# Middle School: Week of 8/26

This just in!! This week each class strengthened its community by collaborating to choose their official name for the year. Drumroll please! The 6th graders are the Marionettes; the 7th graders are the Saplings; and the 8th graders are Vroomshroom.

## Math:

6th graders continued practicing ordering rational numbers Monday by working in groups to line up numbers least to greatest. Next they moved onto creating a piece of art that includes 5 real-life integers. They ended the week with a lesson on absolute value and opposites.

7th graders practiced adding and subtracting rational numbers including decimals and fractions at the beginning of the week. They ended the week by creating a figure that can slide up and down a scale to represent adding and subtracting integers. One student’s figure climbed up a rock wall and fell into a foam pit. One student’s figure was a cat that jumped up and down her body.

Algebra students learned how to solve equations where there are either infinite or no solutions on money. They then practiced solving multi-step equations by solving a pyramid puzzle and creating their own equations.

## ELA:

Monday was Book Club day. Students got together in small groups to answer questions about and discuss our novel, Nothing But the Truth. Tuesday we stepped away from fiction and back into nonfiction by extending last week’s discussion of “The Star-Spangled Banner.”

We used our nonfiction reading strategies to understand the timeline of events involving Colin Kaepernick’s choice to kneel for the national anthem before an NFL game and the consequences that followed. Individually, with partners, and as a whole class, students considered questions such as, do you agree with his choice to kneel? Do you think he was treated fairly? Was his action protected by the Constitution? Who were his supporters and critics? And last but not least, we watched the famous Colin Kaepernick Nike commercial.

We ended the week reading the First Amendment to the Constitution, focusing on the parts that apply to peaceful protesting; students also learned what language and behaviors are not protected. We looked at images of protesters and identified the key elements of an effective sign: short message and bold print. We wrapped up the topic and the week by creating our own signs for causes dear to our hearts and protesting around the school.

## Theme:

Middle school is always filled with exciting events. In our second week together, the Delta students signed their class agreements using a Preamble modeled after the U.S. Constitution, and completed their first Theme project.

We began Monday by reviewing the structure of the U.S. government and its three branches. Students outlined the reasons for the government’s structure based on the principles of separation of powers, and checks and balances. Students then participated in a Card Sort game to list the characteristics and powers of each branch. The teams tossed cards in the air, then gathered and organized them.

The rest of the week had students working in teams to develop and create posters to outline a metaphor for the three branches of government. They created plans together, writing sentences to support their analogies. They created illustrations, labeling parts of the illustration to show their connection to the Constitution, the branches of the government, and the principles that guide its structure.

The results are intuitive and unique, comparing the three branches to objects such as a lamp to a human brain. The students demonstrated great communication and collaboration skills throughout the process! We look forward to our first guest speaker next week, as we explore the Bill of Rights.

At top, the 8th grade group, now the Vroomshrooms, worked out their design plan for their team poster. Below, the 7th grade group, now Da Saplings, put all hands on deck to complete their team poster.

Students sign their Middle School Agreements. They used a purpose statement modeled after the U.S. Constitution’s preamble.

One more Algebra student earned her calculator merit badge.

Algebra students solving the pyramid puzzle

6th graders lining up rationals

Excited to draw integers!

Da Saplings work together to find answers in a nonfiction text.

Marionettes brainstorm ways the act of putting your shopping cart away mirrors getting along in a community.

Vroomshrooms enjoy book club.

Da Saplings practice nonfiction reading strategies together.

Zoom Shrooms protest peacefully.

Marionettes practice their First Amendment rights with a peaceful protest.

Theme students work with Card sorting, at top, and create posters to investigate and analyze the three branches of government in the U. S. Constitution.