Spotlight on Our 6th Grade CAPs Program

Laurence strives to be on the forefront of education, providing its students with many unique and innovative programs throughout the curriculum. One such program is the 6th Grade Culminating Academic Presentations, or "CAPs." See below for details about this incredible program.

By: Gina Rifkin and Michelle Morris, 6th Grade Teachers

One of the core goals of the 6th Grade program is to prepare students for the world beyond the classroom and for the challenging programs that they will face at the secondary school level. The CAPs project is designed to convey and display the success of the 6th Grade curriculum as the students take initiative and ownership of their individual levels of academic success.

CAPs consist of three parts:

  • Writing a research paper
  • Creating a KeyNote presentation
  • Delivering a rehearsed presentation to parents, administrators, teachers, and peers

In January, each student chooses a subject that he or she feels not only inspired by, but also confident in his or her ability to understand and explain. The subject is researched in depth and then presented during the last week of school in March before spring break. The entire presentation is approximately 25 minutes in length and also includes a section on the 6th Grade sister countries, Israel and India, as well as each student reciting a favorite poem written during the 6th Grade school year.

A sampling of CAPs topics from House 6A this year were Assistive Technologies in Sport & Education, 3D Printing in Medicine, The Panama Canal, and Animal Therapy.

House 6B's topics included John F. Kennedy, Global Warming, Alzheimer's Disease, Temple Grandin, The History of the Video Gaming Industry, and Carnivorous Plants.

The CAPs process affords the children a truly authentic, all-encompassing learning experience that allows them the opportunity to stretch themselves academically. From in-depth research and applying critical thinking skills, to the analysis, synthesis, and presentation of information in the role of "expert," the children have the freedom to pursue their passions and take academic risks. Every year brings new excitement to learning, as well as wonder when we see the enormous diversity of the children's interests and enthusiasms that are mirrored in their topic choices.