## September/October 2018

## 5/6 Homeroom

One to two times per week, the 5/6 class participates in read aloud. We did a reader's theater called

*Lightning Larry*the first week of school. We will read short stories from Paul Jennings all year long. We will always have a novel going as a read aloud. Our current novel is called*The Young Man and the Sea*by Rodman Philbrick. It is set on the coast of Maine in modern times. Skiffy is a young boy who has struggles in his life and fights very hard to overcome them. This a fantastic piece of realistic fiction that strikes home for many of the kids here because we live in a very similar community to Skiffy's.

On rainy or cold days, we do a

During our Wednesday afternoon time, we will be focussing on technology this year. We will be playing with technology and using it to design. We will do some computer coding, build a Robopot (a devise that waters plants a certain amount each day with no human input), and play with other technology. Ms. Glidden and I will co-teach this class throughout the year.

*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 will be focussing on technology this year. We will be playing with technology and using it to design. We will do some computer coding, build a Robopot (a devise that waters plants a certain amount each day with no human input), and play with other technology. Ms. Glidden and I will co-teach this class throughout the year.

## 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 will play some games, solve difficult problems, and learn from one another. We'll also be exploring Desmos, an online interactive website where students hone their math thinking. There is no homework for this class.

## 7th Grade on Fridays

I will be working with the students in 7th grade to design a curriculum for this time throughout the year. I will post more information here when we've made our decisions. 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 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. 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 use 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. 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 2nd chapter will be about percents.
One group of 8th graders is working with real numbers in Glencoe Course 3. 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. Chapter 2 will be about writing and solving equations with one variable (unknown). The other 8th grade group is working with the Saxon 78 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. The first test will be after lesson 10, then 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 use 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. To keep track of your child's homework completion, please check PowerSchool. |

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

The 5/6 class is starting the year with a big unit about space. We'll be tracking the moon every night for a lunar month. We'll be tracking the sun at school. The students will be learning about the 8 planets, stars, constellations, galaxies and how and why seasons happen. On October 16th, the entire 5th-8th grade will take a field trip to Southworth Planetarium at USM in Portland to watch two shows and ask lots of questions. The culminating activity for this unit is a star gazing night at Wawenock Golf Club. Parents and students will get a chance to work together to find celestial bodies. I'll send more details as we get closer to our gazing night.
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 will start the year learning and practicing the scientific process. We'll do several activities to learn about the parts of scientific inquiry and culminate the unit with a short-term experiment that each student conducts and then presents her/his findings to the class. Be thinking about interesting experiments.
Our 2nd unit will be about space. We'll build on what the students learned two years ago. We will reach farther out into space and find out how scientists know what they know about those far off places. On October 16th, the entire 5th-8th grade will take a field trip to Southworth Planetarium at USM in Portland to watch two shows and ask lots of questions. This will be very close to the beginning of the unit for 7/8. 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. |