Middle School: Week in Review

Another great week has ended, and we entered February, an exciting month for middle school. This month, we have Research Presentation Night on February 15th at 7 pm for 6th and 7th-grade students. We invite 8th graders to come and support their classmates if they are able. The middle school is also working on a collective “Gallery” (more to come on this) in recognition of Black History Month. We also have Conferences on Thursday, 2/16. If you haven’t already, please sign up with your child’s advisor (a link to a Sign Up Genius went out last Friday). Finally, discussions have begun about this year’s middle school play that we will be writing at the end of the month.

Humanities

6th-grade Humanities classes completed written drafts of their research essays. They made sure to include in-text citations, paragraphs that support their thesis statements, transitions between body paragraphs and whenever necessary within them, and meaningful introductions and conclusions. They are now working diligently on their Google Slides presentation. Their visual presentation along with prepared notes is due on Monday. Next week, Mrs. Lamb will be listening to first-round presentations and giving feedback to all presenters.

7th-grade Humanities classes received refreshers on developing a works cited page and writing meaningful conclusions before submitting their drafts of their research essays. They also made sure to include in-text citations, paragraphs that support their thesis statements, transitions between body paragraphs and whenever necessary within them, and meaningful introductions and conclusions. 7th-grade students are now working on their presentations with the expectation of creating appealing visuals that will accompany their expertise on their topics. Once they complete this prepared presentation for Monday, Mrs. Lamb will listen and give feedback to each student presenter.

The 8th-grade Humanities class has officially finished reading Arthur Miller’s, The Crucible! Feedback was mostly positive about the reading experience and navigating a play together in class. Upon its completion, students drafted essays giving compelling arguments about power dynamics in the play. Students had to give evidence using direct quotations and events in the piece. The 8th graders are away for their internships next Monday through Wednesday, and we wish them well!

Math

In the Pre-Transition math class, students concluded their learning of chapter 4 and successfully learned how to add and subtract integer values, identify angles, and solve equations with fact triangles. We started learning about chapter 6 and are covering topics such as multiplying fractions and decimal values. This class will explore how to use power notation and multiply mixed numbers next week.
In the Transition math class, students finished learning all about Chapter 6 and have a complete understanding of the properties of triangles and parallelograms. This week we started working with multiplying negative values and solving single-step equations/inequalities. This class was invited to participate in a Montessori lesson with Mrs. Sankey and learned how to square binomial values using a peg board to understand the squaring concept.
In the Algebra math class, students are excited to learn about powers, roots, and exponent problems. We discussed the multiplication counting principle, power rule, quotient rule, power of powers rule, and negative rule. This class is working hard to build their study skills, challenge their overall thinking each day, and continue to be curious mathematics students!
Math Joke: Did you hear the one about the two thieves who stole the calendar? They each got six months!
Science

6th-year Earth Science students are working on the unit, Natural Resources. The objectives of this unit are to classify a natural resource as renewable or nonrenewable, provide examples of ways humans depend on natural resources, compare and explain how natural resources form, and explain the importance of using natural resources wisely. Students were introduced to this unit by conducting research and presenting to the class how natural resources are used to make everything around us from trash bins to basketballs.

7th-year Physical Science students are working on the unit, Kinetic Energy. The objectives of this unit are to explain how the kinetic energy of an object depends on its mass and velocity, compare kinetic energy to potential energy, and model how kinetic energy can be transformed into potential energy and how potential energy can be transformed into kinetic energy. Throughout this unit, students will design and test pinewood derby cars and build their own marble roller coaster, both of which will test all theories and principles of kinetic and potential energy.
8th-year Life Science students have finished constructing their 3-D DNA models and will soon be mounting them to a base that will provide the properties of DNA such as nitrogen bases, genes, codons, and proteins. Our new unit, Influencing Inheritances, will require students to do the following: distinguish between two categories of genetic engineering; explain how humans can influence certain characteristics of organisms by selective breeding; why gene modification, animal husbandry, and gene therapy are examples of artificial selection; and, evaluate the impacts of human use of technology to influence the desired traits of organisms.
Have a wonderful weekend, everyone! Stay warm!

Middle School: Week in Review

Hello, Middle School Families! It has been another fun week for us, and we got a taste of winter….almost.

