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6th Highlights

Pali Institute

At the Pali Institute, students participate in science, leadership, and outdoor education. Click here for more information about Pali.

Spelling Bee

R. Roger Rowe hosts an annual spelling bee in conjunction with the Scripps National Spelling Bee. the 7th and 8th grade participate in a school bee, 6th graders hold a practice bee unique to their grade level.

Career Expo

A day of presentations by industry leaders to provide a new and practical dimension to students’ education and help them to explore possible career paths.

Student Council

Student government is a great way to participate in leadership of our school. Positions: Secretary, Treasurer, Philanthropy Chair, Activities Coordinator

6th grade students have 223 minutes of Mathematics Classes week and classes are in a block format.  Students in grade 6 have the ability to take Math 6 or Advanced Math 6.  Students that qualify for Advanced Mathematics have demonstrated a strong ability to move quickly through mathematics and are ready for the challenge of additional work.  Students in Advanced Mathematics 6 will cover 7th grade mathematics in one year. Students needing additional support are eligible to take Math Intervention during the Enrichment Block.

Download the RSF Math Pathways chart
Download the 6th math curriculum summary
Download the 6th advanced math curriculum summary (7th)

Mathematics Courses

Mathematics 6:
Units of Study
Unit 1    Factors and Multiples
Unit 2    Ratios, Rational Numbers, and Equivalence
Unit 3    Understanding Fraction Operations
Unit 4    Two-Dimensional Measurement
Unit 5    Computing With Decimals and Percentages
Unit 6    Focus on Algebra
Unit 7    Statistics and Data Analysis

Advanced Mathematics 6 (7th grade math curriculum):
Units of Study
Unit 1    Two-Dimension Geometry
Unit 2    Integers and Rational Numbers
Unit 3    Understanding Similarity
Unit 4    Ratios, Rates, Percents, and Proportions
Unit 5    Linear Relationships
Unit 6    Probability and Expected Value
Unit 7    Three-Dimensional Measurement

Math Intervention
Students needing additional support in mathematics may qualify for specialized instruction with a mathematics specialist.  Classroom teachers make recommendations for this program.  This program takes place during the Enrichment Block.

Curriculum Resources:
CMP3 (Connected Mathematics)
Math in Focus
Mathematics Vision Project (Exemplars) (Exemplars)

Technology Resources:
Math XL
CMP3 Online

Students have 223 minutes of Reading Classes per week in a block format.   6th graders are eligible to take General Reading 6 and Advanced Reading 6.  Students who qualify for Honors Reading have demonstrated a strong ability to move quickly through reading materials and are ready for the challenge of additional work.

Reading 6:
Download the 6th reading curriculum summary

Units of Study
Unit 1    Turn Every Kid Into a Reader – and Analyzing Characters Across Series
Unit 2    Critical Literacies Book Clubs
Unit 3    Nonfiction- A Study of Text Complexity
Unit 4    Preparing for High Stakes Reading Tests/ Lifting the Level of Reading Partnerships
Unit 5    Fantasy Series Book Clubs
Unit 6    Nonfiction Reading Across Text Sets

Honors Reading 6
Students who qualify for Honors Reading have demonstrated to be strong readers and is comprised of additional rigor and challenge to the current college-preparatory course offering. The English Language Arts teachers use the current Columbia Reading Units of Study for grade 6 as the basis for instruction while further developing units with a strong focus on meaningful class discussions, including thorough comprehension and critical analysis of a variety of genres.  The program will emphasize vocabulary, composition skills, research skills, grammar conventions, and sentence construction.  Due to the fast-paced, rigorous curriculum of this class, only students who are self-motivated, passionate about reading, and have exceptional work ethic will be eligible.

Criteria for Placement in Advanced Reading Class is based upon an advanced level of proficiency in the following areas:
• MAP Test Results
• SBAC Test  Results
• OLSAT Test Results
• District Benchmark Assessment
and teacher recommendation.

