Middle School: Week of 4/29


Da Sprouts and Evershrooms worked all week to prepare for their check ins. Polar Bears dove into volume of cones, cylinders, and spheres. Mountain Lizards started their unit on radicals.


We jumped into the week with a quick write and discussion about the quote, “Beauty is only skin deep, but ugliness is through and through.” Students connected this thought to a pair of sisters in our novel, The Second Mrs. Gioconda, and to the wider world. We held our final book club for the novel and had an AHA! moment when finally we figured out who the second Mrs. Gioconda is and how she is relevant to this fictional account of Leonardo Da Vinci’s inspiration for The Mona Lisa.

Tuesday and Wednesday, Ms. Kandyce pulled students for individual reading assessments–what a thrill for students and their teacher to see the progress they’ve made this year! As this was happening, the rest of the students watched the movie adaptation of Natalie Babbitt’s book, Tuck Everlasting. At the end we discussed the theme and motifs and had a lively opinionated discussion about immortality. If you drank the magical spring water, became immortal, and got stuck on the wheel of life, what age would you want to be forever?

We ended our week learning the difference between static and dynamic characters. Students took notes in their binders and reinforced their understanding by watching a quick video and discussing examples from Disney movies. We circled back to Tuck Everlasting and applied our new knowledge. To really master the concept, students worked in small groups to write analogies between those terms and kitchen items. For example, a refrigerator is dynamic because the things inside it are always changing. A panini press is static because it just stays the same in the back of the cabinet. We were all quite impressed with our classmates’ creative thinking and humor. Finally, to really seal the deal, each group wrote a mnemonic device to help them remember the difference.


Our Theme of the Renaissance and Reformation is starting to wind down, as students shifted their focus to the effect of the religious movement that accompanied the era of change. Students dove right into the start of the Reformation by revisiting an old friend, Martin Luther. On Monday, students looked into what Luther’s actions resulted in across Europe and their far-reaching effects, even as they affected the foundation of the United states.

Their next step was to diagram three emergent religions that sprang our of the Reformation, including Lutheranism, Calvinism, and Anglicanism. Each group assigned a particular religion examined the view on salvation, social authority, the process of rituals, and the life within the community. Students created posters reflecting their interpretation of these characteristics. In doing the exercise, many meaningful conversations about the comparisons with social orders and community that resulted and how it compares to today’s society.

We ended the week with our second painting studio session for our ASpoken Art project. The canvas are coming alive with vibrant colors and students are really seeing the SEL benefits of pursuing art. Great conversations and a lot of collaboration is happening in the studio! Only one more week before we will open our gallery to the public!!

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Students collaborate to outline and illustrate life within the emergent religions of the Reformation.

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Deltas take time to practice movement based on applied dice rolling. Each exercise corresponded to a number on the dice.

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Students studying and taking their check ins

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Students brainstorm items found in the kitchen for use in writing analogies about static and dynamic characters.