Skills and Concepts for 6th Grade

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Skills to Teach and Concepts to Introduce in 6th Grade

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  • Uses evidence from the text in order to summarize the plot, make inferences about and analyze the text, and determine the central theme or themes in a text.
  • Understands and explains the point of view in a text as well as the significance of certain words and passages in a text.
  • Understands and relays the main thesis or claims of a non-fiction text and its supporting evidence.
  • Reads and compares different texts and different genres of texts which address the same topics.
  • Uses a variety of media and formats, including video and audio, to further enhance his/ her understanding of a topic or text.
  • Demonstrate an understanding of conventions within language study:  dialects, clauses, phrases
  • Demonstrates ability to participate in group discussions expressing the ideas and skills learned.
  • Practices a variety of vocabulary skills, including using the context in which a word is found to determine the meaning of words, recognizing roots of words, and using digital and physical reference materials (dictionaries, thesauruses, and glossaries).
  • Construct and apply simile/metaphor, idiom, analogy
  • Construct and apply structural analysis: root words, affixes, and derivatives
  • Develop an understanding of author’s craft: e.g., irony, foreshadowing, flashback, point of view, etc
  • Writes using more complex vocabulary and about more complex content.
  • Writes for an extended period of time such as long-term research or writing pieces that may take a week.
  • Writes a variety of genres for a variety of audiences.
  • Writes structured and well organized opinion, research, and informative pieces that:
    • Use supporting claims and evidence that are based on credible texts and resources.
    • Include an introduction, conclusion, and transitions.
    • Integrate other forms of media and formats, such as graphs, charts, headings, and audio or video when appropriate.
  • Writes well-structured narratives (both true and fiction) that include:
    • Descriptive detail of characters, settings, and experiences.
    • Dialogue.
    • A clear structure with a logical order and flow, dialogue, and details and descriptions of characters, setting and experiences, thought-out word choice, and a conclusion.
  • Plans, revises, and edits writing, specifically with guidance from teachers and peers.
  • Writes pieces that express the reading skills achieved, including analysis of text, making comparisons and claims, and developing arguments using specific evidence.
  • Uses technology and the Internet to produce and publish writing, work with others, and type a minimum of three pages in one sitting. 
  • Demonstrate oral language by presenting information effectively
  • Identify persuasive techniques
  • Divides fractions by fractions.
  • Solves equations using ratios and rates or percentages.
  • Solves equations with negative numbers.
  • Multiplies and divides multi-digit numbers.
  • Finds common factors and multiples.
  • Understands and talk about ratios using mathematical language. For example, the ratio of girls to boys in the class is 2:3.
  • Solves algebraic equations with one variable and explains how these equations were solved.
  • Solves geometry equations related to surface area, area, and volume as applied to real-world situations.
  • Develops skills in statistical analysis and applies statistical concepts, including mean, median, variability, and range.
  • Analyzes mathematical data, thinking about how data was collected and looking at patterns in the data, including clusters, peaks, gaps, and symmetry.
  • Explains the process used and thinking behind how problems and equations are solved.
  • Represent very large positive numbers and very small positive numbers; Write numbers in expanded and exponential notation (e.g. powers of 10); Model, compare, order, and position integers (e.g. on a number line)
  • Model computations with integers (e.g. number line, tiles)
  • Solve problems involving ratios and proportions and computations with whole numbers, fractions, decimals, and percents; Estimate and check the results of computations
  • Apply Order of Operations; Apply number theory concepts (e.g.  GCF, LCM, divisibility)
  • Analyze and determine rules for extending geometric and numeric patterns
  • Use patterns and functions to solve problems; Demonstrate an understanding of the concepts of variables, expressions, and equations
  • Solve simple linear equations using concrete models, tables, graphs, and paper-and-pencil methods
  • Create and interpret graphical sketches representing real events; Represent mathematical relationships with concrete materials, tables, graphs, and verbal rules
  • Identify, compare, describe, and classify polygons; Describe and perform transformations on shapes; Determine congruency; Draw shapes from different perspectives; Measure, describe, construct, and classify various angles and triangles
  • Draw and describe the relationships among points, lines, segments, and planes; Graph points on the coordinate plane
  • Demonstrate an understanding of the concepts of radius, diameter, circumference, Pi and area of a circle
  • Apply area, perimeter, and volume to the solution of problems; Find the areas of parallelograms and triangles
  • Find the sum of angles in polygons
  • Solve problems involving proportional relationships and units of measure (e.g. unit conversions, scale models, map scales).
  • Collect, organize, display, and analyze data to solve problems; Construct and interpret tables, bar graphs, line graphs, line plots, and stem and leaf plots; Apply mean, mode, median, and range.

