Learning Previews - Grade 6 and Music - March 7, 2017

Learning Previews - Grade 6 and Music - March 7, 2017
Posted on 03/07/2017
General Music: Kristi Campbell Giannini
6th Grade: Students will continue learning basic drumming notation and techniques, with added emphasis in listening and identifying percussive patterns, creating their own, and use that knowledge to analyze, recognize and create music of African and European origins.

7th Grade: Students will continue learning basic drumming and rhythmic notation and techniques, and begin to experiment with song forms and terminology that will inform the creation of their own music within a percussive ensemble.

8th Grade: With a foundation in rhythmic notation and drumming techniques, students will begin to explore genres of American music, including pop, jazz, and musical theatre, through both a stylistic and historical lens.

Social Studies: Ms. Gisel Saillant
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.

Mr. Phil Nerboso
Our young scientists have wrapped up their investigations into the chemical nature of matter and are moving on to Biology. Thus far we have taking a close look at interactions between living things and their environment. We read a book together called, The Wolves Are Back. The author does a nice job at explaining the causal relationships and interconnectedness between organisms living in Yellowstone National Park.

This gets right to the heart of the Driving Question for the unit - What causes populations to change? Currently, students are thinking about the different types of symbiotic relationships that can occur between two different species of organisms. See if your child can name some of the types and give examples. Coming soon will be investigations into the source of energy for ecosystems and also how it travels through various feeding relationships. Ultimately, students will be creating a food web of sorts to illustrate how energy flows around an ecosystem and how changes in population can have direct and indirect consequences.  

ELA: Dan Tobin, aka Mr. Tobin
As vacation approached, we finished a unit comparing Laurence Yep’s point of view in Dragonwings with his autobiography. We now shift to first-person accounts of the 1906 San Francisco Earthquake, and then will compare them with Yep’s depiction in Dragonwings. Students will determine a claim about the two, then write a literary analysis essay about it. In addition all the usual ELA goodness, this also helps prepare them for the essays they’ll be writing during MCAS in April. We finish the book this week, which means that most of the time, the homework for the rest of the year will be to read at least 30 minutes. As a reminder, Cambridge students are expected to read 15-20 books this year. By now, they should be up to at least 8 or 9, and not just graphic novels! Ask your student what they are planning to read next, encourage them to speak with Ms. Musher, our wonderful librarian, or better yet, enjoy a family trip to the library!

Science: Mr. Phil Nerboso
Our budding scientists are digging deep into what makes up all the matter in the known universe. Our investigations have lead us to understandings about elements, atoms, and molecules. We have focused on the idea that unique properties like color, odor, hardness, and emission spectrum help us identify and distinguish one substance from another. We have gathered evidence through various investigations to support the claim that elements have different properties because they are made up of different types of atoms. Ask your child to describe some of the properties we have investigated. Before February break we will have a final assessment for the chemistry unit. Talk to your child about how they are feeling about their understanding of chemistry. Please encourage your student to seek help before or after school for any necessary clarification.

Math: Ms. Katelyn Fournier
During the first half of March students will be wrapping up their work with algebra. We will then move onto two- and three-dimensional measurement. Specifically we will be developing an understanding of perimeter and area of triangles and parallelograms. We will be using the relationship between radius, diameter, and center of a circle to find the circumference and area of circles. We will also find the volume and surface area of rectangular prisms.  
Throughout our measurement unit students will be using Pi.

Coincidentally Pi Day will also be taking place in March. Below is an announcement from Petsi Pies that may be of interest to you and/or your child. Good luck! (Note: Announcement is from last year and may be subject to change.)
Pi day, or better known as ‘Pie’ day, is fast approaching!

We here at Petsi Pies will be celebrating with a good ole fashion free pie competition starting at 1:59PM! Hint: (pi is 3.14159)

As we do every year, we will be hosting an opportunity to challenge yourself and flex your brain in a recitation of the Pi digits. Last year the competition got pretty fierce so
we have increased the challenge starting at 1:59PM.

For a free Cutie Pie we ask that you verbally recite 10 digits of Pi

For a free large Pie we ask that you verbally recite 314 digits of Pi*

For a free Pie per Season gift card (four pies total) we ask that you verbally recite 628 digits of Pi*

 At 1:59PM you can attempt to recite the digits as many times as you like. So if at first you don’t succeed, feel free to try and try again.