In addition to grade level course work, Fisher Island Day School provides the opportunity for eligible middle-school students to receive advanced instruction in language arts and mathematics through honors coursework. The rigor and demands of such classes are taken into account, and as a result, are weighted on the overall grading via quarterly report cards.
Additionally, in 2017, Fisher Island Day School introduced the Diploma of Distinction to recognize FIDS graduates who demonstrated exemplary performance in the areas of academic performance, conduct, citizenship, and attendance. The eligibility criteria for the FIDS Diploma of Distinction are listed below:
- Eligibility: Graduating Grade 8 students.
- Enrollment: Minimum 1 full academic year at FIDS prior to graduating year.
- Grades: Cumulative average of 90% or higher for Grades 5 – 8.
- Test Scores: Average of 7.0 Stanine or higher on ERB, starting in Grade 5.
- Attendance: No more than 5 unexcused absences and 5 unexcused tardies per school year, starting in Grade 5.
- Student Conduct: No suspensions beginning in Grade 5.
- Contribution to School Life: Family giving of time and/or money; attendance at required parent conferences; involvement in the Parent Association (as a member, as a room parent); participation in the Gala; etc.
- Financial Obligations: All financial obligations have been met.
GRADE 6 OVERVIEW
Core Coursework (Required)
- English – English 6; English 7 for honors students
- Mathematics – Math 6; Pre-Algebra for honors students
- Science – Earth Science
- Social Studies – World Cultures and Geography
- World Language – Spanish 1
- Art – Studio I
- Mandarin Chinese – Mandarin Chinese 6
- Music – Music 6
- Physical Education – PE 6
Additional Elective Offerings May Include:
- Independent Study
Distinctive Sixth Grade Experiences
GRADE 6 AT A GLANCE
English: English 6
The sixth-grade English curriculum supports students’ continued growth and development in reading and writing. Students will strengthen their higher-order thinking strategies as they engage with and analyze various genres of literature. Along with periodic alignment with the social studies world-cultures curriculum, students will be able to explore stories using history as a backdrop for the literature. Advanced writing strategies and techniques will be introduced and scaffolded as students develop proficiency in various styles of writing. Deeper understandings of theme, tone, and audience will be explored through both writing assignments and novel studies. Students will exit sixth grade as more independent learners who are equipped with strategies for exploring more sophisticated texts and new perspectives.
Suggested Grammar Workbook: Rules of The Game – Grammar Through Discovery
Suggested Vocabulary Workbook: Wordly Wise Level 6
Suggested Novels: The Thing About Jellyfish (Benjamin), Book of Greek Myths (D’Aulaire), Scat (Hiaasen), A Long Walk to Water (Park), Home of the Brave (Applegate), Red Scarf Girl (Jiang), The Red Umbrella (Gonzalez)
Mathematics: Math 6
The sixth-grade mathematics curriculum promotes analytical thinking, problem solving, and abstract and critical thinking. Students will learn to communicate clearly utilizing mathematical vocabulary. Plus, they will work toward developing mastery of many mathematical concepts and towards building confidence in their mathematical ability; using math with self-assurance facilitates efficient problem solving and decision making in everyday life. A strong emphasis will be placed on connecting class topics to the real world. Additionally, students will enhance their learning and appreciate the universality of mathematics through global exploration. At the conclusion of sixth-grade, students will be able to: perform all operations with whole numbers, fractions and decimals; apply the order of operations to solve problems; find values of numbers using scientific notation and exponents; identify and measure angles, polygons, triangles, and quadrilaterals; find perimeter, area, surface area, volume, and circumference; apply measures of central tendency and range to evaluate data; interpret data and statistics from various sources; comprehend the relationships among ratios, fractions, percents, and decimals; use percentages in real-world applications; perform all operations with integers; solve equations with integers and exponents; and use and create function tables and coordinate graphs.
Suggested Textbook: Glencoe – Math Course 1
Science: Earth Science
The earth-science curriculum builds on the natural curiosity of students, who will discover the fascinating attributes of the earth in great detail under the main umbrellas of geology, meteorology, oceanography, and astronomy. Through direct instruction and hands-on lab practicals, elements of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) will play a critical role in student discovery and understanding of such focused content areas as weather, rocks and minerals, natural resources, climate, energy in the atmosphere and ocean, and the solar system. Emphasis will be placed on everyday applications of this knowledge and the relationship of these topics to our environment. Additionally, students will be exposed to various note-taking and test-taking strategies that will support their growth, both inside and outside of the science classroom. Also included in the sixth-grade science curriculum is an age- appropriate unit on human growth and development.
