Optional At Home EOG Math Review

Hi!

I posted an optional EOG review through brainpop on google classroom. Students can work on it at home or during available time in school (i.e. Spartan Time). They have a printed copy of the packet in their binders. We will begin official review in class in 2 weeks. Please email with any questions – ekotik@wcpss.net.

Kate Kotik

Science Update

Dear Parents,

I apologize for not getting a science update posted in the last two weeks. I’ve been slammed with both our last field trip, our third quarter honors assembly and some planning that I am doing for next school year. It’s all kept me pretty busy.

Here’s what is happening in class:

Finishing Ecosystems Unit: We will finish our ecosystems unit in class this week. We spent the past two weeks looking at things like transpiration (the way that plants move water from their roots to their leaves), the cycles (water, carbon and nitrogen), and food chains/energy pyramids. We will not take a test for this unit simply because I am trying to get us through our last unit on Space in time for our end of grade exams. Cutting the test will save some time because I won’t need to give the students significant preparation time in class.

Beginning Space Unit: Our last unit of the year covers Space. You can see our essential outcomes here. We learn about things like the phases of the moon, the reason for our seasons, and the causes of the tides. We also look at the history of space exploration and we discuss what makes planets habitable/uninhabitable. The kids generally enjoy the space unit because they are amazed by the size of outer space.

Studying for EOGs: As I’ve mentioned to you before, studying for the science EOGs really is important. The sixth grade exam covers a bunch of random facts from the entire school year — which makes it more about remembering than anything. The best way to review those facts before the EOG is to use Brainpop. I will be giving your kids time to study in class for sure, but it is also important that they do some studying at home too. There is a Brainpop EOG review sheet posted in Google Classroom.

Hope this helps,
Bill Ferriter

Oreos Needed for Science Activity

Dear Parents,

In the next week, we will begin studying Space. One of the topics that we study is phases of the moon. I have a fun activity to teach that to kids that involves Oreos.

Would you be willing to send in a pack or two that we can use?

If so, here’s a Signup Genius.

For what it is worth, the Oreos with WHITE filling work best — and Big Stuff actually work better than regular Oreos. I’ll take any Oreos, though.

I’d like to get a BUNCH of packs simply because it lets students work independently or in groups of two — so if you can help, I’d REALLY appreciate it.

Thanks,

Bill Ferriter

Awards Assembly

Good Morning!

We wanted to let you all know that our awards assembly will now be held in the cafeteria because the auditorium is unavailable.

We look forward to seeing you.

The Gnomes

Here’s How Your Student can Prepare for the Science EOG

Dear Parents,

I’m not sure if you know this or not, but in sixth grade, students take an end of grade exam in all four of their core area subjects. While the Math and Reading exams are probably the most important for your students, the science exam is probably the most difficult.

Here’s why: The test includes 35 isolated, fact-driven, multiple choice questions that can come from any part of any unit that we have studied this year.

Given that we have studied hundreds of facts from five different units over the course of almost twelve full months, that makes studying for the EOG science exam REALLY important. Without studying — refreshing memories about content that we covered forever ago — students tend to feel overwhelmed by the questions that they see on the exam. That can leave them really discouraged about science in general and about their own performance as students.

We will do a bunch of reviewing for the exam in class — but there won’t be enough time to review everything that we studied this year.

You can help your child prepare, though, by requiring them to spend time at home over the next few weeks completing this Brainpop EOG Study Handout.

They have a copy of this in their Google Classrooms and I will introduce it to them in class today.

The handout lists every Brainpop video that is tied to the sixth grade curriculum. If your kids spend time watching a few videos each week between now and the end of the school year, they will have a great chance of doing well on the Science EOG exam. These videos do a great job covering the essential ideas for each concept in a short, approachable way.

Let me know if you have any questions — and please make studying for the Science EOGs a requirement in your household.

Be well,
Bill Ferriter

Third Quarter Honors Assembly – Friday, May 10th

Dear Parents,

Many apologies for the late notice — I lost track of this notification mostly because of field trip planning — but we will be hosting our Third Quarter Honors Assembly on Friday, May 10th from 8:30-9:30 in the Salem Middle School Auditorium.

If your child is receiving a Teacher’s Choice or Kid of Character award, you should have received an email notification directly from Ms. Kotik.

Students will also receive Honor Roll and High Honor Roll certificates that day as well. To find out of your child is on the Honor Roll or the High Honor Roll, please check PowerSchools. High Honor Roll requires all As in all classes. Honor Roll is generally all As and Bs — but if a student has a C, they can still make the Honor Roll as long as they have an equal number of As.

For example, a student with two Cs would also need two As in order to make Honor Roll.

(For those of you keeping score at home, that works out to a 3.0 GPA.)

Remember that parents are welcome to attend!

Hope this helps,
Bill Ferriter

Plain m&m’s needed for Math 6Plus

Hi!

If anyone is able to send in some plain m&m’s towards the end of this week, I’d really appreciate it! Math 6Plus will complete a lab on percent error. We are checking the accuracy of the distribution of colors in m&m’s. Any packaging other than single serving would work great! Thank you very much in advance!

Kate Kotik

Social Studies – Update

This week in social studies the focus has been on the ancient African Kingdoms. The students completed a double TALDOGS map of Africa: one on the geography and the other on ancient kingdoms. Then the the focus shifted to the East African city-states as students examined the history and origins of the Swahili people, as well as their extensive trade routes across the Indian Ocean.

We will be wrapping up the African Unit with a test on Wednesday next week. We will be reviewing on Monday and competing a Study Guide in class. There is a Quizlet created for the students to begin studying over the weekend. During the 2nd half of the week, we will begin the next unit on the Middle Ages – Europe.

Have a great weekend!

Science Update

Dear Parents,

Just a quick heads up about what we are doing in Science class:

(1). We have finished our Lithosphere unit: That covered the rock cycle, soil properties, earthquakes and plate tectonics. To save time, I decided not to give an end of unit test. That’s because our unit didn’t end until we started the fourth quarter. I thought it would be unfair to test your students on content from before trackout without giving them lots of extra prep time in class — and we just don’t have that prep time right now.

(2). We started our Ecosystems unit: You can see the essential objectives and vocabulary here. We started the unit by reviewing what ecosystems are and by learning about the differences between biotic and abiotic factors in the environment. We then moved into a study of the reproductive parts of plants and pollination. (Thanks so much to everyone who sent in bundles of flowers for us to work with.) We will move next into a study of tropisms — or the ways that plants respond to their environment.

(3). Are Plants Ingenious?: One of the central questions in our unit is "Are plants nature’s most ingenious creations?" Take some time to ask your students how they feel about that question. It has led to lots of interesting conversations in class.

Hope this helps,
Bill Ferriter