The American School in SwitzerlandThe American School in Switzerland
A Day With Grade 6

Welcome to sixth grade! On February 15, we followed one student as she navigated her daily schedule. While this student is in the Italian Section and takes German as an additional language—meaning she has classes in three different languages nearly every day—it’s important to note that students in the TASIS Middle School can choose to follow several different paths as they build out their academic schedule each year. 

Check out the images and captions below for an inside look at a typical day for a sixth-grade student at TASIS. 

The sixth grade, and the TASIS Middle School as a whole, is made up of students from around the world. To celebrate their internationalism, the Grade 6 Acts of Kindness Service Learning group, created a banner for International Week that displays the 30 nationalities represented in the Middle School this year.

For some sixth graders, Monday morning began with German class at 8:00. All TASIS Middle School students take an additional language class, choosing between German, French, and Italian. Students in Ms. Simone Meister’s Beginner German class used recently acquired vocabulary to present their family trees.

As class concluded, students could see the sun rising over Monte San Salvatore from the windows of their Alba Upper classroom.

Next, students attended Mathematics class with Mr. Patrick Alava, the 2018 recipient of the Khan-Page Master Teacher Award. Under the supervision of Mr. Alava, students took to the whiteboard and used geometry theorems to solve for missing angles.

The class concluded with a 15-minute paired activity in which tangrams were used to create and describe shapes, angles, and angle relationships within larger shapes. This allowed students to practice creative thinking and problem solving skills in a collaborative setting.

After Math class, students grabbed an apple to snack on and headed to Belvedere—home to many Middle School classrooms, administrative offices, dorm rooms, and even an ice rink!—for their next lesson. 

For their third class of the day, the sixth grade split into groups to attend history lessons in either Italian or English (depending on if they are members of the Italian Section or the American Section). In Dr. Lorenzo Bianchini Massoni’s Storia e Geografia class, students continued their study of Italy during the Middle Ages.

Italian Section students then attended Arte Italiana class with Ms. Brigit Hurst in the beautiful Şahenk Fine Arts Center. Ms. Hurst first introduced the class to Claude Monet’s artwork before helping students imitate his impressionist art style.

Students selected colorful pastels to create their own pieces of impressionist art. 

Well wishes for 2021, written by Middle School students, adorned the wall of the studio.

For lunch, the sixth grade enjoyed pasta with tomato sauce and eggplant, cream of broccoli soup, fresh bread, mixed salad, and fruit in the historic Villa De Nobili dining hall.

Following lunch, the sixth grade joined the rest of the Middle School for a 30-minute recess on the basketball courts in the center of campus. Students in need of academic assistance could spend the time at the Middle School Help Center. 

After recess, grade six students gathered in their advisor groups. The small grade-level groups are a place to develop strong bonds with classmates and to benefit from the tutelage of a faculty advisor. On Monday, members of Dr. Prash Sinnathamby’s group played a fun guessing game with Middle School Intern Mr. Vitor Mendes. 

Some Middle School students began the afternoon back in Belvedere for Italian class with Ms. Camilla Perani, who introduced the group to the trapassato prossimo verb tense.

Under Ms. Perani’s guidance, the students worked in pairs to practice the new verb tense.

Before their next class, two students stuck their heads out of the classroom window for a quick chat, a bit of fresh air, and a peek at the view no one at TASIS takes for granted.

For their penultimate period of the day, some sixth graders began English class with Ms. Holly Wiens by brainstorming words derived from Latin and Greek roots.

Next, Ms. Wiens introduced her class to Greek mythology by having students compare several artistic depictions of Apollo and Daphne.

In their final class of the day, students met with Physical Education and Health Teacher Mr. Jack Morton to learn about the negative effects of tobacco products.

After the conclusion of their academic schedule, students were dismissed to attend their after-school sports and activities, which for the winter term include basketball, indoor soccer, robotics, glass painting, dance, musical theater, ensemble, and instrumental and vocal lessons.


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