Hello and Happy New Year! The time has flown by as 2016 fades away and we settle into 2017 on 6 Purple. We have a great start to the new year as all students have been issued a Chromebook in Grade 6. We are all looking forward to utilizing more technology in our classrooms!
Please scroll through this newsletter for updates on your students' classes, highlights from fun activities, a summary of upcoming school and team events, and a lot more fun information!
SCIENCE UPDATES: MRS. MULLIGAN
Having some fun waiting for buses and attempting the mannequin challenge!
We ended our Life Science content with Adaptation Island. All students were eager to create a new organism and have it survive natural disasters and other phenomena known to mankind. We will be starting Physical Science when we return from vacation. Stay tuned.........
AIA ELA UPDATES: MRS. HART
LEARNING SPECIALIST UPDATES: MRS. JENSEN
Students have been working hard during ICE and in class with Mrs. Jensen. Students have been learning strategies to stay organized, and ways to prioritize homework and ongoing assignments. In addition, students spend a lot of time reviewing concepts from class and preparing for tests and quizzes. Many students have also been taking advantage of extra help sessions before or after school. They have enjoyed playing review games, such as Kahoot! Many students are also utilizing assistive technology, including some awesome Chrome apps and extensions to enhance and support their learning. Both students and teachers on 6P are thrilled to be going 1:1 with chromebooks in the classroom!
AIA MATH UPDATES: Mrs. banks
In AIA Math, we recently finished a unit on decimal operations called Balancing it Out! The kids learned a lot about the importance of decimal rules and worked on their cursive while learning to write checks and balancing a checkbook, feel free to ask them for help next time you are paying your bills!!!
All students had a great time investigating a new program called Glogster. Students had the chance to show their classmates a little bit about themselves, using photos, videos, pictures, youtube video, text etc. They were so creative and enjoyed sharing their completed project. We are currently working on a new unit and students will have the opportunity to utilize their Glogster accounts to create a student lead lesson on various math topics that classmates will view!
The goal of the AIA class is simply to encourage students to examine and apply 6th grade math concepts through project based learning, which can include but not limited to the following activities: team games, mini group projects, inquiry labs, foldables, online games, edpuzzles (online video lessons/questions), Glogster projects, word problems, error analysis tasks. Here is a peek into some of those awesome activities!!
For more pictures and videos of our class time fun check out my classroom Instagram account: mrsbanksnms
SOCIAL STUDIES updates: ms. scilingo
Sixth grade students have completed their journeys through Africa and Western Asia! In World Geography, we are now studying Central and South Asia. Highlights of our current unit include learning about Mahatma Gandhi, Siddhartha Gautama, and various Hindu deities. Students have been hard at work creating...
- Hindu deity cards
- A scrapbook of Buddha's life
- Monsoon Asia flipbooks
- "Apps" and app logos
- "Seals" modeled after the 5,000 year old ones uncovered in the Indus River Valley
- Scenes from Gandhi's life
In late November, as students were still studying Africa South of the Sahara, 6P students enjoyed "Africa Day," an entire day devoted to African music, games, and culture. The highlight of the day included a presentation from three Wheaton College students and one professor who had spent about a month in Tanzania. The college students even had the opportunity to teach in Tanzanian schools. Norton students received and replied to letters from some of our visitors' Tanzanian students.
JAMBO! (Hello in Kiswahili)
OUR NEXT STOP IS EAST ASIA! Look for exciting new updates about our exploration of China, Japan, and the rest of this region in our next newsletter!
My class website, Twitter, and Google Classroom are continuously updated to keep both students and parents in the loop! Be sure to click the links if you want to see more:
ELA CLASS UPDATES: mS. Sullivan
Let us explain about Ms. Sullivan’s grade 6 Purple student’s project learning about Literary Nonfiction. First, we broke up into groups, closely looked at the picture shown on the left. Then, each group plotted a part of a story plot to include the following: exposition, rising action, climax, falling action, and resolution of the story we created based on the evidence we saw in the picture. We plotted the story on the wall to see if our facts made sense and worked with each part of the story to reach the final resolution: “It is best to build your house on stilts if you live near the beach.” Also, we learned about primary and secondary sources and practiced identifying them. Next, we read the nonfiction story, “Shackelton-An Enduring Leader” knowing that it was our job to SWBAT or “Student Will Be Able To- identify the facts of the central idea and supporting details. In teams, each having a role of the leader, recorder, and reporter we completed close reading worksheets scanning for the key words to identify the facts. As teams, the leaders shared and charted the information with the class to determine which group had the most accurate facts.
