English and Language Arts
Sixth Grade students read and study: The Witch of Blackbird Pond, Maniac Magee, Where the Red Fern Grows, The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, Watsons go to Birmingham, Tuck Everlasting, Adam of the Road, and Bridge to Terabithia. Additional works of literature may be studied. Sixth grade also learns to analyze a variety of poetry and grow in their understanding of literary elements. Sixth grade students at Holy Trinity Middle School enjoy a varied English/Language Arts curriculum. Our belief in a literature-rich environment for our students drives the high standards we hold for both our students and our reading selections Language Arts instruction also includes: Vocabulary study focusing on Greek and Latin root words, key grammar concepts to better understand written language and improve analytical skills, and an assortment of Writer’s Workshops to improve composition skills in all genres of writing while maintaining focus on each grade level’s target standard.
The overarching theme for middle school science is “God’s splendor is shown in the energy of the earth and the universe”. Middle school is where students are exposed to science on daily basis with the goal for each student to be prepared for the rigors of a high school science curriculum. Science for all three grades is taught as integrated science which means that students are exposed to aspects of earth, life, and physical science each year. Activities, experiments, and projects are incorporated into the curriculum for hands-on learning. The cumulating learning experience for all students in middle school are the science fair, inventor’s fair, and technology fair which are held at the end of the year on a rotating basis so that a student in middle school is exposed to all three fairs. Collaborative projects involving the other middle school teachers is also a part of the science curriculum.
Sixth grade students start with what science is, the types of science, how science and technology relate to each other and how we measure and observe science safely. The concept of how God’s splendor can be seen through the energy that courses through all things begins in sixth grade. Sixth grade year students can “see and touch” science which emphasizes God’s workmanship in all things. They learn about minerals and rocks and the energy it takes to create them. They learn about matter and the basics of the energy in matter, force, work and machines. We explore the concept of how energy flows throughout Earth with the water cycle and the energy in water; energy in the carbon cycle and nitrogen cycles; food chains, food webs, and energy pyramids in ecosystems; and how energy drives magnetism and electricity. Finally, the students end with human body systems, God’s greatest creation and the energy that drives these systems. In all of these explorations, critical thinking skills are being developed with the students through the study of charts and graphs and how to interpret them and how to use math skills in science.
Our philosophy for teaching math in middle school is in line with our mission of: “Building a foundation of character and a love of learning through daily Christian fellowship in a nurturing environment that promotes academic excellence.” We believe every student can learn math and every student can reach their potential in math. We know not everyone learns the same way, and as their teacher we must find out how to get them to see math in way that makes sense to them. We allow students to work at their own pace, but they must keep up with the minimum pace of the class. We pursue two curricula simultaneously in each grade. Each student, each year, will complete their grade level for Khan Academy online with help from their teacher in class as needed. Additionally, the sixth grade completes a year of Saxon Math, whereas the 7th and 8th grade complete McGraw-Hill Math Connects. With this self-paced, individual instruction format, we continue to have students who finish their current year math curriculum and work ahead into next year’s concepts.We deliberately tie our math and science concepts whenever possible, so students have confidence in both subjects. This has proven well as we were awarded Gold status for being 100% STEM certified by the ACT based on our 8th grade students' ACT Aspire test scores.
In Social Studies at Holy Trinity, we align each grade’s curriculum to the state standards. Additionally, with a small staff that works closely together we continually tie social studies concepts across the subjects. Additionally, each year we conduct a chapter of the National Geographic geography bee. For two years in a row, our school champion has qualified as one of the top 100 geography students in the state to compete at OU in the state bee.
For 6th grade the focus is on Western Geography to include North America, South America, and the Caribbean. In 6th grade, we also study the Arctic and the geopolitical issues surrounding the area. With small class sizes, we can bring in some of the history of each region to understand why the map looks the way it does.