Learning Previews - Grade 6 - March 2018

Learning Previews - Grade 6 - March 2018
Posted on 03/06/2018
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.

ELA: Dan Tobin, aka Mr. Tobin

We are spending March reading Lois Lowry’s classic dystopian novel, The Giver, focusing on big questions of conformity, perfect societies, and memory. We’re also honing in on some of the writing aspects, like tone and author’s craft moves, as well as unpacking some of the tricky vocabulary. Assessments will range from a structured conversation about essential questions to an essay comparing the novel to excerpts from Lowry’s Newbery Award acceptance speech. 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 ninth book by now. If not, get them reading!

Science: 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.

Math: Ms. Alexandra Spencer

During the month of March we will be continuing our work of investigating two- and three-dimensional measurement. Specifically we will be developing an understanding of area of triangles and parallelograms and volume of right rectangular prisms. Students will have hands-on opportunities to discover properties and uncover the meaning behind area and volume formulas. Prepare for students to engage in some work with Pi for Pi Day on March 14th! Maybe you can help your student try to learn as many digits as possible! 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!