Middle School: Immersion Week #1

It’s been a great first week of Immersion! We started the week with a full cast read-through of the script. From there, the days begin with warm-up games, and then students work either on the stage blocking with Ms. Sutherland, running lines with Senora Ray, or building the set and gathering props with Ms. Sara, Mr. Fuchs, and Mrs. Lamb. The set is just about done, the back drop is up, and the entire play is blocked. The teachers are impressed with how well the students work together and learn their lines. We are also grateful for the parent volunteers that have worked on set pieces and costumes this week. There is a lot of positive energy!

Next week, the Middle School looks forward to finishing rehearsals and performing LIVE for the middle school families and Fraser Woods community on Wednesday evening, December 6th at 7 pm, and another show for the younger students during the school day on Wednesday. We will wrap up by taking down the set and having our cast party on Thursday.

Middle School: Chef Showdown & Independent Study

Happy Friday! It is a great week in middle school! The culmination of a few big projects occurred this week: the script for our middle school play, Chef Showdown, and the presentation of trimester independent study projects.

Chef Showdown

In Humanities classes this week, students worked together to write the script for Chef Showdown, a full-length play that they developed in all aspects. First, 8th-grade students brainstormed the overarching idea for the play. This year, that main idea is a reality TV cooking show. Then, students created a plot line with the skeleton of the play. Next, they developed their characters. This involved writing their personality traits, any particular traits in appearance, an example of what they might say, and how their role contributes to the plot. Next, any relationships between characters are established. Finally, the class wrote the scenes. They sat in a variety of combinations, with one person writing ideas from the group and another editing and formatting. The end product is humorous, nail-biting, and full of personality.

Come see Chef Showdown on Wednesday, Dec. 6th at 7 pm.

Independent Study Presentations

New to this year’s Middle School schedule is Independent Study. This twice-weekly class is completely student-run, with projects of the students’ choosing. In the first week, students decided what they wanted to study or create and then decided upon their final product/presentation. The sky is the limit with this project, and it was amazing to see and hear what the students created this fall.

Please enjoy the photos from the week.

Middle School: Week in Review

This was another exciting week for our middle school community! Students participated in a Fire Safety demonstration from the Botsford Fire Department; they continued to build cardboard furniture in STEAM class and concluded another great soccer season. We enjoyed our fun Friday Grill & Chill event and are excited to share a few leadership initiatives in the coming weeks! As a general reminder, we will have early dismissal on Tuesday, November 21st, before the Thanksgiving Break. Immersion week will commence when we return as we prepare for this year’s main-stage production.


This week, all Middle School Humanities classes surrounded the writing of the first few scenes of our play! Characters are written, the plot is decided, and the title is even chosen—more to come in next week’s blog, as it will feature the playwriting process.


6th-year Earth Science students are working on representing their unit “Tectonic Plates” by creating stop motion videos. Students are asked to represent what tectonic plates are, what causes them to move, what the three types of plate boundaries are, and how tectonic plate movement influences our landscape. Students have the ability to choose from a variety of artistic representations to base their videos on.

7th-year Physical Science students are finishing their unit “Characteristic Properties of Matter.” Throughout the unit, students conducted several experiments and lab reports that tested unknown substances’ physical and chemical properties. Some of the experiments conducted tested electrical conductivity, malleability, density, pH, and combustibility. Our next unit will be “States of Matter.”

8th-year Life Science students have been working on their unit “Cellular Respiration.” This week, students were asked to begin the unit by first understanding the differences between respiration (breathing) and cellular respiration (obtaining energy from food). Students will be asked to break the unit into three main parts (glycolysis, Kreb’s cycle, and the electron transport chain).


In the Pre-Transition math class, students began learning chapter 3, which covers a variety of concepts involving addition. This class is exploring how to add numbers with mixed units in real-world situations, add integers on a number line, and apply addition’s commutative and associative properties. This class can use a protractor to measure given acute and obtuse angles and add values to make complementary and supplementary pairs.
In the Transition math class, students completed chapter 3 and wrote the unit assessment on Thursday, November 9th. This class has demonstrated they understand using square roots, converting a value between decimals/fractions/percentages, and modeling terminating and repeating decimals. Students are confident with finding decimals between integer values and finding equivalent fractions.
In the Algebra math class, students continue investigating linear equations and inequalities. Students practiced rearranging formulas for specific variables, solving for ax + b = cx + d statements, and graphing absolute value inequalities on a coordinate grid. This class can graph horizontal and vertical lines and use a table of values to solve real-world problems involving linear situations.
In the Geometry math class, students were excited to explore transformations of figures and study the importance of isometries. This class can reflect points and figures over parallel and perpendicular lines. Students can perform a composite reflection of more than two movements and properly label a figure’s preimage.
Make Joke: Why can’t you trust a polynomial to stay the same? ………They have too many variables.

