Middle School: Week in Review

 

It was a short week for the middle school community with lots of fun fall activities. This week the students enjoyed the beautiful fall foliage while playing soccer during recess each day. They also had fun with our community advisory activity this week, where students had to arrange themselves in a chronological birthday order without speaking.

In addition to these events, all math students participated in a pumpkin exploration activity. On Friday October 15th, each class used a guided worksheet to learn about surface area and volume of a sphere. We used a mini pumpkin as the real world object to help understand our learning. Students worked in pairs and used a measuring tape to find the diameter, height and circumference of a pumpkin. Once they found their dimensions, we used formulas to find the exact surface area and volume of the unique pumpkins. This exercise gave students an opportunity to apply their learning of substituting values into a formula and use estimation to predict their measurements. Students enjoyed the activity for the hands-on learning and being able to work with a partner.
Fall Math Joke: What do you get if you divide the circumference of a pumpkin by its diameter?…..Pumpkin Pi
As a general reminder, please have students check myFWM/google classroom on a daily basis for upcoming assignments and assessments. We encourage all parents and guardians to sign-up for a middle school conference time slot to ensure you find a time that best works for you. HAPPY FALL!

Middle School: Week in Review

It has been a robust week of learning in middle school! Luckily, students were also able to get outside with the beautiful weather and enjoy the season!

Math
In Transition class, students are excited to learn about scientific notation, plotting ordered pairs on a coordinate grid, and solving radical operations. This class has concluded their learning for chapter 1 and will begin chapter 2 next week… get ready to discover what a variable is!
In Algebra class, students can successfully find the range, mean, and mean absolute deviation in a data set. Students can simplify expressions with absolute values and can use substitution to evaluate equations. This class also concluded their learning of chapter 1 and will begin chapter 2 next week, starting with simple distributive property questions.
In Geometry class, students are able to use and identify the difference between graph theory, discrete geometry, and Euclidean geometry methods. This class can determine distances between values and can find points of intersections. Next week they will study conditional statements, classifying polygons, and labeling convex figures.
Math Joke: What state has the most Math Teachers?……Math-achusetts

Humanities

6th grade Humanities students focused on writing this week. Since it was their first week completing current events writing and presentations, they spent time searching for articles that will work best, reviewing what is needed to compose a well-developed paragraph, and understanding the importance of revision. They also composed, edited, and revised poetry inspired by poet, William Carlos Williams. He wrote to express that writing can be inspired by the simplicity of the world around you.

The 7th grade class went over in more detail the dynasties of China, specifically of Imperial China, that were in power for 4,000 years. They shared their research about the dynasties that included the length of their reign, advancements or developments made during their reign, and the reason that they lost power. They are beginning work on religions of China, and will focus on that next week. Finally, 7th grade students presented their first current events of the school year.

8th grade Humanities students were immersed in literature this week. They continued their exploration of irony in literature while reading Richard Connell’s plot-twisting, short story, “The Most Dangerous Game” (1924). In addition to the main focus of identifying irony in the plot, attention was brought to the author’s word choice. We discussed how there were instances that inappropriately sent a message of oppression and why that is not something that would be published now.  Students also discussed their summer reading The Outsiders and talked about how stereotypes affect society and how society affects stereotypes, as showcased in the novel.  Finally, 8th grade students completed their first current events presentations of the year.

Science

6th year Earth Science students are working on artistically representing eras from the geologic timeline as part of their unit on Fossils and Studying Earth’s Past. Students have the option to use a variety of mediums, from pencils to clay, in order to represent the environmental conditions or species present during that time period.

7th year Physical Science students have just begun their unit on Characteristic Properties of Matter. Within this unit students will become familiar with defining characteristics that identify the similarities and differences between matter. This will consist of color, texture, density, conductivity, and solubility. Students were asked to identify the density of unknown matter this week using their mass and volume. Density is defined as a physical property which does not change regardless of size, as the mass and volume remain proportional.
8th year Life Science students conducted their Stem Cell Debate. Students were provided time in class to research information that either supported or disproved the continued use of stem cell application with scientific data. The goal of this assignment was for students to become aware of the extensive scientific research behind such a treatment in regards to our current unit on Cell Theory. Our next unit will be Structure of Life.
Have a great weekend!

