Friday, March 30, 2018

Fusion Communication: March 30

Hi all,
Weather is getting warmer, the mud is getting deeper. One student remarked that it smelled like spring in the classrooms - not sure if that was a compliment.  Here’s hoping this season passes quickly:) Much is going on - check out below for all the latest on Team Fusion.

Fortnite is causing issues!
There is an online game taking the internet by storm - Fortnite! Luckily for us at BRMS, this game rarely appears at school (does not work on Chromebooks and smartphones are not allowed without teacher permission). But the game’s effects are causing disruptions in the classroom - tired, irritable students who are seriously unable to learn because of long nights in front of the screen.  Some students are literally falling asleep in class; Fortnite is a problem. Please have conversations with your children about balance with regards to this game. This too shall pass.
Link below is to a news story about the game - it’s a good place to start for understanding:

Personal Hygiene Checks
Every now and then we at Team Fusion need a little help with the “spring-like” aromas wafting through our rooms (it’s a 7th AND 8th grade issue). It’s not unusual for students - especially those who enter puberty during the winter months - to need some support with personal hygiene habits. A couple extra minutes in the mornings with these three things would make a world of difference in Team Fusion classrooms:
  • Teeth brushing
  • Deodorant
  • Baking soda in the constantly wet sneakers and boots (works every time)
Thanks for support in this matter!

PLPs until April Break
PLP groups are meeting every Monday and Friday mornings until break (generally runs from 8-8:20am).  The process is designed to be a steady progression - unless your child misses a session. Please look ahead at doctor’s appointments and other scheduled absences as that will affect what your child will need to make up from the PLP session.

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

April 11 - Delayed Start
Week of April 16 - 8th Grade Career Unit Presentations
April 6 - Last ⅞ Dance of the year; 7-9pm, $5 door charge with food available for purchase
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
June 14 - Tentative 7th Grade Field Trip to Sandbar State Park ($15)
June 14 - Tentative 8th Grade Field Trip to the Great Escape ($ TBD)
June 19 - Tentative last day for 8th graders (MMU Class of 2022) and Recognition Night
June 20 - Tentative last student day of school (grades 5-7)

Curriculum Updates
7 - Our 7th grade readers have really dug in to the historical fiction reading unit we're in the midst of! We're learning to separately analyze what is going on historically from what's going on in the plot of the story, and we're working on teasing out what we can learn about/from both. They are expected to be reading and jotting at home every night, so support in this is much appreciated by me and by their book club group!

8 - 8th grade readers are in the thick of our dystopian reading unit! This is a fun unit for all involved because of the recent mainstream influx of dystopian stories marketed towards young adult audiences in both text and film-- our readers are stepping into this unit of learning with a ton of background knowledge of the genre. Some stories can be a bit disturbing, but a lot of the work we're doing is to comprehend what these stories are saying about systemic problems in their worlds and in ours. They are expected to be reading and jotting at home every night, so support in this is much appreciated by me and by their book club group!

7 - This week we wrapped up the Stretching and Shrinking unit with the end of unit assessment.  Next week, we will begin the next unit, Comparing and Scaling. This unit builds on the proportional reasoning in Stretching and Shrinking while applying it to other concepts as well as going more in depth into ratios.  

8 - This week, we have been working to model complex situations that require multiple expressions by combining expressions by either addition, subtraction, factoring, and/or substitution in order to create expressions that are more efficient to use.  Through this unit, we will continue to work with combining and breaking down expressions to solve more complex problems. There will also be opportunities to explore systems of equations for students who are mastering the other content.

7 - Students continue to build on their understanding of genetic variation in populations by considering that natural selection results in traits that do not contribute to “fitness” can be removed from populations.  Today, we began to consider how environmental changes contribute to changes in genotypes. Next week, we examine changes to populations following isolation.

8 - This week, we focused on how energy is transformed from potential to kinetic and back to potential energy in pendulums, bouncing balls, and flexible rulers.  Students completed a check-up quiz on Thursday on their understanding of energy and on their ability to calculate speed and energy. Next week, we explore acceleration!

7 - This week has featured a more in depth focus on markets, and how the big “three” economic systems direct access to markets.  Students also spent time exploring the role of Lebron James’s impact on local businesses in the cities in which he plays; in addition, students learned a lot from a fun “market” based financial literacy game called “Lemonade Stand”.

8 - As the Industrial Revolution Unit unfolds, students are exploring more themes within the curriculum.  Students researched an invention and attached themes to those inventions, and watched a video about the textile industry of Bangladesh.

Happy weekend to all.