6th Grade Science                                                 Ms Halbach, room 213, Ramsey Middle School




Course description:  In this inquiry-based course, students will explore physical science and life science concepts.  There are four major units of study (see table below).  These investigations will provide meaningful opportunities for students to make connections to other disciplines including mathematics, engineering, and art.  Daily lab experiences will promote the development of technology, literacy, and communication skills.  Working as scientists, students in this course will conduct and design experiments, make observations, record and analyze data, and develop scientific explanations




Essential Questions 


Practice of Science and Engineering

What do scientists/engineers do and how do these practices affect my life? 


Motion, Energy, and Engineering

What affects how things move?

February -


Sound and Light Wave Energy

What are the properties and characteristics of waves


Structure and Function of Living Systems

What does it mean to be living


Materials: Binder, student planner, writing utensil, iPad


Homework:  Students can expect a range of one to three homework assignments per week. Sometimes this may be finishing work started in class. Many times, homework will include at home lab instruction videos to watch with a reflection activity. In order to be prepared for the lab that will take place in class, students will be expected to watch these videos at home and complete the assignment before the start of the next class.  


Learning targets:  Learning targets are the essential concepts and skills students will master in this course and are closely aligned with Minnesota state standards for science.  There are 5-10 long-term learning targets that students will be assessed on each semester of 6th grade science.  More information about these targets can be found on my webpage.  Daily learning targets will be posted in our classroom.  Like steps on a staircase, the daily targets will support students in progressing towards mastery of the long-term targets. 



Re-do’s, retakes, revising policy:  Students may revise their work or re-take a learning target assessment in order to demonstrate increased learning. Before re-taking an assessment, students will be asked to demonstrate additional practice on the learning target, and the assessment may occur in a different format than the original assessment.  All re-do’s, retakes, and revisions are due by two weeks within the end of the unit.



Standards-based grading:  The purpose of standards-based grading is to align grading with the mastery of state content standards as measured by consistent student achievement data and common criteria for grading. The primary goal of SBG is to better communicate what each student knows and is able to do, as well as to inform the teacher, student, and parent what may be next steps for areas for growth. At Ramsey Middle School, standards-based learning targets are assessed on a 4 point scale to indicate the proficiency level at which the student has mastered the learning target.


NE= no evidence

1= not proficient

2= partially proficient

3= proficient

4= exemplary

NA= not assessed







Partially proficient


Not proficient


No errors

Fully developed

Fully supported

Exceeds criteria

Sophisticated understanding

Most effective

On target


Few errors

Meets criteria

Adequately developed

Adequately supported

Mastery level

Satisfactory skills

Almost there

Errors detract from mastery


Meets some criteria

Partially developed

Partially supported

Partial understanding

Not yet mastered

Keep trying!

Not accurate


Does not meet criteria

Minimally developed

Minimally supported

Inadequate or incomplete

Beginning level mastery



Questions?  Comments?  I am very excited for the year ahead and look forward to talking in more detail about 6th grade science with parents and guardians at curriculum night. Email is the best way to contact me in the mean time.  Please do not hesitate to send questions or comments! 




                                                                                    Beth Halbach