Field Trip is ON. Dress Warm and Stay Dry!

Dear Parents,

After checking the weather a million times in the last 48 hours, we’ve decided that our field trip is ON.

It looks like we will have about a 30 percent chance of rain during the time that we are at Bond Park.  Temperatures will hover in the upper forties:

What that means for your child is dress for the weather.  Wear warm clothes.  Find a jacket that can resist rain.  Wear shoes that will stay dry in wet grass — or pack an extra pair of shoes and socks.  Bring an umbrella in case we get caught in stray showers.

If you have any questions, you can contact me quickest by text message.  You can find my phone number here.

Hope this helps,

Bill Ferriter






LA Update

Happy Friday!

This week our students finished writing, revising and editing their problem-solution paragraphs about a topic of their choice.

Next week is our last week before track out. Students will be creating an infographic based on their research and problem-solution paragraphs. We are also looking forward to our field trip on Tuesday!

Have a great weekend,

Tiffany Shin

Social Studies- Update

This week the students completed the Islamic Expansion Unit with a test on Tuesday and also wrote a couple of articles about the golden age of Islam for a newspaper called the Islamic Times.

Then we began the Ancient African Kingdoms unit. We spend most of the latter part of this week focused mainly on investigating and exploring the geography of Africa. Students have begun work on the Africa TALDOGS maps, however this map is different then previous maps because it is actually 2 maps. One will be on the Geographic Features of Africa and the other will be on the Kingdoms of Africa. This week the students worked on the geographic side. Next week the focus will be on the west African kingdoms of Ghana, Mali, and Songhai. The TALDOGS map will be due next Thursday.

Have a great weekend!

Field Trip Weather Update

Dear Parents,

Just a quick heads up: Right now, the weather for our field trip looks terrible! 90 percent chance of rain with lightning and cold throughout the time that we are supposed to be at Bond Park.

We are going to double check on Monday to see what the forecast looks like.

If it’s just as terrible, we MAY decide to cancel our field trip and reschedule for the fourth quarter. That is an absolute last resort because we’ve already booked shelters and all y’all have made arrangements to take time off to chaperone with us.

But it is a possibility — I just can’t imagine taking the kids outside in rain, lightning and 55 degree weather!

I will make a post here on our team website to let you know what we decide.

Hope that makes sense to you — and if you have any anti-rain dances up your sleeve, start dancing!

Be well,

Bill Ferriter

Using Flipgrid on our Field Trip.

Dear Parents,

One of the things that will make our upcoming field trip fun is if we can capture silly videos and pictures that the students take during the course of the day. To do that, of course, they’ll need a phone to take videos and pictures on!

To facilitate that work, I’ll also be putting up a Flipgrid — which is a simple tool that we use at school a lot to capture videos. If your child has a phone with a data plan that you will allow them to bring on our field trip, I’d love it if you’d also allow them to put the Flipgrid app on their phones.

You can find links to the Flipgrid apps on this page.

None of this is required at all

Final Field Trip Reminders!

Dear Parents,

We are just about one week away from our Bond Park Scavenger Hunt Field Trip — which happens on Tuesday, March 20th.

Here are a few important reminders:

(1). We will be going on our trip rain or shine

LA Update

Happy Friday!

Today our students enjoyed watching a Peter Pan performance as a part of our cultural arts program.

This week we have been working on our new research project. Students chose from 4 possible topics about the ocean including ocean trash, oil spills, algal blooms and overfishing. At the end of the project, students will create 2 paragraphs regarding the problem and solution of their chosen topics with an infographic. Next week, students will work on the rough drafts of paragraphs and they will be due Friday the 16th. Infographics will be due the following week.

Have a great weekend!

Tiffany Shin

A Conversation to Have With Your Kid / National School Walkout Day

Dear Parents,

Many of you may already know that there is a National School Walkout Day planned for March 14th. Students around the country are planning to walk out — both in memory of the students who died in recent school shootings and as an attempt to raise awareness about school safety issues.

Here at Salem Middle School, a group of eighth grade students have been working to plan a walkout for our campus. They have been thoughtful in their planning and have had their plans reviewed and approved by our administration. They are also working to advertise the event both in social media spaces that your students may be a part of and through posters hanging in the hallways of our building.

Here are the details:

(1). The walkout will begin at 10:00 AM on March 14th and will last for 17 minutes. Students will gather outside for moments of silence and speeches that are planned and delivered by student leaders. When the event is over, participating students will return to their classrooms.

(2). Students who choose to participate in the event have to sign up in advance in the Student Services office.

(3). Regular classes will not, however, be cancelled as a result of the event. Teachers will continue to teach their lessons even after participating students have left the room. That’s because this is not an official school event. Students who do not participate will just continue with their lessons in their regular classrooms with their teachers.

(4). Administration and other school personnel will be present to make sure that participating students are safe and acting respectfully.

(5). School staff members are deliberately remaining neutral. They are not encouraging students to attend the walkout OR preventing students from attending either.

I would ask that you sit down with your child at some point this weekend and decide whether or not you want them to participate. If your child chooses to participate, please encourage them to treat the moment with the respect that it deserves.

My hope is that all of the 6-4 students who decide to participate will use the event as something more than a chance to get out of class for twenty minutes! If they do, it could be a really powerful learning experience. If not, it just ends up being wasted time. Most of that will be determined by the conversations, coaching and expectations that you set with your child when discussing whether or not you are willing to let them participate.

Let me know if you have any questions.

Bill Ferriter

Update- Social Studies

This week in Social Studies the topic has been on Islam and the achievments of the Islamic Empires. Students examined the split in the religion of Islam between the Sunni and Shia. They also took time to learn about the tradition of head covering for women in Islam. Much of this week was devoted to researching an achievement from the golden age of Islam. Students are currently working on newspaper articles of a famous scientist, an important invention or discovery, and a summary of their influences.

We will wrap up the Islamic Empires unit with a test on Tuesday. There is a Quizlet of vocabulary terms created and posted on Google Classroom for the students to study. Monday we will complete a review in class. Then we will being the next unit of Ancient Africa and the kingdoms of Ghana, Mali, and Songhai.

Have a great weekend!

Science Update

Dear Parents,

Here’s a quick update about what’s happening in Science Class:

(1). We started our ecosystems unit: This unit is one of the easiest units for kids because they have studied ecosystems in other grade levels already. We review familiar concepts like food chains and energy pyramids. We also look at common cycles in nature — the water cycle, the carbon cycle and the nitrogen cycle. Finally, we study the parts of flowering plants that help them to survive, thrive and reproduce and we look at photosynthesis and cellular respiration.

(2). Your kids should be able to answer two questions today: If you ask your students, they should be able to tell you two things today: Why do human beings breathe in oxygen and why do plants breathe in carbon dioxide. Both of those questions are connected to photosynthesis and cellular respiration — and while kids often have general answers like, "We need oxygen to live," your kids should have specific details about how we use oxygen to help us survive.

(3). Lab due tomorrow / paragraph due on Friday: Your students have two tasks due for me this week. The first is a plant dissection lab. That’s due tomorrow. The second is a paragraph answering this question: Are plants nature’s most ingenious creation? That is due on Thursday. There’s been plenty of class time to tackle those tasks — so your kids might say they completed the work at school. If they are hard workers, that’s totally possible.

Hope this helps,

Bill Ferriter