Friday, September 29, 2017

Fusion Parent Conference Sign-up and Communication: September 29

Hi all,
This week was busy - and the heat made it especially long.  All students are busy and there are many assignments, activities and happenings to keep track of.  Make sure to check out the calendar. The sign-up for parent conferences is in this communication.

Parent Conferences
The Team is using to organize our upcoming parent conferences.  Preview the options and make your selection by following this link:  You will need to enter your email address, although you do not need to register for an account.  ( does not share your email address with anyone. If you prefer not to use your email address, please contact Lisa and she can sign you up manually.) will send you an automated confirmation and reminders.
Mary Lacy Update
The mural is almost complete - 8th graders had a blast doing it.  Mary spoke with all students on Wednesday and then guided Fusion 8 students Friday as they added their touch to the mural.  See the before and after pics from today:

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7th Grade Laptops home next week
The computer contracts are due back ASAP.  A student must return their contract before they will be allowed to take their laptop home.

October 11 - Two Hour Delay
October 13 (Really?! Yes) - field trip to Burlington… permission form goes home next week (no cost except lunch money) - we need chaperones
October 19 - No school for students; Parent Conferences (see above for more information)
October 20 - No School/School Recess
October 27 (change!) - Fusion Sponsored School Dance (donation of food/drink item from each family for no more than 10 people - basically, no more than 10 servings:)
November 8 - Two Hour Delay

All students were asked to get a book this week (from the library or brought in from home). Books should be brought to all study halls and LA class each day. .

Curriculum Updates….
*** Reading Journals are due today! This is the first journal that will be scored. I will be looking at both classwork and work done outside of LA and scoring mainly for completion this round. 8th graders needed to submit on schoology this week. 7th graders aren’t quite there yet -- they were asked to hand in their notebooks today instead. The emphasis for this assignment is on quality rather than quantity. Students are encouraged to show their thinking in a variety of ways and to grow more complex ideas as the year progresses -- they receive feedback in class (and during reading conferences) on how to do this. Eventually, students will be asked to highlight their work to show where feedback was applied… we aren’t quite there yet. ***

7th Grade: This week we used short stories and video clips to examine the fact that characters possess various traits. We also explored the idea that sometimes these traits are less likeable, even in heroic characters. We looked at ways characters’ traits can actually influence the events a story.

8th Grade: To gain exposure to different types of journalism, we have been listening to a podcast in class. Students have listened to a few segments of “This American Life” focused on life in middle school. We have had discussions in class about the topics addressed as well as the journalistic approach taken to gather information. Next week students will start to think about topics for their investigative journalism process piece.  

7: We were into the heart of the unit this week developing rules for the sum of interior angles and exterior angles for all polygons. We also looked at why some regular polygons can be used to make tessellations while others can’t. Next week we will be looking at what side lengths and angles combinations are possible in creating a triangle. We will also be exploring parallel lines and transversals.

8: This week we began applying our knowledge of linear relationships to model real world data from bridge breaking experiments we performed in class. Students collected data on how many pennies it took to break simple paper bridges of different thicknesses and determined how close to a linear relationship the number of layers to breaking weight was. We also performed an experiment on bridge length discovering that there was an inverse relationship between bridge length and breaking weight. Next week, we will be working on more precise modeling of linear patterns.

7 - Students concluded their investigation of 5 mystery materials and, using evidence, concluded that 3 of the materials (radish seeds, yeast, and brine shrimp...aka Sea Monkeys!) showed evidence of life when placed in specific environments (fresh water, sugar water, and salt water).  This led to discussions addressing misconceptions about dormancy and the need for a suitable environment to show evidence of life.  Students are now practicing with microscopes, which will carry over into next week.  By the way, most of the evidence of student’s work so far this year is documented in their science notebooks, which are kept in school.  I look forward to showing you examples of their work during parent conferences!

8 - Students completed their celestial body research, and shared their information with the goal of gaining a broad understanding of the organization of the universe.  The first part of the district assessment was on Wednesday.  Part 2 will be on Tuesday and will focus on the challenge of creating accurate scale models of the solar system.  Today, students attempted to pace off the distances between the sun and the planets; they discovered they could only fit the Sun and Mercury in the front field (using a scale that made Pluto a reasonable size)!

7 - Students started the week reviewing films of different aspects of Vermont culture, then made claims about which of the films was the “Most Vermontey”. Students continued to explore social norms and boundaries, performing skits based on research of a country they researched.  Finally, the week enbded with students beginning to look at the “culture” of Burlington, using Church Street as the grounding location.

8 - The focus continues to be a character from 1763, which most students have made considerable progress in creating. There were several small class assignments along the way: developing a claim supporting Michel Guillaume de Crevecoeur's ideas about a “new” group of people in the British colonies, called “Americans”; researching the clothing of people from the colonial time period, and defending the colony the students felt was the “best” one to live in (New York appears to be a favorite, with a strong showing for South Carolina).

A much cooler weekend is in store… too early to talk about the white stuff? Have a great weekend,
The Fusion Team