## September/October 2017

## 5/6 Homeroom

One to two times per week, the 5/6 class participates in read aloud.

Our current book is

We also occasionally read short stories written by Paul Jennings. These are usually funny, suspenseful, or mysterious. Sometimes all three. These stories are favorites of past classes.

Our current book is

*Time for Andrew*by Mary Downing Hahn. This book has time travel and ghosts in it. A modern boy switches places with a long lost relative and finds himself living 90 years ago. It is a great comparison of cultures.We also occasionally read short stories written by Paul Jennings. These are usually funny, suspenseful, or mysterious. Sometimes all three. These stories are favorites of past classes.

On rainy or cold days, we will do a

During our Wednesday afternoon time, we are working on quests. These are poetic scavenger hunts that teach questers about the area of town they are exploring. We will begin the year by going on a quest written by former students. We will soon determine where our quest for this year will be located.

*Perplexor*puzzle during morning recess. These puzzles are a brain exercise where kids use deductive reasoning to figure out, for example, what is someone's favorite color, book, and type of pet. During our Wednesday afternoon time, we are working on quests. These are poetic scavenger hunts that teach questers about the area of town they are exploring. We will begin the year by going on a quest written by former students. We will soon determine where our quest for this year will be located.

## 7/8 Hands-on Math

New this year, students who opt not participate in a music intensive study on Tuesday afternoons will join me for some hands-on math for the 1st part of the year. Later in the year, Mrs. Wright will take those students for a different immersion.

The hands-on math group will journey outside their math books and look at applying what they know to real-world situations. There will be no homework for this class.

The hands-on math group will journey outside their math books and look at applying what they know to real-world situations. There will be no homework for this class.

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

The 5th grade math group is beginning the year in their MyMath books studying place value, how to read and write very small and very large numbers, comparing whole and decimal numbers, and determining how large a digit in one place value is compared to the same digit in a different place value. The students meet in the classroom 4 days per week for their lesson from myself or from Mrs. Mitchell.
The 6th grade group is beginning their first chapter in Glencoe Course 1. The students are immersed in some very challenging topics. They include finding greatest common factors and least common multiples, writing equivalent ratios, solving for missing numbers in a proportion, finding rates and unit rates, and writing ratios in simplest form. The 7th grade group has begun the 1st chapter of their Glencoe Course 2 book. It is all about ratios and proportional reasoning. They are computing unit rates, deciding whether two quantities are proportional using graphs and tables, representing proportional relationships with equations, and determining the meaning of the slope and y-intercept in real world problems. 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. This year, I will be using a program called JumpRope to keep track of student progress toward meeting the math standards. All assessments will be recorded there. If you would like a progress update from JumpRope, please let me know and I will print you a report. The end-of-trimester report card you saw last year will be the same one you'll see again this year. To keep track of your child's homework completion, please check PowerSchool. |
The 7th grade group has begun the 1st chapter of their Glencoe Course 2 book. It is all about ratios and proportional reasoning. They are computing unit rates, deciding whether two quantities are proportional using graphs and tables, representing proportional relationships with equations, and determining the meaning of the slope and y-intercept in real world problems.
The 8th grade is working with real numbers. They need to determine whether numbers are rational or irrational. They will be doing a lot of simplification of expressions with exponents. This eventually leads to being able to do all operations with numbers written in scientific notation. The Algebra I group will be moving very quickly through the 1st few chapters of the Foerster Algebra I book because much of it is review from the last couple of years. They'll be using the different properties of operations (distributive, commutative, associative, etc.), performing operations with positive and negative numbers, and solving word problems. I expect we'll get through chapter 5 (of 14) by the end of October. This group will be held accountable to the 8th grade standards for math while also learning this new material. This will require that we review some topics from last year, though they mastered most of the 8th grade topics already. On Tuesdays, during math class, Natalie Norris will be providing math enrichment for many of the 8th grade students. She is a long-term volunteer at the school who has provided students with immersions in language, geometry, and algebra. We look forward to having her again this year. 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. This year, I will be using a program called JumpRope to keep track of student progress toward meeting the math standards. All assessments will be recorded there. If you would like a progress update from JumpRope, please let me know and I will print you a report. The end-of-trimester report card you saw last year will be the same one you'll see again this year. To keep track of your child's homework completion, please check PowerSchool. |

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

The 5/6 class is beginning the year with a unit about matter. We'll be studying properties of matter: volume, mass, density, solubility, and boiling point. We'll learn about the states of matter, the periodic table of elements, physical vs. chemical changes, and the differences between atoms, elements, molecules, and compounds. We will be doing experiments, interactive activities, watching short films, and using online gizmos to learn the content.
To keep up with your child's current progress in science, you can log in to Powerschool to look for grades and for missing assignments. 50% of the grade is assessments (tests and quizzes), 40% is his/her grades on classwork and lab work. The remaining 10% is for participation and behavior in class. |
The 7/8 class is beginning the year with a unit about cells. We start the year with the building blocks of life and zoom out further and further as the school year progresses. We'll start with cells and end with how ecosystems work. Life science is this year's focus.
7th graders will attend the Darling Marine Center in Walpole most Fridays in the fall and the spring. We'll do additional life science work at school in the winter. At the Darling Center, the students will be doing a beach clean-up, studying marine debris, doing labs and experiments, taking various measurements of the Damariscotta River, and visiting scientists at the center. Students are expected to write a 1-page summary of each trip to the Darling Center that highlights what they learned that week. These are due on Monday morning. To keep up with your child's current progress in science, you can log in to Powerschool to look for grades and for missing assignments. 50% of the grade is assessments (tests and quizzes), 40% is his/her grades on classwork and lab work. The remaining 10% is for participation and behavior in class. |