Middle School: Internships

Being an 8th year student at Fraser Woods is exciting. In fact, I wish I could have the experiences these children are fortunate to have. One such project that is specific to 8th years is to participate in an internship for four-five days with a working adult(s).

The experience has many goals, but a few are to bring awareness to certain types of professions that one may not know much about, observe working environments, observe social and communication interactions in a workplace, and to do some actual work.

The culmination of the internship project includes a daily journal, reflection, and a presentation to the rest of the middle school students about their experiences.

During the week of November 18th, this year’s 8th years had the following internship experiences:

Branded Styles hair salon

Katten, Muchin, Rosenman LLP

Dr. Paul J. Keating, DDS

Westchester County Executive Office

Yale Pediatric Endocrinologist Office

The Exceptional Pet

Trumbull Medical Arts- Pharmacology

St. Vincent DePaul Mission

Synchrony Financial

Milone & MacBroom

This is one of the many unique opportunities our FWM middle school students have before they graduate, and they all had tremendous experiences.


Middle School: Week in Review

We missed the 8th years most of this week, but we were excited to have many of them back on Friday to deliver our community’s food donation to the Women Involved in Newtown!

In Earth Science, 6th year students have been working on their Elaborate with STEM portion of the unit, Plate Tectonics. Questions students have been tasked in researching are, “What makes the soil near a volcano special?” and, “Why does California have so many earthquakes?”  Students did a great job presenting their research to the class. In Physical Science, 7th year students have been gathering data to determine the kinetic energy (KE) a marble has based on inclination. Students built ramps with various degrees of inclination and determined the velocity of the marble, leading to their discovery of its kinetic energy (KE).  KE = 1/2MV^2.

In Humanities, 6th year students completed drafts of their empathy writing and met with peers for review. This process helps students provide positive feedback and items to consider when giving their peers feedback. Then, they had writing conferences with Mrs. Lamb to finalize their free verse pieces. Finally, they completed a vocabulary section. In 7th year Humanities, students had writing conferences with Mrs. Lamb for their folktales and are now revising those pieces. They also began to learn about the Lost Boys of Sudan in preparation for reading A Long Walk to Water. They also watched a video about the cultural shift for some of the Lost Boys who came to the US and completed some reflective writing about this. It also lead to further discussion of the positive and negative aspects of what the experience might be like for immigrants and refugees coming into the U.S. from such different cultures. They also completed a section of vocabulary.

In Math class this week, the 6th and 7th graders worked on their respective courses to finish learning Chapter 4. In class, they talked about good study habits and how to best keep organized in math class. They also discussed the importance of going over any assignments/homework questions one final time before handing in a good copy, and to bring questions to class to get support from Ms. Sutherland. In the transition course, students covered topics such as classifying number systems and geometric shapes. In the pre-transition course, students covered topics such as understanding different kinds of angles, subtracting fractions without common denominators, and solving equations with fact triangles.
Math Joke:
Why couldn’t the angle get a loan? Because its parents would have to cosine.
An extra thank you to students for making Mrs. Lamb’s birthday so special with cards and flowers!

Middle School: Week in Review

6th year Earth Science students finished creating their stop-motion video illustrating the rock cycle. Students worked in pairs, creating the formation process of sedimentary, igneous, and metamorphic rocks. 7th year Physical Science students finished creating their States of Matter stop-motion videos. Students were required to illustrate the different states of matter (solid, liquid, gas), how different molecules act within each state, and their physical properties. 8th year Life Science students are exploring cellular respiration. We have discussed how our bodies rely on the intake of glucose for our cells to process into energy (ATP).

