LA Update

Happy Friday!

Parents- so you that you are aware: students reflected on their interim grades today during Spartan Time. We are asking that you all have a conversation about their strengths, areas of improvements and current scores, and return the form to their homeroom teacher next week. Thank you for your help with this!

We began poetry circles today and they went super-well. I heard awesome discussion about the adversities facing the characters, and I saw many kids wrapped up in the books. I hope this is a great chance for kids to get their hands on several different texts and hopefully find a couple that they want to read. It also gives us a chance to learn how to read and understand poetry together. The poetry packets are due on Monday, December 11.

Coming up- there will be a poetry assessment, Tuesday, December 12, and then students will begin writing their own narrative poems which will be completed just before we track out.

Looking forward to the next few weeks!

Have a great weekend,

Chambliss Barrow

6-4 Language Arts

Salem Middle School

Social Studies- Update

This week in Social Studies the focus has been on Ancient China. The students completed their investigation on a major religion by creating Informational Displays showing the major beliefs and creating an advice column from each religion’s perspective on common problems. I was really impressed with their understanding of the material and I have to say that we’ve got some very good artists on our team. The students also explored the Great Wall’s history, purpose, and lasting impact that continues to this day. Currently, the students are investigating the Silk Road and the effect that this trade had on China’s economy as well as culture.

Next week, the students will be making a timeline of some of the major dynasties in China’s history. This will be the last topic before we begin to review in preparation for a unit test next Friday.

Have a great weekend!

Science Update

Dear Parents,

Just a quick update on science happenings:

Finishing up our study of heat: Over the last few weeks, we’ve been studying the way that heat transfers from one object to another. We’ve talked at length about conduction and convection and we will look closer at radiation as we get into our study of light. We are just now finishing up a project focused on conductors and insulators. Your students have designed a container to try to prevent an ice cube from melting.

All of those assignments can be found in Google Classroom. There are also a few fill in the blank handouts that serve as notes for your students. Those notes will come in handy as kids begin to prepare for any assessments that we take on this topic.

Moving into a study of light: Our next mini unit will be a study of light. We will be looking at how light travels, how it is converted into heat, and how colors work. The kids usually dig this mini study simply because light plays a major role in our lives but we don’t often think about exactly what it is or how it works.

There are a bunch of new grades posted in PowerSchools. Your students will be opening up Powerschool in Spartan Time today as a part of their three week grade check-in, so they should have a good sense of the scores that they are making and the ways that they can raise those scores. If you haven’t seen your child’s grades in a while, today would be a good day to ask them about it!

Hope this helps,

Bill Ferriter

LA Update

I hope that everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving!

We are going to begin poetry this week in language arts class. We will focus on narrative poetry beginning with Good Masters! Sweet Ladies! Voices from a Medieval Village. Then, we will get a taste of several more contemporary narrative poetry books such as Crossover, Brown Girl Dreaming, and Love That Dog.

Class will focus on everything from identifying adversities faced by the characters, to determining the theme of the poem and identifying figurative language. Each night’s homework is to complete any classwork that was not completed during class. Please use Google Classroom for digital graphic organizers and digital copies of the text.

Have a wonderful week!

Chambliss Barrow

6-4 Language Arts

Salem Middle School

Amazon Has GREAT Prices on Chromebooks!

Dear Parents,

I just checked Amazon out, given that today is Cyber Monday. They have terrific prices on Chromebooks today!

There are two in particular worth looking at. Both are white Acers. One is selling for $129 and one is selling for $99. That’s $70 and $80 cheaper than usual.

The difference between the Devices is the amount of memory.

I own both models at school and they both work great.

If you have ever thought about buying a Chromebook for your kid, today might be a good time to do that!

Hope this helps,

Bill Ferriter

Social Studies- update

This week in Social Studies the focus has been on the three religions of China: Buddhism, Confucianism, and Taoism. We completed a chart that compared the basic beliefs of each religion. Students are currently working to create an informational display on one of the three religions, detailing facts about the founder, basic beliefs, quotes, and an advice column. Friday students took a quiz on the geography and religions of China.

Next week, the students will continue to work on their religion displays. We will also begin examining some of the many accomplishments of the ancient Chinese including; the great wall, terra cotta soldiers, gunpowder, silk, paper, compass, Forbidden City, and more.

Have a great weekend!

LA Update

Happy Friday to everyone!

The students did a great job of keeping up with their writing this week. We drafted a four paragraph essay describing the adversities faced by the nobles or peasants of The Middle Ages. At this point, drafts should be completely done, and revising in process. Some students made it through the revising checklist, but others were asked to finish that over the weekend. The checklist can be found in their ILL and on Google Classroom. We will spend time Monday revising and editing classmates’ essays, and the final copy is due by Tuesday.

Tuesday will be our BookSnap party. I am so looking forward to hearing about all the wonderful books that the kids have been reading, and I know they are excited about our party. 🙂 Thank you so much to all of you who have sent in donations for the party. I could not believe how quickly you all responded. I really appreciate it!

Have a wonderful Thanksgiving!

Chambliss Barrow

6-4 Language Arts

Salem Middle School

Donate to the BookSnap Party

Many of our students have been working hard on their BookSnaps for our upcoming BookSnap party. If you are able, we would appreciate donations of cookies, marshmellows and hot chocolate to make the party happen.

Use this SignUpGenius to designate your donation. Donations can come in any time between now and next Tuesday, November 21.

Thank you so much for making this possible!

Chambliss Barrow

6-4 Language Arts

Salem Middle School

Reminder: Field Trip Tomorrow!

Dear Parents,

Just a quick reminder that we are going to the Jordan Lake Educational State Forest for our first field trip of the year tomorrow!

It should be a ton of fun.

Please be sure that your child is dressed and ready for the weather. It looks like temps will be in the fortys and fifties for the majority of the time that we are there (9:30 – 1:30). Given that we will be in the shade for the better part of the day — it IS a forest, after all! — my guess is that it will feel even a little colder than that.

The good news is that there’s no rain in the forecast!

Thanks for your help with this,

Bill Ferriter

New Science Grades Posted

Dear Parents,

A quick heads up: Students took their matter unit test on Wednesday of last week. They also recently submitted a lab on Solubility.

Those grades have been entered in the gradebook. They counted as summative assessments — which are heavily weighted in student averages.

There is a rework opportunity posted for the matter unit test in Google Classroom. Any student who scored less than an 80 on the test is eligible to complete the rework to raise their grade up to an 80.

I will introduce the rework opportunity in class tomorrow.

Hope this helps,

Bill Ferriter