Friday, May 17, 2019

Fusion Communication: May 17



Hi all,

So it feels like spring - in so many ways. Weather is warm(er), there are glimpses of the sun, and students are dreaming of unstructured days. As we approach the last few weeks of school, it’s a good time to check in with your child about assignments, field trips and family plans for the last few days. There will be assessments in June:)

8th Grade Great Escape Field Trip Update -
Thank you for supporting this year’s trip to the Great Escape! All permission forms are in! More details of the trip will follow. Please direct any questions to lisa.windhausen@cesuvt.org.

8th Grade Boat Trip - June 12The day of Recognition Night (June 12), 8th graders have the opportunity to join their classmates and select staff for a cruise aboard the Spirit of Ethan Allen III. Students would be transported to the Burlington waterfront after the annual awards ceremony and back to school to take buses home. For more information, please see the permission form from the email.

Calendar:
May 27: No School - Memorial Day
June 3: Official Move-up Day - 8th Graders to MMU
June 5: Great Escape Field Trip for 8th Grade
June 11: 8th Grade Laptops are audited by no later than this day
June 12: Official! Recognition Night for 8th Grade; last “official” day of middle school for 8th grade
Boat Trip for 8th Graders - Permission form attached
June 11: Changed Date! 7th Grade Jourasionville economics simulation (more information to come)
All Laptops turned in and audited by this day!
June 14: NEW!7th Grade Fusion/Journey joint field trip to Waterbury Center State Park (9ish-1:15ish)
June 17: Mostly Official Last day of school for grades 5-7

Curriculum Updates
LA
*** All students should be reading 30 minutes each day outside of class (either at home or in study halls). ***

7 Students have been working in class on their pre assessment for our last reading unit (Tapping the Power of Nonfiction). The unit will focus on identifying central ideas as well as tracking/analyzing them across a text.

8 This week, students have been working on a graphic organizer to plan their investigative journalism process piece. Completed graphic organizers are due today, 5/17. Next week students create and submit their final draft (due on Friday 5/24) using the graphic organizer as a guide.

Math
7: This week we started our last unit of the year, What Do You Expect, by exploring different probability activities and finding the experimental probability involved in each of the activities. We finished the week by introducing theoretical probability and comparing it to experimental probabilty. Next week, we will continue our work with theoretical probability by introducing compound events.

8: We wrapped up our current unit on transformation geometry, Butterflies, Pinwheels, and Wallpaper, this week with review and a unit test. Next week, we will begin our last unit of the year that will be a mixture of algebraic expression, solving equations, systems of equations, and quadratics depending on students’ readiness levels.

Science
7: Our final unit on Ecology began with a study of relationships among different species - predator-prey, competition, mutualism, parasitism, and commensalism. Students are now creating models of food webs and energy pyramids to track the flow of energy and cycling of matter within ecosystems.

8: Students will end the year with a mini-unit on Force, Motion & Energy. This week, they explored mathematical relationships between mass, energy, speed, and distance traveled using ramps and rolling cars, as well as a computer simulation. Next week, they’ll make the connection that as the distance between objects changes, potential energy changes.

SS
7 - Students are in the initial stages of the last unit, which is current event based and called Past, Present and Future. They have created population pyramids for different countries and linked historical events to changes in the population, used the population percentages to identify whether a country is Youthful, Ageing or Gaed, and experiencing Rapid, Slow or Zero/Negative growth. Finally, students have looked at the causes of instability within a country.

8 - The focus has been on the current debate about how the Civil War should be memorialized or remembered, with a focus on Confederate monuments and Robert E. Lee’s legacy. Students have also decided what causes of the Civil War they want to research and develop a project for to demonstrate proficiency for the unit.

Almost 80 degrees by Monday… is it really here to stay? Have a great weekend!

The Fusion Team


Friday, May 3, 2019

Fusion Communication: May 3



Hi all,

The last weeks have begun! So have SBAC assessments… please check ahead on calendars for appointments to see potential conflicts with SBACs - all assessments will take place in the morning from 8-10:30am (except Wednesday - no SBACs Wednesday due to delayed start).

8th Grade Great Escape Field Trip Update -
Please return the permission form ASAP! Great Escape would like our payment this week! Please direct any questions to lisa.windhausen@cesuvt.org.

