## January/February 2019

## 5/6 Homeroom

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

*Lawn Boy*by Gary Paulsen. We have read a few short stories from Paul Jennings. 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.

On rainy or cold days, we do a

During our Wednesday afternoon time, we have been focusing on technology this year. Ms. Glidden and I are collaborating on this. The students have been working with an app called Hopscotch. It is a computer programming app designed specifically to code games. The students have spent the last several weeks coding their very own games. Many of the kids have figured out pretty ingenious ways to make their games the way they want them.

Our educator-in-residence from Camp Kieve, Cam Miller, has been joining our class Wed. afternoons. After we complete our games, he'll be leading the class for a month or so, focussing on team building.

*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.During our Wednesday afternoon time, we have been focusing on technology this year. Ms. Glidden and I are collaborating on this. The students have been working with an app called Hopscotch. It is a computer programming app designed specifically to code games. The students have spent the last several weeks coding their very own games. Many of the kids have figured out pretty ingenious ways to make their games the way they want them.

Our educator-in-residence from Camp Kieve, Cam Miller, has been joining our class Wed. afternoons. After we complete our games, he'll be leading the class for a month or so, focussing on team building.

## 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. We've mostly been using Desmos, an online interactive website where students hone their math thinking. We've done several weeks of working with inequalities. The students enjoy using their iPads to do the Desmos work. There is no homework for this class.

## 7th Grade on Fridays

Each Friday, I have 7th graders for 1 hour 35 minutes. We've been doing a math and science film club. A pair of students is responsible for previewing a film related to math and/or science and leading a discussion/activity while we watch the film as a class. So far, we've watched

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.

*Wall-E*,*Hidden Figures,**Donald in Mathmagicaland,*the original and the modern version of*The J**ourney to the Center of the Earth*, and*October Sky*. Our final film is the first*Back to the Future*movie. When our movies are finished, we will do a literature group for about month. We'll be reading a great science fiction novel.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 beginning chapter 6 in their math books. They are learning to multiply and divide decimal numbers in this chapter. In chapter 7, the students will working with sequences, patterns, and graphing on the coordinate plane.
The 6th grade group is in chapter 6 in their books. We've been working with integers, which are positive and negative numbers (and 0) that don't have fractions or decimals. We've also worked with absolute value (the distance from 0). Next we'll be graphing in all four quadrants of the coordinate plane. In chapter 6, we'll be working with writing and evaluating both numerical and algebraic (involves a variable) expressions. The 5/6 class will be participating the St. Jude's Mathathon for the month of January. We'll be raising money for cancer research and treatment at St. Jude's Children's Hospital. We'll also be solving some math problems that the hospital has provided us with. There isn't a lot of math to do because the focus is on raising funds for the hospital and their patients. This is the 4th or 5th time SBS has participated in the Mathathon. The organization is so thankful for the help we provide. 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 completed a chapter about numerical and algebraic expression. They are currently working with Mrs. Mitchell on equations and inequalities, both writing them and solving them. In chapter 7, we'll change gears and work with geometry. We'll classify angles, calculate angles, draw specific triangles, do scale drawings, draw 3-D figures, and determine the shape of different cross sections of 3-D shapes.
One group of 8th graders is working in Glencoe Course 3, chapter 5. The students are learning about geometry. They are learning a lot of vocabulary, and will ultimately use the Pythagorean Theorem to find real-world dimensions and distances on a coordinate plane. In chapter 6, they'll do geometric transformations (translations, rotations, reflections, and dilations). 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 beginning of January, we had finished 40 lessons this year. We have a test after every 5th lesson. 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 |

We are currently learning about scale models and drawings. We will be using this knowledge to put a scale model of the solar system in front of the school.
Our next unit with be Earth Systems. We'll be reviewing the states of matter and their properties. We'll work with calculating density. The students will be 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 have completed our unit about space. The students did a really nice job on their end of unit assessments, showing what they learned. Ask your child why we have season on Earth!
We are now moving into our Force and Motion Unit. This unit will be fairly brief. I have a demo planned to demonstrate Newton's 1st law of motion, the students will do a lab exploring Newton's Laws of Motion, we'll do 3 virtual experiments on explorelearning.com, do a mini experiment with water and milk cartons, play a force and motion game, and culminate the unit by designed, building, and racing CO2 cars. 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). |