Friday, May 18, 2018

fusion communication: May 18

Hi all,

Two weeks left at this point before the next break.  Students are fine and relieved SBACs are over (well… almost over for the 8th grade - see below). Lost of field trips and good things coming these last four weeks.

7th Grade Families:
Grade 7 students will have a field trip on June 14 to Sandbar State park.  Attached to the email is the permission form. Chaperones are requested, as well as portable games to take with us.

8th Grade Families:  
Please remember to turn in the Great Escape permission form!!  This trip is one of the final celebratory events for this current graduating class.  Please look over the letter, consider chaperoning, and direct any questions or comments to lisa.windhausen@cesuvt.org!

8th Grade SBACs Continue with Science!
Next week, 8th grade students will have two sessions of Science SBACs on Wednesday and Thursday mornings, from 10-11.  Please let the school know if your child will be missing those two times so makeups can be scheduled.

All Laptops are at school over the Weekend
There should be no school laptops / electronic devices at home over the break.  If one does make its way home, please secure it in a spot where it will remain unused for the break.

Calendar
May 23 and 24 - 8th Grade ONLY: Science SBACs from 10-11am on both days.
June 1 - 8th Grade: Move up Day at MMU
June 13 - Vivasionville returns, 12:40-2:20 pm in upstairs hallway (more information coming)
June 14 - Totally Going to Happen!  7th Grade Field Trip to Sandbar State Park ($10)
June 14 - Totally Going to Happen! 8th Grade Field Trip to the Great Escape ($65) - Field Trip Permission form attached
June 19 - Tentative last day for 8th graders (MMU Class of 2022) and Recognition Night
June 20 - Tentative last student day of school (grades 5-7)

Curriculum Updates

LA
*** Both grades are in writing units right now. All students are still expected to read 30 minutes/day. ***

7 Students have had ample time in class to plan and draft their realistic fiction stories. At this point, everyone should have a page of writing completed. Those who do not have a page drafted should be spending some time in study halls or at home to get this done. We will be revising and adding to these stories in class next week.

8 Students have had ample class time to plan their comparative essays using a graphic organizer (posted on schoology) This task was due, submitted on schoology, by the end of class today.  Students who have not finished this task should take some time to complete it during study hall or at home. Next week we will begin drafting this essay in class.

Math
7:   Now that SBACs are over we are getting back into the groove of finishing up the Comparing and Scaling unit.  We will be doing some review and practice to prepare for the test for the middle of next (Wednesday or Thursday).

8:    We wrapped up the Say It With Symbols unit with a unit test this week and have moved on to our last unit, It’s In The System.  For the last weeks we will be exploring systems of equations and inequalities. We will also be doing some small group work to help shore up skills in preparation for next fall.  

Science
7 - In between SBAC testing, we went outside to study the Brown’s River!  Our goal was to determine if the river is healthy enough for our brook trout we’ve been raising in the classroom.  We’ve determined that the biological and physical components pass; we will look at the chemistry results next week to make our final determination.  Meanwhile, we enjoyed bringing back a few macroinvertebrates from the river to feed our trout! They enjoyed their first “real” meal!

8 - Students practiced explaining all the forces and properties of matter related to falling objects, such as air resistance, mass, gravity, inertia, and terminal velocity, in their models and explanations.  We’ll have an open-note quiz on Monday. Next Wednesday and Thursday, all 8th graders will complete the field test of the new standardized science test. These will take place mostly during their regular classes.  They are expected to take 1 hour on each day. Please let me know if you have any questions about this assessment.

SS
7 - Students finished Population Pyramids for their countries; ask them how their country is “demographically” organized: Slow or fast growth, Young or Ageing, major events that affect population, and the proportion of male to female.  Students are also finishing the Sovereign State Game next week and will face decisions about: a pandemic outbreak, piracy and a famine in the country of Genosha - arguable the most “hated” country in the activity.
8 - Students finished their projects for the Civil War Statue Controversy and will now head into the Civil Unit.  Please ask your child about the biographical information MMU students are requesting from them for the upcoming Move Up Day (June 1).

Get those weekend outdoor activities finished early tomorrow - lots of rain in the forecast Saturday evening. Might be a good time to watch reruns of the royal wedding with your children:)

Team Fusion

Friday, May 11, 2018

Fusion Communication: May11

Hi all,

SBAC week went well - student sare putting in their time to show their best - team acknowledges their efforts.

