Class Spotlight — Redwood 6th Grade
Our 6th Grade Redwood class, taught by the amazingly creative Jason Murphy, is rolling along quickly. They have finished their study of the Roman Empire with a final lesson about Attila the Hun and the Fall of Rome in February. To wrap this up, students created a model of some aspect of Roman ingenuity. Students modeled architectural achievements like Roman bridges, coliseums, and bathhouses. Other students created model arches, mosaics, or focused on siege engines, armor, or shields. The creativity of the different projects was amazing!
During the month of March, the students are focused on business math. Students have been learning about interest, percentages, discounts, taxes and economics. In order to learn the mathematics of money, each student has been given one million dollars (in an imaginary bank account, of course.) Students have learned to write checks and keep an accurate balance as they research the realistic costs of buying a home, buying a car, saving for college, and planning a vacation.
The class will return to this project in the Spring when the students will use the money in their imaginary bank accounts to plan a group field trip to Mexico. They will be boarding an airline and debarking at the “Cancion de Montana” (Mountain Song) Resort. Students will get to “spend” their remaining imaginary money at the resort restaurant. Of course, they will have to calculate how to convert their money to a different currency. Mr. Murphy will be bringing in some Mexican food and asking for volunteers to help celebrate and/or bring dishes to share with the class. This is tentatively scheduled for Friday, May 3rd, and is being planned in conjunction with the Middle School Spanish class to help support the students’ study of Spanish.
The Redwood class’s next block will be Medieval Studies wherein they will learn the legendary tales of King Arthur, Queen Guinevere, and the Arthurian Knights, followed by studying Charlemagne, Eleanor of Aquitaine, St. Benedict, St. Francis, Muhammad, Richard the Lionheart, Hildegard von Bingen, and many others, which leads into the class play about Joan of Arc.
During the Medieval block, the class will have a monastery day and work by candlelight on ancient scripts while wearing traditional monastic garb (hoods), and will study the Gothic architecture of cathedrals. This block ends with a knighting ceremony, in which each student who completes a project of service and designs an oath of chivalry will be knighted.
During the month of April, students will be writing their first book report. The class will also be moving on from negative numbers to basic algebra in math and will put all of their science work from this year into self-made science textbooks.
Parents can ask students about any or all of the above stories and projects.