Friday, January 27, 2017

Team Fusion Communication: January 27

Hi all,

We are in full swing on Team Fusion. Lots of things are coming up in the next few weeks - see the calendar.

Penguin Plunge 2017
The Plunge takes place next weekend - Saturday, February 4 at the Burlington Waterfront (by the Coast Guard station).  It is a great event and the 13th year for BRMS to participate as a school.

BRMS is doing great with Penguin Plunge fundraising! There are 67 students, staff and community members signed up and $9,457 raised to date.  If you, your child are interested, please go online to the link below and register.

January 30 - Fusion Algebra Mid-Term (Rescheduled from this past Thursday)
February 3 - 8th Grade High School Course Recommendation Forms go home.
February 8 - Two Hour Delay
February 10 - 8th Grade High School Course Recommendation Forms due back.
February 10 - ⅞ Dance (Fundraiser for Team Fusion - donations of food to the dance)
February 16 - NAEP testing (Afternoon)
February 23 - Field Trip to Bowling/Lunch of Pizza and Chinese

Academic Area Update
**** Both grades have essays due on Friday, February 3rd. Some students may need to spend some time working on these at home in order to have them completed by the due date. To help with this, I have taken questions off the weekly reading log to allow students more time to devote to writing. If you are supporting your student with writing at home, the Writer’s Toolkit folder on Schoology is a great place to look for resources. I have posted checklists and writing tools that we use regularly in class. ***

7th: Students have been working hard drafting process pieces for our argument writing unit. Everyone has selected a claim (either for or against kids participating in competitive sports). Students have drafted body paragraphs, added leads and endings and are in the process of revising these writing pieces into “Best Drafts.” Completed essays are due on Friday, February 3rd. After we have finished this assignment, our focus shifts back to reading. Students will be exploring interest-based topics and fine-tuning their research skills before the next on demand writing assessment.

8th: Students have spent the past two weeks planning and drafting literary essays to demonstrate their analysis of Dystopian Literature. Final drafts of these process pieces are due next Friday, February 3rd. Once this writing unit is finished we will shift our focus back to reading. As a class we will be reading Chains by Laurie Halse Anderson. This novel ties in nicely with the 8th grade social studies unit on the American Revolution. There is an audio version available through the library. We will be using this in class often. Student will complete weekly and daily tasks connected to the book. Our focus will be on author’s craft (figurative language, etc.)

7th Grade:  Students wrote their final explanation for how and why twins can look different from each other using their knowledge of heredity.  They also conducted a mini-research project and presented their understanding of one genetic disorder to the class.  Next week will will look closely at seeds and flowers, as we begin discussing different reproductive strategies among organisms.

8th Grade: Students completed their district assessment on force and motion last week, and began a new mini-unit on the properties and types of waves.  They completed several independent exploration stations this week, while I met with each student individually to discuss their recent assessment and their high school recommendation for science.


7th:  We have come to the end of another unit, Stretching and Shrinking. Students have learned to apply scale factor in analyzing mathematically similar shapes. This unit also lays the groundwork with proportional reasoning for the next unit, Comparing and Scaling. We will have our unit assessment on Tuesday of next week and will begin Comparing and Scaling next week as well.

8th CMP:  We have been exploring exponential relationships and developing rules for exponential functions as well as comparing these to linear functions. We will be investigating the properties of exponents next week and developing rules for simplifying exponential expressions. Also, I will be conferencing with students next week about math course recommendations for next year. These forms will go home with students on Friday.

8th Algebra: We have been preparing for the mid-term this week. We decided to postpone the test from this past Thursday to this coming Monday due to the snow day this week. Also, I will be conferencing with students next week about math course recommendations for next year. These forms will go home with students on Friday.

7th: Students investigated the government of North Korea through the lens of an investigative video - Inside North Korea.  Make sure to ask your child about their thoughts about this experience. Students finished the week with a Propaganda Technique Challenge.  Next week will focus on another survey of different government types and then students will start the Sovereign State Challenge activity - that will be a multi-week project.

