Sixth graders at Heartland will gain command of academic vocabulary, increase reading fluency, and explore new ways of presenting their ideas in core classes. The focus will begin to shift from learning to read to reading to learn. Students will dig deeper into science with intentional exploration of matter, organisms, ecosystems, and earth systems. An emphasis on mathematical processes, thinking, and application while honing basic skills will provide the foundation for algebraic thinking. Thunderhawks will study the people, culture, and geography of the Western Hemisphere. Reading for leisure will be encouraged as students discover their favorite genres while also delving into the classics, poetry, and novels in both English/Language Arts and a full-year Literacy class. Finally, all sixth graders will have the opportunity to try six new courses in Elective Exploration, a year-long elective that rotates classes every six weeks.