Fifth-Sixth Grade Classroom
NOTE: There are currently openings in the fifth and sixth grade for 2019-20. Please complete THIS FORM if you are interested.
Ms. Cicchinelli teaches the 5th-6th grade classroom and is assisted by Luke Politte and Chyna Darby. Class meets from 8:40 a.m. to 3:10 p.m. except on Wednesdays, when students are dismissed at 1:00 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 (2019-20) 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.
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!
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 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. 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 Ms. Cicchinelli holds a single-subject math teaching credential and offers an honors math program. 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).
Music Fifth and sixth graders will participate in weekly music instruction including singing, dancing, and percussion, with Valerie Cameron. In addition, Ms. Cicchinelli integrates singing, recorders, and performing into her curricular and thematic units throughout the year. Students will participate in the Link Up Music Program with the Santa Cruz Symphony.
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.
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.
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.
Weekly Activities and FoodLab
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. Students meeting appropriate criteria participate in weekly GATE (Gifted and Talented Education) classes with Wendy Milette. Students also have the option to participate in after school chorus.
During their 5th and 6th grade years, students will 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.
tcicchinelli [at] pacificesd.org