SBAC Reminders:
  1. Very Important - All laptops MUST remain at school over the weekend. Students will be testing for SBAC starting Monday so those laptops need to be fully charged.
  2. Laptops will remain at school each night next week - so no homework will be assigned next week (students are VERY sad about this adjustment).
  3. Earbuds or headphones - needs to have a 3.5mm jack to plug into laptops/Chromeboxes (school has a VERY limited # to share).
  4. Food - NOT candy.
  5. Reading material - high interest (teachers will provide alternatives).
Calendar:
May 6, 7, 9, 10 - Math/LA SBAC Assessments
May 8: Last Delayed Start
June 3: Official Move-up Day - 8th Graders to MMU
June 5: Great Escape Field Trip for 8th Grade
June 11: 8th Grade Laptops are audited by no later than this day
June 12: Official! Recognition Night for 8th Grade; last “official” day of middle school for 8th grade
June 13: 7th Grade Foursionville economics simulation (more information to come)
              All Laptops turned in and audited by this day!
June 14: NEW!7th Grade Fusion/Journey joint field trip to Waterbury Center State Park (9ish-1:15ish)
June 17: Mostly Official Last day of school for grades 5-7

Curriculum UpdatesLA
*** All students should be reading 30 minutes each day outside of class (either at home or in study halls). ***

7 Students handed in their process piece, an argument essay about competitive sports, on Wednesday. We have been making book covers and watching the film Christopher Robin to celebrate the end of our writing unit. Up next: nonfiction reading.

8 We have been exploring different types of journalism in class. This week, students have been listening to the podcast This American Life, specifically segments focusing on the middle school experience. Each time we examine a new story / form of journalism we discuss how the journalist delivered information and why the topic is considered newsworthy. Next week students will begin research for their process piece.

Math
7: This week, we have balanced our time wrapping up this year’s work with Moving Straight Ahead (we will continue it at the beginning of next year) while also orienting ourselves to the format of the upcoming SBACs and some of the types of questions students might see. Next week, in the spaces in between testing, we will be doing some small group work concentrating on past concepts where students could use some more work.

8: This week, we have continued our work with Transformation Geometry applying our understanding of reflections, rotations, and translations to transformations on a coordinate grid. We have have also spent time orienting ourselves to the format of the upcoming SBACs and some of the types of questions students might see. Next week, in the spaces in between testing, we will continue our work with our current unit extending our work to parallel lines and transversals as well as dilations.

Science
7: Students analyzed case studies and data to explore how species change over long periods of time in response to environmental changes. They are wrapping up this unit by revisiting bacteria and the evolution of resistance to antibiotics. In between SBAC testing next week, students will begin the final unit on Ecology.

8: The focus this week was on the Vermont Science Assessment (VTSA), or, as some people call it, Science SBAC’s. This is the first official year administering this test in Vermont; you should receive individual reports of your child’s performance in the mail. The test includes topics addressed throughout their middle school years, and emphasizes science and engineering practices. In between SBAC testing next week, students will wrap up the unit on chemical reactions by considering what to do with the copper waste they produced when making circuit boards.

SS
7 - Students completed assessments related to the economics unit before the break and are now exploring how Population Pyramids demonstrate past events - and potentially predict future needs. Students analyzed two countries population pyramids with a focus on birth and death/mortality rates - and the factors that may affect both.

8 - The focus was to finish the Industrial Revolution assessment. Students read an article about the Triangle Shirtwaist Fire and watched a documentary detailing the remarkable factory reform efforts that occurred afterwards. The last unit of study will start next week - Causes of the Civil War.

Sunday looks to be the better weather day - here’s to longer days in the sun and watching spring sports (or maybe a hike?).

The Fusion Team


Sunday, March 31, 2019

Fusion Communication: March 31



Hi all,

It’s getting really muddy out there. We are in that middling week period where the light at the end of the tunnel is not yet in view but students continue to make progress, and move forward.

Dance Success - Glow-in-the-Dark! (So many black lights!)We made about $50 after costs - thank you to all who donated. It was amazing!

