One of my favorite units of the year is our unit on quadratics, which we are currently wrapping up in Advanced Algebra. As a fun way to end this unit I split the class into groups and each group launches marshmallows, gummy bears, and balls of clay from mini catapults. The students record the time the object is in the air and the distance the object traveled. With this data the students can create an equation that models the flight of their object. We then move the catapult up 150 cm off the ground and the students adjust their equation to match the new launch position of their catapult. With this new equation they are able to predict where their object will land. A target is placed at that location and they fire away. Each group gets four shots to score as many points as possible (the closer to the bullseye the more points earned) and the group with the most points is the new champion and their names are placed on the coveted Catapult Contest Trophy.
As the year draws to a close (where did the time go!?), we are wrapping up our WWII unit. Special thanks to Mr. Conrad for his collaboration on this and in fact most of our units this year. One of the best parts of teaching at SPS is knowing that our students are viewing key world events through the multiple lenses of our two classes–I feel that it brings history alive in ways that make a huge impact on learning.
During these final days, we’ll be shifting gears from spoken word to some on-demand writing assignments, which are not only a great brain-building activity but also preparation for the types of writing students will be doing in high school and beyond.
Thanks for all your support this year!
Our class is moving through the war and have begun creating individual scrapbooks. The next big step is for students to create their final journal entry of the war. This will be a reflective piece on how their character survived the war and what the future holds. Be sure to check in with your student and ask questions about their character and the war.
Your continued support in your student’s education is greatly appreciated as we approach the end of the year!
Our last unit in 7th grade, Geology, creates a strong foundation for the experiential learning that occurs on our upcoming Mt. St. Helens trip. We study Earth’s processes, then take a deeper look into volcanology and the events leading up to the 1980 eruption. Not only is this trip an incredible opportunity for students to connect with each other and their teachers, but provides a time to put their learning into action in real-world scenarios.