Now that we are about a month into school, the middle school students have become comfortable with their new routines and procedures. This week, we have seen an emergence of organization. Students have been working together to organize their lockers and are even devising a plan to present to administration that will improve their current locker system. Their collaboration with one another has been very encouraging and motivating. They are truly leaders. We are proud of the ownership they have over their own learning and their personal learning environment.
One of our favorite times of the day is when we get to go outside, play, and release some energy. This week, students have discovered the wonderful game of four-square. The teachers have enjoyed jumping in to play. Healthy competition is flowing through middle school and new friendships are forming!
Here’s a look at what is happening in each of the classes:
What’s happening in Science:
Geologists began their National Parks Study this week! To launch their project, they explored the importance of longitude and latitude for cartographers, but also for map users. They also explored the perspectives of conservationists and preservationists to decide what viewpoint resonates with them. Finally, they began to research the The National Park system and what it has to offer us as citizens. They researched specific parks across the country to choose a specific region they will create their “own” park.
For a brain break, they accomplished the Marshmallow Challenge! This specific challenge is conducted by thousands of people, from kindergarten students to top managers from world-leading companies! The rules are easy; in 20 minutes, each group can use 20 sticks of spaghetti, one yard of tape, and one yard of string, and one marshmallow to build the tallest structure with the marshmallow on the top.
What’s up in Math?
The 5th graders took their Unit 1 Test this week. Some of them showed great mastery and others were eager to find their mistakes and make corrections. We have started Unit 2, which starts by introducing fractions as division problems. As a former high school math teacher, I used to constantly remind students that fractions are just division problems so it is awesome to be able to teach them that starting in the fifth grade. The students are showing high engagement in the daily activities – it is encouraging to watch them persevere through problem solving. I am hopeful that they will build expertise around fractions and become comfortable working with them in the future.
What’s happening in ELA:
The fifth graders are off to a great start! We had the great mystery reveal on Monday! The students have been listening to Dr. Ev’s summaries of her mystery novel she has been reading and voted on who they thought was the culprit. If they haven’t shared, be sure to ask them about the mystery reveal. Fifth graders have also been working on their grammar skills by using correct punctuation marks, identifying nouns and homophones, and using context clues to define words. They are preparing a mini debate about two of the major characters in Home of the Brave. I am looking forward to how that will turn out. Finally, everyone is reading the novel Bud, Not Buddy. Please ask your kids to share what they have read with you.
September 17: 5th Grade at JICP for PE
September 21- Middle School Parent Coffee
September 22- Virtual Curriculum Night
September 24 – 6th/7th at JICP for PE
October 18th & 19th: Fall Break NO SCHOOL