## January/February 2020

## 5/6 Homeroom

We are finishing up our novel called

Next up, we'll be doing a reader's theater book called

We also read short stories from English-Australian author Paul Jennings. He is a comedy writer with very interesting, and sometimes gross, twists in his stories. Every year, the students request more of his stories.

*Tangerine*by Edward Bloor.Next up, we'll be doing a reader's theater book called

*No More Dead Dogs*by Gordan Korman. The students will each have a role in the book and read their parts. Students will get great practice reading aloud to their classmates. The book is a comedy about putting on a school play.We also read short stories from English-Australian author Paul Jennings. He is a comedy writer with very interesting, and sometimes gross, twists in his stories. Every year, the students request more of his stories.

On rainy days, we do a

We are now fully immersed in our quest on Wednesday afternoons. It is about the hotels of South Bristol, past and present. A quest is a poetic scavenger hunt where students learn about a topic, then convey their new knowledge to others as the "questers" wander our town reading what the students have written. After months of work, we will have a great quest to share with our community. We have had one visit from town historian David Andrews to talk about S. Bristol history from the last ice age to about 1892. He and Donna Plummer will visit us on January 8th to discuss the hotel boom at the turn of the 20th century. We will visit the sites of those old hotels. When we feel we have enough information to share with others, we will begin writing the quest.

Cam Miller will be joining our school again from January through March. He will join us for our quest project and will also engage students in team building activities during that Wednesday afternoon time. Cam is a part of the Educator in Residence program from Camp Kieve.

*Deducibles*puzzle during morning recess. These puzzles use deductive reasoning to figure out a hidden word. Sometimes the students haven't heard the word before, but they are still able to solve the puzzle using reasoning. We also do*Perplexor*puzzles which also require deductive reasoning to solve.We are now fully immersed in our quest on Wednesday afternoons. It is about the hotels of South Bristol, past and present. A quest is a poetic scavenger hunt where students learn about a topic, then convey their new knowledge to others as the "questers" wander our town reading what the students have written. After months of work, we will have a great quest to share with our community. We have had one visit from town historian David Andrews to talk about S. Bristol history from the last ice age to about 1892. He and Donna Plummer will visit us on January 8th to discuss the hotel boom at the turn of the 20th century. We will visit the sites of those old hotels. When we feel we have enough information to share with others, we will begin writing the quest.

Cam Miller will be joining our school again from January through March. He will join us for our quest project and will also engage students in team building activities during that Wednesday afternoon time. Cam is a part of the Educator in Residence program from Camp Kieve.

## 5/6 Morning Meeting

We continue to start each day with fifteen minutes of morning meeting from 8:15-8:30. During this time, the students and I check in with one another, share about ourselves, connect, center ourselves, play community building games and get ready for our day ahead. We have used this time for read aloud, occasionally. Many of our activities come from mindfulness trainings and from a book called

*Conscious Discipline*by Becky Bailey.## 5/6 Hands-on Math

Students who have opted not to participate in a music-intensive study on Monday afternoons are participating in hands-on math with me. We are playing some games, solving difficult problems, doing mental math, working on our estimation skills and learning from one another. The students' estimation skills have improved a lot! 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

We are about halfway through

In the morning on Fridays, we discuss the previous reading assignment. In the afternoon, we read a chapter of the new assignment, take a 5-10 minute physical activity break, then read another 1-2 chapters. The students have been doing a a great job reading aloud, keeping up on their assignments, and engaging in thoughtful conversation about the book.

The final half hour of each Friday is spent with Ms. Sykes on a construction project and/or getting help with homework and classwork.

In late January, we will delve into a STEM (math/science/engineering/technology) film club. We'll watch 4-5 quality movies over the course of the year related to STEM.

*The Tomorrow Code*. The students will spend a total of 9 week reading this science fiction novel and engaging in weekly conversations about it. I have provided an audio version of many of the chapters so students can read along in their copy as I read aloud on an .mp3 file. These audio files are available through Google Drive using students' Gmail accounts. This book connects to many science topics we've covered in the past and to the life science topics we are studying this year. This will help solidify some of those concepts and provide an exciting way to see the ways science and technology can affect our world.In the morning on Fridays, we discuss the previous reading assignment. In the afternoon, we read a chapter of the new assignment, take a 5-10 minute physical activity break, then read another 1-2 chapters. The students have been doing a a great job reading aloud, keeping up on their assignments, and engaging in thoughtful conversation about the book.