In Math, Pre-Transition started Chapter 4, which talks all about understanding subtraction problems. This group of students is using the slide model for subtraction problems, practicing fact triangles and related fact families, as well as finding unknown values in geometric shapes using subtraction to solve.
Transition students are working through the second half of Chapter 4. These students are analyzing basic figures of geometry, finding unions and intersections of sets, and classifying new shapes such as quadrilaterals and triangles. Algebra finished Chapter 4 before heading off to internship week. Students had independent work time this week to study for the upcoming unit test. We are reviewing concepts such as graphing compound inequalities, solving absolute values algebraically, and identifying equivalent formulas.
Math Joke: What geometric shape is usually waiting for you inside a Starbucks?….a Line!
Humanities 6 class completed drafts for two writing assignments this week. The first was their free verse poetry inspired by a photograph. The second was their letter of empathy to Melody, the main character in Out of My Mind. 7th year students completed drafts of their folktales with lessons inspired by the novel, A Gift From Childhood. They had a group feedback session on their pieces as well as self and peer review before submitting drafts. Finally, 8th years submitted the drafts for their rewriting history papers. Then, they moved on to learn about common Native American myths and began learning about westward expansion. All Humanities classes wrapped up the week with current events.
We wish the 8th years a wonderful experience with their internships next week!
Finally, Mrs. Lamb would like to thank the cooking elective, Middle School students, and Mrs. Carroll’s Montessori Plus students for the fun gender reveal! Baby boy Lamb is lucky to have such a great extended family.

Middle School: Week in Review

It’s been a few weeks since we had a full week, so it felt great to be back in a rhythm and having forward momentum with our classes!

Science classes were busy this week. In Earth Science, the 6th years continued exploring how tectonic plates help shape and form our landscape. Within this unit, students are researching how tectonic plates play a role in the rock cycle (igneous, metamorphic, sedimentary). In Physical Science, 7th year students finished their unit, Characteristic Properties of Matter. The next unit will consist of states of matter. We will explore how substances are able to change their state while explaining the structure, properties, and interactions of matter. The 8th year Life Science class has also finished their unit, Structure of Life. The next unit is Cellular Respiration. By the end of the unit, students will be able to describe the importance of the reactants and products of cellular respiration, while differentiating respiration (breathing) from cellular respiration.

In Humanities class, 6th years finished their class novel, Out of My Mind. After an excellent wrap-up in discussion, they watched a mini-documentary about a New Zealand teen who lives with cerebral palsy, like the protagonist of the class novel. Also, students began their work on a nature-inspired, creative piece in which they write using imagery and descriptive language. The 7th year students finished their class novel, A Gift From Childhood, and have compiled all of the proverbs and metaphors in the book. After analyzing, they have selected one that will serve as the moral to a story they will compose in the style of a Mali tale. Finally, 8th years have continued their work rewriting history with their essay drafts. Because these essays have substantial research, they are just now carefully drafting and citing their information to support their original theses. All three classes had current events presentations on Monday as well as a vocabulary unit this week.

Math class was fun this week as they learned new concepts, practiced what they already know, and worked together with their peers to solve challenging equations. Pre-Transition students finished up Chapter 3 and reviewed important concepts for this week’s assessment. The class has talked about adding simple fractions, finding sums of angles measured in polygons, and measuring acute, obtuse and right angles in triangles. Get ready, Chapter 4 will start soon! Transition students started a new unit this week called Representing Sets of Numbers. They are learning about always, sometimes, and maybe statements, properties of real numbers, and manipulating Venn diagrams to understand the union and intersection of sets. Algebra students are excited to be learning about solving linear equations (ax+b=cx+d). They are also working through mathematical situations that always or never happen and identifying equivalent formulas. Algebra will finish this unit before Internship Week starts and there will not be any assignments due for the grade 8 class during the November 18-22 school week. Math joke: Why did the 2 fours skip lunch?……Because they already ate!

****Announcements for next week: 

Global Culinary Night is Thursday, November 14th, from 6:00-7:00 pm. This community event is for FWM families to gather together and share a unique dish from their cultural, ethnic, or regional background while also sampling dishes from other FWM families’ cultures. The dish can be homemade or purchased from a local restaurant. We hope you join us as we celebrate the wonderful cultural diversity at our school! This is an entire family event not be missed. Kindly RSVP by November 11th.  RSVP here today.

Middle School Family Game night will follow Global Culinary Night. 

In addition to ping pong and Foosball, there will be games/activities in the middle school classrooms for students to enjoy with their parents.


Middle School: Happy Halloween!

We hope all our friends in the middle school community had a happy Halloween!
On Thursday, October 31st, we celebrated the Halloween spirit by dressing up in costumes, eating sweet treats, and marching in the school parade. We dressed up as inflatable dinosaurs, scary witches, super heroes, football players, Dunkin’ Donuts and many more fun characters. We enjoyed holiday treats such as festive cupcakes, apple cider, homemade cookies, and spider donuts. Thank you for your contributions to our class party.
It was wonderful to see our 6th, 7th, and 8th graders be leaders and role models in our school parade. They greeted all younger students with warm smiles and happy waves as they passed each other in the halls. Thank you to everyone who helped make this morning special and fun for our middle school students.

