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,
Students have been reading Flush all week and learning about perspective, tone and figurative language.
On Friday we introduced Book March Madness! Students will be able to vote on their favorite books until the most popular one is chosen as the winner. For more information on this nation-wide event, please visit the website below!
After students finish reading Flush over the weekend, we will review the book on Monday and take the End of Unit Assessment on Tuesday. We will also begin a new research project that will incorporate both World Without Fish and Flush.
Have a wonderful weekend!
This week in Social Studies the students completed the ancient Rome unit on Wednesday. Since then, we have been focused on the Byzantine Empire which is the link between Europe and the Middle East, physically and culturally. It also acts as a link between the Rome unit and the Growth of Islam unit. 🙂 Student are working on completing an activity concerning Byzantine geography, art,the Orthodox Church, and Emperor Justinian.
Next week the students will begin the growth of Islam unit. One of the first topics will be religion Islam, where we will break down the basic beliefs, the Prophet Muhammad, and the Koran. The students will also be completing a TALDOGS map illustrating the growth of the Islamic empires.
Have a great weekend!
Just a quick heads up: This morning, I added midyear benchmark scores to Powerschools for MOST of our students. I still have a handful of paper versions that need to be graded — so if you see a blank for your child, that means they either took a paper copy that needs to be graded OR they were absent on the day of testing and need to make the assessment up.
While this grade DOESN’T count against your child’s average
Starting next Monday (February 26th), we will be studying the parts of flowering plants. Doing so is ALWAYS more fun when we can actually look at flowering plants!
Would you be willing to pick up a bundle of cut flowers from the local grocery store or Sam’s Club and send it in for us to study?
If so, here’s a link to a Signup Genius:
The types of flowers inside the bundle is not SUPER important — although Trader Joe’s has some Alstromeria right now that would be GREAT. I’d also love a bundle or two of Tulips — which are harder to find this time of the year, but really cool to look at.
If you could send the flowers in on Monday or Tuesday of NEXT week (February 26 or 27), it would be great!
I don’t want them to die over the weekend!
Students worked on Newscast projects during the past week and I am extremely impressed with some of their videos!
Today the students were introduced to our new unit. Through a virtual reality experience, the students visited the Florida Keys and connected ideas from World Without Fish to the setting of Flush.
Next week students will be reading Flush and diving deeper into concepts of point of view, tone and plot development.
Have a wonderful weekend!
In Social Studies this week the focus has been on the Roman Empire. We began the week by examining the inventions and innovations of Roman roads and architecture. Then we explored some famous Romans including: Julius Caesar, Spartacus, and Caesar Augustus. Students were challenged to find connections between the Latin language and English by analyzing prefixes. Finally the students studied rise of Christianity and its impact on the Roman world.
Next week we will complete the Roman unit by investigating the causes of the end of the empire. There will be a unit test on Wednesday next week. Students will review on Monday and Tuesday in class and there is a Quizlet of vocabulary for the unit posted on Google Classroom. At the end of next week we will take a couple of days to map and learn about what happened to the eastern half of the Roman Empire, the Byzantium Empire.
Have a great weekend!
Just a quick heads up to let you know that there are TWO tests in science next week. One is on Monday and one is on Tuesday.
On Monday, students will be taking their energy unit test. This covers light, sound, heat and parts of a wave. It will count as a summative grade in students’ averages. That makes it an important assessment.
Students can study by using the Energy Quizizz posted in Google Classroom. The questions in the Quizizz closely parallel the questions on the assessment. What I recommend is that students take the Quizizz several times to identify concepts that they are struggling with. Then, they can use the notesheets they’ve created in Google Classroom to review the core concepts of the unit. Finally, they can use Brainpop videos for quick refreshers of the content that they are struggling with.
On Tuesday, students will be taking their Mid-Year Science Benchmark exam. This covers both our Matter Unit and our Energy Unit. Preparing for the energy portion of the exam should be easy — preparations for the Energy Unit Exam will cover that. To prepare for the Matter portion of the exam, there is a Matter Quizizz posted in Google Classroom. Students can use the process described above with the Matter content to ready themselves for that portion of the exam.
The benchmark will be entered into the gradebook, but it will not be weighted. It is designed primarily as a check-in for students — to see if they are doing a good job remembering the content covered in class since the beginning of the year. Because our End of Grade Exam is also cumulative — covering every unit that we study from July to June, constant revisiting is required in order to do well on the exam.
Hope this helps,
We could REALLY use some rolls of paper towels to help keep our classrooms clean.
If you have one laying around the house and you are willing to send it in, I’d REALLY appreciate it!
If you ever make purchases on Amazon, there is a REALLY easy way that you can help Salem Middle School.
(1). Visit http://smile.amazon.com
(2). On your first visit, select PTA North Carolina Congress Salem Middle School as your charity of choice.
(3). From that point forward, navigate to smile.amazon.com whenever you plan to make purchases on Amazon. You will get the same selection, same prices and same shipping options as you would navigating to amazon.com — but a portion of every purchase will be donated back to our PTA.
If you want more details about the Amazon Smile program, check out this link.
Let me know if you have any questions,