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.
Learning by Doing!
7th Grade English Language Arts
Seventh grade students have concluded the expository essays they wrote and have been working to add the artifacts and reflections into their portfolio. Although the portfolio serves as a method to collect student reflection and measure growth, it is also serving as the perfect places to revisit and/or teach how to use text and graphic features to organize and enhance our presentation of information. Students have done a great job transitioning between the days spent taking the required standardized test and the days spent working on ELA activities.
8th Grade English Language Arts
Eighth grade students are analyzing speeches and poems for rhetorical devices and evaluating how the rhetorical devices contribute to a speaker's purpose and work to develop the ideas raised and present in the composition. Thus far, students have read Abraham Lincoln's, "Gettysburg Address", Martin Luther King, Jr.'s speech, " I have a Dream", and the poem "Is Justice Worth It?" by Micah Bournes. Students used the strategy of annotating with specific summarizing and clarifying questions and commentary alongside the strategy of hi-liting devices to strengthen their ability of analyzing, and evaluating the way in which the devices were used to clarify, strengthen, and develop the ideas raised in the text. Students evidenced their thinking and understanding with a written response by explaining their analysis and justifying their summarization. Students have done a great job transitioning between the days spent taking the required standardized test and the days spent working on ELA activities.
7th Grade World Cultures
Seventh grade students are learning about how cause and effect played an important role as the world entered World
War II. Despite many countries trying to following the policy of appeasement, it was inevitable that Germany's dissatisfaction with their punishment after WWI would cause them to initiate war. We have compared our leaders today with leaders of the past, and we have discussed the characteristics that it takes to be an effective leader. Our big ideas independence and interdependence help us understand the importance of working together and forming alliances as we hope to achieve the ultimate goal of peace throughout the world.
8th Grade South Carolina History
Eighth grade students are learning about how South Carolina's economy recovered with the building of the transcontinental railroad and the textile mills in the upstate. We have discussed the many political figures in South Carolina and the resistance of these politicians to accept slavery being abolished and equality for African Americans. We have learned about the founding of Clemson University, The University of South Carolina, South Carolina State, and Winthrop University. The rivalry between these school started early on! We will move into the Civil Rights movement and study the famous court cases Plessy vs. Ferguson and Brown vs. the Board of Education.
Mrs. Kolb's Math Classes
7th graders have been busy solving equations with the end goal of having the variable independent and representative of a quantity that can be be replaced for the variable. We will move ahead next week and solve for inequalities which luckily, involves the same process as solving for equations. We reviewed the story of the three billy goals gruff and have applied that to solving equations. How you ask? Ask a seventh grader to explain it. It involves a bridge, a troll and a toll.
8th graders have moved into a geometry unit and will begin a cool tessellation project this week. We will work on finding missing angles in triangles and polygons as well as applying the pythagorean theorem to find missing information. Our tessellations project will be a beautiful art piece showing the balance and symmetry found in a design created uniquely by each student. I look forward to what geometric transformations and color choices everybody will use.
Mrs. Cooler's Math Classes
7th grade Pre-Algebra students have been busy learning how to solve Equations and Inequalities using Inverse Operations. These skills will be fundamental in all future math classes. It is also directly tied to our Big Idea of INDEPENDNCE and INTERDEPENDENCE in that the techniques used to solve these types of problems depend on what you do to both sides of a problem.
Algebra students have finished their chapter on factoring polynomials. This is a very big skill which can be used in finance: a common polynomial equation that comes up is the calculation of present value. This is used in accounting when the present value of assets must be determined. It is used in asset (stock) valuation. It is used in bond trading and mortgage calculations. The polynomial is of high order, for example, with an interest term with exponent 360 for a 30-year mortgage. This is not a formula that can be factored. Instead, if the interest needs to be calculated, it is solved for by computer or calculator.
Geometry students finished their study of scale and similar figures and will now move in to the study of Right Triangles and their trigonometric properties. Airport meteorologists keep an eye on the weather to ensure the safety of the flights. One thing they watch is the cloud ceiling. The cloud ceiling is the lowest altitude at which solid cloud is visible. If the cloud ceiling is too low the planes are not allowed to take off or land. Further, meteorologists can find the cloud ceiling at night is to shine a searchlight that is located a fixed distance from their office vertically into the clouds. Then they measure the angle of elevation to the spot of light on the cloud. The angle of elevation is the angle formed by the line of sight to the spot and the horizontal. Using trigonometry, the cloud ceiling can be determined.
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 answer the questions: 1. Why can we say form (structure) follows function? 2.How do the structures of organisms enable life’s functions? 3.How do organisms obtain and use the matter and energy they need to live and grow? 4.What leads to change within a system and how might this change affect the function of the system? This month, students wrapped up their study of human body systems. We have studied the major organ systems and learned how they are interdependent and rely on each other for our bodies to function properly. We have also learned how proper nutrition supports our health. We have learned about the macronutrients (carbohydrates, lipids, and proteins) and micronutrients (vitamins and minerals) our bodies (and most of life, really) need to function properly. Students are learning about the chemistry of these molecules and revisiting some of the ideas we learned earlier this year: elements, molecules, and covalent and ionic bonds to name a few. Students have researched the amounts of macronutrientns and micronutrients in a meal they have eaten and have compared it to commonly accepted dietary guidelines to see how healthy the meal was. Students have also compared the nutrition content of their meal to that of a Stop Hunger Now meal we packed earlier this year and then making decisions about which meal might benefit a growing child more.
8th Grade Science
As students examine the big ideas of Balance and Stability, they are developing their thoughts about how unbalanced forces set processes in motion that result in change and how transformation is continual. To help develop their understanding, they will answer the questions: 1) How does the structure of a system affect its function? 2) How do unbalanced forces set processes in motion that result in change? 3) How does the transfer of energy within the Earth’s mantle cause changes in surface features of the Earth?
This month, students studied the changes that occur at tectonic plate boundaries and the forces that cause those changes. They have studied the rock cycle giving special attention to the processes that lead to the formation of igneous, metamorphic, and sedimentary rocks. Students have examined samples of rocks and used what they know about these types of rocks and the characteristics of the rocks themselves to decide what kind of rock each sample is.
To wrap up the Earth’s Structure and Processes unit, students have completed research about a volcano of their choice and the Arenal volcano in Costa Rica which students will see on the Capstone trip. They have located their volcanoes on a tectonic plate boundary map, identified the procesess that led to the formation of the volcanoes, discovered the impact the volcanoes have had on local and global civilizations, and outlined the number and timing of the geologic events that occur around the volcano. They have also learned how to cite their sources using APA format and web tools like bibme.org or citationmachine.org. They presented their projects to the class.
7th Grade Website
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