In sixth grade English, an emphasis is placed on writing. Students work on a variety of projects formally and informally. The formal writing assignments are predominantly expository or research based, while creative writing and journaling assignments are done to share with classmates. The entire grade collaborates on two large scale Project Based Learning events– one on learning the history and culture of Dallas, and the other on the development of jazz and the blues as distinctly American art forms. Students also practice grammar and vocabulary throughout the year, using the web based applications Membean and IXL. Elements of literature are covered through the study of three novels: When You Reach Me, Out of the Dust, and Tuck Everlasting.
The sixth grade math curriculum culminates the elementary years and lays the foundation for more abstract algebraic concepts. During the entire year, students review and extend their understanding of addition, subtraction, multiplication and division operations with whole numbers, decimal values, and signed numbers. Multiplication and division with fractions and mixed numbers is introduced and examined in detail. Percent problems and conversions are studied throughout the year. In statistics and graphing, students create and interpret multiple types of graphs for meaning and differentiate between the uses of data landmarks. Geometry topics explore angle relationships, transformations, coordinate graphing, classifications and definitions of polygons and polyhedrons, area, perimeter, circumference, surface area and volume. Probability, interpretation of Venn diagrams and the fairness of games are investigated. The process for solving one-step algebraic equations is introduced along with using rates and proportions to solve for missing values. Students use Excel spreadsheets to record and analyze and create graphs. Students use math vocabulary to express themselves and interpret new concepts covered throughout the year.
In sixth grade, students continue to develop skills important for science as they observe, measure, classify, predict, control variables, formulate hypotheses, interpret data and make inferences. The curriculum covers nature of science, force and motion, and a survey of the kingdoms of organisms. Students will increase their understanding of weather, force, motion and diverse types of organisms and participate individual and collaborative long term projects throughout the year.
The sixth grade Ancient Civilizations course is an in-depth exploration of influential civilizations that still have an impact on the world today. It is the first part of a two-year concentration on world history. The class focuses on key elements from significant civilizations including Mesopotamia, Egypt, India, China, Greece and Rome. The curriculum cultivates an awareness of civilizations and examines how they developed, endured and collapsed, while analyzing the legacy these civilizations have left the world today. Additionally, students understand how geography often influences societal development and how to extrapolate historical information from primary cultural sources such as art, government, religion, language and architecture. Students focus on the theme of culture and learn to appreciate how it shapes their daily lives and society. The class fuses ancient history with modern technology to create an engaging and creative environment for learning. Working in teams, students develop a collaborative approach to analysis, deductive reasoning, problem solving, in-depth research and writing.
Sixth grade French introduces basic vocabulary associated with self-introduction, greetings, family members, counting, colors, basic food and telling time. Proper pronunciation is modeled and refined. The grammar focuses on recognition of gender and proper part of the speech. Cultural traditions are explored through cooking and skits.
Sixth grade German equally addresses listening comprehension, written skills, and oral skills. The curriculum includes: an introduction to Germany and the German culture; greeting and saying farewell; introducing oneself and someone else; numbers and telephone numbers; asking where someone is from; phrasing a question; family members, time (normal and 24-hour); the days and the months; coordinating nouns with their correct definite articles; reading and discussing a first reading selection.
Sixth grade Spanish students further develop their ability to speak, listen and write the language. The students learn the infinitive verbs ending in ar, er and ir; expressing agreement or disagreement; the gender and number of the nouns; and adjective-noun agreement. They learn how to conjugate regular verbs in present tense. They start using the verbs ser and estar in expressions.