THIS IS THE PROGRAM WE EXPECT TO RESUME IN 2021-22. For details about the program we are implementing in 2020-21, please go here.
Fifth-Sixth Grade Classroom
NOTE: If you are interested in enrolling your student in 5th or 6th grade at Pacific School, please complete the appropriate Interest Form.
Fifth and Sixth Grade Curriculum
Mr. Dallas Guerrero teaches the 5th-6th grade classroom and is assisted by Luke Politte. Prior to COVID-19, the class met from 8:40 a.m. to 3:10 p.m. except on Wednesdays, when students were dismissed at 1:00 p.m.
Please Note: The history curriculum rotates in a two-year cycle.
History (2020-21) We will study US History starting with the indigenous cultures of the Americas 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 (2021-22) 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 analyze the geographic, political, economic, and social structures of these ancient peoples and their contributions to modern society.
Science Our science curriculum includes a blend of field-based and laboratory studies. Using the newly updated FOSS curriculum, we will be focusing on Earth Science, including local and state-wide study sites such as San Vicente Creek, Davenport Beach, Waddell Creek and Beach, Big Sur, Lassen Volcano National Park, etc. For example, we will participate in the LIMPETS program, in which students collect data, which is used by research scientists, on sand crab populations at Davenport Beach. In addition, the Coastal Watershed Council will guest teach the class about the ecosystem and environmental issues pertaining to San Vicente Creek. Groundswell Coastal Ecology will also lead a multi-week unit on native plant restoration on the school grounds and at local beach sites.
Engineering Our studies of Engineering will be project and problem based with the overarching theme of making a positive impact on our society and world. Student projects will follow the engineering and design process in its entirety while also integrating as many subject areas as possible through STEAM to guide student inquiry, dialogue, and critical thinking for future-focused learning. Engineering will be taught in collaboration with Ms. Milette, our Tech and GATE teacher.
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.
Honors Math Students are evaluated and placed in 5th, 6th, or 7th grade level math groups as appropriate. Previous graduating 6th grade honors math students have placed in Mission Hill's Accelerated Math Program at 8th and 9th grade levels (which can lead into Santa Cruz High School's Math Academy Program).
Language Ambassadors This county-wide program encourages students to become multilingual. Each of the 5th-6th students will choose a language to study, either individually or in a small group. They practice interacting, creating, and presenting in their chosen language and can earn their certificate of recognition from the county. They will have the option to participate in the Santa Cruz County Language Ambassadors Student Expo.
This list acknowledges the accomplishments of the 2019-20 Language Ambassadors.
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.
Media Literacy and GATE
All students will participate in weekly media literacy classes, and students meeting appropriate criteria participate in weekly GATE (Gifted and Talented Education) classes. Both classes will be taught by our expert instructor, Wendy Milette, through online learning or in person, depending on the public health situation.
FoodLab, Weekly Activities, and Special Events
In previous years, weekly activities included music classes, art, PE, Reading Buddies, library time, and FoodLab. FoodLab is a weekly class in which students participate in the planning, preparing, and serving of school lunches as part of the integrated school lunch program headed by Ms. Emelia.
In addition, normally during their 5th and 6th grade years, students participate in field trips, camping trips, drama and musical productions, the "Age of Sail" program on the historical ship Balclutha, and multi-night science camping trips to Lassen Volcanic National Park and Big Sur. Pacific School will continue all of these traditions as soon as the public health situation allows.