Suggested Textbook: Pearson – Elevate Science: Earth Science
Social Studies: World Cultures and Geography
The sixth-grade social studies curriculum provides students with the opportunity to explore the roots of diverse cultures in the world, as well as exposing them to current religious, political, and economic conditions that continue to shape various ways of life. After gaining broad understandings of world geography using interactive maps, students will use this knowledge of the world to investigate the growth of national identities and practices. Current events will also be discussed as a way to link the past with the present.
Suggested Textbook: Pearson – My World Interactive: World Geography
World Language: Spanish 1
During the Spanish Level 1 program, students will acquire ample vocabulary, along with patterns of speech and grammatical structures, to converse in the Spanish language. They will learn to conjugate the most commonly used verbs in the present and past tense. Students’ participation in oral presentations and conversational activities during class will supplement their written work— short paragraphs, dialogues, written exercises, and emails. In addition, they will continue to develop an appreciation for the culture of Spain and Latin America through engaging lessons. Upon completion of this course, students will be able to: comprehend elementary spoken Spanish; develop and use vocabulary for daily routines; speak with correct pronunciation to be better understood; read and write simple Spanish paragraphs; and discuss and be sensitive to relevant aspects of Hispanic culture.
Suggested Textbooks: ¡Qué chévere! Level 1 Student Edition Print Grammar & Vocabulary Workbook; ¡Qué chévere! Level 1 Student Edition Print Workbook
RECOMMENDED GRADE 6 ELECTIVES
Art: Studio I
Utilizing choice-based learning, Studio 1 is a true art-studio experience. Building on skills in all types of two-dimensional media—such as graphite, watercolor, acrylics, pastel, printmaking, collage, and mixed media—students will be ready to create their own bodies of work in a selected medium. With teacher guidance, the principles of design will be reintroduced and explored. Unity, balance, patterns, variety, emphasis, contrast, movement, and rhythm will add to each student’s understanding of how art is created. Additionally, art movements and artists will be introduced and discussed as part of the daily discovery in the studio.
Mandarin Chinese: Mandarin Chinese 6
In Mandarin Chinese 6, students learn basic Mandarin Chinese through listening, speaking, reading, and writing. Participants will focus on pronunciation rules, character-writing skills through Chinese calligraphy, as well as reading and writing simple sentences with proper grammar. Chinese culture will be explored through story reading (Confucius thought), Chinese poetry, cooking, Chinese clothing, tea ceremony, and arts and crafts. At the conclusion of the course, students will achieve:
- Insights into Chinese culture;
- Strengthening of their overall ability to effectively communicate in Chinese;
- Ability to recognize 120-140 vocabulary words;
- Ability to write focused Chinese vocabulary;
- Ability to read 120-200 word books.
Suggested Textbooks: Easy Steps to Chinese Level 1; Mei Zhou Hua Yu Level 1
Music: Music 6
This course is designed to give students basic experience in all aspects of music—including music appreciation, music history, playing an instrument, critiquing, and composing.
Furthermore, Music 6 students will focus on choral singing and harmonies using selections from the American Songbook, world music, and modern popular songs. Additionally, performance etiquette and dance will be covered, culminating in at least one song-and-dance performance each semester. General instruction will be offered in both vocal and instrumental training.
Physical Education: PE 6
The physical education curriculum for middle-school students stresses learning and practicing skills and game strategies for various sports such as soccer, basketball, flag football, baseball, tennis, and street hockey. Additionally, students in P.E. 6 will particularly focus on identifying the structure and function of certain muscles in the human body. They will be able to: identify the roles of various muscles in use during units, activities, and games; differentiate between muscle relaxation and muscle contraction; and describe body-system relationships. The P.E. program also emphasizes developing proper sportsmanship through friendly competition and incorporates cardiovascular fitness lessons, along with strength development. All students will participate in the FIDS Fitness Test which gauges: individual strengths in long distance running; quickness/reaction speed; flexibility; upper-body strength; and abdominal strength. FIDS’s athletics, sports, and fitness activities provide more than just exercise and competition; the curriculum encompasses the virtues of kindness, courage, grace, persistence, discipline, and teamwork.
Additional Elective Offerings May Include:
- Independent Study