Middle School: Week in Review

Happy Friday, everyone! It’s been a busy week in Middle School, and we ended the week together with the 8th grade’s Fraser Woods Weekly News. It has been nice to go back to the live format, even if it is just for the middle school.  Students mentioned the highlights of the week were model cells in Science class, learning about Geometry in Math, working on the egg drop in MakerSpace, celebrating a student’s birthday, gym class, and Community Advisory.

Looking forward to next week!

Math
In Transition class, students had their first quiz and were all very successful. This class has been learning how to convert powers into decimal numbers, multiply by powers of tens, and perform order of operations questions.
In Algebra class, students were able to conclude their learning from chapter 1, and next week we will begin chapter 2 in the UCSMP textbook. Students have a strong understanding of evaluating expressions using absolute values, how to use variables to describe patterns, and how to find the range/mean absolute deviation in a data set.
In Geometry class, students also concluded their learning in chapter 1 and finished the week with a unit assessment. This group of students understands how to recognize the use of undefined terms, find the point of intersection of two lines, and demonstrate distance between points.
Please remember to check Google Classroom and myFWM.com each day for daily posted homework and upcoming assessment dates.
Make Joke of the Week:
Did you hear the one about two thieves who stole the calendar? …..They each got six months
Humanities
In 6th grade, students completed their first unit of vocabulary. We discussed the importance of understanding the parts of speech as they relate to words and how to find similarities between words using roots. We also went over the phonetic alphabet and how to use it to pronounce words. Also, the 6th grade is working on a characterization assignment relating to their favorite character from Becoming Naomi Leon, their summer read.
In 7th grade, students began their unit on China. They first completed maps of the country, including its provinces. Next, they worked on learning terms that will be important to understand with regards to our Chinese history studies, as well as our studies of other regions of the world (ex: dynasty, republic, imperialism, etc.). Finally, they began research into one of the Chinese dynasties that ruled from about 1600 B.C.E. to 1911 C.E. Additionally, students completed their first unit of vocabulary.
8th grade Humanities students completed their notes about plot and conflict, and they applied the information to their summer read, The Outsiders. They also learned about irony- a popular literary device they often encounter. Students read O. Henry’s “The Gift of the Magi” and are working on “A Letter to God” by Gregorio Lopes y Fuentes, analyzing the plot and the irony in the stories. Finally, students completed their first unit of vocabulary.
Science

6th year Earth Science students have continued working on their unit, Earth’s History. This week students worked on representing the preservation potential of fossils. Students were able to create their own resin fossils using personally selected items to place inside their mold before layering it with resin. Once the molds had hardened, students discussed what factors were a part in the formation of these amber replicas.

7th year Physical Science students, still in their unit Combining and Separating, conducted a laboratory experiment by creating and separating mixtures. To begin this experiment, each student was asked to create their own mixture based on corn starch, sugar, beans, pebbles, and water. Students exchanged their mixtures with one another, determining what methods of separation would effectively create original components of the mixture. Students determined certain mixtures were best separated using filter paper, boiling point, strainer, or tweezers. Upon completion of the experiment, students will be required to write a formal lab report.
8th year Life Science students began researching arguments on the topic of stem cells. Each student has been assigned to either be in favor of or oppose the use of stem cells. Students will be provided several days to gather pertinent information to support their side before we hold our Stem Cell Debate. The goal of this assignment is not for students to decide what is right or wrong, but rather to demonstrate effective research skills that support a viewpoint with supporting data and facts.

