From Ms. Urbanowski: What a tremendous year of growth it has been for the class of 2024. Beginning middle school is a significant event in our children’s lives.  When they enter 6th grade, they step over the threshold of a time and place where they will develop their identities and independence, take on the social and organizational challenges of a larger world, and experience an environment of intellectual and creative opportunities arranged on a steady incline toward the high school construct.  Your children have taken all this on with a sense of possibility and purpose — from “flipping the mat” at the overnight trip to “the beast” on the penultimate day of school, they have worked to communicate and collaborate well, building teamwork and group skills.  They have wrestled successfully with the logistical and intellectual challenges of open-ended and long-term projects from Egypt Day to the Experimental Design Fair and the earthship challenge, have mastered any nervousness with their many oral presentations, have figured out systems for managing homework, materials and complex schedules, and have built academic skills across the curriculum.  In short, they have made a success of it all!  It has been such a pleasure to work alongside them, to watch them all grow this year, and to see how they have embraced the launch of their middle school years.  I can’t wait to see what they will do in 7th grade.

As your children ramp up to return to school in the fall, finish their required summer reading and math assignments (see the summer mailing for details), please remind them to prepare their Levenger and ipads for another year by cleaning them out, removing links, apps and shortcuts not related to school, and freeing up memory by erasing non-school videos and pictures.  In the meanwhile, I wish them all, and you, a happy summer of diverse experiences to complement all the work of this past wonderful academic year.

The sixth graders have been very busy wrapping up the end of the year. An important culminating experience took place on May 23, when the 6th Graders presented their Experimental Design Projects to a public audience that included parents, students, and faculty. Students really enjoyed presenting their findings! This was one the capstone experiences for the 6th graders that encompasses what they have learned throughout the year in science.

In math 6, students been hard at work on an algebra unit about operations on integers. They have worked with prime numbers and prime factors, adding, subtracting, multiplying, dividing integers, and following order of operations. In advanced math 6, students have completed a geometry unit where they found unknown angles in problems which involve triangles and/or quadrilaterals. Students have also continued their algebra work focusing on polynomials. Finally, in hyper math 6, students are finishing up our work on quadratic equations and graphing quadratic functions. The class presented a project that they have “completed” at the MS STEM Extravaganza.

In English, students wrapped up the unit on Lions of Little Rock. Last Tuesday, each English class interviewed the author of the book, Kristen Levine, over Skype. Students enjoyed finding out more about her life, what inspired her to write the novel, and why she thinks historical fiction is so important. Then, students spent the last week working on a cumulative project. Projects include pretend social media accounts for the characters we’ve met this year, soundtracks for the novels we’ve read, and maps of the communities in the books. The students also conferenced with Mrs. Macone about their essay.

Finally, to culminate on our study of the ancient Greeks, students in social studies have been preparing for Greek Day! Students designed chariot armor, created krater-inspired black figure pottery, and practiced polis cheers to get ready for the Greek Day Games on June 6th! We look forward to seeing you there!