Learning Previews - Grade 6 - April 4, 2017

Learning Previews - Grade 6 - April 4, 2017
Posted on 04/04/2017
Social Studies: Ms. Saillant
We began our fourth unit of the year with ancient Egypt! Students will investigate the civilization by considering these two essential questions: How do historians and archeologists learn about ancient Egypt? How did the Nile shape ancient Egypt? This week students will be creating dramatization skits about the daily life of ancient Egyptian people. Ask your students “how did social class affect daily life in ancient Egypt?

Science: Mr. Phil Nerboso
Sixth grade science scholars are investigating what causes populations to change in ecosystems. Students are discovering how energy and matter move through an ecosystem by developing food web models. Currently, we are learning about the relationship between structure and function by creating an original organism. This organism will be designed to successfully survive in a specific biome or region on Earth. I’m excited to see what their imaginations will create! On April 13th, the whole sixth grade will be visiting the Maynard Ecology Center at Fresh Pond. Be on the lookout for a field trip permission slip! We will be hosted by Susan Aggar the center’s director. Students will engage in investigations into the plant and animal life surrounding the Fresh Pond ecosystem. This is a great chance for students to put science practices into action. I’m working directly with Susan to create engaging and meaningful experiences for all sixth graders. Be sure your student dresses according to the weather and wears comfortable shoes that day.
Math: Ms. Katelyn Fournier
During the month of April students will be begin their final unit of the year, Statistics. We will begin the unit with statistical questions. Then we will describe and compare data sets using the concepts of center (median and mean), spread (range and interquartile range), and shape. We will also construct and interpret line plots, dot plots, box plots, and histograms. For those of you with athletes at home, ask your child to connect sports with measures of center. Can they calculate their mean points scored per game or miles run per week? Avid readers should be able to calculate their average minutes read per day while musicians can compute their average daily practicing time. While the mean is the statistical measure that students will most relate to, median and range are quite relevant as well. Ask your child why median and range might be used instead of the mean when analyzing a data set.      

On Thursday, April 13, all students will take the IOWA test. The IOWA test is a norm-referenced, timed test which measures students’ algebra readiness. As was noted in last week's newsletter, scores from this test are one of the considerations in determining math placement for 7th grade. There is no advance preparation that students need to complete before the test.

English Language Arts: Dan Tobin, aka Mr. Tobin 

We’ve finished Dragonwings! Students ended the unit writing a literary analysis essay comparing the book’s portrayal of the 1906 San Francisco earthquake with a first person account. Now we pause to prepare for next week’s MCAS exam. As our curriculum is closely aligned with Common Core State Standards Students, students have been developing test-appropriate skills all year. This week, students engage with sample tests to get familiar with the types of questions they’ll be asked, and get practice writing the sorts of essays and stories they’ll be writing. After vacation, we look toward researching and writing a newspaper article on the 1906 earthquake. Homework for the rest of the year will be to read at least 30 minutes, so let’s both work to keep a book in your student’s hand!