Middle School Cooperative Games

The Middle School participates in MS Sports class on Tuesdays and Wednesdays for 55 minutes. On Fridays students participate in Physical Education/Cooperative games.  The game played this week was “Castle Ball.”  The object of the game is to try and knock down the other team’s castles.  Students must work together as a team to play both offense (throwing the dodge balls to hit the castle) and defense (guarding their own castles). The game also works on throwing, catching, striking, and blocking. Cooperative games during physical education provide many benefits to students. These games not only provide exercise, but emphasize teamwork, build relationships, increase confidence, and learn about rules and strategy development.

 

 

 

 


Middle School: A Week in Review

It’s been a great week in Middle School. We are diving into classes, and the students are enthusiastic about the year!

Humanities

We began the year in Humanities with all students giving summer reading presentations, reading and discussing poetry, writing, and activities that surround identity.

The 6th grade students used the poem, “Where I’m From” by George Ella Lyon to brainstorm and draft their own version of the poem about themselves. They also discussed the importance of editing and revising and created a reference guide to editing marks to use for the year.

The 7th year students brainstormed and created identity maps that include a variety of personal identifiers in a creative way.

The 8th grade also brainstormed for identity maps that they are working on in Art Humanities class. The 8th grade class also learned in depth about plot- parts of the plot line, types of conflict, and types of characters. This will be used in future literary analysis.

Science

6th year Earth Science students are on the unit, “Fossils, and Studying Earth’s Past.” The objective of this unit is for students to:

  • Define the term fossil and explain how fossils are formed.
  • Identify the major types of divisions of geologic time.
  • Use relative dating methods to place geologic events in a correct sequence.
  • Justify their choice to use absolute or relative dating techniques.
  • Explain how fossils provide evidence of evolution.
  • Explain how fossils provide evidence of past environmental changes.

Students have begun a fossil formation project using plaster of paris and items found around nature, representing the conditions required to create a fossil.

7th year Physical Science students are on the unit “Combining and Separating.” The objective of this unit is for students to:
  • Describe a mixture, a solution, and a pure substance.
  • Distinguish between solutions, colloids, suspensions, and mixtures.
  • Separate mixtures into their components using a variety of methods.

Students have demonstrated their ability to separate mixtures by using a variety of techniques (filtering, sifting, sorting) in order to classify a mixture, along with viewing samples of a mixture’s contents under microscopes.

8th year Life Science students are in the unit, “Cell Theory.” The objective of this unit is for students to:
  • Describe the three tenets of cell theory.
  • Describe evidence supporting the cell theory.
  • Use scientific tools to gather evidence in support of the cell theory.
  • Explain how both simple and complex organisms are composed of cells that perform essential functions.
  • Recognize the importance of microscopy in the discovery of cells.

Students are currently working on constructing a 3-D model representation of either a plant or animal cell. Each model will include the organelles, detailing the function and purpose.

Math
Welcome to Middle School Math! Students are off to a busy start with textbook distribution, completing their first homework questions, and practicing our note taking skills all in the first week. Ms. Sutherland is excited to learn and grow this year alongside these energetic middle school mathematicians.
In Transition class, students are using rational numbers to solve real world problems, graph and read values on a number line, as well as multiply by powers of ten. This class is working towards their first quiz on Tuesday, September 21st.
 
In Algebra class, students are using variables to: describe real world situations, be able to determine if expressions are equivalent, as well as identify the associative and commutative properties of multiplication/addition. This group of students are happy to be back working with one another in class.
 
In Geometry class, students are becoming familiar with using their postulate and theorem books to keep track of their new learning from Euclidean Geometry. This week they talked about distances on a number line, graphing points and planes on a coordinate grid, and defined the key properties of Synthetic Geometry.
 
As a general reminder; daily homework (lesson master worksheets) are due at the beginning of each class. Math Help Sessions are embedded into the Monday timetable for students to have an extra opportunity to work through any additional questions.
Math Joke: What do you call more than one L?  ………………………….A parallel!
We are looking forward to another full week! Have a great weekend!

