This is the third year of your child’s intermediate-level education. This academic year the focus will be on fostering your child’s spiritual and academic development. In the Grade 6 class, this year, my goal is to provide many opportunities for the students to learn from an assortment of strategies. In addition to teacher-led instruction, your child will experience a variety of field trips, “hands-on” activities, research and analysis opportunities, individual and group-work assignments. This year’s program builds on the Grade 5 curriculum. Outlined below are the basic themes for the various subject areas and some important information regarding weekly the specialist classes.
GRADE 6 CURRICULUM
The spiritual focus of the Vancouver Catholic Archdiocese this year is “Living, Celebrating and Proclaiming our Faith”. The religion program will incorporate the use of Christ Our Life, Image of God and Spirit of Truth textbooks. This year we will look at what it means to be a Catholic by looking in-depth at the Ten Commandments, the Beatitudes, and looking at Salvation History. Students will be given the opportunity to experience different prayer forms such as Lectio Divina.
In Language Arts, the students will be expected become more independent and begin to show mastery in their written and oral assignments. This year the students will have a plethora of opportunities to demonstrate and perfect their writing skills in extended activities such as: writing letters, short stories, reports and essays, preparing current event presentations, presenting a point of view, and looking at how to incorporate technology into the publishing of their good copies, and participating in Guided Reading. Library- Book Exchange will occur every Monday.
In Math, the students will study perimeter and area, algebra, plane geometry, transformations, fractions, decimals and integers, probability and data management. Once again, students will explore many integrated links with information technology throughout the math program. For example, students will use calculators and computers, work with spreadsheets and data management tools. Throughout the school year, there will be an emphasis on applying the concepts presented in authentic, problem-solving situations. Also, the students will login to Mathletics, an online Math skills program, approximately 3 to 4 times per week. If possible, encourage your child to access this program as frequently as possible from home for extra practice.
The big ideas in Science are Newton’s Laws of Motion, our Solar System, Mixtures, and Body Systems(Excretory, Reproductive, Hormonal, and Nervous Systems).
This year’s Social Studies program covers a variety of topics. The students will compare Canada to other countries in terms of governance and rights and freedoms. The students will investigate how economic self-interest can be a cause of conflict between people and governments. Also, we will examine how global problems often require international cooperation. Lastly, the students will delve into how media sources can both positively and negatively affect our understanding of important events and issues.
Ms. Ryan will be responsible for delivering the Music program this year. As in past years, the students will have two 30-minute classes per week (Monday and Wednesday).
Mr. Campanile is the Physical Education specialist. He will deliver the P.E. program for the Grade Six students on Tuesdays and Fridays. Please help your child come to school with a complete gym strip on these days. (St. Jude shorts and T-shirt, white socks, and runners) Students will be expected to be active even on non-gym days in order to fulfill the daily physical activity (DPA) requirements outlined by the ministry. Have your child bring his or her gym strip so they can be prepared for daily physical activity. Since we do not have changing rooms the students should wear their strip under their uniforms, in order to make a speedy transition.
Mrs. Chao will also instruct the students in French on Thursday and Friday this year.
The students already have a clear sense of the expectations for Grade 6. If you speak to your son or daughter, they should be able to explain the classroom routines and explain the purpose of these routines.
In addition, the students should recognize the need for high-quality work at all times of the year. I expect students to always be:
It is expected that students in Grade 6 do approximately 60 minutes of homework daily, plus 20 minutes of independent reading. (On average, your child will rarely have more than 30-40 minutes a night.) Please encourage your son or daughter to work in a quiet place, away from distractions (radio, I Pods, TV, pets, younger siblings etc.), at a regular time. (See Homework Hint sheet.)
I encourage you to use your child’s agenda to pass on information to me or pass on a handwritten note – either is acceptable. Remind your child to show your note to me. I can also be contacted by phoning the office and leaving a message; I will return your call at the soonest available time. It is a great help if you can ask to see your child’s agenda each night. This gives you an idea of the homework assigned. Some students will need help with planning their time and organizing their notebooks or binders. The key is to have your child action this with parent guidance only. I encourage you to look at your child’s notebooks and/ or binders daily. Question him or her on what you see.
In addition, I am usually available for quick questions before or immediately after school. It would be greatly appreciated if we could set up a time in advance in order to ensure that we have enough time to fully address your concerns.
I look forward to working with your children this year. Once again, if at any time you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to contact me.
Homework serves an important purpose in your child’s school life. It is a means of reviewing and reinforcing the lessons taught in school. Homework is also a way to help your child to develop work and study habits that will assist him or her throughout the years spent in school. I expect all students to continue some school assignments at home, and naturally, I expect more time from intermediate students.
Students in Grade 6 have Student Planners or Agendas in which they and/or I may include messages for parents and vice versa, as well as daily homework assignments or projects or quizzes/test dates.
You can help your child develop some routines that will be of assistance in successfully completing homework assignments.
1. Ask your child if he or she has homework that day. Check the agenda for yourself. If the information is missing insist that your child fully complete the agenda with the subject /instructions/ and due date. When you read their agenda there should be no question of what has been assigned.
Math / pgs. 20-21 / questions 1 to 10 / due Friday
Science / read Ch. 9 / due Tuesday
Religion / Chapter 1 Quiz / next Wednesday
Field Trip – Science World consent form / due Thursday
2. Help your child set a regular homework time each day and remain with that commitment. Free your child of other responsibilities at that time.
3. Provide your child with a quiet place to work and study where he or she is not disturbed by younger children, pets, TV, or IPods. While homework is a valuable way to reinforce the skills learned in the classroom, I appreciate that many other family and individual activities are part of each student’s life. Please inform me of any special concerns or if family obligations prevented your child from finishing their daily work. Send a note to school and your child and I can work out an action plan to complete the missed homework. Projects should be handed in fully completed and on time since your child would have been given ample time to complete a more detailed assignment.
4. Have a box with all the necessary supplies that your child will need in order to begin work quickly at home. For example, pencils, sharpener, pens, eraser, ruler, pencil crayons, felts, dictionary, and thesaurus.
5. Become interested in your child’s homework. Ask him or her to show the homework to you, and explain what the work completed was about. Showing an interest in your child’s work reinforces the importance of homework and helps the child to understand that you are interested in his or her progress. Looking at your child’s homework also keeps you informed about the progress of your child and the way in which your child is able to complete the work assigned.
Remember that homework is your child’s work – not yours. You should not do the work for your child but you should be concerned about whether or not your child did the work. If your child has trouble with a homework assignment and cannot complete it, write a note or give me a phone call and explain the problem. Together, we can work out a plan to address any concerns.
Here’s a good website that gives links to some great websites that can be of help when doing research for projects or just looking up subjects of interest. Under the Homework Help Jr. there are numerous links that are grade appropriate, ignore the local library membership information.
Ensure your child comes to school with a nutritious snack, lunch and a water bottle. Also, encourage your child to get plenty of exercise and a least 8-10 hours of sleep each night to help your child excel at school.
Check out the BC Ministry of Education booklet – Daily Physical Activity for Families for some practical ideas.
Another reliable source is Canada’s Physical Activity Guide to Healthy Active Living.
Looking forward to a great school year ahead!