The final half hour of each Friday is spent with Ms. Sykes on a construction project and/or getting help with homework and classwork.

In late January, we will delve into a STEM (math/science/engineering/technology) film club. We'll watch 4-5 quality movies over the course of the year related to STEM.

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

Beginning in January, math will run a little differently for 5/6. One day, I will spend the entire class with the 6th grade group. At the same time, Mrs. Mitchell will spend the class with the 5th and 7th grade groups. The next day, Mrs. Mitchell and I will switch spots. This will allow us to spend time seeing the students through an entire lesson and corrections each day.
The 5th grade math group continues to work in their MyMath book. We are very close to finishing chapter 5. The students are learning to add and subtract decimals. In chapter 6, the students will be multiplying and dividing decimals. We have played one round of decimal Quizmo (think Bingo with adding and subtracting of decimals). We'll do a couple more rounds of this to solidify the skills. The 6th grade group is multiplying and dividing fractions in chapter 4 of MyMath Course 1. They are getting better and better at cross multiplying, too. Our next topic will be learning about integers {..., -2, -1, 0, 1, 2, ...} and using all four quadrants of the coordinate plane to graph. After that, we will delve into numeric and algebraic expressions. The 7th grade group is wrapping up their study of rational numbers (decimals, fractions, %, and integers). After we are done with that, we'll be learning to write, add, subtract, factor, and interpret algebraic expressions. Then we'll learn to write and solve algebraic equations and inequalities in Chapter 6. All three 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. The students get to choose which topics to try to master each week, which helps them review concepts and allows them to try math topics we'll cover in the future. 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 is wrapping up their study of rational numbers (decimals, fractions, %, and integers). After we are done with that, we'll be learning to write, add, subtract, factor, and interpret algebraic expressions. Then we'll learn to write and solve algebraic equations and inequalities in Chapter 6.
The 8th grade group is getting very comfortable with functions. They are comparing functions written in word form, as graphs, in tables, and as equations. These functions can be linear or non-linear. Next, we'll get into a study of geometry for most of the rest of the year. We'll start with triangles and the Pythagorean Theorem. In chapter 6, we'll working with transformations of shapes (translations, reflections, rotations and dilations). The algebra group is writing and solving systems of equations and inequalities using substitution or linear combination. In chapter 7, we'll be studying exponents and exponential functions. And in chapter 8, we'll study quadratic expressions and equations. Each week, the 7/8 students have work to complete on aleks.com. Those who have mastered fewer than 50% of the topics are required to master a minimum of 8 topics/week. Because the material gets harder as you increase the percent of topics mastered, those students who have mastered 50% or more of the topics are required to master 5 topics per week. The students get to choose which topics to try to master each week, which helps them review concepts and allows them to try math topics we'll cover in the future. 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 very close to finishing up our History of Earth unit. In this unit, we've been discussing plate tectonics, Pangea, geologic time, and the factors that shape Earth over time. We are classifying the causes as gradual or instantaneous changes to the Earth's surface.
Our next unit will be Force and Motion. We will spend quite a chunk of our year on this unit. The students will use what they learn about force and motion to create a marble roller coast in teams. Each student will need to be able explain how key force and motion terms (i.e. linear momentum and kinetic energy) apply to their own rollercoaster. The roller coaster part of our unit is taught using a simulation from Interact. We'll be discussing Newton's Laws of Motion in general terms, describing what happens when object collide, and exploring friction. We will also explore magnets and electrical circuits. 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 end of year standard. Students will also be scored on the Habits of Work (engaged learner, responsible learner, and respectful learner). |
The 7/8 students just finished a unit about heredity and reproductions. We are now moving on to Darwin's Theory of Evolution. The students will be analyzing fossils and using Earth's strata (rock layers) to look for changes in life over time. We'll discuss genetic variation and changes in genetics over time. Activities will include analyzing animal embryos as they develop, doing a simulation with birds of differing beak sizes to see which is most likely to survive, exploring an online interactive about geologic time, doing a gizmo about natural and artificial selection, and evolving (through genetic engineering) their own critter to make it fit to survive in a brand new biome.
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 end of year standard. Students will also be scored on the Habits of Work (engaged learner, responsible learner, and respectful learner). |