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 grammar and conventions practice, diagramming sentences, vocabulary study through Greek and Latin word roots as well as through Membean, an online vocabulary program, and spelling/phonics practice through Spellography. 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 smaller groups for math instruction. Our math curriculum scaffolds to meet the needs of individual students with hands-on learning and visual models that support and optimize the learning experience. The visual models, including bar models, help students develop the ability to visualize mathematical situations, which is key to becoming a successful problem solver. The emphasis on the concrete-pictorial-abstract (CPA) approach allows students to gain a deeper conceptual understanding through manipulatives, diagrams and models, and then, abstract symbols. The PHPS math curriculum is supplemented with Greg Tang’s new interactive website that aligns with the concrete-pictorial-abstract approach, and the IXL online math program that enhances skills practice.
Ancient Civilizations are the focus in social studies. The civilizations studied include Mesopotamia, Egypt, Greece, Rome, and China. 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