Middle School: Project Learning

**REMINDER: 8th Grade Expert Project Presentations are next Wednesday, 5/22 at 6 pm in the Commons**

**REMINDER: Spring Concert and End of Year Picnic next Friday, 5/24. Drop off for kids @ 5pm, concert @ 5:30**

What an exciting time of year! This week were the culminating project presentations for Independent Study and Science Fair.

In Independent Study, 6th and 7th grade students wrote project proposals at the start of the trimester for something they would like to study, build, or showcase. There were a variety of topics including building a raised bed and growing carrots, building a March Madness bracket, and creating the plan for a historical non-fiction book. This week, students presented their work to their classmates.

This week, both the 6th-year Earth Science and 7th-year Physical Science students completed their research and preparation for their science fair topics and poster boards. The main goal of this science fair was to spark curiosity in a topic of their choice, identify a question or problem related to that topic, and carry out a scientific investigation. Each student went through the process of identifying a question or problem, formulating a hypothesis, creating a procedure, conducting the experiment or research, analyzing the data, and drawing a conclusion.

I am thrilled to see the effort and dedication each student put into this project. It was wonderful to see their interests merge with academic learning. For instance, one student explored why different colors are only visible at specific depths concerning fishing lure colors for specific fish species, while another student researched the structural components of acoustic guitars and their impact on sound.

Thank you for supporting your child throughout these projects!


Middle School: Week in Review

Wow! A lot is happening! A larger communication will be coming out with details about the trip and other end-of-year events. For now, here is a snapshot of what is coming up:

  • Wednesday, 5/15 @ 2:15 – Science Fair
  • Friday, 5/17 @ 5 pm- Middle School Semiformal- Parent Assistance Sign Up
  • Wednesday, 5/22 @ 6pm – 8th Grade Expert Presentations
  • Friday, 5/24 @ 5 pm End of year picnic and Spring Concert
  • Wednesday, 5/29- @ 8:30 am-Friday, 5/31 @ 8:30 pm – Middle School Trip to Boston
  • Wednesday, 6/5 @ 5 pm  Farewell to the Class of 2024!
  • Thursday, 6/6 @ 5 pm Commencement at Newtown Meeting House
  • Friday, 6/7 – Last day of school, 11:30 am dismissal

In addition to attending the Farewell to the Class of 2024 on June 5th, please consider attending the 8th Grade Expert Presentations with your middle school student. It is important to our community that the students come together to support one another for these milestones.

On Thursday, we had an awesome day with 5th-grade students joining us! They were able to live a typical day-in-the-life of an FWM middle school student. We are looking forward to them joining us full-time in the fall.

Humanities

The 6th grade has been reading a new class novel, Shooting Kabul, by N.H. Senzai. This book follows an Afghani family fleeing the rule of the Taliban and coming to the United States shortly before 9/11. Students have been annotating the chapters and using those to guide daily book discussions. The class has been interested in the history and timeline of the Taliban’s rule in Afghanistan. We also looked at the process for refugees and asylees looking to find safety in the United States.

The 7th-grade class finished A Gift From Childhood this week. They completed the index of proverbs and metaphors from the novel and also looked at fables. They read a few of Aesop’s fables and discussed the elements of this short genre that impart wisdom through anthropomorphic characters. Then, they chose a proverb and developed their own fables. This class has been enjoying a round of the quick geography game Worldle at the start of each class.

8th grade gave their first round of Expert Presentations this week, and each received written feedback for further revisions from Mrs. Lamb. They are well on their way towards their final presentations on May 22nd! This week, on the history side of 8th-grade Humanities, the 8th graders have been studying WWII. The rise of Fascism in Europe, the expansionism policies of Japan and Germany, and the differing political ideologies are the focus as they continue this unit.

Math

This week, pretransition math students delved into Chapter 5, where they explored the world of statistics. Students started by understanding the basics of statistics and how it helps us make sense of data. Throughout the week, they learned about different ways to represent data graphically, such as stem and leaf plots, bar graphs, histograms, and circle graphs. By studying these concepts, students gained valuable skills in organizing and interpreting data, setting a strong foundation for their future mathematical endeavors.

