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What your Child will Learn in Grade Six


What Your Child Will Learn is an overview of goals and expectations of students throughout the sixth-grade school year. Specific student programs may differ depending on instructional needs.

Curriculum Areas:

Language Arts

English Language Arts classes provide instruction based on the rigorous demands of the Maryland College and Career-Ready Standards which are reflected in HCPSS units that address analysis of genre and theme. The units for Grade 6 include:

  • Courage
  • Coming of Age
  • Heroes

English Language Arts College and Career Readiness Anchor Standards

The Standards address four main categories with sub-topics as outlined below. Specific descriptions of each sub-topic may be found at

Anchor Standards for Reading (literacy and informational text)

Students will grow in their ability to comprehend complex text, drawing inferences and making connections between texts.

  • Key Ideas and Details
  • Craft and Structure
  • Integration of Knowledge and Ideas
  • Range of Reading and Level of Text Complexity

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Anchor Standards for Writing

Students will write in a variety of modes in response to evidence found in their reading and research.

  • Text Types and Purposes (argument, explanatory, narrative)
  • Production and Distribution of Writing
  • Research to Build and Present Knowledge
  • Range of Writing

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Anchor Standards for Speaking and Listening

Students will grow in their ability to communicate in formal and informal situations while developing the interpersonal skills required for effective collaboration.

  • Comprehension and Collaboration
  • Presentation of Knowledge and Ideas

Anchor Standards for Language

Students will use language correctly and effectively and grow in their knowledge of content-specific and general academic vocabulary.

  • Conventions of Standard English
  • Knowledge of Language
  • Vocabulary Acquisition and Use


Students complete assignments in a variety of modes, such as:

  • Explanatory, including analysis of both print and non-print texts
  • Argument, using evidence to support a claim
  • Narration

All English Language Arts students maintain writing portfolios in order to assess and enhance their growth as writers.

Reading Seminar Classes

Students who require decoding or comprehension support are enrolled in reading seminar classes. Instruction is provided in a small group setting. These classes are made available to schools based on student need. Reading seminar classes are offered at each grade level.

English Language Arts Seminar

Students have opportunities to learn and apply reading, writing and language acquisition to strategies that connect directly to learning outcomes in English Language Arts 6. The English Language Arts Seminar teacher provides scaffolded instruction in small group settings to ensure students can demonstrate and apply their knowledge of language arts skills and concepts and are successful in the English Language Arts class.

Gifted and Talented

Students address the demands of the English 6 Language Arts Curriculum, as well as specific critical reading, writing and thinking skills necessary for continued success at the high school level. In addition, curriculum compacting allows motivated students to collapse material and benefit from a more student-facilitated classroom. The teacher provides opportunities for students to respond to tasks similar to those on the College Board English Language and Composition Advanced Placement Examination.

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Innovation and Inquiry Program

The Inquiry and Innovation Program provides cross-curricular opportunities for students to interact with engaging, relevant, credible and diverse resources as they clarify their own thinking considering fact, opinion, credibility and relevance of sources while making real-world connections. Students interact with different media and ask probing and thoughtful questions. Student curiosity is a pathway for considering possibilities, prompting students to see a reason to conduct inquiry and generate a product. In creating a real-world connection, students learn and practice skills, gather and present information, and solve problems. During each nine-week course, students build a deep understanding of the topic in each specific unit.


This course provides opportunities for incoming middle school students to focus explicitly on reading skills and concepts necessary for continued academic success as students transition from elementary school to middle school.

Writer’s Cafe

Students build an understanding of how creative expression provides a venue for writers to understand themselves and respond to the world around them.

The Power of Language

Students build an understanding of the link between language and culture.

Expanding and Exploring Career Options

Students explore connections among personal interests, aptitudes, and future educational and career goals.

The Future of Water

Students explore how the choices humans make regarding water will either support or harm the local or global community.

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Standards for Mathematical Practice

The Standards for Mathematical Practice describe varieties of expertise that mathematics educators at all levels should seek to develop in their students.

  • Make sense of problems and persevere in solving them.
  • Reason abstractly and quantitatively.
  • Construct viable arguments and critique the reasoning of others.
  • Model with mathematics.
  • Use appropriate tools strategically.
  • Communicate mathematical problems and solutions clearly and accurately, using appropriate symbols, definitions and degrees of precision.
  • Look for and make use of structure.
  • Look for and express regularity in repeated reasoning.

