Middle School: Wrapping Up & Spirit Week

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

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

 

Peace & Love,

Michelle, Zak, & Megan


Middle School: Project-Based Learning

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

8th Grade Expert Presentations

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

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

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

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

 


Middle School: Science Fair

This week, the 6th year Earth Science and 7th year Physical Science students presented their science fair research projects. Students had the opportunity to choose a concept from their science tech-book and research the stated CYE (Can You Explain) question. Students formatted their research based on the scientific method, stating the problem/question, identifying their hypothesis, formatting research, compiling data, analyzing results, and providing a conclusion.

Topics for the 6th year Earth Science class were Solar Energy, Anthropogenic Changes, Extreme Weather, Bridge Design, Human Impact on Natural Resources, and Pollution. The 7th year Life Science students’ topics were Kinetic Energy, Potential Energy, Static Charges, Molecular Structure of Plastics, Chemicals of our World, and Tesla Coils.

Life Science students presented their research on the following topics; Muscular-Skeletal- Immune-Integumentary Systems, Environmental Issues & Endangered Species, Preventing Land Use and Environmental Problems, Overpopulation, Populations and Communities, Evolution-Adaptations, and Energy in our Ecosystems.

All middle school students were asked prior to these presentations to complete a KWL (what you Know, what you Want to know, what you have Learned) chart based on each concept. KWL charts are graphic organizers that help students organize information before, during, and after a unit or a lesson. They can be used to engage students in a new topic, activate prior knowledge, share unit objectives, and monitor students’ learning.

Next week both the 6th and 7th year students will be constructing rockets which will be launched at our sports field once completed. 7th year Physical Science students will take into consideration the velocity, potential/kinetic energy of this project while the 6th year Earth Science students will make observations about the design aspect of the rocket as part of their next unit on Space Exploration.


Middle School: Week in Review

 

This year’s FWM sweatshirt, designed by the 8th grade class, is available! Order by Monday to receive yours before the end of the year! 2021 FWM Sweatshirt- Order Here!

Math

In Pre-Transition class, students are continuing to learn about surface area, perimeter, and volume for both 2D and 3D shapes. This class can identify the edges and faces of a cube, they can draw and label a net for different prisms and cylinders as well as use a formula correctly to find a missing side length of a shape.
In Transition class, students are excited to continue their work with integer division. This class can use the ratio comparison model for division to solve real world problems, and they can recognize proportions and solve for missing variables using cross-multiplication. This class has their second quiz for chapter 9 on Friday, May 14th that will cover lessons 9.5-9.9.
In Algebra class, students concluded their learning of Chapter 10 and wrote the cumulative exam on Thursday, May 13th. This class can successfully solve nonlinear systems of equations, graphically represent linear inequalities, and use either substitution or elimination to find an intersection on a coordinate grid. They will begin learning Chapter 11 next week as our final unit before the end of the school year.
In Geometry class, students are learning about lengths and areas for different complex shapes. This class can calculate the area and perimeter of quadrilaterals, find the area of polygons on a coordinate grid, and apply the Pythagorean Theorem to find segment lengths in a right triangle.
Math Joke: How do you teach math to a chicken?…..show it lots of Egg-samples!
 
As a general reminder, students will be required to return their borrowed math textbooks and individual white boards on June 1st. 
Humanities
In 6th grade, students continued their class novel, Shooting Kabul. They learned about the history of the Taliban in the countries of Pakistan and Afghanistan, which gives context to the novel (the central family flees Kabul, Afghanistan to be with family in California). 6th grade also completed a unit of vocabulary.
The 7th grade finished their Animal Farm final essays and moved onto The Giver by Lois Lowry, their final novel. Before they began, the 7th grade discussed the idea of a Utopia and then completed a writing piece about whether they believe it can actually exist in today’s world. They have enjoyed the novel so far, and it has sparked excellent discussion. 7th grade also completed a unit of vocabulary.
8th grade leadership took to the trails with their Kindergarten buddies this week! The Kindergartners were excited to take a walk on the trails that the 8th graders worked on behind FWM!
Finally, the 8th grade learned about the Abolitionist Movement and events leading up to the Civil War. These included the Missouri Compromise, the Compromise of 1850 (as well as the Fugitive Slave Act), the Kansas-Nebraska Act, and the Dred Scott case. Additionally, 8th year students are in their second round of Expert presentations and feedback. They are now practicing via Zoom!
Science
Middle School Science students have been finishing up their Science Fair research and final lab reports. Several students have decided to represent their work by creating an artistic representation of their concept using a variety of mediums while others have chosen to build models to represent their concept. Each student is asked to format their research using the Scientific Inquiry Method used throughout the year, which will be formally presented to their peers once completed.
We hope everyone has a lovely weekend!