8th Grade Families:  
Please notice the attached permission form for the 8th grade field trip to the Great Escape Amusement Park!  Hard copies were sent home with students last Friday. This trip is one of the final celebratory events for this current graduating class.  Please look over the letter, consider chaperoning, and direct any questions or comments to lisa.windhausen@cesuvt.org!

All Laptops are at school over the Weekend
There should be no school laptops / electronic devices at home over the break.  If one does make its way home, please secure it in a spot where it will remain unused for the break.

Calendar
May 16 and 17 - SBACs continue for both grades, 8-10am
June 1 - 8th Grade: Move up Day at MMU
June 13 - Vivasionville returns (more information coming)
June 14 - Totally Going to Happen!  7th Grade Field Trip to Sandbar State Park ($15)
June 14 - Totally Going to Happen! 8th Grade Field Trip to the Great Escape ($65) - Field Trip Permission form attached
June 19 - Tentative last day for 8th graders (MMU Class of 2022) and Recognition Night
June 20 - Tentative last student day of school (grades 5-7)

Curriculum Updates

LA
*** Both grades are in writing units right now. Students are still expected to read 30 minutes/day. ***

At the end of the year with the weather improving and summer so close, it can be really challenging for students to maintain focus. After this last writing unit, the hope is to reward students for their hard  work with a fun read aloud (7th) and a picture book unit (8th). We have had some conversations/reminders in LA recently around following expectations and ending the year on a positive note :)

7 -- Students continue to work on their realistic fiction stories. Mini lessons this week focused sticking with a story/idea, developing details for the main character and today, extensive time for drafting.

8 -- This week we tried something new. Both 8th grade LA classes are currently doing some shared writing to create a thematic essay about jealousy in our mentor text “All Summer in a Day” by Ray Bradbury. Body paragraphs were written in small groups and we decided as a whole class how to revise them and incorporate that writing into a finished piece.

Math
7:   During these SBAC weeks we are taking the opportunity to do some enrichment activities with the Comparing and Scaling units.  We will plan to have the unit assessment the week after next.

8:   We are ready to wrap up the Comparing & Scaling, but were not able to squeeze in the unit test before SBACs started this week.  We spent our time doing some more practice and prep work. We will plan to have the unit test this coming Monday and Tuesday.

Science
7 - This week, we explored predator-prey relationships, as well as three symbiotic relationships:  mutualism, commensalism, and parasitism. Students should be able to describe several examples of each of these relationships to you!  Next week, interns with UVM’s Watershed Alliance Program will come to lead lessons on water quality indicators of streams. Science Group C will go outside to study the Brown’s River on Tuesday;  Group D will go on Friday. Please help your child check the weather forecast and dress accordingly! Please also remind your child to check for ticks when they return home after their field day!

8 - Students completed a variety of assignments over the last 2 weeks, which are beginning to pile up for a few students.  Please check with your child about their work status. There are 2 readings on schoology, a CER lab write-up using an online gravity simulator

SS
7 - Population Pyramid and Sovereign State Game: Students continue to work on their pyramids by evaluating different age ranges and how these statistics can explain the past - and the future - of a country.  The Sovereign State game is in full swing with students actively trading with one another for food, machinery and other natural resources.
8 - Confederate Statue Controversy: Students are in the final stages before the project.  They finished exploring the histories of individual statues and began making arguments for why Civil War statues were crrated in the first place.

Personal Finance Activity of the Week: 5 Stocks on your Birthday - Language of Money students are in the process of developing stock portfolios. Their activity is based on this one by NextGen Personal Finance.

Happy weekend - the weather forecast improved dramatically.  All students are remanded to yard work.

Team Fusion

Friday, May 4, 2018

Fusion Communication: May 4

Hi all,
We are back and rockin’ it on Team Fusion. Over the next few weeks, please check in with your child about upcoming assignments - we are entering the final few units of study in each class.

CPRs are Back!
PLPs are finished so students are returning to their CPR groups on Mondays and Fridays, from 8 - 8:20am.

Personal Hygiene Update
Just a reminder - warmer temps and high dew points are prevalent throughout the building; please check in about basic hygiene.  Conditions are MUCH improved since the first communication; keep up the good work!