Transition math students who have completed Chapter 10 on Linear Equations and Inequalities are now working on Chapter 11, where they will explore Geometry in Space and Shapes. In this new chapter, students began by understanding basic concepts related to planes and points of intersection. They will then progress into representing 3-dimensional shapes on a 2-dimensional surface by creating the net shape of each object. As the chapter unfolds, students will explore topics such as surface area calculations, geometric prisms, and cylinders, expanding their knowledge and skills in geometry.

In Chapter 12 of Algebra, students are continuing their work on quadratics. This week, they began being introduced to concepts such as graphing y – k = a, mastering the technique of completing the square, and exploring the intricate process of factoring the quadratic function. From factoring an unknown variable when it equals one, to handling scenarios where A  is greater than one, students are continuing to work on unraveling the complexities of quadratic equations one concept at a time.

The geometry class is learning about surface and lateral areas of prisms, cones, pyramids, and cylinders. They are distinguishing between the many different formulas to help them calculate these areas. From the pyramids in Egypt to paint cans, the eighth grade is learning how surface area is used in the real world. They have engaged in various hands-on activities to enhance their learning.

Science

Both the 6th-grade Earth Science and 7th-grade Physical Science students have been diligently working on their science fair projects this week. They will put their hard work on display next Thursday, May 15th, from 2:15 to 3:00. They have been researching, gathering data, formulating hypotheses, drawing conclusions, and organizing their poster boards with precision. Each project aligns with the student’s current Earth or Physical Science curriculum, showcasing their dedication and passion for science.

This week in Life Science, 8th-grade students have continued working on the unit The Nervous System, with a special focus on the intricate workings of the brain. Throughout this week, students have immersed themselves in a variety of articles, honed their presentation skills through oral reports, and are currently engaging in creative ways to visually represent the distinct functions associated with each part of the brain. This hands-on approach not only enhances their understanding of neurobiology but also allows them to showcase their artistic talents.


Middle School: Week in Review

The Middle School started the week off trying progressive muscle relaxation, a form of moving meditation to calm the body, releasing tension (seen in pictures). We also said farewell to the old field and look forward to the new one in the fall! Now that the weather is nicer, we have had lunch outside daily with plenty of time to run around and hang out with friends. We are in for a busy month ahead, so be on the lookout for upcoming informational emails about the Middle School Social on 5/17, Honoring the Class of 2024 on 6/5, and the Boston trip on 5/29-5/31! Exciting events ahead!

Here’s the week in review:

Humanities

6th-grade Humanities class has transitioned to Subcontinental Asia for their final unit of study. They learned the geography of the region and used Google Earth to explore different areas in each country. They were also curious about the demographics, especially the population, languages spoken, and religions practiced. This led nicely to our study of two of the predominant religions of Subcontinental Asia, Islam and Hinduism. We will begin our final novel, Shooting Kabul, by N.H. Senzai in the coming week.

7th-grade Humanities classes have been reading A Gift From Childhood by Baba Wague Diakite. This memoir looks at the Malian tradition of storytelling and generational life lessons using proverbs and metaphors. As students read, they use their annotations to highlight important information, ask questions, and identify the proverbs and metaphors. They are keeping an index of these figurative sayings to use for a future writing piece. Students also read about the colonization of West Africa by the French, and how European colonization throughout the continent of Africa influenced culture.

8th-grade Humanities classes have just about finished She Came to Slay. They spent some time learning about the Great Migration, an important time of history that corresponds with Harriet Tubman’s life and work. Additionally, they are working hard on their expert presentations. Students will run through them for the first round of feedback next week with Mrs. Lamb. In US history with Mr. Newman, the class is transitioning from the Gilded Age to the 1920s and The Great Depression. Many of the advancements during the Gilded Age led to prosperity and the “Roaring Twenties,” which in turn set the country up for an economic crash. The class will be studying the causes and effects of the economic crisis of the late 20s and early 30s.

