Category: Uncategorized

Final Update before Trackout!

Dear Parents,

Here’s to hoping that all y’all have a fantastic track out! Hard to believe that one quarter has already flown by.

Thank you for sharing such a great group of kids with us. They are truly remarkable. They are willing and eager and kind and friendly and funny almost every single day. I enjoy them as much as I’ve enjoyed any group of kids that I’ve taught in the last 25 years and am looking forward to three more quarters of learning together.

A few details for you:

(1). In science, we started studying the characteristic properties of matter this week. Those are properties that never change — no matter how much of a substance you are studying. That makes them super valuable to scientists because it means when we find an unknown substance, we can cleary identify what it is. Density is one of those properties. So is boiling point and solubility.

(2). When we come back from break, we will be looking at the different states of matter — solids, liquids and gasses — and trying to understand a bit more about how a material moves from one state to another.

(3). Thanks for sending in Boxtops for Education for us! We’ve been collecting them like crazy this week. Please keep looking for them when you are shopping and throwing away packages. The money that we get from those simple boxes really starts to add up over time. I think that’s cool.

(4). Remember that you won’t be getting your child’s report card until AFTER we track back in. New county rules.

(5). There are two fliers coming home today about our PTA’s fundraiser. I hope you’ll consider getting involved. We could use all the help that we can get when it comes to providing opportunities and materials for our students. That’s what the PTA’s fundraiser is all about.

Finally, our first quarter Honors Assembly — which you are invited to — is scheduled for Monday October 30 in the auditorium from 9:00-10:00. It should be a fun chance to celebrate the greatness of your kids.

Be well,

Bill Ferriter

Social Studies- update

This week in Social Studies the students completed their study of ancient Egypt with a quiz on Tuesday. The rest of the week was focused on the history and the impact of Judaism. Students learned about the traditions, culture, and holidays of Jewish people. Today, the students dug into the history of the Arab- Israeli conflict and tried to evaluate the reasons for the current standoff.

Next week the students will begin looking at the geography of the India sub-continent and the early settlements along the Indus River.

Have a great weekend!

Math Google Classroom Assignments Clarification

Dear Parents,

Hello! Please disregard the missing classroom assignment notices from Math Google Classroom. We completed both of these activities in groups, and only one student turned in the form with all the students’ names included on the form.

I have now deleted both assignments, which should stop the email notifications.

My apologies for the confusion.

Please email me if you have any questions or concerns.

Be well : )

Kate Kotik

Hurricane Harvey First Responders Donation Drive

In an effort to help the police officers and other public safety responders in Houston, Salem will be collecting donations. Many of these officers have lost everything in the hurricane but are still working tirelessly to aid victims of the hurricane. Salem will be collecting items at carpool am/pm, bus loop and throughout the day in the front of the school on Friday, September 8th and Wednesday, September 13th.

They are in need of the following items:

*New Socks *New T-Shirts *New Underwear (male and female)

*Hygiene Items (soap, shampoo, razors, shaving cream, toothpaste, toothbrushes, feminine products)

*Kids clothing for the first responders’ children

Jordan Lake Field Trip- Nov. 16th

Hey Parents!

Today all the students received a permission slip for our field trip to Jordan Lake on Nov. 16th.
We’re super excited about this fun fall get away, where students can explore and be outdoors to learn in their local environment. The cost of the field trip is $7. And if you ask us, anytime we can get out of the classroom and into the real world, it’s a trip worth taking.

Please take time to fill out both sides of the permission slip. There is a place for a signature on the front page and we also need emergency contact and health related information on the back, just in case. Checks for the $7 can be made payable to Salem Middle School. We would love to have all the permission slips and money collected by next Friday the 15th.

Remind your student to bring the form and payment to Mr. Sudlow. He will be collecting for the whole team as a one stop drop. ūüôā

If your student has misplaced the field trip form, here is another copy. Jordan Lake Field Trip

Thanks so much!

Math 6/ 6 Plus Update


Another wonderful week done : ).

  • Thank you so much for ALL donated supplies!
  • We are knee deep in our Fraction Operations Unit.
  • Math 6 has a quiz next Wednesday 9/6 on adding, subtracting, and multiplying fractions.
  • Math 6 Plus has a quiz next Thursday 9/7 on modeling fraction division.

Hope everyone has a restful 3 day weekend. Email me if you need me.

Kate Kotik

Math 6/ Math 6Plus Update and request for Play-Doh

Dear parents,

Good afternoon!

