The Middle School students have had a great start to the school year. They have just wrapped up some major school projects including the STEAM Fair and their “To Kill a Mockingbird” reading and projects. In Math, the seventh grade students have started to use their arithmetic to transition into pre algebra. We will soon start talking about the different mathematical properties for multiplying and dividing and understanding rational numbers, and expressions. Seventh grade students will start to see their knowledge being tested more frequently and connections being made with the work that they have done so far this year. Middle School students will also be assigned a project that will apply some of the topics they have learned this year to see where math can be used and applied in the real world. This will include, paying taxes, rent, car payments, and planning a vacation with a set salary.
In English Language Arts, the students just completed reading their second literature circle book. “The Seeing Stone” was meant to introduce the students to components of the medieval history unit we will beginning in late January. They also finished “To Kill a Mockingbird” as an at-home assignment. The book offered excellent opportunities to discuss important literary and cultural themes. Middle School students continue to receive individually-paced grammar lessons; some upcoming lessons will include an advanced pronoun study (think objective and subjective pronouns), double negatives, types of clauses, and subject/verb agreement. Students continue to be introduced to different types of poetry twice a month; not only are they reading poetry, they also have opportunities to practice writing it. The seventh graders are working on fully developing their ideas by providing examples and analyses to support their thoughts. Finally, the students are learning how to use dialogue to bring their creations to life. This is part of an interdisciplinary unit coinciding with art and our cultural unit on Communist-era puppet shows.
Now that the geography and cultural study of Europe is coming to a close, we will begin studying the important historical time periods of the continent. In addition, the students are using their writing skills to create a puppet show inspired by the Polish puppet theater prevalent during the 1930’s, 40’s, and 50’s. Small groups of students took a current event and wrote a satirical puppet show meant to inform their classmates about something currently happening around the world. The puppets are finished and the plays are almost completed; we expect the students to perform their shows at the beginning of February. In the coming weeks, middle schoolers will begin getting a weekly civics homework assignment. The weekly topic is meant to be discussed at home with parents and/or grandparent and each student will be expected to write a short essay to discuss with their classmates.
In Science, students are wrapping up their chapter on the water cycle and weather and will start a new chapter on climate. We will be discussing different types of minerals, rocks, and soil. Additionally, students will look into the Earth’s surface and the affects that different forces can have on Earth. The middle school students will continue to put new ideas and topics into projects and hands on activities. They are working on exploring new ideas and researching deeper into topics that we are studying.
Middle school students have a lot to look forward to this winter and spring. They will soon start working on building resumes in order to start applying for their internships that they will do in March. We will also start talking about different topics they can start researching for their TED talks, and they will start boat building in January.