6 - Course Descriptions

  • M1000 English/Language Arts 6
    The sixth grade English-Language Arts class continues to develop the reading, writing, listening and speaking skills of students through the workshop model. Over the course of the year, students engage in the writing process to produce narrative, informational, and argumentative writing pieces. In addition, students cultivate a reading identity and share their thinking with peers in a variety of ways. Targeted mini lessons aim to lift the level of students’ reading and writing skills. Students use class time to independently apply skills and strategies in their reading and writing. Teachers actively confer with students about their individualized goals, which furthers students’ growth as lifelong readers and writers.

    M1010 Math 6

    Instructional time will focus on four critical areas: (1) connecting ratio and rate to whole number multiplication and division and using concepts of ratio and rate to solve problems; (2) completing understanding of division of fractions and extending the notion of number to the system of rational numbers, which includes negative numbers; (3) writing, interpreting, and using expressions and equations and (4) developing understanding of statistical thinking.
    Sixth grade math is currently under a program evaluation. If decisions are made that will cause a change to curriculum, parents will be notified.

    M1020 Science 6

    Sixth grade science students will explore concepts related to ecology and earth science. Throughout the school year, students will study matter and energy in organisms and ecosystems, interdependent relationships in ecosystems, natural selection and adaptations, the history of the Earth, Earth’s systems, and the human impacts on Earth systems.

    M1030 Social Studies 6

    Students will continue their journey through the history of the United States that they started in 4th and 5th grade. 6th graders will begin by reviewing the causes and consequences of the Civil War and continue with Reconstruction through 1946. This course delves into the history of the United States through multiple cultural lenses. Students will engage in a curriculum that integrates all the stories of the people who contributed to the diverse landscape of our country after the Civil War. The curriculum is divided into 6 Units that focus on major themes: Politics and Citizenship (Reconstruction), Transformation and Change (Industrialization, Westward Expansion and Immigration), Reform (Progressive Era), Globalization (WWI), Changes in culture and economy (1920’s and 1930’s), and Defending Democracy (WWII). Learning materials for each thematic unit acknowledge the different learning modalities among students and include primary source documents, maps, charts, graphs, the United States Constitution, and digital resources.

    M1035 Gifted Social Studies 6
    Prerequisite: District Placement Criteria
    This course is for students who participate in the district’s gifted program. Learning goals and targets for the class have been developed by incorporating the WGSD Social Studies and Gifted curricula, creating a unique class with content and teaching methods for this special population of students. Much of our Gifted curricular goals will be met through our social studies work, but we will also incorporate projects and activities during the year which will specifically address Gifted needs.

    Physical Education - Full-Year Course
    M1060 Physical Education/Health 6
    Physical Education is designed to help students develop a love for physical activity and to instill in them the importance of a sound mind and body. Through Physical Education, students will obtain skills, abilities, and attitudes to participate successfully in lifetime activities. Physical Fitness and Health topics will be integrated throughout the program and will build upon the skills and topics learned in 5t​ h​ grade.

    ELECTIVE COURSES

    Two elective courses will complete a student’s seven-period schedule. Students may choose one of the following combination of classes:

    • two music classes,
    • one music class and one discovery wheel, or
    • two discovery wheels.

    An elective discovery wheel is a group of introductory or exploratory courses that are one quarter (9 weeks) in length. The courses provide 6th graders an opportunity to explore existing electives, pursue their own interests, and discover new passions. By exploring a variety of elective courses, 6th graders are able to make informed decisions about what courses they want to take in 7th and 8th grade. Students will take all four courses in a discovery wheel.

    Music - Full Year Courses
    M6000 Band 6

    Students will choose from either a brass (French horn, trumpet, trombone, baritone) or woodwind (flute, clarinet, oboe) instrument. Students start with the basics of becoming familiar with their musical instruments (assembly, proper finger placement, air flow and breathing). Students progress in their knowledge of reading music, beginning with basic note identification and ending with more complex compositions of music.

    M6010 Choir 6

    This class is designed to strengthen individual voices, as well as develop choral singing abilities. The class will focus on learning to sight read notes and rhythms, sing in 3-4 part harmony, and sing in different styles, languages, and genres. The 6th Grade Choir class will perform one mandatory concert per semester.


    M6900 Beginning Orchestra
    Prerequisite: None
    Beginning Orchestra is a first year orchestra class offered to students who have little to no experience playing a stringed instrument. Students who are interested in playing violin, viola, cello, or stand-up bass will learn to read and play music on their instrument of choice at a beginner level. Students will be required to rent or purchase their own instrument and music book for the class. Students who choose violin or viola will bring their own instrument to class to use every day and take home for home practice. Students who choose cello or stand-up bass will use a school instrument for class and keep their personal instrument at home for home practice. Regular practice outside of class is required as homework. Orchestra students will work as a team to successfully perform three concerts a year. Students will learn how their performance literature relates to music theory, music history, and current global cultures.

