6th Grade - San Diego French American School
The language arts program in middle school focuses on preparing the students to be bilingual, bi-literate, and bicultural in French and English. Class time is dedicated to the Spanish language, which enhances the students' multi-cultural experience.
The sixth grade language arts program, in both French and English, has a strong foundation in reading for word recognition, vocabulary and concepts, and reading comprehension. Reading comprehension may include reading informational materials: such as newspapers, magazines, online information, selected texts, and genres from classical and contemporary literature. Students begin to develop analytical and writing skills in responding to literature studied. There is a strong emphasis on grammar as a base for producing good writing. Examples of novels studied are: Where the Red Fern Grows, by Wilson Rawls, Walk Two Moons, by Sharon Creech, Les metamorphoses d'Ovide, Le Chat Noir, by Edgar Allen Poe. The program is complemented by studying the moving image, which could be a movie related to a text studied, or a film that supplements the text. In addition to writing responses to literature, students practice writing narrative, expository, persuasive, and descriptive essays, and research reports that may be connected to a theme studied in American Social Studies or the study of antiquity in French. In Spanish, the students reinforce basic vocabulary and begin to develop oral communication skills.
Since both the French and American curricula focus on ancient civilizations in the 6th Grade year, the programs are harmonized to ensure that the topics are covered in a balanced way, with reinforcement of ideas and vocabulary in both languages when possible. Students begin to develop higher levels of critical thinking and analyze development of cultures and their interactions through time (politics, religion, economics, social, and geographic backgrounds). Topics include the archaeological studies of the early physical and cultural development of humankind from the Paleolithic area to the agricultural revolution; the foundation of Greece, its cities, citizenship and democracy; Chinese dynasties; early civilization in India. Students research and write reports, which may be presented orally in class.
The current middle school math curriculum is a fusion of the French and Californian programs. The students have a very good level in math at the beginning of 6th Grade, especially in calculation and geometric construction. Different techniques in each system, such as those for division, help the students. By the end of 8th Grade, all the French middle school program, and US "Algebra 1" and "Geometry" are completed. Student evaluation in each middle school grade is through 30 graded homework assignments and 12 tests. Students participate in math contests during the year, such as the French Kangourou des maths, the US Math League contest, and a local San Diego Math Field Day.
The program builds a strong base for combining both the American and French mathematics, since areas of study need to be harmonized to fulfill standards expected to complete both curricula. The five main areas of study are:
The middle school science program builds a strong base for combining both the American and French science, since areas of study need to be harmonized to fulfill standards expected to complete both curricula. Objectives are cognitive, methodological, and educational. Emphasis is on forming responsible citizens who are capable of making meaningful choices.
The program links the French Life and Earth Science with the American Earth Science curriculum. Where possible, students are presented with hands-on experiments and field trip experiences to supplement and enhance the curricula. Areas of study include: