Arriving from many different schools, sixth graders enter La Reina with a diversity of experience and academic interests. Their transition to middle school is softened by our teachers and the camaraderie of small teams of students. In 6th grade, academic skill-building is a priority, as is acquiring a healthy perspective on success. Below are the academic and elective wheel courses that all sixth graders will experience.
This entry-level English course focuses on introducing a solid foundation in writing, and developing both critical reading skills and communication skills. The curriculum includes the reading of novels and Greek mythology. The literature anthology units cover short story, poetry, and biography. Students are introduced to the critical writing program, a 7-year program that fully prepares all students for the rigor of writing college papers. Other components of the course include: creative writing, grammar, vocabulary, spelling, and communication & speech skills.
Sixth grade Mathematics is the first course for middle school students. Students gain a deeper understanding of math concepts mastering content through inductive reasoning opportunities, concise stepped-out examples, and a continual building on what has been previously taught. The course includes the application of basic arithmetic and the real number system to analyze and solve real-life applications. Topics covered include ratio and proportional relationships, the number system, expressions and equations, geometry, and basic statistics and probability.
Students are instructed in the SPARK Middle School Physical Education Program, which has been proven to significantly increase student MVPA (moderate to vigorous physical activity level) during physical fitness classes. This course serves as an introduction to multiple sports and activities that integrate team sports skills with a variety of activities involving hand-eye and foot-eye coordination. Sportsmanship and respect of peers are also discussed. Presidential Fitness Testing is administered. The student’s grade is not based on athletic ability, but on her effort and participation.
Using the Old Testament as a foundation, this course seeks to build community by sharing Bible stories as well as personal stories. The course teaches the basics about faith and religion in the Catholic tradition.
Students engage in the Middle School program with an exciting series of inquiry modules that relate Physical, Earth, and Life Science to Next Generation Science Standards. Through the study of animal behavior, communication, and sound waves, students build inquiry skills to learn how scientists answer big questions and solve big problems. Then students explore concepts of energy and plate tectonics. Students continue with a module on human biology focusing on cells, germs and the immune system. Students wrap up with a capstone engineering project.
Students learn about people and events ushered in the dawn of major Western and non-western civilizations. Included are the early societies of Ancient Mesopotamia, Egypt, China, India, Greece, Rome, and the Mayans of Meso-America. In studying the ancient world, students will come to appreciate the special significance of geographic place in the development of the human story. They will acquire a sense of the everyday life of the people, their problems and accomplishments. Their relationships to the developing social, economic, religious, and political structures of their society will be taught. Emphases will he placed on historical research in order to develop students' critical thinking skills and analysis.
This beginning illustration course focuses on drawing basics such as shape and value. Students explore caricatures and character designs of people starting with faces and then progressing to figure drawing, all with an illustrative slant.
The beginning music course will focus on introductory music theory and performance. Students learn the basics of reading music, experiment with different instrument families, and learn to sing and play several songs in large and small groups on the ukulele.
This beginning theatre course will focus on movement, imagination, and an introduction to acting. Students will participate in theatre games, simple pantomimes, and the performance of a short scene including blocking, props, and memorization.
This class is a hands-on exploration of building a three-wheeled robot. Students study robotic sensors, such as ultrasonic and gyroscopic sensors, that provide the robot with movement, sight, and other functions. Students learn to write computer programs for these sensors. The class culminates in a student elected project that involves programming.
*Elective Wheel: Each course is for one quarter