8th Grade Career Unit UpdateStudents began developing budgets for the salary of their job shadow, and are beginning to create materials for the posters and the presentations. 
 PLEASE NOTE: any appointments or absences the morning of April 16 should be communicated to the team as soon as possible - that is the official morning of presentations for the career unit.

**Trifold posters can be purchased from Mr. Pless for $4 (which is a very good price).

Team blog link:
https://teamfusion78.blogspot.com/

All laptops should remain at school over the weekend.
Calendar:April 10: Delayed Start
April 16: 8th Grade Career Presentations (during school day in team area)
April 18: Change! 8th grade Career Fair - 5:30-6:30pm
April 20-28: Spring Break (no school)
May 8: Last Delayed Start
June 3: Tentative Move-up Day - 8th Graders to MMU
June 5: Tentative Great Escape Field Trip for 8th Grade
June 12: Very Tentative Recognition Night for 8th Grade; last day of middle school for 8th grade
June 17: Very Tentative Last day of school for grades 5-7

Curriculum Updates
LA

Will return next week.

Math
7: This week, we combined our understanding of circles and prisms and developed strategies for calculating surface area and volume of cylinders. Next week, we will be doing some review in preparation for a unit test on Thursday or Friday as well as some extension work for students are ready for it.

8: This week, we have been developing rules for working with exponents as well as strategies for operations with Scientific Notation. Next week, we will be reviewing and assessing the learning from the unit. We will assess students understanding of exponent rules and Scientific Notation on Tuesday, with an assessment on exponential vs. linear functions on Thursday or Friday.

Science
7: Students focused on patterns of inheritance by reading about Gregor Mendel’s experiments with pea plants, by creating Punnett Squares to predict the probability of certain traits in offspring, and by modeling the inheritance of dominant/recessive, co-dominant, and incomplete dominance pattern of traits in fictional critters. (Students created their final critter offspring using styrofoam balls, push pins, colored straws, and pipe cleaners! Of course, they now all have names!)

8: Students began a new set of investigations focused on chemical reactions this week! They explored how chemical processes are used to create circuit boards; in small groups, they designed a circuit board pattern, etched their sample circuit board overnight, and tested their designs to see if it could create a circuit and light a bulb! They are now exploring several different chemical reactions to clarify which pieces of evidence can be used to suggest a chemical reaction is taking place.

SS
7 - Students continue to build background knowledge about the major economic systems/theories and collect evidence to support those ideas. One activity asked students to compare findings from the World Happiness Report to economic systems, and then World Population to “Happiness”. Many questions arose when they made those comparisons….

8 - Students delved into a deeper exploration of the Industrial Revolution through note taking activities, comparisons of inventions and a survey of artwork produced from the time period. Ask them about the interpretation and meaning of the Experiment on Bird in Air Pump, Joseph Wright, 1768.

Looks Spring has sprung… with the usual mud and rain. Just three more weeks until the next break.

The Fusion Team


Saturday, March 16, 2019

Fusion Communication: March 16



Hi all,

We fought our way through the time change and wild temperature swings. As was reported by Mr. Hamilton in an email yesterday, there are changes coming next year for the school, and Fusion 7 specifically. Fusion 7 families - please check your inboxes for that message and contact Kevin Hamilton if you have questions.

8th Grade Career Unit UpdateStudents have begun an assignment called Roadtrip Nation, where they compare careers they research on a website called Naviance they can access through their school account. March 25 is the due date for career shadows to be complete. Please check with your child about their plans - Fusion has leads but some kind of general idea from your child is necessary to line up a job shadow.

Spring Conference Sign-upsConference times are full! If you are interested in speaking with the team about your child’s progress, please contact Mr. Pless.

