Who am I? Who are we? Who do we want to become? In this class, we will learn about the elements of culture by studying societies within the United States, across the globe, and in the fictional future. We will first look at ourselves and our own identities and then explore the perspectives and experiences of others. How are people’s identities influenced and challenged by societal norms, friendship, religion, war, and government? How can we be upstanders and agents of change?
Students examine the craft of writers and the habits of readers as they continue to grow their own writing and reading lives. They practice applying research skills in search of answers to their own guiding questions. They experience a wide variety of innovative projects that encourage creative problem solving and often use cutting edge applications that allow them to demonstrate understanding in new and exciting ways. Humanities provides a collaborative, challenging, and dynamic introduction to a Beaver education.
Course Texts: The Insiders Mark Oshiro; A Thousand Questions Saadia Faruqi; Pashmina Nidhi Chanani; Refugee Alan Gratz; March: Book One; John Lewis and The Boy at the End of the World Greg Van Eekhout
In this course, students will extend their understanding of the number system while exploring rational numbers and integers. Plus, they will make sense of algorithms for dividing fractions and decimals to explain why they work. Students will develop reasoning to solve and make sense of problems involving ratios, rates, and percents. In statistics, students will construct, interpret, and use calculation methods and models to describe distribution and variability.
Emphasis is placed on communication in verbal and written form, creative problem-solving, and reasoning skills. Willingness to take risks and productive struggle are also major themes of the course. Inquiry-learning through projects, technology, and collaboration support the curriculum.
As part of our Instrumental Music curriculum, all students learn how to play an instrument or hone their skills if they are already accomplished musicians. Using orchestra and chorus as a model for collaboration, students learn instrument technique and musicianship skills through practicing and rehearsing a range of repertoire. They begin by test driving each instrument (trumpet, trombone, tuba, cello, violin, viola, voice, flute, clarinet) before being matched with an ensemble, taking into consideration the student’s interest, feedback from the teachers, and the needs of the ensemble. Those with previous experience in percussion can audition to join the percussion section which joins with the brass and woodwind ensembles for their combined rehearsals. The ensembles comprising 6th, 7th, and 8th grades are highly differentiated, allowing beginners and advanced students to thrive together by learning multiple parts of the same piece of music. Although this is a music program that builds technical skills and artistry, the impact goes far beyond music, focusing on collaboration, creative problem solving, empathy, and leadership skills.
What is home? How do I understand my place and impact in a larger system? In Science 6, we get outside and explore our sense of place through several lenses, including Earth science, ecosystems, and engineering. We challenge ourselves to examine systems big and small through field study by strengthening our observation, data collection, and data analysis skills.
In 6th grade, students develop an understanding of theater as a collaborative art form and work to create a supportive, trusting, and cooperative ensemble. Through theater games and activities, students learn the importance of communication and problem-solving and grow more confident as collaborators and performers. Students also explore physicality and vocal expression, combining these skills to create unique characters, and they are introduced to the various jobs and responsibilities in a theater production. Lastly, students develop their listening, critical thinking, and reflection skills by learning to give and receive feedback as an essential part of the artistic process.
Sixth graders are encouraged to begin to value their art making process over their product as they move through projects dealing with ideas around visual mapping and composition, characters, repetition, scale, and perspective. Students are given a lot of freedom to take their work in directions that interest them. This approach is designed to produce engaged young artists who are excited about their work.
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