This week, the 7th grade students in our one year algebra course are wrapping up our unit on systems of equations. We have spent the week solving a variety of real life problems. Our most recent problem required the students to calculate the number of Mike & Ike’s and gummy bears in a bag based on four pieces of information: the weight of the candy in the bag, the amount of candy in the bag, the weight of 50 Mike & Ike’s, and the weight of 50 gummy bears. The students were able to use this information to write two different equations and then solve the system to determine the number of Mike & Ike’s and gummy bears in the bag. The students really enjoy this activity because they get to use their algebra skills to solve a real problem instead of answering a set of questions from a textbook. This is definitely an activity I’m looking forward to doing again with the rest of the 7th grade students in the spring…that is, if spring ever arrives.
It was great to see many of you at Tuesday’s re-enrollment night! If you couldn’t make it but have any questions about 8th grade, our team would love to meet with you during our office hours or whenever it’s convenient for you.
This week in Language Arts, we’ve begun reading Out of the Dust, soon to be in conjunction with the Humanities 1920s/30s study. Our IB unit focus is that what we say matters, but how we say it is just as important. The 7th graders got a big laugh when, as an analogy, I asked them how many times their parents had told them they needed to “watch their tone.” Out of the Dust is a lyrical narrative (told in verse prose, akin to poetry, rather than traditional prose) and is relatively short and accessible to readers of all levels, but it is rich with figurative language, and we will be using close reading strategies to delve deeper into not only the craftsmanship but the content.
On Thursday, Friday, and this Monday, I’ll press “pause” on our reading of the novel to provide a little extra support as the students craft their research papers for Mr. Conrad’s class. It’s become a tradition that the students definitely appreciate, and an extra opportunity for me to present some mini-lessons that will help strengthen their information writing.
Our 7th grade students are working on their WWI research and interpretive essay. They have completed researching using a source and note card system and are now in the process of taking that info and creating a 5-paragraph essay. After completing an outline using their materials they have begun composing. This essay format has been taught in Mrs. Holdredge’s class and now they have an opportunity to put those skills to use. Mrs. Holdredge is supporting their writing in her class with instruction and assistance – thank you Mrs. Holdredge.
The students also presented their WWI trench warfare skits last Friday. War planes, machine guns, gas canisters and trench foot, what could be more fun and educational? This project is a great way for students to put their energies and excitement into a lesson that focuses on the historical significance of trench warfare. I appreciate all the parents who were able to attend.
7th graders are hard at work finishing up our Comparative Reproduction unit with a research project on an organism within Kingdom Animalia. Research projects can be a fun, interesting way to learn new information, and also help students develop the crucial literacy skills that will benefit them throughout the remainder of their academic and professional lives! So far we’ve focused on how to tell the difference between reliable and unreliable sources, how to cite sources, and how to gather and organize information from multiple sources. During our Wednesday professional development days, we have been discussing the value of teaching literacy across all subject areas, and I’m looking forward to continuing to help your students develop these skills in science! After we finish the research project, we will be completing a deeper study into amphibians before we complete a frog dissection. I would love a few extra hands and eyes in the room during this activity, so please send me an email if you’d like to volunteer on this fun day!
The past two months middle school students have been learning about the olympic sport team handball and the newly popular sport pickleball. Both of these sports require hand eye coordination, teamwork, and strategy. Along with our sports units student have been learning new exercises and the muscles they use while working out.