In the sixth grade year, students move into a middle school program model. The language arts, science, math, and social studies teachers loop with the 5th and 6th grade students, creating a seamless two-year block of instruction and growth.
In science and math, the classes are a single-gender arrangement, breaking the day into a strong and unique learning model, one where brain researched teaching strategies appealing to individual learning strengths give a new avenue for abstract responses from these pre-adolescent learners. The instructors, trained in brain growth needs at this special age, observe and utilize activities that enhance learning specially designed for these groups. The classes homogenize for the remaining instructional day.
The math curriculum is Pearson’s envisions Math series, a new and strong series that continues to provide a bridge for the Singapore Math foundations. The philosophy of this program involves essential understanding, problem-based interaction, and visual learning. It enhances learning because students are actively engaged in thinking about the problems. Included are middle school skills such as manipulating decimals and fractions, data, statistics, graphs, functions and equations of algebra, integers and rational numbers, perimeter, area and volume, ratio and proportion, percents, and probability.
Social studies, explores the magical cultures of long ago; ancient Egypt, India, China, Greece, and Rome. Reading will often integrate these topics with literature in hopes that knowledge of history can increase a love of reading and that a love of reading will improve enjoyment of history. Click here to watch some of the 6th grade project videos.
The sixth grade student should come to the grade with a firm understanding of the basic rules of language arts. Narrative, expository, and persuasive writing forms will be used. Shurley Grammar continues and blends a traditional grammar program at the end of the year to prepare them for the transition into middle school.
Science will focus on biology concepts such as cell structure and function, cell types, and single-celled organisms. Classification in plant and animal kingdoms will also be explored.
Personal growth: The school year begins with a spiritual and team-building overnight retreat to Southwind Young Life Camp in Ocala. There, the students learn to become the leaders of the school! The sixth grade year is best known for its annual trip to Earthshine Mountain Lodge in Lake Toxaway, North Carolina. Students engage in many outdoor activities to learn about the environment, geology, and history, as well as conquering personal fears self-esteem building, and team building concepts. Click here for a video about Earthshine.
Language: Sixth grade world languages program will prepare a student for further foreign language learning in middle school with immersion exposure to both Spanish and Mandarin Chinese.
Service: Sixth graders must complete 10 hours of community service in their sixth grade year before graduation. There is a partnership between St. Mark’s and the North Florida School of Special Education. Click here for more about this special relationship.
Sixth grade students attend all the resources; art, computer, Christian education, music, physical education, and library throughout the week.