6th Grade Science/STEM Curriculum and ExpectationsPlease read through each part of this page. However, for quicker access later, use the menu below to skip to the various sections:
Curriculum Assessments Grading Retakes Absent Work Class Notes Vocabulary Agendas Lab Expectations Restroom Use Behavior Expectations CommunicationWhat does science look like in the 6th grade?
We will be following the State Science Standards adopted in 2018. To view them, you can visit the link below:
The standards have taken on a phenomenon based approach in which students take a deep look at a particular phenomenon. Then they will discover particular scientific concepts behind those phenomenon. Finally they will pull it all together to explain how those concepts explain the phenomenon. This gives them a deeper understanding of how science explains the world around them.
Some of the phenomenons your child will be looking at this year are…
- A railroad car implosion. (properties of matter)
- Planet orbital patterns (how gravity keeps the solar system in check)
- Solar Eclipse (Sun-Earth-Moon system)
- Removal/Reintroduction of the Wolf to Yellowstone
- Great Pacific Garbage Patch(Mans impact on ecosytems)
Modern Classroom Approach
Students learn at different rates. A one size fits all approach usually benefits very few students. For this reason, I am using what is called the "Modern Classroom" approach to teaching. Rather than me standing in front of the students and leading them all at the exact same pace through the lessons, students will be guided through the instruction, using videos of myself teaching the concepts and giving basic instructions. The benefit for students is that they can move at their preferred pace. Some students get the material the first time through. For others, it is highly beneficial to rewatch videos and pause videos so that they can comprehend at their pace. Since I am not standing in front of the class, I am free to work with students, individually, or in small group instruction, while the rest of the class moves through at their pace. Students get the benefit of time and having a teacher freed up to meet with them one-on-one. It also frees me up to do more assessment and individual feedback, so that I can check for understanding, as they are learning. Hopefully catching more student mistakes and misunderstandings at the critical points in their learning, rather than later when we have moved on. It will take a bit of getting used to at first for some, but I am confident your student will love it!
In our classroom, Growth Mindset is an important concept that guides what we do. Please watch the following videos to find out about what Growth Mindset is, and why it is so important.
Part of the Growth Mindset cycle is to check in and see how students are growing and learning. While everything your child does in my class is an “assessment” of some sort, I will take periodic assessments to determine what they are learning and provide feedback on how they could improve their learning. This is the purpose of assessments. Some of them will be entered in the grade book to give a physical record of that growth and let you know how your child is progressing.
Over the course of the year, there will be a few types of regular assessments. The following is an explanation of those types:
End of Unit Assessments: At the end of a unit of study, students will be asked to perform a task or assignment that is directly related to the standard that we have been studying. The standards all ask students to produce something, so that is what the assessment will do as well. The standards can't be accurately measured using a multiple choice format. Instead, students will be asked to build a model, create an argument, analyze and interpret data, plan and carry out an investigation, etc. These tasks will be assessed using performance level descriptors in a rubric.
CER Investigations: A large part of what we do in science is investigations into scientific principles. Students are expected to conduct these investigations, take notes on what they discover, and report out those findings in a lab write up in which they make a claim, provide evidence to support that claim, and reasoning to elaborate on how that evidence supports the claim.
STEM Projects: An important part of learning is being able to transfer the learning to a real problem that exists in the world, and finding solutions based on the scientific principles learned. Students will be given opportunities to do this through problem based learning projects. In these projects, they will interact with other students to use the engineering design process to come up with a solution to a given scenario.
Growth Mindset means that sometimes the students don’t understand the material…YET. For this reason, I believe in giving students opportunities to show their growth. If a student is not satisfied with their progress and want to demonstrate further growth, I encourage them to take my feedback and demonstrate new understandings.
*Due to the nature of some assessments, including district assessments, students may not be able to retake an assessment. An alternative assignment will be provided in such cases.
Absent Work: If a student is absent for any reason, all work is online in our Canvas LMS. If your child has been here at SV for the past 2+ years, he/she is already familiar with this system. If not, he/she will become familiar quite soon, as I always take time at the year to train the students on our systems. It is an expectation that students are keeping up with the work while at home, if possible. Please help remind them to log in and complete the lessons, as long as they are healthy enough to do so.
Sometimes students forget to turn in assignments or turn in assignments that are missing chunks of information. Canvas automatically marks the assignments as missing, once the due date passes. There are no points assigned for lessons or practice work. This is the first time students are introduced to this material. However, it is critical that they complete this work, as it is their opportunity to learn skills and knowledge.