8th Grade End-of-Year Field TripsWe are in the early stages of planning the 8th grade end-of-year field trip to the Great Escape in Lake George, NY! We have reserved coach buses and the Great Escape Park for Wednesday, June 5th. Because the class size is larger than previous years, we will need to take 3 buses, which raises the per person cost for this trip to approximately $85. Both teams, Vivace and Fusion, are actively fundraising and hope to bring the per student fee down. We will offer scholarships to ensure everyone has the opportunity to attend. Please know there is also another celebratory field trip tradition of taking a mid-day cruise on Lake Champlain aboard the Spirit of Ethan Allen from Burlington; last year’s fee for this trip was $21. Please feel free to email me if you have any questions about these trips! lisa.windhausen@cesuvt.org

All laptops should remain at school over the weekend.
Calendar:
Next few days: Report Card arrival is imminent!March 25: 8th grade Job Shadowing should be completed
March 29: 7/8 Dance - Fusion Field Trip Fundraiser! We will be asking families to donate food items to sell
April 10: Delayed Start
April 14: Tentative 8th Grade Career Presentations
April 16: 8th grade Career Fair - 5:30-6:30pm
April 20-28: Spring Break (no school)
May 8: Last Delayed Start
June 3: Tentative Move-up Day - 8th Graders to MMU
June 5: Tentative Great Escape Field Trip for 8th Grade

Curriculum Updates
LA
7 To prepare for our argument writing unit (research based essays), we will be doing debates in class for a few days. Students will practice gathering information, making a claim, gathering evidence and addressing counterclaims. Students should still be reading 30 minutes each day outside of class using a book of their choice.

8 Students began reading their narrative nonfiction books yesterday. These books should stay in the classroom so that they are available for our mini lesson work. Students can use choice books for their nightly 30 minutes. Today in class we talked about (and explored) how themes, central ideas and social issues could be presented in the first few pages of their books.

Math
7: We are well into our unit, Filling and Wrapping. This unit focuses on surface area and volume of prisms and cylinders. We have done some initial explorations involving surface area and volume and what happens to the surface area and volume when we scale up a prism. On Pi Day we explored the relationship between circumference, radius, and pi using different circular objects. This was to help towards building foundational knowledge for finding surface area and volume for a cylinder.

8: This week we focused on exponential functions with non whole number growth factors. We also introduced the concept of exponential decay where students completed a simulated experiment where they found the half-life of a radioactive isotope. On Pi Day we did some fun puzzles solving for area of a combination of circles and squares.

Science
7: The family trees are coming in; thank you for supporting your child’s efforts with this project! Some students may be working on this project over the weekend. Hopefully, they will all arrive early next week, so we can begin sharing and celebrating their work! In class, we are creating models of inheritance and are beginning to make the connections between cell structures, traits, reproduction, and patterns of inheritance.

8: We are currently transitioning from describing the structure and behavior of matter to understanding how substances interact during chemical reactions. Students completed a mini-research project on one element and produced an informational brochure, as well as a 3-D model of one atom of their element. These models are now decorating the classroom ceiling! Thank you for supporting your child’s effort with this project!

SS
7 - As the economics unit starts to unfold, students are exploring some of the foundational concepts such as needs, wants and resources. We spent the first part of the week reading a story written in 1971 called 2011: Living in the Future. Students spent time looking at the Jeffrey Hoyle’s vision of our time (his future), comparing what he thought would be our wants and needs. The second part of the week featured the game Electrocity, developed by the electric company of New Zealand, which challenges students to manage resources to grow businesses and keep “citizens” happy.

8 - Students spent time breaking down the language in their Bill Project, which is the major current assessment for the year. They wrote emails to “experts” and bill sponsors and are anxiously awaiting replies. In addition, students started to explore the fabulous NPR website called Planet Money Makes a T-Shirt, which details how a humble t-shirt is created, from the fields of Mississippi to Indonesia to the factories of Bangladesh.

Hope everyone has a restful weekend and is ready for the next 5 weeks.

The Fusion Team

Friday, March 8, 2019

Fusion Communication: March 8



Hi all,
We have returned - bet your children are tired. These short weeks lead to a lot of “compressed” social engagement. Report cards are being finalized and there are few assignments at the beginning of the trimester so it’s a good time to take stock of what comes next (the handy calendar could be of help).

8th Grade Career Unit Update
Students are lining up job shadows. Have a conversation with your 8th grader this weekend about what career/job they may be interested in for the unit. Please remember - the intention of the career is not to “pick” a path but to have students explore what a life could be like for an adult “them”. There are many materials located in a Schoology folder labeled Career/PLP that was shared with your child. Family letter is here.

