Woodside School offers a very broad and enriching academic program. Below you will find information on each of the core classes offered to 6th grade students. For detailed information on each of the core subjects, please click on the links below. The 2016-2017 Woodside School Handbook also details every course.
This course provides a literature-based language arts program. As a basis for instruction, students will explore thematic connections in reading, writing, word analysis, listening and speaking activities using significant works of literature. Students will read various genres including novels, short stories, nonfiction essays, articles, folk stories, drama, and poetry. Critical thinking skills, listening and speaking opportunities, and a deepening of comprehension proficiency develop as students respond to literature. Students will study the author's craft and the writing process model. Project-based learning will be facilitated through individual, partner, and group tasks.
Along with reading many of the core literature titles listed below, students will read selections from the state adopted texts.
Freak the Mighty
A Long Walk to Water
D'Aulaire's Book of Greek Myths
A variety of teacher prepared instruction and Columbia University's Teacher College Writing Units of Study are used to assist students in refining and practicing the process of writing to create clear and coherent pieces that engage the reader and show an awareness of audience and purpose. The Units of Study include Personal Narrative, Literary Essay, Research-Based Information Writing, and Argument Writing. Students will write multi-paragraph essays within these genres that contain formal introductions, detailed descriptions, and supporting textual evidence using precise language. A variety of effective organizational structures such as comparison and contrast, categorical, spatial order, and order of importance will be used in the writing of the essays. Students will also revise essays for content, organization, word choice, and consistency of ideas, and edit for spelling, punctuation, and grammar.
The 6th grade mathematics curriculum matches the school's philosophy that all students meet or exceed the California Common Core State Standards for all of 6th grade and the first half of 7th grade. This is an accelerated course for all 6th grade students.
Science is the study of the patterns and rhythms of the Universe. Through observations, using all of our five senses, we can interpret our surroundings in order to make predictions that are useful in our lives.
There are two ways to learn science. The first is to read about the great scientific discoveries of the past. The other is to discover the laws and facts of the world around us through investigation and experimentation. The first leads to useful knowledge that we can apply to our lives. The second method also produces this useful information, but has the added benefit of teaching critical thinking skills that we can use in all aspects of our lives.
This course will allow students to use both methods of teaching science, but relies heavily on investigation and experimentation. Science students learn by doing. In this way we give them the required knowledge and skills necessary for a productive future.
6th grade students use the CPO program Focus on Earth Science, a guided, inquiry approach which includes hands on investigations in each chapter. Topics include Earth's structure, plate tectonics, California geology, weathering and erosion, earthquakes and volcanoes, heat transfer, natural resources, ecosystems, weather and climate, and human impact. Students utilize the scientific method as the framework for their discovery process.
Students in grade six expand their understanding of history by studying the people and events that ushered in the dawn of the major Western and non-Western ancient civilizations. Geography is of special significance in the development of the human story. Continued emphasis is placed on the everyday lives, problems, and accomplishments of people, their role in developing social, economic, and political structures, as well as in establishing and spreading ideas that helped transform the world forever. Students develop higher levels of critical thinking by considering why civilizations developed where and when they did, why they became dominant, and why they declined. Students analyze the interactions among the various cultures, emphasizing their enduring contributions and the link, despite time, between the contemporary and ancient worlds.
Students in 6th grade Spanish can expect to learn the vocabulary and grammar necessary to explain who you are as a person, as well as describe your surroundings. Students will be able to speak, listen, read, and write using skills that are appropriate to a beginning Spanish speaker. This course will be taught in accordance with the World Language Content Standards for California Public Schools (http://clta.net/advocacy/standards/). The class will be conducted primarily in Spanish, and mastery will be demonstrated through a series of quizzes, tests, presentations, skits, role-plays, essays, art, and cultural products.
The goal of 6th grade Mandarin class is to initiate students in the development of four skills in Mandarin - listening, speaking, reading, and writing, with an emphasis on oral communication. At the end of the school year, students are able to communicate in Chinese on a variety of topics such as greeting, family, hobbies, weather, and time. Along with language, students will gain knowledge of and develop insight into Chinese culture and some important philosophical ideas and values in Chinese societies as well.