Math

In the final stretch of Chapter 10, “Linear Equations and Inequalities,” Transition math students are learning about the properties of graphing with equations like Ax+By=C and inequalities such as Ax+By<C. This week, they are mastering the art of representing time-distance relationships graphically and visualizing formulas through graphs. Their next chapter (11) is titled “Geometry in Space.”

Pre-transition math students have successfully completed Chapter 9 on Area and Volume this week, expanding their understanding of geometric concepts. Moving forward, the upcoming chapter on Probability will delve into exciting new topics. Students will be introduced to fundamental principles such as the multiplication counting principle, sample spaces, probability calculations, the use of probability tree diagrams, and the concept of fair games. This new chapter will engage students in a thought-provoking exploration of mathematical probability.

In the world of Algebra, students have just wrapped up their exploration of Polynomials in Chapter 11. Now, as they embark on Chapter 12, “More Work with Quadratics,” they will discover new concepts that will deepen their understanding of quadratic equations. They will learn to graph equations in the form y-k=a(x-h)², master the skill of completing the square, and unravel the mysteries of factoring quadratic equations. This chapter promises to be a journey full of challenges and discoveries as students continue to sharpen their algebraic skills.

The eighth-grade geometry class continues to explore the facets of pyramids and cones. They can identify the apex, lateral edges, lateral faces, base edges, and slant height. They apply previously learned theorems and special right triangles to find these edges, bases, and altitudes.

Science

In 6th grade Earth Science, students are exploring the consequences of human actions on our planet. This week, the focus is on identifying various ways in which humans negatively affect the environment, such as pollution and deforestation. Students are challenged to think critically and propose sustainable alternatives that can achieve the same goals without harming nature. By exploring these concepts, students are not only learning about environmental issues but also developing crucial problem-solving skills for a more sustainable future.

In 7th grade Physical Science, students continued to work on discovering the properties of reflection as they investigated various surfaces like smooth, rough, concave, and convex. Through hands-on activities, students designed experiments to determine whether mirrors or foil would cause a greater temperature change in water when exposed to a heat lamp. Prior to the experiment, students formulated hypotheses, fostering critical thinking and scientific reasoning skills essential to the exploration of reflective surfaces.

In 8th year Life Science, students researched the role of our nervous system, unraveling its impact on our daily lives. Through research, they discovered the two primary systems that compose our nervous system—the central and peripheral nervous systems—recognizing the distinct functions each system carries out in our bodies. Additionally, students were asked to identify and present information on the three different types: motor neurons governing movement, interneurons facilitating communication between neurons, and sensory neurons responsible for transmitting sensory information to the brain.

Have a great weekend!


Middle School: Week in Review

Another busy week!

**If your child is going on the MS trip to Boston, please make sure your health forms are in ASAP! Here are the links:

Class Overnight Trip Information – REQUIRED-to be completed by every parent
Field Trip Medication Authorization – to be completed by physician for any medication that requires administration.
Humanities
In 6th grade Humanities, students completed their class novel, The Eye of Ra. They also had a great discussion about overall novel reactions. Students mentioned favorite parts, character frustrations, and even parts of the novel they would have written differently or even omitted. Then, students began an essay discussing the character progression of John from the start to the end of the novel. Finally, students have drafted “Where I’m From”-Fraser Woods style poems as well as pet poetry inspired by the poems, “Birch” by Karen Shepard and “Shelter” by R.S. Jones.
Grade 7 Humanities students spent the week working on their drafts for their literary analysis essay using A Long Walk to Water by Linda Sue Park. They have created thesis statements and are using evidence form the novel (including direct quotations) to support the following quotation said by Salva: “Quitting leads to much less happiness in life than perseverance and hope.” Finally, students ended the week building some prior knowledge about the Malian cultural tradition of storytelling using proverbs and metaphors. Students will use this as they begin their next memoir, A Gift From Childhood by Baba Wague Diakite.
In Mr. Newman’s 8th grade History class, students have been learning about the titans of industry in the US during its Gilded Age. The advancements of technology and the ability to move people and goods and services throughout the country not only helped us become an economic power, it also brought new issues of labor force treatment and business regulation that the country was not prepared for. With Mrs. Lamb, students reviewed in-text citations as they finalize their expert research paper drafts for next week. Additionally, students continue to lead book discussion of She Came to Slay about Harriet Tubman’s history and life with their annotations. They also looked at the Fugitive Slave laws and other legislation as it affected Harriet’s journey on the underground railroad.
Math

