Friday, November 11, 2016

Fusion Team Communication: November 11

Hi all,
Wow - 11 weeks of school with one more to go.  Team is finishing up assessments by Thursday so a great time to check in with your child.  Please note - Friday, November 18, will be more of a “fun” day.

7th Grade Laptops home this weekend
Given the upcoming district assessments and assignments in science and social studies, 7th grade students are allowed to bring their laptops home for the weekend (if they already have a computer at home, students were encouraged to leave the laptop at school).  Please have your child use the laptop for school projects only.

For the fifth year in a row, Browns River Middle School staff are participating in the Movember competition. This year there are couple of new twists; instead of collecting money, participants will be collecting food items for the Jericho and Underhill Food Shelf, and the focus is going to be more on everyone's health during this busy time of the year. Mr. Keblin and Mr. Pless are both participating (but really Team Fusion is raising food items for Mr. Keblin). Please ask your child to talk a little bit more of what they know about Movember and the Traditions that Browns River has with this movement. A big influx of food occurred Friday morning - thank you!

High Interest Reading Material
Thank you - we have received multiple copies - please send more!

November 17:
  • Movember Parade - last day for food items to count towards Movember Contest
  • Students submit laptops (no laptops over the break)
November 21-25 - Holiday Break (staff development Nov. 21-22)
December 2 - 7th Grade to Vermont International Festival (Tentative)
December 14 - Two Hour Delay
December 23-January 1, 2017 - Holiday Break

Academic Area Update

Students in both grades have now completed the process piece (done over time, in class) and on demand assessment (competed in 2 hours, at school) for writing. As I work my way through these assessments, I will be in touch if something glaring comes up. Specific comments on student work will be on the report card.

Students who have questions or seek clarification regarding their process pieces (Investigative Journalism for 8th, Realistic Fiction for 7th) should check in with me once they have received their scores.

This weekend is a great time to sit down with your student to look at schoology. I will be accepting late/ incomplete work until Friday 11/18.

We began looking at themes in short stories this week. We did some work together with the short story “All Summer in a Day” by Ray Bradbury. This work will prepare students to analyze theme in longer texts when we begin the reading unit on Dystopian and Fantasy Literature to be launched after the break. Our analysis of themes in literature also dovetails nicely into our next writing unit: Literary Essays.

Next week we will wrap up our work with the novel Tuck Everlasting. Students have been completing comprehension tasks along the way to support our discussions on symbolism and differing perspectives within the story. As a reward for their efforts, we will be watching Disney’s film adaptation of the book at the end of next week. Looking forward, students will be reading a variety of texts on the subject of competitive sports when we return from the break. This reading unit will allow students to sharpen their research skills in preparation for the next writing unit: Research Based Essays.

Algebra: This week we have been working on solving basic equations, starting with one-step equations and moving through two-step equations into multi-step equations. Next week we will be doing work with more complex multi-step equations and moving into literal equations.

8th CMP: We have wrapped up the major portion of the unit and will be having a unit test next week. We have begun reviewing and will continue to review through Tuesday.

7th: We are well into our unit on integers and have explored adding and subtracting negative and positive values developing rules for what expressions with addition and subtraction will result in a negative, positive, or 0 value.

7th:  Early in the week, we reviewed the key similarities and differences between plant and animal cells.  Then, we investigated how water flows through plants by explaining the loss of water from vials filled with stalks of celery, and by examining how dye traveled up the celery stalks to the leaves through xylem and veins.  We began to study photosynthesis, and will continue with this next week.  

Students will be working on creating models of animal and plant cells over the next few days.  This is a homework assignment.  Your child may need assistance finding random materials around the house to represent cell organelles.  It is not necessary to purchase any materials for this project; we viewed several examples in class that are made from paper, cardboard, felt, etc.  I have a box of craft supplies I can offer to students who are needing support finding things.  Please be aware that the district assessment will take place next Thursday.  Please send me an email if your child plans to be absent toward the end of next week.

8th:  Students continued to review and analyze examples of potential and kinetic energy.  They also conducted an investigation relating the shape of a ski slope to skier speed, using pipe insulation and a marble. know so far about motion, speed, and energy.  We revisited the claims-evidence-reasoning format for writing about our learning during investigations.  Lastly, students completed a quiz reviewing vocabulary, formulas, and concepts related to motion, potential energy, and kinetic energy.

Obviously, the election was a big focus this week.  All students had a lesson about the Electoral College (which came in handy) and took time to review the election results.

List of final assessments this coming week:
  • Social Studies 7
    • District assessment for “What is Culture?” - due November 17
  • Social Studies 8
    • Ongoing district assessment for “Causes of the American Revolution” - finished by November 17

Thanks and enjoy the weekend,
Team Fusion