The Mathematical Content Standards

The Mathematical Content Standards (Essential Curriculum) that follow are designed to promote a balanced combination of procedure and understanding. Expectations that begin with the word “understand” are often especially good opportunities to connect the mathematical practices to the content. The content standards that set an expectation of understanding are potential “points of intersection” between the Mathematical Content Standards and the Mathematical Practices.

Unit 1: The Number System

Part I: The Number Line and Coordinate Plane

Apply and extend previous understandings of numbers to the system of rational numbers.

  • Understand that positive and negative numbers are used together to describe quantities having opposite directions or values (e.g. temperature above/below zero, elevation above/below sea level, credits/debits, positive/negative electric charge); use positive and negative numbers to represent quantities in real-world contexts, explaining the meaning of 0 in each situation.
  • Understand a rational number as a point on the number line. Extend number line diagrams and coordinate axes familiar from previous grades to represent points on the line and in the plane with negative number coordinates. Notes: Rational numbers include integers and decimals. Students have previously learned to plot points in Quadrant I.
    • Recognize opposite signs of numbers as indicating locations on opposite sides of 0 on the number line; recognize that the opposite of the opposite of a number is the number itself, e.g., −(−3) = 3 and that 0 is its own opposite.
    • Understand signs of numbers in ordered pairs as indicating locations in quadrants of the coordinate plane; recognize that when two ordered pairs differ only by signs, the locations of the points are related by reflections across one or both axes.
    • Find and position integers and other rational numbers on a horizontal or vertical number line diagram; find and position pairs of integers and other rational number on a coordinate plane.
  • Understand ordering and absolute value of rational numbers.
    • Interpret statements of inequality as statements about the relative position of two numbers on a number line diagram.
    • Write, interpret, and explain statements of order for rational numbers in real-world contexts.
    • Understand the absolute value of a rational number as its distance from 0 on the number line; interpret absolute value as magnitude for a positive or negative quantity in a real-world situation.
    • Distinguish comparisons of absolute value from statements about order.
  • Solve real-world and mathematical problems by graphing points in all four quadrants of the coordinate plane. Include use of coordinates and absolute value to find distances between points with the same first coordinate or the same second coordinate.

Solve real-world and mathematical problems involving area, surface area, and volume.

  • Draw polygons in the coordinate plane given coordinates for the vertices; use coordinates to find the length of a side joining points with the same first coordinate or the same second coordinate. Apply these techniques in the context of solving real-world and mathematical problems. Note: Check for student use of symbolic notation to label points, line segments, vertices, angles, and planes and review as needed.

Part II: Operations with Real Numbers

Apply and extend previous understandings of multiplication and division to divide fractions by fractions.

  • Interpret and compute quotients of fractions, and solve word problems involving division of fractions by fractions, e.g., by using visual fraction models and equations to represent the problem.

Compute fluently with multi-digit numbers and find common factors and multiples.

  • Fluently divide multi-digit numbers using the standard algorithm.
  • Fluently add, subtract, multiply, and divide multi-digit decimals using the standard algorithm for each operation.

Apply and extend previous understandings of arithmetic to algebraic expressions.

  • Write and evaluate numerical expressions involving whole-number exponents.

Unit 2: Ratios and Proportional Relationships

Understand ratio concepts and use ratio reasoning to solve problems.

  • Understand the concept of a ratio and use ratio language to describe a ratio relationship between two quantities.
  • Use ratio and rate reasoning to solve real-world and mathematical problems, e.g., by reasoning about tables of equivalent ratios, tape diagrams, double number line diagrams, or equations.
    • Make tables of equivalent ratios relating quantities with whole-number measurements, find missing values in the tables, and plot the pairs of values on the coordinate plane. Use tables to compare ratios.
  • Understand the concept of a unit rate a/b associated with a ratio a:b with b ≠ 0, and use rate language in the context of a ratio relationship.
  • Use ratio and rate reasoning to solve real-world and mathematical problems, e.g., by reasoning about tables of equivalent ratios, tape diagrams, double number line diagrams, or equations.
    • Solve unit rate problems including those involving unit pricing and constant speed.
    • Find a percent of a quantity as a rate per 100 (e.g. 30% of a quantity means 30/100 times the quantity); solve problems involving finding the whole, given a part and the percent. Note: Include finding percent of any number and converting between forms of a number (fraction, decimal, percent).
    • Use ratio reasoning to convert measurement units; manipulate and transform units appropriately when multiplying or dividing quantities.

Unit 3: Expressions and Equations

Apply and extend previous understandings of arithmetic to algebraic expressions.