Reading Workshop
The Reading Workshop is a teaching method in which the goal is to teach students strategies for reading and comprehension.  The workshop model allows teachers to differentiate and meet the needs of all their students.  Reading Workshop helps to foster a love of reading and gives students chances to practice reading strategies independently and with guidance.
– Mini Lesson: (10-15 minutes)
– Independent reading, conferring, small group instruction (35-40 minutes)
– Share (5 minutes)

Curriculum Resources:
Units of Study for Teaching Reading: A Curriculum for the Reading Workshop (Teachers College Reading and Writing Project, Columbia University)
Curricular Calendar for Reading K-8 (Teachers College Reading and Writing Project, Columbia University)
Teen Ink: Mentor texts

6th grade students have 223 minutes of Writing Classes per week and classes are in a block format.  This course follows Columbia’s Reading and Writing workshop model (see below). In class and at home, students keep a writer’s notebook where they will grow in skills needed for specific writing types as well as develop their personal style as writers. Volume, variety, and thoughtfulness are also areas of emphasis in the writer’s notebook.  Students set goals and focus on improving specific skills. In the meeting area, the teacher models strategies to help the students push themselves as writers.  Students also receive peer feedback and publish their final pieces.  The students will also use the Easy Grammar curriculum to build their understanding of proper mechanics to better communicate their sophisticated writing ideas.

Download the 6th writing curriculum summary

Units of Study
Unit 1    Personal Narrative: Creating Powerful Life Stories
Unit 2    Literary Essay
Unit 3    Research-Based Information Writing:
Unit 4    Preparing for High Stakes Writing Tests/Performance Tasks
Unit 5    Fantasy Series Book Clubs Fantasy: Writing within Literary Traditions
Unit 6    Persuasive Essays

Writing Enrichment Courses:

The Art of Writing

The Art of Writing- creativity and inspiration will flow in this dynamic writing course. Students will free the writing muse with projects that combine creative writing, art, and a touch of marketing.

Speech and Debate
Students will learn the techniques for building a successful commemorative and persuasive speech as well as learn the impact on using technology and visuals effectively to aid in presentations. Students will also analyze great speeches and debates of ancient history, and will learn how to debate effectively with their peers.
Download the Enrichment, Elective, and PE Registration Survey

Writing Workshop
This predictable structure provides a supportive environment in which new learning takes place. The workshop begins with a 10-15 minute “minilesson” in which the teacher introduces and explicitly teaches skills and strategies related to the unit of study. Students then move to independent writing time. During this time, teachers pull students 1:1 or in small groups providing individualized instruction. The workshop closes with a share of new learning, either whole class or with peers.

Curriculum Resources:
Teachers College Reading and Writing Project Curricular Calendars K-8 (2014-2015)
Units of Study in Opinion, Information, and Narrative,Writing,2013
Rancho Santa Fe Middle School ELA

Instructional Software Support:
Google Suite for Education
No Red Ink
Defined STEM

Students have 223 minutes of Science Class per week and classes in a block format.  The 6th Grade Science Curriculum is all about our Earth  – the land, water, air, and materials we use each and every day. Our year begins with an understanding of the tools scientists use; from mapping tools to GPS, satellite imagery and core samples from trees, ice and ocean sediment, students learn how we can record changes on our planet. Our curriculum is divided into lithosphere (different layers of the earth, plate tectonics, earthquakes and volcanoes), heat energy in our atmosphere, ocean science, and earth’s natural resources. Students participate in labs, read current and relevant texts, and build 21st Century Learning Skills in critical thinking, collaboration, creativity, and communication.

Download the 6th science curriculum summary

Units of Study
• Plate Tectonics and Earth’s Structure
• Shaping Earth’s Surface
• Heat (Thermal Energy)
• Energy In The Earth System
• Ecology
• Energy Resources
• Investigation and Experimentation

Rocketry Elective
Three, two, one, blast off!!! Wow!!! There’s nothing more exciting than a rocket launch, whether it’s a NASA space shuttle or a simple bottle rocket. Come explore the principles of rocketry and learn how to build rockets from the ground up. Rocketeers will design, build, and launch a variety of rockets powered by air, water, and chemical propellants. They will also learn how to build recovery systems to insure safe landings and investigate the rockets used to launch satellites into low earth and geosynchronous orbit as well as ferrying people to the international space station. We will examine robotic spacecraft sent out to explore the solar system and NASA’s plans to return people to the moon and eventually to Mars. If you ever wanted to become an astronaut or blast off into outer space, this is the course for you. *Same curriculum as Rocketry 7/8, but the course can only be taken once in middle school.
Download the Enrichment, Elective, and PE Registration Survey

