The sixth grade program consists of two 2-hour blocks of core subjects, English/History and Math/Science. The students stay together for each of their blocks and, in addition, attend homeroom with the first block of the day. Students are introduced to the rigors of the secondary academic program and are taught the study and organizational skills necessary to be productive and successful students.
English – The sixth grade curriculum is a literature-based program designed to meet the content standards established by the state of California. Using literature that has been selected to coincide with the year’s history units, lessons promote reading comprehension, writing, grammar, and communication skills. Students are introduced to the shared inquiry method using selections from core literature and Junior Great Books. This method encourages active reading by the participants and improves critical thinking skills.
History - Students learn Western and non-Western civilizations. Included are the studies of ancient man and the early civilizations of Mesopotamia, Egypt, Greece, Rome, India, and China. Students examine the development of these early civilizations and analyze their contributions to modern societies.
Activities - Projects are assigned in both subjects that challenge the students' creativity and enhance their critical thinking skills. Group and individual reports are used to encourage the use of sound research techniques. Oral presentations and interactive projects are also assigned.
Assessment - Students are assessed through tests and quizzes, written work, oral presentations and projects.
Sixth graders are given a math placement test during the first week of school. Students are then enrolled in advanced pre-algebra classes.
Pre-algebra - Students apply the basic operations of whole numbers, fractions, decimals, ratio and proportion, and percents. Students apply algebraic concepts as they use integers, primes, factors, multiples, rational numbers, exponents, scientific notation, and problem-solving strategies in their daily lessons. This class prepares students for the seventh grade advanced pre-algebra or Algebra
I AB classes.
Science and Health – Sixth-grade science is based on a hands-on approach that develops the students' ability to work independently, in lab pairs, and in team investigations. The curriculum is aligned with the California Teaching Standards for Science, Grade 6 - focus on Earth Sciences and includes units on Life and Physical Science, human physiology, oceanography, meteorology, ecology, and Earth’s structure and composition. Students use many approaches to study these concepts including investigations, labs, and analysis of research, field trips, and projects. Students are given an opportunity to engage in research projects, investigations, and experiments and to produce written reports and oral presentations. Students keep science journals and read, extract and apply information from texts and scientific literature.
Physical Education and Electives
Two periods of the day are devoted to an elective and physical education. Students are given the choice of beginning orchestral instruments (woods or strings) or an elective wheel (four ten-week classes) that may include computer, art, music, drama, and/or speech.