As the entry level experience, the sixth grade curriculum is designed to move students into the expectations, opportunities, and vision of Seabury Hall. Emphasizing interdisciplinary activities and carefully structured challenges which tap student interest and enthusiasm for learning, sixth grade lays the foundation for the major disciplines to be pursued throughout a Seabury career. In addition, sixth graders are encouraged to exercise essential study skills, including listening, note-taking, and organization strategies. Each sixth grader is encouraged to develop skills for effective collaboration in a group situation. In order to establish a solid beginning the first quarter is not graded. Although progress is documented and not reported we will have an extensive conference with each family to share strengths and areas for improvement. This provides the student a period of time to develop appropriate routine and foundation without the pressures of grades. An interdisciplinary learning portfolio completes the year, including a reflection evaluating the sixth grade journey and establishing seventh grade goals.
Sixth grade English—comprising interwoven Literature and Writer’s Lab strands—offers students an integrated experience of literature and writing, with a core focus on learning how to think. Students explore young adult literature of various genres, including such texts as Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry and The Outsiders. Techniques of literary analysis are introduced through the lenses of Change-in-a Main-Character, Conflict, and the Hero’s Journey. Class novels are reinforced by independent reading projects, structured for individual application of growing literary skills. Reading comprehension is grounded in metacognitive strategies designed to help students become conscious of the “idea traffic” zipping through their brains as they read, giving them tools to catch and probe those ideas to make meaning. Techniques include visualization experiences utilizing drama, art, filmmaking, photography, and technology, as well as varied practice in discovering a valid thesis and developing effective support. Inferential reasoning (reading between and beyond the lines) and vocabulary are emphasized. Writing is experienced as a process, launched in shared class activities, drafted using classroom laptops, and shaped via student editing opportunities. Pieces include essay, literary analysis response, memoir, descriptive writing, poetry, and reflection. The joy of discovering oneself as a writer, in voice and craft, is the animating principle, with a focus on developing one’s own independent editor’s eye.
The sixth grade program uses a seventh grade math text combining topics from both sixth and seventh grade math courses to provide a solid preparation for algebra in the eighth grade. Topics include: a review of the basic operations of whole numbers, the study of decimals, number theory, fractions, integers, ratio and proportion, percent, geometry, formulas involving area, perimeter, surface area, volume, statistics, solving one and two-step equations and inequalities, graphing on a coordinate plane, and measurement. Application problems will be discussed throughout each unit of study. Many of the concepts will use computer enhanced lessons, computer lab time and manipulatives for reinforcement. The use of a calculator is allowed with some application problems. The process of math learning in the sixth grade includes taking notes, checking homework, correcting mistakes, evaluating mistakes for clarity of understanding, and showing the steps to working problems on paper.
Geography serves as a passport to the world! This year-long course is designed to lay a framework for the study of history in grades seven through twelve. Using a variety of resource materials, students will explore the 5 major themes of geography: location, place, human interaction with the environment, movement, and region. Through collaborative and hands-on activities students will construct and interpret maps and charts, discover fascinating cultures, conduct research projects, and explore causes, concerns, and solutions to some of today's global issues.
Sixth Grade Science is designed to be an entry-level opportunity to play the role of a scientist and to learn the proper scientific methods in a laboratory. The sixth grade science course relies heavily on experiments and activities that allow the student to find answers to a wide variety of questions and to discover principles at work in the world around them. The goals of these experiences are to expose students to the scientific method, to provide practice in taking accurate measurements, to teach the basics of graphing as a tool to visualize data, and to encourage the documentation of the analysis of the information gathered. Throughout the course, technology is used to support instruction, to enhance the presentation of data, and to provide a broader basis for communication.
Sixth Grade Arts & Technology Program
Our sixth grade exploratories wheel is designed to lay the groundwork for the study of the visual and performing arts as well as the technology skills that will be integrated into the core studies. Throughout the year, small groups of students will have the opportunity to explore art, band, chorus, drama and technology. Courses are graded on an Excellent (E), Satisfactory (S), and Unsatisfactory (U) scale.
Music (Band and Chorus)
Throughout the entire year students will have traditional band and choir. Listening to music is one of the most popular pastimes, enjoyed by people all over the world. Whether listening to recordings or attending live concerts, music has the ability to inspire and give pleasure to almost everyone. This class is intended to enhance that pleasure. By becoming more musical, students will appreciate all nuances of music.
The purpose of our band program is to explore the basics of music and learn to apply that knowledge to an instrument. They will also learn to develop vocal skills through our in-depth choral program. Our goal is to enable students to properly read and notate music, to develop a vocabulary of musical terms and to learn the importance of rhythm, through counting and various rhythmic exercises. Students practice rhythmic techniques either vocally or on a selected instrument, learn sight-reading while playing and singing, and how to perform as an ensemble.
The school will provide instruments to band students and they are encouraged to bring instruments home to practice. Students are responsible for instruments and are liable for any damages incurred while in their possession.
The 6th grade technology program constructs the foundation and work ethic that is necessary to take on the more demanding work loads in the years to come. Students spend their time learning about digital citizenship, productivity tools, typing, 3D modeling, programming and physical computing. The goal of the course is to inspire the students to use the tools we have in the lab and to be mindful of their digital footprints as they mature.
Sixth grade is a visual art exploratory. By engaging in projects that emphasize the elements of art, the students will understand the building blocks of art making. By working in various mediums, the students will build upon their vocabulary for individual expression. At Seabury Hall, the student is asked for a creative solution to a visual problem as well as being provided with technique building skills that will help them in their interdisciplinary art projects. Famous artist and periods of art history are woven into the art projects so that a foundation is built which provides for the relevancy of art in our global culture. Students learn not only how to look at and appreciate their own works, but how to look at and appreciate some great works of art.
Drama and Sociodrama
Students have one quarter in this grade to explore drama as a creative art. They are offered three classes per week in the fundamentals of storytelling, stagecraft, acting technique, and design through group and solo improvisations, theatre games, and structured activities. Concentration in the area of free imagination and creation is stressed, as are collaborative and individual efforts. Students are introduced to effective approaches to public speaking and vocal production while contributing to a variety of projects. In addition, students may participate in the Middle School Drama Club, the annual sixth Grade and Middle School plays, and a poetry slam or speech fest.