6th Grade

Christ Our Life Series—God Calls a People, Loyola Press; Family Life, RCL Benzinger, 2010
The sixth-grade program is devoted to the study of God’s saving love as it is revealed in Sacred Scripture, particularly the Hebrew Scriptures. The text is designed to help the students increase their knowledge of salvation history, so that they may respond to God with ever-deepening love and gratitude. The students learn the message’s relevance for today and how to apply it to their lives. Students need their religion book and spiral notebook for every class. A bible will be required at home to complete some homework. Interactive reviews and study guides can be found at www.loyolapress.com under Faith Formation, Christ our Life.

Discovering Our Past: A History of the World. McGraw Hill, 2014.

The sixth grade Social Studies curriculum is World History, from ancient civilizations, including Rome, Egypt, Israel and Greece, to the Middle Ages and the Renaissance Period. The students will learn with a variety of interactive materials, online as well as with our text. They will complete several small projects and assignments in addition to regular assessments. The textbook may be accessed online at: http://connected.mcgraw-hill.com. Visit the teacher web page for the link. Each student will be given a username and password. A spiral is required for note taking, vocabulary terms, class work, and selected homework assignments. Tests will reflect the material covered by the text as well as topics reviewed in class. A study guide will be given for each chapter test. Trimester grades are determined by participation, homework, projects, class work, and chapter tests.

Geography and map-reading skills are also enriched using an atlas series called Atlas of World History, Nystrom, 2008, which is located in the classroom.

SCIENCE - Ms. Ufheil
HMH Science Dimensions ™ Modules E, F, G, H
The sixth grade science curriculum focuses on the science of earth and space. Students begin their learning by becoming comfortable with skills used in all study of science—the scientific method, measuring with scientific units, organizing and analyzing data, and lab safety. Students will be exploring the many aspects of what makes the earth such a unique and dynamic planet. Units will include the study of continental drift and plate tectonics, composition of the earth, rocks and minerals, weathering and erosion, astronomy and the universe, and ecology and the environment. Students participate in labs, classroom discussions and Science Focus. Hands-on learning in the form of laboratory experiments enhances the curriculum.

Students will develop mastery of 6th grade mathematic standards using basic mathematical operations with whole numbers, negative numbers, decimals, fractions, and integers; finding number patterns and relationships; algebra; ratio, proportion, and percent; geometry; measurement; and problem solving strategies. Students will use the Math in Focus text. Lessons are based on activities, modeling, number talks and problem solving-based work. A math spiral or math binder with loose leaf paper is needed for class. Homework is assigned nightly, usually from the text. Tests will reflect material covered by the text as well as topics and applications discussed in class. Trimester grades are determined by classroom assessments, homework and classwork. Students can access the textbook and other resources at my.hrw.com with Username: FirstInitialLastname@spc Password: tiger123
Math Accelerated - Mrs. Ponicki
Students in this class will study sixth grade mathematic standards at a faster pace than the standard grade level sixth grade students. Class discussions tend to be at a deeper level and the applications of concepts more rigorous.

Textbook: Math In Focus: Singapore Math - Course 1
The resource math group will cover sixth grade material in a small group setting. Emphasis will be placed on the mastery of grade level concepts. Students will participate in daily drills, practice, and instruction on a more individualized basis.

Textbook: Math in Focus: Singapore Math - Course 2
The curriculum and instructional strategies that are applied within the 7th grade-level mathematics program are based upon the Common Core State Standards for Mathematics for Illinois. This multifaceted and enhanced approach for learning is designed to deliver student support across multiple texts, develop study, note-taking, and organizational skills, utilize math vocabulary appropriately, and foster an understanding and retention of textual information that encompasses number sense, measurement, technology and algebra, geometry, data analysis, statistics, and probability. Student learning outcomes will be focused on increasing understand within ratios and proportional relationships, percentages, integers, rational numbers, expressions, equations and inequalities, geometric figures, measuring figures, probability, and statistics.
Students are expected to develop reading, writing, and computational skill sets within mathematics and pre-algebra topics that prepare ultimately prepare them to use higher-order thinking skills to address real-world and hands-on problem solving. While the course may build upon daily interventions and prerequisite skill sets as necessary, this enhanced approach will address test-taking strategies, test preparation skills and practice, and utilize online and/or additional resource materials as necessary to address individual and/or group needs for students. Students should already have a good conceptual understanding for problem-solving using whole numbers, patterns, statistics, and graphs. Similarly, students are expected to have a reasonably solid understanding for adding, subtracting, multiplying, and dividing decimals and fractions, in addition to an understanding of ratios and proportions, positive and negative integer, solving for equations with one variable, and a general sense of beginning measurement and geometry skills.

Literature-6, McDougall Littell, Inc., 2008
The sixth grade reading curriculum focuses on exploring the different genres of literature—fiction, non-fiction, plays, poetry, drama, and folk tales/legends.

Along with the text students will be using other resources, including media files that incorporate short film clips and commercials to aid in understanding and “reading” different types of literature. In addition to fostering an appreciation of the various types of literature, reading skills and strategies will be reviewed and reinforced. Sixth grade reading will also include the study of novels as a whole class activity. We will read Cleopatra Rules: The Amazing Life of the Original Teen Queen, by Victoria Alvear Shecter; Hatchet, by Gary Paulsen; and A Wrinkle in Time, by Madeline L’Engle.