Math updates: Mrs. Weise
Over the past couple of months, Glencoe math students have been pretty engaged and hands on with dividing fractions and learning about integers, rational numbers, and graphing on number lines and the coordinate plane. They've eaten graham crackers and drawn models in the process of learning division with fractions, designed fraction elves, worked a lot with whiteboards, used their bodies to graph and reflect points on a giant hallway coordinate plane, played related math games on chromebooks, worked with a giant coordinate plane on the classroom back wall, and most recently worked in cooperative groups on an order of operations logic puzzle, which also made use of the chromebooks for checking their solutions. We are very grateful for having 1 to 1 chrome books for math. On some days, everyone is working at their own pace with various on-line activities to learn, master, and practice skills in our math curriculum. On these days, I am able to give more 1 to 1 attention to those students needing a little more support with the concepts being learned.
Students using the pre-algebra books have incorporated decimal operations into solving algebraic equations. They've also explored some data concepts such as measures of center, outliers, and mean absolute deviation. While learning about statistics, they had fun "acting out" a family skit to determine which measure of center was more resistant to changes in the extreme values of the data set, and they learned how to use Google Sheets (a type of spreadsheet) to easily do calculations with large groups of data. They thought this was really neat and felt like pros when asked to use Google Sheets later in their science classes. On-line games and practice sets, along with student whiteboards and an occasional competitive game keep everyone engaged while tackling new skills. The conceptual challenge of math really stepped up in chapter four when students had to apply the ideas of greatest common factor, least common multiple, and exponents to algebraic expressions, negative numbers, and simplifying fractions with variables and negative numbers. These students are finding that math is expanding their minds like never before. In the realm of rational numbers, they have found you can never count from one integer to the next if asked to count all the rational numbers in between. In fact, name any two rational numbers you want, and you can always find an infinite amount of numbers between them. As the saying goes, "You can't get there from here."
Where are we headed now in math?
Glencoe math book students are entering the world of variables with writing and evaluating algebraic expressions and solving algebraic equations and inequalities. Meanwhile the pre-algebra book students are happy to finally get their graham cracker lesson for dividing fractions and are now being exposed to my silly algorithm chants for working with fractions. Of course they will also have to figure out how variables and negatives work with fraction operations. After fractions, they will work on ratios and proportions. Mid to late March, all students will begin working on geometry and then statistics before our May MCAS. ICE is becoming an even more valuable time block as we use the chrome books to learn spreadsheet skills and get more in school time on Khan Academy.
All Glencoe math book students have received Volume 2 of their textbook and they have been told to keep Volume 1 at home at least through the end of this school year. There will still be at least one more cumulative assessment that will cover the chapters in Volume 1 as well as Volume 2. Being able to look back at the work they did in Volume 1 will be a valuable resource for studying.
As MCAS will be taken on the chrome books this year, Khan Academy is playing an even more important role for math. In addition to providing on-going comprehensive practice for mastery, Khan is helping students to become accustomed to solving math problems on a computer screen. To encourage all students to master as much of the sixth grade curriculum as possible on Khan Academy before MCAS, there will be an outdoor recess and ice cream sundae celebration for all those who attain at least 60% mastery before the date of math MCAS, which is currently set for May 16th. There are 15 students who have already surpassed this goal! Come on everybody, it's time to get your Khan on!
ELA UPDATES: MRs. Wells
Woo hoo! Our pilot program has just got a huge boost of digital propulsion. Now that students each have chromebooks, we are using the online version of the textbook (anthology) from Pearson Literature as well as other components of the program. In case you are wondering, an anthology is a collection of literature. Our collection includes fiction and nonfiction, narrative, poetry, and drama. Within the scope of the program, there are many opportunities for students to hone their comprehension skills including locating and incorporating text evidence to support their assertions in written response. In addition, students have been exploring how language is used to communicate through the study of grammar, vocabulary, proverbs, and figurative language particularly idiomatic expressions. Other aspects of the class have considered the read/write connection as students read stories and study story structure and then apply narrative writing strategies and techniques to their own work. Looking forward, we will be continuing to work on writing in its various forms, specifically narrative and essay,