# Middle School: Week of Apr 1

## Math:

Everyone spent Monday working on the Stock Market Game. The game only has two weeks left!

Tuesday, Da Sprouts worked on review stations and Wednesday they started a review worksheet for their upcoming check in.

Evershrooms started a surface area project to build foil robots. They will complete their robots after the Iowa Assessments.

Polar Bears worked with dilations on coordinate planes on Tuesday. With transformation lessons complete, they worked at identifying different transformations given clues on Wednesday.

Mountain Lizards learned how to solve quadratics using both the square root method and by completing the square.

Thursday everyone watched videos explaining what is a solar eclipse and what makes the April 8th total solar eclipse special. They were then tasked to use two objects of the same shape but different size to take a photo of an annular eclipse and a video of a total eclipse. The results from the videos can be found linked here.

## ELA:

We held our first book club discussions this week! Meeting in small groups, students discussed questions from the previous week’s reading and used text evidence to support their answers. At the end we all came together to start building a giant word wall; each brick is a student-found vocabulary word from The Second Mrs. Gioconda. While everyone prepares for next week’s book club by reading the next few chapters and responding to their reading logs independently, we spent the rest of our class time together this week learning about poetry.

The main focus of our poetry unit is to have fun with words and appreciate just how difficult a poet’s job is. Since imagery plays a huge role in poetry, we zeroed in on that with a quick write about sensory language. Students picked a live sports or theater event they’d been to and described the smells, sounds, feel, colors, and weather they experienced.

We circled back to the couplets we started last week and refined them with an online rhyming dictionary and thesaurus. These resources opened a portal to new words and they learned it takes a huge vocabulary toolbox to produce a solid rhyme scheme, meter, and meaning. After couplets, we kicked it up a notch and moved on to quatrains. We noted their elements in our journals and analyzed a few examples. Looking for inspiration to write their own quatrains, we took our journals outside and went on a quiet walk around the neighborhood, stopping every so often to jot down observations. We ended the week working with partners to write and share our own quatrain poetry.

## Theme:

Big week this week in Theme class. We began to look at the causes and effects of the Renaissance, creating paths to analyze and document those facts. Students made connections between the events of the Renaissance in Italy and the characteristics of the art produced during that period. We took those characteristics and outlined how they differed from artwork in the classic and medieval periods.

We ended that phase with an ACT-IT-OUT exercise. Students assumed the roles of persons in a painting from the 25ht century depicting merchants, bankers, and mercenaries in the italian city of Siena. Students prepared their rolls and performed, answering questions regarding the roles and opinions of the characteristics in reacting to the changes of the time.

We ended the week focusing on our newest Theme Project. Ms. Naomi, parent of gamma student Scarlett, and a professional artist, led the students through a session on the elements of art. Students practiced using the elements, many of which will be used throughout the project. We will be continuing our process of reproducing the paintings in class for the next several weeks!

Da Sprouts students make observations to address the expectations for their Renaissance Anchor charts in Theme class.

Top: Partners create couplet poems. Bottom left: A small group meets for book club discussion.

Bottom right: Students used online resources to craft quatrain poetry.

The Evershroom class stops to jot down observations on a walk around the neighborhood. These sensory observations just might inspire some poetry!

Theme students prepare for and act out a scene from a 15th century painting outlining changes in an Italian city state in the Renaissance. Below, Ms. Naomi helps students with art projects

Theme week gave students the opportunity to start their projects with the help of Ms. Naomi, above, and to have fun acting out scenes from the Renaissance.

Math students create still pictures and videos demonstrating how a solar eclipse occurs using the concepts of proportion. The videos are linked in the newsletter above.

Math students display the common objects they used to create their eclipse videos.