The end of the year is quickly approaching, but we intend to continue up until the very last week of school with challenging and meaningful work. Remember to celebrate your children’s achievements thus far, but to also encourage them to have the integrity to complete the year with their best effort.
I am proud to see all of the growth in these students, especially in terms of their growing independence, initiative, and responsibility as these are very important skills and attributes they will need in seventh grade. Each and every one of them has contributed to making our class a more dynamic and engaging environment, and I look forward to hearing about their academic pursuits and successes next year.
I would also like to say a very special and heartfelt thank you to our room parents, Alicia Crockett and Shantala Cryns. They have been invaluable in terms of their dedication and support, and I am very grateful to have been blessed with such gracious and kind facilitators this year.
Summer is a time for much needed relaxation and rest. However, it is also a time for valuable reflection. Please take the time to ask the students to think about what they genuinely learned this year, not just from their teachers, but also from their peers, and their personal faith journey. It is also important to immerse them in nature. Visiting and exploring a national park, for example, can be wonderful in this capacity. Studies continuously show that such pristine places can nurture presence of mind, physical well-being, and much needed scope about the divinely intelligent and interdependent nature of the environment around us. Simple yet concerted practices like this, along with daily reading and writing reflections, and volunteering, will help inspire the students to be more sophisticated thinkers and engaged citizens of the world.
I wish everyone a blessed and wonderful summer break.
Curriculum Sample . . .
The students will conclude Unit 4 of their StudySync textbooks with “An American Plague”, which chronicles the yellow fever epidemic of Philadelphia in 1793, and the heroic doctors who risked their own lives attempting to help those afflicted. They will also read and analyze the poem, “My Father Is a Simple Man,” by Luis Omar Salinas. These two texts are quite different in genre, but similar in terms of content that pertains to the essential question of what makes a hero. For their last class novel of the year, the students are also reading The Revealers by Doug Wilheim. This is a beloved and thought-provoking novel about bullying and the socio-emotional challenges of middle school. It is also a character study on how one can persevere through such obstacles provided they maintain a sense of integrity, humor, grit, and compassion. As they read this story, the students will participate in ongoing class discussions about literary devices and elements as they relate to the development, themes, and style of this highly relevant story.
The students continue to revise and edit their persuasive essays during our writing workshops. They have reviewed student models, participated in both peer evaluation and self-evaluation exercises, and utilized persuasive writing rubrics in order to meet the required conventions and content areas of this particular focus of writing. Throughout their writing process, they will continue to evaluate transitions and topic sentences, thesis statements, and evidence-based claims in order to make their writing and tone more cohesive and persuasive.
At the end of the year, the students will also have a cumulative test on all of their Unit words. This is a fun yet challenging way to acknowledge all of the wonderful vocabulary they have learned this year, and just how much it enriches their reading and writing skills.
Math (with Mr. Woltz):
We are continuing our study of the number system. We have been learning to focus on the math concepts more in order to understand the underlying math. This will allow us to explore more complex concepts of algebra. We will next be investigating positive and negative numbers, rational numbers and the coordinate plane.
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