8th Grade Families:  
Please notice the attached permission form for the 8th grade field trip to the Great Escape Amusement Park!  Hard copies were sent home with students today. This trip is one of the final celebratory events for this current graduating class.  Please look over the letter, consider chaperoning, and direct any questions or comments to lisa.windhausen@cesuvt.org!

All Laptops are at school over the Weekend
There should be no school laptops / electronic devices at home over the weekend.  If one does make its way home, please secure it in a spot where it will remain unused for the break.

Calendar
May 9 - Last Delayed Start
May 11 - Surprise! Another ⅞ Dance 7-9pm $5 entrance
June 1 - 8th Grade: Move up Day at MMU
June 13 - Vivasionville returns (more information coming)
June 14 - Tentative 7th Grade Field Trip to Sandbar State Park ($15)
June 14 - Tentative 8th Grade Field Trip to the Great Escape ($65) - Field Trip Permission form attached
June 19 - Tentative last day for 8th graders (MMU Class of 2022) and Recognition Night
June 20 - Tentative last student day of school (grades 5-7)

Curriculum Updates

LA
7/8 Reading Expectations: Both grades started writing units this week. All students are still expected to continue with independent reading 30 minutes each day. Students will be setting goals for reading habits for the end of the year. Those who are at a 3 or 4 for reading process (see reading journal score on schoology) may set their own goals. Those who are in the 0-2 range who want to raise their process scores need to jot in their journals 3x each week and include the reading strategy (presented in class on Mondays) in their journals at least once during the week. Everyone needs to read 30 minutes/day, try the Monday strategy in their journal and keep a list in their journal of books completed.

7 -- Students took a writing pre assessment this week. We began our Realistic Fiction unit. Mini lessons are focused on idea generation. Students will have the opportunity to test out few story ideas before committing to one for the process piece.

8 -- Students took a writing pre assessment this week. We began our Literary Essay unit with mini lessons focused on strategies for analyzing short stories. We will be trying something new next week when we do some shared writing to create a thematic essay together as a class. The unit ends with comparative essays.


Math
7:  This week, we wrapped up the investigations in the book from Comparing and Scaling.  While I was originally thinking of having the unit assessment next week, I would like to do some supplemental work to the unit over the next week and have the unit assessment the following week.  Also, students have a weekly homework assignment that is due next Wednesday.

8: We have finished the investigations for the Say It With Symbols and are reviewing for a unit test on Wednesday of next week.  Students have a weekly homework assignment that is due next Tuesday. This contains problems that will help them review for the test.  

Science
7 - This week, we focused on how resource availability affects population sizes of different organisms. Students modeled deer populations over time with an outdoor simulation game and practiced their graph creation and interpretation skills.  Students completed a targeted assessment on these skills on Friday. Next week, we explore interactions among species in ecosystems.

8 - We began our week with an overview of forces, with a focus on the variety of forces that affect objects at rest and in motion.  We explored various types of friction using sneakers, as well as with pulleys, straws, and masses. Students also used an online force bench simulator to practice with balancing forces.  We continue with gravity and falling objects investigations next week.

SS
7 - Students have been working with Population Pyramids to explore how events and experiences within a country can affect population and the future.  The Sovereign State Game is in full swing, with students trading, making alliances and assuming control over the game.  Ask your child about their “state” and what they did this week during the game.
8 - If it’s the end of the year, it must be time to study the Civil War! Students started exploring the conflict by looking more deeply into the current debate over Civil War statues and their removal.  Students are working through a series of tasks using the Inquiry Development Model (IDM) - to see the different questions and tasks, use this link.

Personal Finance Game of the Week: Cat Insanity - all about managing consumer debt, compound interest and why minimum payments really don’t get you ahead with credit cards.

Beautiful weekend ahead! Get those kids outside - every one of them has yardwork for homework:) Enjoy the sun.

Team Fusion

Friday, April 6, 2018

Fusion Communication: April 6

Hi all,
So the personal hygiene and Fortnite sleep deprivation have been significantly improved - thank you.  The team is really busy right now - all teachers are approaching major assessments. See below for more about the doings on Team Fusion.

PLP Check In
7th Grade: Students are working on their “This I Believe” projects. This is a long-established and worldwide project encouraging people everywhere to wax philosophical about what their core beliefs are and how they affect their lives. We studied many mentors (via NPR) such as Muhammad Ali and author Amy Tan. Students are working to articulate their own core values and beliefs through either a poster, essay, or slideshow presentation. We’ll be working on these projects through April 13th and will present the final week before break (16th-20th).

