Friday, February 16, 2018

Fusion Communication: February 16

Hi all,
One week and counting - whew! While the weather is topsy turvy, Team Fusion is continuing to grind along.  Please note - there are assessments in most classes next week, right up to Wednesday. Please check in with the teaching team if your child will be leaving any sooner than Wednesday.

Spring Parent Conference Sign-up
We are providing the link below to sign up for spring conferences.  Due to the shorter allotted time-frame for spring conferences, offering times to to meet with all Fusion families within the conference window is not possible.  We have often focused this time of the year on meeting with 8th grade families to support the transition to high school, however we want to make sure that we make time for all the families both 8th and 7th that feel the need to meet.  When deciding whether to sign up for a conference, please keep in mind whether you have met with us recently or have a meeting scheduled with us in the near future in order to be fair to other families.  Also, if you do not feel the need for a conference, but would like an email update about your student please feel free to email us and we would be happy to accommodate this.  

Use the link below to schedule a conference:

PLPs Started this Week
7th Grade: Personalized Learning Plans were explained and the goals for the next two months were laid out for the students.  They will be spending time completing and reflecting on interest surveys.  Students will be expected to complete a goal setting experience at the end of the two months.

8th Grade: The career unit was explained and students have seen what an interview and job shadow should look like. Students completed a career finder survey - ask your 8th grader about their results.

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 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)
March 26 - 8th Grade: Job Shadow and Interview should be complete
April 11 - Delayed Start
Week of April 16 - 8th Grade Career Unit Presentations
April 19 - Career Fair from 5:30-6:30pm
April 23-27 - April Break (no school)
May 9 - Last Delayed Start
June 1 - 8th Grade: Move up Day at MMU

Curriculum Updates
7: Our writers have been busy with their argument paper regarding whether or not kids should play competitive sports. They’ve researched by reading and annotating articles advocating for and arguing against our issue. We’ve been working on trying out note taking systems to compile and use such research in academic argument essays. Each student has been able to conference with me and reflect on a specific (and evolving) writing goal for themselves to focus on. We’ll continue this process piece through the end of the trimester.

8: Eighth grade writers have been working on their position paper. Their topic was either self-chosen, involves our mentor text regarding amnesty for child soldiers, or relates to their social studies unit regarding U.S. constitutional amendments. We have been unpacking the different parts of an essay and working to improve the strength of our argument through both strong and relevant evidence, as well as through thorough and explicit analysis of such. This work will continue through the end of the trimester.

For both grades, weekly homework has been moved to being assigned on Wednesdays and collected the following Wednesday in order to accommodate the different schedules and needs of students/families.
7- This week we have been exploring similarity with work on a coordinate grid seeing what types of coordinate “rules” (addition/subtraction & multiplication) when applied to the original figure’s coordinates will create similar figures.  Next week we will continue this work, but will apply it to shapes not on a coordinate grid and introducing the idea of scale factor.
8- This week we have been applying our knowledge of reflections, rotations, and translations to coordinate grids and developing rules for these “moves” given the original coordinates.  Next week we will wrap up this work and move on to dilations on a coordinate plane.

7- Please read:  As part of our unit on heredity, students will create a family tree poster that traces genetic traits and/or traits that are acquired, or learned, over 3 generations.  Students have the choice of researching their own family tree, the family of another species, such as a pet, or a famous person's family.  The goal is for students to gain experience tracing the lineage of specific traits within a family and to relate this experience to our studies of genetics and inheritance.  I know that there can be sensitivity around this type of project for some students and families; my hope is that the options provided allow for every student to have a positive experience with this assignment.  Please let me know if you have any particular concerns or suggestions.  I plan to introduce the project on Monday to give students time over the break to gather photos, images, and information. Thank you!

8- Students did fabulous work researching and presenting their chemical reaction demonstrations to the class over the last 2 weeks.  Nearly all presentations are completed.  We continue to experience a variety of reactions in class to explore concepts such as: catalysts, exothermic and endothermic reactions, and pH.  We continue to focus on evidence to suggest a chemical reaction is taking place as well as the difference between physical and chemical changes.  We will hold our final assessment for this unit next Wednesday.  After the vacation, we move into Forces, Motion, and Waves!

7- There was a more focused approach to geography this week, with students revising maps of their countries for the Sovereign State game. Next week, students will be working on the district assessment for government - please let Mr. Pless know if your child will be leaving school early for vacation.

8- Students focused more attention on the first Amendment, and the five freedoms guaranteed in it (as well as the limitations on those freedoms).  Next week, students will participate in an appeals court proceeding about the death penalty (8th Amendment), as well as continue to refine and revise their VT Bill project (due March 16). On Thursday, students will participate in a career panel from 8-9am.

Have a great weekend!