Middle School: High Hopes

On Monday, October 21st, the entire middle school community traveled an hour on the bus to Sharpe Reservation in Fishkill, New York to enjoy a full day exploring the high-ropes obstacle courses and beautiful grounds. This was an opportunity for students to challenge themselves and work together as team members in difficult situations.

We were able to participate in three different, high-ropes courses. After learning how to properly wear a harness and call the appropriate commands, students were energetic and excited to try their best. One student said, “Playing games and having fun outside with our friends was the best way to start the year off.”

Aside from the ropes, this trip was a great chance for students to continue building relationships with others and get out of their comfort zone. We look forward to this trip again next year!


Middle School: Week in Review

Happy Friday! The Middle School had an amazing, action-packed week! A few reminders for next week:

*We are still having recess outdoors each day. Please send an outer layer with your children, as they became quite chilly with the fall weather.

*On Monday, we are traveling to Sharpe Reservation in Fishkill, NY for our annual team building experience on a high and low ropes course. A bagged lunch is required as well as plenty of hydration! Please see the MyFWM calendar for more details.

Science

In Science, 6th year Earth Science students are exploring the correlation between tectonic plates and earthquakes. We are currently discussing the events of the Japan earthquake which occurred in 2011. Students are able to make connections from their prior knowledge of how convection currents cause tectonic plates to move/shift, ultimately colliding, resulting in an earthquake. 7th year Physical Science students have conducted several labs leading to the discovery of what distinguishes a physical vs chemical change. Students determined that sugar is combustible but not a good conductor of electricity while salt is a good conductor but not combustible. 8th year Life Science students are beginning their dissection of a dogfish shark and frog. The goal of the dissection is to see first-hand the complexity of how a cell can differentiate in creating the organ system.

Math

Math class has been going well for everyone! They have officially completed Unit 2 in all classes and are now working towards the first quiz of Unit 3. Ms. Sutherland has been impressed with efforts from all students and appreciates their dedication and perseverance to make math a successful class this school year.
Algebra 1 has been practicing solving equations with tables, graphs, and equivalent expressions. They are working through challenging word problems and creating their own equations based off the questions.
Transition has been working on understanding decimals and fractions as rational numbers. More specifically, comparing decimals and fractions using inequalities, finding equal fractions, and using all operations to combine fractions and decimals.
Pre-transition has been exploring inverse and opposite values, adding and subtracting with negative numbers, and using BEDMAS (order of operations) to solve for large number sentences. This group has also been doing daily review of previous topics to help prepare for cumulative exams. (It’s always a good idea to refresh on what you already know).
As a general reminder, students need to be completing both the lesson masters worksheet and assigned textbook problems as a part of our daily homework routine. Please remember to help your child check MyFWM for upcoming important dates and homework assignments. If you are not able to find where this is located, please feel free to email Ms. Sutherland.
Math Joke: Why should you never talk to pi? Because it will go on and on and on…..
Humanities
For 6th years, Humanities classes were split between their class novel, Out of My Mind, and descriptive writing lessons and exercises. 6th years are now annotating their text and leading class book discussions. They are doing a phenomenal job with this, and classes are full of rich information and conversation. With descriptive writing, they have completed their first short piece of writing that must use at least three examples of figurative language, imagery, specific nouns, strong verbs, and descriptive adjectives. They are using a thesaurus regularly to compose and making great word choices. They are totally transforming as writers!
The 7th year Humanities students began their reading of A Gift From Childhood: Memories of an African Boyhood. They are unbelievable readers and have picked up on the intricacies of this book full of traditional culture. They even commented how surprised they are that so much can come from a short novel. They wrote responses in their journals following a discussion regarding tradition and modern culture. Finally, they learned about the French occupation of Mali and West Africa in the late 19th century and throughout the 20th century.
8th year Humanities students are learning about Plimouth Plantation and the settlers to occupy the Northeast. They also read about the relationships with the Natives in this area, including what historians believe the “First Thanksgiving” truly entailed. Finally, they are working on planning an impressive essay called, Rewriting History. They are charged with the task of making one change to the course of history regarding indigenous Americans and Western settlers and discussing the subsequent effects of this singular change, even writing about how today’s America might be different. Their theses are shaping up to be quite interesting!

