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Middle School Science Update January 2018

Middle School Science

The new year continues onwards with our unit on Weather/Climate. Students are learning the fundamentals to how our atmosphere and hemisphere contribute to the weather conditions we experience. From cloud types, air fronts/masses, high/low pressure areas, and even to interpreting weather station data, we are learning how to become accurate meteorologists. Student groups will eventually adopt another city in the United States to produce a weather forecast video segment and use the information they learned about to predict the weather.
At curriculum celebration the students will be displaying their ecosystem projects entitled “That’s life!”  Each student took one of the major biomes across the globe, targeted a specific region within that biome, and recreated what the ecosystem is like there. You might find some interesting organisms in each of the ecosystems, as some students took the next step and created their own food web that could sustain life there. Each of the displays have some type of user interaction with it, so please feel free to engage the displays!

Middle School Science Update December 2017

Middle School Science

Winter is coming and the middle school science classrooms are starting to run experiments on how to create the perfect snowstorm, hypothetically. After completing our ecosystem projects just this past week, we are quickly transitioning to the science of weather and climate in different areas of the United States. We will learn about the physical components involved with weather conditions, as well as the study of predicting weather patterns and interpreting data from instruments. Our hope is that we produce 100% accurate weather forecasts for our local Channel 99 news!

Middle School Science News November 2017

Middle School Science

“That’s Life!”
We are well into our unit on Ecosystems as students are researching and developing description of organisms that live in the biome of their choosing. After understanding adaptations and interactions that can happen in the nature, students are “creating” some experiences that will be interesting to see at the Curriculum Celebration in January. Different mediums of presentation will be available to view and we are hoping to complete this before Thanksgiving Break.

Middle School Language Arts News: November 2013

As the MEAP concluded and we got things back to normal, we also wrapped up our unit on vignette writing and The House on Mango Street.  We’ve already started our next unit of study, historical fiction, led by Laura, our student teacher.  Students are in book groups with novels about the Revolutionary War, and they are having daily discussions about their reading and the genre.  They are also starting the planning process of writing historical fiction, based on a historical event of their choosing.  Thanks again to all of the families who offered to purchase their child’s book for this unit.  It was a great help in saving the school money!

Middle School Math News: November 2013

October found us busy working around MEAP testing for a couple of weeks, but we were able to still get a fair amount of math in.  In Course 1 we completed our unit on Factors and Multiples with lots of practice in GCF (greatest common factors) and LCM (least common multiples) and their uses.  We also took our first test!  In November we will continue with Number & Patterns as our overarching idea, but focus in on Integers and Coordinates.

In Course 2 we completed our first unit on 2-Dimensional Geometry and had our first test.  For all of the classes, test corrections are part of the assessment process.  To learn more about test corrections please refer to the HC Middle School website (http://honeycreekschool.org/ms/about/mathematics/).  Each student can earn as much as half of the points taken off after following a few very specific steps, and convince me that they DO know the material.  In November, we will be continuing with Integer Operations and then move on to Proportional Reasoning.

In Course 3 we completed our first unit on Understanding Number Systems and Operations.  We spent some time review operations with fractions, decimals, and integers and taking them to the next level by combining them together.  Unit two will cover Proportional Thinking, and we will begin working on one of our bigger projects… you’ll see at curriculum celebration 🙂

Algebra has be plugging along… completing their second unit of study of the school year.  The first was reviewing the foundations of Algebra. The second was on solving Equations and Inequalities.  In November, we will move on to Function Relations; what’s a functions, what type of functions are there, etc.

One more note about middle school math test – hopefully you have all figured this out since all classes/students have taken a test.  A few years back a parent asked if I could communicate the test scores to the parents.  As we are trying to increase the independence of our students, I decided it would be better for the students to communicate their scores to their parents.  To help with this process, I do require that the students get a parent’s signature on the test before I record the grade – with the exception of Algebra students.  I hope this helps with prompt communication.

Thanks for supporting your child and me in this learning process.

Middle School Science News: November 2013

As November rolls around, the middle school science classrooms will be buzzing with construction noise.  Our students will be spending the next month planning, building, testing, retesting, and problem-solving a simple issue, how do we move “it”?  Using common engineering/physics skills and examples of simple machines (inclined plane, wheel and axle, levers…etc) , we are challenging groups of middle school students to build the most efficient and also creative designs.

Middle School Language Arts News: October 2013

Middle schoolers have been busy writing vignettes in classroom M3.  While reading the novel, The House on Mango Street by Sandra Cisneros, students are examining what makes Esperanza who she is while also taking a close look at who they are.  We’ve had some really great discussions, and I am looking forward to seeing our own collections of vignettes come to life.  It’s been a great start to the school year.

Middle School Math News: October 2013

Welcome back to Honey Creek! or for the new families in middle school, Welcome to Honey Creek.  There is a lot planned for your students this year, especially in math (says the math teacher).  Your students have been placed in their math class and classes began once we returned from Camp Tamarack.  There were a number of considerations used to help place your child in the appropriate level of math.  One was a pre-assessment that they took the first week of school, to find out what they remember from their previous experiences.  Another was the recommendation from their previous teacher (which is me, except for the 6th graders). Lastly, I looked at results of two standardized test; MEAP and Terra Nova.  There are four different levels of math in the middle school: Course 1, Course 2, Course 3, and Algebra.
To find out what your child will be covering in math this year please take a moment to look around the Middle School Mathematics website, honeycreekschool.org/ms/mathematics.  You will find the classroom expectations, as well as each course’s outline.  You will also find the homework posted on your specific course site each day we have class.  Throughout the year I hope you and your child will find the online textbook site helpful as well, my.hrw.com.  To get on the textbook website you will need a user name (ahully) and password (s8v2).  This is not posted on the middle school website since it is a public site, but your child should have it written in at least three different places – their planner, math folder, and math composition notebook.
If you have any questions please feel free to contact me at cwauer@hc.wash.k12.mi.us.  Looking forward to a great year with lots of learning going on!

Middle School Social Studies News: June 2013

Middle School Social Studies
We’re making a final push in social studies with a video project called Democracy and the NRA.  It’s a hefty task for the end of the year but I’m optimistic we can pull it off.  The idea is for each student to contribute to one part of the film, using facts, images and his/her voice.  The point is not to make a statement about guns or gun owners, rather the corruption and hypocrisy of our democratic system when shaped by special interest groups like the NRA.  Look for a link to the film sometime before (or even after) school gets out.

Middle School Language Arts News: June 2013

Middle School Language Arts
As we wrap up the year in middle school Language Arts, we will be experimenting with poetry in different forms.  The first week of June brings a middle school-wide poetry slam, and then, while the 8th graders are away at camp, the 6th and 7th graders will be experimenting with poetry and visual arts.  Truly exciting stuff.
As you know, summer lag can be a major issue for readers of all abilities.  Don’t let your child lose the progress they made in reading during the school year over the summer.  It takes the average reader 4-6 weeks to regain the skills they lost through “the summer slide.”  The good news is that ANY reading counts toward keeping those reading skills fresh.  Encourage your child to share books with friends, or enroll in your local library’s summer reading programs.  Let them choose books, even if they seem like “beach reads.”  Even adults need those now and then.  Are you looking for ways to get your kid to write over the summer?  Check out the summer program that Johnny and I are running, “Creative Explosion.”  It is open to grades 5-9, and kids from other schools are welcome, too!  Ask Johnny or me for details.

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