Curriculum Resources:
CPO Earth Science
National Geographic Global Issues – Water Resources (a leveled reader)
Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS)

Instructional Software Supports

NASA 3D View for supplemental/leveled reading
SPARK Vue tools

Sixth grade students receive 223 minutes of Social Studies instruction per week.  Sixth graders expand their understanding of history by studying the people and events that ushered in the dawn of the major Western and non-Western ancient civilizations. Geography is of special significance in the development of the human story. Continued emphasis is placed on the everyday lives, problems, and accomplishments of people, their role in developing social, economic, and political structures, as well as in establishing and spreading ideas that helped transform the world forever. Students develop higher levels of critical thinking by considering why civilizations developed where and when they did, why they became dominant, and why they declined. Students analyze the interactions among the various cultures, emphasizing their enduring contributions and the link, despite time, between the contemporary and ancient worlds.

Historical Mock Trials
In this enrichment students will immerse themselves into the courtroom drama of the past. Throughout the trimester, they will investigate and recreate actual court cases and become the attorneys, defendants and witnesses. The verdict hinges on how convincingly the case is argued! The historical trials may include Joan of Arc, the Salem Witch Trials, and the “spies” Julius and Ethel Rosenberg.
Download the Enrichment, Elective, and PE Registration Survey

Curriculum Resources:
Ancient Civilizations, Glencoe

Electives Courses

Spanish 1
Sixth, seventh and eighth graders will be introduced to the Spanish language through a focus on language and culture while speaking, listening, reading, and writing in the target language. Spanish 1 places an emphasis on correct pronunciation, listening comprehension, vocabulary development, learning the fundamentals of verb conjugations, and the formation of simple, complete, and grammatically correct present tense Spanish sentences. The units covered in this course include an introduction to foundational vocabulary and expressions as well as thematic units called Mis amigos y yo, La escuela, La comida, Los pasatiempos, Fiesta en familia, La casa, and De compras. Sixth graders will move on to Spanish 1.5 upon completion of this course. Seventh and eighth graders completing Spanish 1 with high achievement will have the opportunity to move onto middle school Spanish 2 or may place in Spanish 2 at the high school level (determined by a placement exam if entering a private school). This class is a rigorous course for students at the sixth grade level so please consider a heavy homework load when making course selections.

Enrichment Courses

Students learn the Chinese language of Mandarin. This course will be an introduction to the Mandarin language and give students basic vocabulary and language skills to operate in a variety of situations. This course will not count for high school credit, but will be a great starting point for students that may decide to take Mandarin at the high school level.

Download the Enrichment, Elective, and PE Registration Survey

Rancho Santa Fe School District’s athletic programs are available to all students who demonstrate an interest in participating in athletics. Student athletes will dedicate themselves to the pursuit of individual athletic excellence while maintaining a good standing in both academic and behavioral policies. In addition to developing students’ athletic skills, coaches will focus on instilling the district’s core values and strong character. The administration, parents, coaches, and players will embrace healthy, age-appropriate competition with an emphasis on teamwork, responsibility, initiative, perseverance, respect, honesty, fair play and winning.

Download the Enrichment, Elective, and PE Registration Survey

For a detailed explanation of each sports team please check out the Overview and Structure of Athletics.

1st Trimester (Sept./Nov.)              2nd Trimester (Nov./March         3rd Trimester (March/May)
Cross Country (Co-ed)                   Basketball (Boys)                       Basketball (Girls)
Flag Football (Co-ed)                     Soccer (Boys)                             *ISPE/Lacrosse (Boys)
Volleyball (Girls)                             Soccer (Girls)                             Tennis (Co-ed)
*ISPE or GPE/Golf (Co-ed)            Wrestling (Co-ed)                       Track & Field (Co-ed)

*Any student interested in the golf team must enroll in General PE or ISPE.  Golf team tryouts will be held during the second week of school.  If you qualify for the team your schedule will be edited to reflect golf as your fall sport.

