Our monthly websites allow us the opportunity to show you a little of what we have been working on thus far. PowerSchool is a great tool we encourage you to use to remain up to date regarding your child's grades. Also, we send out weekly newsletters every weekend which will help keep you up to date on weekly quizzes, tests, projects, assignments and in general "the happenings" in the middle school. As always, thank you for your support and should you have any questions, please do not hesitate to get in touch with us.
Field Trip to The Giver at the Dock Street Theater in Charleston, SC
Recently, English I students finished reading the play Pygmalion by George Bernard Shaw and Eighth Grade English students finished reading the novel Divergent by Veronica Roth.
Pygmalion, as mentioned in previous updates, is set during the Victorian Era as Britain undergoes the political and social upheavals brought on by the Industrial Revolution. Opportunities for work abounded as a result of the technological advancements and boom in industry during the era, bringing opportunities for social advancement. Although prosperity grew as opportunities were seized, giving birth to the working and middle class, with it came cultural instability that disrupted old beliefs and rocked stereotypes. The social and political movements that ensued forced the world to reconstruct its view of rights and required citizens to redefine who had rights and to what extent. Shaw uses the characters in his play to examine the limits of schooling and expose biases in society as well as his reader. As students read the play, performed skits, and discussed ideas, they looked for moments and exchanges between characters and themselves that contradicted first impressions, forced new points of views, and exposed misinterpretations and misunderstandings.Students shared their findings in a culminating essay. Some students wrote about stereotypes that characters in the play contradicted or discredited while others wrote about qualities displayed by characters which should be adopted, modified, or rejected in our communities today. On Monday, English I students will begin a new novel study; they will read Harper Lee's novel, To Kill a Mockingbird. Students will evaluate Lee's novel for archetypes, analyze the responsibility citizens have to influence moral growth and the responsibility citizens have for maintaining a balanced and stable community. As a culminating assignment, students will give oral Keynote presentations that showcases a influential figure from history that made a mark on the world and influenced moral or intellectual growth. Students may choose a social activist, writer, artist, inventor, or scientist. Unlike Pygmalion which is set in the past, Roth's novel, Divergent, is set in the future. Divergent portrays a society strained by war, exhausted by repeated injustices, and tired of instability that resorts to extremism in an effort to reach balance. The society by choice is fractioned into factions that host members with the same aptitudes. Each of the five factions (Abnegation, Dauntless, Erudite, Amity, and Candor) practice and nurture a virtue that is considered to be critical for human success. The story gains pace as the main character learns that she is divergent, having an aptitude and tendency toward more than one virtue. As the main character undergoes initiation into a new faction, she uncovers corruption amongst the factions and encounters dilemmas that tests her beliefs.
Throughout the novel study, students traced the development of the main character and completed journal entries, spotlighting moments, exchanges, and interactions that were thought-provoking and inspired students to reevaluate previously held points of view. As a culminating assessment, students were asked to write an essay, expounding on turning points that changed the main character's outlook and impacted the decisions she made and the community around her. Students will complete their essay next week and move on to a current events study.
Geometry students recently completed their study of Quadrilaterals which covered all the specifics about each of the specific shapes. During this unit, we utilized the "flipped classroom" method which helped us find a new type of home/school BALANCE.
The students are now moving on to our next unit which will focus on similarity and proportions in geometric shapes. This is a unit of study that will help show students how architects use scale models and scale drawings in their daily businesses or how product designers and developers could use aspect ratios when developing televisions and computers screens/monitors.
Algebra students recently wrapped up their study of Systems of Equations and Inequalities. This is such an important unit of study as it can be used often in the real world to compare costs of services for anything ranging from gym memberships to pet care to cell phone plans and far beyond that.
We are now moving on to the study of Exponent Rules. Skills used in this chapter can be used to model perimeter, area, and volume in Geometry as well as to express very large and very small quantities in science classes such as Biology, Chemistry, and Physics. In every day life, businesses can use these numbers to model business profits and population growth or decline.
Pre-Algebra students in Mrs. Cooler's class are making progress learning about Functions. In this unit, students will be able to model relationships between two quantities using functions. In everyday situations, "functions are mathematical representations of many input-output situations." Visit this website for some extra examples you can review with your students: www.educationworld.com/a_curr/mathchat/mathchat010.shtml
South Carolina History
,As a culminating activity for our unit, "The New Nation," students chose to either create a new flag for South Carolina or the United States. Students learned about the history of the South Carolina and the United States flags. Their original flag had to center around a specific historical event. The students wrote a paragraph discussing the significance of the historical event, the colors of the flag, the flag design, and the symbols and illustrations on the flag. Their final products were extremely creative. They were a balance between each student's historical knowledge as well as their ability to create an original design.
During our unit on "Antebellum South Carolina," students chose an important person to research. They used the information obtained during their research to write a bio poem. They were challenged to use the information to creatively craft sentences, and use specific vocabulary to describe the person and their contribution to the United States during this time period. Students creatively illustrated their poems, and presented them to the class.
Students continue to explore the ideas of balance and stability as they learn about how energy moves from place to place in our universe. They are developing an understanding that energy moves in predictable ways through waves. We continue to develop our understanding of mechanical waves: both transverse and longitudinal ones by using virtual simulations and hands-on materials. Students used slinky toys and ropes to observe the effects of amplitude on the amount of energy carried by a wave and on the relationship between wave frequency and wavelength. Students also observed the effects of constructive interference and destructive interference on the amplitude of waves.
In a continuation of our astronomy studies, students continue to take weekly measurements recording shadow length and direction at specific times of day in order to map the journey of the Sun in our sky from the Winter Solstice (Dec 21) to the Vernal Equinox (Mar 20).
A student produces low frequency transverse waves in a rope.
A student produces higher frequency transverse waves in a rope.