Pre-Transition math students worked this week on chapter 9, Area and Volume. Concepts such as areas of frames and rings, drawing boxes, surface area, and the volume of a cube were introduced as students were able to represent their understanding on multiple levels such as artistic representations. The students put their learning into practice by representing a 3-dimensional box, showcasing their understanding of the lessons learned thus far.

Transition math students continued to work on chapter 10 this week, focusing on Linear Equations and Inequalities. Throughout the week, they tackled various concepts such as solving equations of the form ax + b < cx + d, understanding linear combinations, mastering the art of graphing inequalities, and interpreting time-distance graphs. This exciting journey is helping students develop their problem-solving skills and build a strong foundation in algebraic thinking.

This week, Algebra math students continued their work on chapter 11, Polynomials. They focused on various units such as multiplying polynomials, special binomial products, and permutations, and even learned about the chi-square statistic. Understanding how to manipulate polynomials is a key skill that will help them solve more complex mathematical problems in the future, laying a solid foundation for their algebraic journey.

The eighth grade geometry class has been working on finding the area of a circle inscribed and circumscribed around regular polygons. They are finding the apothem by applying the Pythagorean theorem or using special right triangles. The students are calculating the probability of shaded areas. They have done numerous word problems and diagrams involving these topics.
Science

6th-year Earth Science students took their understanding of the impact of human activities on our planet to a new level through a series of formal presentations. Exploring topics such as the utilization of natural resources, the ease of obtaining and replenishing renewable and nonrenewable resources, the effects of human populations and activities on Earth’s systems, and the significance of responsible natural resource management, these presentations not only showcased the students’ knowledge but also highlighted the critical need for sustainable practices to protect our environment for future generations.

In the 7th year Physical science classroom, students delved into the fundamental concepts of reflection, exploring how light interacts with different mirrors. As they presented key ideas and learning objectives of the unit, Reflection, they also engaged in a hands-on and artistic activity. Using convex and concave mirrors, students had the opportunity to artistically represent images through the lens of reflection. This practical approach not only enhanced their understanding of optical principles but also sparked their creativity in visual representation within the realm of science.

8th-year students explored more of the body’s nervous system, unraveling its complex network of communication pathways. Through research projects, students explored the fundamental objectives of the unit, seeking to grasp the intricate web of the nervous system’s components. Students were able to become more familiar with the various parts of the nervous system, from the brain to the spinal cord and nerves, while unraveling the vital role each element plays in transmitting messages throughout the body. Additionally, students examine the structure and function of neurons, discovering how these specialized cells transmit electrical impulses to facilitate communication.


Middle School: Week in Review

IMPORTANT ANNOUNCEMENTS:

  • Order your 8th-grade-designed 2024 FWM sweatshirt ASAP! Orders close on 4/27! Click here to order.
  • ALSO, we are looking forward to having a great Middle School turnout at this year’s auction, Saturday Night Fraser, on Saturday, 4/26! If you want to see Mr. Brown (and his retro mustache) & Mrs. Lamb in their finest 70s attire, be sure to grab your tickets here: Fraser Woods Auction Tickets

Well it is certainly feeling like spring from the warmer days, eating lunch outside, flowers popping, and all the extra sneezing from those pesky allergies creeping up. The Middle School also enjoyed putting on their glasses and getting outside on Monday to view the solar eclipse.

