Saturday, September 17, 2016

Team Fusion Communication: September 17

Hi all,
Team Fusion had a fantastic time at Lake Elmore on Thursday - the weather could not have been better.  Hopefully a few faces came home with tired looks and slightly burned - an indication of a good time:)  Make sure to ask about the s’mores and about some of the things mentioned below.

Montreal Field Trip Date Change from Friday October 14 to Wednesday October 19
The team has made the decision to switch the date of the Montreal Trip; we understand this change will represent a scheduling challenge for some of you and the team did not make this decision lightly.  We are sorry to have to change the date at this point. Chaperones - please check your inboxes for a separate email about this change.

The archeology museum notified us that they would not be able to handle a group of our size on October 14, but could on October 19.  Given the success of having this museum included in the trip, the team felt a change of date was necessary (the team also looked into going to the Science museum and the Biodome - neither of those options worked with our format). Please contact Mr. Pless with any questions about this decision.

September 27 - Open House (generally starts around 6:30pm)
September 30 - Burlington Field Trip ($5)
October 12 - Two Hour Delay
October 19 (date change!)- Montreal Day Trip ($45)
October 21 - Team Fusion Conference Day
November 9 - Two Hour Delay

Upcoming Field Trips
Much more detailed explanations of the three field trips are in the attached documents, but a basic summary for each trip is listed below:
  • September 30 - Burlington
    • Grade 7: Seventh Generation visit, investigate Church Street from a cultural perspective, possibly interview the Mayor of Burlington
    • Grade 8: Melosira research vessel, Career Unit exploration

  • October 14 (Could change to October 19) - Invade Montreal!
    • Grade 7: Act as tour guides to the rich culture of the city
    • Grade 8: Act as tour guides of the historical connections between Montreal and the United States
    • Both Grades: Archeology Museum and over two hours free time with chaperones to investigate the city

Academic Area Update

  • 7th: Students have begun drafting realistic fiction stories in class. We will continue to add to them over the next few weeks using strategies from workshop sessions. Independent reading should continue. Reading logs will be assigned each Monday and will be due the following Monday, giving students all week to accumulate minutes and answer the comprehension question(s).

  • 8th: We have been looking at a variety of ways to capture the details of events and turn them into news stories. Students will spend some time next week examining the difference between traditional narrative/storytelling and journalism. We will look at the ways tone can be used to convey information to readers. Independent reading should continue. Reading logs will be assigned each Monday and will be due the following Monday, giving students all week to accumulate minutes and answer the comprehension question(s).

Math: We are finally up and running with our first units in all math classes!
  • 7th: We started our first unit, Shapes and Designs today. Students began by sorting polygons based on defining characteristics. Next week we will be using different tools and estimation techniques to measure angles.
  • 8th CMP: This week, we were building paper bridges and testing their strength while manipulating the thickness and length of the bridge.
  • 8th Algebra: We began our unit on simplify and evaluating expressions. This week we did some basics with evaluating algebraic expressions given a certain value for the variable, order of operations, and absolute value. Next week we will work on some review of operations with integers as well as some new applications of this.

7th - Students continued to practice the skill of using a dichotomous key (the Tree Finder) to identify native and nonnative tree species.  We walked along the river path to gather leaves in a more natural setting.  They compared the species richness of the river path, the planted school buffer, and the trees from home, and discovered that the river path had the greatest number of tree species!  Students are now re-visiting the main characteristics of life. Next week, they’ll gather more observations to strengthen their understanding of what makes things alive.

8th - Students completed their mini-research on a celestial body, and used their understanding to place objects in order by distance and size.  The goal is for students to gain a broad understanding of the various types of celestial objects in the universe and their relative positions.  They completed a check-up quiz on Friday to determine their current understanding of the Earth’s motion and phases of the moon. Next week, students will do a variety of activities, depending on the information they gave on Friday’s check-up.

7th - Some time was spent processing an article from the Newsela website about the Small World ride; the concept behind the ride was used as a metaphor to explain differing perspectives and the purpose of studying the different cultures of the world.  Students completed two different sets of maps of the continents: one on paper using an atlas and the other on a program called Thinglink!, which allowed the students to change the “perspective” by incorporating videos, pictures and most importantly changing the background image to reflect their “view” of the world.

8th - The focus was mostly on current events, as students finished the process of reading and writing about an article, moving to debating the issues behind the tradition of relocating the Olympics every four years. The rest of the week was spent on continuing the review of regions within the United States by collecting data from the program Culturegrams.  The data will be used to make generalizations about the regions and how they may have turned out that way.

The leaves are a changin’ - here's to hoping your families get outside on Saturday as Sunday looks wet (but we need the rain).

Team Fusion