Spring is going fast and furious in Grade Six. The students did a truly wonderful job of representing Sandwich Central School and engaging in all that they were exposed to in Washington, D.C. I could not have asked for a better group of kids to help me get my feet wet in in first D.C. experience as the trip leader. Mr. Hillger and Mrs. Ryan’s experience was critical in allowing us to have a smooth trip, and we honestly could not pull off a trip like this without all our chaperone support!
Thank you to all of you who joined us on the trip, and thank you to those parents who trusted us to take good care of you kids in the big city.
Language Arts: Since returning from our trip students have been working on their creative writing pieces that they planned out before going to D.C. These stories all have at least part of their setting in D.C. and that small common thread is making for a terrific motivator as they work on crafting their stories, and as they share them with each other and seek feedback. The writing conferences have been rich, and students seem more open to revisions than they often are. I am quite entertained by the terrific plots these writers have developed and their setting descriptions are strong. For a read aloud, we have been reading Linda Sue Park’s A Long Walk to Water. The Amazon summary describes the book in the following paragraph:
The New York Times bestseller A Long Walk to Water begins as two stories, told in alternating sections, about two eleven-year-olds in Sudan, a girl in 2008 and a boy in 1985. The girl, Nya, is fetching water from a pond that is two hours’ walk from her home: she makes two trips to the pond every day. The boy, Salva, becomes one of the "lost boys" of Sudan, refugees who cover the African continent on foot as they search for their families and for a safe place to stay. Enduring every hardship from loneliness to attack by armed rebels to contact with killer lions and crocodiles, Salva is a survivor, and his story goes on to intersect with Nya’s in an astonishing and moving way.
I have found this book to be an incredibly powerful, and age-appropriate introduction to the hardships experienced by those who are living in a refugee status. It is also a wonderfully inspiring story of what one can accomplish when their will to live and their desire to help others forges their path despite all obstacles.
The next book we read as a class will be a biography of Thomas Edison. This book will coincide nicely with our study of electricity.
Math:The Upper Multiage Veterans are have started Unit 7 in EDM. This unit, Multiplication of Mixed Numbers: Geometry; Graphs, covers a lot of ground. These students are moving at a good pace, and their math discussions have demonstrated a lot of careful thinking about the currently topics.
The Sixth Grade Students continue their work in Unit 6. This unit dives deeply into algebraic concepts, and for the first time many of the students are experiencing some difficulty in math. However, it is also an opportunity for those who oftentimes find that math comes easily to them to experience the benefits of hard work and focus. Unlocking the algebraic puzzle can be very rewarding, and it is exciting to watch them work diligently to accomplish this goal.
Science: We have moved out of chemistry and into a new FOSS kit. This one is titled: Electromagnetic Force. The first investigation has focused on concepts surrounding Newton’s Laws of Motion in order to set the stage for later investigations. Many of these students still have good recall of these topics from their rookie year in the Upper Multiage, so it’s nice to see them draw from some prior knowledge to make sense of the new activities.
The Sixth Grade would like to thank the Dassori-Kay family and the Wobber-Coulter family for the donation of their bread machines. We are baking a loaf as I type this, while the students work diligently on their Smarter Balanced Assessments. It smells absolutely scrumptious and will provide a fine reward for the hard work on these state-mandated test. Please be extra nice to you six grader this weekend, as he or she has put in a strong effort on these assessments this past week. We all appreciate how seriously they take them and their desire to do their best.