Fifth-Sixth Grade Classroom
Ms. Cicchinelli teaches the 5th-6th grade classroom and is assisted by Manny Cruz. Class meets from 8:40 a.m. to 3:05 p.m. except on Wednesdays, when students are dismissed at 2:00 p.m.
"Hope" is the thing with feathers--
That perches in the soul--
And sings the tune without the words--
And never stops-- at all--
from Emily Dickinson (1830-1886),
"'Hope' is the thing with feathers"
Entre ahora y ahora
entre yo soy y tú eres,
la palabra puente
Entras en ti misma
al entrar en ella;
from Octavio Paz (1914-1998),
A teacher is a bridge between the classroom and the world, between present time and the future. In 5th and 6th Grades, we work on building the foundational academic skills that will make us life-long learners and creative and productive contributors to society. We also develop the self-knowledge and self-confidence we will need to safely navigate the stormy seas of adolescence. Together we will learn, laugh, dream, and grow.
Please Note: History, Geography, and Science curricula rotate in a two-year cycle.
History (2018-19) We will study US History starting with the indigenous cultures of North America and ending with the ratification of the US Constitution. Along the way, we will learn about explorers, settlers, colonies, slavery, democracy, revolution, migration, and the fantastic 50 United States of America. Get ready for State Reports!
History (2017-18) We will study the history of the ancient world, starting with Early Man in the Paleolithic Era and continuing through Mesopotamia, Egypt, Kush, the Hebrews, Greece, India, China, and Rome. In each of these areas, we will explore the magnificent discoveries of these ancient peoples and their contributions to modern society.
Geography (2018-19) We will study the geography of North America, including the USA, Canada, and Mexico.
Geography (2017-18) We will study World Geography, including the comparison of the ancient world with the modern world map.
Science (2018-19) In Earth Science, we will study the biggest thing on Earth, the biosphere. In Physical Science, we will study invisible things like gravity and gas molecules. In Life Science, we will study how plants and animals get nutrients through ecosystems, food webs, chemical processes, and kitchens!
Science (2017-18) In Life Science, we will explore the tiny puzzle of cellular anatomy and function as well as the big picture of evolution and genetics. In Earth Science, we will study the water cycle, weather patterns across our planet, and human impact on our environment. In Physical Science, we will study the phenomena of kinetic energy and energy transfer.
Engineering Our studies of Engineering will be project based with the overarching theme of making a positive impact on our society and world. Student projects will integrate as many subject areas as possible, including art and music. Engineering will be taught in collaboration with Ms. McDougal.
English Our English studies will include the four language arts domains: Reading, Writing, Speaking, and Listening. We will incorporate literary classics, informational texts, poetry, creative writing, and grammar instruction into our studies of all topics. Students will read, analyze, and respond to texts, cite from texts, write in various styles, and work both independently and collaboratively on projects and presentations. Respectful listening, tolerance of differing opinions, and peaceful coexistence will be practiced.
Math The main 5th Grade math topics include calculating with fractions and decimals using the four basic processes (+/−/×/÷) and developing an understanding of volume. 5th Graders will also continue to build their understanding of place value, algebraic thinking, geometry, systems of measurement, and use of data. 6th Graders will be introduced to ratios and rates, algebraic equations, and probability, as well as continuing to develop their understanding of the rational number system, geometry, data, and statistics. Math students will advance according to ability and inclination with care given to ensure that each student performs at or above grade level.
Music Fifth and sixth graders will participate in the instrumental music program, receiving weekly instruction in marimba, cello, or violin from instructors Marla Lyons or Astrid Huala. All instrumental music students are expected to practice their instruments a minimum of 120 minutes per week, or approximately 15-20 minutes each day.
Communication between school and home is of paramount importance in the education of every child. Ms. Cicchinelli is available by email at any time and will respond quickly to set up a phone call or appointment, as needed. Urgent needs can be delivered by note at arrival or dismissal or by calling the school office. Parent-Teacher conferences are held twice a year and are extremely valuable in developing strong relationships. Home visits can be arranged, if desired.
Homework will be assigned Monday through Thursday and will be planned to involve one hour of study. Occasional projects or writing assignments may require weekend attention. Creative and academic endeavors will be offered in which students may elect to invest more time according to their personal inclinations. Students should also practice their instruments 15-20 minutes daily.
Weekly activities include music classes, art, PE, Reading Buddies, library time, and media literacy. FoodLab is a weekly class in which students participate in the planning, preparing, and serving of school lunches as part of the Farm-to-Table school lunch program headed by Ms. Emelia.
Throughout the year, students will participate in field trips, camping trips, drama and musical productions, the "Age of Sail" program on the ship Balclutha, and the "Environmental Living Program" in Yosemite National Park, among other things.