LA Update

The great debate on DDT has begun!

We spent this week talking about how to determine the credibility of a source and moved into our research topic, DDT. Students will spend the next week reading about the great controversy over DDT and forming their own opinions. With each article they read, students will complete a graphic organizer. Students will use this research the following week to write their position paper on whether DDT should be banned or permitted around the world.

In addition, students should complete three quizzes on Read Theory before the end of the week.

Have a wonderful weekend!

Chambliss Barrow

6-4 Language Arts

Salem Middle School

Social Studies- update

This week in Social Studies the focus has been on the Middle Ages. There was a quiz on Tuesday covering some of the important vocabulary and people that we’ve covered so far. The project for the middle ages is a portfolio of work, and the students have been completing portions of it each day. So far they’ve mapped out the Battle of Hastings, turned a Gingerbread figure into aperson from Feudal times, given King John of England a report card, and now they are researching the effects of the Black Death. Over the weekend the students will be completing a Coat of Arms coloring and description which is due on Monday.

Next week the students will complete their investigation of the Middle Ages with a Newspaper Cover on the Crusades and then an overall evaluation of their impression from this period. During the last part of next week, students should begin entering a new time of learning and rediscovery into the arts and sciences; the Renaissance!

Retaking Today’s Earthquake Quiz

Dear Parents,

Today in class, students took a quiz in a service called Socrative to show what they know about earthquakes.

Many students either didn’t complete the quiz or earned a grade they weren’t proud of.

To help with that, ALL students can rework the quiz if they would like. It will be posted again in Socrative at 2:00 PM today.

Reworks must be completed by Friday. There will be no class time provided to complete this task, so it is homework.

Students ARE allowed to use our classroom’s yellow science textbook, the Discovery Education Science Techbook and/or Google while completing the quiz. It is an "open book/resource" test. They may also work with a classmate if they have a neighbor who is in our class.

Hope this helps,

Bill Ferriter

Need Coolers for Friday May 25th

Dear Parents,

As you may already know, the work that your kids put into the fund raiser has earned them a really fun event: An in-house field trip where they will launch water balloons and have hot dogs, freeze pops and cold drinks.

To pull this off, I’ll need some help. Primarily, I’ll need some parents who are willing to send in a cooler with a bag or two of ice that we can use to keep drinks cold.

If this is something you think you can help with, please fill out the Signup Genius below.

https://www.signupgenius.com/go/904054eaeaf2ea20-help

Once I see who has replied, I’ll reach out with more details.

Thanks,

Bill Ferriter

Science Update

Dear Parents,

First, I wanted to say thank you again for sharing REMARKABLE kids with us. This week, we rolled up our sleeves and worked pretty darn hard and fast and your kids hung with me. They were positive and polite and happy and that’s incredibly cool to me. I appreciate them.

Second, here’s what’s happening in class:

(1). We have started our lithosphere unit. That unit introduces students to the constantly changing nature of the earth’s crust. Your kids should be able to tell you more about the tectonic plates that make up the surface of the earth. They should also be able to tell you more about the origins of earthquakes, mountains and volcanoes. Finally, they should be able to tell you a little about the three main types of rocks and how plate boundaries help in their formation.

(2). We are going to study earthquakes and soil this week. Earthquakes are important in our unit of study because they are the primary way that we learn more about the interior of the earth. Soil is important primarily because it provides us with plant growth — which is essential for both food production and for cleaning our air of dangerous levels of carbon. Students will learn more about how soils are formed, why they are important, and what they are made of.

(3). Once we are done with our study of earthquakes and soil, we will move on to our space unit — which is the final unit in our curriculum. The space unit covers two main concepts: How do the earth, moon and sun interact with each other to cause things like seasons and tides and what are the characteristics of habitable planets. Kids are always completely fascinated by the space unit, so that should be a lot of fun.