  • We are wrapping up our second unit of the year on Factors and Multiples. Math 6Plus will test tomorrow August 24th and Math 6 will test the following day August 25th.
  • Our next unit is on Fraction Operations. Please consider sending in some Play-Doh next Monday for our hands-on explorations of fraction division. The link to sign up is here:

Email me if you need me : ),

Kate Kotik

Solar Eclipse Day Reminders

Dear Parents,

Tomorrow is our Solar Eclipse Viewing Party! 

Thanks to a ton of planning by the sixth grade staff at Salem Middle School, every child that has returned the WCPSS Liability Waiver form will be outside with their own pair of NASA approved eclipse glasses watching a celestial event that is pretty darn amazing.

(Needless to say, I’m geeked!)

A few reminders:

If your child hasn’t returned their liability waiver, please make sure it is signed by both you and a witness and that it is in their backpacks right now! ¬†You can see¬†a list of students without signed waiver forms here.

It will be hot outside tomorrow¬†— so send your child dressed and ready to be comfortable in the heat. ¬†Tomorrow is not a day for hoodies and blue jeans!

Slather your kid in sunscreen. ¬†The current weather forecast has us completely sunny for our viewing period tomorrow. ¬†That’s perfect for two things: ¬†Watching solar eclipses AND getting wicked bad sunburn. ¬†PLEASE either send your kid in with sunscreen OR force them to bathe in it on Monday morning before sending them to school.

Send your kid with other items to help them be comfortable for two hours in the sun: ¬†We’ve told kids to bring a beach towel to sit on, a water bottle (even though we will have plenty of iced down Capri Suns on hand), an umbrella to create shade if they want it, and a hat to keep the sun off their heads. ¬†Watching an eclipse will be cool — but the weather sure won’t be. ¬†Let’s prepare for that.

Speak to your kids about eye safety: ¬†If your kids follow the rules tomorrow (read: keep their eclipse glasses on when looking directly at the sun), they will be completely and totally safe. ¬†So remind them again and again about eye safety. ¬†We did a lesson together in class on Friday — so I THINK they understand what the consequences are of failing to protect their eyes. ¬†But a nudge from mom and dad is never a bad thing, too.

If you can, make a plan to watch the REST of the eclipse with your kid:¬†¬†Our viewing party ends at 2:50 for dismissal time. ¬†That will be JUST after maximum coverage — which happens at 2:46. ¬†If you can, make a plan for watching the REST of the eclipse, where the moon moves away from the sun. ¬†That will take until 3:45.

If you carpool, think about parking your car and hanging with your kid at the Salem Pond Park.  Bring a cooler with some cold sodas and make an afternoon of it.  If your kid rides the bus, see if you can be home when they are and watch it in the backyard together.  Why not have a great memory to share with your son or daughter!

Here’s to hoping that tomorrow is simply amazing!

Bill Ferriter

[category Science]

Can I Borrow Your Colander? (No. Really. It’s for the Eclipse!)

Dear Parents,

I have what could be the strangest request that I’ve ever made: I am looking to rustle up 5-10 colanders.

Yup. The kind you use to strain your pasta.

Here’s why: I am putting together an activity for the students who don’t bring back their liability waivers for eclipse day. I want to get them to view the eclipse using "pinhole viewers" and it just so happens that one of the BEST tools for making a pinhole viewer is a colander!

It’s all those pinholes!

I’d like to have 5-10 colanders so that lots of groups can try this out.

Can I borrow yours for a few days?

I’ll put your name on it with masking tape and return it on Wednesday or Thursday of next week. Promise.

If you are down with this, send in those colanders!

With (slightly nutty) gratitude,

Bill Ferriter

Urgent Reminder: Second Eclipse Permission Slip is REQUIRED.


As I mentioned in this post earlier in the week, WCPSS has made a decision that all parents of students who are going to participate in an Eclipse Viewing event on campus MUST sign a second "waiver of liability" form.

To date, I have received 53 out of 123 forms!

Please ask your child for the "Green Form" that Mr. Ferriter handed out and be sure to get it signed and returned no later than Monday morning — although I’d prefer to receive them no later than tomorrow!

If you want to print a copy of the form right now, you can find it online here.

If your child doesn’t bring that form in signed before our viewing party on Monday afternoon, they will have to stay inside. There are no exceptions being made.

I think that would be a huge bummer!

Let me know if you have any questions,

Bill Ferriter