  • Plans and conducts investigations and experiments.
  • Applies the scientific method in order to practice like a scientist:
    • Observes and researches.
    • Develops a hypothesis (based on observations and research).
    • Make predictions.
    • Experiments and follows multi-step processes and instructions in order to conduct experiments.
    • Develops a conclusion.
    • Compares the results of an experiment to what is written about the topic in a text.
  • Analyzes and interprets data.
  • Uses measurement and mathematical computations while working with data.
  • Develops and presents explanations for processes and practices used and results obtained.
  • Determines the main ideas of a scientific text and sites specific evidence to support ideas and claims about scientific texts.
  • Learns topic specific science vocabulary.
  • Analyzes relevant charts, diagrams, and graphs about a scientific topic.
  • Recognize, interpret, and create models of earth’s physical features in maps.
  • Understand occurrences of earthquakes and volcanoes.
  • Distinguish between erosion and decomposition.
  • Describe glacial impact on land.
  • Identify the phases of the moon; describe lunar/solar eclipses; explain the causes of night/day and seasons.
  • Describe the formation of mountains, plains, and plateaus and identify them on topographic maps
  • Describe how water moves through the hydrologic cycle in the air and ground
  • Compare the change in earth’s surface through erosion and glaciation
  • Explain how heat movement in the earth generates earth- quakes and volcanoes
  • Compare the movement of waves through space, air, water, and land
  • Classify organisms into kingdoms; classify organisms according to cell composition; identify the levels of organization in life forms; classify plants/animals.
  • Explore the digestive system of animals
  • Give examples of ways organisms interact and have distinct functions within ecosystems; identify ways ecosystems have changed over time
  • Describe a food chain and roles of producers, consumers, and decomposers.
  • Describe the process of photosynthesis.
  • Differentiate between weight/mass and volume/mass; define density; understand accuracy, precision, sensitivity of measuring tools; use scientific notation.
  • Compare and contrast physical properties of metals, non- metals, and metalloids.
  • Identify materials used to accomplish a task based on a specific property (e.g. rocks and minerals—building and electronics).
  • Identify appropriate units and tools to construct a give prototype; identify design features.
  • Compare and contrast simple and complex machines.
Social Studies
  • Reads primary and secondary sources in order to:
    • Analyze the texts using evidence.
    • Understand the main ideas of the text.
    • Relate the texts to important historical events or concepts.
  • Determines places in a text in which an author’s point of view is presented.
  • Distinguishes between fact and opinion in a text.
  • Uses technology and media to better understand concepts taught.
  • Compares primary and secondary sources about the same topic.
  • Learns about historical events within a context and as related to things such as geography, economy, and social and political factors.  
  • Learns about topics, including ancient and global civilizations, gaining a deeper understanding of history and the present global community. 
  • Apply their knowledge of geographic features as related to historical and modern map
  • Connect present day nations with ancient civilizations
  • Construct and interpret timelines and use vocabulary associated with the calculation of time
  • Explain the development of the world’s first civilizations, the role of the geographic features and the importance of the polytheistic religious beliefs in the river valley civilizations of ancient Mesopotamia and Egypt
  • Identify the origins, central teachings and legacies of the monotheistic religions of Judaism and Christianity
  • Summarize the role of trade and commerce between ancient civilizations and how trade helped spread knowledge and forced the development of writing systems and currency
  • Identify the Mediterranean Sea area and key ports
  • Explain the development and expansion of the classical civilizations of Ancient Greece and Rome
  • Compare and contrast Greek and Roman culture (government, religion, art, trade, learning, and education) and their impact on the modern world
  • Describe and compare the accomplishments of historical figures throughout the ancient world
  • List the legacies of each ancient civilization and their importance of those contributions to other civilizations throughout time
Helping your Child through 6th-8th Grade (Middle School + Life)
Set Routines
In the middle school years, your child will be more involved in activities outside of the school day. Academic demands will be greater and require more time at home. Your child will require enormous amounts of sleep, food, and exercise at this age. Balancing homework, extracurricular activities, family time, daily chores, and sleep may require your help. Children may not consider homework and daily chores to be a priority in life. If you help set up a daily schedule, including time for academic work, your child will gain self-management and organizational skills.
Listen to Your Child
