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6th Grade News: 1/13 – 1/24/20

Advisory & Social Action: 

In advisory this week and last, we have been focusing on the theme of kindness. We watched an inspiring video about a “chain” of kind gestures, which showed how one small thoughtful act can lead to many others. See the video at this link if you’re interested! Then, we thought about how we could re-enact this kindness chain in our own school, and 6th graders produced and acted in their own original videos on this topic. Once the videos are ready we can share them with you! Continuing with this theme, next week the entire school will be participating in a week full of kindness and compassion. We’ll be spreading kindness at home and in our communities, and we’ll be doing kind acts for each other around school as well. We hope that these efforts and will spread a lasting sense of empathy and compassion among our students as the year progresses.

In the next few weeks (and in general!), if you see examples of kindness on the news or in person, we encourage you to point them out to your children. I’m sure they will be excited to witness and be a part of these moments in real life, and these kinds of events can inspire them to be the best versions of themselves each day.

Beyond helping each other, 6th graders have also been focusing on how we can help the world and our communities. As you may know, our grade’s social action theme is Sustainability. In line with our theme and in honor of Martin Luther King Day, we participated in a multi-step social action project these past few weeks. Our project involved collecting used coffee grounds from several local coffee shops and bringing these grounds to a nearby compost drop-off station to be composted later. While collecting many heavy buckets of coffee grounds, the students were able to actually see and feel what a big difference they were making in our city and environment. If you do not already do so, perhaps you could consider composting on occasion in your own home in order to continue our work. Students researched local compost drop-off stations at this website, and they should be able to help you find a location that is close to your house.

See photos from our service project here: https://photos.app.goo.gl/xhGEpX8ZFQAyVcXe6

All the best,

Naomi & Mike

Humanities: 

It has been an action-packed few weeks in Social Studies and ELA. As we begin our ancient Rome research projects, students have shown great enthusiasm for their chosen topics. They’re studying a range of Rome-related subjects, ranging from Roman fashion, to food, to theater, and more. Some are learning about politicians like Julius Caesar, while others have chosen to focus on a more general theme, like the role of women. Right now we’re still at the research stage, and next week we will begin outlining our essays. I recommend you ask your child about some interesting facts they’ve learned so far!

We’ve also continued our collective study of ancient Rome together as a class. In order to better understand the power struggle between the patricians (wealthy land owners) and plebeians (poor, working-class people), we participated in a multi-stage simulation. A few students were randomly assigned to have more power than the rest of their classmates while we tried to do a class-wide project– and, as you might imagine, chaos ensued. Some “powerless” students who were not happy with their position on the bottom of the ladder decided to stand up for themselves and go on strike! This forced the class to negotiate until we found solutions that worked for everyone. After the simulation, we debriefed the activity and connected it to ancient Rome. I explained that the plebeians, or working class people of ancient Rome, did exactly what some of the students did: rebelled until they received more rights and power. Overall, the game was both fun and memorable, and hopefully it will help students better understand the various social roles during the Roman Republic.

Shabbat shalom,

Naomi

Judaics: 

Please check out the amazing Shemot projects students created this past week (scroll to the bottom of the album)! 6th grade projects.   It was so impressive how students learned the text, translated it, found commentary, asked text based questions and even came up with a moral or ethical question based off of the section of text they were responsible for. The discussions led by each project group brought up important modern day life lessons. We are beginning chapter 3 in Shemot where Moshe encounters the famous burning bush. We will be looking at how this famous scene has been depicted in a variety of art throughout the ages and think about how we would picture the scene based off of the text. We are also starting to learn about the history and laws around the Tallit in our tefillah time. We will eventually be making our own tallitot! Please send old sheets or pashmina type scarves if you have for your child to use as the base of their tallit. 

Shabbat Shalom,

Laura

Science:

Science has been focusing on the circulatory system these last 2 weeks. Students explored the basic organs involved with this system. We conducted an experiment where students had to do seven different activities from sitting in place for 2 minutes to running in place. This experiment allowed students to discover how their heart rate increases during these different activities. Students were amazed to feel their pulse and count their rates per minute. In the coming week students will explore blood by conducting an experiment by blood typing synthetic blood. We continue our excitement of discovering the human body one system at a time.

 

 

 

 

 

Mike

Math: 

The 6th grade started a new chapter this week that focuses on rates. We started out learning about averages and will move into unit rates. Later in the chapter, we will map out a trip and see what is the best value for what we chose (airline, hotel, food, etc). Have a great weekend!

Katie

Hebrew

Dear parents,

These two weeks the 6th grade has been focusing on reading, writing and discussing cities we live in, and specifically Jerusalem.

We have also started experimenting with a pilot called The Inversed Classroom. This method offers students the opportunity to study a topic online before exploring it in class. The students found this new method challenging but fun.

I wish you all a wonderful weekend,

Andreea

 

Bar/bat Mitzvah Class:
Over the past few weeks the 6th graders have been learning about what it means to become a bar/bat mitzvah according to Jewish law. We discovered that the first mention of the bar mitzvah is in the Mishnah. While the Mishnah states that boys become responsible for mitzvoth at 13, all we learn about girls is that their vows become valid at 13. The sixth graders were filled with kushiyot (questions) about these two mishnas. Next week the students will write their own modern mishnas to represent what they think the law should be today.
Phyllis