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Sixth Grade Curriculum

Humanities:

Humanities is an integration of language arts and social studies. The emphasis is to provide students with a rich, literary based curriculum which includes a variety of texts, both fiction and nonfiction and integrates reading and writing daily. Class novel studies, combined with a focused independent reading program, develop comprehension and analytical skills, as well as an advanced vocabulary and a deeper understanding of grammar and sentence structure. Utilizing reading and writing strategies gained via a workshop model based on the Columbia Teachers College Reading and Writing Project; students engage in content-rich lessons which enhance their abilities as readers, writers, and thinkers. Students write narratives, informational, and persuasive essays displaying his or her ability to independently transfer strategies gained in the workshop. Content areas include Ancient Civilizations such as Mesopotamia, Egypt, India, China, Greece, and Rome. Class literature studies include Ulysses and various non-fiction book clubs as well as units on classic short stories and poetry. A rigorous vocabulary and grammar program are integrated within the novel studies and written work.

Science:

Earth Science provides students with a deeper understanding of our home planet. Concepts examined include geology, meteorology, astronomy, hydrology, plate tectonics, volcanoes, earthquakes, topography, and resource utilization and conservation. These concepts are investigated through a variety of activities. Emphasis is placed on the scientific method, allowing students to develop appropriate skills in science as an inquiry. Students learn about the continuous forces shaping our dynamic Earth and the universe beyond. Earth Science promotes students’ awareness of the history, structure, and complexity of our planet.
 

Mathematics:

Sixth-grade students are enrolled in either Math 1, Math 2 or Pre-Algebra.

Math 1 (grade level math):

Includes a review of many previously introduced concepts explored at a deeper level. Students continue to become strong critical thinkers with confidence in their strategies and abilities to do math. New concepts covered are: multiplication and division of whole numbers, decimals, fractions and mixed numbers; percent-fraction-decimal relationships; ratios, rates and proportional relationships; integers and exponents; order of operations (PEMDAS); algebraic expressions and equations; functions and inequalities; area, surface area and volume; statistical measures and displays.

Math 2 (seventh grade level math):

During the first semester, Math 2 builds upon previous concepts taught in Math 1, and then leads students through basic algebraic, geometric, and statistical procedures in the second semester. The major goals of this course are to analyze proportional relationships; calculate percents in real-world applications; extend previous understandings of operations with the new twist of positive and negative integers; extend operations with fractions by including positive and negative numbers; introduce algebraic expressions to generate equivalent expressions; use properties of equality in algebraic expressions; solve one- and two-step algebraic equations and inequalities; draw, construct, and describe geometrical figures and describe the relationships between them; Solve real-life and mathematical problems involving angles measure, area, surface area, and volume; investigate, develop, and use probability models; and use random sampling to draw inferences about a population. Students will develop problem-solving skills to apply these problems to real-life circumstances. Successful completion of this course will prepare students for Pre-Algebra.

Pre-Algebra:

This course centers on reinforcing and expanding upon the mathematical skills taught in general mathematics with additional advanced computation, with an emphasis of Algebraic concepts. A major goal of this course is to use beginning algebra to compute with positive and negative exponents, simplify monomials, simplify expressions, solve equations and inequalities, and utilize both algebra and graphing as a representation of linear functions and systems of equations. Students will further develop and solidify the concepts of integers, rational numbers, ratios, proportions, percents, powers, roots, statistics and probability. Students will also be introduced to congruence, similarity, and transformations in the coordinate plane, as well as extend their knowledge of volume and surface area. Students will develop and expand problem solving skills, both creatively and analytically, in order to solve word problems and apply it to real-world applications.

Spanish:

This introductory level class, which again meets twice a week, focuses on expanding vocabulary and grammar from Spanish 5 while continuing to improve verbal skills and proper pronunciation. Units of study will include parts of the body, clothing, physical traits, and parts of the home. Simple verb conjugations will be the main emphasis in grammar. Students will be actively engaged in their own language learning, while making comparisons to the cultural practices and perspectives of various Spanish-speaking countries.

Jewish Studies:

Bible Studies: The Books of Joshua, Judges and Samuel I - Students examine the narrative of selected stories from Navi (The Prophets). Through critical lenses, they learn about the life of the ancient Israel’s leaders. 6th-grade students investigate their leadership skills, weaknesses and strengths and their historical impact on the development of the new nation in Eretz Israel.

Some of the key questions to be investigated include the following: What is a prophet? What was God’s role in the development of Israel and its leaders? What were the distinct social roles for the prophet in the society of ancient Israel? How the events in Navi shaped the land of Israel and its political forces.

Jewish Leaders/Heroes: Students examine the work of various prominent Jewish heroes who espoused and promoted Jewish values. Key questions: Who is a Hero? What makes a Jewish Hero? How one’s actions lead to Tikun Olam? Through an individual project, each student investigates the life of one Jewish hero and his/her historical impact.

Jewish Lifecycle Events: Students learn about traditions and rituals of each of the Jewish lifecycle events. How do we celebrate a birth of a child? What does it mean “to become a Bar/Bat Mitzvah”? What rituals make a Jewish wedding a special ceremony? What is a Jewish burial? Through this experiential program, students hear from presenters such as a Mohel and a congregational Rabbi who present their role through each of the lifecycle events.

Hebrew:

Our 6th graders continue using the Chaverim B’Ivrit reading series. This curriculum is based on the most current understanding of language acquisition in children. Chaverim B'Ivrit develops active language production in children by treating Hebrew as a living language. Through age-appropriate stories, conversations, poems, songs, journals, and many other child-centered activities, this unique curriculum pays special attention to the beyond-the-classroom interests and needs of students, allowing learners to transfer and apply their learning in new contexts and situations. Moreover, Pardes students learn about Jewish values and holidays using modern Hebrew reading, writing and conversational skills that are enhanced each unit.