Just a heads up about Saturday School in science:
We will be going to the media center for our bi-weekly circulation. We will also be taking a required school survey in the computer lab.
That means if your child misses school because of prior commitments (basketball games, ski trips, Boy Scout camping trips etc), they won’t be missing any new content in my room.
If they want to check out a book for track out but aren’t going to be in school on Saturday, they can stop by the media center between 7:45 and 8:15 or during lunch time any day next week.
Hope this helps,
Here’s what’s happening in science:
(1). We are studying light: We have continued our energy unit by studying the way that light and color work. We are talking about concepts like transmission, reflection and absorption. We are also talking about transparent, translucent and opaque materials. We will move into a study of refraction — the bending of light as it moves through a new medium — and the parts of the eye. With luck, we will be done with light before we track out next Friday.
(2). A word on retests: There have been a ton of kids lately who have struggled with the last two assessments that I’ve given. The good news is that all have asked for reworks. The bad news is most haven’t done any of the required prep work — things like study guides and notes — before the test. That is one of the reasons that their scores are low. So the new rule in my room is that retests will only be offered for students who have all the prework completed before the test. My hope is that there will be fewer kids who struggle the first time if every student completes their work before test day.
(3). Retest for heat transfer: On a related note, if your child earned a grade that they are not proud of on the recent heat transfer quiz AND they have a completed (and corrected) set of conduction, convection and radiation notes, they can see me for retest directions. The notes can be found in Google Classroom under "Classwork" and the answer key is posted on the board in my room.
Hope this helps,
All students were given a printed copy of their grade sheets to bring home to you today so that you can see where they currently stand in each of our classes.
This is important information because there are three weeks remaining in the quarter. Students still have time to raise low grades or to turn in missing work.
Here’s the hitch: The reports that our grading program allows us to print out are hard to read and include very little useful information.
So here’s what I’d recommend: All of your children know how to sign into Power Schools — our school grading program. If you are concerned/confused about grades, please have them do that for you. There, you will be able to see lists of specific grades earned on every assignment in all of their classes. You will also be able to see any work that is missing in each of their classes.
If you don’t have easy access to the Internet at home, you can also ask your child to print off a list of their grades from here at school — or email me and I’ll help you to get that information.
Hope this helps,
First, I hope you have a terrific holiday weekend, no matter where it takes you! I am grateful for all of you and for your children.
Second, a quick heads up: Best Buy has a terrific online deal on Samsung Chromebooks today. You can get one for $130. They are normally $260.
Hope that helps,
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.
As you know, we will be heading to the North Carolina Museum of Science on Wednesday, November 7th for our first field trip of the year.
All children should plan to bring a bag lunch for that day. We will not be returning to school in time for students to purchase a lunch from the cafeteria.
If your child needs the cafeteria to prepare a bag lunch to bring along on the trip, they should see Ms. Barrow. She can place orders for one.
Finally, if your child has a drawstring style bag (like this) that they can bring along on the field trip to carry their lunch, it would be TERRIFIC.
We are not going to store lunches for students on the buses or in the museum. Carrying lunches in a drawstring bag will be WAY easier than lugging them through the entire museum.
Let me know if you have any questions,
As you know, our November field trip had to be rescheduled due to a two hour delay being announced for the date of our original field trip.
I have been working to nail down a new date and can confirm that we will be heading to the science museum on Wednesday, November 7th.
That is one day later than we were originally scheduled to go.
Parents that are chaperoning: I have emailed you separately and am hoping to hear from all of you about whether or not you can still come on the trip with us. If you haven’t replied to that email yet, I would appreciate it if you could reply ASAP so that I know if I’ve got enough parents to help with our day.
As some of you may have seen in the press today, the Wake County School Board announced last night that schools will operate on a two-hour delay schedule on Tuesday November 6th in response to expected high voter turnout for this year’s mid term elections. There are several school campuses that are polling sites, and the system is worried about handling the volume of both school traffic and voting traffic on those campuses.
That has thrown a monkey wrench into our field trip plans, as we were supposed to be going to the NC Museum of Science on November 6th.
As a result, our field trip has been cancelled.
There is simply no way to get our group downtown and through the museum on that kind of schedule.
I am currently working with the Capital Area Visitor Center to reschedule our visit and will keep everyone posted once we nail down a new date.
I appreciate your patience. Obviously, this was unexpected and inconvenient!
I’ve had several questions from parents about grades over the last few days.
Please know that in Middle School, the best way to keep up with your child’s grades is to sign into PowerSchools. You can get a parent account by following the directions posted online here:
Your children also have their own PowerSchool accounts — so you can ask them to sign in at any time and show you their marks. We do that several times per quarter in science class — including three times in the last two weeks.
Your child’s username will be their "lunch number." Your child’s password is unique and challenging — it has upper case letters, lower case letters and numbers — but it is also stapled in their agendas on their username and password pages.
If your child can’t find their PowerSchool login information, they can see me here at school and I will help them get logged in again.
Hope this helps,
Just a quick heads up that there are lots of students who are still missing their permission slips and/or payments for this year’s field trips.
Because of new WCPSS rules around field trips, I have to turn those in no later than September 17th. If your child hasn’t turned in their permission slip by that point, they won’t be able to attend our field trips this year.
I can, however, accept payments after September 17th — it’s just the permission slip itself that I have to have right now.
If you want to check to see if your child has turned in their permission slips yet, you can look over this document.
And if your child needs another copy of the permission slip, you can find that posted online here. — or they can get a printed version in my classroom.
The total cost for both field trips will be $20. You can pay for the trip two different ways: You can send in cash or a check to me here at school OR you can pay online by visiting this website.
If it’s possible for you, I prefer online payments simply because it saves class time that I would otherwise spend collecting and receipting money.
Let me know if you have any questions,