Middle School: Happy Halloween!

This week brought fun and frost! We enjoyed having the middle school lead the Halloween parade for their younger peers to enjoy. We were glad to have a delicious breakfast provided by families as well as pumpkins to decorate.

Humanities classes had a spooky reading of “The Tell-Tale Heart” by Edgar Allan Poe and spoke about Poe’s role producing horror through his writing in the 19th century.

**QUICK NOTE: PLEASE ensure your middle school student(s) is dressed appropriately with the weather (this includes a jacket). They will be going outside with classes, recess, and when they visit their younger peers on Wednesdays.

Please enjoy the photos!

Middle School: A Week in Review


It was an exciting week for the middle school community as we prepared for the first annual Fall Cook-Out Event. Big shout out to Mrs. Lamb and the leadership classes for hosting the event, baking delicious treats, and decorating the gym for some festive fall fun!

If you have not yet signed up for a student-parent-teacher conference with your child’s respective advisor, please do so by using the sign-up genius ASAP. As a reminder, we have a Professional Development Day for all teachers on Friday, October 27th, and no regular classes will take place. Oktoberfest is just one week away and will be a jam-packed event for the entire family to attend; check your inbox for the link to purchase tickets in advance.


In the Pre-Transition math class, students discovered the pattern of multiplying decimal numbers and practiced translating decimal numbers in word form into digit form. This class can properly round decimals to a given place value, and they are starting to grasp the idea of converting between decimals, fractions, and percentages.

In the Transition math class, students concluded their learning of Chapter 2 and wrote the unit test on Wednesday, October 16th. This class reviewed how to translate words into algebraic expressions, use the Pythagorean Theorem to find distances in real situations, and graph solutions to simple inequalities. Next week, we will begin to explore more problems with fractions,  decimals, and percentages.
In the Algebra math class, students practiced solving multi-step algebraic equations for any unknown variable. This class can graph ordered pairs from a table of values and make algebraic equations from a real-world situation. We will continue working with the distributive property and collecting like terms as we manipulate more complex equations next week.
In the Geometry math class, students are studying arcs, angles, and transformations of a figure. This class explored different properties for parallel and perpendicular lines this week and could make conclusions about different figures given in a specific question. This class wrote the Chapter 3 quiz this week and should start to prepare for the unit test scheduled for Wednesday, October 25th.
Make Joke: Which tool is best for math? …..The multi-pliers



6th-year Earth Science students worked this week on identifying the main layers of the earth. Students were assigned a partner to research a layer of earth (inner/outer core, mantle, and crust) and later present their work to the class. Students were asked to include the depth, temperature, thickness, and fun facts about each layer in their presentation. From this research and research found in their tech books, students will begin creating a stop-motion video depicting tectonic plates and their influence on shaping our planet.

7th-year Physical Science students have continued working on identifying physical and chemical properties of matter. As a part of this unit, students conducted an experiment that tested how temperature influences solubility. Students were provided with three different temperatures of water, adding recorded amounts of sugar to them until the sugar no longer was able to dissolve in the solution. Students formulated their hypothesis beforehand, anticipating the warmer water (solvent) to allow more sugar (solute) to be dissolved in the water. After the experiment concluded and their data was recorded, each student will format the information as a formal lab report.

8th-year Life Science students are just finishing their “Structure of Life” unit. This week, students continued their research and class discussions around data and information regarding what cancer is and the work conducted to address this disease. Students learned about certain factors that influence the mutation of cells within the body, such as smoking or exposure to high levels of UV radiation. Students have been able to apply our past unit, “Cell Theory,” to our current unit as it relates to the behavior a cell might undergo when exposed to detrimental factors.


All Humanities classes this week completed their first Current Events Assignments. The goal of Current Events is to teach students how to navigate what’s going on in the world, the media, and learn how to form an opinion and have respectful discussions about it. Students are assigned a current events date once per month. Using the guidelines posted in their Google Classroom, they find an interesting news item, write about it, and present it to the class. A key component is to write and discuss the impact of the event/issue now and moving forward. Students then lead a discussion. Topics were diverse this week, and Mrs. Lamb was impressed with the first Current Events of the year.

Additionally, 6th grade students completed drafts of a creative writing piece in the point of view of a falling leaf. Then, they watched a mini documentary about a teenage girl from New Zealand who has a similar life experience to Melody, the main character from Out of Mind. They have planned a brief writing piece comparing the two and will draft it next week.

In addition to current events, 7th grade worked with Mr. Newman and started discussing Human Nature in preparation for learning about John Locke and political economic systems.

