnerboso@cpsd.us 

In our new Earth Science unit, students are presented with an anchor phenomenon (a video of an erupting volcano). The observations and questions gathered from watching the video are used to create a driving question board, from which questions that drive the learning in the entire unit are pulled. Students create initial models of what they think is happening/causing the erupting volcano, then begin the process of gradually putting together the pieces of the puzzle of plate tectonics. They make sense of evidence gathered by Wegener in the early 1900’s, and later scientists, attempting to explain why these phenomena occur (continuously revising their models and ideas). This unit is designed so that students are not told about tectonic plates--they discover them on their own using authentic evidence. Only at the end of the unit is the theory of plate tectonics revealed. The stories of the scientists involved in these discoveries are also highlighted to encourage personal connections between students and professional scientists, and to feature how scientific ideas change over time based on new evidence. 

Social Studies
Ms. Gisel Saillant gsaillant@cpsd.us 

On Friday January 11th, our social studies scholars headed to Harvard University’s Peabody Museum and Harvard Museum of Semitic History. We will explored artifacts and engaged in activities to help us understand how early humans moved “From Foragers to Farmers.” Ask your student what was the most interesting artifact they observed and what does it tell us about that society?

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

On the heels of finishing our short stories, it’s time to start the second half of the year in ELA. We’ve recently started reading Lois Lowry’s classic dystopian novel The Giver, focusing on big questions of conformity, perfect societies, and memory. We’ll be focusing on strategies for vocabulary and breaking down complex texts. Assessments will range from a structured conversation about essential questions to an essay comparing the novel to excerpts from Lowry’s Newbury acceptance speech. Meanwhile, students should continue to read independently for 30 min a night. We’re just about at the halfway point in the year, and the goal is to complete at least 15-20 books this year. So if your student has completed fewer than eight books in sixth grade, let’s get them reading!

Math
Ms. Alexandra Spencer alspencer@cpsd.us 

During the month of January students will be kicking off their fourth unit on dividing fractions. So far, we have worked on drawing diagrams to represent story problems and engaged in interactive applets to create visuals and diagrams! Can you think of a story problem that could be represented by ⅘ divided by ½? Ask your student! During this unit you should be impressed with their ability to model division using diagrams and also connect it to real-world situations. Your student can expect a unit assessment towards the end of the month. We will continue to offer our optional drop-in review sessions before and after school.