Middle School: Week in Review

It’s been a busy week, and we are starting to feel like the end of the year will be here before we know it! While we are enjoying the spring weather and the pop of greens and pinks, we are reminded that our 8th year students are nearing the end of their time at Fraser Woods. This is a special time of year for them with expert projects and high school plans on their minds.

As leaders in the FWM community, 8th graders safely became reading buddies with FWM’s Kindergartners. Both 8th graders and Kindergartners come together once a week, outside, with books and read their choices to each other. This has been a highlight for both classes the last couple of weeks, and we can’t wait to continue throughout the month.

Humanities

The 6th grade Humanities class has been studying SubContinental Asia, particularly the country of Afghanistan, as they read the novel, Shooting Kabul by N.H. Senzai. They completed guided research about Islam and are watching a documentary about Kabul, highlighting the beauty of the Afghani culture. They also completed current events this week.

After completing George Orwell’s Animal Farm last week, the 7th grade Humanities class is wrapping up their work for the novel. They began the week with an activity called, “Who’s Who in Animal Farm?” Based on what they learned in class about the historical context of the novel, students took guesses as to who or what in Russian history the characters and setting were meant to represent. They had to provide evidence for their claims as well. Next, students began writing their final literary essay about the novel and are using quotations from the book to defend their thesis statements. 7th graders also completed current events presentations.

8th grade students spent the week presenting their Expert Presentations for the first time. First, they worked with peers and then presented to Mrs. Lamb for feedback. They are impressive projects and clearly show the amount of time and effort students have dedicated to the work.

Science

In Science, 6th, 7th, and 8th year students are all working on their individual end-of-the-year projects. This project requires students to select a concept from within their respective course (Earth, Physical, Life). Each student is to research and find supportive information/data that addresses the overarching question of their concept. Concepts range from anthropogenic changes to environmental issues attributed to overpopulation. Each student will be required to present their research/data to the entire class at completion.

Math

In Pre-Transition class, students are learning about areas of different geometric shapes. They have discovered the formulas for the area of a triangle, square, rectangle, parallelogram, and circle. In addition, students are able to find the given area of a shaded region when multiple shapes are combined. Chapter 9 will be their final unit for this course before the exciting end-of-the-year project.
In Transition class, students are excited to find patterns leading to division. They are now comfortable with dividing fractions, dividing integer values, and solving for unknown variables in simple algebraic equations using division. This class can identify integer division in real-world examples and can understand the division properties of inequalities.
In Algebra class, students have been practicing their skills to solve systems of linear equations. This class can use either graphing (desmos), substitution, or elimination (adding or subtracting) to find a solution set for 2 linear equations. This class can also graph linear inequalities to find the appropriate shaded region and can use the 5 step “cookie recipe” to solve complex word problems that incorporate real world scenarios.
In Geometry class, students concluded their learning of chapter 7 and wrote the unit exam on Thursday, May 6th. This chapter tested students’ knowledge on triangle congruency theorems, properties of parallelograms, tessellations, and diagonals of quadrilaterals. Chapter 8 will be the final unit of this course.
Math Joke: Did you hear that old math teachers never die?…..They just lose some of their functions.
 
Because Tuesday was May 4th ( Star Wars Day): What do you call an invisible droid?….c-through-PO
Have a beautiful weekend!

Middle School: Earth Day!

As part of Earth Day on April 23rd, the Middle School took part in an all-day project on the property of Fraser Woods. The day began with each grade assigned a portion of our outdoor trails located behind the school’s playground to be cleared of debris such as leaves, fallen limbs/sticks, or rocks. Once the set trail was clear, students searched for limbs to border each side of the trail. These borders will help prevent an excess of debris on the trail along with establishing a clear path of use. After the trails were cleaned and bordered, 6th year students carefully marked the path of travel with blue blazes. The Middle School is excited for the trail’s use by other students in the school.

A continuation of this project is being developed by the 6th year Earth Science class. Students are currently creating a 3-D topographic map of the trail which will be printed using the school’s glow forge. This map will indicate which portion of the trail will have either a steep or gradual slope along each path of travel based on the distance from one contour interval to the next. Once the map is completed, students will designate two entry points of the trail for the maps to be displayed. We look forward to its completion.

