Friday, January 26, 2018

Fusion Communication: January 26

Hi all,
A full week of school - amazing!  This week marks the middle of the trimester, so it’s a good time to check in with your child about school.  There are some changes coming in the next few weeks - see below for more detail.

Fusion “Fun” Field Trip Day - NOW February 8
Team decided to move the date of the trip to accommodate the multitudes of students who participate in the music program; they would have missed the field trip otherwise. So make the change on the calendar - it’s a Thursday.  Copy of the permission form is attached.

Time to Check Supplies!
It’s almost the halfway point in the year - and some student supplies are running low.  Please check in with your child to make sure they have pencils, pens, paper, etc; teaching team is getting asked for A LOT of pencils right now.

8th Grade families only: Recommendation forms
Next stage in high school transition. Specific comments should be directed towards the individual teacher or Ms. Wisniowski.

All Laptops are at school over the Weekend
There should be no school laptops / electronic devices at home over the break.  If one does make its way home, please secure it in a spot where it will remain unused for the break.

February 8 -  Field trip to Spare Time Bowling (see attached permission slip)
February 14 - Delayed Start
February 16 (8th Grade only) - MMU Recommendation forms due to Ms. Wisniowski
February 23 - Student Faculty Basketball Game (8th graders and staff compete on Red and White teams). Time is end of the day - 1:40ish.
February 24-March 6: Winter Break (no school)
April 11 - Delayed Start
May 9 - Last Delayed Start
June 1 - 8th Grade: Move up Day at MMU

Curriculum Updates
Ms. Ginny Bobbitt here! I’m so happy to be a new member to this school community! I’ve had a wonderful two weeks getting to know all my learners.  
7: Our 7th grade readers are finishing a nonfiction reading unit. We’ve been working hard on identifying central ideas in nonfiction texts. The tail end of the unit included finding themselves on a learning continuum that spanned standard goals from 2nd to 9th grade- we used this to set personal reading goals to continue to push our learning forward. Most are finding their next steps include finding what an author implies rather than states explicitly. Exciting abstract thinking practice for adolescents! We’ll be starting a writing unit next week that is focused on argument. (I’m sincerely sorry if teaching your child effective argument skill makes your home life more difficult).

8: Our 8th grade readers are also finishing a nonfiction reading unit. We’ve taken some serious steps in creating well-supported summaries of complex nonfiction texts. Succinct articulations of comprehension will be used again and again in future academic writing! We’ll start our post-assessment next week. Shortly after, we’ll begin a writing unit focused on crafting position papers. One such lesson is titled, “Unleashing the Inner Dramatist to Give Speeches More Impact.” I’m sure I don’t have to tell you how our middle school seniors will undoubtedly shine during this unit.

7: We are nearing the end of the Accentuate the Negative unit. Students have been exploring order of operations with the added layer of operations with negative numbers.  We are looking to have an end of unit assessment towards the end of next week.  

8: We wrapped up the last investigation of our current unit on Exponential Functions.  We will plan to have an end of unit assessment either Wednesday or Thursday of next week.  Also, I have spent to past two days reviewing with each individual student with their math course recommendation for next year.  These forms will go home in the middle of next week once all necessary teachers have made their recommendations.  Bryant will also be emailing today a separate letter about course recommendations.  If you have any questions about your student’s math recommendation, please do not hesitate to call or email.

7 - It was a heady week in social studies.  The beginning saw the end of the film “Inside North Korea”, which always provokes some thoughts from students.  Students then spent the rest of the week comparing the population of the United States to North Korea, and the use of propaganda techniques by North Korean government (and anyone) to create a certain type of thinking. Friday saw the introduction of “cult of personality”.

8 - The beginning of the week was a continuation of the Constitution simulation, where students worked in states and as the federal government to confront problems of the new republic.  Students then continued to build their VT Bill Project, identifying a bill before the 2018 legislature.  Part of the project requires students to reach out to a legislature - or an “expert” - on a particular bill.  Severa students have already heard back from legislators.

7: We officially launched our heredity unit by examining the physical traits of 2 twins who look very different from each other.  Our goal will be to build a detailed explanation for how this is possible over the next few weeks.  Students were introduced to measuring the diversity of traits represented in the classroom, and are now in the midst of producing stop-motion films modeling the process of mitosis - cell division for most body cells.  Next week, we build models of DNA!

8:  Students continue to explore a variety of chemical reactions and factors that limit those reactions, such as concentration levels of reactants.  They set up an investigation to produce rust over the weekend and will calculate the amount of oxygen in the air that is used up by this reaction on Monday.  Soon, they will research their own chemical reaction and demonstrate this to the class!  

Hope everyone has a great weekend.