Sixth grade is an exciting year full of brand new experiences. The highlight of this school year is the week-long trip to Nature’s Classroom in Wakefield, Rhode Island. Students experience learning through living together, engaging in hands-on activities, and working together to accomplish common goals. Students return to Trinity having not only learned new subject matter from a new perspective, but also having learned about themselves and each other. They become bonded as a class, which carries them through the middle school experience in a special way.
In our middle school, students travel to different classes every forty-five minutes, instead of being in a self-contained classroom. Every care is taken to make sure that this difficult transition is made with each individual child in mind. The middle school team works together, meeting often, to ensure that our expectations regarding homework, study time, organization, and discipline are clearly communicated to all students. The team determines whether any student needs additional reinforcement in a subject area, and a plan is then implemented to meet the student’s needs.
As sixth graders, students are now eligible for membership in the National Junior Honor Society (NJHS) and the Faith in Action Team (FIAT) if they meet the criteria for membership. These are in addition to the many other student organizations available such as Student Council, Paw Press, Choir, Sports Teams, Running Club, etc. Students are encouraged to bring their interests to the school by requesting permission to form new clubs and groups which may reflect the needs of the current student body.
Sixth Grade Team
Ms. Todd (Homeroom)
Grade 6 English is composed of four major components: Grammar, Vocabulary, Writing, and Poetry. A very strong study of the parts of speech and proper sentence construction is an integral part of fine-tuning a student’s writing skills. To that end, we concentrate heavily on parts of speech and their role in sentence construction and in proper syntax. We apply these grammatical skills when we study proper paragraph and essay construction. A variety of types of writing are practiced in sixth grade which might include the personal narrative, expository writing, writing that compares and contrasts or which cites evidence in order to persuade. We further extend those skills in the writing of a research paper in connection with a school wide Science Fair or Social Studies Fair, each of which is held in alternating years. We have a very strong vocabulary program that serves to enhance both our reading and writing. In the spring of the year, we enjoy a unit on poetry. We take a look at the elements of poetry and focus in on some conventional and some not so conventional forms. The most enjoyable part of this unit for our sixth graders is that they try their hand at writing their own poetry—with remarkable results.
Grade 6 Literature exposes students to the various genres available to them. Short stories, non-fiction selections, poetry, drama, and novels are read and discussed during this year. Students begin with summer reading selections. There’s an Owl in the Shower by Jean Craighead George is required reading and is discussed in length at the beginning of the school year. It is also used in the Grade 6 Science curriculum while studying biomes. Students are also required to choose one other book from a choice of three and write a book report. The choices change yearly.
Students in grade 6 Literature learn to transition from a reading book model to literature. While the experience is not easy for most students, great care is made to help students move from concrete to abstract thinkers. Students learn about summary, plot, theme, characterization, and symbolism. They explore various types of poetry and the wonderful world of folk tales. Novels are read and dissected in class such as Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins. In addition, students are encouraged to engage in their own independent reading through a 40 Book Challenge. This is intended to teach students not only how to choose books that are just fun for them, but to encourage students to develop into life long readers.
Grade 6 students will prepare for Pre-Algebra by becoming proficient in number sense, operations with decimals and fractions, interpretation of data, customary and metric measurement, perimeter, and area. Key concepts introduced during the year will be expressions, equations and integers. Periodic cumulative review assignments are given to ensure that students don’t lose the skills they have acquired while focusing on new skills. Problem-solving and test-taking strategies are built into the curriculum, enhancing students’ critical thinking skills and their performance on standardized tests.
Social Studies class in Grade 6 is a survey of world regions. The class begins with a study of our neighbors in Canada and Mexico, moves south to cover Central and South America, and then moves east to Europe, Asia, Africa and Australia. For each region, geography, history, government, economics and culture are discussed. When possible, the end of the study of a region culminates in a “culture class” where art, music, foods and customs of the region are shared. Students leave the class with a broader sense of the societies that populate our Earth and their own responsibility as a citizen of the world.
In Grade 6 Religion, students study our ancestors in faith and draw historical and thematic connections between the Old Testament and the New Testament. Each theme is then examined from a modern perspective, exploring the ways in which a particular value might be lived out in our lives today. Students also gain a deeper understanding of the sacraments and what it means to be a Catholic.
Sixth graders are very curious about how their faith relates to their lives. Questions about Church history, the life of Jesus, the theology of the afterlife, and modern morality are often asked at this stage of spiritual development. These topics are woven into the curriculum where appropriate, and added in where necessary, to allow each individual class the flexibility to explore the concepts of interest to them.
Another facet of the 6th Grade religion curriculum is a book-project undertaken in conjunction with the 7th and 8th grades. Each summer, the faculty chooses a book that teaches valuable life lessons and encourages spiritual growth. This book becomes the focus of the Faculty-Staff Retreat Day at the start of the school year and the themes of the book become the themes to which the school returns at Masses and other celebrations throughout the year. The book is read by the middle-school students with guidance from the middle-school teachers and a cross-class group project is assigned, drawing students from all three grades into discussion of the topics and cooperation in completing the work.
Welcome to Science in the Sixth Grade! There are so many wonderful and exciting things going on this year. We start off in the summer with reading There’s an Owl in the Shower by Jean Craighead George. This story leads us into our study of Earth Systems and owl pellet dissection. We discover how cool science really can be.
The highlight of this year is our weeklong excursion to Nature’s Classroom in Wakefield, RI. We quickly come to realize that learning does not just happen in the four walls of a classroom or during the normal hours of a school day but that it happens everywhere and at anytime. Students come back with a new sense of self, of others and some really cool stories about their adventures. Nature’s Classroom helps students discover their potential, bond with their classmates and have the experience of a lifetime!
Science is an area where we play and discover, an area where being wrong can lead to new discoveries, and an area where questions begin the scientific process. The Diocese of Worcester has implemented a science curriculum of three major subject areas per year. In the Sixth Grade those subject areas are Earth Systems: water/climate/weather/landmass mapping, Matter/Atoms/Elements, and Space/Solar System.
Every other year, we have a science fair in which students work by themselves or in a team for several months on a project of their choosing. It is a project based on a scientific method. Students have the opportunity to work in an area of interest, work on a long term project and share their results with judges in order to gain public speaking skills and self confidence in sharing their work.
Grade six, beginning students will learn ABC’s, basic expressions, greetings, numbers, and some vocabulary.
Students in all grades will also be introduced to traditional Spanish celebrations like Dia de los Muertos at the beginning of November, Posadas at Christmas and Cinco de Mayo celebration on May 5th.
Student will have the basic knowledge to be able to succeed in Spanish I in high school.