Middle School: Highlight on Advisory

This week we are highlighting Advisory. Each morning, Advisory groups meet from 8:10-8:30 and are an important start to the day. As you will read, each group has different structures and objectives that unify each class and help them build a network of trust and support among their peers and advisors.

6th Year Advisory: Forming the Middle School Group

The 6th year advisory period consists of building a strong community and trust among one another. In order to achieve this vision of community and trust for the year, students have shared questions and concerns they face throughout their transition into middle school. Discussions consisting of how to balance homework, prioritize time efficiently, and respect for all have been covered in Advisory. Mr. Brown makes the students’ transitions into middle school as comforting as possible while promoting their accountability as students, peers, and members of the community. 

In addition to using activities in the Responsive Advisory Curriculum, Mr. Brown forms the 6th grade group in creative ways. One example is Student Scrabble. 6th years used a Scrabble board to connect the students’ names. Then, almost like a crossword puzzle, the group developed a unique clue representing each of their personalities. Each student provided something different about one another to help develop their clues. Once everyone finished their boards, we attempted to solve them as a class. It was nice to see how some students were surprised to find some characteristics of themselves others saw in them.

It is clear that 6th Year Advisory is a crucial component to this important transition that students go through from elementary to middle school.

 

7th Year Advisory: Community Development

Each day, 7th years have a new topic to help them expand their thinking and build our FWM community. Students are assigned a role and rotate through responsibilities each week. The following are the topic titles for each day of the school week and an example of what they have already accomplished:

Monday (Weekend Update) – Students share news stories and current events about what is happening in the world. They have talked about the top box office films, sports games, the UN climate change summit, and the local fair in Durham, Connecticut.  

Tuesday (Talk it Out Tuesday) – Students bring forward an open question that will spark conversation about who they are as community members. They have discussed how stress affects them in middle school, their greatest accomplishments, and the pets that bring them joy. 

Wednesday (Work it Wednesday) – Students initiate a physical activity to start the morning advisory group. This is a chance to be creative together and play a fun game in hopes of building friendships among peers. They have played four corners, practiced morning yoga, answered a question ball, and followed along in Simon Says. 

Thursday (Life on the Outside) – Students have an opportunity to share a skill or talent they practice outside of school. So far, 7th years have had guitar and violin performances, learned different ballet positions, learned how to bake chocolate brownies, and the important components of competitive horseback riding. 

Friday (Fun Fridays) – Students can decompress from the busy school week and play a group cooperative board game together. They listen to each other’s favorite songs and share funny math jokes. 

Students have expressed that this year’s advisory group is, “…fun and exciting to get to know my peers better.” Students have shared they, “…enjoy learning something new about my friends I might not have known before.” Some have said, “Advisory rotations are a calm and joyful way to start my day.” 

The ultimate goal for 7th year advisory group this year is to build our community and be comfortable and confident working together. 

 

8th Year Leadership

As 8th years, these are the oldest students at FWM. 8th Year Leadership is unique because it gives space for the eldest students to develop and run items like fundraisers, charitable events, Friday Morning Gathering, and the annual sweatshirt design, as well as discuss what is important in the school community. 

This year, mornings are spent in many ways. First of all, they started the year discussing the students’ goals. What do they wish to achieve as 8th years? How do they want others to view them? What will this year’s projects look like? It was clear from the start that some of our advisory time would be spent reaching one, specific goal that holds importance for them.

This year’s group has a vested interest in raising funds to purchase a water bottle refilling station for the school. Their goal is to raise $5,000 over the course of the year. In only the second month of school, they have successfully raised just over $1,000 from their Name the Bunny fundraiser and their pumpkin painting station at this fall’s Oktoberfest. 

Each week, 8th years also plan, write, and film for the Friday Morning Gathering that is attended by students in Lower El, Upper El, and the rest of Middle School. 8th years have a vision for how they want the meeting to go this year, so they work hard to execute their plan along with their other Leadership projects. 

With continual fundraising and charitable events, 8th year advisory time is busy. Students have also begun reading Putting Peace First: 7 Commitments to Change the World by Eric David Dawson as a guide to being leaders and change-makers in their school community.

Without a doubt, 8th Year Leadership is important to the whole FWM community.