Class notes are a vital part of student learning. It is how they will organize their thoughts about what they are learning. Students will be taught how to take notes and organize their thoughts. We will be learning a visual note-taking process called Sketchnoting. It combines words, symbols and pictures that students use to help them process what we are learning. It is very important that students regularly look over their notes and review the material in them. If students wait until test day to look at them, they won’t make sense, and they won’t know where to find the information.
*It is the responsibility of each student to make sure that notes are complete and in order.
Students will be learning many new words this year that are specific to the content we are learning. While they will be given time in class to process these words, it is vital that they spend time at home learning the vocabulary words. Students will be assessed on these words by two methods. First they will be given a periodic vocabulary test to make sure they have a basic understanding of the definitions. Next, they will be assessed within the context of their labs and their assessments on correct usage and inclusion of vocabulary words. It is an expectation that they use the scientific vocabulary to explain their thinking.
It is my recommendation that students pick a strategy for studying vocabulary that best suits them. I will provide a unit vocabulary Quizlet that will be pushed out to students on Google Classroom. Flashcards and flipbooks work as well. Whatever the method, it should be done regularly for anywhere from 5-10 minutes 3-4 days per week.
Students are expected to have their agendas in class every day. Students will be given time during class meetings to fill out their agendas with upcoming due dates on assignments. Students should use their agendas to help them plan for assessments, lab completions, and projects.
- Science is best learned with hands-on/lab activities when ever possible. It is important to use good judgment and safety at all times.
- The lab is a privilege that can be taken away if the student does not use caution and safety required in order to use the lab equipment and supplies.
- Treat all lab equipment and supplies with care.
- Inappropriate lab behavior will result in the loss of the lab session and an alternative assignment will be given.
- Follow the 4 Bs: Be Respectful, Be Responsible, Be Safe, and Be Kind
- Have a YES attitude!
This year, each 6th grader will be given a Chromebook to use in the classroom. They will carry this Chromebook throughout the day. The use of the Chromebooks is intended to enhance the learning environment for all students. Students will be expected to take care to use the technology in which it is intended to be used. Students must sign a COPPA form and adhere to the rules and procedures in that form when using the technology in the classroom.
We use the Canvas LMS along with Google apps to deliver content in the classroom. Canvas is an awesome tool that allows me to deliver content so students can operate at their pacing. It integrates well with the Google Apps which we use often. Students can watch videos more than once to truly understand the content. This doesn't replace class discussion or group work. However, it does cut down on the passing out of lots of papers and keeps things nice and managed.
It is the expectation that students will use the restroom before school, during lunch breaks and after school. Using the restroom during academic time should be reserved for emergencies ONLY. Students are encouraged not to use the restroom during instructional time. In the event that one needs to leave the classroom, students must sign in/out using the log sheet located on the counter.
The following is an outline of parameters that must be followed in order to ensure optimal success in the classroom and provide for a smoothly run class. This program is designed to promote positive cooperation between parent, student, and school. School wide expectations are based on Viper Pride and Grit.
- Be Respectful
- Be Responsible
- Be Safe
- Be Kind
- Always be safe, responsible and respectful
- You may not verbally or physically disrupt the educational process of any student
- Bullying will never be tolerated - either physical or verbal
- Always be prepared for class with homework and supplies
- Follow all class and school rules
PBIS Rewards and Grit Cards:
Part of being a student is learning how to work well with others and participate in a organized community. We expect all of our students to Be Safe, Be Respectful, Be Responsible, and Be Kind. We want to reward these behaviors to reinforce positive interactions. To do this we will be using the PBIS Rewards system. We will award students points when we see these positive behaviors being displayed. Students can then use those points in the school PBIS Rewards room as well as in our classrooms.
Occasionally, students need to be reminded that a particular behavior is not condusive to a positive school community and environment. When this happens, we use a GRIT card system to help remind them. Students will be given a Grit card to carry with them at all time. The GRIT card has spaces to mark occurrences where the student is not being respectful, responsible, safe, or having a learner’s attitude. After a given amount of these occurances, students will earn consequences such as lunch detentions and office referrals. These are listed on the cards.
"Communication is key":
We look at the academic success of each student as the result of the student, parents/guardians and teachers working together as a team. With the access of PowerSchools, parents and students will be able to constantly monitor academic progress so there should never be any surprises. Beyond this, every parent/guardian should feel free to contact any teacher if they have a question or concern. Please note that for a quicker response, e-mail is usually the most efficient way to correspond and this can be found under teacher contact. As a grade level, we send out weekly newsletters with information about what we will be doing in class the following week. Please send me an email from your preferred email account that you want to receive emails from me. I will then add you to our group email list.