Keicher Elementary School 
Sixth Grade Curriculum
The Keicher learning community strives to provide an environment that promotes life-long learning and productive citizens.
 
This curriculum guide has been devised for parents of sixth grade students at Keicher Elementary School.  Provided is a list of major skills to be acquired and activities offered to students.  This is not, by any means, a list of every skill taught or every opportunity available to our students.  Each section indicates 1) basic skills that should be mastered before a student reaches sixth grade and 2) a summary of skills that should be mastered by the time a student completes sixth grade.  Of course, every child develops at his/her own rate, and instruction is designed with the individual's needs in mind.
Included in this guide is a list of special services and opportunities available to students.  Support services are designed to address a specific need that has been identified in a particular student's development, allowing for more individual attention.  We also offer nonacademic experiences that round out our curriculum and provide a wealth of opportunity for students.  Our formal class offerings are enriched through field trips and assemblies that complement instruction.  Book Fairs, Field Day, March is Reading Month, the school Music Program, and a variety of other activities complete our curriculum.
 
The Michigan Center School District strives for academic excellence.  Teachers, administrators, and support staff are committed to high standards and meeting the needs of all students attending Keicher Elementary School.
 
Specials
Library 
Students become aware of the various genres of literature: adventure, science, reality, mystery, history, fantasy, sports, humor, and poetry.  They use the reference collection and online sources to extend their research.  Students make simple bibliographies using title, author, publisher, place and copyright date.  During their media time, students are also working on their keyboarding skills.  Students complete an exploratory unit using the Career Planet program, giving them an idea of what career options they may pursue after high school.  Students use Power Point to create several presentations, including one pertaining to their Career Planet results and one dealing with their Science curriculum.  Students also use Inspiration for outlining and story planning. 
 
Physical Education 
Elementary students receive an average of 80 minutes of Physical Education instruction per week, taught by a certified PE specialist.  The emphasis of the program is on the fitness areas of cardiovascular endurance, strength and flexibility.  We are developing an awareness and understanding of these areas of fitness as well as practicing different methods of achieving them through our daily activities.  Fitness testing is done in the spring.  These tests are: 1) sit and reach for flexibility; 2) sit-up for abdominal strength; 3) flexed arm/hand and/or pull-ups for upper arm strength; 4) mile run for cardiovascular endurance.  Time is also spent on basic motor skills, simple games, and lead-up games for sports activities.
 
Computer Education 
Keicher Elementary is proud to have a new state-of-the art lab for students. We have a second lab with thirty computers that classes can use for projects. In addition there is a mini lab located in the 5/6 hall for small groups to complete Accelerated Reader tests and research projects. All students in grades three through six attend computer class at least once a week. The curriculum reflects an integration which is completed by meeting with classroom teachers and establishing projects that will teach the students computer skills, while working on projects that align with classroom work. Several examples: students in Third Grade complete a Power Point Presentation on animals. They do research on an animal, fill out an information sheet, complete the Power Point, and present the project to the class. A Fourth Grade project is to select a state for a Power Point Presentation. Fifth Grade concludes a unit on careers with a web design using Inspiration software. Sixth Grade completes a project for each area of study: a social studies brochure on a country, a math graph, a language arts career project, and a science Power Point presentation on anatomy. To support the third through sixth grade language arts program, The Write Source Interactive Writing Skills program has been added to the lab. Students view a short movie on a specific skill, review the rules, and complete an exercise on the computer. When completed, students receive feedback on how well they have mastered the skill. Using a game to quickly review the basic math facts and gain speed, students practice for 5-10 minutes each session. Criteria have been established for learning touch typing in the elementary grades. The students use Ultra Key and various games to achieve this skill. The goal is typing 30 words per minute by the end of Sixth Grade. In the Media Center students select books to read which have corresponding Accelerated Reader comprehension tests. We have more than 5,000 tests for books and are adding to this number yearly. 
 
Band 
Students who elect to take band in sixth grade use the concepts and skills they learned in kindergarten through fifth-grade general music to play brass, percussion, and woodwind instruments.  They learn the fundamentals of quality sound production as well as how to work as a team.  Students refine their aural skills when they play by ear, and they develop methodic music-reading skills when they use traditional music notation.  In addition to playing instruments, students sing, improvise, compose, and analyze music.  The sixth grade band is showcased throughout the year with a fall performance at the University of Michigan, a winter informance at Keicher Elementary School, and a spring concert in the high school auditorium.  Students also attend a professional concert.  Upon completing sixth grade band, students can perform full band selections and are fully prepared to pursue secondary music instruction as well as participate in and support the arts throughout their lives.
 
Sixth Grade Music Appreciation
Students who elect to take music appreciation in sixth grade use the concepts and skills they learned in kindergarten through fifth-grade general music to examine music from unique perspectives.  They analyze music from various eras, cultures, and genres-exploring everything from Gregorian chant to hip-hop.  Students investigate how music permeates society and influences our everyday lives, and they engage in multiple composition projects.  They create original raps as well as commercial jingles with the help of music composition software.  Upon completing sixth grade music appreciation, students have a greater understanding and appreciation of music and how it impacts their lives.  They are equipped with the knowledge and skills necessary to be educated supporters and consumers of the arts.
 
Additional Services
Social Work 
Social workers at Keicher provide a variety of services for students and their families, including: counseling, referrals to outside agencies, and social skills training. 
 
Special Education 
Through personnel from the Jackson County Intermediate School District, students who have qualified under a special education category - Learning Disabled (LD), Physically or Otherwise Health Impaired (POHI), Hearing Impaired (HI), Visually Impaired (VI), Speech and Language Impaired (SLI), Educable Mentally Impaired (EMI), Emotionally Impaired (EI) and Autistic (AI) - receive appropriate instruction in the least restrictive environment.  A Child Study Team meets monthly during the school year to test students to determine if they are in need of one or more of these additional services: Psychology, Occupational Therapy, and Social Work.
 
Counseling 
A certified guidance counselor is available to all students.  Referrals come from teachers, parents, or students. 
 
Character Education 
The development of your child's character is another important aspect of the educational process.  Arnold, Keicher, Clement and the Junior High School have teamed up to incorporate good character into our school day.  In all buildings we stress the following Character Education Traits: Friendship/Acceptance, Responsibility, Respect, Compassion/Generosity, Cooperation, Self-Control, Honesty, Individuality, and Perseverance.  These traits are organized by month and then discussed in a variety of different ways, including the use of the school counselor, classroom teacher and grade level lessons, as well as assemblies and a sixth grade Character Education special.
 
We look forward to partnering with our families in providing all students with strong character.

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