The goal of this project was to promote an outdoor experience in nature where learning for all grades can take place. We feel that goal has been met. Thank you to all who participated in this project.

Nature knowledge is most important for young children. It would be well if we all persons in authority, parents and all who act for parents, could make up our minds that there is no sort of knowledge to be got in these early years so valuable to children as that which they get for themselves of the world they live in. Let them once get touch with nature, and a habit is formed which will be a source of delight through life. We were all meant to be naturalists, each in his degree, and it is inexcusable to live in a world so full of the marvels of plant and animal life and to care for none of these things..”  ~Charlotte Mason
-Z. Brown

Middle School: Week in Review

After a quite typical spring week where we felt (almost) the four seasons literally and figuratively, we ended the week with a beautiful spring day outdoors in honor of Earth Day (more on this in next week’s blog)!  Our classrooms were full of activity this week. Spring trimester is such a wonderful time to focus on our curriculums while taking advantage of the outdoors. A perfect combination for learning.

Humanities

In 6th grade, students completed their pharaoh presentations while transitioning to SubContinental Asia. They toured this beautiful part of the world virtually and finished a map of the region. This class enjoys geography, so we take time to explore, answer questions, and see what we can see from our classroom. Finally, half of the 6th grade students wrote current events essays and developed discussion questions for their presentation.

7th grade Humanities classes are reading George Orwell’s Animal Farm fast and furiously. Before starting, 7th graders continued learning about Russian History, specifically focusing on the Russian Revolution of 1917. This, and its aftermath, is the historical context for their class novel. The class also staged their own Humanities Revolution and overthrew Mrs. Lamb! They had to come together and decide how to proceed and make a plan moving forward. Finally, 7th graders completed current events writing and presentations.

8th grade classes have submitted their Expert Project research paper drafts and are on their way with their presentations. With history, they have transitioned to Black America, a look at US history through the lens of this group with deep roots in our country. They particularly looked at the system of slavery including slave trade with the Americas and the global impact it made. Next week we will move into slavery in the US, legislation developed, social impacts, and influential Black people during the time preceding the Civil War.

 

Science

6th year Earth Science students spent the week creating an environmental cartoon that depicts a point of view related to the consumption of natural resources. Some students focused on the effects of climate change on animals while others incorporated renewable energy such as solar energy. In conjunction with Earth Day, students are working on designing a 3-D topographic map representation of Nature’s Classroom at Fraser Woods .

7th year Physical Science students are still exploring concepts and activities as part of their unit on refraction. Students demonstrated how a convex lens is also known as a convergent lens by converging sunlight through a magnifying glass. Yes, many may recall doing such a thing when younger, whether it was burning leaves or ants with this method. Little did you know, it was a first introduction to the refraction (convergence) of light energy. Students also demonstrated how an image is flipped when displayed through a convex lens past its focal point by using a ruler, flashlight, convex lens, and index cards.
8th year Life Science students are currently learning about the Endocrine System. We have defined each gland of the endocrine system, hormone produced, role that particular hormone serves in the body, and the complications one would face if there were issues in any particular gland. Students were asked to draw and label each gland in its approximate location in the body, the hormone produced, and role served. Each group was then assigned a deficiency in one gland and researched what complications a person would face. Once their research was complete, we held a class discussion sharing our work.
Math
In Pre-Transition class, students are continuing to work with proportions and solve for unknown values using a cross multiplication method. Students are practicing how to create proportion equations from real-world word problems and draw pictures to help visualize their understanding. We are working towards the Chapter 9 unit exam scheduled for Tuesday, April 27th.
In Transition class, students are excited to begin solving single step algebraic equations and are learning how to graph on a coordinate plane. This class can now solve and check for unknown variables in the form ax=b, as well as use and identify the multiplication property of equality.
In Algebra class, students can successfully solve quadratic equations using the Quadratic Formula. Students can identify the discriminant value,  the vertex of a parabola, and correctly graph an equation in the form y = ax^2 + bx + c. Students will begin learning Chapter 10 next week and will finish the year with learning Chapter 11.
In Geometry class, students are able to use and identify the triangle congruence theorems in a two-column proof statement. Students can draw a tessellation using real world design, they can identify specific properties of quadrilaterals, as well as identify triangle congruence within an overlapping shape.
Math Joke: Why did the triangle make the basketball team over the square?………………….He always made three-pointers.

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!