I love that my 6th graders are kind, bright and eager learners. Like any child their age, they are friendly and fierce competitors but know in the end they're really only competing against themselves and their academic growth. They own it. They know they can do hard things!
They learn that little choices matter every day.
Jokingly nicknamed "Storytime," they can easily recall stories shared in class. Real-life applications to lessons are key in my class - how the wealthy can live off interest (Math), how often favorite authors were rejected (JK Rowling, Dr. Seuss), the effects of weather (Science). They empathize with characters in books or history and revere unselfish heroes like Irena Sendler who stood for good. Each year, they are challenged to make their beds for a week after watching a favorite speech, surprising their parents and themselves with how choosing to make their bed can affect other areas of their lives. They know choosing to make education a priority over other things is their choice and they are the ones rewarded for it! We work hard and play hard!
With a new Science curriculum, my team rotates classes by each of us teaching one of four units for 6th grade. Heat lamps, thermometers, maps, and timers will greatly assist in allowing 6 groups of 5, for a class of 30 kids (4 classes), the chance to have hands-on experiences with experiments studying Weather and Climate. Labeling materials and notebooks helps strengthen student's Life Skills of organization, neatness and items being lost.
The ability to discuss, analyze, predict, reason and record data is crucial in science!
Furthermore, in our world studies, origami is a fun integration in Japan studies to brighten the room. Daily math reviews and bells for students to ring in timed contests will keep their skills fresh all year. Anything different than a worksheet keeps students energized!
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