Societal pressures on children and adolescents today are greater than ever. Your child may be exposed to drugs or alcohol, premature sex, or violence without your knowledge. Television, movies, videos, and video games may expose your child to adult activities.
Your child will probably be changeable and unpredictable during this stormy time of adolescence. He or she may seem rude and inconsiderate when interacting with others. Irresponsibility and mood changes can be annoying and infuriating. But remember, “this, too, shall pass.” Your child is worth the investment of time, so take time to listen to what he or she has to say. Your child will succeed academically with your support.
Encourage Creativity
“I am not a nut. I am a pioneer.” This comment by Betty Miles probably describes how your preadolescent feels. Research projects, current events, environmental issues and other causes, art and dramatic productions, the world of entertainment, sports events, and other activities will attract children at this age. Guide your child in using creativity to explore areas of interest. Creativity is not so much inventing something new as it is recombining old information. Help your child use the Internet, art, music, and writing to explore and use his or her creative mind.
Managing Time
The need to study outside of the ‘school day’ increases as students advance from grade to grade. Helping your child learn time management skills is essential not only for academic success but also for success in other areas throughout life. Good time management can ensure that students take the time to process and reflect on what they’ve done when work is finished. The following suggestions are essential in managing time:  
  • Organize a daily schedule-Procrastination is a common characteristic among students. They commonly put off tasks that require planning and extended work. Help your child learn to prioritize tasks and keep a record of work done.
  • Set goals and timelines-As study tasks become more complex and require more time to complete, students must evaluate each task and the amount of time needed to complete it. Your child may set expectations that are too high or too low, so continual monitoring is needed to determine if the quality or quantity of work accomplished is meeting reasonable expectations. Encourage your child to set realistic goals that can be met.
  • Break a big task into smaller tasks-If your child becomes overwhelmed with an assignment that requires an extended amount of time, show how the assignment can be broken into several short tasks with established deadlines. Remember to encourage your child to be realistic, always keeping the due date in mind. Keeping a weekly monitoring sheet will help your child visually plot assignments.
  • Reinforce good study habits-Help your child learn to self-monitor study habits and reward himself or herself for a job well done. Rewards might involve activities that your child would rather be doing instead of studying. A good mindset for this is “Study now and do something fun later.”
Suggested Activities you and your Middle-School Child can do together
  • Shared Reading Experiences: Share and talk about the main ideas of articles with your child that are about topics they learn in science, social studies, (including current events), or topics relevant or interesting to them. Share items in articles having to do with data collection and analysis as studied in math. You can even read the same book that your child is reading for English and form a family book club.
  • Write for Enjoyment: Encourage your child to keep a journal; try keeping one yourself. When you or your child finds a passion topic, write about it in a relevant way. For example, write letters to favorite authors, write letters to publications about articles or even try and submit an article to a local publication or website.
  • Share and Solve Math in Your Life: When you encounter math in your life, show your child how you solved the relevant math equation or have him/her assist you in solving it. This may occur in areas such as:
    • Changing the measurements in recipes, especially when it involves add, subtracting, or multiplying mixed fractions.
    • Computations having to do with creating and working with a budget.
    • Figuring out distances when traveling or sales prices when shopping.
    • Data collection or analysis.
  • Use Technology to Enhance Your Child’s Learning: Since most middle-schoolers are technology fans (and experts), encourage your children to use technology to "show what they know" or further their learning. Of course, as with any use of technology, be sure to monitor your child’s technology use, access, and communication with others.
    • Making short-video book reviews of books being read.
    • Making quick video lessons (or using one of many various apps) for presenting short narrated lessons about topics being learned so that your child can teach you!
    • Create photo collages or scrapbooks of work completed and or books read.
    • Create a continuous conversation via email or another technological format in which your child sends you quick snippets (pictures and or texts) of something interesting s/he learned. Follow up with questions or comments on what your child sends.


Published:Apr 12th 2017
Modified:Apr 12th 2017


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