06 Nov

Grade Level Happenings

Grade 6: October was a wonderful month for our sixth graders. Classes were able to gain traction, and the students have been working diligently across the curriculum.

In English, students wrapped up the short stories unit. They wrote two analytical paragraphs about these stories, which allowed them to practice the TEA and ICE structure in their writing. This past week they kicked off a PBL focused on identifying and writing about significant moments in their lives. They are working on a draft of this piece now. In a few weeks, they will share their work with their classmates and in a blog.

After a trip to the American Museum of Natural History and a successful Hominid Lab experience, social studies classes are wrapping up their study of hominids. They have been working on their hominid projects this week, and next week they will present their work to their peers. These projects allowed the students voice and choice, as they proposed their individual project plans to Mr. Fleisher. At the conclusion of these projects, Mr. Fleisher will also conference with the students about their work.

In science, students are wrapping up their evolution units. They completed Evolution Revolution presentations with a classmate, focusing on how animals have evolved over time. They also completed two labs (a thumb lab and an evolutionary bean lab), which allowed them to connect their learning with hands-on experience. During the labs, students learned how to display and analyze their data using both line and bar graphs.

In Math 6, students just wrapped up their ratio and proportions unit. They have been focused on trying to solve proportions with bar model or common factors and looking at relationship between two parts.

In Advanced Math, students just finished a unit on changing ratios. They are now studying solid figures and nets. They are also exploring the nets of cubes. This unit culminates in a study of tetrahedra, where the students are asked how many different tetrahedra they can create using Polydron (plastic shapes which click together) from the following triangles: small equilateral, isosceles, right angled isosceles, and large equilateral. The students are working in groups of 3 or 4 and will present their findings to the class in the coming days. In Hyper Math, students are writing numbers in bases other than 10 by expanding using place value notation. They are counting using binary (base 2) numbers. They are also using the distributive property to write products as sums, and to “factor out” and write sums with common factors as products. In all of the math classes, students continue to share and present their methods with their classmates.

Grade 7: As we close out October, the 7th grade year is in full swing.  Earlier this month, HomeBase participated in a kindness day where they were introduced to their “Human of D-E”.  The students will continue to meet with their “Human of D-E” throughout the year in order to learn their stories.  In English classes, students have started reading their dystopian novels for homework and are also beginning to brainstorm ideas and plan for their dystopian short stories.  In social studies, students continue to examine the question of “why do we fight?” by playing the feudal Japan simulation game. In this game, students take on the role of either a daimyo or shogun battling for land, wealth, and power in feudal Japan. Students will then write a reflection on this game as they have and will do for all classroom simulations/games.  Advanced math has begun their journey into algebra.  Students have been working on order of operations, combining like terms, exponents, and square roots.  Soon they will move onto simplifying expressions and solving equations.  In Math 7, students are converting decimals and fractions, adding and subtracting decimals, and multiplying and dividing fractions.  Lastly, in science class students are working on their water quality PBL.  Students have tested various water sites in the area and have chosen a water quality issue to focus on and try to solve within their projects.  Students are preparing presentations on their water quality issues in class to share with an expert panel in November.

Grade 8: The current course work in for eighth graders ranges from solving equations to understanding the historical impact of Columbus’s voyage to the New World. In science class, students have begun their study of chemistry. Specifically, they have discussed how energy plays a role in phase changes. In support of this understanding the Math curriculum is aimed at understanding the real-world relationship between two variables like time and temperature. Students are beginning to write their own vignettes in English class, as well as gearing up for the Living Wax Museum. Finally, in history class students are learning about how the Three Worlds of European Explorers, West Africans, and Native Americans will collide to form the early American Colonies.