    M6901 Intermediate Orchestra

    Prerequisite: District Placement Criteria
    Intermediate Orchestra is a second level orchestra. It is open to all students who have successfully completed at least one year of experience on their instrument in an orchestra class or private lessons with a certified orchestra teacher. Students are required to audition for this class with approval from the Hixson orchestra director to register. New techniques and concepts will be introduced that build on the foundational skills and knowledge previously learned in the beginning stages. Students will be required to rent or purchase their own instrument and music book for the class. Students who play violin or viola will bring their own instrument to class to use every day and take home for home practice. Students who play cello or stand-up bass will use a school instrument for class and keep their personal instrument at home for home practice. Regular practice outside of class is required as homework. Orchestra students will work as a team to successfully perform three concerts a year. Students will learn how their performance literature relates to music theory, music history, and current global cultures. Orchestra members are also invited to audition for the Hixson Honors Orchestra, an after school group that collaborates with Wind Ensemble and Choir for two Sounds of Hixson concerts per year.

    M6902 Advanced Orchestra

    Prerequisite: District Placement Criteria
    Advanced Orchestra is an upper level orchestra. It is open to all students who have successfully completed at least one year of experience on their instrument in an orchestra class or private lessons with a certified orchestra teacher. Students are required to audition for this class with approval from the Hixson orchestra director to register. New techniques and concepts will be introduced that continue to build on skills and knowledge previously learned at an intermediate playing level. Students will be required to rent or purchase their own instrument and music book for the class. Students who play violin or viola will bring their own instrument to class to use every day and take home for home practice. Students who play cello or stand-up bass will use a school instrument for class and keep their personal instrument at home for home practice. Regular practice outside of class is required as homework. Orchestra students will work as a team to successfully perform three concerts a year, in addition to an orchestra tour around the district. Students will learn how their performance literature relates to music theory, music history, and current global cultures. Orchestra members are also invited to audition for the Hixson Honors Orchestra, an after school group that collaborates with Wind Ensemble and Choir for two Sounds of Hixson concerts per year.

    Humanities Discovery Wheel - Semester Course
    Students will take all four courses in this wheel.

    M8190 World Languages

    In this course, students will get an introduction of each of the three languages taught at Hixson (Spanish, French, and German). Students also get a sampling of world geography, families around the world, and cultural differences among countries.

    M8440 Drama Discovery

    This introductory class teaches students basic elements of the theatre. Students are led through activities to foster their skills in stage presence, character development, the art of emotion in acting, plot, setting and conflict. Students work together to foster their confidence and find their voices all through the art of drama.

    M8505 Family and Consumer Science (FACS) Discovery

    6th grade FACS is a 9 week course that introduces students to hand sewing, basic food preparation techniques, and lab procedures. Students will be able to prepare a variety of foods and produce a sewn item using hand sewing techniques.

    M8120 Music Discovery

    In this class, students explore different genres of music and the different composers who created the pieces. Students explore their own ability to create music using a variety of musical instruments. Students are taught rhythms and patterns of music.

    STEAM Discovery Wheel - Semester Course

    Students will take all four courses in this wheel.

    M0060 Visual Arts

    In this course, students are Choice Based Artists. Students guide their learning by choosing from a list of 70+ projects. Within each project is a ​learning target​, ​vocabulary​ to be learned, an ​artist​ to research, and a list of guidelines to follow. Students are also required to ​reflect​ on how their project aligns to the ​Elements of Art and Principles of Design​. The course starts with a drawing project, which could be done in pencil, colored pencil, sharpie, or pastels. The 2n​ d​ project opens students to painting, collage and fabrics. Students are then open to sculpture, photography and digital art for their 3rd project. For projects 4 – 6, students are able to choose whichever project they want between levels 4 and 8 in the list​.

    M0070 Computer Science

    Technology drives invention and innovation. It is a thinking and doing process. Students with little to no circuitry or programming experience necessary will explore the foundations of technology in this project based course. Through a hands on approach, they will learn the basics of computer hardware, software and networking, user interface design, physical computing, and programming with artificial intelligence. Students will break down and rebuild computers, conduct experiments, create electronic projects, and build apps throughout this class.

    M0040 Elements of Engineering

    In this class, students will be introduced to multiple Engineering disciplines, including Mechanical, Electrical, Architectural and Structural. Topics covered include tool safety, 3D modeling, dimension drawings, robotics, binary, soldering, design & measure scale models.

    M0050 Makerspace

    Design Thinking is a user-centered (understanding the context and culture of the people involved) approach to solving real-world problems through empathy, creativity, collaboration, ideating, prototyping and testing. In the Makerspace classroom, students will deepen their understanding of complex, real world problems through designing, experimenting, building and inventing. Their ultimate goal will be to make the world a better place. Students create their own knowledge through hands-on learning experiences and connecting with the real world.

    OTHER COURSE OFFERINGS
    Gifted Fine Arts

    Prerequisite: District Placement Criteria
    This course offers eligible students the opportunity to explore fine arts in three areas: visual art, music and drama. Students develop skills in communication and perception, cultural and historical awareness, response and evaluation, creative expression and performance, and leadership.

    Special Education

    Prerequisite: District Placement Criteria
    Special School District staff provides Special Education services for any student who currently has an Individualized Education Plan (IEP). Academic and/or behavioral services may be implemented in a variety of settings based upon the student’s individual needs. Settings may include consultative monitoring, class-within-a-class or special education classes. Students who receive Special Education services may follow a modified schedule in order to maintain their individualized program. Scheduling is based upon each student’s IEP.