## March/April 2019

## 5/6 Homeroom

One to two times per week, the 5/6 class participates in read aloud. Our newest novel is a

*Maniac Magee*by Jerry Spinelli. It follows the legend of Jeffrey "Maniac" Magee when he comes to Two Mills, PA around 1960. The book is part tall tale and part an exploration of segregation. It is a fun book with a great underlying message. When we finish this book, we'll read a couple short stories from Paul Jennings and then move on to*Flying Solo*by Ralph Fletcher. This is a an imaginative book about a classroom whose teacher calls in sick but the substitute does not show up. The kids run their own classroom for a day.

On rainy or cold days, we do a

Our educator-in-residence from Camp Kieve, Cam Miller, has been joining our class Wed. afternoons. Now that we are finished coding our games, he'll be leading the class for a month or so, focussing on team building during this final hour of the day.

*Word Winks*puzzle during morning recess. These puzzles are a brain exercise where kids try to decipher the visual puzzle to find a common phrase. For example, the one on the upper right in the image to the left is To Lock Horns. Later in the year, the students will create their own*Word Winks*puzzles.Our educator-in-residence from Camp Kieve, Cam Miller, has been joining our class Wed. afternoons. Now that we are finished coding our games, he'll be leading the class for a month or so, focussing on team building during this final hour of the day.

## 7/8 Hands-on Math

Students who have opted not to participate in a music-intensive study on Tuesday afternoons are participating in hands-on math with me. We are playing some games, solving difficult problems, and learning from one another. Students who need extra time to catch up on missing work use this time for that purpose. There is no homework for this class.

## 7th Grade on Fridays

Each Friday, I have 7th graders for 1 hour 35 minutes. We have been reading a novel called

For the next two months or so, we'll be watching science and math related shows. We will also do some writing during this time.

The final half hour of our time each Friday is spent in study hall. This a great time for kids to get started on their Aleks time for the week.

*Tomorrow Code*by Brian Faulkner. It is science fiction that hits on time travel, the immune system, and the ethics of science and our society. It is fast paced and thought-provoking. Each week, we are taking a quick quiz about the reading and having a discussion of the book. The students will be using this book for their book blog in Mrs. Wright's ELA class. We will complete the book on March 8th.For the next two months or so, we'll be watching science and math related shows. We will also do some writing during this time.

The final half hour of our time each Friday is spent in study hall. This a great time for kids to get started on their Aleks time for the week.

## 5/6 Math |
## 7/8 Math |

The 5th grade math group is working in chapter 7 in their math books. The students are working with sequences, patterns, and graphing on the coordinate plane. Next we'll start in on several chapters of fractions. We'll begin with relating fractions to division, finding common denominators, comparing fractions, and changing fractions to decimals.
The 6th grade group is in chapter 7 in their books. It is all about equations. The students will be writing and evaluating one-step addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division equations. In chapter 8, we'll work with functions (rules that relate an x-value to a y-value) and inequalities (Ex. x+2<7, so x<5). These two chapters are the students' first immersion in algebra. Both math groups do math games once every two to three weeks. Students have 45 minutes of aleks.com to do each week. This 45 minutes needs to be completed between Monday at 8AM one week to 8AM on Monday morning the next week. I am using PowerSchool to keep track of work completion in math and to keep track of assessment scores. My goal for each student is to score a 3 or better on each mathematics standard. This score indicates mastery of the standard. Students will also be scored on the Habits of Work (engaged learner, responsible learner, and respectful learner). |
The 7th grade group chose to skip ahead to chapter 9 (after doing chapter ) in their books. We are learning about probability right now. In chapter 10, we'll study statistics. We'll learn about making predictions, identifying biased statistics, spotting misleading graphs and statistics, collecting statistical data, and selecting appropriate ways to display data.
One group of 8th graders is working in Glencoe Course 3, chapter 6. The students have been learning about and doing geometric transformations (translations, rotations, reflections, and dilations). In chapter 7, we'll continue with geometry. The focus will be on congruence and similarity. The students will be able to find slope using similar triangles, find the area and perimeter of complex shapes, and use indirect measurement to find things like the height of tall trees. The other 8th grade group is working with the Saxon 87 book. This math book has a progression of lessons but topics are varied each lesson. The lessons (and our class time) are quick and focus on one topic. We start with a skills warmup (3-4 minutes), do mental math (4-5 minutes), learn the lesson, do some practice problems, then start the homework. The homework has a couple problems dealing with the current lesson and the rest are review problems from previous lessons. As of the end of February, we had finished 45 lessons this year. We have a test after every 5th lesson. Right now, we are going back and reviewing concepts that challenged students. We'll be retaking a couple of the tests after this extra practice in hopes of being able to show more understanding. Each week, the 7/8 students have 50 minutes of aleks.com to complete. This 50 minutes needs to be completed between Monday at 8AM one week to 8AM on Monday morning the next week. I am using PowerSchool to keep track of work completion in math and to keep track of assessment scores. My goal for each student is to score a 3 or better on each mathematics standard. This score indicates mastery of the standard. Students will also be scored on the Habits of Work (engaged learner, responsible learner, and respectful learner). |

## 5/6 Science |
## 7/8 Science |

Our current unit is Earth Systems. We've already reviewed the states of matter and their properties. We'll work with calculating density. The students are looking at where on Earth water is distributed and creating graphs to show this distribution. We'll learn more about the water cycle. We'll come up with ways to prove that invisible things exist (think air). We'll work quite a bit with the rock cycle and the structure of Earth. We'll do a lab to test the hardness of different materials. Finally, we'll compare fossils to creatures still living today. There is some creative writing and visual art woven into this unit.
To keep up with your child's current progress in science, you can log in to Powerschool to look for assessment scores and for missing assignments. A score of a 3 or better is my goal for each student. This means they have mastered the content. Students will also be scored on the Habits of Work (engaged learner, responsible learner, and respectful learner). |
We are starting to wrap up our Force and Motion unit. This unit was fairly brief. I conducted a demo to demonstrate Newton's 1st law of motion, the students completed a lab exploring Newton's Laws of Motion, we did 3 virtual experiments on explorelearning.com, done a mini experiment with water and milk cartons, and played a force and motion game. We are finishing the unit by designed, building, and racing CO2 cars. We will do this with a wooden block and go to Bristol Consolidated School to input our design on a program that will allow us to 3D print the cars. Later in the year, we'll return to Bristol and race our 3D printed cars with their 8th graders.
Our next unit in science will be waves and energy. One of the interesting topics we learn about is how wifi and digital/analog actually work. To keep up with your child's current progress in science, you can log in to Powerschool to look for assessment scores and for missing assignments. A score of a 3 or better is my goal for each student. This means they have mastered the content. Students will also be scored on the Habits of Work (engaged learner, responsible learner, and respectful learner). |