Next week we will be wrapping up our unit on systems of equations. The unit has provided the 7th grade class with many opportunities to persevere through some challenging concepts. One of the most difficult concepts…word problems. Reading a problem and translating it into a mathematical equation can be very difficult at times. In order to bring these problems to life, students were given a bag of candy (gummy bears mixed with Mike and Ike’s), and told how many pieces of candy were in the bag. Then using that information, the total weight of the candy in the bag, the weight of a single Mike and Ike, and the weight of a single gummy bear, the students were able to create a system of equations and calculate the number of gummy bears and Mike and Ike’s in the bag. The reward for being accurate and precise…they got to eat the candy in the bag.
“Hearing the spoken words of classic and contemporary poets we learn that we are not alone, that men and women always have felt as we feel, that the human spirit has been the one constant in the history of our kind. In this way the recitation of poetry brings history to life; in this way it creates community.” –Poetry Out Loud (National Endowment for the Arts & Poetry Foundation)
As you know, Mr. Conrad and I are collaborating as 7th graders study WWII in Humanities: in Language Arts, they have just finished reading and discussing Hitler Youth, a powerful nonfiction book about the German teens and pre-teens who Hitler recruited to fight (and die) for his cause.
As the culmination of the unit in Language Arts, students will research, practice, and deliver a spoken word performance—an oral interpretation of a poem or fiction/nonfiction excerpt—that ties in to the character whose scrapbook they are creating in Mr. Conrad’s class. Student objectives are to communicate their own interpretation of the text, to find greater meaning in the text, and to understand that these pieces of text are so much more than words, but lasting reminders of our history.
Stay tuned for details on date/time of the spoken word project and volunteer opportunities leading up to it. Thanks!
Our classes are well immersed into our studies of WWII at this time. Students have chosen to follow the path of a historical character during the war years. Each is viewing the war through the perspective of their character such as a Holocaust survivor or soldier at war; there are many different characters. Be sure to ask your student “who” they are.
Thursday, the students had a guest speaker via Skype; Keanu’s grandmother’s friend who experienced being transported from her home in Holland to a concentration camp in Germany. Her story was rich with information to help students understand the complexities of the war. Thank you Katie Hayden-Lewis for providing the connection to Marion for the students to interact with. I recorded the session on Quicktime with the hope of uploading to Canvas for all to have access to.
Students will next begin using the design cycle to create a WWII scrapbook to express the history of the war and their character’s experience. Students are also choosing a poem to represent their character in Language Arts with Mrs. Holdredge for an upcoming spoken word presentation.
This is a great time to check in with your student and remind them to hang on till the end of the school year. At this time many fall into bad habits of not paying attention in class and completing work resulting in grades that do not reflect their ability. Any reminders and support at home is greatly appreciated 🙂
7th graders finished up their study of Genetics and Natural Selection this week, and are beginning our final unit of the year, Geology, on Monday. This unit has special importance because it creates a foundation of knowledge for our end of the year field trip to Mt. St Helens. During the next three weeks we will study Earth’s geologic history and the various types of rocks. We’ll then take a deeper look at plate movement and the volcanoes near us, and end with a study of Mt. St Helens and its eruption. When we visit Mt. St. Helens the next week, students will be able to make countless connections between what they learned in class and the experiences they have on the trip!
As a side note, I sent out an email on Thursday with the packing list and itinerary for the trip, and also a request for chaperones! We owe much of the success of this trip to our chaperones, so please check your schedules and let me know if you are able to come along! It’s a fun trip for everyone!
7th grade students are busy with final preparations for their play Snow White and the Seven Dudes that they’ll be performing for our Spring Show on Thursday, May 25th at 2:00pm. Students have been instructed to bring in specific props for their character, along with their costume. Please check with your student and ask them if their costume is in the music room; if not, lovingly nudge them to get that taken care of ASAP! Also, working on lines is still a good thing to do, all the way up to the show date, in order to solidify their confidence. I appreciate all the help you’ve provided in assisting them with learning their part. We cannot wait to have you see this special and HILARIOUS performance! Please also check your Canvas email for an important MS update.