|Recognizing the unique developmental stage of sixth graders, holding onto childhood while itching to enter adolescence, scared, conflicted, excited. The sixth grade program builds on the growing independence established in fifth grade, the deepening abilities and intellectual capabilities found in 11-year olds asking them to make connections, to work with broad theme and a deep attention to details-using their childhood enthusiasm to energize their intellectual growth. The sixth grade program is based on the belief that students need a safe place to practice independent thinking, organizing, learning, and participation. Sixth graders participate in cooperative group work which challenges them as they strive to find their personal voice and navigate their individual learning. |
One major project in sixth grade is the medieval pageant. Students choose from a variety of guilds such as arms and armor, medicine, cartography, and music. They immerse themselves in their area of study over a significant period of time. Students work together with their “guild masters” (teachers) to map out the process, share the work, and present a final product. Personal accountability is essential for both their group and individual work. Sixth graders also hone and reflect on real world skills that can be applied across a variety of disciplines.
An additional important project in sixth grade is the young composers concert. Students choose and delve into one style of music, and get the real world experience of writing, collaborating, and performing within that style.
Both the medieval pageant and young composers concert require sixth graders to demonstrate courage and creativity. Math and science skills are thoughtfully integrated throughout guild activities and the young composers project. Guild work and composing music both take a tremendous amount of initiative and bravery in which students take risks and develop creative solutions to solve problems and meet goals that they have set for themselves.