General Physical Education
(Trimester 1, 2, 3)    This course provides students opportunities to learn through a developmentally appropriate, comprehensive sequentially planned physical education program aligned with the Physical Education Model Content Standards for California Public Schools. The focus of this course is the application of movement skills and knowledge to individual and dual physical activities: the assessment and maintenance of physical fitness to improve health and performance, and the requisite knowledge of physical fitness concepts.

Dance P.E
(Trimester 1, 2, 3)    In Dance  P.E., the students will be learning a variety of dance styles and techniques including jazz, hip-hop, contemporary, and musical theater.  We will also explore the history of dance, and at the end of the year, the students will create their own choreography. Each trimester the dancers will perform on stage in a performance.  The first two trimesters the dancers will perform in shows with the other performing arts departments, and in the last trimester will perform at the end of the year dance show.

Independent Study P.E. (I.S.P.E.)

(Trimester 1, 2, 3)    Independent study is an alternative opportunity to receive P.E. credit.  Students work independently in an organized physical program under the supervision of an instructor and monitored by the Athletic Director.  Examples include club sports, martial arts, and equestrian. Upon approval, students must complete a written agreement and document their progress throughout each Trimester.  Credit for I.S.P.E is based on the time and value of the student’s work product, as determined by the Athletic Director.

Download the Enrichment, Elective, and PE Registration Survey

More at Athletics and PE Home

Sixth Grade Music Offerings


Advanced Band
This class is designed to enhance a student’s musical ability by applying note-reading skills, musicianship, rehearsal techniques to increasingly challenging literature. Students will improve basic musicianship skills through the practice and performance of concert works & exercises in a large ensemble setting as well as develop & improve proper playing technique (embouchure, posture, sticking…etc.). Our songs will come from standard band music but also jazz and contemporary music.  Prerequisites: Audition only, instructor approval.

Bands like Cold Play and The Beatles and genres from Rock-n-Roll to Country have all used the guitar.   This elective will teach you how to play guitar.  In just weeks, you will be able to play along with your favorite artists.

There is not a more important instrument to understand and play than the piano.  Join this exciting elective and begin your journey to learning music fundamentals.   Because each student has his/her own piano, whether you have played for several years or never touched one, you are welcome to join this class.

Enrichment Courses

Choir (Year-long)
The Advanced Choral Ensemble enrichment is an audition-only, advanced level vocal performing group that will learn and perform pop, jazz, and masterwork music. This group will perform at all school music concerts, but will also travel to perform at other choral festivals and events.  It’s important that you talk to Mr. Haus for an audition before you are placed in this class.  Students will learn not only perform advanced-level music, but they will learn how to read music, arrange songs, and form duets, trios, and quartets within the class.
(Mr. Haus will still run his Friday morning (before school) choir group in addition to this enrichment class. Students in the Friday morning groups will perform at all school music concerts and will travel to perform at other choral festivals and events).

Download the Enrichment, Elective, and PE Registration Survey

Music Programs Outside of School Hours

(Class meets M 7:45 AM-9:00 AM and T-F before school depending on level. Registration will be held on Band Night, please see website for details)    Students will be able to practice their instruments and play as a group.  We will prepare for scheduled concerts, competitions, and festivals, but will also be the “band for hire” for other school functions that need musical support!  Never played an instrument?  No problem!  We will help you pick one out and before you know it, you will be a pro.

Choir (Grades 4-8)
The 4-8 Choir meets Thursday mornings before school

Advanced Drama Elective Offerings for 6th Graders

Trimester 1:  The Art of Improvisation
This Drama course is for students who love to entertain and be entertained.  Students create and develop characters and skits using the impromptu elements of Improvisation and learn various Language Arts strategies to develop comedy sketches with props, music, and costumes.

Trimester 2:  Elements of Acting Class
Students will have the opportunity to act, evaluate, and create short scenes and skits to perform on stage. Students will also study and develop their characters as well as write, direct, cast, and stage their plays and performances.

