Middle School: Week in Review

We are back in the swing of our regular, academic schedule in Middle School. It felt great to return to the classrooms and hit the ground running with third trimester curriculum. The spring weather at the start of the week was energizing, and we look forward to bringing our classes back outside with the warmer weather.

Science

6th year Earth Science students have been working on the unit, Natural Resources. The objective of this unit is to inform students what a natural resource is and how to tell the difference between a renewable and nonrenewable resource. Students are also planning for Earth Day (April 22) by designing a 3D topographic representation of Fraser Woods’ trails. Their goal is to promote other classes to be outdoors on the trails to appreciate nature and all it has to offer.

7th year Physical Science students are on the unit, Refraction. Students have demonstrated how light refracts as it passes through different mediums (water, glass), resulting in an array of colors (rainbow). Students created stop motion videos beginning with white light and ending with the different spectrum of colors. We are also learning about how an image is projected when viewed through a concave and convex lens.
8th year Life Science students have finished their unit, Digestive System. Throughout this unit, students learned how the digestive system works, what it is made of, and what each organ is responsible for. Each student was asked to make a representation of the digestive system using clay that labeled and identified each digestive organ. The next unit will be about the endocrine system.
Math
In Pre-Transition class, students began the week with reviewing lessons 1-4 in Chapter 8 titled, Ratios and Proportions. This class is practicing how to divide mixed fractions, evaluate expressions containing fractions, and making connections to proportions in real life. This class will continue to work through this chapter for the next 2 weeks and should consider preparing in advance for the unit exam scheduled for Thursday, April 22nd.
In Transition class, students began the week with reviewing lessons 1-3 in Chapter 8 titled Multiplication in Algebra (introduction). This class is practicing how to multiply both positive and negative numbers, isolate the variable in an equation ax=b, and solve problems that combine percentages (discount and tax). Towards the end of the week, this class will begin to understand and demonstrate how to graph equations of the form ax=b on a coordinate grid.
In Algebra class, students are excited to continue their learning of the quadratic equations and functions. This class is beginning to understand equations of the form y=ax^2+b+c, how to solve for unknown values using the quadratic formula and can identify the maximum and minimum of the vertex on a parabola.
In Geometry class, students are learning about congruent triangles and the properties to prove congruency. This class can successfully draw triangles given specific restrictions, determine whether triangles are congruent, and apply the triangle congruence theorem to write a two-column proof statement. This class will have their first quiz for chapter 7 on Tuesday, April 20th.
As a general reminder, all math students are required to complete the daily textbook questions and lesson master assignments. Please check google classroom and myFWM for updates on assignments.
Math Joke:
What’s a math teacher’s favorite sum?…………..SUMMER!
What is a butterfly’s favorite subject at school?…………..Mothomatics
Humanities
This week, grade 6 Humanities classes wrapped up their unit about Ancient Egypt. They reviewed their reflections to the novel, The Egypt Game, and discussed the Ancient Egyptian social hierarchy before completing mini-biography presentations of a pharaoh. They also completed a unit of vocabulary.
Grade 7 Humanities students began the week reflecting on the memoir, Four Perfect Pebbles. that they completed in March. They wrote about how written accounts of something affect both the writer and the reader. Students also wrote about how knowledge about what they learned and read about the Holocaust will affect them moving forward. 7th graders then continued onto revolutions and Russian history, giving historical context for their upcoming novel, Animal Farm. 7th graders also completed a unit of vocabulary this week.
8th grade students are writing their expert project research papers that are due on Monday. They spent a portion of the week reviewing research writing techniques including interesting introductions to hook their readers, in-text citations, and using quotations effectively to support their thesis statements. They also met one-on-one with Mrs. Lamb to review progress and discuss any challenges with the writing process. Students have already completed their research as well as 2 expert interviews. For the last part of the week, 8th grade students reviewed the US policies surrounding the removal and westward relocation of Native Americans in the 1800s.
We hope you have a beautiful weekend!

Riddle Me This: Week #2

That’s a wrap! Production week for Riddle Me This, the 2021 Middle School written and produced play, is behind us! The children were incredibly patient, flexible, and hard working. It has been an absolute pleasure for the teachers to work with the students. From the genesis of the play’s concept to writing the dialogue, creating the set, and filming, it has been an amazing experience! With having to keep Covid protocols in mind, adding another layer of challenge during the entire process, the students stayed positive and made the show a great success.

We can’t wait to share the show with you once the editing is complete! Thank you for your support!


Middle School: Riddle Me This Week #1

It has been a wonderful return to school following spring break. It has been great to see all of the students and to be working on the amazing play they wrote: Riddle Me This. 