  • Write, read, and evaluate expressions in which letters stand for numbers.
    • Write expressions that record operations with numbers and with letters standing for numbers.
    • Evaluate expressions at specific values of their variables. Include expressions that arise from formulas used in real-world problems. Perform arithmetic operations, including those involving whole-number exponents, in the conventional order when there are no parentheses to specify a particular order (Order of Operations).

Compute fluently with multi-digit numbers and find common factors and multiples.

  • Find the greatest common factor of two whole numbers less than or equal to 100 and the least common multiple of two whole numbers less than or equal to 12. Use the distributive property to express a sum of two whole numbers 1-100 with a common factor as a multiple of a sum of two whole numbers with no common factor.

Apply and extend previous understandings of arithmetic to algebraic expressions.

  • Write, read, and evaluate expressions in which letters stand for numbers.
    • Identify parts of an expression, using mathematical terms (sum, term, product, factor, quotient, coefficient); view one or more parts of an expression 2(8 + 7) as a product of two factors; (8 + 7) as both a single entity and a sum of two terms.
    • Apply the properties of operations to generate equivalent expressions.
    • Identify when two expressions are equivalent (i.e., when the two expressions name the same number regardless of which value is substituted into them).

Reason about and solve one-variable equations and inequalities.

  • Understand solving an equation or inequality as a process of answering a question: which values from a specified set, if any, make the equation or inequality true? Use substitution to determine whether a given number in a specified set makes an equation or inequality true.
  • Use variables to represent numbers and write expressions when solving a real-world or mathematical problem; understand that a variable can represent an unknown number, or, depending on the purpose at hand, any number in a specified set.
  • Solve real-world and mathematical problems by writing and solving equations of the form x + p = q and px = q for cases in which p, q and x are all nonnegative rational numbers.
  • Write an inequality of the form x > c or x < c to represent a constraint or condition in a real-world or mathematical problem. Recognize that inequalities of the form x > c or x < c have infinitely many solutions; represent solutions of such inequalities on number line diagrams.

Represent and analyze quantitative relationships between dependent and independent variables.

  • Use variables to represent two quantities in a real-world problem that change in relationship to one another; write an equation to express one quantity, thought of as the dependent variable, in terms of the other quantity, thought of as the independent variable. Analyze the relationship between the dependent and independent variables using graphs and tables, and relate these to the equation.

Unit 4: Geometry

Solve real-world and mathematical problems involving area, surface area, and volume.

  • Find the area of right triangles, other triangles, special quadrilaterals, and polygons by composing into rectangles or decomposing into triangles and other shapes; apply these techniques in the context of solving real-world and mathematical problems.
  • Find the volume of a right rectangular prism with fractional edge lengths by packing it with unit cubes of the appropriate unit fraction edge lengths, and show that the volume is the same as would be found by multiplying the edge lengths of the prism. Apply the formulas V = lwh and A = bh to find volumes of right rectangular prisms with fractional edge lengths in the context of solving real-world and mathematical problems.
  • Represent three-dimensional figures using nets made up of rectangles and triangles, and use the nets to find the surface area of these figures. Apply these techniques in the context of solving real-world and mathematical problems.

Unit 5: Statistics and Probability

Develop understanding of statistical variability.

  • Recognize a statistical question as one that anticipates variability in the data related to the question and accounts for it in the answers.
  • Understand that a set of data collected to answer a statistical question has a distribution, which can be described by its center, spread, and overall shape.
  • Recognize that a measure of center for a numerical data set summarizes all of its values with a single number, while a measure of variation describes how its values vary with a single number.

Summarize and describe distribution.

  • Display numerical data in plots on a number line, including dot plots, histograms, and box plots. Note: Have students interpret data presented in these displays.
  • Summarize numerical data sets in relation to their context, such as by:
    • Reporting the number of observations.
    • Describing the nature of the attribute under investigation, including how it was measured and its units of measurement.
    • Giving quantitative measures of center (median and/or mean) and variability (interquartile range and/or mean absolute deviation), as well as describing any overall pattern and any striking deviations from the overall pattern with reference to the context in which the data were gathered.
    • Relating the choice of measures of center and variability to the shape of the data distribution and the context in which the data were gathered.