Here’s what went on in classes this week:

Humanities

The 6th-grade Humanities class had a current events week, so they presented their work and had rich discussions about topics going on in the world right now. This group knows how to have informed conversations while offering their opinions respectfully. Additionally, they continue to annotate and move forward in the class novel, The Eye of Ra. Annotations lead our discussions with important moments to recall, questions to answer, and personal reactions to events. The class is also learning about the engineering and building of the pyramids of Egypt, as this is central to their novel, and they have been learning about the pyramid of Djoser and the Great Pyramids. Finally, the group expressed curiosity surrounding sandstorms after one occurred in this week’s reading. The class then learned about the climate of Egypt, when and how sandstorms occur there, and viewed a giant one from 2023.

The 7th-grade Humanities class also had a current events week. There was a wide range of topics and discussions surrounding the presentations. Additionally, on Poetry Tuesday, we spent a bit of time on the poem “Turtle Came to See Me” by Margarita Engle, a Cuban American contemporary poet. The poem is a great example of how imagery can really make writing come to life. Additionally, the main message of the poem, that adults we see as experts can sometimes be wrong offered a great discussion about how we are all human. Next, 7th-grade students drafted their literary analysis essays for A Long Walk to Water using quotations to support Salva’s claim that perseverance made all the difference in his life.

This week in 8th grade American History with Mr. Newman, students began examining the end of the Civil War and the process of Reconstruction. Students learned about the Emancipation Proclamation, The Compromise of 1877, and the assassination of Abraham Lincoln, to name a few. Next week, they will move into the Gilded Age. With Mrs. Lamb, students continue to read and annotate She Came to Slay, a biography about Harriet Tubman. This week’s annotations prove that this group is moving into high school thinking. The class also took a day to study African American Spirituals: what they are, how they became an important part of Black life during and after slavery, and how they continue to represent an important part of community and culture among Black Americans. They also learned how they played a role in the Underground Railroad. Students read lyrics to a few songs and listened to recordings from the Library of Congress as well as recordings from Marian Anderson, Louie Armstrong, contemporary gospel singers, and Fisk University’s Jubilee Singers. Drafts of expert research papers are due on 4/22.

Math

Pre-Transition students had an engaging week as they were introduced to Chapter 9’s focus on area and volume. From mastering operations of arithmetic to calculating the area of a triangle and parallelogram, students were immersed in the essential concepts that form the foundation of geometry. Through a variety of activities and real-life examples, students gained a deeper understanding of how to calculate and compare different shapes’ areas, setting the stage for more complex geometric explorations in the future.

Throughout this week, Transition students worked on linear equations and inequalities in their Transition mathematics class. They kicked off by exploring how to find solutions by analyzing graphs, followed by mastering the art of solving equations in the form of ax + b = cx + d. Additionally, students learned about graphing linear inequalities of the type y < ax + b. These fundamental concepts are building blocks in understanding the relationships between variables and will continue to shape their problem-solving skills moving forward.

This week, as Algebra students embarked on their journey into the world of polynomials, they worked on exploring concepts such as investments intertwined with polynomials. They tackled the classification of polynomials, learning how to differentiate between terms like binomials, trinomials, and more. Additionally, they honed their skills in multiplying a polynomial by a monomial, mastering the art of these mathematical operations. With this knowledge, students are well on their way to unraveling the mysteries of algebraic expressions and equations.

The geometry class has been working on finding the area of a regular polygon, using their knowledge of special right triangles and the Pythagorean theorem to find the apothem. They have also reviewed simplifying radicals, which are needed to express various lengths of the sides of a right triangle.

Science

In the 6th year of Earth Science studies, students have completed their unit on eclipses, diving deep into the celestial alignment that causes these remarkable phenomena. Following their lessons, students had the unique opportunity to witness an eclipse firsthand this past Monday, allowing them a rare and awe-inspiring experience of this natural occurrence.

7th-year Physical Science students continue to study the unit of reflection, building upon their knowledge from previous years. Through engaging experiments with lasers and mirrors, they are discovering how different surface materials impact the reflection of light. The primary objectives of this unit include designing experiments to evaluate the reflectivity of various materials, recognizing the distinct characteristics of different types of mirrors, and explaining the behavior of light as it reflects off diverse surfaces.

