16 Mar

Grade Level Updates

In the weeks leading up to the spring break, the sixth graders have been busy on lots of new and exciting curriculum. In Social Studies, students are working in teams of four to plan and create a poster depicting 1400 years of Greek History. First the students choose one of four topics to study – a General Timeline; the Persian Wars; Literature; and Maths, Science, and Philosophy. Then, each of those students will take turns teaching their group about their topic. Finally, the students will plan out how to show all the things they have learned on one, giant poster-sized timeline. In English, students finished reading Mildred Taylor’s Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry this week. After tracking the themes of power and coming of age, the students are working on their first analytical essay. Class instruction is focused on teaching the format and foundation for longer analytical pieces. Students are focusing on crafting a clear thesis statement, finding solid evidence to support their main ideas, and then developing their analysis to support their opinions. The students will be drafting, revising, and peer editing their essays before spring break.

In science, students have started the robotics unit. Students are using Lego EV3 blocks and Legos to engineer and program a robot to achieve certain objectives in teams of 2 or 3 students. Students are creating their own design to accomplish tasks, such as: getting the robots to move, robots to move a block, and navigate a road course. In Math 6, students continue to work on fractions, solving problems with mixed operations involving addition, subtraction, multiplication and division, while following the rules for order of operations. In the Advanced Math 6 classes, students finished a fraction unit on solving problems with mixed operations while following the rules for order of operations. At the same time, the students have been continuing to work on variables, terms and expressions in algebra. Finally, the Hyper Math class has been working on three things: linear functions, data analysis and parabolas. In data analysis, students are combining their knowledge of linear functions with their spreadsheeting skills to determine how accurate their approximations are. Percent error is a very important tool for us in this endeavor.

Grade 7 is finishing up with their cross-curricular UN Sustainable Development Goals PBL unit as spring break approaches.  In Social Studies, students are working on their TED Talks which will explore the issue students researched related to the UN Sustainable Development Goals. Students have been viewing TED Talk examples and will deliver their own similar Talk on the issue that interested them.  In English, students are writing a feature article based on their research related to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. Articles will be published on a class website. The ADV Math class has completed their unit on graphs, which were incorporated into their feature articles in English.  Now students are moving into the study of proportions including dimensional analysis and percent. Students are also completing an activity called “Capture/ Recapture” to experience real world examples. Lastly in Science, students have wrapped up the UN Sustainable Goals unit with a presentation on their STEM challenges in class.  They are working on a cell unit. Students just finished a lab where they explored the difference between onion and elodea plant cells under the microscope.

Our African Drummers in Grades 7 and 8 were the featured musicians at the annual Lower School West African Drumming Assembly. It was a wonderful opportunity for our students to share their newly acquired skills and for both the lower school youngsters and our middle school youngsters  to experience the bonding that energized listening and synchronized heartbeats create.

Have a few minutes? If so, check out the videos from the Domino Rally event on the “BLIMP” (library blog).