Sixth Grade

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As sixth graders, our students are Laurence School seniors. You can recognize them by their special Letterman jackets that are the envy of children in grades K-5 and by their personal iPads that they use as part of the 1:1 iPad program.

While they busily buzz around, preparing for middle school, they are also stimulated and challenged right here on campus, where they are refining their time management and study skills, and becoming better critical and creative thinkers. In addition, they are developing greater independence and responsibility for monitoring their own work and goals, strengthening their leadership abilities, and making a difference in the lives of others through mentoring younger student and performing acts of kindness.

This culminating year is both magical and memorable, staying etched in the hearts and minds of our children for years to come.



Reading

Sixth graders read a variety of challenging and inspirational novels, short stories, and poems including many that connect to relevant social studies, science, and character education themes. An emphasis is placed upon reading critically and making inferences in a wide variety of genres. Using active reading techniques, students interact with the text by annotating, making predictions and connections, determining the author’s intent, and studying key story elements. Our sixth grade readers also focus on interpreting literary and expository excerpts and making meaningful real-world connections.

Writing

In our writing program, students refine the content, clarity, and mechanics of their expository and narrative written works. They develop their skills in structuring five-paragraph essays in a clear, cogent, and linear manner. Students also engage in independent research, extrapolating information from a variety of sources, taking notes, creating outlines, and citing their sources in their published written product. The sixth grade program embraces a rich diversity of written genres. With these research and organizational skills carefully honed, our students leave Laurence with the foundation for success in secondary school and beyond.

Math

During the culminating year of our mathematics program, our students are provided with an extensive review of whole number operations, fractions, decimals, percentages, and geometry, preparing them for the higher-level and analytical thinking that is the foundation of middle school pre-algebra and algebra programs. Additionally, problem-solving skills are reinforced through practical application to real-world experiences. Accelerated students spend the year exploring pre-algebra and linear and algebraic equations.

Social Studies

In social studies, our sixth grade students study world cultures, focusing on the ancient civilizations of Mesopotamia, Israel, Egypt, China, India, Greece, and Rome through research, literature study, and hands-on activities and projects. Pairing with sister countries Israel and India through our Global Education program, the children enhance their understanding of the commonalities and differences between themselves and their like-aged peers abroad, with whom they communicate through Laurence’s sister school program.Our children’s global awareness forms an essential part of their Culminating Academic Presentations in the Spring where they research, analyze, and share highlights of personal interest regarding their sister country.

Character Education/Service Learning

Character Education/Service Learning takes center-stage, as our sixth grade students serve as caring friends to special needs children from a nearby public school, the Lowman Special Education Center. The children are afforded a multitude of opportunities to make a difference in the wider community through delivering contributions to the North Hollywood Interfaith Food Pantry, participating in Laurence’s “Power of One” community service program, and organizing a turkey-drive for families in need at Thanksgiving.

Science

The science program provides many hands-on, experiential opportunities for our students to continue to explore the changing world around them. It begins with a wonderful three-day, two-night outdoor educational experience to WOLF Camp. There, students participate in team-building activities, as well as in science enrichment programs.

During the school year, students study units on ecology, genetics, archaeology, energy, chemistry, and the diversity of life.

As leaders of a school-wide Planting Day, a wonderful opportunity for demonstrating environmental stewardship, the sixth grade students nurture Laurence’s Edible Garden and prepare the garden beds; they plan which vegetables to grow, decide which science activities to demonstrate, and plan and operate numerous interactive stations, visited by their younger peers. Previous experiments have included testing vegetables for sugar and starch content and matching seeds to their grown vegetable counterparts. Previous stations have included: an eating station, where hungry children consume vegetable-based soups and hearty breads, a planting station, where sixth graders supervise the younger students as they bury various winter vegetables into our Edible Garden soil, a savory station, where children smell, touch, and taste freshly-grown herbs, and an experiment station where Laurence sixth graders lead the younger grades in an experiment of their choosing.

Student Ambassadorship

Sixth graders participate in specific opportunities that are unique to the grade and that they have been looking forward to for the entirety of their Laurence careers. They use their previous six years of experience at Laurence, as well as their public speaking skills, to act as confident and passionate student ambassadors and tour guides to prospective families.

Buddy Program

To their kindergarten friends, the sixth grade students act as big buddies, mentoring their younger counterparts through meaningful social and academic interactions. The sixth graders and kindergarteners meet once a week to engage in directed activities where the older students act as guides and instructors. In addition their weekly get-togethers, the students participate in the occasional buddy snack or dessert. What a treat!

Kid's Court

In the acclaimed Kids' Court, Head of School, Lauren Wolke, J.D., introduces the children to the fundamentals of the United States' legal system. Under her leadership, our seniors place fairytale characters on trial for a variety of crimes and bring the drama of the courtroom to life. The children assume the roles of prosecutors, defense attorneys, and witnesses. Ultimately, student juries determine the guilt or innocence of the famous defendants. This highly-acclaimed program, which has received considerable newspaper and television coverage, enhances students’ critical thinking skills, as they write a mock trial and develop and support their legal positions. Kids’ Court includes guest speakers, panel discussions, and a school-wide jury selection.

Culminating Academic Presentations

Culminating Academic Presentations (CAP’s) are individualized projects that sixth grade students undertake as they prepare to embark on their secondary school careers. The subject matter for these personalized reports is student-selected, based on a subject they feel passionate about.

Using their personal iPads, students bring their research to life by creating Keynote presentations. They use Pages, to keep track of important information during the researching stage and to ultimately publish their research report.

On presentation day, students come to school dressed for success and ready to impress their parents, peers, teachers, and administrators alike with their knowledge, understanding, and poise.
With all of the unique opportunities they're afforded, Laurence graduates, not surprisingly, matriculate to many of the finest independent schools in Los Angeles County. We are very proud of the outstanding accomplishments of our graduates, and we wish them the best as they move on in their educational journey.
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