(4). REMEMBER THAT YOUR KIDS SHOULD BE STUDYING FOR THE EOG EXAM: The science End of Grade Exam is probably the hardest exam that your kids will take this year. That’s because it includes 35 fact driven questions that come from the entire year’s worth of instruction. Remembering 35 isolated facts from 7 different units is REALLY hard for sixth graders to do. To prepare, your students should be using the Brainpop EOG review sheet posted in Google Classroom. I think they should spend 30-40 minutes two or three times every week in order to be best prepared to succeed on that end of grade exam. Please ask your child how many times they have studied so far.

(5). To free up time for studying, I will not be giving any other homework between now and the end of the year. All work that we start in class will be finished in class. My hope is that this will help both you and your child to find time for studying for the EOG using Brainpop.

Hope this helps,

Bill Ferriter

LA Update

Happy Friday!

We will take a literature final test on Monday that has one poem and two fiction selections. The students all have the readings with them over the weekend so that they can read and come prepared for the assessment on Monday.

After Monday, we will begin working on research for our argument assignment. Students will do a lesson on the credibility of sources and then begin research on the use of DDT around the world. We will be focusing on claims and their supporting evidence.

Thank you for all of the sweet gifts and notes this teacher appreciation week. We feel very loved around here. 😊 Have a great weekend!

Chambliss Barrow

6-4 Language Arts

Salem Middle School

LA Update

Great week of poetry! We will continue with poetry next week. There will be a poetry quiz on Wednesday of next week as we prepare for our literature assessment the following Monday. The poetry quiz will have some identification questions but will have more questions about the application and effect of figurative language and poetic devices.

Students will have one poetry homework assignment for the week and will be asked to complete two more Read Theory quizzes by Friday, May 11.

Have a great weekend!

Chambliss Barrow

6-4 Language Arts

Salem Middle School

Plea for Tissues!

Dear Parents,

We have an emergency request: We are completely out of tissues here at school!

Your kids have been BURNING through them — It must be allergy season for sure.

If you can send in a box to help us, it would be much appreciated.

Thanks in advance,

Bill Ferriter

Science Update

Dear Parents,

Here’s what’s happening in Science right now:

We are finishing our ecosystems unit: On Monday, we will take our unit test. I think your kids will crush it. It’s a unit that resonates with them and that they have a bunch of previous experience with.

We are starting our lithosphere unit: On Tuesday, we will start studying the lithosphere. That unit covers the layers of the earth and the impact that the movement of the earth’s crustal plates have on the surface of the planet. We will be looking at things like types of rocks, soil formation, and the reasons behind earthquakes and volcanoes.

End of Grade Science Review Sheet Handed out Monday or Tuesday: Perhaps the most important thing happening in the immediate future is your students will get a Brainpop Review Sheet for the Science End of Grade Exam. It includes a list of videos in Brainpop — a service that all students have access to — that is sorted by our units of study.

I HIGHLY encourage students to work through the review sheet in the next month before our end of grade exams begin. The science EOG is by far the most challenging for kids because it has 35 questions covering isolated facts from the entire curriculum. It is difficult for kids to remember those facts without doing review — and Brainpop is the easiest, most direct way to prepare.

Let me know if you have any questions — and thank you for your kids. I really enjoy them!

Bill Ferriter

A Big Fundraiser Thank You!

Dear Parents,

Now that I’ve had the time to dig MOST of the colored powder out of my nose and ears, I wanted to send you a personal thank you for all that you did to help support our PTA’s color battle fundraiser!

The final total raised by the Gnomes students was $5,865.

That’s an absolutely stunning number. My thoughts all along was that we would raise around $1,000. To see your kids crush that number was incredible.

All of the proceeds from the fund raiser go straight to the PTA — who uses it to invest in our school. One tangible example of how your kids will benefit: As seventh graders, they will have a Poet in Residence named Mr. Shabazz who will coach them in poetry during their seventh grade year. It is an experience that has been a part of the Salem Middle School experience for almost 15 years — and it is an experience we wouldn’t be able to provide if it weren’t for your support of the PTA.

Many thanks also to the sea of 6-4 parents that I saw helping with color battle last Thursday! It was a great time for our kids that also wouldn’t be possible without your willingness to volunteer.

With gratitude,

Bill Ferriter