Trimester 3: Film Acting Class
Do you want to be a TV or Movie Star? Or, learn how the pros did it? Then this acting class is for you. Students will discover the beginnings of The Hollywood film industry and learn the ins and outs of creating head shots for casting calls, choosing and performing audition pieces, creating a portfolio and acting resume, filming and editing audition pieces as well as writing, developing, and acting in an original television pilot episode that we will produce and debut for a live audience

Download the Enrichment, Elective, and PE Registration Survey

Technology Electives and Enrichment for the Sixth Grade


Apps Design and Coding
GameSalad is used to create games and apps for the iPad or other mobile devices. It aims to open the doors of game design to anyone who wants to create. With GameSalad’s complete set of tools and editors, bring your game to market faster and easier than with any other development platform; and without coding a single line.  In addition, students will learn basic programming using software called Alice. Alice is an innovative 3-D programming environment that makes it easy to create an animation for telling a story, playing an interactive game, or a video to share on the web. It allows students to learn fundamental programming concepts in the context of creating animated movies and simple video games. In Alice, 3-D objects (e.g., people, animals, and vehicles) populate a virtual world and students create a program to animate the objects.


Film Making

During the trimester, students develop and produce quality, original films across genres (animated, documentary, drama, comedy, etc.) by creating a storyboard and revised script, which they will then film and edit.

Digital Animation
Students use digital animation software called Toon Boom Studio. This software is a comprehensive program that guides students through the entire digital animation workflow from scripting, sketching, using a graphic Wacom tablet to draw, scan, paint artwork using advanced tools, and lip-sync mouth movement to voice tracks. Final production will feature a full cartoon that will be made into a QuickTime movie for publication.

Sixth grade students are able to sign up for year-long Elective Classes and trimester-long Enrichment Classes. These classes are designed to provide students interested in Art the ability to explore different mediums and develop their artistic abilities.

Art Studio Elective
For those students who have enjoyed art in their K-5 rotations and now want the opportunity to learn more about the visual arts through discussion, research and hands on creation. This course includes a variety of art projects using several different mediums such as pen and ink, collage and clay. It also includes the opportunity to work with a guest artist and create paintings for the Hearts for Healing project. Throughout the year this class will allow students to demonstrate their growing artistic skill set and knowledge of the visual arts, including, but not limited to the elements and principles of art, as well as artistic masters and art movements.  At the end of this year long course students will have the opportunity to display two to three of their favorite projects in the school Art Show.

Art Enrichment
The purpose of this trimester long course is to give students an intriguing overview into the wonderful world of visual arts! Students learn about several artists and art movements all while creating a wide range of projects in several different mediums and styles.

Please contact Dana Dabney, Art Teacher, for more details.

First Lego League (FLL) for Sixth Grade
FIRST LEGO League (FLL®) challenges kids to think like scientists and engineers. They will also build, test, and program an autonomous robot using LEGO MINDSTORMS® technology to solve a set of missions in the Robot Game.  Throughout their experience, teams will operate under FLL’s signature set of Core Values, celebrating discovery, teamwork, and Gracious Professionalism®*Students are only enrolled in the course if they intend to be a part of an after school FLL robotics team.

More at RSF Robotics Home 

Sixth grade students are offered one year elective courses in a variety of extra-curricular area (see survey link below).  In addition, they can participate in three trimester-long enrichment classes focused in three main areas. Students will select one class from Science and Tech, one from Humanities and one from The Arts. The goal is for students to make varied choices that will give them an opportunity to try new areas of interest each trimester. Under Primary Choices please make your 1st choice selections. Under Alternate Choices please keep one and only one of your 1st choices from one of the categories and select two new options in the other two categories.

Download the Enrichment, Elective, and PE Registration Survey


Corinne Braun

Corinne Braun

Grade 6 History

Tanya Baumgardner

Tanya Baumgardner

Grade 6 Science

Terri Corduan

Terri Corduan

6th/7th Grade Math

Elaine Dolnack

Elaine Dolnack

Grade 6 Reading

Heidi Moreno

Heidi Moreno

Grade 6 Reading/Writing

Chris Teofilo

Chris Teofilo

6th Grade Math

Phone: 858-756-1141