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.
Sixth grade students will study the following areas: nature of science, force and motion, and a survey of the kingdoms of organisms. The course objectives are to introduce and develop basic skills such as measuring, observing and critical thinking. Students will also increase their understanding of weather, force, motion and diverse types of organisms. Students are expected to learn individually and collaboratively as there are several long term projects throughout the year.
The sixth grade ancient civilizations course begins with a unit on prehistory followed by the ancient civilizations of Mesopotamia, Egypt, India, China, Greece and Rome. Students learn major accomplishments of these ancient civilizations and their impact on the world. The curriculum develops awareness of the essence of civilizations: how they develop, endure, and collapse. Students understand how geography influences societal development, and they extract historical information from primary sources including art and architecture. Students develop their writing and research skills by writing compare /contrast, opinion and informational essays. Students’ critical thinking skills, including analysis, synthesis and evaluation are engaged through various creative endeavors. Long-term assignments hone time management skills.
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 encouraged. 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.