Hawks M – F 8:30 – 2:30
The Hawks are proud to be the oldest class at The Marylhurst School. Our current sixth and seventh graders take their responsibility to be positive leaders very seriously and are wonderful role models for all of the younger students. In preparation for Community Meetings, they gather information from each of the primary classes, practice songs that they can teach to the younger students, and lead Community Meeting itself. The Hawks also have Meadowlark buddies this year, and they have been busy getting to know each other and are already working on projects throughout the school. The buddy pairs have mapped out the Harvest Festival, solved math problems created by the Meadowlarks, cheered each other on during the Jog-a-thon, read books together, shared jokes that were written by Hawk students, and created 3-D structures simulating an ant colony. The buddies provide a wonderful opportunity for all the students to develop closer relationships, and all benefit from their time spent together.
This year, our social studies theme is Inventions and Discoveries. We began the year with geography skills and an introduction to geographic terms. Now that students are familiar with these terms, we are able to apply our understanding to ancient civilizations like Mesopotamia, Greece, Rome, and China. Through the exploration of each of these civilizations, we will learn about the people and culture, cause-and-effect relationships, forms of government, inventions and discoveries, and their influence on the current world.As a culminating event, students will delve more deeply into an invention or discovery of their choosing. During their research process, they will explore the significant role that each of these civilizations plays in modern society.
Hawk students have PE, Spanish, and Music classes in two-hour-long sessions per week. Our specialist classes integrate their content with the themes featured in homeroom class.
Sixth and seventh grade students are reading and writing independently. In class, students further refine their writing skills through experimentation in their writer’s notebook. At times, students will select pieces from their notebooks to publish for a wider audience. With writing partners, they look at their piece more critically to revise and edit so that their piece demonstrates publishing quality. Children at this age are reading in order to learn, as opposed to learning to read. In addition, they are writing in order to demonstrate what they’ve learned so that they might share it with others. Research has shown that it’s not just how much students read that matters, but also what they read. As a result, children in the Hawks class will be reading and analyzing books from a variety of genres. During class, students participate in book groups by discussing literary elements. Students analyze techniques that published authors use and are inspired by alternate styles in their own creative writing. They also read non-fiction texts to develop critical and analytical thinking. In the spring, students will choose a discovery or invention and research, analyze, critique, and finally, build on their existing knowledge of the topic. They will also be able to communicate their findings with others through expository papers and an oral presentation, as well as through art and other representations.
The ability to think mathematically and to use mathematical thinking to solve problems is an important goal at this level. Mathematical thinking supports science and technology, and it is imperative that students understand that math has real-world applications. The Hawks class features two math curriculums, allowing teachers to tailor a student’s experience to his or her needs. Through collaborative activities, group discussions, and individual practice, sixth grade students develop their understanding of the fundamental ideas of numbers and operations, geometry, data, measurement, and early algebra.
Seventh grade curriculum introduces children to algebraic concepts, notation, and operations. Through the year, they will learn to engage in various forms of inductive and deductive reasoning, reflect on the nature of variables, perform basic operations with negative numbers, manipulate algebraic fractions, and solve single-variable problems and resolve inequalities.
Students started the year exploring the idea of observation and inferences and the role that both play in scientific endeavors. This year, a game of kickball in PE initiated our first scientific experiment. A student hypothesized that the length of children’s legs might have an impact on the speed of the runners, therefore, allowing one team to win. In groups, children designed a testable experiment, gathered data, analyzed it, and drew conclusion based on their findings.This was a great way to learn about the scientific method and inquiry based experimentation. Throughout the remainder of the year, Hawks will also be exploring astronomy, paleontology, geologic time, and properties of matter.