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6th Grade News: April 2, 2019

6th Grade News: April 2, 2019
Posted on 04/02/2019
Happy, Healthy Spring Everyone!

In 6th grade social studies, sixth graders, after reading, discussing, and analyzing five documents, completed their DBQ thesis writing, responding to the question: "Was the Code of Hammurabi Just?" Ask your scholar: what was your thesis response? Where was your evidence, and why did you select that evidence? Many students detected the nuances in the 282 laws compiled for this Shamash-given Mesopotamian code, and recognized the challenging living conditions of people 4000 years ago, among them: unpredictable and unsanitary water supplies for drinking and farming, medicinal techniques that weren't always effective (no antibiotics!) and enslavement as a result of indebtedness or war. A number of students decided to develop a strong thesis statement with credible evidence suggesting that Hammurabi's code was just. (Who was Shamash? Ask your child!) We've been addressing the pros and cons aspects of civilization and society, analyzing and wondering if humans and the planet, in general, are better off with societies. Wrapping up this unit shortly, we will research, analyze and compare two additional civilizations this year, Egypt and Greece.

Thank you for the outpouring of tissue boxes and pencils- much appreciated! Happy Spring!

~Leslie Kramer Grade 6 History Social Science Teacher

In 6th grade, math students are working with linear equations that have single occurrences of one variable, e.g., x+1=5 and 4x=2. They examine values that make a given linear equation true or false, and what it means for a number to be a solution to an equation. Solving equations of the form px=q where p and q are rational numbers can produce complex fractions (i.e., quotients of fractions), so students extend their understanding of fractions to include those with numerators and denominators that are not whole numbers.

~Heba Abu, Grade 6 Math Teacher

In Ms. Barber's sixth grade science class we are starting a new unit called "River to the Sea". We will examine the Charles River and its journey to the ocean. We will test the Charles River water to determine the cleanliness of the river water. Getting outside will be an emphasis for April!

~Colleen Barber, Grade 6 Science

In ELA, students have learned about communism and capitalism in preparation to dive into memoirs. They read The Wall, a graphic memoir by Peter Sis, and will be reading either I Am Malala, by Malala Yousafzai, or Red Scarf Girl, by Ji-Li Jaing. They are comparing the fictional oppressive society of The Giver to memoirs of young people responding to oppression. The Reading and Writing MCAS will happen on April 23 and 24, right after April Vacation. Please keep reinforcing independent reading time at home. Supports include: remind students to put their books in their backpacks after reading them; visit the library; set up quiet reading times with no media on to interrupt; develop a habit of reading in bed; have students do reading before starting math homework, if the bedtime reading isn't working. Each student is required to read for 30 minutes minimum, every day (at least once on the weekends). Thanks!

~Anna Marsh, Grade 6 ELA Teacher