The Writer’s Craft – 6, McDougall Littell, Inc., 1998

This year we will be using the sixth grade-level writing series that correlates with the series used in both seventh and eighth grades. There will be an emphasis on Daily Oral Language (DOL) this year. The spelling, grammar, and punctuation skills that will be covered throughout the year are essential to the development of the students' writing skills. DOL quizzes will be given on a regular basis.

The students will also do a variety of writing throughout the year - both formal and informal.
A variety of grammar topics will be covered in class, including: subjects and predicates, nouns, verbs, adverbs, adjectives, prepositions and prepositional phrases, and conjunctions. Tests will be given at the end of every chapter that will be covered, and quizzes will be given halfway through select chapters.

The sixth grade will not be using a separate vocabulary book this year. Instead, we will have vocabulary practice through tests and vocabulary quizzes from the literature series and the novels we read.


Each group begins the year with an assessment of their reading and writing skills. 6th grade resource is using the Wilson Reading System (WRS) this year. The Wilson is a highly structured reading and writing system that serves as an intervention and helps struggling readers learn the structure of words and language by directly instructing students to decode and encode (spell) fluently. WRS provides a well organized, incremental, and cumulative 12-step system. Steps one through six provide students with the basics for decoding and encoding to create a solid foundation before moving on. Steps seven through twelve focus more on advanced word analysis, vocabulary development, comprehension, and metacognition. English assignments correlate with the English lessons in the general education classroom. The small group environment allows for extra drill, instruction, and practice. Support is provided in other subject areas as needed.


MUSIC - Ms. Elko:
Sixth grade students will begin the year studying Broadway musicals. They will build teamwork and explore their creativity by performing acting, singing and dancing scenes from various shows. Students will learn proper terminology and will explore themes of social justice through the musical genre. In the second half of sixth grade music students will learn about drumming traditions throughout the world by listening to different musics, playing various types of drums, performing African dancing and composing their own drum compositions. They will learn about teamwork, listening and cooperation by playing in large and small ensembles.

ART - Ms. Kelly:
The art program at St. Paul of the Cross School is designed for students to perceive, create, and appreciate the visual arts. Students will gain an understanding of the variety of ways that artists function in society. Projects are based on art history and cultural art with a strong emphasis on the elements of art (line, color, shape, texture, etc.) and the principles of design (balance, contrast, pattern, unity, etc.) Students experience a wide assortment of media in both two and three dimensional art production. Problem solving skills as well as the development of fine motor skills are intrinsic to the art experience. Each project is graded based on the following criteria:
1. Effort – Students are expected to utilize class time to complete art projects rather than socialize with classmates.
2. Following Directions
3. Neatness
Students at the 6th grade level have more refined fine motor skills, therefore, projects focus on design and craftsmanship using a variety of two and three dimensional media. Art history includes but is not limited to Alexander Calder, Piet Mondrian, Georgia O’Keeffe, a unit on Surrealism, and cultural art.

Students in 6th grade physical education class will work on good sportsmanship while participating in a variety of leisure activities. Health class will take place the last week of each month. All students are expected to be in their gym uniform on D Day.

SPANISH - Mrs. Mejicanos
The Spanish program at St. Paul of the Cross School is designed to develop basic communication skills, with a final goal of confidently communicating in Spanish. The Spanish curriculum is designed to meet the requirements of both the National and State Foreign Language Learning standards. Thematic units integrate both culture and vocabulary. This approach also aids students in listening, reading and writing skills.
The same curriculum is used with all students, but adjusted to meet the needs of students in a particular grade. These thematic units are designed to build on knowledge obtained from the previous school year. Using Total Physical Response (TPR) as a method for long term retention of vocabulary, students acquire vocabulary in a manner similar to how a child learns their first language. In TPR, the teacher models actions and students mimic as they hear, in the target language. When the students reach fifth grade, TPR Storytelling is introduced. This method provides opportunities for utilizing and expanding vocabulary. High interest stories enable students to hear and see a story, and then act out, retell, revise, and rewrite it.
The goal is language acquisition, which happens through comprehensive input with a variety of fun and interesting activities. The key to learning a foreign language is that it must be made comprehensible, while at the same time being interesting to the student.
The exposure to a foreign language helps students develop an awareness of other cultures, preparing them not only to interact with other people, but to increase sensitivity to and understanding of values, customs, and traditions of others. All students are encouraged to participate in class to help them acquire not only language proficiency, but comprehension as well. Students are further encouraged to make an effort to study the language outside of class to further hone their skills.
In sixth grade Spanish there is review of previous year’s themes and continued expansion of vocabulary in diverse contexts. New themes: My favorite animal, adjectives, action words, making requests, short conversation, obtaining information, writing and expressing phrases and short sentences, asking questions and commands, professions, TPRS new stories, compare and contrast Spanish speaking countries.
Students are graded based on their class participation, class work, homework assignments and quizzes.