CULTURAL HISTORY- We have had a great time learning about the similarities and differences between the 6 most popular world religions (Christianity, Judaism, Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism and Confucianism.) We engaged in opportunities to question and grow through self-reflection and we had to think hard when learning about reincarnation, as well as, attempted to wrap our heads around "spiritual awakening," something Hindus and Buddhists practice. Furthermore, we were intrigued to see foundational similarities between Christianity, Islam and Judaism. Next, we studied the major characteristics of the religions (Place of Origin, Founder(s), Sacred Text(s), Beliefs and Place of Worship). We then moved into analyzing the ancient texts of Buddha and Confucius, two important people relating to ancient religions and discussed how their sayings, although thousands of years old, still remain relevant today. Finally, we moved into Ancient China and used our new learning of Confucius to help pave the way. Students will learn about Geography, Economy, Religion, Achievements, Social Class, Leadership and Government of China, identify the numerous Dynasties, and will have an opportunity to "show what they know" by researching an ancient Chinese contribution, creating a replica and presenting their new findings to their classmates. A detailed rubric and instructions will be sent home next week.
In ELA we are wrapping up work on our Hero's Journey book clubs with a theme analysis project. Students are busy finding themes for their books and supporting ideas with evidence from the book. Come by and see these well written pieces in the hall! Students are also hard at work analyzing and creating memoirs or personal narratives. We've been reading narratives by professional writers and applying good writer's tricks like adding descriptive details and using dialogue to reveal more about our characters. We've been practicing new grammar skills. Students have learned how to use quotation marks correctly in writing and how to identify parts of speech. A new spelling app on our iPads is helping students to spell tricky words using phonograms (or the chunks of words).
I am fundraising in order to purchase each student a copy of A World Without Fish by Mark Kurlansky. I hope to use the book to support our upcoming argumentative writing unit. Students will research and draft persuasive pieces designed to build awareness about sustainable ocean practices as we work with Mrs. Duffy on the Seeds to Shoreline spring service learning project. Please consider donating to DonorsChoose.org!
In math, students have been working on Expressions and exploring how the different properties come into play. Next week, we will extend this learning to equations and inequalities. Students will get a chance to solve equation terminology puzzles. We will investigate multiple representations of real world relationships and mathematical situations and translate this data among graphs, tables and equations.
We have been growing some real botanists in 6th grade! Students are learning all about the PLANT kingdom. We began with building our understanding of plant structures by organizing plants into categories such as: vascular and non-vascular, seed-bearing and spore-producing, angiosperms and gymnosperms, as well as monocots and dicots. We explored plant processes, some students were familiar with - like photosynthesis - so we expanded on that understanding to include the chemical equation (a little preview of 7th grade). Some processes were new - like transpiration and respiration. Students used the microscopes to view the stomata on leaves. They had to collect the samples and then work with perseverance to find the stomata through the microscopes. Stomata are openings on a leaf which allow for gas transfer (oxygen and carbon dioxide) as well as water vapor. When we studied plant reproduction, we focused on flowering plants (angiosperms), but did give an overview of gymnosperm reproduction. Students worked to draw and memorize the parts of a complete flower and each part's function. We then dissected star-gazer lilies so the students could create a keynote demonstrating their understanding. After reviewing variables we set up a lab testing the effect of gravity on corn seeds. Next week the students will be designing and conducting their own experiments.
BIG NEWS: Our spartina seeds have come out of storage, and have been prepped for germination. We are looking forward to seeing them begin growth and moving them into the greenhouse soon.
Our plants in the hydroponic greenhouse suffered from the extreme cold temperatures over the break. We are hoping they will make a comeback soon.