Math

In the Pre-Transition math class, students finished learning the last few lessons of Chapter 4 in the UCSMP textbook. They covered topics such as using properties of angles to find unknown measurements, classifying complementary and supplementary angles, as well as subtracting fractions with positive and negative values.
In the Transition math class, students learned about perpendicular and parallel lines and can now solve for angles created by a transversal line. This class learned how to use the triangle-sum property to find unknown angles in a triangle, as well as they can identify vertical angles and linear pairs from a given image.
In the Algebra math class, students concluded their learning of Chapter 6 titled, “Slope of a Linear Equation”. This class reviewed standard form, slope point form, and slope intercept form of a linear equation. They also discovered how to graph a linear inequality and can correctly shade the solution region on the coordinate grid.
Math Joke: I had an argument with a 90-degree angle…..turns out it was RIGHT! 
Humanities
6th-grade Humanities classes completed an introduction to the ancient civilization of Mesopotamia. They learned about the Sumer people including their social structure, inventions, and their cultural downfall. Students also began writing their drafts for their research essays. Lessons on how to write an introduction that included organization, strategies for hooking the reader, and how to incorporate the thesis statement were included. Most students workshopped their introduction drafts and are ready to put them into their draft! Next, they were shown some strategies for how to outline their essay using their research. It is important for their papers to be organized logically, so they will make decisions about how the information they researched is incorporated into the flow of the piece and how everything relates to their thesis statement. Then, students were told the importance of referencing their sources at the end of their body paragraphs. Drafts are due on Wednesday, and they will be working a bit in class and mostly at home on this. Hopefully, they will take advantage of the weekend to get a lot of it done!
7th-grade Humanities classes finished establishing their knowledge base of fables by reading three this week. They had to identify their morals and how the writer demonstrated this to the reader. This is in preparation for students to write their own folk tale or fable inspired by lessons from A Gift From Childhood.  Also, students drafted their introductions to their research essays after a refresher lesson. They look great! Now, they are drafting their essays, which are due on Wednesday. Hopefully, they will take advantage of the weekend to get a lot of it done!
8th-grade Humanities classes are close to finishing The Crucible! The early dismissal kept this group from finishing this week. It has been more and more incredulous, and the class is doing a great job of reading multiple parts. Students also completed their current events for the month of January, and they presented at the end of the week.
On a separate note, 8th-grade Leadership is lining up their Internships, finalizing the annual sweatshirt design, and working on their expert projects!
Science

6th-year Earth Science students are working on understanding the architectural aspect of building in areas prone to earthquakes. Students learned how to assess the geographical terrain and components of a building when exposed to varying strengths of an earthquake. Students partnered up with a classmate to build a simple structure using a set list of materials which provided a sense of the planning involved. Once their buildings were finished, we discussed what a “rebuild” would look like based on what was still standing compared to the collapse in the days that followed.

7th-year Physical Science students are finishing their unit on molecules. This week we represented the similarities and differences between the molecular structure of graphite and diamond. We discussed what aspects of each compound were similar and different along with the implications it has on its structural design and strength. Students were able to make connections with how graphite appeared to be in flat sheets which allowed parts of it to slide off from one another which is why we use it in pencils. Diamonds on the other hand had a crystalline structure, attributing to the durability and strength a diamond possesses.
8th-year Life Science students have begun constructing their 3D model representation of DNA. Each student is building their own DNA model using a variety of candies to represent the alternating sugar/phosphate backbone and the nitrogen bases (A, G, C, T). Students will identify what each nitrogen base represents in addition to how every 3 nitrogen bases is a codon for producing a unique amino acid.

Middle School: Week in Review

It’s been another productive week in Middle School! Classes are busy, and everyone is doing research for either Research Night or their Expert Project. We look forward to another full week coming up.

**We still like to go outside for some fresh air during the winter months, so please ensure your middle schooler has the proper outerwear!

Science
6th-year Earth Science students began writing their formal lab report on how density affects the movement of seismic waves. Earlier in the week, students represented a change in density and seismic waves using a shoebox, rocks, a marker, and a golf ball to simulate energy traveling through a medium while recording the waves on paper. Each student worked alongside a partner on this project while compiling their data and analysis individually.

7th-year Physical Science students have been working on identifying what makes up a polymer and how to balance equations. We discussed the history of how the first polymers (chains of large molecules) were discovered and the application of this new technology (plastics) throughout the world. The objective of learning how to balance chemical equations was for each student to see how matter can neither be created nor destroyed but, rather, changed. Each student is continuing to understand more concepts and patterns found within the periodic table from each exercise.
8th-year Life Science students have continued to work on their unit, Genes. We are currently holding several class discussions and exercises related to whether certain gene mutations are beneficial or harmful. As a part of this unit, students will be asked to create a 3D model of DNA, labeling key features such as nitrogen bases, sugar-phosphate backbones, and the overall description of what a gene is.
Math
In the Pre-Transition math class, students are able to use fact triangles to find related facts for addition and subtraction sentences. This class learned how to identify linear pairs and vertical angles as well as supplementary and complementary angles. They will continue to study acute, obtuse, and right angles next week in class.
 
