## November/December 2019

## 5/6 Homeroom

We are still reading a novel called

We will also occasionally 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. This book explores right and wrong, real and fake, and it is about uncovering the truth as Paul changes schools and discovers more about his family's past. This is a perennial favorite for SBS students.We will also occasionally 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

So far, we've used our Wednesday afternoons for read aloud and/or community meetings. We will soon be working on building a quest 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 they wander our town reading what the students have written. After months of work, we will have a great quest to share with our community.

*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.So far, we've used our Wednesday afternoons for read aloud and/or community meetings. We will soon be working on building a quest 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 they wander our town reading what the students have written. After months of work, we will have a great quest to share with our community.

## 5/6 Morning Meeting

This year we are starting 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. Many of these activities come from mindfulness trainings and from a book called

*Conscious Discipline*by Becky Bailey.## 7/8 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. 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 start each Friday afternoon with 5-10 minutes of physical activity. Our 1st project of the year involved the reading of an Egyptian hieroglyph and constructing something related to the pyramids. We introduced the project by watching a documentary called

We will soon delve into a math/science/technology film club. We'll watch 4-5 quality movies over the course of the year related to STEM.

During the 2nd trimester, we will be doing a literature group for the book

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

*Dream Big*. It is an inspirational video about engineering. The students' sled came out really well and they were durable. See the videos I posted on the Photos page of my website. Over the course of the year, we will do a few engineering projects.We will soon delve into a math/science/technology film club. We'll watch 4-5 quality movies over the course of the year related to STEM.

During the 2nd trimester, we will be doing a literature group for the book

*The Tomorrow Code*. The students will spend 9 week reading this science fiction novel and engaging in weekly conversations about it. I will provide an audio version of the chapters so students can read along in their copy as I read aloud on an .mp3 file. These audio files will be available through Google Drive. 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.The final half hour of each Friday will be spent with Ms. Sykes on a construction project and/or getting help with homework and classwork.

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

The 5th grade math group continues to work in their MyMath book. We have just finished the 2nd chapter in the book. We were multiplying 2-digit whole numbers, using the distributive property, doing prime factorization and using exponents and powers to represent numbers. We are now moving on to division with both one-digit and two-digit divisors in chapters 3 and 4.
The 6th grade group is using Glencoe Course 1 as their textbook. We just finished chapter 2, which is all about converting between fractions, decimals, and percents, and finding the percent of a number. In chapter 3, we are adding, subtracting, multiplying, and dividing multi-digit and decimal numbers. In chapter 4, we'll multiply and divide fractions. The 7th grade group is using Glencoe Course 2. In chapter 2, we worked with percents to find % change, % error, tax, tip, markups, and discounts. In chapter 3, we be performing all operations with integers (..., -2, -1, 0, 1, 2, ...). In chapter 4, work we'll use what we learned in chapter 3 and apply it to decimals and fractions. We'll also convert between systems of units (metric to US Customary and vice versa). 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 using Glencoe Course 2. In chapter 2, we worked with percents to find % change, % error, tax, tip, markups, and discounts. In chapter 3, we be performing all operations with integers (..., -2, -1, 0, 1, 2, ...). In chapter 4, work we'll use what we learned in chapter 3 and apply it to decimals and fractions. We'll also convert between systems of units (metric to US Customary and vice versa).
The 8th grade group is using Glencoe Course 3. We are well into chapter 3 at this point. We've been working with equations that have two variables. We've learned about proportional relationships, slope, the slope-intercept form of an equation, compared unit rates in graphs, tables, equations, and written descriptions, written linear equations, and solved systems of equations by graphing or algebraically. In chapter 4, we'll dive into functions. And in chapter 5, we'll begin geometry with a study of triangles. The algebra group is using Algebra I from Glencoe. We have recently finished chapter 3 which is all about linear functions. In chapter 4, we are building on that skill by writing equations for linear functions. In chapter 5, we'll look at linear inequalities with both one and two variables. A lot of this book, so far, reviews things from the 7th and 8th grade contents, but builds upon those skills. 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 |

Our matter unit is coming to a close. The students have learned about the states of matter, chemical and physical changes, some properties of matter: density, boiling point, and solubility, the law of conservation of matter, and the definitions and differences between elements, atoms, molecules, and compounds. We've done 3 labs as part of this unit and built two models (molecules and atoms). Next, we will learn about Earth in a unit called History of Earth. In this unit, we'll be talking about plate tectonics, Pangea, geologic time, and the factors that shape Earth over time.
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). |
The 7/8 students are focussing on life science this year. We started with cells and the students showed great understanding of that content. We are now learning about heredity and reproduction. Our cells unit has already covered some of this content, but we'll go into greater depth. We will learn how to complete Punnett squares, the different types of reproduction, genetic variation, genetic engineering, and how traits are passed from one individual to another. We'll be writing a research paper, conducting a couple of experiments, reading three sections from a text book, and using Brainpop videos to learn about these topics. After this unit, we will begin learning about Darwin's Theory of Evolution.
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). |