# Season of Spirit and Sprints

All the holiday preparations, upcoming breaks, trips planned, and gifts wrapped can send one into a spin. It’s always so funny to cap off a fast flying, busy year with the busiest month ever. However, I’ll halt my cynicism right there. Yes, the year is moving fast (especially in Middle School), but I’ll attribute much of that to the positive momentum of kids rapidly growing into who they were meant to be. I see budding basketball players flying down the court, projects reaching their peak, concepts unlocking, even a brand new spirit club forming.
Ah yes, spirit club. In this spirited season, a number of our middle schoolers have started a new club solely focused on pride in our school, celebration of who we are. It’s honestly lovely timing, a perfect way to applaud wildly for another year of growth and cheer loudly as we look forward to part II in 2024.
So, as I consider this lightning-fast time of year, I happily accept that the fast paced progress and high-energy celebrations make the moments of quiet, magical, slow rest all the more satisfying.

-MK

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

What’s going on in Science?
Fifth graders learned about biomimicry and how nature inspires engineers to come up with solutions to everyday problems and needs. They considered how camouflage is bio-inspired and engineered their own camouflage. The fifth graders also explored the microscopes this week. They learned about the specific parts and how to use a microscope properly. Next week, they will continue to explore the microscopic world around us and how nature inspires solutions. When they get back from break, they will continue their biomimicry study.

What’s happening in Math?
This week, students practiced applying long division and multiplication with larger numbers and learned how to apply these skills to real-life problems. They also reviewed for their Unit 4 Test which will be on Monday, December 11. After their assessment, they’ll begin retrieving their previous knowledge of decimals and decimal place value, then apply it to the relationship between fractions and decimals.

What’s happening in ELA?
5th graders wrapped up their literary essays this week – choosing between their theme or character-based flash drafts. Writers diligently re-wrote, typed, and edited their pieces to use text-based evidence accurately and follow their overall claim closely. We closed out the unit by sharing and peer reviewing our essays in a celebration with our classmates.

Next week, we will begin a new reading unit in non-fiction! 5th graders will review essential grade level skills in identifying common text features and structures, while pushing themselves to engage with more complex texts with multiple main ideas. 5th grade will also switch from vocabulary study into 4 weeks of grammar work!

What’s happening in Social Studies?
Fifth graders presented their creations of Greek Gods and Goddesses to the class. After the completion of the presentations, we finished our Greek studies and moved into the Roman Empire. Students took a look into the early Roman Republic. Students then compared the two civilizations before moving into the Byzantine Empire.

Next week, the students will dive deep into the Byzantine Empire before participating in a character matching game. Students will compete against their peers in a race to determine whether the different characteristics describe the Greek, Roman, or Byzantine empires.

Important Dates:
December 19: PJ Day (½ day)- Holiday Extravaganza 10:30-11:30
December 20 – January 3: Winter Break