Sixth grade at St. Francis is a time of transition. Students not only move “upstairs” to the middle school, they also spend more time examining their personal morality, values and relationships. It is the perfect opportunity for students to recognize how Jesus can guide them through this rapid period of growth and change. By integrating Catholic faith lessons into every subject area, we try to help sixth graders develop healthy hearts, minds and bodies.
Our middle-school students flourish in a nurturing climate where they feel respected and confident enough to try out new challenges and ideas. Our educational program reflects a challenging curriculum, professionally-certified instructors who have a passion for teaching, motivating lessons, multi-sensory activities and high expectations. Our students are given many opportunities to think and write critically and to solve relevant problems. The St. Francis Middle School is a place where students strive to fulfill their potential!
Sixth graders become familiar with the Old Testament through our text Spirit of Truth, published by Sophia Press. Students learn from the successes and failures of our Biblical ancestors and gain an understanding of God’s mercy and love throughout salvation history. We also participate in Second Step, a program that teaches empathy, bullying prevention, emotion management, and problem solving. As students learn how to make moral choices, they come to realize how important it is to have Jesus at the center of their lives!
Our sixth-grade English program focuses on grammar and mechanics, composition and vocabulary. In 6th grade we take a writer’s workshop approach, beginning with development of writing skills, then moving on to writing narrative, opinion, persuasive, and research based writing. English and vocabulary are developed through this approach in writing, allowing students to have an authentic and real world approach to grammar, mechanics, vocabulary, and writing.
The sixth-grade math program includes a variety of learning experiences: math games, demonstrations, mental math, manipulative work, collaborative problem-solving, solving problems with calculators, lectures, practice, review, homework, tests and quizzes. The topics and concepts covered during the year include statistics, algebra, decimals, measurement, fractions, geometry, integers, ratio, proportion, percent and probability. Text that is used is enVision Math by Savvas
While studying earth science, space and weather, sixth graders engage in our project-based inquiry program. By starting with a challenge or question and then answering the question through collaboration, research and experimentation, the sixth graders “do as real scientists do!” Text used is Project-Based Inquiry Science published by It’s About Time
Sustaining a love of reading is an important facet of our sixth-grade literature curriculum. Students learn to read critically, analyze literature and expand their vocabularies. Students engage in independent reading, projects, simulations, and novel studies.
Using the pedagogy of the “Flipped Classroom” and “Blended Learning” philosophies, St Francis offers an elite 6th Grade Social Studies Curriculum The program is anchored by the renowned student centered resources of Dr. Phil Gersmehl and the content designers of TCI History Alive! and TCI Geography Alive! This curriculum has proven success and has turned Social Studies into the favorite subject of many sixth grade students since its implementation.
Students in sixth-grade Spanish will begin using the SOMOS Curriculum as part of the Middle School Spanish program. Topics include: conjugating verbs for the first time, introducing their peers, and describing themselves. Students will learn how to say their own age, to express what they like or dislike doing, to practice noun-adjective agreement and learn the uses of the verb “to have,” among other topics. Students will also acquire extensive knowledge of the diversity and culture of the Latin American countries.
Our sixth graders participate weekly in art, band, P.E., library, technology, drama, and Spanish classes, taught by our specials teachers. Field trips, guest speakers and service opportunities also make up an important part of our sixth-grade year. Every day, sixth graders enjoy a 25-minute outdoor recess time followed by a 20-minute lunch. Recess and lunch are supervised by parent helpers.
Service and Leadership
In addition to the options to participate as altar servers and singing in the choir, sixth-grade students participate in several church and community services throughout the year.