Spring Conference Sign-upsWe are providing the link below to sign up for spring conferences. Due to the shorter allotted time-frame for spring conferences, offering times to to meet with all Fusion families within the conference window is not possible. We have often focused this time of the year on meeting with 8th grade families to support the transition to high school, however we want to make sure that we make time for all the families both 8th and 7th that feel the need to meet. When deciding whether to sign up for a conference, please keep in mind whether you have met with us recently or have a meeting scheduled with us in the near future in order to be fair to other families. Also, if you do not feel the need for a conference, but would like an email update about your student please feel free to email us and we would be happy to accommodate this. The link to sign-up for a conference is below:

Spring 2019 Fusion Conference Link

8th Grade End-of-Year Field Trips
We are in the early stages of planning the 8th grade end-of-year field trip to the Great Escape in Lake George, NY! We have reserved coach buses and the Great Escape Park for Wednesday, June 5th. Because the class size is larger than previous years, we will need to take 3 buses, which raises the per person cost for this trip to approximately $85. Both teams, Vivace and Fusion, are actively fundraising and hope to bring the per student fee down. We will offer scholarships to ensure everyone has the opportunity to attend. Please know there is also another celebratory field trip tradition of taking a mid-day cruise on Lake Champlain aboard the Spirit of Ethan Allen from Burlington; last year’s fee for this trip was $21. Please feel free to email me if you have any questions about these trips! lisa.windhausen@cesuvt.org


All laptops should remain at school over the weekend.

Calendar:
Week of March 11: Report Cards sent home
March 25: 8th grade Job Shadowing should be completed
March 29: 7/8 Dance - Fusion Field Trip Fundraiser! We will be asking families to donate food items                                        to sell
April 10: Delayed Start
April 14: Tentative 8th Grade Career Presentations
April 16: 8th grade Career Fair - 5:30-6:30pm
April 20-28: Spring Break (no school)
May 8: Last Delayed Start
June 3: Tentative Move-up Day - 8th Graders to MMU
June 5: Tentative Great Escape Field Trip for 8th Grade

Curriculum Updates will return March 15
Looks like the last really cold weekend. Fast forward those clocks and we’ll see everyone bright and early Monday.

The Fusion Team

Friday, February 15, 2019

Fusion Communication: February 15



Hi all,

It’s certainly been an entertaining week with regards to the weather; if it’s not one thing, it’s another. Team Fusion cruises into the final weekend before the final week before break. The coming week always has assessments in every class, so let us know if your child will be missing any time.

Career Panel: looking for Volunteers - Wednesday, February 20, 8-9am (Date Change!)
Team Fusion is looking for 2 more parents/community members (AND the perspectives of women!) willing to spend an hour discussing their career choices with our 8th grade students as part of the Career Unit/PLP kick-off week. We will provide you with questions to prepare answers for, and also keep the panel to one hour so you can meet your other commitments for the day. Team Fusion is looking for a wide range of career options, pathways and education backgrounds; the panel is a much richer experience with a greater diversity of professions and life experiences.
Please contact Mr. Pless if interested: bryant.pless@cesuvt.org

PLP/Career Unit Kick-off
Grade 7 - The 7th grade Personalized Learning Plan process began this week with an introduction to the concept of matching personal interests to career goals. Over the next several weeks, students will take a variety of surveys to strengthen their ability to “know thyself” and to inform their future goal-setting.

Grade 8 - The students are embarking on a traditional career unit, with a visit to a job site encouraged. But the unit also covers personal finance, as well as discussions about the needs and wants everyone has for careers. Please see the letter for more information about specific dates and requirements for this unit of study.

We had a great day at Bowling… and the food was quite good as well:) Thanks to our chaperones.
All laptops should remain at school over the weekend.
Calendar:
  • Week of February 11: Kick-off for the 8th Grade Career Unit/7th Grade PLP Process
  • February 15: 8th grade recommendation forms WERE due BACK to BRMS. If not turned in to BRMS by this time, families will need to deliver the forms to the high school. 
  • (Date change!) February 20: 8-9am Career Panel (looking for two more adult volunteers to speak with students about their careers)
  • February 22: Student-Faculty (Read and White) Basketball Game (1:20ish to 2:20ish) *Only 8th Grade basketball players can play*
    • Last Day before Break
  • February 23-March 5: Winter Break (no school)
  • March 29: 7/8 Dance - Fusion Field Trip Fundraiser! We will be asking families to donate food items to sell
  • April 10: Delayed Start
  • April 20-28: Spring Break (no school)
  • May 8: Last Delayed Start
  • June 3: Tentative Move-up Day - 8th Graders to MMU
Curriculum Updates
LA
*** All students should still be reading 30 minutes each day, outside of class. ***

