Friday, April 6, 2018

Fusion Communication: April 6

Hi all,
So the personal hygiene and Fortnite sleep deprivation have been significantly improved - thank you.  The team is really busy right now - all teachers are approaching major assessments. See below for more about the doings on Team Fusion.

PLP Check In
7th Grade: Students are working on their “This I Believe” projects. This is a long-established and worldwide project encouraging people everywhere to wax philosophical about what their core beliefs are and how they affect their lives. We studied many mentors (via NPR) such as Muhammad Ali and author Amy Tan. Students are working to articulate their own core values and beliefs through either a poster, essay, or slideshow presentation. We’ll be working on these projects through April 13th and will present the final week before break (16th-20th).

8th Grade: Students should be starting their Career Posters and Presentations - these will be due April 16. Students have had several PLP sessions focused on budgeting and cost of living choices - ask to see their budgets! Are they accurate:)? You will be contacted if your child is not making adequate progress on their project - but students are expected to use out of school / study hall time to produce the majority of the project.
Trifold poster boards are available at Dollar General, Staples, some grocery stores and from Mr. Warren.

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.

Yearbook Orders due no later than April 13
See the attachment for more information

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 6 - Last ⅞ Dance of the year; 7-9pm, $5 door charge with food available for purchase
April 11 - Delayed Start
April 13 - Last day to order Yearbooks (see attachment)
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
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 began our new unit, Comparing and Scaling.  We have been exploring the idea of comparing ratios by scaling up or down.  We watched a great 1980s Pepsi vs. Coke taste test to talk about ways companies present data to try to sway consumer opinion and buying habits.  

8 - This week we worked on solving more complex linear equations involving distribution within the context of expenses, revenue, and profit.  We while continue to work on solving multi-step equations while some students will have the opportunity to explore modeling with quadratic expressions and solving quadratic equations.  

7 - We continue to explore factors that cause a gene pool in populations to change over time.  Students were introduced to environmental factors which caused changes in different species, such as giraffes and the peppered moth.  The last two days, students analyzed data about lizard populations in the Greater Antilles. They identified patterns of their distribution, made a hypotheses about their ancestry, and used a phylogenetic tree to analyze DNA evidence of ancestry.  Next week, we will consider how scientists use fossils to infer relationships among species.

8 - Continuing our unit on force and motion, students conducted an investigation relating the shape of ski slopes to skier speeds, using pipe insulation and marbles as models.  From this investigation, they wrote a mini-lab report, to provide continued practice with analyzing and interpreting data. Meanwhile, we continue to practice with interpreting and quantifying motion events;  this week’s new concept was displacement - a measure of a change in position in a given direction.  Next week, we’ll explore acceleration.

7 - Students continue to explore markets and economic activities - they are developing goods and services they can sell to each other through the Sovereign State Game.  Students also spent time investigating another financial literacy game, called The Uber Game.

8 - Students continued exploring the Industrial Revolution, and began taking notes from primary and secondary sources for the district assessment.  Some students began to explore another great financial literacy game called Spent, which helped students understand the struggles of budgeting when earning low wages.

Happy weekend to all.