We started the week with a full cast, read-through over Zoom. From there, the day has been divided into thirds with each group working either on the stage blocking with Ms. Sutherland, building the set with Ms. Reid & Mr. Brown, or running through lines and additional rehearsal time with Mrs. Lamb. By Wednesday, the set was looking great and almost half the play was blocked!

Next week, the Middle School looks forward to finishing rehearsals and starting to film! Stay tuned!


Middle School: Pi & Play!

Pi Day
On Friday all students celebrated Pi Day which officially takes place on March 14 (3/14). Students enjoyed a read aloud story of Sir Cumfrance, they learned how Pi was discovered and used in the early days as well as enjoyed a tasty, circular cookie to celebrate the round theme. Each class participated in a 6-part station activity where everyone had an opportunity to calculate the circumference of a pop can, find the surface area of a toilet paper roll, and play a probability game to roll the correct digits to Pi from a 10-sided dice. Students enjoyed the day of hands on practice to calculate equations using Pi and reflect on how circular objects are used in the real world.
Fun Facts About Pi
1. there are over a trillion digits to Pi
2. its a irrational number that never terminates and never repeats
3. the world record for memorizing the most pi digits is 67890
Math Joke: 
What’s the math teacher’s favorite dessert?………………………Pi.
Why shouldn’t you eat too much pi?……………….You’ll end up with a big circumference

Riddle Me This: Middle School Play

The 2021 Middle School play, called Riddle Me This, is written! We have spent the last two weeks writing the script after the 8th graders developed the overall main idea of the play during the winter months. This year’s added challenge of Covid protocols and how to write a play where we need to remain in cohorts, 6-feet apart took some extra brainstorming. In the end, the decision was to write one play, not three smaller ones, which the scenes, when put together, gave one story.

The main idea was developed over the winter and was initially two plot plans that were developed and then presented and voted on by the entire middle school. In the end, the idea of a fun evening at Escape Room gone wrong was perfect for the production. It allowed us to have two “rooms” playing the game and a third “control room” twisting the game and puzzles for the others.

Character development is the next pivotal piece in developing the play. Who will bring this story to life? Each student had a chance to develop a character, whether it was to be played by them or someone else. This involved imagining a personality, appearance, how they will affect the plot, and writing examples of what this character might say. The magic comes in when each student presents his/her character. The rest of the class can contribute ideas, which then solidifies their role. Developing the characters has been a favorite portion of the process for me.

Finally, it’s time to write! This year, the writing process was done differently. We used Humanities classes over the last two weeks, and we used two mornings to write. Students remained in their cohorts to write their scenes. Now, I am going through each scene to ensure that plot goals are carried through, digressions are removed as much as possible, characters stay true to who they are supposed to be, and the play comes together the way it is originally intended. Students should have final scripts posted to review during the first week of break!

We hope everyone enjoys their break and look forward to immersion weeks when we return! More to come!

 

 

 

 


Middle School: Week in Review

We can’t believe it’s already the first week of March and only one more week before spring break. With spring weather coming, we are still asking that students are mindful of their clothing: layers for colder weather and with the warmer weather, shirts and shorts that are appropriate in length. Thank you!

Humanities

This week is Week 1 of playwriting for the MS play! This week, all students developed their characters and wrote the first three scenes. We have a goal of finishing the play before spring break and look forward to a Covid-friendly immersion experience once we return from Spring Break. More to come about the process and product in next week’s blog!
Meanwhile, 6th graders are finishing up with their class novel, The Egypt Game, and the 7th graders are finishing the memoir, Four Perfect Pebbles. 8th grade students are busy with their expert project, with several students conducting expert interviews.
Science

6th year Earth Science students are currently learning about Natural Resources. As part of this unit, students will identify what a natural resource is, where they come from, and what the differences are between renewable and nonrenewable fossil fuels. Students have just presented their research on what products are most environmentally friendly, recycled or bamboo based products.

