LA Update

We had a wonderful first week back from track out! It was fun to see all your kiddos and hear about their fun adventures over break. As you know, Mrs. Barrow is home enjoying time with her new, beautiful baby girl, Charlotte…both are happy and healthy!

Although Mrs. Barrow and I only co-teach during cores 3 and 4, please feel free to send me any questions/concerns, regardless of which core your child has language arts. While Mrs. Barrow is out, I will be assisting Mrs. Edwards, the long-term substitute.

Academically—it was just our first week back, but we really hit the ground running with our new book World Without Fish. The topic for Quarter 3 is "Sustaining the Oceans". Throughout the quarter students will consider point of view as they learn about ocean conservations and the impact of human activities on life in the oceans.

In regards to homework this week, students will continue working on their FISHO questions for each chapter we read in World Without Fish. Students have been asked to join our Quizlet class so they have an opportunity to review some of the academic vocabulary included in the book. They will earn homework credit for completing any two activities.We will also have our first minor assessment on Wednesday.

All homework, links to classwork and audiobooks will be posted on Google Classroom.

Have a great week!

Chambliss Barrow & Nicole Messier

Classroom Supplies

With half the year still to go, it seems that we are running low on some basics.

Here is a list of some supplies we currently need:

– tissues

– glue sticks

– Clorox wipes

– paper towels

Thank you parents for all your support!

Dan Sudlow, NBCT

6th Grade- Social Studies
Track 4- Gnome Team
Salem Middle School
6150 Old Jenks Road
Apex, NC 27523
Phone – (919) 363-1870

Social Studies – update

What a great first week back! I was so impressed with our team’s ability to come back and get right back into the rhythm of school.!

In Social Studies the students picked up on the ancient Greece unit. This week the students compared the city- states of Athens and Sparta and we analyzed what it means to be Salem Spartans? We learned some "interesting" ideas of what a real Spartan believed and how they acted. We also examined how the Athenian democracy actually worked and in what ways was it similar and/or different to ours. Also for all those marathon runners out there, we investigated why the race is 26.2 miles in length. Hint, it’s not all because of the Greeks. You’ll have to ask your kid.

Next week we will learn about Alexander the Great and his amazing empire building as well as some overall Greek achievements. Students will also be working in class on a project creating and writing about Greek Pottery. There will be an ancient Greece Unit test on Friday and we will be reviewing in class on Wednesday and Thursday. A Quizlet for vocabulary will also be posted in Google Classroom.

Have a great Super Bowl weekend!

Heads Up: Disappointing Quiz Scores

Dear Parents,

I just wanted to give you a heads up: We took a quiz on light and parts of the eye in class today that should have been really easy, but lots of kids ended up with grades I’m sure you won’t be happy with.

It should have been easy because the questions on the quiz were either taken directly from a note sheet that is posted in Google Classroom OR were posted on the board during the quiz in a list of "Light Reminders."

For me, this fits a bit of an uncomfortable pattern for our students: They don’t always take the assignments that we do all that seriously. They are polite and well mannered and funny and kind — I REALLY like them — but they also don’t work all that hard on preparing for things like assignments or quizzes.

What is also a bit troubling in this case is that there were three different ways for students to earn extra credit on this quiz.

Students could have taken a picture of the words "UV protection" on a sunscreen bottle, they could have looked at the moon this morning and told me about what they saw, and they could have done a short (1-2 paragraph) report on the unique structures of eyes of different animals. Very few students took advantage of any of those opportunities.

So here’s my suggestion for how you can help: Check out your child’s grade in PowerSchools.

If it is low, ask them how much time they spent studying the notes that are posted in Google Classroom. Also, ask them if they took advantage of the extra credit opportunities available to them. My guess is the answers to those questions will be "not very much" and "no."

If that’s the case for your kid, this hiccup will make for a good conversation starter about the importance of both working hard and taking advantage of extra credit when it is offered.

