Happy Friday! It’s been another productive week in middle school. Classes are busy, and it’s feeling like fall!
What an awesome week! We enjoyed seeing you at Curriculum Night. If you have any additional questions or discussion items, please feel free to contact us.
It was our first week working with the younger students in Community Service since early 2020. All Middle School students spend two periods each Wednesday morning with their younger peers. They helped with work, sat in circle, sang songs, and even read to the children. Everyone is excited to visit again next week.
Here’s an update for Science, Math, and Humanities:
6th year Earth Science students have begun the year exploring how to generate an experiment to answer a question or solve a problem. Students spent several days identifying examples of dependent and independent variables from a set list of experiments while creating their own at the end. We have also begun our first unit from our Discovery Education tech-book, Earth’s History. Students will learn what factors influence the preservation potential of fossils and the information one might obtain is this discovery.
Middle School had a fabulous start to the year this week! The students came in energized and ready to go. They met teachers, new and old, with warm welcomes. In academic classes, teachers and students spent time going over units for the year and assessing skills. The best part of the week was forming our new Middle School community.
Among other personal and team building activities, students came together to form goals for themselves using a ribbon contract. Each student was asked to think of a personal goal for the school year both having to do with school as well as outside of school in their personal lives. Each goal was represented by a knot in a ribbon. In the end, they tied their ribbons together as a promise that they would hold each other accountable for their goals and help friends achieve theirs.
It has been a wonderful, short week full of smiles, discussion, and creativity. If this is any indication for what’s to come, we are all in for a spectacular school year.
**We are thrilled to welcome you into the school for Curriculum Night on Thursday, 9/15 at 5:30pm. Please park at Sand Hill Plaza to pick up the shuttle bus that will be running from 5:00-7:30 pm.**
Never “Goodbye,” but “See you later!” That’s a wrap on the 2021-22 school year! It’s been a year of growth for everyone and full of memories. We ended with an awesome spirit week that included Park Day!
As we wish our 8th grade class a fantastic transition from Fraser Woods to high school, we welcome a new 8th grade class as well as brand new Upper El students to middle school.
Have a beautiful summer, everyone! We will miss you!
The MS Team (Michelle, Zak, & Megan)
Happy Friday! There are so many exciting end-of-year items on the agenda for next week including Spirit Week. Here is the plan for our Spirit Week:
Monday, 6/6: Park Day (rain date)
Tuesday, 6/7: Color Day –
Grade 6- Green
Grade 7- Yellow
Grade 8 – Blue
Wednesday, 6/8: Wacky Wednesday (Wear your wackiest outfit & hair style!)
Middle School Water Day @ 1 pm (Pack your towels, suits, and water games!!)
Thursday, 6/9: Decade Day- Dress for any decade
Friday, 6/10: Sports Apparel Day
The 6th grade Humanities class spent the week writing. They composed an essay about three of the challenges that Fadi, the main character in Shooting Kabul, faced. They started classes by warming up with mechanical editing practice, then composed different portions of their essay. Final current events presentations are next week!
The 7th grade finished reading the memoir, Four Perfect Pebbles by Marion Blumenthal Lazan. They also read about Anne Frank, another young Holocaust victim. We discussed the power of using human experience to move people and wrote a guided reflection on the novel. Final current events presentations are next week!
The 8th grade class was busy this week! They first finished their graduation speeches and practiced them. Then, they read most of the historical fiction book, Witness by Karen Hesse. This story is told in verse and highlights a time in 1920s Vermont when the KKK tried to gain a following. Students looked at Reconstruction legislation through the Great Migration to gain an understanding of this time in U.S. history.
6th year Earth Science students have been working on designing and constructing their rockets as part of their unit, Astronomy. Students were able to choose between 3 different styles of rockets to build which we will launch next week. Each student has chosen how many fins their rocket will have and how they anticipate their rocket to launch and descend back to the ground.
It has been a very exciting and busy week in the middle school community. Students participated in our second flag football game, we welcomed the upcoming upper elementary students for moving-up day, as well as, enjoyed the amazing 8th grade expert project presentations. Next week we will be traveling to Woodloch Resort, PA and are excited to enjoy four days participating in the fun filled activities we have planned (May 23-26). We are all looking forward to our overnight trip to enjoy time all together before the school year comes to an end!
6th grade Humanities classes finished their class novel, Shooting Kabul. It was an exciting novel that took the readers on twists and turns. Next, we completed a vocabulary unit. Finally, we welcomed the Upper El students for a class period and worked on a writing prompt.
7th grade Humanities classes continued their studies of European History and learned about the rise of Adolf Hitler post-WWI and also the formation of the Nazi Party. They learned about the state of Germany post-WWI and how that contributed to Hitler’s ability to become a leader. Next they started the novel, Four Perfect Pebbles, which is a memoir highlighting the experiences of Marion Blumenthal Lazan as a young, Jewish girl in Germany during the Holocaust. Finally, students completed a unit of vocabulary.
The 8th grade successfully presented their Expert Projects to an audience of family and friends on Wednesday evening. After five months of work, they delivered their TED Talk-style presentations that were about 20 minutes long and enhanced by multimedia and Google Slides. Their hard work and perseverance with the project is commendable! Bravo!
6th year Earth Science students finished their unit “Phases” this week. Students created model representations of the eight phases, including the transition each phase progressed into and came from. Our next unit will be “Rotation, Orbits, Seasons”. The objectives of this unit will be for students to describe earth’s motion in space, explain the relationship between earth’s tilt, orbit, and seasons, and explain why the northern and southern hemispheres experience opposite seasons.