Above Grade Level and Gifted/Talented Sixth Grade

Students enrolled in above grade level mathematics will have a blend of Mathematics 6 and Mathematics 7. Students enrolled in G/T mathematics will be taught the curriculum outlined in Pre-Algebra GT mathematics. For more information about the curriculum for these courses, visit

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The Howard County Public School System science program is committed to supporting all students in the development of scientific literacy. As described in “A Framework for K–12 Science Education,” scientific literacy means that students appreciate the nature of science and possess sufficient knowledge and skill in practicing science and engineering that they can engage in public discussions surrounding scientific and technological issues, be careful consumers of scientific and technological information related to their everyday lives, continue to learn about science outside of school, and enter careers of their choice including careers in science, engineering and technology. Throughout middle school, students develop scientific literacy by operating as student scientists. In sixth grade, students use scientific practices to investigate and understand Earth’s place in the universe, Earth’s systems, and the relationship between human activity and the Earth. Environmental literacy learning experiences that include Meaningful Watershed Educational Experiences are woven throughout the middle school science curriculum.

Practices of Science and Engineering

Throughout middle school, science students will develop their skill in the practices of science. Each year, students will apply these skills in laboratory and field investigations. These practices, as described in “A Framework for K–12 Science Education,” include:

  • Ask scientific questions that can be empirically tested
  • Use and construct models such as diagrams, drawings, mathematical relationships, analogies, computer simulations and physical replicas to represent ideas and explanations
  • Plan and carry out scientific investigations in the field or laboratory
  • Analyze and interpret data using a variety of tools
  • Represent physical variables and their relationships using the fundamental tools of mathematics and computation
  • Use evidence to construct explanatory accounts of the world
  • Reason and argue based on evidence to identify the best explanation for a natural phenomenon or the best solution to a design problem
  • Obtain, evaluate and communicate information clearly and accurately

Course Content

The Grade 6 science curriculum is framed by four big questions that provide context and motivation for learning. These questions are:

  • How do scientists work together to solve problems?
  • How do scientists gather and analyze information to prepare for a severe weather event?
  • How do scientists analyze the processes within Earth that cause geologic activity?
  • How do scientists collect and analyze data that help them understand the movement of objects in space?

In pursuing solutions to these questions, students participate in carefully sequenced, developmentally appropriate learning experiences that support deep understanding. By the end of their sixth-grade learning experiences, students will be able to meet the Maryland Science Standards’ performance expectations in middle school in Earth/Space Science

Gifted and Talented Science Program

In the G/T science program in sixth grade, students delve more deeply and independently into the content and practices of science by addressing additional learning objectives and completing in-depth research studies using creative problem-solving techniques. The research is embedded within the curriculum and conducted over an extended period of time to allow for authentic data collection and analysis.

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Social Studies


This is the first part of a two-year program entitled Geography and World Cultures. This program provides opportunities for students to develop an understanding of geographic skills and concepts of world cultures in relation to their own. Students also learn about geographic and cultural issues, and of the cultural heritage and history of the various regions of study. Students are encouraged to gain an understanding and appreciation of other cultures, and to use geographic skills to solve problems.

Social Studies Skills

These skills and others are embedded throughout the curriculum.

  • Map reading, construction and interpretation.
  • Spatial analysis and interpretation.
  • Historical thinking skills.
  • Problem solving/critical thinking.
  • Roles, rights and responsibilities of citizenship.
  • Strategic reading of social studies text.
  • Economic decision making.
  • Explanatory and argument writing.
  • Information literacy
  • Analysis and evaluation of primary and secondary sources.
  • Data analysis and interpretation.

6th Grade

There are four units in sixth grade social studies. What follows is a summary of some key objectives.

Unit I: Our Earth: The Study of Physical and Human Geography

  • Define the term geography and give examples how it is used to understand the world around us.
  • Develop and use mental maps to organize information about people, places and environments in a spatial context.
  • Define, locate and compare major landforms and water bodies on Earth.
  • Identify the purposes of maps and their key components.
  • Describe how Earth’s rotation causes night and day and Earth’s revolution causes the change in seasons.
  • Identify the purpose of the Global Grid and determine how this helps humans make sense of location on Earth’s surface.
  • Explain why there are 24 time zones, give examples why time zones are useful, and be able to calculate time differences.
  • Identify and describe the factors that affect climate.
  • Describe Earth’s climatic zones and climatic regions/biomes.
  • Identify and analyze elements of culture such as religion, language, arts, food/diet, clothing and others.

