## November/December 2017

## 5/6 Homeroom

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

We are just finishing up our 1st read aloud:

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 next read aloud will be

We are just finishing up our 1st read aloud:

*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.

Our next read aloud will be

*Rain, Reign*by Ann M. Martin. This is an excellent book about a girl that struggles with social norms. She is fixated on homophones and these help her cope with life. It is a very sweet story that will hopefully make the kids see life from someone else's perspective and give them appreciation for those who are different.On rainy or cold days, we will do a

During our Wednesday afternoon time, we are working on our newest quest. These are poetic scavenger hunts that teach questers about the area of town they are exploring. So far, we have chosen the location of our quest: the school grounds and adjacent public land. The kids have chosen to write the entire quest as a series of acrostic poems. That will be a unique and challenging form to use. Right now, we are exploring the school grounds carefully, coming up with landmarks, and writing down questions we have about this area. Soon, we will seek resources that will teach us about the history of the school grounds.

*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 our newest quest. These are poetic scavenger hunts that teach questers about the area of town they are exploring. So far, we have chosen the location of our quest: the school grounds and adjacent public land. The kids have chosen to write the entire quest as a series of acrostic poems. That will be a unique and challenging form to use. Right now, we are exploring the school grounds carefully, coming up with landmarks, and writing down questions we have about this area. Soon, we will seek resources that will teach us about the history of the school grounds.

## 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.

So far, we have done many short challenge problems where kids work in groups to solve them. We have recently been working on a challenge called

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.

So far, we have done many short challenge problems where kids work in groups to solve them. We have recently been working on a challenge called

*All Bids Welcome*. The students are working in pairs to devise the cheapest way to traverse a desert with a famous and very expensive diamond. Food and water are the greatest barriers. The group that works out the cheapest workable plan will win the contract. We have also been playing some math games during this time on Tuesdays.
## 5/6 Math |
## 7/8 Math |

The 5th grade math group is wrapping up their second chapter in MyMath. They have been working with multiplying multi-digit numbers and using the distributive property and estimation to mentally calculate multiplication problems. They've also been using factor trees to find the prime factorization of numbers. Next, in chapter 3, the students will be working intensively with division by a one-digit number.
The 6th grade group just finished the 2nd chapter in Glencoe Course 1. They worked with fractions, decimals, and percents. The focus was on calculating the whole when they know the part and the percent. Next, we'll be working with adding, subtracting, multiplying, and dividing whole numbers and decimals. The 7th grade recently finished the 2nd chapter of their Glencoe Course 2 book. The students found percents of a number, calculated tax, tip, mark-ups, mark-downs, discounts, percent error, and percent change. Next, we'll dive into integers (positive and negative whole numbers and zero). The students will use absolute value, adding, subtracting, multiplying, and dividing with integers. 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 is finishing up the 2nd chapter of their Glencoe Course 2 book. The students have been finding percents of a number, and calculating tax, tip, mark-ups, mark-downs, discounts, percent error, and percent change. We are reviewing these concepts now before the assessment in early November. Next, we'll dive into integers (positive and negative whole numbers and zero). The students will use absolute value, adding, subtracting, multiplying, and dividing with integers.
The 8th grade recently finished a big algebra chapter in which they had to solve equations with one variable. The equations got very complex. Students got good at identifying whether an equation has one solution, no solutions, or infinite solutions. They also had to write equations for real-world scenarios. In chapter 3, we will tackle equations with two variables. This will include graphing and finding the solution to a system of equations. The Algebra I group, as predicted, is finishing up chapter 5 in their books. They have been factoring and expanding polynomials for the most part. Next, in chapter 6, we'll be deriving the quadratic equation over a series of lessons. Then students will use the quadratic formula to solve quadratic equations. 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 is providing math enrichment for many of the 8th grade students. The students will be immersed in language, geometry, and algebra studies. 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 began the year with a unit about matter. They studied some of the properties of matter: volume, mass, density, solubility, and boiling point. We learned about the states of matter, the periodic table of elements, physical vs. chemical changes, and the differences between atoms, elements, molecules, and compounds. We learned these concepts through experiments, interactive activities, watching short films, and using online gizmos to learn the content.
Our next unit in science is called History of the Earth. We'll be talking about the ever-changing landscape of the Earth both on land and under the ocean. We'll look at the factors that shape the Earth very quickly and those that change it very slowly. After this unit, we'll be studying force and motion for an extended period of time. 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 will 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. |