7th year Physical Science students are also finishing their unit “Characteristic Properties of Waves”. Throughout this unit, students represented the different wavelengths of colors and created a stop motion video depicting the similarities and differences between transverse and longitudinal waves. We are currently covering topics pertaining to the history of AM and FM radio waves.
The 8th year Life Science students have completed their unit “Digestive System.” Throughout this unit, students learned about the function and role each organ within the digestive system plays, along with accessory organs such as the liver, pancreas, gallbladder and appendix. Students were able to dissect a dogfish shark within the unit which created a great hands-on approach to learning more about the circulatory and digestive systems. Students carefully identified known organs of the shark, comparing similarities and differences to our own. Our next unit will be “Nervous System.”
In Transition class students began working through the final chapter of this year’s curriculum. This week, we learned how to solve and graph linear inequalities and equations. This class is practicing how to solve for unknown variables on both sides of the equation, as well as how to create equations from real world word problems.
In Algebra class, students are excited to conclude their learning of Chapter 10 and begin exploring our final chapter titled Polynomials. This class is able to solve nonlinear systems, write a system of inequalities from a graph, as well as determine how many solutions a system has based on its slope value.
In Geometry class, students concluded their learning of Chapter 9 titled Three-Dimensional Figures. We learned how to determine symmetry planes in 3D shapes, as well as, calculate the surface area of prisms, pyramids, cones and cylinders. This week the Geometry class also learned how to use nets to determine unique polyhedra shapes.
Math Joke: How do we know the fractions, x/c, y/c, and z/c, are all in Europe? ……….They’re all over c’s!
Happy Friday, everyone! We sprang into May, the last full month of school before summer break. A lot goes on in the month of May in Middle School. One of the big highlights is 8th grade Expert Night. You should have all received an invitation in your email for Wednesday, May 18th @ 6:30 pm in the Commons. We are excited for them to present all of the hard work they have done since January!
We also had Newtown Strong Therapy dogs in the building! The Middle School students met 8 year-old Tiamo, and Maggie. They will have the chance to visit with the therapy dogs each Tuesday this month.
6th grade Humanities class continued to read Shooting Kabul by N.H. Senzai. As it follows an Afghan family fleeing Afghanistan for the U.S. just before 9/11, we learned about the impact of the Taliban on the Afghan people’s culture. Separately, during Poetry Tuesday, the class explored the poem, “The Jabberwocky” by Lewis Carroll. Students discussed the idea of creating a story that makes sense, even when the words are nonsense. The formation of the poem helps the reader develop an image, even though they have never heard of many of the words! The students drew a sketch of the poem using their own vision for the writing.
7th grade Humanities classes completed Animal Farm. They did a great job with this allegorical piece and discussing its context within Russian history. They learned about propaganda and worked on two activities in addition to reading: Humanities Rebellion and Who’s Who in Animal Farm? They arrived in class last Wednesday and were told that there had been a rebellion, and they overthrew Mrs. Lamb! Their job was to now take over the Humanities class. Together, without her intervention, they completed a plan. They were given the opportunity to execute their plan. Secondly, they completed the difficult task of comparing elements of the story to figures/events in Russian history and political ideas. For example, one of the main characters is a pig named Napoleon, and his role and personality is similar to Joseph Stalin. They are now drafting essays which will finalize their study of the novella. The class has been working incredibly hard.
8th grade Humanities class learned about the French and Indian War (The Seven Years’ War) and how it was one of the catalysts for the American Revolution. As a result of the war, the British implemented taxes and policies that would further anger the colonists. The 8th years completed a collective research presentation about these causes of the American Revolution. Finally, they have presented initial expert presentations in class for feedback and are continuing to practice!
6th year Earth Science students have been researching coastal areas and the tides that follow as part of their unit, Tides. Each student was asked to create a line graph which represented high and low tides throughout a day as it relates to the time observed. Students were then asked to hypothesize what tidal pattern came before and will come after, based on the data observed. As a class, we discussed how we can anticipate moon phases based on the fluctuation of tidal patterns in addition to forecasting how the range of high and low tide will vary.
Another full week of classes and collaboration has been completed! An awesome component of middle school is the ability for students to have ideas and make them happen. One example of this is our newly formed chess elective, begun by two 8th grade students. These students often play chess and have intrigued their peers to learn how to play. They asked if there could be a chess elective offered for the third trimester during our Friday elective period, and they even offered to lead it. They were happy to teach beginners and help those learning how to strategize. Almost all of the middle school signed up and even an expert alum has joined in to help! It is amazing that these young adults are hoping to spread the joy they find in the game to others.
In 6th grade Humanities class, students began the class novel, Shooting Kabul by N.H. Senzai. This novel follows Fadi and his family as they flee the Taliban in Afghanistan and seek asylum in California. Students are studying what it means to seek asylum and what it means to be a refugee using the Department of Homeland Security as a reference. They also looked at a brief history of the Taliban- Who are they? How have they changed since the 1990s? What are their cultural beliefs and goals? Finally, students completed a unit of vocabulary.
7th grade Humanities class continued reading Animal Farm by George Orwell. With regards to Russian history, they learned about the Russian (Bolshevik) Revolution and its relationship to the novel. Finally, the class completed a unit of vocabulary.
In 8th grade Humanities class, students are working hard on their final presentations for their Expert Project. They also looked at 13 colonies, leading up to the French and Indian War. Finally, students completed their last vocabulary unit for the year.
6th year Earth Science students are currently working on a research project that addresses how tides and currents affect the distribution of pollution. Students will research how tides affect the distribution of pollution in the ocean, how tides affect liquid waste differently than solid waste, and what type of experiment and data would be required to answer the questions. Concluding their research, each student will formally present their work.