GOING OUT WITH A BLAST!!

This year has gone by so fast...it's hard to believe it's almost over! The 6th grade ended the year with our traditional Bottle Rockets event. We studied Newton's 3 laws of motion, then constructed water bottle rockets out of 2-liter bottles, various types of cardboard, and duct tape. The kids got to choose their materials in conjunction with their hypotheses regarding altitude and trajectory. It was truly "a blast"!!

What a wonderful year it had been for this amazing group of kids. They made some awesome memories together, which they diligently recorded in their 6th-grade autobiographies. It has been my pleasure and my honor to teach them this year. 

Best wishes in 7th grade and have a fantastic summer!!

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Susannah Joyce
MEDIEVAL FAIR

Our annual 6th grade Medieval Fair was held last Friday. The fair is the culmination of a 6 week unit of study on medieval Europe. We studied medieval society and then wrote narrative journals from the perspective of a noble, a knight, a member of the clergy (monk, nun, friar), a merchant, and a peasant or serf. We also researched how plants and herbs were used in the middle ages. Everyone researched their family coat of arms and painted their own, as well as studied many types of weapons and elements of medieval battle. We even did an awesome probability activity on how the Black Plague spread through the villages and towns of medieval Europe. 

We used elements from each of our learning activities in planning activities for our fair. One booth displayed our coat of arms, had several types of medieval weapons to look at, and gave away crowns to all the kids. Other booths displayed our plant research and our medieval journals. There was a Black Plague Clinic, where the kids drew a rock out of a bag to find out if they were "healthy" or had been "infected" with the plague...and all received a treat to help them feel better or stay healthy! The Medieval Cafe offered several snacks that had ingredients from our plant study - lavender lemonade, ginger snaps, lavender bread, licorice, peppermints, and more - it was a huge hit!

The other kids seriously enjoyed jousting, shooting the catapult, and having their pictures made while captured in the stocks. The 6th graders did an amazing job of showing the little ones around and helping them enjoy the fair. 

Hear ye, hear ye...the 6th grade Medieval Fair was a royal success!!

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Susannah Joyce
6TH GRADE READING

Reading is a significant element in 6th grade at St. James. We're currently reading Gary Paulson's Lawn Boy.  It's a story about a 12-year-old boy who begins mowing lawns for extra money, and ends up creating a diversified and quite successful business. Not only is it an enjoyable read, it is also a wonderful tool for studying business, economics, and the stock market. 

We read novels as a class, as well as independently read other fiction and non-fiction books. As a class, we have read Tuck Everlasting, Hatchet, and a modern adaptation of Ben Hur, in addition to Lawn Boy. We've read several of O.Henry's short stories, including "Gift of the Magi", "The Last Leaf", and "Spring a la Carte". A favorite genre of my class was Greek and Roman myths, and we're looking forward to reading and writing some excellent poetry in April.

We love reading in 6th grade!

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Susannah Joyce
SCIENCE FAIR

The 5th and 6th grade Science Fair was held last week at St. James. They all did a great job of displaying their knowledge of the scientific method. My sixth graders were very creative in their topic choices. We had an acoustic levitator, drones, rock crystals, germ detectors, and bath bombs, just to name a few experiment topics. The students constructed tri-fold boards displaying each step of the scientific method. They made formal presentations to the class and informal presentations to those invited to the fair. They also kept journals documenting each phase of their experiments and charted their data. 

Grandparents' Day was the day after Science Fair, so we were able to leave our work on display to show our families what we are learning. 

GREAT JOB ST. JAMES 5TH & 6TH GRADERS!

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Susannah Joyce
REFLECTIONS OF ANCIENT GREECE

The 6th grade has been studying ancient Greece in our Ancient Civilizations class. We split into groups and each group researched a different element of ancient Greek society. The 5 elements we studied were Philosophy, Government, Architecture, Sports, and Mythology. Groups did individual written assignments, then combined their information. They constructed tri-fold boards with their information, graphic elements and examples, and other interesting facts about ancient Greece. They used the boards to make a presentation to the class and "teach" their element of Greek society to everyone else in the class.

Aside from the academic nature of the assignment, students were able to practice other skills as well. Time management was an element of this project, as was teamwork, listening, and public speaking.

My kids did an excellent job of "teaching" each other. I'm very proud of their effort!

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Susannah Joyce