Middle School: Week of Feb 19


Da Sprouts spent Tuesday and Wednesday reviewing their short unit over expressions.

Evershrooms completed a performance task this week. They were tasked to design a scale model blueprint of two rooms in a home. Each room had special area requirements and the area of all furniture, round and rectangular, were measured.

Polar Bears finished their last lesson on Pythagorean Theorem solving 3D application problems.

Mountain Lizards spent the week trying to escape! Only one student has escaped so far. The rest will have one more day next week to try.

Thursday “math block” was spent working in Stock Market Game groups, but math bled over to Theme time. The whole class ran as fast as they could, simulating driving a car, until a wild moose and raccoon appeared and they had to slam on their brakes. This gave students an idea of braking distance. Pairs guessed then calculated how far a car going 30 mph, down a flat road, with normal pavement and tires would travel after hitting the brakes. Student guesses ranged from 4 feet to 40 feet. The correct answer was 38 feet. We ended the lesson with calculating a car driving 80 mph, downhill, on icy roads. That car’s braking distance was just over 1,000 feet. Real world applications led to discussions about how speed limits are determined, the dangers of tailgating, and insurance companies’ safe driving apps.


This week we deepened our understanding of writing mechanics by fixing fragments. Students figured out there are so many ways to turn a fragment into a sentence; pinpointing the predicate and subject are key. We took one class period to work on theme research essays about physical principles, adding content and making sure each paragraph is focused and cohesive.

Outside of class, students continued their independent reading of scientist biographies. They are actively reflecting on their reading by learning interesting facts about their subject’s life and work, identifying new vocabulary, and summarizing passages.

This week in A Midsummer Night’s Dream, the plot revealed some serious drama, so naturally we took the opportunity to learn about daytime talk shows and the entertainment value of tabloid gossip. After reading one particular scene between Hermia and Helena, students acted out the scene again–this time in modern teen speak and in the style of a talk show. The audience hooted, tempers flared, and much laughter ensued. One Iceberg said getting to use her own words helped her better understand the strong emotions behind Hermia and Helena’s dialogue. Score!


Just like the villain in the movie Despicable Me, the Delta students this week had both direction and magnitude…”OH YEA”!!

Nearing the end of our study of Physics, students took on the topic of Motion by measuring Speed, Velocity, and Acceleration. While we began the week with a unique opportunity to learn outside of the AHB building during Monday’s FIELD day, the shorter week gave us ample time to experiment and demonstrate these concepts.

Students started by differentiating between the terms. Their first experiment focused on the rate of velocity of a falling object at a constant distance. Dropping marbles from a similar height, they averaged various trials to determine the acceleration of the marbles. Determining the variables in the experiment, students discovered why their rates of acceleration varied.

Our next event was the Speed, Velocity and Acceleration Obstacle Course. Breaking up into teams, students engaged in three different distance challenges: box jumping, chair rolling, and hand skipping. Each team measured their efforts through the course, and averaged their speeds. Using their formulas for velocity and acceleration, they tried to figure out the role of gravity in their course. They also determined the variables in their experiment.

Demonstration Day is February 29th, where student Research Reports and demonstration of physical principles will be completed.

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Ms. Shari helped out the Delta students during theme time by rolling a chair down the hallway. The students used the chair in an experiment in speed, velocity, and acceleration.

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Delta students use Theme time to focus on speed, velocity, and acceleration during an experimental obstacle course. Times for each part of the course were recorded and used in formulas to determine the magnitude and direction of student efforts.

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Left, a Mountain Lizard student escaped! At top, student’s calculating braking distance.

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Iceberg students act out a scene from A Midsummer Night’s Dream in the style of a daytime talk show.