As 8th-grade Life Science students wrap up their exploration of the circulatory system, they dive into the intricate world of the nervous system. In this upcoming unit, students will unravel the mysteries of the brain, spine, and nerves that control our every move. They will explore the details of neurons and the building blocks of our nervous system and understand how these specialized cells function and communicate. Through hands-on experiments, students will track how nerve impulses zip through the body, carrying vital messages and responses at lightning speed. Get ready to embark on a new journey, mapping out the routes of stimulus and sensation that keep us in sync with the world around us.

Looking forward to next week!


Middle School: Week in Review

Another productive week in Middle School! A highlight outside of academic classes took place on Wednesday afternoon when all middle school students assisted the kindergarteners with their research projects. They read books about their topic to the kindergarteners and then chatted about the new information they learned.

Here’s what went on in other classes:

Math

Transition math students have been discussing real-world patterns that eventually lead to division. This week’s lessons have focused on the ratio-comparison model for division, allowing students to grasp the concept of dividing quantities into equal groups. Moving on to proportions, students have been exploring the idea of comparisons between two ratios, enhancing their proportional thinking skills. To further solidify their understanding, students have also been studying proportions in similar figures, connecting geometry with their newfound knowledge of division.

In the chapter on Linear Systems that Algebra math students have been working on this week, they delved into various intriguing concepts. These included exploring systems and parallel lines, grappling with systems of inequalities, and deciphering nonlinear systems. The discussions also extended to real-world applications, such as how air traffic controllers use these mathematical ideas to anticipate points of intersection for air travel routes, showcasing the practical relevance of algebra in everyday scenarios.

The eighth-grade geometry class has been busy exploring the Pythagorean theorem and how it is used to find different sides of a triangle. They also learned how it would help them find missing sides in a complicated polygon that doesn’t have all the given sides. They can classify triangles as obtuse, right, or acute, given the three sides.

Science

6th-year Earth Science students have completed their study on rotation, revolution, and seasons. Excitingly, they are now gearing up for their next adventure into the captivating realm of eclipses. During this unit, they will delve into the mysteries of lunar and solar eclipses, aiming to model and explain the mesmerizing phenomena that occur during these celestial events. As they eagerly anticipate the upcoming solar eclipse next Monday, each student will have the opportunity to observe this rare occurrence safely with the provided pair of solar glasses.

7th-year physical science students recently wrapped up their exploration of kinetic energy by putting their derby cars to the test. They raced each car multiple times, taking the average of their runs while also carefully calculating the mass of their creations. Looking ahead to the next unit, Reflection, students are eager to design experiments to investigate the reflectivity of various materials. As they delve into this new topic, they will learn to identify key characteristics of different types of mirrors and understand how light behaves as it reflects off different surfaces, paving the way for a deeper understanding of the fascinating world of light and optics.

In their recent exploration of genetics and heredity, 8th-year life science students have gained a deeper understanding of how traits are passed down through generations. As they transition into the next unit on the circulatory system, students will explore the intricate networks responsible for transporting oxygen, nutrients, and waste throughout the body. They will learn to describe the function of the circulatory system, create a drawing illustrating the path of circulation in the body, know the difference between veins, arteries, and capillaries, and understand the structure and function of the heart. This new unit promises to reveal the fascinating inner workings of one of the body’s most vital systems.

Humanities

6th-grade Humanities classes continued reading their class novel, The Eye of Ra, by Ben Gartner, which centers around two kids accidentally traveling back to Ancient Egypt. This group is leading discussion using their annotations from nightly reading assignments. The students also read the Egyptian creation myth and learned about the first of the great pyramids, the Pyramid of Djoser, or the Step Pyramid. Finally, students are preparing a current events report and discussion for next week.

The 7th-grade Humanities class completed the novel A Long Walk to Water, which follows the real story of Salva Dut, a Lost Boy of Sudan. We have spent the week learning about Sudan and South Sudan, their geography and culture, as well as their conflicts, and delved deeper into the stories of the Lost Boys who walked from Sudan to Ethiopia and then on to Kenya. Finally, students are preparing a current events report and discussion for next week.