7- Graphic organizers for information writing are due on Monday, 2/18. This is a large portion of the writing process score on the report card. Use of class time and students ability to take and apply feedback factors in as well. We have spent an extensive amount of time working on this in class and students were also encourage to work on it at home or during study hall. There are tools and a checklist in the writing toolkit folder on Schoology to support this work. Students who need more time to work on this assignment should do so at home or during study hall.

8- Graphic organizers for the comparative essay were due on Thursday 2/14. Due to the snow day, I allowed students to work on these at home and submit Thursday evening on Schoology if needed. We spent several class periods working on this task and students were encouraged to use study halls or evenings if needed. Students also know it will impact their process score if this work was handed in late of incomplete. Use of class time and students ability to take and apply feedback factors in as well. Students had access to planning tools on Schoology as well as sample writing and notes in their journals. The post assessment will be next Wednesday and Thursday, 2/20 and 2/21.


Math: Due to changes in my personal schedule, Math extra help sessions will be changing from Thursday afternoons, to Monday afternoons. They will continue to be from 2:45 - 3:25. If your student is planning to attend, please just let me know by noon on that Monday.

7 - We have wrapped up all the investigations in our current unit and while I was hoping to have a unit test this week, our schedule got a little interrupted this week with the YRBS survey, a snow day, and the field trip. We will plan to do some more review on Monday and Tuesday and have the test next Wednesday.

8 - We have finished the first investigation in Growing, Growing, Growing looking at several different exponential growth patterns and comparing them to linear patterns. This unit has several 9th grade pieces to it, so over the next few weeks we will be differentiating by breaking up into small groups giving students who are ready the opportunity to work on these.

Science

7 - Students continue to monitor the brook trout population by measuring their sizes, making sketches of their structures, and counting the population size. Meanwhile, they researched several animal behaviors that increase the chances for successful reproduction, such as nest-building and courtship displays. They are now analyzing population graphs and making inferences related to factors that affect populations.

8 - Students are nearly finished with their engineering design projects! The atmosphere in the class this week was filled with a high level of engagement, creativity and unexpected learning opportunities! Students will do their final evaluations and presentations of their devices to the class this coming week.

SS

7 - Students practiced using the direct standards on the district assessment, using text examples from Culturegrams to defend the United States as a functioning government. The district assessment will be due next week on Wednesday.

8 - Students concluded the vaping trial of “The State vs Susan” - in both classes she was found guilty of possession but not of intention to distribute vaping materials. An introduction of the Bill of Rights and a conclusion of the Constitution Video project were also on the docket. The second installment of the district assessment will happen next Tuesday. Wednesday of next week will feature the Career Panel from 8-9am… please try to have students to school on time.

One more week to go - here’s hoping for a restful weekend.

The Fusion Team

Friday, February 8, 2019

Fusion Communication: February 8



Hi all,

With the weather being all squirrelly, it will be important for students to get enough rest. There are two weeks left and the team is looking forward to finishing strong for the trimester.

Career Panel: looking for Volunteers - Thursday, February 21, 8-9am
Team Fusion is looking for 6-8 parents/community members willing to spend an hour discussing their career choices with our 8th grade students as part of the Career Unit/PLP kick-off week. We will provide you with questions to prepare answers for, and also keep the panel to one hour so you can meet your other commitments for the day. Team Fusion is looking for a wide range of career options, pathways and education backgrounds; the panel is a much richer experience with a greater diversity of professions and life experiences.
Please contact Mr. Pless if interested: bryant.pless@cesuvt.org

Annual Bowling, Chinese, Pizza Day!Team will take February 15 to celebrate us with a field trip to Spare Time Bowling, then return to school for the annual Chinese/Pizza Buffet. $20 and permission form required - see attached form. Form was due Friday, Feb 8th.

