Sixth grade science focuses on the biology of marine life and the human body. In this life science class students gain experience observing, dissecting, writing and organizing notes, drawing, problem solving, thinking critically, making oral presentations and creating a life-size paper model of their own skeleton and organs.
Our investigation of the human body includes the study of the skeletal, nervous, circulatory, endocrine and digestive systems, as well as the effects of alcohol, tobacco and drugs on mental and physical health. These studies culminate in Surgery Day, when hospital personnel bring authentic surgical equipment and materials to the classroom to give students hands-on practice with various medical and surgical techniques.
Our study of marine life includes a survey of the major kingdoms of life, with a focus on the natural history, distribution and abundance of dominant marine invertebrate and vertebrate animals. This unit culminates with a week of camping on the southern Oregon coast where students explore the labs at the Oregon Institute of Marine Biology, the fishing docks at Charleston Harbor, and the rocky seashore and the sandy beach of Cape Arago. Students observe marine habitats and biota first-hand to gain appreciation and experience identifying marine algae, plants, invertebrates, birds and mammals in the field.
6th Grade is a time when all of the basic math skills will be solidified, strengthened and deepened. In tandem with this basic skills development will be an emphasis on creative problem-solving strategies and generalizing patterns to push the growth of each child's abstract thinking and logical reasoning ability. The beginning of algebraic thinking will be woven throughout the curriculum. Saxon Math is the textbook that we use in 6th-8th grade as the backbone of our math curriculum. It is designed with a spiraling approach so that topics are introduced over a period of time and continue to be reinforced consistently throughout the year and over the 3 years. In addition to Saxon math, we supplement with a variety of materials and a variety of approaches since no single method is effective for every child. To balance the direct instructional style of Saxon math, Connected Math's student-directed curriculum will be integrated into the overall 6th grade math program. In addition, the students will be introduced to some computer programming during our gender-based grouping in the spring.
Sixth grade history focuses on Ancient Civilizations. Students explore the variety of ways social scientists – historians, geographers, archaeologists, and anthropologists study the past and present. They learn to view historical events from multiple perspectives. Current events figure regularly in the curriculum. Geography includes the study of 5 themes of geography: Location, Places, Regions, Human/Environment Interaction and Movement. Reading and making maps is a focus of the class.
Using Habits of Mind, Howard Gardner’s Multiple Intelligences and other materials, students tease out and reflect on their own best learning strategies, experiment with them, and refine them. In conjunction with language arts, students develop several techniques for textbook reading and various texts containing increasingly challenging vocabulary. Multiple styles of note taking are practiced and each student eventually selects the formats that work best for him or her. Expository writing is also threaded together with language arts instruction. Students receive guided practice in paragraph and essay writing, summarizing, and paraphrasing.
Middle School athletics are open to all Middle School students regardless of talent level, grade or experience. For many participation on a CGS team is a first team experience. Our teams compete in the Metro Christian League. It is a competitive league, nevertheless, winning is an outcome of individual comittment and team effort. We stress athletic learning, comraderie and a fun experience. All practices and competitions happen after school on weekdays with very rare weekend exceptions. Many Middlle School student athletes advance to stellar high school careers, and beyond.