Grade Level Happenings

Our 6th graders greatly enjoyed a recent 'bridge building' HomeBase activity with marshmallows and spaghetti!

Our 6th graders greatly enjoyed a recent ‘bridge building’ HomeBase activity with marshmallows and spaghetti!

In 6th grade we finished up a very successful Identity Unit with an assembly on Feb. 4th. The assembly highlighted their hard work in each class from the DENN project in Social Studies to the Self-Portraits in art, to name a few. Following the assembly the students enjoyed an International Food Festival sponsored by our 6th grade parent representatives. Then on February 11th, the 6th graders went to the Englewood Field Club to celebrate their hard work during the Identity Unit with some ice-skating, bowling, socializing, and some hot chocolate.

In 7th grade this week, the students began their Conservation Conversation PBL project.  The class trip to the Bronx Zoo last week was a great start to this amazing experience. At the zoo, our 7th graders were able to immerse themselves in real life efforts to conserve the dwindling tiger populations.  During the class with zoo personnel, the children were exposed to four different discovery tables.  Each table was geared towards a different area of conservation.  Two areas of concern included illegal tiger products and habitat loss.  The 7th graders will be hosting the parents at an event in April to showcase their learning from this unit.

8th grade: Students have begun reading To Kill A Mockingbird.  In addition to practicing critical reading strategies using the AR360 iPad app, students are learning about a central theme in the text: empathy.  They are not only identifying this theme in the novel, but they are also discovering how difficult, yet crucial it is to practice empathy in their daily lives.  Finally, students are learning to unpack meaning in a quotation by pretending to be police detectives who interrogate the quote until it confesses.

In history class, the students have taken some lessons they learned from their trip to Washington D.C. and started to practically apply their rights as citizens.  The first step in this process was to research a social movement and then to write a short paper on how their movement used the First Amendment to successfully affect change.  This week they began their Project Based Learning (PBL) unit entitled “Making a Difference” or MaD.  During MaD, they will be creating websites, videos, and social media campaigns about a social issue we are all facing. This first week was dedicated to finding a research topic as well as learning how to use technology to create awareness about their issue. Students seem eager to put their First Amendment rights into practice!

In science class, our 8th grade students have been digging into the world of geology. They first were given unknown minerals and had to devise an experiment comprised of the mineral properties to help them identify the unknown minerals. As they became experts at identifying minerals, they were shown a beautiful rock found while hiking and had to identify the mineral within the rock to determine if the mineral was actually a diamond. They learned about what type of rocks diamonds are found in, and were eventually able to identify the hikers rock. Unfortunately no diamonds this time!

Finally in math our students just wrapped up learning about Pythagorean theorem and the concepts of surface area and volume. They are moving on to systems of inequalities.