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Sixth GradeSubscribe to RSS - Sixth Grade

When I speak with prospective parents on tours in the halls of Rossman, I always point out a unique feature of our curriculum: Our students have a class period each day dedicated to writing. This is not the case in many schools where writing is often lumped in with all of the other language arts — reading, vocabulary, spelling, grammar, speaking, and listening. In many “English” or “Language Arts” classes, writing is treated as an extension of reading; students are primarily asked to write about what they read.

This emphasis placed on writing at Rossman is important since writing is...Read more

You’ve heard English teachers talk about passive and active voice, but people don’t often pay the same attention to passive and active listening. As humans, we each experience passive and active listening every day, and both play important roles in our lives. People often assume that passive listening is a bad thing, but it’s not, and it occurs often. Whether you’re humming along absentmindedly to music while driving, or zoning out while smiling and nodding at an acquaintance who’s telling a long-winded tale, there will always be moments of passive listening in your day. Everyone is a...Read more

Rossman faculty have been taking extra steps to learn about executive functioning throughout this school year. We began our year learning from an outside professional, who is a licensed professional counselor, about different areas of executive functioning. Recently, many teachers stayed after school to view a webinar from Dr. Peg Dawson, who is one of the authors of Smart but Scattered. As the learning consultant for Rossman, and in my other professional role as a trained school psychologist who conducts...Read more

Comprehension is an essential part of the learning process. This constructive process is one that requires students to make connections in order to understand what they are hearing and reading. Comprehension should be interactive between teachers and students. This is where students learn to become problem solvers, infer, compare and contrast, relate what they are learning to background knowledge, among many other meaning-making benefits.

Comprehension is a vital skill to one’s everyday life no matter what walk of life he or she is in. Students must be able to make connections in...Read more

This fall I’ve been working my way through Jo Boaler’s book, Mathematical Mindsets (2015). Boaler has authored fourteen books, numerous research articles and is currently a Mathematics Education Professor at Stanford University. Her resources and philosophies about education have been very inspiring to me; they are changing the way I think about math, talk about math, and teach math. In the opening chapters of Mathematical Mindsets, Boaler outlines and dispels common myths that most of us have believed about math. She argues that these myths inhibit learning. I think many...Read more

Great Stories. Great Graduates.

It is my honor to introduce you to another incredible Rossman alumnus who truly makes a positive impact everywhere he goes. I had the opportunity to catch up with Sohan Kancherla as he began the second semester of his freshman year at Harvard University. Enjoy the following interview with a humble young man who embodies the Rossman mission of commitment to excellence.

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When you join Rossman School, you are not only welcomed into a joyful and caring community but also become part of a history of traditions. Each day I have the joy of seeing students take part in such traditions, from singing “woohoos” at birthday lunches to hugging their Rossman little siblings as the Junior Kindergarten class passes in the hallway. As a teacher, I have the privilege of stepping into curricular traditions.

Each year the sixth grade embarks upon the traditional HERO Project. While the project has evolved through the years, the heart of the inquiry has stayed the...Read more

Music should not be an intimidating art. In fact, no art should be intimidating. The arts are not an elitist group of people who have some secret that they’re keeping from the rest of us. Then why is it that my interactions with non-musician friends often include a twinge of shame, a joke about their tone-deafness, or an overall feeling of dread? Why do we more easily gravitate to one type of music? Though the thoughts I have to share on this topic are a far cry from a scholarly research, they are the analysis of my observations throughout the past 15 years in the classroom and as a...Read more

“But… when will I ever have to use this?”

This is one of the most common questions that math teachers get asked. While some teachers find this question a nuisance, I think it is actually one of the best inquiries a student can make. I believe that students learn best when they have a genuine interest in and purpose for the material they’re learning. One way that I generate interest and purpose in math class is by having students complete math projects. Let me bring the term “math project” to life by walking you through our most recent one.

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What do you think about when you hear the word dance? Most likely, half of you smile ear to ear and the other half cringe at the thought. That is pretty close to the reaction our Upper School students have when we announce our dance unit each year.

The first week of the unit is spent listening to music, learning to find the beat and practicing setting each move or combination of moves to an eight-count. Each year, we also study a specific dance style, so students have at least four different types of dance in their repertoire upon graduating.

After this introduction, students...Read more

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