7th year students tested their knowledge and taste buds, enjoying banana pancakes as part of our unit “Heat and Temperature.” Besides enjoying the pancakes, students were asked to reflect how energy was transferred to the skillet in addition to the heat to pancakes. Students were able to explain the transfer of heat through conduction from the skillet to the batter which speeds up the molecules within the batter to spread apart, solidifying a perfect pancake.
8th year Life Science students were able to demonstrate the 25′-30′ journey of food through the digestive system. Modeling this system required students to simulate the mechanical breakdown of food in the mouth by tearing apart small pieces of bread, accompanied by the addition of juices and beans. These items were then mixed thoroughly in a sealed bag (stomach) and poured into a nylon stocking (intestines). Despite the squeamish nature of students during this activity, they were able to identify portions of the system in which enzymes in our body assist in the breakdown and potential absorption of energy from the food we ingest before its exit.
Math
In Pre-Transition class, students concluded their study of Chapter 7. We participated in a scavenger hunt review game to go over key concepts of division properties. Students learned about dividing positive and negative numbers, using fact triangles to solve for missing values, and practicing dividing decimals without a calculator.
In Transition class, students also concluded their study of Chapter 6. We reviewed concepts such as properties of parallelograms, the Triangle sum theorem, and calculating distances between two points. This class made helpful review questions for each other and supported their peers with a team teaching activity.
In Algebra class, students are excited to continue their learning of exponent properties. This class has a successful  understanding of simplifying square roots and cube roots, calculating distance on a coordinate grid, and rewriting powers of products and quotients. This class will have the Chapter 8 Unit Test on Tuesday, March 9th.
In Geometry class, students are able to build their understanding of knowing properties for various types of triangles and regular polygons. This class can identify rotational symmetry, isosceles trapezoids vs regular trapezoids, as well as finding missing side lengths and angles in a given shape.
Math Joke: Why was the equal sign so humble?…………….He knew he wasn’t less than or greater than anyone else.

Middle School: Week in Review

It is the last week of February, and we had a glimpse of spring weather this week (following a wintry Monday). Coming into March, students have been talking about the last year quite a bit and discussing many of the events that have occurred for them personally. We are happy to report that all are having positive conversations with anticipation for the spring season at school!

Humanities

This week, 6th graders were focused on reading! They continued their class novel, The Egypt Game, and learned more about the ancient civilization of Egypt including information about Nefertiti, mummification, and hieroglyphics. Additionally, students all completed current events presentations.

The 7th grade class continued learning about the rise of Hitler, particularly in the years 1933-34. They also began reading Four Perfect Pebbles, a memoir by Marion Blumenthal Lazan, about her Jewish family’s experience during the Holocaust. This profound book also includes information regarding Germany and the Netherlands during World War II. 7th graders also completed current events presentations.

The 8th grade finished the Constitution, particularly the judicial branch of government, checks and balances, a refresher of all three branches, and they read the Bill of Rights. Students also completed a unit of vocabulary and worked on the play!

Math

In Pre-Transition class, students are continuing to work with division problems and understand how we use this operation in the real world. Students are able to find the quotient of a rational number sentence, determine if a fraction is a repeating or terminating decimal, and understand the rules of dividing positive and negative numbers. Students took the chapter 7 quiz 2 on Friday and should continue to practice their skills with the daily homework.
In Transition class, students are exploring unique ways to use angles and lines with geometry. This class can identify a complementary and supplementary angle, determine missing angle types such as acute and obtuse, as well as understand properties of parallelograms. This class will conclude chapter 6 before spring break and then begin learning key basic algebra concepts.
In Algebra class, students are excited to learn more exponent properties and building our foldable notebooks. This class is excited about simplifying negative exponent expressions, evaluating square and cube root expressions, and rewriting powers of products and quotients properties. At the end of the week they will participate in a carousel station exercise to help students memorize the property names.
In Geometry class, students are able to build their understanding of polygon shape properties. This week they specifically focused on kites, trapezoids, parallelograms and rhombuses. This class has been excited to play with real shapes and understand the complex connection between shapes and space in the real world today.
Math Joke: 
Which king loved fractions? ………………………..Henry the ⅛
Do you know why seven eight nine? ………………………………Because you’re supposed to eat three squared meals a day!

 

Science

6th year Earth Science students finished up their unit, Phases of the Moon, and have just begun their new unit, Natural Resources.  Throughout this unit, students will become familiar with what a natural resource is and what differentiates a renewable from a nonrenewable resource. Students will look at past and present environmental issues that are based on the application of natural resources.
7th year Physical Science students are working on their unit, Heat and Temperature. This past week students performed an experiment identifying how the heat of hot and cold liquids reach thermal equilibrium based on their initial thermal energy. Concluding this experiment, students were asked to write up a formal lab report interpreting the data obtained while conducting the lab.
8th year Life Science students finished their unit, Circulatory System, and are now just beginning their unit on the digestive system. To begin the unit, students are sharing prior knowledge they are familiar with such as, “Why is the digestive system necessary for the body’s health?” and, ” How do structures in the digestive system function?” Concluding this unit, students will gain awareness about how the food they put in their body is directly attributed to the energy (or lack thereof) that they exhibit throughout the day.

