# New Beginnings!

“Although no one can go back and make a brand new start, anyone can start from now and make a brand new ending.” – Carl Bard

As we head into the new year, this is a quote I am sharing with some of our students. Last week, all of the TCS Middle Schoolers and teachers thought of one word they wanted to carry into the new year. Some examples include “organized”, “productive”, “patience”, and “optimistic”, among many others. At the turn of the year, it’s inevitable and important that we reflect on the previous year and have things we want to change, however, we can’t completely uproot and change all of our ways overnight. But, these new words are things we can apply to small aspects of our day to day life to help us become even 1% better everyday.

-AG

Here’s a look at what is happening in each of the classes:

What’s happening in Science?
Fifth graders explored photosynthesis, plants, and fungi this week! They experimented with yeast and tried to break it’s dormancy using flour and sugar. They observed the yeast eliminating its waste gasses to deduce which food was best for the yeast. The fifth graders also learned about the photosynthetic process and considered if seeds need the same things. They set up experiments by planting wheat seeds in a dark environment and one in light. They hypothesized what will happen to the seeds over the next few days, using what they know about photosynthesis and what plants need to survive. Next week, they will learn more about plants and then dive into their microbiology unit.

What’s happening in Math?
In our first week back, 5th grade mathematicians learned about rounding decimals, putting decimals in order from least to greatest, took a quiz over those skills, and then began learning about adding decimals. Next week, we will explore the same strategies to subtract decimals using place value, mix adding and subtracting decimals in real-life scenarios, and begin studying how to multiply decimals. They’ll have another quiz next Thursday, January 18!

What’s happening in ELA?
5th graders continued to read and take deep notes on their non-fiction novels. They began their main project for the remainder of the unit – a ‘pocket guide’ where they answer major questions about their topic and describe the most important ideas surrounding their topic in a miniature book. In the process, they are learning how to summarize nonfiction research and expand on their research topic with other primary sources.

Next week, 5th grade will complete and publish their pocket guides. In this final stretch we will discuss what it looks like to identify subtopics within a larger topic, how to ask strong questions that extend our research, and how to synthesize our knowledge across texts with strong note taking systems.

What’s happening in Social Studies?
The fifth graders have been working diligently on their “Selling Empires” presentation this week. They have been focusing on completing the television advertisement and working on their trifold boards and brochures.

Next week the students will finalize their projects and practice presentations in front of the class and the Middle School!

Important Dates:
Monday, January 15 – Martin Luther King Jr. Day – NO SCHOOL
Wednesday, January 17 – Cluster Lunch
Saturday, January 27 5:30pm-9:00pm – Family Fun Outing – Carolina Stingrays Game