6th Grade Weekly Note

Dear 6th Grade Families,

On Thursday and Friday we welcomed professional storyteller Robb Dimmick into our classrooms. As part of their study of Ancient Ghana, students are learning about the role of griots in African culture, as well as the specific story, the "Legend of the Ouagadou-Bida." Students are also writing their own stories about their respective imaginary countries, as one way of knowing. We will also be learning about other ways of knowing throughout the year. The ability to internalize a story, make it your own, and tell it orally in an interesting and compelling way has intrinsic value. Additionally, students are building towards the ability to tell their own personal stories in a public way later in the year. We are using the "Legend of the Ouagadou-Bida" and the work with Robb as opportunities to develop the attitude, courage, and skills they will need to do this. We want students to find and use their voices as storytellers. Their study and training culminated with dramatic performances of the story to TPS students in Preschool and the Primary Unit.

In math, students finished the percent unit and have a take-home quiz this weekend. Please help your child find a quiet space so he/she can do their best work. Students have instructions on their sheet to help them with this work.

Announcements:

  • Next week, students will take part in the Trading Unit, which spans math and theme class. In math, students will trade various items that include mints. The mints will be nut and tree nut free.
  • Staff from the Attic Youth Center, the only organization in Philadelphia exclusively serving lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and questioning (LGBTQ) youth, will be at TPS on November 16 to work with students and teachers on issues facing LGBTQ youth. Middle School workshops are designed to introduce to students and teachers to terms regarding sexual orientation and gender identity; difficulties LGBTQ youth face in “coming out”; and barriers experienced by LGBTQ youth within family, school, relationships, health, and other arenas. These initial conversations will use interactive activities that range from performance art to team-building games, along with age-appropriate material that students find both engaging and accessible. A central emphasis of the workshops will be how we relate to each other -- When I say this word, how does it make my peers feel? If I’m upset at school, who should I talk to? -- as well as how we understand each other –- What does LGBTQ mean anyhow? Why does it matter to me? All trainings are adapted to optimally fit each classroom.

Questions to ask your 6th grader:

  • Why did Amadou cut the head off of the serpent?
  • What was the best part of performing your story? What was most challenging?
  • How do you determine if a body of water is healthy?
  • Why did Ancient Ghana fall?

Have a good weekend,

6th Grade Team