I teach 6th grade English and social studies at Manhattan Academy of Technology /P.S. 126.

During English, we practice a reading instruction method called unison reading, in which kids are taught to employ agency and autonomy as a means to the end of instilling a love for reading and its social power.  Simply put, a rotating selection of kids choose texts weekly to read, and those not selecting texts in a given week sign up for their classmates’ articles based on interest. Once in small groups, they read aloud in chorus and together make meaning of the text.  The lessons arise from the needs we notice students exhibit in their small groups. Our writing curriculum is similarly grassroots, requiring that students produce completed pieces twice monthly, in genres of their choosing, emphasizing the importance of peer-feedback, the drafting process, and effective communication of purpose and message to the audience.

Sixth grade social studies encompasses the history of the Eastern hemisphere over the duration of the history of the world.  We spend two months on each of the following topics: early peoples and geography of the Eastern hemisphere, the Middle East, Africa, Asia and Europe. Each unit includes presentations about ancient and modern government, culture, and geography. Students are required to do two research based projects during each unit.

Unison Reading Beginnings
Genre Practice In May