Friday, September 23, 2016

Team Fusion Communication: September 23

Hi all,
Happy harvest Market - it will be very busy in Underhill Flats this weekend.  It's also been quite busy (first, true five day week!) on Team Fusion - see below.

Open House
Starts at 7pm for Team Fusion.  The team will present brief curriculum overviews, team organization, field trip update and present a Schoology 101 session.  At 7:30 the team will conclude the presentation and allow for more time to meet the team teachers and answer questions with staff members.
*If you have a burning issue that pertains only to your child, or want to let the team know something that is usually confidential, Open House is not the best environment to do so.  A team member will contact your family after the Open House to discuss any of those types of topics.

Burlington Field Trip Friday, September 30
The trip is on for this coming Friday.  This trip is a great one to casually drop in on your child - just let Mr. pless know so he can tell you the best place to meet them.  Please remember the 7th graders have a project to do on Church Street, and 8th graders may be trying to catch a boat

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. So far, all chaperones have been able to switch to that date - thank you!

September 27 - Open House (6:30pm start at EXPs and 7pm start at Team Fusion)
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 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

Most students have had a reading conference with me at this point. The hope is to wrap these up early next week. During reading conferences we:
  • Looked at the first two reading logs
  • Went over reading expectations/ genre requirements
  • Double checked that students all have a copy of the completed books list in their LA folders
  • Discussed the  weekly reading plan (intended to help students break up the reading log task into smaller chunks)

  • 7th: Students have continued work on their realistic fiction stories throughout the week. Topic choices should were submitted on schoology and I will be checking in with students regarding the focus of their stories next week.

  • 8th: We started to look at published news stories to get a better handle on the genre of journalism. I have been truly impressed by the maturity level displayed during our in-class conversations this week.

  • 7th: This week we explored estimating using benchmark angles, measuring angles with angle rulers and protractors, and finished with drawing shapes with tools given different side length and angle parameters. Next week we will be focusing on angle sums for polygons as well as examining interior and exterior angles of polygons. Now that we have some material under our belt, homework will be becoming a more regular occurrence. Assignments should be written down in assignment books and can be found on schoology.
  • 8th CMP: This week we focused on exploring real world linear and nonlinear relationships. We also examined linear and nonlinear patterns. Students have been working towards being able to explain the differences between linear and nonlinear patterns in tables and graphs. Now that we have some material under our belt, homework will be becoming a more regular occurrence. Assignments should be written down in assignment books and can be found on schoology.
  • 8th Algebra: We have continued working on simplifying expressions getting as far as combining like terms with nonexponential variables using the distributive, commutative, and associative properties. We will continue with the next week adding in multiplication and division of expressions as well as exponents. We are already in full swing with homework assignments. Students should be writing these down in their planners. They can be found on schoology as well.

7th - Students developed an operational definition of life this week by exploring 5 different unknown materials in 3 different types of aquatic environments and by looking for evidence of life. They enjoyed watching radish seeds sprout in the water environment, and brine shrimp (aka sea monkeys!) hatch in the salt water!  (These are now our class pets!)  Next week, we begin using microscopes to look at evidence of life at a smaller scale.

8th - The main focus this week was trying to gain perspective on the immense size of the universe!  Students created scale models of various objects, and then of the solar system. Using the same scale for size and distance, we paced the distance between the sun and mercury outside, and discovered that venus would be off the school grounds!  Part I of the district assessment will be given on Tuesday; the main topics are scale models of the universe and the organization of the universe (planets, stars, solar systems, galaxies).

7th - Emphasis this week was on introduction of the Universals of Culture (categories to help define what culture is).  The class used the Latin American tradition of QuinceaƱera to practice evaluating one instance of culture through the lens of the Universals.  Then, students used pictures from home to define the different Universals and finally worked in groups to compare Vermont, United States and a few countries around the world through a few key statistics and the Universals.  Next week will be all about preparing for the Burlington Field trip.

8th - Again, the heaviest emphasis was on current events using the Newsela website to introduce and guide students through the topic of gender equality.  Current events culminated in a discussion of gender equality during Friday’s social studies class; both groups did very well with listening to each other, vocalizing their points on the topic.  Next week will see the start of the history portion of the curriculum.

Happy Fall (started at 4:02pm Thursday) and enjoy the Harvest Market… or all the other awesome things your families do on the weekend.

Team Fusion