In the Transition math class, students are confident in working with the three different types of geometry transformations: translation, reflection, and rotation. They applied their learning by creating tessellation art installments that will be displayed in the classroom next week. This class will continue to learn about the properties of angles and lines in order to solve for specific measurements.
 
In the Algebra math class, students are excited to learn more about slope and rate of change. They discovered the slope-point form and slope-intercept form of linear equations this week. During chapter 6, students have been using a creative doodle notes technique to learn the key information from the unit.
 
MATH JOKE: Why did the mathematician spill all of his food in the oven? ……….The directions said, “Put it in the oven at 180°.”
Humanities
All classes recognized Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. this week and his impactful life. After discussing his goals, students learned about the new monument commemorating his life in Boston and the story behind this impressive sculpture. They also took time to read and analyze Amanda Gorman’s poem, “The Hill We Climb” in its relation to the initiatives MLK set forth.
6th-grade Humanities classes were split between students researching for their project and beginning their study of Ancient Civilizations of North Africa, the Middle East, and Subcontinental Asia. We are beginning with Mesopotamia before going to Egypt and the Indus River Valley. The class defined what it means to be a civilization and we covered some examples. Students also completed a map of the Fertile Crescent and looked at the geography of the region, discussing what makes this region an ideal spot for a civilization. Finally, they researched a few terms related to Mesopotamia and will learn about Sumer next week.
7th-grade Humanities students completed their class novel, A Gift From Childhood. This memoir by Baba Wague Diakite showcases the importance of storytelling in culture as well as highlights the differences between traditional, modern, and Westernized cultures. Students are now gaining their prior knowledge in folktales and fables before embarking on their own. Additionally, students continued their research that is due on Monday for their research projects.
8th-grade Humanities classes focused on their reading of The Crucible by Arthur Miller. This play has an abundance of historical context, and the students have enjoyed discussing this and questioning this troubling time in the colonies’ establishment. 8th-grade students have also done a great job reading for the characters!
We hope you have a lovely and peaceful weekend, FWM middle school families!

Middle School: Week in Review

Thank you to the student and parent participants for a wonderful Math Carnival! The students’ projects were fun and engaging and showcased their math skills.

Week in Review:

Humanities

Grade 6 Humanities students are off and running with their research projects surrounding the theme: Solutions to the World’s Challenges. 6th-grade students have submitted a topic proposal that includes what they want their audience to know in the end, a written and revised thesis statement, and questions to guide their research. Students then organized their questions in a guided doc, which is where they will keep their notes and corresponding sources for their project. Mrs. Lamb is excited by the enthusiasm and beginning stages of research! They are now working at home to compile their notes, and they are due Monday, 1/23.

Grade 7 Humanities class has also completed their research project proposals surrounding the theme: Solutions to the World’s Challenges. They included their goal, written and revised thesis statement, and questions to guide their research. Students have also organized their questions in a Research Notes doc that will hold their information and keep track of the corresponding source. They are now working at home to compile their notes, and they are due Monday, 1/23. 7th-grade students also continued with Baba Wague Diakite’s memoir, A Gift From Childhood, and will complete this novel next week. They have been going through the novel and locating the proverbs and metaphors that are used as life lessons throughout the pages. These are foundational to the story’s central message. This will be in preparation for drafting their own folktale in the coming week. We discussed the importance of oral history in many traditional cultures globally and how this looks today.

8th-grade Humanities classes and Leadership period had students launching their 5-month research project! Topics are selected, research proposals are submitted, and thesis statements were written and revised. 8th-grade students are now researching and organizing their information. Also, the 8th grade continued with their study of the colonies as we get closer to the American Revolution. This week, students looked at the effects of religion on the colonies. They particularly have an interest in the Puritans of Massachusetts Bay and Connecticut Colonies. They learned about the unfortunate witch trials and saw the progression of how something like this could unfold. They are now reading The Crucible by Arthur Miller, which is a historical dramatization of the well-known Afflicted Girls.

