Social Studies- update

This week the students began the Ancient China Unit. We began the week by examining the geography of China and how natural barriers, like mountains and deserts have impacted China’s development. Students are currently working to create a TALDOGS map of East Asia, which are due on Monday.

Students also spent time this week analyzing the Three Ways of China: Buddhism, Confucianism, and Daoism. We completed a chart that compared the basic beliefs of each religion. Next week students will be comparing and contrasting these religions. They will also begin working on an information display about one of these religions, detailing facts about the founder, basic beliefs, quotes, and also including an advice column.

Have a great weekend!

Get Your Kid a Chromebook for Christmas?

Dear Parents,

With the holiday season right around the corner — and Black Friday sales about the explode your internet stream — I wanted to remind you that the single most useful device for a student is a Chromebook, simple computers that are designed to get kids connected to (1). the Internet and (2). their Google Accounts.

What makes Chromebooks so perfect for students in our school is that they are using their Google Accounts almost every single day — and that’s a pattern that will continue through seventh and eighth grade.

They are also small, easy to carry, durable, and relatively affordable. You can usually find a solid Chromebook for under $200 when they are on sale — and if you are willing to look at refurbished Chromebooks or used Chromebooks, you can usually find them for between $100 and $150. In fact, Amazon is selling a refurbished touch screen Chromebook by Acer for $125 today.

If you are interested in making that investment, this information sheet may be of use to you.

And if you have any questions, please feel free to reach out. I own dozens of Chromebooks that your kids use in my classroom, so I’ve got some pretty strong experience with them.

Be well,
Bill Ferriter

Science Update

Dear Parents,

First, thanks so much for all of your support during our busy week last week. We had almost 40 parents chaperone our field trip and another 60 who came to our Honors Assembly. It was a great turnout for both events — and it helped both events to be a success. We are grateful.

Second, here’s a few science updates:

Our Matter Unit is Finished: There will be a retest for our unit assessment on Tuesday, but we are moving on from that content.

Our Energy Unit is Starting: You can see the essential outcomes for this unit here. Students will be learning more about how light, sound and heat work. It’s an interesting unit to kids because we are surrounded by light, sound and heat all the time — but often, we don’t have a clear understanding of what they are or how they work.

Our First Area of Focus is Heat: During our energy unit, we will be starting with a study of how heat moves from one object to another. There are three ways this happens — through conduction, convection and radiation. This is the starting point for our Energy unit because we just finished talking about what happens to matter when it is heated at the end of our Matter unit.

Let me know if you have any questions,
Bill Ferriter

Low Matter Quiz Scores

Dear Parents,

As a quick heads up: I gave a 15 question matter quiz in class today that the students have known about for over a week.

There were LOTS of very low scores. That surprised me, given that students had every minute of last week’s classes to work on study guides and use practice tests.

When I asked to see study guides today, though, what I found was that most of the students with low scores hadn’t completed their study guides at all and hadn’t used the practice study games available in Google Classroom.

That explains the low scores — many students didn’t do much studying.

So here’s what’s next: If your child scored less than an 80, they can rework their score. Retests will be on Tuesday of next week.

In order to be eligible for a retest, students must:

(1). Complete their study guides — which are posted in Google Classroom.

(2). Take a practice test in Socrative at least one time — this will go live tomorrow afternoon.

Hope this helps,
Bill Ferriter

LA Update

The awards ceremony today was so wonderful. What fun to recognize such outstanding students. So happy to have those parents who were able to attend. 😊

In language arts class, we are working hard on the visual essay. Students should have been working on the graphic organizer today during class. Any of that left unfinished after class should be finished for class on Tuesday. As we told the students, the graphic organizer is just a place for planned out ideas; it does not have to be perfect. We will use that organizer to write a draft on Monday. More detail will go into the rough draft.

With that being said, it will be super important that students come in with a completed graphic organizer on Tuesday so that they can move on with the project. All of the documents and steps of the project can be found in Google Classroom on the Visual Essay hyperdoc.

We hope everyone has a wonderful LONG weekend!

Our best,

Chambliss Barrow and Nicole Messier

Upcoming Science Quiz – Rescheduled for Tuesday

Dear Parents,

Just a quick heads up: We are at the end of our Matter Unit and are ready for an end of the unit assessment.

Originally, that assessment was scheduled for this Friday. I am going to push it until Tuesday because your kids have tests in both Math and Social Studies on Friday. I didn’t think it was fair to ask them to tackle a third test in one day.

Students will be working to study in class on both Thursday and Friday. There is a study guide and three different study games posted in Google Classroom.

Hope this helps,
Bill Ferriter

Virus-free. www.avg.com

LA Update

Good afternoon! Just an update to touch base and let you know where we are and where we are headed in language arts class.

We introduced our end of unit project on Friday and began the research portion for it on Monday. Students are creating a visual essay answering the following research topic: What are the adversities faced by your chosen group of people? Students could choose one of three topics– Girls Education, Immigration or the Plight of the Rohingya People.

By tomorrow, Thursday, all students should have wrapped up their research and be ready to begin the graphic organizer. Each student is required to use at least two articles for research and they should be taking notes in the researcher’s notebook. All of the project’s materials (including an overview page, the research articles, an example, rubric, etc.) can be found in the hyperdoc in Google Classroom.

Our plan is to work on the graphic organizer Thursday and Friday of this week and begin our rough draft next week.

Thank you for all of your support at home!

Our best,

Chambliss Barrow and Nicole Messier

Reminder: Field Trip Tomorrow!

Dear Parents,

Just a quick reminder that our field trip to the North Carolina Museum of Science is tomorrow: Wednesday, November 7th.

Please remember to send your child with a bag lunch. Also please remind them to bring a string bag if they have one so they can carry their lunches with them easily.

If you have any questions, feel free to email me directly: wferriter@wcpss.net

Be well,
Bill Ferriter

Social Studies- update

This week in Social Studies the students made tremendous progress in our South Asia unit. The students began the week with an archaeology activity that required them to make conclusions about Indus River civilizations and their way of life, by analyzing photographs of their artifacts.

Then the students examined the makeup of the Indian Caste System and the impacts that it had on people’s roles in society. Students wrote a short journal entry explaining what life would be like as someone from a certain caste. We also focused on the basic beliefs of Hinduism and its customs and traditions.

Friday students examined India’s amazing accomplishments in the areas of math, science, and architecture. They created timelines of some of the major groups and empires that ruled South Asia. We evaluated the idea of Cultural Diffusion, or the influence of culture from one group to another and how South Asia is a great example of this occurring

Next week the students will be reading an excerpt of one of the more famous stories of ancient India, the Ramayana. Then we will explain the origins of Buddhism; from its foundation and beliefs, to the spread of this religion throughout Asia. There will be a Unit Test on Friday next week. Students will begin working on the review on Tuesday. There will also a Quizlet made for vocabulary.

Have a great weekend!

LA Homework Reminder

Just a reminder that two Read Theory quizzes are due tomorrow for language arts. Read Theory is an online tool with reading activities at various levels. It meets students on their level and is a great way for students to practice comprehension but also provide simple progress monitoring. Each "quiz" is short and only takes a few minutes to complete.

Students, please visit www.readtheory.org, click login, and login through Google.

Let us know if you have questions!

Chambliss Barrow & Nicole Messier

6-4 Language Arts

Salem Middle School