The silver lining is that we are still really early in the quarter, so kids with low scores will have plenty of time to rebound from this.

For the time being, though, be prepared: Your child’s average might be a heck of a lot lower than they are used to.

Hope this helps,
Bill Ferriter

Would You Consider Donating a Wired Mouse?

Dear Parents,

As you know, we use computers in my classroom almost every single day. One of the things that I’ve learned is that most of my students prefer using a mouse when working on a computer — instead of the built in touch pad.

I have a bin of wired USB mice that kids can borrow — but I don’t have enough for every kid that uses a computer in my room.

Would you consider donating one to my classroom?

If so, here’s a good example of what I need: Amazon Basics 3 Button Wired Mouse

If you do make a donation, it has to be a wired mouse — simply because I won’t have to worry about battery replacement in the long term!

Thanks for considering this,
Bill Ferriter

6-4 Students Visiting the Book Fair on Tuesday

Hey Gnome Nation,

First, here’s to hoping that you had a terrific track out! I know that I’m feeling rested and ready to return to school. Can’t wait to see everyone again on Monday.

Second, the SMS book fair is running next week — and we will be visiting as a class during Science.

Here are the details:

The Book Fair is coming! The Salem Middle School Book Fair will run from January 23-31 in our school library. The fair will be open daily from 7:45am to 3:00pm. Students are free to drop in on their way to class before school or during lunch. Each class will also have a scheduled visit during the fair. If you are interested in volunteering during the Book Fair, you can sign up here.

Shop online anytime! Can’t make it to Family Night? Don’t find what you want? We have an online shop, too! Find an expanded selection of books for readers of all ages, including older teens and adults. All online purchases will ship to the school for free. Check it out here!

Your child’s scheduled class visit will be on:

6-4 Fighting Gnomes — Tuesday, January 29

Hope this helps,
Bill Ferriter

Thank you!

Parents and students,

Thank you so much for all of the well-wishes, yummy homemade treats, gift cards and gifts that we have received these last few days. So generous of you all and much appreciated! What a nice and special way to end the quarter.

As you may remember, I will be out on maternity leave during quarter three. My family and I are very excited about welcoming a new baby girl soon! Please know that I will miss my Gnomes. I have a fantastic maternity sub, Margaret Edwards, who will be working with my co-teacher, Nicole Messier, during my absence. Mrs. Edwards has done other maternity jobs here at Salem, and I hear nothing but glowing reports. They are in good hands. 😊

If questions or concerns arise during my absence, please reach out to one of my teammates. They will be happy to help!

Again, thank you for all of the generosity you have shown over the past week, and I hope that everyone has a wonderful and restful track out.

With love,

Chambliss Barrow

With Gratitude!

Dear Parents,

Just wanted to send a quick note of thanks for all of the kindness that you showed me today. Your gifts and Diet Cokes and holiday cookies and candies and kind words were MUCH appreciated indeed.

I also want to thank you for sharing your kids with us! They really are a curious and kind hearted group. I love working alongside them each day, that’s for sure.

Wherever the next few weeks take you, please be safe and enjoy your family!

With gratitude,
Bill Ferriter

LA Update

After reading many adversity poems these last few weeks, students are going to have a chance to write their own! These will be narrative poems, poems that have a plot and therefore tell a complete story. An explanation of the assignment and the brainstorming page can be found in Google Classroom.

Monday’s class will be centered on brainstorming and planning the poem. Drafting will take place during class on Tuesday, and Wednesday will be revising and editing. Any step not completed during class that day will need to be finished for homework that night. It will be important for students to stay with the pace of the assignment, as this will be the last major grade on Quarter 2.

We will have our poetry cafe on Thursday and Friday! Students will share their poems with the class as we enjoy cookies and hot chocolate- thank you all for your generous contributions to the cafe!

Please have students see us during Spartan Time if they fall behind or need extra help.

Have a wonderful weekend!

Chambliss Barrow & Nicole Messier