Mrs. Keefe and Mrs. Jung are the sixth grade teachers. In their last year at PHPS, the sixth graders take on the responsibilities of switching classrooms throughout the day and keeping their books and materials in lockers. They also assume several leadership roles, such as leading the monthly All School Assembly and serving as readers in the weekly chapel service. One of the highlights of sixth grade is the annual trip to Mo Ranch in September where the students participate in the Environmental Leadership Program.
Reading is taught in a whole-group setting through novel studies. Through these novel studies, the students learn about the story elements of setting, character, plot, symbols, theme and the author’s craft. The reading comprehension strategies taught and practiced focus on making connections, asking questions, making predictions and drawing inferences. Students are guided in learning and applying metacognitive skills to enhance their reading comprehension abilities. All students receive reading fluency training with a reading specialist.
The sixth grade language arts curricula include Daily Oral Language practice, Winston Grammar instruction, vocabulary study through the Vocabulary Workshop program and daily capitalization, punctuation and usage review. The writing program is based on SRSD which assists students in building effective essays. Integrated into this structure are the traits of writing: organization, voice, word choice and sentence fluency. The students also write a research paper. Each month the students memorize and recite at least one poem.
The students divide into three or four groups for math instruction. Math In Focus provides the basis of the sixth grade math program. The Math In Focus curriculum provides interactive lessons and supplementary materials. The students are further exposed to problem solving skills and fluency practice through gregtang.com and his weekly puzzle packs. Other programs utilized to reinforce math facts and/or concepts include Reflex, IXL, and Prodigy.
Ancient Civilizations are the focus in social studies. The civilizations studied include Mesopotamia, Egypt, Greece, Rome, China and India. A favorite project is creating “mummies” during studies of Ancient Egypt.
The science curriculum includes a focus on scientific inquiry and investigation skills. Some of the topics covered include: the scientific method, basic laboratory skills, the cell as a unit of life, and force and motion. Many hands-on activities are provided as part of the classroom instruction and through field trips to the Perot Museum.
The sixth graders perform community service within the school by assisting the first grade students in taking their AR tests. They build Manna bags to give to the Stewpot each December.
Sixth grade students receive additional instruction in the following areas:
P. E.-2 days a week
Music- 2 days a week
Tech Lab-2 days a week
Art -1 day a week for an hour