6th Grade Core Curriculum

English

All students who are not proficient or advanced on the end of the year Virginia Standards of Learning assessment in English and writing receive a double block of English or 92 minutes of instruction daily. Reading proficiency is a priority of the Lynchburg City Schools. We expect all students to reach proficiency, on the end of the year Virginia Standards of learning assessments in English and writing and believe the extra time is essential for studetnsto master grade level standards that address reading, writing, speaking and listening skills. It is hoped that the additional time will allow English teachers to spend more time to expand the curriculum, spend more time reading, and writing on a daily basis. The time will also allow English teachers to focus on higher level thinking skills and some of the best researched based strategies to increase student achievement. English Literature 6 (961XYB): This class provides instruction in vocabulary, reading comprehension, and literature, as well as in oral communication skills. The class also focuses on the three domains of writing (composing, written expression, and usage/ mechanics) to produce multi-paragraph narratives, descriptions, and explanations. This class also includes oral communication skills. English 6A (961AY): This advanced-level class is designed to meet the needs of sixth grade students with well-developed reading and writing skills. Vocabulary, literature, language, and writing instruction are taught in one class period, and thus instruction must move at a faster pace than in the two-period format. In addition, students in the advanced level class will have opportunities for wider reading and writing experiences than required by the sixth grade English Standards of Learning. The following factors are considered in placing students in this advanced-level class; however, no one factor will exclude students, and teachers will err on the side of giving students the opportunity to take this class.

  • Teacher recommendation
  • 75th percentile or above on the Stanford Diagnostic Reading Test in fifth grade
  • Grade of A or B in reading and writing for the first two nine-week grading periods of fifth grade
  • 85% or better on English Division-Wide Assessments for first three assessments of fifth grade
  • A rubric score of 3 or 4 on directed writing samples for first two nine-week grading periods of fifth grade

Mathematics

Math 6 (962XY): All students who are not proficient or advanced on the end of the year Virginia Standards of Learning assessment in mathematics receive a double block of mathematics or 92 minutes of instruction daily. It is hoped that the additional time will allow math teachers to spend more time explaining the concepts, helping students with guided practice, facilitating independent work as well as cooperative learning. The time will also allow math teachers to focus on some of the best researched based strategies to increase student achievement. This course covers the sixth grade math SOL with emphasis on the study of whole numbers, decimals, and fractions. Students will use ratios to compare data sets, make conversions within a given measurement system, make geometric constructions and classify three-dimensional figures, and solve linear equations with one variable. Concepts, skills, symbols, and vocabulary crucial to the understanding of the subject will be identified and used. The development of problem-solving skills will be a major goal. Students will use appropriate technologies such as calculators and computers. A wide range of skills and strategies will be developed in the following areas: number and number sense, computation and estimation, measurement, geometry, probability, statistics, patterns, and algebra. Students take the sixth grade math SOL test upon completion of the course. Math 6A (Accelerated) (962AY): This course covers the seventh grade math SOL placing emphasis on solving problems involving consumer applications and proportional reasoning. The students will gain an understanding of the properties of real numbers, solve linear equations and inequalities, and use data analysis techniques to make inferences and predictions. Students will also identify applications of the mathematical principles that can be applied to science and other disciplines. Skills and strategies will be developed in the following areas: number and number sense, computation and estimation, measurement, geometry, probability and statistics, patterns, functions, and algebra. Appropriate technologies such as fraction calculators, computers, laser discs, and videos will also be utilized. Students take the sixth grade math SOL tests upon completion of the course. Promoting Excellence Through Accelerated Learning (PETAL) Math Block 6/6A (962XAP & 962ABP): This is a special program offered to selected students in a two-period blocked format. Students in this course complete the sixth grade math SOL first semester and the seventh grade math SOL second semester, then continue in the accelerated math sequence in seventh grade. In addition, PETAL math students are invited to participate in after school tutorials, field trips, and PETAL club meetings. Rising sixth grade students who were in the on-grade level math course in fifth grade are invited to participate in this program during the summer based on factors which include the following: math achievement in fifth grade, elementary math SOL test scores, scores on Division-Wide Assessments in math, teacher recommendations, and previous participation in the PETAL summer math program. For additional information on the Sixth Grade PETAL Math Block, please contact the instructional specialist for PETAL programs in the central administration building at (434) 515-5048.

Science

Life Science (963XY): This course emphasizes a complex understanding of changes, cycles, patterns, and relationships in the living world. Students use the inquiry approach to manipulate variables in experimentation, organize and analyze mathematical data, and summarize conclusions. Students study both the general science sixth grade SOL and the life science SOL.  Students at Dunbar will have the unique opportunity to learn many concepts related to life science SOLs through the Marine and Herpetology centers in our school.  Life Science (Advanced) (963AY): This course covers the same science SOL as the regular life science course but moves at a faster pace to allow time for additional opportunities for enrichment of the curriculum.

Social Studies/History

United States History I (964XY): This course covers the history of the United States from pre-Columbian times until 1865. At the end of this course students take the American History I SOL test. United States History I (Advanced) (964AY): This course covers the same SOL as the regular American History I course but moves at a faster pace to allow time for additional opportunities for enrichment of the curriculum. At the end of this course students take the American History I SOL test.

Physical Education, Family Life, & Health

The physical education, family life, and health curriculum in the sixth grade is provided through several formats depending on the school and the interests of the student. In some cases in the sixth grade this content is provided in a full-year course, and in other cases it is condensed and provided as part of an exploratory rotation or in conjunction with band or orchestra. Regardless of the format of the course, parents may complete an “opt-out” form and have their child receive alternate assignments in place of the family life education component of the health curriculum. The sixth grade physical education curriculum introduces students to physical activities which promote personal wellness, physical fitness, body management, and a basic knowledge of sports for leisure-time pursuits. The health curriculum covers the development of healthy personal characteristics and includes information on self-esteem, decision-making, self-discipline, acceptance, loyalty, honesty, cooperation, diligence, tolerance, and trustworthiness. Sixth grade family life deals with the physical, social, emotional, and psychological changes that occur at the time of puberty, and includes AIDS education.