Our monthly websites allow us the opportunity to show you a little of what we have been working on thus far. JupiterEd 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.
Our middle school students participate in a daily morning meeting. We incorporate practices designed to make the classroom more stimulating, challenging, safer, and happier. Below is an example of a team building experience. The students were tasked with building the tallest structure and then tasked with building a structure with only one cube in 3 min. Students then came together to discuss the challenges of teamwork as well as, what helped lead their teams to success.
7th Grade English Language Arts
Seventh grade students will revisit figurative language as a bridge to studying extended metaphors. The study will prepare students for their next unit on allegories which heavily rely on metaphors and symbolism to covey meaning and communicate various viewpoints. Understanding the structure of an allegory, much like the structure of a metaphor helps us to better analyze meaning. Additionally, as writers, it's important that we become skilled at crafting narrative elements alongside literary devices. Recognizing how fiction and nonfiction writers, craft narrative elements and literary devices as interdependent tools to aid the story telling process helps us to better appreciate and enjoy reading. As students assess the building blocks and structures of writing, our 7th Grade Big Idea, Independence and Interdependence, is reinforced and students see that structures and forms are essential. The Enduring Understanding we hope to leave with students is that structures have the power to promote or limit.
8th Grade English Language Arts
Eighth grade students have been studying irony. They recently watched the documentary, Serving Life, noting the examples of situational irony present in the documentary and the impact his has on the viewer. Students followed up their introduction of irony by reading the satire, "Harrison Bergeron" by Kurt Vonnegut, Jr. Students explored the 8th Grade Big Idea, Balance and Stability, by investigating what it means to be a healthy society. In contrast, students examined what contributes to a society's ills, ultimately leaving students with the Enduring Understanding that, 'With freedom, comes great responsibility'. This study complemented the Battles of the American Revolution project in Mrs. Black's because Bergeron's satire and the documentary, Serving Life, both serve as lens by which we can evaluate America, birth to present-day.
7th Grade World Cultures
Seventh grade students are discovering how important gaining independence was to countries around the world as they fought for freedom and a voice in their government. The English Civil War, American Revolution and French Revolution were all fought with a desire to gain independence and create a constitution where the citizens have rights and freedom. Nationalism and having a strong sense of pride in your country was important as countries sought this freedom. Students have learned about the important people in all of these revolutions and the risks that they took. We are grateful for these leaders and the impact that they continue to have on our society today. As we look at the current United States presidential election we can see the importance of living in a country that has independence and uses interdependence among the citizens to elect leaders and create a strong sense of nationalism.
8th Grade South Carolina History
Eighth grade students continue to learn about South Carolina's role in the United States of America gaining its independence from Great Britain. We have learned about how South Carolina was a favorite of Great Britain due to its rich agriculture and successful plantation system. Our focus has been the American Revolution and South Carolina's role during the revolution. Students researched the important battles that took place in South Carolina during the Revolution and learned of the hard work and persistence that the colonists used to create a successful strategy to defeat the British soldiers. Our allegiance with France helped the Americans win the American Revolution. We have discussed the importance of our many allies around the world and how working together towards a common goal is important in all situations. We will continue to learn about South Carolina's role in creating a new nation as well as writing the United States Constitution.
Mrs. Kolb's Math Classes
In 7th grade Pre-Algebra students are rocking and rolling with chapter 2, percents. Since this is something we as humans use on a regular basis, we have spent extra days on the lessons to make sure we are good and comfortable with percents. We have learned how to find percents using a proportion, equation and moving the decimal/dividing by 100. We know that percents are important when we tip service staff, buy items at a discount and figure out raises. We have learned a new game where students must pick the percent of a number (out of 2 choices) that would give them the highest majority without actually solving the percent. After a few rounds, students must calculate their percent and see who has the highest number. We will be finishing chapter 2 soon and hopefully will have a fun field trip where we can show what we have learned.
In 8th grade Pre-Algebra students are working on solving 2-step equations with both 1 and 2 variables. Math is so much more fun when a story is involved so we tell the story of the Hatfields (variables) and McCoys (numbers) who cannot be on the same of the river (equal sign). We have found that working with whole number Hatfields is easier than working with fraction Hatfields but we have several strategies for turning fractions into whole numbers. We will be finishing chapter 2 soon and moving into chapter 3, equations in 2 variables.
Mrs. Cooler's Math Classes
In 7th Grade Pre-Algebra, students recently concluded their studies of percents and integers. Next week, we will be taking a field trip for students to practice and utilize their percent skills in the real world by ordering at a restaurant, then calculating a discount, tip and tax. Because we know that percents are important when we tip service staff, buy items at a discount and figure out raises, these necessary skills are best remembered when put to practice and thus will be remembered for the rest of their lives.
In Algebra 1, students are in the midst of our chapter focusing on Linear Equations. In this unit of study, we will be writing and graphing linear equations as well as analyzing families of functions. This area of study can be used to describe patterns and relationships in flight times, payment options, and many everyday expenses people use both INDEPENDENTLY AND INTERDEPENDENTLY (our 7th Grade Big Idea).
Further, we have just started another great project , so be on the lookout for students to be working on it. This project encompasses all aspects of Linear Equations and gives them a few choices as to how they would like to present their learning and understanding.
In Geometry, students have finished their study of the congruency of triangles as well as their Ch. 4 test. Next, we will move on to the study of triangle relationships. In this chapter, we will learn how triangle relationships are used to find and compare angle measures and distances. Interior designers often use these relationships to maximize efficiency and create BALANCE (our 8th Grade Big Idea) in their designs.
Coming up soon, we will work on a fun Triangle Inequality activity where students will use various pieces of materials in varying lengths to determine whether or not those measurements could form triangles.
7th Grade Science
As students examine the big ideas of Independence and Interdependence, they are developing thoughts about how changes within a system or structure impact relationships. To help develop their understanding, they will craft answer the questions: 1. What leads to change? 2.How does the structure of a system affect its function? 3. To what extent does function depend on structure?
This month, students began their study of cells and heredity. We are learned about the scientists and technological advancements that lead to the discovery of cells and the development of cell theory. We watched an entertaining TED-Ed talk that brought the timeline alive for us and it can be viewed here: http://ed.ted.com/lessons/the-wacky-history-of-cell-theory.
We have also reviewed the characteristics of living things and explored how a living organism fits the definition of a system. We are reviewing the concept of systems and learning how to apply our systems definitions to cells by comparing and contrasting plant, animal, protist, and bacterial cells. This week, we gathered data about plant, animal, euglena, paramecium, amoeba, and bacterial cells from several sources including looking at prepared slides, viewing videos, and examining detailed drawings. After using light microscopes themselves to view specimens, students gained a new appreciation for the work done by earlier scientists in discovering cells and their major organelles.
8th Grade Science
As students examine the big ideas of Balance and Stability, they are developing thoughts about how waves are used to transfer energy and information. To help develop their understanding, they will answer the questions: 1. What are the characteristic properties and behaviors of waves? 2. What is light? 3. How can one explain the varied effects that involve light? 4. What other forms of electromagnetic radiation are there? 5. How are instruments that transmit and detect waves used to extend human senses?
This month, students have begun their study of waves. We have learned what a wave is and how the movement of waves compares to the movement of matter. We have also learned how waves are classified and about the characteristic properties and behaviors all waves share.
7th Grade Website
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