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Sixth Grade Blog

6th Grade News: End-of-Year Edition

HUMANITIES It’s hard to believe that we’re already wrapping up our year in 6th grade humanities. It was a true joy to be able to work with this group of students, and I know that I’ll come away from the year having learned a lot from each of them. We’re ending the year on a busy note, and spent time the past few weeks preparing for the Greek Symposium on Tuesday. The students worked hard to design ancient Greek “artifacts” that relate to their research topics; they’ll explain their design choices and the related content during their speeches at the...
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6th Grade News: 5/13 – 5/24/19

GENERAL The 6th graders had a blast yesterday competing for the Yellow, Green, Red, and Blue teams during Lag B’Omer! Enjoy some photos of 6th graders showing their team spirit here: https://photos.app.goo.gl/D7ZpzufmiTBbqjit6 JUDAICS:  This week we finished our Toon Tastic projects and shared them with the class! Students took the text from Shemot where Bnai Yisrael crossed the Red Sea and turned it into their very own animated movies! They included the text that we use in tefillah, Mi Chamocha and Az Yashir. It was so fun to see the text come alive as they used this accessible technology. I...
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6th Grade News: 4/29 – 5/10/19

HUMANITIES:  I hope you had a fulfilling Passover holiday. In Social Studies these past few weeks, we’ve continued our study of ancient Greece. We immersed ourselves in the democracy of ancient Athens by participating in a mini-simulation: I asked the class to help me plan a class party, but I only solicited opinions from a select few students and allowed only those few students to vote on our final decisions. We talked about this discussion afterward as a whole class, reflecting on how it felt to be left out of the planning and voting processes. Students discovered that in some...
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6th Grade News: 4/8 – 4/18/19

HUMANITIES  This week in Social Studies, we learned about the Minoan people of Crete in ancient Greece by “traveling back in time” to their palace. We examined the frescoes — or paintings on wet plaster —  that were uncovered on their palace walls, and we made inferences about Minoan culture based on these designs. Read more about the beautiful Minoan frescoes here. We then transitioned to a few hundred years later and visited the ancient Greek agora, or outdoor marketplace. Students learned that the agora was not only a great place to buy and sell goods; it was also a...
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6th Grade News 3/25 – 4/5/19

HUMANITIES  In ELA last week, we began our new unit on “Coming of Age.” Each student has chosen to read either The Wednesday Wars by Gary D. Schmidt or Goodbye Stranger by Rebecca Stead. Both books follow middle school-age kids experiencing normal, “tween” and teen challenges related to friendships, family, clashing emotions, and identity formation. Students are discussing their reading in small book clubs of 3-4, practicing their speaking, listening, and compromising skills while they converse. We’re using these texts as a lens through which to confront issues relevant to the kids’ lives, as they come of age and explore...
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6th Grade News: 3/11 – 3/22/19

HUMANITIES As we transition into spring, we are also wrapping up several units and beginning new ones in Humanities. In ELA, we have finished reading Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry, and are now completing some culminating activities related to the text itself and its historical context. For example, we identified over a dozen different literary terms in the story – including foreshadowing, dialect, flashbacks, and symbolism. We also further explored the racial divide in the Jim Crow era South by taking an old Louisiana voter Literacy test — a test that many African Americans were forced to take and...
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6th Grade News: 2/25 – 3/8/19

HUMANITIES  Last week, 6th graders had the opportunity to bring their learning to life when we visited the Brooklyn Museum. We explored art and artifacts related to ancient Egypt, including a real mummy, classic amulets, the “Book of the Dead” (or a “cheat sheet”/guide to the afterlife), sculptures of pharaohs, and more. The students used their ancient Egypt expertise to inform their analysis of the items in the exhibit; it was wonderful to see them teaching and learning from each other. –> Enjoy the photos from our field trip here:   https://photos.app.goo.gl/JcBaLuj7umX3Re166 Meanwhile, in ELA we are continuing to delve deep...
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6th Grade News 2/4 – 2/15/19

HUMANITIES  Last week in Social Studies, students reviewed all the steps that were involved in building the ancient Egyptian pyramids – from choosing the perfect spot, to finding and carving the stones, to hauling the stones up temporary ramps to build the pyramids. After reading about all the different jobs and kinds of labor involved, students acted out the entire pyramid-building process. See videos of their skits below! Links to Pyramid-Building Skits – What are the four stages of building a pyramid?  (Note: don’t worry – these videos are not public or searchable! They are only accessible to people who...
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6th Grade News 1/21 – 2/1/19

HUMANITIES: This week in ELA, students began an exciting new writing unit related to research and debate. They chose “real world” questions that felt meaningful to them, including: Should schools punish cyberbullying? Should the U.S. continue giving foreign aid? and more. They are researching all sides of the argument using online and offline sources, and determining their own stance as they work. In order to ensure responsible research, we learned how to determine whether a source is reliable or unreliable. We had fun examining a wide range of websites — from amateur blogs to university publications — finding both trustworthy...
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6th Grade News: 1/7 – 1/18/19

HUMANITIES It was a pleasure to experience several special programs this past week in Humanities, including a special workshop on The Giver and a visit to the United Nations Headquarters. Mara Stephens, otherwise known as “Vera’s mom,” came in on Tuesday for an interactive program related to Lois Lowry’s The Giver. Mara actually used to performed her own one-woman show about this book, and we were so lucky that she was able to share some of her performance with us. She also led several movement and acting-based activities with the class, bringing the story in The Giver to life. As the students followed firm,...
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