Friday, November 2, 2018

Fusion Communication: November 2

Hi all,

It has been a couple of weeks since the last communication - and what a busy two weeks it’s been. A field trip to Canada, end of fall sports, rain never ending, and many assessments. The next two weeks represent the end of the trimester… which means assessments galore and grades closing. Good time to check in about assignments, have a Schoology sit down. Most students will need a look at school supplies - one thing most are missing: earbuds/headphones.

Montreal Field Trip - Thanks and it went very smoothlyThanks to the following for chaperoning: Elizabeth and Larry Lamphere, Heidi Little, Jennifer and Luke Roberge, Stephanie Sleeper, Allison Surks, Lee Rosen, Katherine and Paul Strek, Lisa Lavoie, Mat Zimmerman, Gina Howard, Suzanne Harvey, Laura Hill, Tamra Yandow and our wonderful support staff of Kim Bouffard, and Penny Kellner.

Trip went exceedingly well - your children were a delight, the border crossings were (almost) boring, and there were many stories of students learning a little more about life beyond our walls.

Laptops should be at school over the weekend:)
November 14: Delayed Start

November 19-23: School Break (teacher inservice Nov. 19-20)

November 30: First ⅞ Dance of the year! Woot!

November 30 (tentative): 7th Grade field trip to International Festival

December 3-7: 1st Trimester Report Cards released

December 12: Delayed Start

December 24-28: No School - break

January 2, 2019(!): School resumes

January 9: Delayed Start

Curriculum Updates
Students should be reading 30 mins a day outside of class (study hall is fine).
7-  Realistic Fiction stories are due NEXT Friday!
8-  Position Papers are due NEXT Friday! Revised research notes are due by the end of class on Monday.

7- We are well into our unit on operations with rational numbers. This past week we transitioned from addition and subtraction to developing rules for multiplication and division. Next week we put all of our learning from this unit together when evaluating more complex expressions using order of operations. We will be finishing up the investigations for this unit next week, and will plan to have an end of unit assessment the week before Thanksgiving break.

8- We started a new unit this week, Thinking with Mathematical Models. This unit builds on their understanding of linear relationships from the previous unit and has them apply it to creating models for real world data. It also introduces a new type of function, inverse variation. This week we performed two experiments with paper bridges, one looking at the relationship between the thickness and the strength (linear relationship) and one looking at the relationship between bridge length and strength (inverse variation). Next week, students will explore how they can models to demonstrate how they visuals patterns of growth as well . Also, students will be receiving feedback next week on their assessment from the previous unit.

7 - During the last 2 weeks, students focused on the importance of water to plants. They learned how water: enters plant root cells through osmosis; travels up the plant through xylem tissue; is used in leaf chloroplasts to make glucose during photosynthesis; and exits the leaf through the stoma under the leaves! They used microscopes to search for stoma and guard cells on the house plant on my desk! As you know, they also created models of a plant leaf cell, highlighting key cell structures and focusing in on the cell membrane. This week, they used their models to explain how cell organelles work together as a system to help the leaf cell perform its main job: photosynthesis.

8 - Students began the Properties of Matter unit with a multi-day mystery mixture investigation. Students looked closely at 9 different substances, and mixed combinations of these, trying to determine which combination matched a mystery mixture. Students submitted their final claim and evidence chart last week. This week, students focused on describing different examples of matter using physical properties. They spent two days examining the color, luster, hardness, and streak color of different mineral samples. They are now learning about the elements that make up these minerals. Next week, students will research one particular mineral, while also practicing making models of different molecules and compounds.

7 - Students are in the thick of the final assessment for the Culture Unit: My Culture or the going beyond level, Humans of Vermont. The focus has been on supporting student needs - further understandings about the role of government in our lives, how belief systems/religion shape our day to day decisions.
The lead up to the Montreal trip demanded the students do planning for the Tour Guide presentation for the city walk, as well as develop maps and plans for the Small Group Excursion through the city.

8 - Students are practicing A LOT of inquiry skills right now - here is an example of some of the work they are doing. The class swings back and forth from the current events of national debt, racial, ethnic and religious tensions of today, which are compared to the time of rising tensions in the American colonies before the Revolution. The lead up to the Montreal trip demanded the students do planning for the Tour Guide presentation for the city walk, as well as develop maps and plans for the Small Group Excursion through the city.

Sloppy, cold, wet days on the playground - thanks for making sure students are ready to be outside.

The Fusion Team