8th: Students continued to investigate the structure of government used by the United States. This week’s focus was on the judicial branch and student rights’ cases decided by the Supreme Court. Next week’s focus will continue on rights and the Bill of Rights.

Friday, January 6, 2017

Fusion Communication: January 6, 2017! Happy New Year

Hi all,

Team Fusion is back at for the new year - other than a sleepy Monday and no internet Wednesday, the week flowed well.  The new year brings some changes - see in the announcements below some of them.

Appropriate clothing for recess
As you may have noticed, it’s a bit chilly outside these days.  Please make sure your child has the appropriate coat and hat to be outside for up to 50 minutes a day.

Penguin Plunge 2017
BRMS is kicking off the 2017 Penguin Plunge effort this week.  If you, your child are interested, please go online to the link below and register.

January 11 - Two hour delay
January 20 - 8th graders meet with MMU guidance counselors 8-9am (Topic: Transition to high school))
February 8 - Two Hour Delay

Academic Area Update
7th: Students in 7th grade have been reading and analyzing articles on the topic of competitive sports. We are developing note taking systems and examining different types of evidence that writers of argument use to convince the reader. Pro/Con Notes are due next Friday. Students have been adding notes from various articles to these notes this week.

8th: In 8th grade we are wrapping up our reading unit on dystopian literature and moving into laying the groundwork for the next writing piece (literary essays). Students have begun to examine theme within the books they read and we will start next week to pull examples from the text into their writing.

The trout eggs have arrived!  We received ~100 eggs from the US Fish and Wildlife Service’s Roxbury Hatchery, delivered by Trout Unlimited volunteers, on Wednesday.  They are nestled in their breeding basket, in a tank with water temperatures of around 45 degrees F!  Students will help to take care of these trout over the next 4 months!  Feel free to stop by for a peek!

We returned from vacation reviewing the family tree project (Due Monday!), practicing making Punnett squares to track genotypes in offspring, and playing a fun vocabulary game called Kahoot!  Students were introduced to another form of cell division, meiosis, and are beginning to understand the mechanisms of how traits are passed on to offspring at the cellular level.  They will create another video next week, this time modeling meiosis.  

Our re-entry began with an engineering design challenge, using our knowledge of force and motion to design a device to deliver a ping pong ball to a cup in the center of a 6-foot circle without entering the circle!  We saw many successful and nearly successful designs!  We reviewed Newton’s Laws of Motion through several activities and are now practicing applying these laws by creating models to explain different scenarios.  Our unit wraps up in ~ 2 weeks.


7th Grade: Students spent a few classes looking at the nature and function of rules (laws) in their favorite sport then it was off to a feudalism simulation.  Students were very mature during the simulation - few hurt feelings and a great deal of laughter while experiencing one of the most repressive systems of government ever created.

8th Grade:  The Constitution unit was loosely introduced this week, as students used the iCivics game Branches of Power to learn more about the federal republic system of government.  Current events featured a controversial topic - the transgender bathroom law of North Carolina - to focus students on the idea about what government should be responsible for, while allowing student to explore the limits and strengths of civil liberties.  Friday’s debate demonstrated the students building more and more impassioned civility.


7th: We are into the 3rd section of our current unit, Stretching and Shrinking. We are investigating the relationship between scale factor, perimeter, and area of mathematically similar figures.

8th CMP: We are in the process of reviewing for a unit test on our current unit, Looking for Pythagoras. We have been learning the different applications and proofs of the Pythagorean Theorem. Out test will be on Wednesday. We have been building a reference packet of review activities that students will be able to use during the test. At the end of January, I will be making math course recommendations for next year. I will be meeting with students in the coming weeks to discuss their recommendation with each student individually.

8th Algebra: We are in the middle of our unit on linear relationships. We have introduced all 3 forms of equations, Standard, Point-Slope, and Slope-Intercept. Next week, we will continue to work to build familiarity with each form and fluency between them.  I will be meeting with students in the coming weeks to discuss their recommendation with each student individually.

Thanks, and watch out for the ice - looks like that kind of winter. Stay warm this weekend.