8th-grade Humanities classes with Mrs. Lamb began with a major check-in for the Expert Project. Most students have completed their expert interviews and research, and they are ready to write their research essays. Next, the students continued reading and annotating She Came to Slay, a biography of Harriet Tubman by Erica Armstrong Dunbar. Finally, as they read and learned of the role religion played in the lives of the enslaved, they learned and listened to African American spirituals.

We hope everyone has a wonderful weekend!!


Middle School: Welcome to Spring 2024!

Welcome back, Middle School families! It was a great first week of the spring trimester. The students were refreshed and energized as we entered these last couple of months of school.

Humanities

6th grade Humanities classes are studying Ancient Egypt. They researched some specific vocabulary that will be useful in their study of this time of history, as well as building knowledge as they read the novel The Eye of Ra by Ben Gartner. This book surrounds the building of the Pyramid of Djoser and includes the infamous architect Imhotep. The students are learning to make their own annotations as they read in lieu of comprehension questions and will eventually be leading their own book discussions. Finally, we got back to Poetry Tuesdays this week and discussed the many usages of some words as well as etymology.

7th-grade Humanities classes dove right back into their class novel, A Long Walk to Water, by Linda Sue Park. This piece recounts the experience of Salva Dut, a Sudanese man who was part of the Lost Boys of Sudan, fleeing his country to safety from rebel military groups in the late 1980s. The class also watched a video in two parts about the geography of Sudan: political, physical, and human.  They will continue with this region next week, focusing on South Sudan and its independence in 2011. 7th-grade students will be making annotations moving forward with this novel, and we discussed how to do so when reading by recognizing something important, having a reaction, making a connection, and asking a question. Finally, students returned to regular Poetry Tuesday readings with a poem called “Guilt” by Jed Chambers.

8th grade began the week in Mr. Newman’s class. In American History they are continuing their examination of the Civil War and its outcomes. The class will be studying how the country was divided prior to and just after the war and what challenges lay ahead. In conjunction with this, they began a book with Mrs. Lamb called She Came to Slay, by Erica Armstrong Dunsbar. This biography, published in 2019, details the life of Minty (a.k.a Harriet Tubman) and her predecessors. 8th-grade students are annotating and leading class discussions. This book is bringing about many questions about slavery, so they are exploring more about its history in the U.S. as well. Students also checked in with Mrs. Lamb regarding their Expert Interviews and have a big check-in on Tuesday, April 2.

Science

In 6th-year Earth Science, students are delving into the fascinating topic of what causes seasons on our planet. This past week, they dedicated their time to creating artistic representations that capture the essence of the unit’s objectives. Through their creativity, students are gaining a deeper understanding of how the tilt of Earth’s axis and its orbit around the sun contributes to the changing seasons we experience throughout the year.

In 7th-year Physical Science class, students have been immersed in a fascinating project constructing pinewood derby cars, all part of the Kinetic Energy unit. Throughout this hands-on experience, each student has been tasked with applying key concepts of both kinetic and potential energy, as well as delving into the relationship between energy, speed, and velocity. Once the young engineers complete their builds, an exhilarating race awaits, putting their newfound knowledge to the test in a thrilling display of scientific principles in action.
8th-year Life Science students have continued to work on our unit, Heredity and Genetics, focusing on genotypes and phenotypes. As students construct their unique “Monsters” family, they witness firsthand how specific traits are inherited by the offspring. This hands-on approach not only brings genetics to life but also deepens students’ understanding of how traits are passed down through generations in living organisms.

Math

In the chapter, Ratio and Proportion, Pre-Transition math students are delving into the world of ratios and proportions which are essential concepts in mathematics. By grasping the ratio comparison model for division, students can effectively compare quantities. Furthermore, they are exploring reciprocals, uncovering the multiplicative inverse property crucial for solving equations. Additionally, students are mastering the division of fractions and mixed numbers, which provides a solid foundation for more complex math problems. Equally important, they are learning to solve equations of the form ax=b, a fundamental skill with broad applications in various mathematical contexts.

