November 6th Field Trip Cancelled / Working to Reschedule

Dear Parents,

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!

Be well,
Bill Ferriter

Checking Grades Through PowerSchools

Dear Parents,

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:

https://smsgnomes.com/2018/08/02/signing-up-for-powerschools/

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,
Bill Ferriter

LA Update

I cannot believe we are down to one week!

My Own Hero’s Journey papers are coming in, and we cannot wait to read the creative stories our students have written. Cores 1 & 2 should have turned their papers in by Friday night, and Cores 3&4 will finish up the editing process at the beginning of the week. Everyone on team should have papers in by Tuesday evening. Our plan is to grade them and return them ASAP so that all students have a chance to reflect and revise before we leave for track out. We appreciate all the hard work the students have put into their work!

We will spend part of this week tying up loose ends and doing some creative work. You can see our calendar for schedule. We have an author (and parent of a current student!), Heather McCollum, coming to talk to students on Wednesday. We are incredibly excited to hear her author story- and it’s perfect timing as the students have just wrapped up fiction writing!

Have a wonderful weekend!

Chambliss Barrow and Nicole Messier

Social Studies- update

This week in Social Studies the topic has been ancient Egypt. First students examined some occupations from ancient Egypt and evaluated which one of them was the most important to Egyptian society. Then the students learned about the history of writing in Egypt and practiced writing with Egyptian hieroglyphics. Also this week, they rotated through 4 stations learning about Egyptian history, pharaohs, mummies, and pyramids. Currently they are completing activities about each of these topics in a portfolio called Egyptian Accomplishments. Students will continue working on these activities in school on Saturday or at home over the weekend.

Monday there will be a quiz on ancient Egypt. There is a Quizlet review to help with vocabulary posted in the Google Classroom.

Have a great weekend!

Last Chance to Turn In Field Trip Permission Slips and Money

Dear Parents,

All students must turn in their field trip permission slips by Friday.

Any students who don’t turn their slips in by Friday will not be able to go on the field trip.

Also, there are still several families that haven’t paid for the field trip. If you are planning to pay, I would appreciate having that money by Friday as well. I can take it later — but I would like to button up all of the payments to our vendors sooner rather than later.

If you want to double check to see if your child still needs to turn in a permission slip or payment, you can check this document.

Let me know if you have any questions,
Bill Ferriter

We Could Use Five More Chaperones!

Dear Parents,

As you already know, we are going on a field trip to the North Carolina Museum of Science on Tuesday, November 6th.

We could use about five more chaperones for the day! Your primary job will be to supervise a group of 5-7 students as they complete a scavenger hunt inside the museum. My guess is that it will be a terrific time!

If you think you can come and help out, please click this link. It will take you to a Google Form where I am collecting contact information. I will then reach out with more details about the trip.

Thanks for your consideration,

Bill Ferriter

LA Work for Thursday and Friday

No school in the middle of a writing project! Fun!

**Please complete the work below if able. Obviously, if weather is bad, power is out, you are evacuating, etc., I will completely understand. But, the more we can stay on schedule, the better. So, be safe, and if you can accomplish come classwork, great!

Okay- Cores 1&2: Please make sure you are working on the rough draft for your own hero’s journey. Ideally, the rough draft will be complete in Google Classroom. Feel free to share with a buddy and begin getting feedback. We will talk more about dialogue when we return and begin the revising process.

Cores 3&4: Please complete the yellow hero’s journey cards on page 26 of your ILL that we started in class today. If you finish those and feel confident in your story, please fill in that information on this graphic organizer. If you need a little more specifics, this organizer may be more helpful. You will need to print this or make your own copy to be able to type on the organizer. We will review this Monday if there are questions. Basically, you are re-telling the story that is on your cards in a more organized fashion on the one page to prepare for drafting.

First and foremost, stay safe!

Mrs. Barrow and Mrs. Messier

Parent Consent Form Coming Home Today – Edpuzzle

Dear Parents,

A REALLY important form is coming home today.

It is a form asking for permission for your child to use an Ed Tech tool called Edpuzzle while they are in my class.

Edpuzzle is a tool that allows me to create reteaching videos that look like this one.

I use Edpuzzle to give kids chances to review content that we are studying in class AND to raise grades that are low.

Because your students are under 13 years of age, though, you have to give permission for them to use the tool. If you don’t want your child using Edpuzzle, they will still have chances to raise their scores — but those chances will probably be textbook based. Edpuzzle tends to be more interesting to students.

Please be on the lookout for the form! You can also find it posted online here.

Hope this helps,

Bill Ferriter

36 Students Missing Permission Slips / Last Week to Turn Them In

Dear Parents,

Just a quick heads up that this is the last week to turn in permission slips for this year’s field trips. I have to turn them in to the main office at the end of the day on Monday.

There are currently 36 kids who haven’t turned in their permission slips. Sadly, there is no way for a student to attend the trip without turning a permission slip in.

I will be sending home another copy of permission slip today. You can also check the missing list here.

Please know that I can take the $20 field trip fee at any time — but the actual permission slip has to be turned in before the end of the day on Monday, September 17th.

Thanks,

Bill Ferriter

LA Update

Great week! We are so impressed with the Myth to Movies projects. Students worked together so well, and it was great to see their final products. I’m proud of you guys!

Next week, we will start our final large writing assignment for quarter 1. This assignment is a fun narrative, My Own Hero’s Journey. It gives way for student creativity and helps them prove what they know about narrative writing, but also the hero’s journey.

There will be a hyperdoc with all docs (graphic organizer to rubric) posted next week. The Gnomes Calendar will have homework for the week which will guide them through the writing process. Final papers will not be due until mid-week the following week.

We hope everyone has a great weekend!

Mrs. Barrow and Mrs. Messier