Social Studies- Update

This week in Social Studies the students completed the ancient Rome unit on Wednesday. Since then, we have been focused on the Byzantine Empire which is the link between Europe and the Middle East, physically and culturally. It also acts as a link between the Rome unit and the Growth of Islam unit. 🙂 Student are working on completing an activity concerning Byzantine geography, art,the Orthodox Church, and Emperor Justinian.

Next week the students will begin the growth of Islam unit. One of the first topics will be religion Islam, where we will break down the basic beliefs, the Prophet Muhammad, and the Koran. The students will also be completing a TALDOGS map illustrating the growth of the Islamic empires.

Have a great weekend!

Mid Year Benchmark Score Added to Powerschools

Dear Parents,

Just a quick heads up: This morning, I added midyear benchmark scores to Powerschools for MOST of our students. I still have a handful of paper versions that need to be graded — so if you see a blank for your child, that means they either took a paper copy that needs to be graded OR they were absent on the day of testing and need to make the assessment up.

While this grade DOESN’T count against your child’s average

Fresh Cut Flowers Needed MONDAY for Science Lab!

Dear Parents,

Starting next Monday (February 26th), we will be studying the parts of flowering plants. Doing so is ALWAYS more fun when we can actually look at flowering plants!

Would you be willing to pick up a bundle of cut flowers from the local grocery store or Sam’s Club and send it in for us to study?

If so, here’s a link to a Signup Genius:

The types of flowers inside the bundle is not SUPER important — although Trader Joe’s has some Alstromeria right now that would be GREAT. I’d also love a bundle or two of Tulips — which are harder to find this time of the year, but really cool to look at.

If you could send the flowers in on Monday or Tuesday of NEXT week (February 26 or 27), it would be great!

I don’t want them to die over the weekend!

Thanks again,

Bill Ferriter

LA Update

Happy Friday!

Students worked on Newscast projects during the past week and I am extremely impressed with some of their videos!

Today the students were introduced to our new unit. Through a virtual reality experience, the students visited the Florida Keys and connected ideas from World Without Fish to the setting of Flush.

Next week students will be reading Flush and diving deeper into concepts of point of view, tone and plot development.

Have a wonderful weekend!
Tiffany Shin

Social Studies – Update

In Social Studies this week the focus has been on the Roman Empire. We began the week by examining the inventions and innovations of Roman roads and architecture. Then we explored some famous Romans including: Julius Caesar, Spartacus, and Caesar Augustus. Students were challenged to find connections between the Latin language and English by analyzing prefixes. Finally the students studied rise of Christianity and its impact on the Roman world.

Next week we will complete the Roman unit by investigating the causes of the end of the empire. There will be a unit test on Wednesday next week. Students will review on Monday and Tuesday in class and there is a Quizlet of vocabulary for the unit posted on Google Classroom. At the end of next week we will take a couple of days to map and learn about what happened to the eastern half of the Roman Empire, the Byzantium Empire.

Have a great weekend!

Science Tests Monday AND Tuesday

Dear Parents,

Just a quick heads up to let you know that there are TWO tests in science next week. One is on Monday and one is on Tuesday.

On Monday, students will be taking their energy unit test. This covers light, sound, heat and parts of a wave. It will count as a summative grade in students’ averages. That makes it an important assessment.

Students can study by using the Energy Quizizz posted in Google Classroom. The questions in the Quizizz closely parallel the questions on the assessment. What I recommend is that students take the Quizizz several times to identify concepts that they are struggling with. Then, they can use the notesheets they’ve created in Google Classroom to review the core concepts of the unit. Finally, they can use Brainpop videos for quick refreshers of the content that they are struggling with.

On Tuesday, students will be taking their Mid-Year Science Benchmark exam. This covers both our Matter Unit and our Energy Unit. Preparing for the energy portion of the exam should be easy — preparations for the Energy Unit Exam will cover that. To prepare for the Matter portion of the exam, there is a Matter Quizizz posted in Google Classroom. Students can use the process described above with the Matter content to ready themselves for that portion of the exam.

The benchmark will be entered into the gradebook, but it will not be weighted. It is designed primarily as a check-in for students — to see if they are doing a good job remembering the content covered in class since the beginning of the year. Because our End of Grade Exam is also cumulative — covering every unit that we study from July to June, constant revisiting is required in order to do well on the exam.

Hope this helps,

Bill Ferriter

Rolls of Paper Towels Needed

Dear Parents,

We could REALLY use some rolls of paper towels to help keep our classrooms clean.

If you have one laying around the house and you are willing to send it in, I’d REALLY appreciate it!


Bill Ferriter

Do You Shop on Amazon? Here’s an Easy Way to Help Salem Middle School.

Dear Parents,

If you ever make purchases on Amazon, there is a REALLY easy way that you can help Salem Middle School.

Here’s how:

(1). Visit

(2). On your first visit, select PTA North Carolina Congress Salem Middle School as your charity of choice.

(3). From that point forward, navigate to whenever you plan to make purchases on Amazon. You will get the same selection, same prices and same shipping options as you would navigating to — but a portion of every purchase will be donated back to our PTA.

If you want more details about the Amazon Smile program, check out this link.

Let me know if you have any questions,

Bill Ferriter

LA Update

Hello Parents!

Yesterday at Career Day, students spent their time listening to different presenters about their occupations and reflecting back to their own life goals.

On Thursday, students took the End of Unit 1 Assessment for World Without Fish; however, many did not finish in time. Please remind your students to come in during their Spartan Time if they did not finish their assessment.

This week students will work on a project about "What is Newsworthy" in World Without Fish and on Friday we will introduce our next book, Flush by Carl Hiaasen.

Have a wonderful weekend!
Tiffany Shin

27 Missing Permission Slips / Deadline Monday

Dear Parents,

There are still 27 students who haven’t turned in their permission slips for our March field trip.

Students who don’t turn their permission slips in by Monday February 12th will be staying back at school and working on textbook tasks.

There are no exceptions.

If money is tight right now, that’s fine — pay when you can. But the permission slip is a nonnegotiable.

Please check this list to see if your child’s permission slip is missing.


Bill Ferriter