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Dallas Guerrero ("Mr. Guerrero") teaches the sixth grade classroom and is assisted by Jason Cowley, classroom aide. The class meets from 8:30 a.m. to 3:10 p.m. except on Wednesdays, when students are dismissed at 1:10 p.m. Independent study students attend school on Mondays, Tuesdays, and Thursdays only, while five-day students attend Mondays through Fridays. After School Recreation is available Monday-Friday.
Sixth Grade Curriculum
History We will study the history of the ancient world through the TCI curriculum. We begin with Early Man in the Paleolithic Era and continue through Mesopotamia, Egypt, Kush, the Hebrews, Greece, India, China, and Rome. In each of these areas, we will analyze the geographic, religious, 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 highly hands-on FOSS curriculum, we will be focusing on water and weather, diversity of life, and human systems and interactions. These will have a focus to include local and state-wide study sites such as San Vicente Creek, Davenport Beach, Waddell Creek and Beach, Big Sur, Lassen Volcano National Park, etc. To supplement these units, 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 5 day students will also engage in studies of Engineering that 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. Students will begin with a problem to guide their projects and create a solution using a variety of resources, the most exciting being a 3-D printer that students will use sketch-up to create Computer Assisted Design (C.A.D.) files and print their solutions. Engineering will be taught in collaboration with Ms. Milette, our Technology 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. We will utilize the Benchmark Advanced curriculum and work through it with three overarching writing domains of informative, narrative, and argumentative written works.
Math Sixth graders will be introduced to the foundational frameworks of sixth grade math through the San Francisco Math Curriculum. The curriculum will focus on ten main units for students to interact with that are: Numerical expressions and factors (order of operations, GCF, LCM), +/-/x/ fractions, +/-/x/ decimals, integers on the number line and coordinate plane, algebraic expressions and equations, variable inequalities, ratios and rates, percentages, statistical measurements, data displays, surface area, and volume. They will be supported through the curriculum with organized note and homework packets to individualize units. These math domains will focus on hands on and real world applications to allow students to see how the math affects the real world around them.
Honors Math Students are evaluated and placed in leveled math grades 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 6th grade students will have the option to 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, music, 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.
In addition students will be paired with a younger student(s) as a part of the 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, during their 6th grade year, students participate in field trips, camping trips, drama and musical productions, and community outreach. The main field trip being science camp, a weeklong overnight trip where students engage with hands-on learning opportunities with the world around them with each other to build community and knowledge. Students work with their families and teachers to fundraise for these trips.
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.
I believe that the key to a successful student starts with effective teacher, student, and parent communication that is conducive to a learning environment. Our goal will be to scaffold their preparation levels for middle school, and we will look to build this through their autonomy and responsibility. With this in mind, please feel free to reach out to me with anything you would like to discuss for the betterment of your child.
Emails: dguerrero @ pacificesd.org | jcowley @ pacificesd.org