Unit II: The Middle East

  • Identify the relative location of the Middle East and North Africa in the world, and describe the characteristics that make it a region.
  • Describe the major geographic and climatic features of North Africa and the Middle East.
  • Identify selected countries and major cities of North Africa and the Middle East.
  • Explain how geographic factors influence the development of civilizations in the Nile River Valley, along the Tigris and Euphrates Rivers, and the eastern region of the Mediterranean Sea.
  • Recognize the chief characteristics of a civilization.
  • Describe and analyze the cultural development and the major achievements of the ancient civilizations of this region.
  • Compare and contrast the three monotheistic religions that developed in the Middle Eastern region.
  • Compare the patterns of life of various groups of people in this region.
  • Describe ways in which people of this region have adapted to varied environmental conditions.
  • Analyze the relationship between modern conflicts and the history of this region of the world.
  • Identify a selected contemporary issue and predict possible future trends in the Middle East and North Africa.

Unit III: Africa

  • Identify Africa’s relative location in the world.
  • Identify the various geographic regions within Sub-Saharan Africa and describe the characteristics that make them distinct regions.
  • Describe the major geographic and climatic features of Sub-Saharan Africa.
  • Identify selected countries and major cities of Sub-Saharan Africa.
  • Describe and analyze the development of powerful kingdoms in West Africa.
  • The East African kingdoms include Egypt, Nubia/Kush and Aksum.
  • Describe the impact of the European slave trade on Africa.
  • Identify the motives of European imperialism in Africa and interpret the impact on culture in Africa.
  • Describe the process of African independence from European countries.
  • Identify the characteristics of selected Sub-Saharan African cultures.
  • Using Africa as a model, analyze the consequences of changing the physical environment to fulfill human needs.
  • Compare and contrast the characteristics and levels of developing and developed economies.
  • Identify a contemporary issue facing Sub-Saharan Africa and predict possible future trends.

Unit IV: Asia

  • Identify Asia’s relative location in the world.
  • Identify the various geographic regions within Asia and describe the characteristics that make them distinct regions.
  • Describe the major geographic and climatic characteristics for a selected region in Asia.
  • Identify selected countries and major cities of Asia.
  • Describe how geographic location, physical features and natural resources influence the economic development of Southern, Eastern and Southeastern Asian nations.
  • Describe and analyze the cultural characteristics and achievements of the civilizations in South Asia and East Asia.
  • Describe the effects and influence of empires on culture and development in South Asia and East Asia.
  • Describe how British colonialism has affected social, economic and political systems in this region.
  • Examine the religious diversity of the countries of the Indian Sub-Continent.
  • Determine the influence of the teachings of Confucius on Chinese culture.
  • Describe and compare the development of Hinduism and Buddhism on the Indian Sub-Continent.
  • Explain and give examples how Asian countries adapt to the high population density of their country.
  • Identify a selected contemporary issue and predict possible future trends in East, Southeast, and South Asia.
  • Compare the characteristics of developing and developed countries in East, Southeast, and South Asia by reading and classifying information from charts and graphs.

Gifted and Talented

Students in G/T complete “G/T Research investigations” during the school year. These investigations are grounded in the content of particular units and may take the form of teacher-developed historical or geographical research, district-developed performance assessment tasks, or district approved Document Based Questions. Optionally, students may participate in the National History Day program.

Special Programs

The Office of Secondary Social Studies supports several special programs available for middle school students. The History Day Competition is a local, state and national competition that promotes historical inquiry, knowledge and understanding among secondary school students. History Day encourages the development of research skills, the analysis and interpretation of primary and secondary source materials, and the opportunity for creative expression. HCPSS sponsors a large regional competition each year that includes up to 300 students from our public and private schools. This program is typically integrated as part of the curricular program, but is dependent upon school interest. The Black Saga Competition is a statewide competition that challenges student knowledge about the African American experience. Middle and elementary schools from across the state compete for prizes and awards. This event is very dependent upon school interest and community support, as it is an extracurricular program.

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Visual Arts

Apply a variety of strategies, concepts and media to:

  • Generate and elaborate on ideas for personal expression in the production of art.
  • Experiment with a variety of tools, materials, processes, techniques and ideas to organize knowledge in the production of art.
  • Give and receive feedback/constructive criticism and persevere in the refinement of personal solutions to artwork.
  • Analyze and defend personal choices and selection of objects or artwork for presentation or exhibition.
  • Examine how and why people collect, present and preserve objects and ideas that have personal, cultural or historical meaning.
  • Perceive, interpret and respond to ideas, experiences and the environment through visual arts.
  • Analyze and interpret influences, intent and meaning in works of art.
  • Evaluate artwork based on select criteria.
  • Connect personal experiences and knowledge to art making.
  • Understand art as an essential aspect of history and human experience.

