Welcome to Sixth Grade

Sixth grade is the first year of middle school at Blue Oak, and students are carefully guided through the transition to a more subject-based learning structure and changing classrooms and teachers for all subjects.

As this is sometimes an entry point for new students, care is taken to ensure all students are developing a cohesive learning community through various team building activities and retreats, whether they are just joining Blue Oak, or they have been here for years.

Highlights of the year include an overnight trip that focuses on team building and developing independence skills like self-management and organization. Academic studies spotlight ancient Greece, creating a board game in math, and an element “Super Hero” in science. Specialist classes offer paper sculpture and self portraits in art, group performance and achievement in music, and participation in the much-anticipated Marzo Musical in Spanish.

Sixth Grade Social and Emotional Standards (C.A.R.E.S.)

  • Cooperation: Is able to make and keep friends, works with others toward a common goal, resolves differences quickly, cooperates as a group leader or as a member of the group
  • Assertiveness: Expresses strong emotions or opinions effectively, is able to seek help, shows openness and honesty, persists through challenging events, takes initiative to do what’s right, makes choices they feel good about later
  • Responsibility: Selects the best option among choices for a suitable outcome, holds oneself accountable, demonstrates social, civic and digital responsibility, takes care of property
  • Empathy: Recognizes and manages one’s own emotions and recognizes the emotions of others, respects and values diversity in others. Respects different cultural norms, is aware of the impact of one’s actions on others
  • Self-control: Adheres to social, behavioral, and moral standards, manages overwhelming thoughts and emotions, controls impulses and delays gratification, shows hope and perseverance
Sixth Grade Mathematics
  • Demonstrates an understanding of general mathematical sense
  • Applies understanding of basic skills while working with fractions
  • Shows recognition and understanding while working with positive and negative integers
  • Understands basic skills and demonstrates ability to solve problems while working with decimals
  • Understands and applies knowledge while solving word problems
  • Shows knowledge and applies skills when creating, measuring and solving for volume and surface area of basic geometric shapes: triangles, prisms, spheres, cylinders, etc.
  • Shows recognition and understanding while collecting and analyzing data and while creating graphical presentations of their findings
Sixth Grade Literacy

Speaking and Listening

  • Follows agreed-upon rules for discussion
  • Makes statements and asks questions that show relevant thinking
  • Participates and shows contribution in cooperative group work
  • Contributes to whole-class discussions
  • Reflects and responds to listening activities
  • Demonstrates effective presentation skills


  • Reads and prepares for class discussion
  • Determines the meaning of words and phrases as they are used in texts and vocabulary study
  • Demonstrates comprehension by summarizing, analyzing, and forming opinions based on textual evidence
  • Demonstrates comprehension by asking and answering both literal and interpretive questions


  • Employs pre-writing, editing and revising to complete work
  • Follows the conventions of standard English grammar, punctuation, and spelling
  • Writes narratives that follow conventional plot structure
  • Writes informative pieces to explain a topic
  • Writes arguments to support a position
  • Writes poetry that incorporates classic poetic techniques
  • Writes well-organized essays with a clear introduction, body and conclusion
Sixth Grade Science
  • Develops reasonable hypotheses, asks relevant questions.
  • Devises a step-by-step procedure to solve problems and make decisions.
  • Works safely and collaboratively to develop solutions to scientific problems.
  • Accurately collects, records, analyzes, evaluates and presents data.
  • Uses data to support conclusions.
  • Demonstrates understanding of content and key concepts in current units of study.
  • Demonstrates an understanding of the use and care of standard laboratory equipment.
Sixth Grade Social Studies
  • Organizes information in note form when prompted
  • Conducts short research projects drawing on provided sources
  • Provides basic bibliographic information for sources
  • Demonstrates understanding of content and key concepts in current units
  • Engages in interactive projects in a manner that shows preparation and responsibility
Sixth Grade Visual Art
  • Applies monochromatic, analogous, complementary, triadic, warm, and cool colors
  • Intuitively applies elements and principles
  • Uses observation to create, inspire and understand others and their own artwork
  • Sets goals and combines ideas to create artwork that is meaningful and innovative
  • Explores creative solutions to an assignment
  • Uses constructive feedback and critique to engage in the artistic process
  • Demonstrates an understanding and reflection of artwork.
  • Shows awareness and perception of culture and how it reflects in works of art
  • Demonstrates quality craftsmanship through care for and use of materials and tools.
  • Applies learned vocabulary in creating a work of art
  • Analyzes and selects artistic work for presentation discussion/critique
Sixth Grade Humanities

The Blue Oak sixth grade English and social studies courses are combined to form a humanities class. This allows students to have an interdisciplinary and foundational course as they enter middle school and focus on how history, reading, and writing blend together. Students in 6th grade follow the guidelines of the Writers Workshop, employing pre-writing, editing and revising to complete work; They write arguments to support a position, and they use poetry to incorporate classic poetic techniques. Grammar, punctuation, and spelling are infused into all assignments as part of authentic communication. While the 6th grade uses a humanities model for interdisciplinary studies, students also focus on key elements of social studies to prepare them for subsequent years of study.

Sixth Grade Spanish
  • Accurately responds to basic conversational questions
  • Expresses feelings, emotions, agreement and disagreement in the target language
  • Begins to make affirmative and negative statements on familiar topics
  • Recalls previously taught vocabulary
  • Talks about things and activities he/she likes and doesn’t like to do
  • Uses adjectives to describe people, animals and places
  • Uses interrogative words to ask questions
  • Begins to use the correct conjugations for -AR, -ER, -IR regular verbs in the present tense
  • Begins to use the correct conjugations for the irregular verbs “Ser” and “Estar” (Verb “To Be”) in the present tense
  • Begins to understand written language on a variety of basic topics
  • Begins to present basic information in the target language
Sixth Grade Music
  • Demonstrates beginning to intermediate technique on applied instrument
  • Performs as part of an ensemble and works with other members of the group
  • Demonstrates an understanding of basic music fundamentals and terminology, including an understanding of music notation
  • Maintains a steady beat while singing and/or playing an instrument
  • Maintains focus during lessons and uses class time productively
  • Shows respect for the instruments and equipment
  • Participates fully and shares musical ideas
Sixth Grade Physical Education
  • Demonstrates the motor skills and movement patterns needed to perform a variety of physical activities
  • Strikes an object consistently, using an implement, so that the object travels in the intended direction with the intended force
  • Throws an object accurately and with applied force, using the underhand, overhand, and sidearm movement
  • Analyzes and corrects errors in movement patterns
  • Participates productively in group physical activities and games
  • Engages in sportsmanship and accepts wins and losses with awareness of others
  • Describes the role of physical activity and nutrition in achieving physical fitness
  • Shows ability to focus the mind during Yoga instruction
  • Demonstrates progress with yoga form, flexibility & strength