Congratulations Penguin PlungersThe following students from Team Fusion participated in the Penguin Plunge this year - kudos to them!
Riya Sawyer
Allie Fullem
Kaia Sleeper-Spady
Celia Polli
Erin Robillard - Staff
Kevin Hamilton - Administrator
Nicole Thompson - Staff
Bryant Pless - Staff

Power Cords should NOT be coming home with students
It has come to our attention that students are taking power cords out of the computer carts and bringing them home; sometimes these cords are not assigned to that student. We ask families to keep an eye out for Chromebook cords at home and return any that your family did not purchase for themselves - no questions will be asked, we just need the cords back. Thanks.

All laptops should remain at school over the weekend.
Calendar:
Week of February 11: Kick-off for the 8th Grade Career Unit/7th Grade PLP Process
February 13: Delayed Start
February 15: The annual bowling and Chinese/Pizza buffett - Confirmed date
                      8th grade recommendation forms are due BACK to BRMS. If not turned in to BRMS 
                      by this time, families will need to deliver the forms to the high school.
February 21: 8-9am Career Panel (looking for six adult volunteers to speak with students about their 
                      careers)
February 22: Student-Faculty (Read and White) Basketball Game (1:20ish to 2:20ish)
                      *Only 8th Grade basketball players can play*
                      Last Day before Break
February 23-March 5: Winter Break (no school)
March 29: 7/8 Dance - Fusion Field Trip Fundraiser! We will be asking families to donate food items                                                                                         to sell
April 10: Delayed Start
April 20-28: Spring Break (no school)
May 8: Last Delayed Start
June 3: Tentative Move-up Day - 8th Graders to MMU

Curriculum Updates
LA
*** All students should still be reading 30 minutes each day, outside of class. ***

Math: Due to changes in my personal schedule, Math extra help sessions will be changing from Thursday afternoons, to Monday afternoons. They will continue to be from 2:45 - 3:25. If your student is planning to attend, please just let me know by noon on that Monday.

7 - This week we finished the remainder of the investigations in our current unit, Comparing and Scaling. Next week will be doing some review work to prepare for a unit assessment towards the end of the week.

8 - This week we wrapped up the Looking for Pythagoras unit with a unit assessment and have started our next unit, Growing, Growing, Growing. This is unit investigates exponential growth and decay as well as exponent rules.

Science
7 - Students completed their investigation of the effects of salt and genetics on plant germination and growth. They summarized their findings using a Claim-Evidence-Reasoning structure, which we use often for science writing. Students also examined the structures of flowers, learned about the diversity of plant structures that match specific pollinators, and reviewed the variety of animal behaviors that increase their chances for successful reproduction. We watched several entertaining videos of bird courtship displays!

8 - Students are designing their own investigations and engineering projects related to thermal energy transfer this week! They are in the midst of the final engineering challenge, working in design teams, to maximize thermal energy transfer from either a heat lamp or electric burner to a model of a cookie or a hot tub. They are in the process of selecting materials which will aid in the transfer of energy to their model. Next week, they will build, test, evaluate and present their devices, all before Friday’s field trip!

SS

7 - Students continued to develop a flow chart of their representative government. There was a deeper look at US representative democracy by watching Ted-ed videos of important concepts in American democracy:

Separation of Powers, Checks and Balances
What gives the dollar its value?
Fight for the Right to Vote
Equality, Sports and Title IX (9)

Students will be finishing their Flowcharts next week and working to create propaganda for their Sovereign State countries.

8 - Students have been working to research standards related to the Constitution - a video project about these standards is due early next week. A deeper dive into US court system was started in the middle of the week, with a mock trial of Marcus Brutus used to introduce the basic procedures, and now the students are engaged in another mock trial involving a student caught with vaping items. Some of the research Mr. Pless used to produce the trial was obtained from the Vaping Workshop held at BRMS last week - if interested, there is a link to a video of that workshop below. The video is appropriate for adult audiences, and should be used as an informational source to open discussion with your child about the growing use of vaping devices in all Vermont schools.
Link to Vaping Workshop Video

Hope everyone has a good weekend.

The Fusion Team