Rather than have electives from which students choose, 6th grade students have a program of four supplemental classes during one of their six periods of the day. Each class spends a nine-week quarter in each program, rotating through the following four classes.
What’s On Your Plate?
In this class, students examine the choices we make concerning our food through a variety of activities, films, and projects. Some of the art projects they do include scale fruit and veggie drawings and swirl line drawings. They watch videos about nutrition, digestion, and farming as well as read excerpts from the book Chew on This. They discuss where our food comes from, comparing sustainable agriculture vs. non-sustainable and organic farming vs. mono-culture farming. They also examine what is in our food, looking at fat and sugar content as well as processed vs. unprocessed foods. The Dining Commons supply tasters from the lunch menu so that students can taste and learn to appreciate new foods. Teachers also bring tastings of fresh fruits and vegetables from the farmers market.
Social Smarts aims at teaching students to
- respect differences
- foster empathy for all
- communicate effectively to resolve conflicts
- express their needs and listen to the needs of others
- create a sense of self and cultural understanding
King has created a curriculum that focuses on teaching students self-confidence and self-awareness, as well as an awareness of the harmful effects of bullying and how to be an ally. The goal is to create a community that fosters an understanding of differences and empathy for others while learning to take personal responsibility for all actions. Working towards this goal, we examine popular music and literature, view a locally produced film on bullying, write poetry, create several art projects, and regularly share unique perspectives through discussion and journal writing.
Will resume in 2016 after Mr. Silberg returns from sabbatical. Eight classes have nine weeks of Drama with Mr. Silberg. These classes are designed to introduce and extend students’ experience with drama and include Shakespeare, improvisation, voice training, scene building, and storytelling. Students work together developing scenes based on stories and situations that enable them to develop ensemble skills (working as a team) as well as individual skills (body movement and vocal confidence) useful for all their coursework. Risk and respect is the motto of the drama program at King. We create situations that encourage risk taking amongst all our students, no matter what their background in drama is, as well as promote an atmosphere of respect for each student’s efforts.
The Games elective wheel class was designed to give students a chance to learn “classic” games, to actively engage with each other, have fun, and analyze what makes a good game. Many of these “classic” games have their origin in the ancient cultures studied by 6th graders in their history class. Games are important in developing mathematical thinking. While playing games, students learn rules, strategies, and logical reasoning, which are foundations of mathematics. In addition, they learn and practice cooperation, problem solving and many other social skills. For the first six weeks of the games class, students play a variety of “classic” games such as Checkers, Mancala, Chess, Connect Four, Othello, Dominoes, Sorry, Parcheesi, Monopoly, and more. They analyze games for their structure, strategies, and special features that make the games interesting, challenging, and fun to play. For the last three weeks of the quarter students use this knowledge to design their own game and rules. The class culminates with students testing and playing each other’s games.
The art classes at King are designed to instruct beginning art students in drawing, mixed media, printmaking, painting, ceramics and sculpture. Students will become familiar with the basic principles and elements of design as well as the elements of color. Students will learn basic skills and vocabulary in art and develop critical thinking skills as well as an appreciation of art. Growth Mindset concepts are presented to foster high expectations and students giving their best effort.