8th Grade: Students should be starting their Career Posters and Presentations - these will be due April 16. Students have had several PLP sessions focused on budgeting and cost of living choices - ask to see their budgets! Are they accurate:)? You will be contacted if your child is not making adequate progress on their project - but students are expected to use out of school / study hall time to produce the majority of the project.
Trifold poster boards are available at Dollar General, Staples, some grocery stores and from Mr. Warren.

PLPs until April Break
PLP groups are meeting every Monday and Friday mornings until break (generally runs from 8-8:20am).  The process is designed to be a steady progression - unless your child misses a session. Please look ahead at doctor’s appointments and other scheduled absences as that will affect what your child will need to make up from the PLP session.

Yearbook Orders due no later than April 13
See the attachment for more information

All Laptops are at school over the Weekend
There should be no school laptops / electronic devices at home over the weekend.  If one does make its way home, please secure it in a spot where it will remain unused for the break.

Calendar
April 6 - Last ⅞ Dance of the year; 7-9pm, $5 door charge with food available for purchase
April 11 - Delayed Start
April 13 - Last day to order Yearbooks (see attachment)
Week of April 16 - 8th Grade Career Unit Presentations
April 19 - Career Fair from 5:30-6:30pm
April 23-27 - April Break (no school)
May 9 - Last Delayed Start
June 1 - 8th Grade: Move up Day at MMU
June 14 - Tentative 7th Grade Field Trip to Sandbar State Park ($15)
June 14 - Tentative 8th Grade Field Trip to the Great Escape ($ TBD)
June 19 - Tentative last day for 8th graders (MMU Class of 2022) and Recognition Night
June 20 - Tentative last student day of school (grades 5-7)

Curriculum Updates
LA
7 - Our 7th grade readers have really dug in to the historical fiction reading unit we're in the midst of! We're learning to separately analyze what is going on historically from what's going on in the plot of the story, and we're working on teasing out what we can learn about/from both. They are expected to be reading and jotting at home every night, so support in this is much appreciated by me and by their book club group!

8 - 8th grade readers are in the thick of our dystopian reading unit! This is a fun unit for all involved because of the recent mainstream influx of dystopian stories marketed towards young adult audiences in both text and film-- our readers are stepping into this unit of learning with a ton of background knowledge of the genre. Some stories can be a bit disturbing, but a lot of the work we're doing is to comprehend what these stories are saying about systemic problems in their worlds and in ours. They are expected to be reading and jotting at home every night, so support in this is much appreciated by me and by their book club group!

Math:
7 - This week we began our new unit, Comparing and Scaling.  We have been exploring the idea of comparing ratios by scaling up or down.  We watched a great 1980s Pepsi vs. Coke taste test to talk about ways companies present data to try to sway consumer opinion and buying habits.  

8 - This week we worked on solving more complex linear equations involving distribution within the context of expenses, revenue, and profit.  We while continue to work on solving multi-step equations while some students will have the opportunity to explore modeling with quadratic expressions and solving quadratic equations.  

Science
7 - We continue to explore factors that cause a gene pool in populations to change over time.  Students were introduced to environmental factors which caused changes in different species, such as giraffes and the peppered moth.  The last two days, students analyzed data about lizard populations in the Greater Antilles. They identified patterns of their distribution, made a hypotheses about their ancestry, and used a phylogenetic tree to analyze DNA evidence of ancestry.  Next week, we will consider how scientists use fossils to infer relationships among species.

8 - Continuing our unit on force and motion, students conducted an investigation relating the shape of ski slopes to skier speeds, using pipe insulation and marbles as models.  From this investigation, they wrote a mini-lab report, to provide continued practice with analyzing and interpreting data. Meanwhile, we continue to practice with interpreting and quantifying motion events;  this week’s new concept was displacement - a measure of a change in position in a given direction.  Next week, we’ll explore acceleration.

SS
7 - Students continue to explore markets and economic activities - they are developing goods and services they can sell to each other through the Sovereign State Game.  Students also spent time investigating another financial literacy game, called The Uber Game.

8 - Students continued exploring the Industrial Revolution, and began taking notes from primary and secondary sources for the district assessment.  Some students began to explore another great financial literacy game called Spent, which helped students understand the struggles of budgeting when earning low wages.

Happy weekend to all.