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Dallas Guerrero ("Mr. Guerrero") teaches the sixth grade classroom and is assisted by Luke Politte, classroom aide. The class meets from 8:40 a.m. to 3:10 p.m. except on Wednesdays, when students are dismissed at 1:00 p.m. Independent study students attend school on Mondays, Tuesdays, and Thursdays only, while five-day students attend Mondays through Fridays.
Sixth Grade Curriculum
History 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 Sixth 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 leveled 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.
Students in fifth and sixth grade participate in our award-winning FoodLab program. 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 Emelia Miguel, Food Services Director. Students learn about nutrition and food science and practice math skills such as fractions and ratios while developing expertise and confidence in a commercial kitchen.
Other Subjects and Activities
Students also receive instruction in art, drama, and PE. They visit the school library to check out books that are of interest to them and/or support their studies. Every year, students are encouraged to make a short film for Pacific School's annual Student Film Festival.
We hope that health guidelines will allow us to resume our Reading Buddies program, in which each student is paired with a younger student and they read aloud to each other. We also hope to resume instruction in music, whenever conditions allow.
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. Students work with their families and teachers to fundraise for these trips. Pacific School will continue all of these traditions as soon as the public health situation allows.
Mr. Guerrero's Teaching Philosophy
I believe in assisting students find something that they enjoy doing and fostering a joy for learning together. I focus on meaningful interactions for student to student and student to group to take place to prepare them to be impactful members of their community. While becoming proficient in the standards for their grade level I look for opportunities to make the process as real world applicable as possible to allow them the ability to face real world issues and tackle them together.
Mr. Guerrero's Classroom Website
Emails: dguerrero @ pacificesd.org | lpolitte @ pacificesd.org