When exiting middle school, students will be able to:

  • Apply a variety of media, strategies and concept to generate innovative ideas to solve art problems.
  • Maintain collection of ideas that demonstrate personal engagement and growth.
  • Recognize and apply the complex nature, power and history of art to connect to others, to tell stories, to record what is seen, to relate personal ideas or to make visible what is imagined.
  • Be comfortable with and apply a variety of strategies when there is no clear path or solution to a problem.
  • Work within given limitations to solve complex art problems.
  • Generate personally meaningful solutions.
  • Persevere in problem solving by evaluating work in progress to identify areas in need of improvement and alternative solutions.
  • Collaborate with peers to arrive at consensus and solutions.

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Family and Consumer Sciences

The Individual, Family and Society

  • Analyze how the family fulfills the physical, social and psychological needs of individual family members (e.g., personal responsibility and the impact of individual actions/decisions on others).
  • Illustrate the interdependence of families, neighborhoods, communities and societies.
  • Identify and explore a variety of community resources available to help individuals and families.
  • Discover and act upon opportunities to serve the community.
  • Identify, research and meet a community need through production of an individual or class project.
  • Analyze the financial choices that families make based on available resources, needs and wants for goods and services.
  • Examine how saving strategies differ between a spending plan and an investment plan.
  • Describe the services of financial institutions.

Food and Nutrition

  • Demonstrate the ability to use sound nutritional concepts when choosing foods at home and in school, understanding that the choices made now are habits for a lifetime.
  • Using the school menu, identify a variety of foods and food combinations in each of the food groups that meet dietary guidelines and contribute to healthy eating patterns.
  • Use My Plate and the Dietary Guidelines to plan nutritious breakfasts and snacks incorporating whole grains, fruits, vegetables, lean protein and low fat dairy.
  • Practice safe use of kitchen equipment and tools, including electrical appliances.
  • Plan and follow recipes to prepare nutritious breakfast and snack items incorporating high fiber and low fat dairy foods while limiting calories from fats and sugars.

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Gifted and Talented (G/T)

The Gifted and Talented Program provides a continuum of services in addition to G/T classes. Middle School G/T Resource Teachers instruct students who participate in G/T instructional seminars and research investigations, talent development and research opportunities available to all interested students.

The Middle School G/T Research Class is designed for sixth grade students who participate in G/T English and G/T Mathematics, based upon the recommendation of the G/T Placement Committee. Taught by the G/T Resource Teacher, this class provides a curricular framework for students to become producers of new knowledge as they apply the research skills modeled in the curriculum to an original investigation in a self-selected area of study. Participating students are expected to culminate their research investigation by creating an original product to be shared with an authentic audience.

Health Education

National Health Education Standards

These skills are embedded throughout the curriculum:

  • Students will comprehend concepts related to health promotion.
  • Students will analyze the influence of family, peers, culture, media, technology, and other factors on health behaviors.
  • Students will demonstrate the ability to access valid information and products and services to enhance health.
  • Students will demonstrate the ability to use interpersonal communication skills to enhance health and avoid or reduce health risks.
  • Students will demonstrate the ability to use decision- making skills to enhance health.
  • Students will demonstrate the ability to practice health-enhancing behaviors and avoid or reduce health risks.
  • Students will demonstrate the ability to advocate for personal, family, and community health.

Tobacco, Alcohol and Other Drugs

  • Describe short- and long-term effects of the use of tobacco and electronic delivery devices/systems (i.e. e-cigarettes, vaping, hookahs).
  • Explain how internal and external factors, to include media influence decisions about tobacco use and nonuse.
  • Demonstrate skills that promote a personal commitment to remain tobacco free.

Disease Prevention and Control

  • Identify the risk, and protective and preventative factors that influence communicable diseases.
  • Describe the transmission, treatment and prevention of HIV and AIDS.

Sexual Health

  • Identify physical and nonphysical changes that occur during puberty.
  • Explain the anatomy and physiology of the human reproductive system.
  • Explain the menstrual cycle and its relationship to conception and pregnancy.
  • Describe the process of human reproduction.

Safety, First Aid and Injury Prevention

  • Demonstrate basic first aid procedures for compression-only CPR and use of AED, bleeding (cuts, nosebleeds, etc.), poisonings, burns, sprains, choking and airway obstruction, and concussions.
  • Identify ways to prevent injuries resulting from risky behaviors and situations.
  • Develop strategies to prepare for emergency situations.
  • Summarize prevention and intervention strategies for situations involving child abuse and bullying.