Math

In the Pre-Transition math class, students started learning about chapter 4 in the UCSMP textbook. They explored topics such as subtracting negative numbers, creating subtraction number sentences from word problems as well as using fact triangles to find related facts in a subtraction equation.
In the Transition math class, students began investigating chapter 6 in the UCSMP textbook. They discussed the three key concepts of transformations on a coordinate grid, which include reflection, rotation, and translation.
In the Algebra math class, students were excited to create their doodle note pages for slope. They are studying how to calculate rates of change, how to find the slope of a line given two ordered pairs, and how to identify the difference between a positive and negative slope on a graph.
Thank you to all our friends and families who supported the middle school students at this year’s Math Carnival. It was a treat to have so many special guests join us in celebrating the hard work of our grade 6, 7, and 8 classes. Everyone had so much fun and look forward to keeping the tradition alive next year!
Science

6th-year Earth Science students have spent the week analyzing seismographs and seismograms as part of our current unit, Why Earthquakes Occur. Students were asked to determine the epicenter of an earthquake from data collected from three seismograph stations. The first step in the process was to determine the difference in P and S wave arrival, the students correlated the time difference with a seismic wave radius from each station, and lastly, they determined where the three circles overlapped, which resulted in the calculated epicenter. Students also created their own seismograph stations to see how the density affects the ability of seismic waves to travel through different densities of Earth’s crust.

7th-year Physical Science students have been working on representing the physical nature of molecular compounds. Students have been able to determine how many protons, neutrons, electrons, and valence electrons each element has, how they bond with other elements (ionic or covalent), and how to draw the atomic structure of individual elements and compounds. Students are beginning to apply each of these concepts to formulate a larger representation of how each element reacts with elements of varying reactivity.
8th-year Life Science students finished creating an artistic representation of meiosis. Students were asked to represent the multi-stage process of meiosis, which cells undergo, resulting in genetic variation. Students were able to represent this process using pipe cleaners for chromosomes and paper plates for the cell. Each student applied their own creativity to the project, which was representative of their personal understanding.
It has been an engaging and enriching week in the classrooms! More to come next week!

Middle School: Math Carnival Week

Welcome back to a new year at FWM! Teachers and students were excited to return and celebrate the start of 2023. To kick off the school year, the middle school students began working on the math carnival project.
All classes participated in the third annual Carnival Day activity scheduled for Friday January 13th from 10-11am. This year, we are happy to invite students from Lower Elementary, Upper Elementary, Staff and Parents to join us in playing all the fun filled games.  Each student was assigned to create a unique game with rules, a creative title, and a full description. Students were asked to calculate the theoretical probability before the actual game day in order to predict the players’ chances of winning the games. Students created games that involved throwing discs, spinning a spinner, tossing a bean bag, randomly selecting a candy, flipping a coin, and knocking down cans. We have been working tirelessly all week to construct and perfect our carnival games. The students are extremely proud of their accomplishments and we hope you will be able to attend our upcoming event. Please contact Ms. Sutherland if you have any questions.
A few general reminders:
– Moving Up Night is Thursday, January 12th, 2023 from 5:30pm-7:00pm
This event is for prospective students interested in joining our middle school community next year.
– Flower Distribution for 2023
Please be sure to check the flower distribution schedule posted in resources on MyFWM for when your family’s assigned day is scheduled.

Middle School: A Joyous Week

This week was a lot of fun from holiday door decorating to the winter concert and a final 8th grade news before our class party!

We hope everyone has a wonderful break full of joy, memories, and togetherness. We look forward to welcoming everyone back in 2023!


Middle School: Building Community

Being the oldest members of the school community holds great privileges and responsibility. It is important to connect with each other in middle school and also to bring students of all ages and families together. The middle school is doing this now through two different projects.

Birdhouses- Grades 6 & 7

The 6th and 7th year Community Building class have worked for the past several weeks creating birdhouses to display around the Fraser Woods premises. The goal of creating these birdhouses is for teachers, students, and families to see an aspect of wildlife conservation every time they step outside.

To begin this project, students were asked to choose a native bird to our northeastern territory. Once a bird was decided, students researched the habitat, geographic region, and nesting requirements specific to each bird. Students were able to generate a QR code from The National Audubon Society website, which provided a full review of their bird’s image, geographic range, feeding behavior, songs/calls, and how climate change will reshape the range if patterns don’t change.

Next, students designed and constructed the birdhouses. The QR code was laser engraved onto the side of each birdhouse allowing anyone with a phone to scan the QR code and be taken to the Audubon’s website specific to each bird species. A silhouette of the bird was also engraved opposite the side of the QR code. Working alongside Mr. Fuchs in MakerSpace, students assembled their birdhouses, applying mineral oil as a weathering deterrent prior to finding a location to place them outside.

We hope everyone who comes across these birdhouses will take the time to scan the code and learn a little bit about the bird species and what impact we have on maintaining their longevity.