Middle School: Week in Review

Thank you, students and parents, for taking time to have meaningful conversations during parent conferences. The students’ reflections and goals are important for growth and progression as we soon transition from winter to spring.

Science

6th year Earth Science students are working on Phases of the Moon. This week students spent time creating visual representations of 8 main moon phases using their own light source (sun) and styrofoam ball (moon). Students illustrated each phase of the moon and then defined what was observed and the transition that occurred as the “moon” was rotated in a clockwise direction around the “sun”.

7th year Physical Science students began their new unit, Heat and Temperature. The objective of this unit is to identify the similarities and differences between heat, temperature, and thermal energy. Students will conduct a variety of hands-on activities/examples that assist in their working knowledge of the objectives.
8th year Life Science students are finishing up their unit on the Circulatory System. Last week students were assigned to illustrate the human body, incorporating all aspects of the circulatory system discussed thus far. Students were asked to include the heart, lungs, arteries, veins, and any additional information they felt supported their understanding of the unit. Mr. Brown was very happy with the work from each student. Great job.
Humanities
6th grade students are now studying Ancient Egypt. They made maps of the physical area as well as labeled important cities. They are also reading The Egypt Game by Zilpha Keatley Snyder. This fictional story follows one group of kids who create a secret game involving characters, rituals, and references to Ancient Egypt. We will learn alongside them in our study of the civilization.
7th grade Humanities students continued studying the rise of Adolf Hitler after learning about World War I and its effects on Germany economically, politically, and socially. They studied the formation and platform of the National Socialist German Workers’ Party (Nazi Party) and how antisemitism played a role. Next week, they will read Four, Perfect Pebbles, a memoir about the Holocaust written by Marion Blumenthal Lazan.
8th grade continues to study the Constitution, presenting five compromises made during the convention and their lasting effects on history, most notably the Great Compromise (Connecticut Plan) and the Three-Fifths Compromise. Then, students read the Articles of the Constitution surrounding the establishment of the Legislative and Executive branches. Finally, they continued to read in An Indigenous People’s History of the United States the effects of expansion on the alliance of tribes in the Ohio Country (land between the colonies and the Mississippi River).
All classes read and analyzed poetry this week, and all completed a unit of vocabulary. Next week is a current events week!
Math
In Pre-Transition class, students are learning unique ways to use division in the real world. Students are able to use the rate model to determine a single unit price, use an array model to draw divisibility statements, compare composite and prime numbers, and draw a factorization tree. We are continuing to work on our skills with integer division and identifying the quotient, dividend, and divisor of a number sentence.
In Transition class, students started their work with the Geometry unit and understanding transformations on a coordinate grid. Students can determine rotational symmetry of a figure, translate a set of ordered pairs on a coordinate grid, and can reflect an image over a given line. Next week, we will continue to work on our tessellation art projects which will be posted on the classroom walls.
In Algebra class, students were excited to build foldable notes for the chapter 8 exponent unit. Students are learning about power rules, product rules, quotient rules, and zero exponent rules. Students have begun to study for the first assessment of this chapter which will take place on Tuesday, February 23rd.
In Geometry class, students are learning about polygons and reflection symmetry in chapter 6. They have discussed inscribed angles and central angles in a circle, finding reflection symmetry in real world objects, using isosceles triangles to prove symmetry, and classifying quadrilaterals using a hierarchy system.
Math Joke: 
Why did Pi get its driver’s license revoked?………………….. Because it didn’t know when to stop.
What shape do you always have to be careful of?………………… A trap-ezoid!
Have a great weekend!

Middle School: Research Presentations

Thank you to all who came to watch our 6th & 7th year scholars give their virtual presentations on Wednesday and Thursday evenings! Research Night was the culmination of a multi-week investigation into a topic surrounding the theme, Great Discoveries. Students used an inquiry-based research method to develop and support their thesis statements.

The expository paper included 3-5 pages of writing, in-text citations, transitions, an interesting introduction, and a summative conclusion. Skills such as locating reliable resources, word and sentence variation, organizing information, and paraphrasing were included.

For their presentation of 5-10 minutes, students were asked to use the research that was relative and interesting to their topics to achieve the answer to the question, “What do I want my audience to walk away knowing?” The visual component to their presentations included audio clips, video segments, pictures,  and some quotations relating to the topic. The students focused on their voices being the main focus for information.

The Middle School teachers are incredibly proud of the students showcasing their individuality in their topics. Congratulations!

**Snow gear is encouraged when there is snow on the ground! We love to jump in it, throw it, build with it, slide through it, etc. and want to keep students as comfortable and dry as possible when they come back inside.**