6th Grade Weekly Note

Hello, 6th Grade Parents,

This week the learning was heavily focused on the history of Philadelphia's water resources. Through a series of trips to the Fairmount Water Works, the Southeast Water Pollution Control Plant, and our own Early Childhood Development Center, as well as a walking tour of historic Dock Creek, students are constructing the key role that water has played in defining Philadelphia today and throughout history. They continue this work by getting very close to home - mapping the flow of water through their own homes. Don't be surprised if your kids are listening to walls and peeking in the basement. All of this work is closely tied to themes they are discovering in the book Fever, which is set in Philadelphia during the yellow fever epidemic of 1793.

In math students have built from an understanding of trading in Ancient Ghana, to balancing the value of goods in the their own trading, to solving algebraic equations by isolating the variable.

Questions to ask your 6th grader:

  • What type of metacognitive annotations do you use the most? Least?
  • What is a scum ball?
  • What was it like living next to Dock Creek in the 18th century?
  • How many cowry shells did you end up with after trading was finished?
  • How do molecules form?
  • Do you want to volunteer at Winterfest?


  • Next week will be using marshmallows and Dots candy to model water molecules and hydrogen bonding. The food will not be eaten. The ingredients and allergy information has been checked and approved by Nurse Sara.
  • The 6th Grade Museum of Biome Adaptations is a major learning celebration. Please make every effort to be there Thursday, December 17, 10:15 - 11:15.
  • For Middle School students who are looking for a winter Community Service job, there is a fun, hands-on opportunity coming up that involves crafts, hikes, and s'mores. (This event will take place before the winter term officially begins, so this sign-up is happening now. All students must do two community service jobs over the course of the fall, winter, and spring seasons.) We are looking for students to help run stations at Winterfest at the Schuylkill Center on Saturday, December 12, 3:00-6:00 p.m. Parents are welcome to attend the event with their kids for free. If your child can help, please email Virginia by Monday, December 7, at [email protected].
  • We are still collecting empty glass jars for the Winterfest event at SCEE on Saturday, December 12. Jars can be given to Virginia (lids are not needed). We'll collect these through next Friday.
  • Members of Mixed Choir and the Sandra Dean String Ensemble will perform at the Winter concert on Wednesday, December 16 at 9 AM. If your child is performing that day, they will need to come to school with their instrument. Concert dress is red on the top and black on the bottom. Solids are preferred, and red dresses are fine for girls (no black dresses). TPS t-shirts are ideal. 

Have a good weekend,

Mike, Jess, Katrina, and Terry