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Instructional Technology

Instructional Technology in Grade 6 follows the 2016 ISTE Standards for Students. These standards emphasize the skills and qualities Howard County Public Schools values for all students, enabling them to engage and thrive in a connected, digital world. The ISTE Standards focus on transforming learning through the use of technology throughout a student’s academic career by cultivating these skills. Howard County Teachers in all curriculum areas work to skillfully mentor and inspire students to amplify learning with technology and challenge them to be agents of their own learning.

Empowered Learner

  • Students use technology to set goals, work toward achieving them and demonstrate their learning. For example, students will
    • set personal learning goals and develop strategies leveraging technology to achieve them.
    • build networks and learning environments in ways that support learning.
    • use technology to demonstrate their learning in a variety of ways.
    • understand concepts of technology operations, are able to choose and use current technologies as well as transferring their learning to new technologies.

Digital Citizen

  • Students understand the rights, responsibilities and opportunities of living, learning and working in an interconnected digital world. For example, students will
    • manage their digital identity and reputation and are aware of the permanence of their actions in the digital world.
    • engage in positive, safe, legal and ethical behavior when using technology.
    • respect the rights of using and sharing intellectual property.
    • manage their personal data to maintain digital privacy and security.

Knowledge Constructor

  • Student critically select, evaluate and synthesize digital resources into a collection that reflects my learning and builds my knowledge. For example, students will
    • use effective research strategies to locate information and other resources.
    • evaluate the accuracy, perspective, credibility and relevance of information, media, data or other resources.
    • curate information from digital resources to make conclusions
    • build knowledge by exploring real-world issues and problems.

Innovative Designer

  • Students solve problems by creating new and imaginative solutions using a variety of digital tools. For example, students will
    • use a deliberate design process for generating ideas and solving authentic problems.
    • use digital tools to plan and manage a design process.
    • develop, test and refine prototypes.
    • exhibit the capacity to work with open ended problems.

Computational Thinker

  • Students identify authentic problems, work with data and use a step-by-step process to automate solutions. For example, students will
    • formulate problem definitions suited for technology-assisted methods
    • collect data, use digital tools to analyze, and represent data in various ways
    • break problems into component parts, extract key information, and develop models to facilitate problem solving.
    • use algorithmic thinking to develop a sequence of steps to create and test automated solutions.

Creative Communicator

  • Students communicate effectively and express myself creatively using different tools, styles, formats and digital media. For example, students will
    • choose appropriate tools for meeting desired objectives
    • create original works or responsibly repurpose or remix digital resources into new creations.
    • communicate clearly and effectively by using a variety of digital objects
    • publish or present content appropriate for their intended audiences.

Global Collaborator

  • Students strive to broaden their perspective, understand others and work effectively in teams using digital tools. For example, students will
    • use digital tools to connect with learners from a variety of backgrounds and cultures to broaden mutual understanding and learning.
    • use collaborative technologies to work with others.
    • contribute to project teams, assuming various roles to work toward a common goal.
    • explore local and global issues and use collaborative technologies to investigate solutions.

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Library Media

Inquiry Process

  • Identify information needs.
  • Create, refine and use criteria to guide the research process.
  • Follow systematic problem-solving steps using the Big6 process.

Locate and Evaluate Resources and Sources

  • Identify and use a wide variety of resources.
  • Use the library media center’s catalog to locate sources to meet the information need.
  • Evaluate potential sources for the information need.
  • Use text features to select appropriate sources.
  • Identify and follow the district’s Policy 8080: Responsible Use of Technology and Social Media.
  • Learn to use safe practices online.

Find, Generate, Record and Organize Data/Information

  • Use keywords for finding answers to questions.
  • Utilize effective search strategies for collecting relevant information from sources.
  • Use technology tools to find, record and organize data/information within sources.
  • Differentiate between fact and opinion.
  • Avoid plagiarism by correctly recording relevant information and keeping track of sources used.
  • Use a variety of formats for recording and organizing data/information.
  • Create a source list using an accepted citation style.
  • Match appropriate format with content to be organized.

Interpret Recorded Data/Information

  • Identify the main ideas of recorded information.
  • Apply critical thinking and problem-solving strategies.
  • Create new understandings and knowledge related to the information need.

Share Findings/Conclusions

  • Use a variety of formats to share information learned.
  • Apply fair use, copyright laws, and Creative Commons attributions.
  • Reflect on and provide feedback about the research process and the information product.