8th grade, in addition to current events, planned and began drafting personal memoirs. After reading and analyzing a couple of memoirs, they learned about the idea of writing about a pebble- write about one pebble, not all of the pebbles. Then, they read sample memoir beginnings and are drafting them. They will continue their drafts next week. With Mr. Newman, students are learning about colonization of the 13 Colonies.

Middle School: Week in Review

Another beautiful and productive week in middle school has gone by! The Middle School is gearing up for its first social event with Upper Elementary students next Friday, 10/20, from 5:30-7:30 pm at school. This is a drop-off event! If you have not responded to the invitation, please do so we can get a final count! Middle School & Upper El Cookout Invitation.


6th-year Earth Science students were able to create their resin molds incorporating an object of their choosing. Students chose between geometric or animal molds for their own representation. Following the completion of this project, students were asked to write a fictional story using key terms from our unit, Fossils, as it relates to the preservation of fossils. Each student was able to share their story aloud to the class and later display their resin mold and story for the entire school to see. After completing the unit Fossils, students worked on identifying dependent and independent variables. Students were asked to analyze and graph data using Google Sheets. Once the data was graphed, students discussed what claims could be made based on the represented graph.

7th year Physical Science students finished their unit, Combining and Separating. Students learned about relevant issues in which we rely on the knowledge of separation, as discussed in the Flint Water Crisis (2014-16), along with the process of desalination (removal of salt from saltwater). We conducted an experiment on the desalination process by saturating water with salt and later boiling it, resulting in freshwater once again. We will begin our next unit, Characteristic Properties of Matter, next week.
8th-year Life Science students began and finished their cell cake project from the unit Cell Theory. Students were instructed to represent an animal or plant cell and its primary organelles using food (candy/cake). Students chose certain candies to represent each organelle they felt was the best representation of the actual appearance possible. Once the construction was completed, students created a key diagram labeling the organelles along with the function served within the cell. Students presented their finished product to the middle school students, which was later enjoyed by all.


In the Pre-Transition math class, students started learning Chapter 2 and are excited to explore the relationship between decimals, fractions, and percentages. This week, they learned about place values for a decimal number, comparing and ordering decimals on a number line, as well as multiplying decimals by values of 10s, 100s, 1000s, etc.
In the Transition math class, students learned the last three lessons in Chapter 2. They discussed how to use the Pythagorean Theorem to find a missing side length as well as how to find a solution for a simple single-step algebraic equation. This class concluded the week by learning to graph inequalities on a number line and writing a mini Chapter 2 assessment.
In the Algebra math class, students reviewed key concepts for Chapter 2 and wrote the Unit Test on Thursday, October 12th. Students practiced using the distributive property and collecting like terms in an algebraic expression. This class demonstrated that they understand related facts for all operations and can test equivalences for two expressions.
In the Geometry math class, students concluded their learning of Chapter 2 and reviewed the key concepts to prepare for the Unit Test on Thursday, October 12th. This class can draw and identify polygons, write conditional statements, and distinguish between convex and nonconvex figures.
Make Joke: Do you know why seven eight nine? Because you’re supposed to eat three squared meals a day!


6th grade Humanities was busy this week. With Mr. Newman, the students are working on the five themes of geography. In Mrs. Lamb’s room, students continued their descriptive writing unit by using what they learned about word choice, figurative language, and imagery to imagine they are narrating a nature documentary. Using a one-minute clip of a Great White Shark leaping out of the water, they wrote descriptive narrations, workshopped their work with the class, and made suggestions for Mrs. Lamb’s revision. They are now working on a piece from the point of view of a falling leaf. Meanwhile, students are finishing their class novel, Out of My Mind.

7th grade Humanities classes also had a busy week. With Mr. Newman, students are working on locating information from research and using it to answer questions. They specifically used research about Imperial China. With Mrs. Lamb, students finished drafts of their final writing piece for Ties That Bind, Ties That Break. They wrote a letter as the novel’s protagonist to their late father, explaining changes in China and how her decision to keep her feet unbound has affected her life. Next, students presented their Dynasty research. Finally, the 7th-grade students revised their initial drafts of their Ode poems.

8th grade Humanities classes worked on several items this week. First, they completed their pre-contact American civilizations research with Mr. Newman. With Mrs. Lamb, students self-edited their literary analysis essays about The Outsiders and then received feedback for revisions from Mrs. Lamb. Next, students read two short memoir pieces, preparing to write their own next week.

Middle School: Week in Review

Happy Friday! It’s looking (and feeling) like fall outside. Students were busy during this first week of October.