Family Holiday Gift Drive- Grade 8

As part of their Leadership class, 8th grade students have a few initiatives they organize and run in connection with the town of Newtown. Partnering with the Newtown Fund and Social Services, the 8th grade requested a family for the Fraser Woods community to provide a holiday meal, provisions, and satisfy their holiday wish list.

There are several courses of action they take to run the initiative. First, they take the received information from the Newtown Fund and create a Sign Up Genius to send to the community. Then they write all email communications that are sent to Fraser Woods families. Next, they collect and keep track of all donations, wrapping and labeling as needed. Finally, students will help deliver the gifts and provisions to the family on delivery day, December 17th.

This time of year it is important to reflect about what we have, show gratitude, and help others. The middle school teachers are incredibly thankful for the generosity and hard work of the middle school students and their enthusiasm towards community projects.


Middle School: Week in Review

Happy December! It will be a fun, but short, month here at FWM. We are certainly busy with our classes and community service projects (more to come on this in next week’s blog).

If you would like to sign up for the 8th grade’s Family Gift Drive for a local family, please visit the Sign Up by clicking this link: Family #28 Sign Up

Humanities

In 6th grade Humanities classes this week, students have been working on their writing, particularly organization and word choice. First, they continue to understand the importance of organization. How can we write topic sentences that represent a paragraph’s main idea? How do we present the details to support it in a logical and fluent way? How about the ending? They have also worked on using transitions to move from one idea to the next. For word choice,  students have talked about using specific nouns, strong verbs, and descriptive adjectives to enhance their sentences. They are starting to take risks using synonyms of more common words. For example, using the word “stroll” or “saunter” rather than “walk” when appropriate. Currently, students are writing to compare Melody, the main character from their recently completed novel, Out of My Mind, to Mackenzie, a young adult living with cerebral palsy in New Zealand from the short documentary, Mackenzie’s Voice.

7th grade Humanities class has begun their study of SubSaharan Africa. They completed maps of the countries that make up this part of the continent. They also identified their capital cities and took notice of the placement of capital cities within a country and how terrain might affect this. Also, they read about the diverse human population of SubSaharan Africa as well as the industries of mining, drilling, forestry, and fishing. At the end of the week, students wrote about and discussed the difference between modern and traditional culture leading into the beginning of the memoir, A Gift From Childhood by Baba Wague Diakite, a Malian artist currently living in Portland, Oregon.

8th grade Humanities class moved north from the Jamestown Colony this week to the settlement of the Massachusetts Bay Colony. They discussed the Separatists’ voyage on The Mayflower, challenges following this voyage, and the initial encounters with the Wampanoag. They read and discussed the story of the “first Thanksgiving” and began to learn about the Puritans. Finally, continued discussions about the value of religion to the people of Great Britain and those deciding to make the journey to the colonies and how this ultimately affected settlements, rules, the Indigenous people, and decision making.

 

Science

6th year Earth Science students worked in groups this week to represent a specific plate boundary (transform, divergent, convergent), the actions leading to this boundary, and any landforms as a result of this. Finishing the week, students were able to make connections about how plate tectonics influence earthquakes. Students were able to share their prior knowledge of earthquakes, whether personal or through the news. Moving forward, we will learn about how geologists are able to monitor and rate earthquakes in hope of future safety measures to be implemented.

7th year Physical Science students began to work on their states of matter stop motion project. Students are asked to represent the transition of matter as a solid, liquid, and gas as it relates to the increase or decrease of energy (temperature) applied. Students first were required to write a script of how they are going to represent these transitions which was later followed by the process of the artistic representation.
8th year Life Science students are also working on their stop motion project, Cellular Respiration. Students are asked to represent how our bodies process food into usable energy for our body by breaking down glucose into forms of ATP (energy). Students are asked to include the reactants and products of the 3 main steps of cellular respiration (glycolysis, Kreb’s Cycle, and Electron Transport Chain).
Math
In the Pre-Transition math class, students are learning about the properties of addition which include the zero property, opposite property, and commutative property. This week, students learned how to use a protractor to measure angles in a given shape. This class can label the vertex and understand the difference between an acute and obtuse angle. 
 
In the Transition math class, students are exploring how to solve single step equations and inequalities. This week, students used fact triangles and fact families (Addition and Subtraction) to understand how to rearrange an equation with a single variable. 
 
In the Algebra math class, students started working through Chapter 5 and were first introduced to algebraic fractions. Students are able to multiply and divide algebraic fractions as well as simplify to the lowest form. Next week, the class plans to cover proportions and solving for similar figures. 
Have a wonderful weekend!