Students are at the early production stage. The focus is therefore on building a solid foundation for future study and promoting their confidence in the language. There is a lot of repetition and reviewing, and the learning pace is fast because emphasis is placed upon how well students learn rather than how fast they learn. Classes are taught using comprehensible input. This means using English to explain and using a number of techniques, including visual, hands-on, and audio to help support student learning.
6th grade students will continue on the musical journey as an extension of what they learned in 5th grade. The curriculum goal is for students to:
Develop their musicianship using the instrument that they played in 5th grade.
Continue to improve their instrument technique, including posture and position, breathing, fingerings and fingering patterns, and tone.
Expand their knowledge and comprehension of music and improving on reading notation, recognizing patterns, and listening for cues.
Students will learn music from a varied repertoire, including classical and romantic styles, marches, popular music, and 21st century/modern band music. They will also be asked to participate in active listening exercises wherein they analyze or form an opinion on what they hear. In addition, students will discuss the role music plays in the many aspects of their lives and the world around them. Finally, teamwork, respect, and responsibility are key personal characteristics for success in music.
The Woodside physical education program consists of developmentally appropriate lessons with activities that are in alignment with the California State Content Standards. The course is designed to create maximum opportunities for development of skills, knowledge, health-related fitness and ultimately, the confidence to enjoy an active healthy lifestyle. This course helps students develop habits for lifetime fitness and health. The class focuses on cooperation, respect, communication, trust, and fun.
Woodside School provides a diverse physical education program that includes cooperative activities, non-traditional games, and movement and rhythms suited to the capacities and limitations of all students. The physical, cognitive, social, and emotional development of all students is emphasized.
The course goals are as follows:
Develop social skills and positive behaviors as they relate to physical education.
Value physical education and its lifetime importance.
Increase skill proficiency in various activities and games.
Improve self-esteem by participation in challenging activities.
Build cognitive learning and problem-solving through fitness journals, written work, and projects.
Develop self-evaluation skills through assessment.
Woodside School provides a full continuum of Special Education services when a student meets the eligibility criteria mandated by the State of California. These services are individually designed and based on the student's unique learning needs. The Special Education staff works closely with parents and the Woodside School Student Study Team to identify and refer students for a Special Education assessment.
Students in the Learning Center work towards their individual goals, and they learn strategies for staying organized, time-management, completing homework assignments, task completion, researching and editing skills, comprehension strategies, and test taking skills.
Art education provides opportunities for creativity, self-expression, and communication. It gives students the chance to explore, describe, analyze and interpret visual materials, and make connections to other subject areas including themselves. Art has been the foundation of world cultures since the beginning of time. To understand art is to understand our humanity.
The art curriculum is a sequential skills-based program that focuses on the appreciation and production of art, and the study of art history. The art program works closely with classroom teachers to integrate art throughout the curriculum. The following standards are covered throughout the school year: artistic perception, creative expression, historical and cultural context, aesthetic valuing, and connections, relationships, and applications.
Students will use design practices to develop their abilities in understanding others, analyzing challenges, and reflecting on their own work. Beginning in 2016-2017, 6th grade students will be taking on a year-long project that incorporates multiple disciplines. The project will expand on technical skills attained in previous years and engage with the community.
During the 2016-2017 school year, 6th grade students will participate in the program through elective classes and a la carte projects with the teachers. Additionally, students may use the following technologies in their various projects: Arduino/Raspberry Pi, HTML/CSS, Adobe Creative Suite, SketchUp, iMovie, Final Cut Pro, and InVision.
Social and Emotional Learning in the Middle School is provided through the Advisory program. Advisory provides a supportive environment and an outlet to voice concerns and to benefit from the collective wisdom of the group. Lessons for Advisory class focus on SEL skills and the overall concepts of Know Yourself, Choose Yourself, and Give Yourself. After a lesson is introduced, the class is primarily student driven.
Classes meet two times per month and advisors are available on an as-needed basis for students between classes. A grade of Pass/No Pass is given for Advisory as well as a citizenship grade. While all students are encouraged to participate verbally, the Advisory teacher understands that students have varying levels of comfort with certain types of discussions and that students fall across a wide spectrum of introversion and extroversion.