**Please note the adjustment to the MS Play Performance. It will be on the evening of December 6th.**


6th-grade Humanities classes are working on their descriptive writing unit. They are learning to improve their word choice (specific nouns, strong verbs, and descriptive adjectives) and identify and use figurative language and imagery. Students identified examples of simile, metaphor, and personification and recognized the imagery in the poems “Harlem” and “Dream” by Langston Hughes as well as “The Train” by Emily Dickinson. In addition to completing their final draft of their “Where I’m From” poem, 6th-grade students are drafting a nature through writing piece, incorporating their new knowledge of descriptive writing. Students also now recognize that their emotional reactions to reading their class novel,  Out Of My Mind, are due to the author’s descriptive writing techniques. As Robert Frost says, “No tears in the writer, no tears in the reader.” Finally, the 6th grade began meeting with Mr. Newman this week!

The 7th-grade students completed their first novel this year, Ties That Bind, Ties That Break by Lensey Namioka. This novel saw the political and cultural shift between Imperial China and the Republic of China, focusing on the ancient tradition of foot binding. The class had many rich conversations about the main character, Ailin’s personal struggle with her family versus what she knew was right for herself and the change in her life’s trajectory for choosing to go against tradition. Additionally, students are each researching one dynasty that ruled Imperial China. Finally, Mr. Newman’s classes are focusing on Chinese history during the time, including Western influence on Chinese culture.

The 8th grade completed their first class novel, The Outsiders, by S.E. Hinton. This dramatic novel highlights socioeconomic class struggles in an imagined situation between two groups, the Greasers and the Socs. Students drafted a culminating writing piece discussing the assumptions made about the Greasers by society and then how they transcended those assumptions using examples from the book with quotations to support ideas. Students also began working on possessive nouns to better understand and improve apostrophe usage in writing. Additionally, the 8th grade learned about human migration and how, over time, Earth was populated. Finally, the 8th grade started meeting with Mr. Newman this week and discussing the land that is now the Americas and pre-contact American civilizations.

In the Pre-Transition math class, students concluded their learning of Chapter 1. This week, the class reviewed ordering integer values, identifying equivalent fractions, rewriting improper fractions to mixed numbers, and interpreting real-world situations with positive or negative influences. Students wrote the Chapter 1 Unit Test on Friday, October 6th, and will begin learning Chapter 2 next week.
In the Transition math class, students started exploring variable use and were introduced to simple algebraic equations. Using a table, this class can translate a word sentence into an equation and represent a relationship between two variables. All students in this class concluded the week with a short assessment of their understanding of Chapter 2.
In the Algebra math class, students reviewed the distributive property and collected like terms in a complex algebraic expression. This class can also use the opposite and inverse properties to simplify equations. Students will write the Chapter 2 Unit Test next week, and Ms. Sutherland encourages everyone to begin studying well in advance to feel confident with the material.
In the Geometry math class, students learned about conditional and conjecture statements. This class can use and interpret Venn Diagrams and distinguish between convex and non-convex figures. Students will write the Chapter 2 Unit Test next week, and Ms. Sutherland encourages everyone to begin studying well in advance to feel confident with the material.
Make Joke: Where do multiplication problems eat breakfast? – At Time’s Tables.

6th-year Earth Science students are identifying how geologic time is measured and how fossils play a role in dating geologic events. Students are collaborating with their peers to create an artistic representation of the geologic timeline. This timeline includes eons, eras, periods, and predominant species found within each phase. The objective of this project is for students to see how fossils are used to gauge the time period species were alive based on previously discovered index fossils. Students have also begun creating their resin fossils related to the preservation potential each fossil undergoes.

7th-year Physical Science students are finishing their until, Combining and Separating. Students were asked to research and present on particular careers that involve separation. Students chose such jobs as sanitation workers, water treatment facilitators, and chemical spill management. Students did a great job with their work. Their next unit will identify the unique properties within states of matter.

8th-year Life Science students did well presenting their research on stem cells earlier in the week. Students provided evidence to support their claim on whether to support or oppose further research regarding stem cells. Students then presented research on the differences between our body cells. Students shared their findings on nerve, cardiac, blood, and fat cells. Each student highlighted the difference in the cell’s structure/shape as it relates to the function each cell is intended to serve.

Have a beautiful long weekend.

Middle School: Building a Team

This week, we headed to The Adventure Park at the Discovery Museum in Bridgeport for a day of fun, challenge, and overcoming obstacles. Each year, the middle school takes an early fall trip together as a new middle school group to do something that has students striving to reach new goals. Maybe it’s to complete the next level of challenge on the course from last year, maybe it’s just to attempt one of the courses, and maybe it’s to support a classmate in achieving their goals or overcoming their fears. Regardless of the personal goals, the trip always helps the group feel more cohesive. Stepping outside of the classroom helps our students see each other differently, and it is nice for students (and teachers) to learn something about another student that they may not have realized.

Enjoy the pictures from our trip!