Transition math students are currently covering the chapter Patterns Leading to Division. This week’s lessons have been filled with exciting concepts such as integer division, the rate model for division, division of fractions, negative numbers, equations and inequalities, and the ratio-comparison model for division. By exploring these topics, students are building a strong foundation in division that will not only help them solve mathematical problems but also see the connections and patterns that exist within numbers.

Linear systems in Algebra are a fundamental concept where equations involving multiple variables are solved simultaneously to find a common solution. This week, students have been exploring different methods, such as substitution, addition, and multiplication, to solve these systems. They have also learned about the relationship between systems and parallel lines, as well as delving into matrices and matrix multiplication. By mastering these techniques, students are better equipped to solve real-world problems that involve multiple unknowns and variables.

The geometry class has been exploring the area and perimeter of various polygons. They discovered how the formula for the area of a triangle came about. They are applying conversions to finding the same area: square miles to feet, square yards to square feet and square inches, and square miles to square acres. Given tesselations, students can predict its area.

Have a wonderful weekend! To those celebrating, Happy Easter.


Middle School: Week in Review

6th and 7th Grade Research Presentations were a great send-off into spring break! Students should feel accomplished with all of their hard work preparing for this project.

Here’s what went on in classes this week:

Humanities

Grades 6 & 7 finalized their presentations and finished revising their essays this week. Some students moved on to other Humanities work when they felt prepared for research night (Grade 6- Ancient Egypt & Grade 7- A Long Walk to Water).

8th-grade Humanities classes sent off their first round of inquiries to potential experts for their final Expert Project. They also completed their final grammar assessment on complex and compound sentences. This week in US History, 8th-grade students presented on their reform topics. As we head into March break, the class will be moving into the start of the Civil War.

Science

6th-year Earth Science students have recently delved into a fascinating new unit titled Rotations, Orbits, and Seasons. This unit explores fundamental concepts in science and astronomy that are crucial for understanding the world around us. Understanding rotations, orbits, and seasons is essential as it helps students comprehend the reasons behind day and night, the changing seasons, and even the varying lengths of days throughout the year. These concepts lay the groundwork for students to appreciate Earth’s place in the solar system and how it influences life on our planet.

7th-year Physical Science students have recently started the unit on Kinetic Energy. During this unit, students will have the opportunity to apply their understanding by designing and analyzing how kinetic and potential energy are utilized in building a marble roller coaster. Additionally, they have also begun the exciting task of designing their pinewood derby cars. These cars will be tested to see how mass influences the transfer of kinetic energy.

8th-year Life Science students have recently begun the unit, Genes, where they are exploring heredity and the impact of past generations on our present lives. Currently, they are engaged in a fascinating monster genetics lab that delves into alleles, phenotypes, and genotypes to understand how these factors influence the appearance of their unique monsters. To conclude this project, students will creatively depict their monsters artistically.

Math

Pre-Transition students recently completed Chapter 7, Division Properties, which included units on the division of decimals (7.8), division of negative numbers (7.9), and solving division and multiplication equations using fact triangles (7.10). They will be moving on to their next chapter (8) on Ratios and Proportions, which are crucial in real-world applications.

Transition students finished Chapter 8 on Multiplication in Algebra, which involved units on Graphing y = ax + b (8.7), Solving c = ax + b (8.8), and Solving c ax + b (8.9). Their upcoming chapter (9) will focus on Patterns Leading to Long Division.

Algebra students are currently immersed in Chapter 10 on Linear Systems, covering units on solving systems using substitution (10.2), more using substitution (10.3), solving systems using addition (10.4), solving systems using multiplication (10.5), systems and parallel lines (10.6), as well as matrices and matrix multiplication (10.7).

The geometry class has explored triangle congruence theorems and the commonality of specific properties that quadrilaterals share. Students have applied these theorems and properties in their proofs. After the break, the class will explore perimeters and areas of triangles, quadrilaterals, and irregular figures. The end of chapter 8 concludes with exploring the Pythagorean theorem, special right triangles, and the arc length,  circumference, and area of a circle.

Have a restful spring break, everyone!