Middle School: A Great Beginning

What a great first (short) week back to school. We would like to welcome all new Middle School students and families and say, “Welcome back!” to those returning. It is exciting to have middle schoolers safely back at lockers, rotating classrooms, and becoming one cohort. We worked this week on forming the group and making connections.

Please look for an email from Ms. Sutherland regarding the flower schedule. Part of a Montessori classroom is maintaining its beauty. We have fresh flowers in the classrooms throughout the school, provided by students in each class. When it is your child’s week to bring in flowers, we ask for two bouquets that will be divided and arranged by your child in school among the three MS classrooms.

Enjoy the pictures from these first few days! We are pumped for this school year!

Have a great weekend,

Mrs. Lamb, Mr. Brown, & Ms. Sutherland


Middle School: Wrapping Up & Spirit Week

It is an emotional time in Middle School during the last weeks. There is excitement for the upcoming summer and a break from school work, but there is also sadness over leaving friends and even the school. For our 8th graders, this was their last week at Fraser Woods. Some students joined the community in Middle School, and some in Kindergarten or Lower Elementary. While the anticipation of bigger high schools and new environments is something to look forward to, for some there is sadness and a feeling of leaving “home”.

We hope you enjoy your summer and, as always, we thank you for sharing your incredible children with us. It is truly a joy.

 

Peace & Love,

Michelle, Zak, & Megan


Middle School: Project-Based Learning

It’s our last full Friday of the school year in Middle School. The students have been incredibly busy and are ready for a well-deserved summer break. As we wrap up the year, students have immersed themselves with projects in many of their subject areas.

8th Grade Expert Presentations

A highlight this week has been the 8th grade Expert Presentations. These were the culmination of 4+ months of inquiry, research, organization, writing, and creativity. They wrote 5-10 page papers and gave 10-20 minute presentations to support their theses. A standout for this project is the interviewing of experts in the field of their research to give first-hand information. This year’s group was especially impressive for taking leaps of faith and reaching out to fantastic individuals. They ranged from chiefs of police to psychologists, jet engineers, therapists, professors, trainers, coaches, marketers, and medical professionals.

It is easy to forget that these scholars are only 14 years old; their quality of work and work ethic are beyond their years. They should be proud of their accomplishment! Now it’s on to graduation!

Math
In math class this week all students are working on their end of the year projects. Each course has a different project to highlight their year’s learning.
The Pre-Transition class is creating a slideshow presentation to “Re-Teach” their favorite concepts learned this year. These students will re-teach these concepts to the class and have a corresponding lesson master worksheet to go along with their lesson.
The Transition class is building a Geometry City with linear equations for roads and 3D shapes for building. Students are learning the key concepts from chapter 11 and applying the formulas for surface area and volume to create nets for their Geomcity.
The Algebra class is using their learning from chapter 1-11 and creating a themed escape room that will be solved by their fellow peers. Students are asked to create a 5-room challenge that will utilize concepts such as slope, function notation, quadratics and polynomials.
The Geometry class is concluding their learning for chapter 9 and will soon begin to build real kites with the perfect dimensions and angles to demonstrate their understanding of congruency. We will then fly the kites in the field with the hopes of them being able to soar to new heights!
Science

In Science, both the 6th and 7th year students completed their design and construction of their rockets as part of their respective units, Formation of the Solar System and Newton’s Laws. Students were able to observe how the difference in design of each rocket resulted in a different flight path/pattern. Some rockets deployed a parachute while others had a simple streamer when descending. All flights were successful in the sense of their launch, but not so much in regards to recovery due to weather conditions (wind). 8th year Life Science students performed an activity that modeled the use and application of the Peterson technique of mark and recapture in order to estimate population density of a given species. Students conducted this practice using marked and unmarked beans, calculating those marked from unmarked to represent an estimation of their initial population. Such techniques are widely used by wildlife biologists to estimate an animal’s population size for a large area.