Literature Appreciation and Lifelong Learning

  • Read, listen to, view and discuss stories that reflect human experiences.
  • Make literature connections to self, to other literature, to multimedia and to the world.
  • Use libraries for personal or assigned needs.
  • Utilize library circulation procedures and policies to access reading materials.
  • Locate and select literature and/or multimedia in a variety of genres.
  • Recognize the connection between reading and being a lifelong learner.

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  • Imagine – generate musical ideas for various purposes and contexts.
  • Plan and Make – select and develop musical ideas for defined purposes and contexts.
  • Evaluate and Refine – select musical ideas to create musical work that meets appropriate criteria.
  • Present – share creative musical work that conveys intent, demonstrates craftsmanship, and exhibits originality.


  • Select – select varied musical works to present based on interest, knowledge, technical skill and context.
  • Analyze – analyze the structure and context of varied musical works and their implications for performance.
  • Interpret – develop personal interpretations that consider creators’ intent.
  • Rehearse, Evaluate and Refine – evaluate and refine personal and ensemble performances, individually or in collaboration with others.
  • Present – perform expressively, with appropriate interpretation and technical accuracy, and in a manner appropriate to the audience and context.


  • Select – choose music appropriate for a specific purpose or context.
  • Analyze – analyze how the structure and context of varied musical works inform the response.
  • Interpret – support interpretations of musical works that reflect creators’/ performers’ expressive intent.
  • Evaluate – support their personal evaluation of musical work(s) and performance(s) based on analysis, interpretation, and established criteria.

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Physical Education

Motor Skills and Movement Patterns

  • Demonstrates correct rhythms and patterns in selected physical activities.
  • Passes and receives objects while running and changing directions.
  • Maintains defensive and offensive positioning when in small-sided activities.

Concepts and Strategies

  • Executes at least one of the following offensive tactics to create open space: moves to open space without ball, uses a variety of passes and fakes, or uses a give and go with partner.
  • Transitions from offense to defense or defense to offense quickly when in small-sided activities.
  • Analyzes the situation and makes adjustments to ensure the safety of self and others.

Physical Activity and Fitness

  • Describes how being physically active leads to a healthy lifestyle.
  • Sets and monitors a self-selected physical activity goal for developing muscular strength, muscular endurance, flexibility and/or cardiovascular endurance.

Personal and Social Behavior

  • Exhibits personal responsibilities by using appropriate etiquette, demonstrating respect for facilities, equipment and self.
  • Accepts differences among classmates in physical development, maturation and varying skill levels by providing encouragement and positive feedback.

Recognizes Value of Physical Activity

  • Recognizes individual challenges and copes in a positive way, such as extending effort, asking for help or feedback, or modifying the tasks.
  • Demonstrates respect for self and others in activities and games by following rules, encouraging others and playing in the spirit of the game or activity.

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School Counseling

Academic Development

  • Identify personal strengths and develop skills necessary to set and achieve academic goals.

Career Development

  • Identify personal strengths, skills, interests, and abilities, and relate them to possible career options.

Personal/Social Development

  • Apply knowledge of personal strengths to increase healthy decision making and positive peer interactions.

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Engineering and Technology Education

Students will develop an understanding of engineering design through exploratory experiences. Students participate in activities to understand how criteria, constraints and processes affect designs. Brainstorming, visualizing, modeling, constructing, testing and refining designs provide firsthand opportunities for students to understand the uses and impacts of innovations. Students will also develop skills in communicating design information and reporting results.

The Nature of Technology

  • Develop an understanding of the nature, characteristics and scope of technology.
  • Develop an understanding of the core concepts of technology.
  • Develop an understanding of the relationships among technologies and the connections between technology and other fields of study.

Impacts of Technology

  • Develop abilities to assess the impacts of products and systems.
  • Develop an understanding of the cultural, social, economic and political effects of technology.
  • Develop an understanding of the effects of technology on the environment.
  • Develop an understanding of the role of society in the development and use of technology.

The Engineering Design and Development Process

  • Develop an understanding of the attributes of design.
  • Develop an understanding of engineering design.
  • Apply the design process.
  • Select and use tools and equipment correctly and safely.
  • Develop an understanding of troubleshooting, invention and innovation, and experimentation in problem solving
  • Use and maintain technological products and systems.

The Core Technologies, Building Blocks of the Designed World

  • Discuss the functioning and applications of core technologies applied in common technology systems.

The Major Enterprises that Produce the Goods and Services of the Designed World

  • Develop an understanding of transportation technologies.
  • Discuss types of transportation systems.
  • Investigate and describe the functioning of vehicular subsystems.

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