It’s been an amazing start to the year in Middle School! We have enjoyed all of the enthusiasm for learning and excitement for what’s to come this year.
In 6th year Earth Science, students are working on Earth’s History. Within this unit, students are exploring Earth’s past by learning how to recreate fossils and amber preservation. In 7th year Physical Science, students are learning about the properties of Matter. Students have explored this unit by performing several activities involving the combination and separation of solids and liquids. Finally, 8th year Life Science students are learning about Cells. Currently, students are working on establishing the differences between eukaryotic and prokaryotic cells, constructing models of each.
In Math, students are off to a busy start with textbook distribution, completing homework questions, and practicing our note taking skills, all in the first week. Algebra 1 has been working on understanding the basics of algebra and how to identify number systems being used in the real world. More specifically, they have been describing patterns in word problems, finding equivalent expressions, and learning to use a graphing calculator. Transition has been working on reading and writing real numbers. They have also been comparing positive and negative numbers on a number line, using rational numbers in ratios, and discussing order of operations. Pre-transition has been working on interpreting integers and fractions. Students are currently trying to understand mixed numbers, measuring units, and equivalent fractions.
Humanities classes are also in full swing! All students have completed their summer independent book presentations, their first vocabulary unit, and have been writing in their Writer’s Journal. Additionally, 6th years are going over the class read, Becoming Naomi Leon by Pam Munoz Ryan. Students are looking at the culture and geography of the Mexican state of Oaxaca with an emphasis on the importance of art. 7th years are reviewing Lensey Namioka’s novel, Ties That Bind, Ties That Break. They studied Chinese dynasties, specifically looking at the Qing dynasty, the Opium Wars, the Boxer Rebellion, as well as the changing culture during the revolution, specifically with regards to women’s rights. 8th years are discussing stereotypes as they review The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton and begin their yearlong journey through American history using Ronald Takaki’s, A Different Mirror for Young People: A History of Multicultural America.
In addition to their classes, students spent time training for community service and beginning electives. As a full group, they shared experiences with each other from the perspectives of being a student mentor and receiving student help during community service time. Then, students broke up by grade and acted out scenarios to problem solve some common situations they might find during their time in younger classrooms. Next, MS students chose from the following electives for the first trimester: fantasy football, dance, and cooking. The groups split equitably and had a great first session. The fantasy football elective set up their rosters, the dance elective worked on choreography, and the cooking elective made three different puff pastry desserts.
We are already completely immersed in the year and have loved watching the 6th years become acclimated to the Middle School environment. It is exciting to think about what is to come with so much curiosity and insight in our classrooms! Thank you to students and parents for a great start to the year.