Heads Up: Quiz Friday

Dear Parents,

Just a quick heads up: Students will have a short (10 question) quiz in Science on Friday about the three ways that heat transfers from one object to another.

This is not a new concept for kids. We’ve talked about it extensively in class.

Students will spend all day Thursday studying in class — so they may not need to study a ton at home.

The three best study tools are their notes, a Heat Transfer Quizizz and a Heat Transfer Quizlet. Those are all posted under the "Classwork" tab in Google Classroom.

Hope this helps,
Bill Ferriter

Interim Reports Coming Home

Dear Parents,

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,
Bill Ferriter

LA Update

Happy Friday! So hard to believe that there are only three weeks left until track out. Time flies!

We began exploring narrative poetry this week. We read various narrative poems from a collection, Good Master’s, Sweet Ladies. We used this book to practice locating and explaining the impact of figurative language, the impact of word choice/tone, and supporting our claims with evidence.

Today we began modified literature circles where students will be practicing these skills within novels written in verse. This work will continue through Thursday of next week. Throughout the week, students will read excerpts from five different novels, hopefully finding a couple that peaks their interest! There is a handout that corresponds with each novel, and these will be due on Friday, December 7th.

Literature circle work will need to be completed during class or during Spartan Time since students will need copies of the novel to complete the work. Outside of school, two Read Theory quizzes are due on Friday.

Have a wonderful weekend!

Chambliss Barrow & Nicole Messier

6-4 Language Arts

Salem Middle School

Black iPhone Found on Team

Dear Parents,

Just a quick heads up: A phone was found today and turned in to me. It’s a black iPhone with Sprint Cellular Service.

If your child comes home missing their device, have them see me and we will figure out who it belongs to.

For what it is worth, the notifications on the home screen are all from Instagram and are all, I THINK, about cheerleading!

Hope this helps,
Bill Ferriter

Desperate Need of Tissues and Paper Towels!

Dear Parents,

Tis’ the season to be sneezy — and we are fresh out of tissues here on the Gnomes team!

We are also out of paper towels — which we use to clean desks and tables and counters.

If you have any of those items and home and are willing to send in a box or a roll, we’d be incredibly grateful.

Thanks for thinking of us,
Bill Ferriter

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